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Short Notes

Reviewed by Paul Beasley-Murray.

Rites of Ordination: Their History and Theology (SPCK, London 2014; 218pp; £19.99; ISBN 978 0 281 07157 9), by Paul F Bradshaw, is a magisterial overview of ministry in the New Testament and its development of ministry over the centuries. My one quibble is that the focus is almost entirely on the more liturgical churches – and appears to show no knowledge of the debates on ordination in the Free Churches.

Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament (Pickwick, Eugene, Oregon 2013; 222pp; $26; ISBN 978 1 623032 10 3), by Jeff Brown, a pastor who is also a scholar, is a detailed exegetical examination of decision-making processes as found in Acts and 1 and 2 Corinthians. Although the author recognises that not all group decisions of churches involved the whole church, nonetheless what we today call the congregational form of church government was normative in New Testament times. With reference to the church at Jerusalem, he notes that the size of a church was not an issue in determining whether a church could make a corporate decision. This book repays careful study!

First published in 2011, now in paperback, Secularization: In defence of an unfashionable theory (Oxford University Press, 2013; 243pp; £16.99; ISBN 978 0 19 965412 3), by Steve Bruce, is a work of social science, and yet manages to be a lively and challenging read for non-technical readers such as ministers.

By contrast, another work of social science, also first published in 2011, and now available as a paperback, Believing in Belonging: Belief and social identity in the modern world (Oxford University Press, 2013; 230pp; £25; ISBN 978 0 19 967355 1), is much more technical and therefore  harder going. What both books make clear is the immense challenge the church of Christ faces in the UK.

Published as part of the Kregel Exegetical Library, A Commentary on Judges and Ruth (Kregel, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2013; 697pp; £23.99 hardback; ISBN 978 0 8254 2556 1), by Robert B Chisholm of Dallas Theological Seminary, is to be welcomed, since it combines good conservative scholarship with application. Every section ends with ideas for preaching.

The Study of Liturgy and Worship (SPCK, London 2013; 256pp; £25; ISBN 978 0 281 06909 5), by Juliette Day and Benjamin Gordon-Taylor, is an excellent introduction to the study of liturgy and worship within Anglicanism in particular. It consists of 22 essays, most of which are written by Anglicans, and sadly with only one contribution by a Nonconformist and even there the focus is on ecumenism.

First published in hardback in 2011, The Blackwell Companion to Jesus (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2014; 556pp; £29.99; ISBN 978 1 118 72410 1), edited by Delbert Burkett, has now been issued in paper-back. The ‘companion’ is made up of 31 wide-ranging scholarly essays which deal not just with Jesus in the New Testament, but also Jesus in Art, Fiction, and Film.  It is a fascinating and highly instructive volume.

Law and the Bible: Justice, Mercy and Legal Institutions (Apollos, Nottingham 2013; 269pp; £16.99; ISBN 978 1 84474 923 2), edited by Robert F Cochran and David VanDrunen, consists of nine essays, each co-written by a lawyer and a theologian, examining the place of law in Scripture. What difference such a volume would make to Christian lawyers is probably questionable.

Eros and the Christ: Longing and Envy in Paul’s Christology (Fortress Press, Minneapolis 2013; 181pp; £29.99 hardback; ISBN 978 0 8006 9823 2), by David E Fredrickson, is an in-depth scholarly study of Philippians through the lens of love and longing as expressed within classical literature. 

The warmest of welcomes to the second edition of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (IVP, 2nd edition Nottingham 2013; 1087pp; £44.95 hardback; ISBN 978 1 84474 876 1), edited by Joel B Green. First published in 1992, this volume has been updated and well and truly lives up to its cover blurb, ‘A compendium of biblical scholarship’. An essential tool for theological students, this key reference work is a treasure trove for working ministers too.

All Things To All Cultures: Paul Among Jews, Greeks and Romans (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 2013; 406pp; £32.99; ISBN 978 0 8028 6643 1), edited by Mark Harding and Alanna Nobbs, contains 14 essays by Australian scholars which seek to set Paul in his first-century context. Its overview of developments in Pauline scholarship mean that this book could act as a ‘refresher’ course for ministers on sabbatical!

John, Jesus, and the Renewal of Israel (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 2013; 201pp; £12.99; ISBN 978 0 8028 6872 5. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), by Richard Horsley and Tom Thatcher, offers a new reading of the Gospel of John. The authors argue that the Gospel of John portrays Jesus engaged in a renewal of the people of Israel against the rulers of Israel, both the Jerusalem authorities and the Romans who placed them in power. This controversial approach certainly proves stimulating, if not convincing.

Real God in the Real World: Advent and Christmas readings on the coming of Christ (BRF, Abingdon 2013; 159pp; £7.99; ISBN 978 0 85746 265 7), by Trystan Owain Hughes, the Anglican Chaplain of Cardiff University, contains lively reflections on Scripture for all of Advent and up to Epiphany. A useful Advent resource.  

The Question of Canon: Challenging the status quo in the New Testament debate (Apollos, Nottingham 2013; 256pp; £14.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 004 9), by Michael Kruger, provides a well-written over-view of current scholarship, and in the course answers such questions as ‘Were early Christians averse to written documents?’; ‘Were the New Testament authors unaware of their own authority?’; and ‘Were the New Testament books first regarded as Scripture at the end of the second century?’. The author concludes: “The canon was like a seedling sprouting from the soil of early Christianity – although it was not fully a tree until the fourth century, it was there, in nuce, from the beginning”.

Hearing the Call: Stories of Young Vocation (SPCK, London 2014; 118pp; £9.99), by Jonathan Lawson and Gordon Mursell, contains a series of fascinating explorations of eight key Scripture passages. The sub-titles of some of the chapter headings give a flavour of the approach adopted. For instance, the chapter dealing with Jeremiah’s call is sub-titled ‘Am I up to this? People like me don’t get ordained’; while the chapter on Isaiah’s call is subtitled ‘In a culture of success, driven by targets, we sometimes forget that some of the acclaimed leaders of the Church were, in practical terms at least, complete failures’. Although my own model of ministry differs in a number of respects from the two authors, nonetheless this book will be of great interest to anybody considering a call to ministry.

The Message of the Person of Christ (IVP, Nottingham 2013; 261pp; £11.99; ISBN 978 1 84474 926 3), by Robert Letham of the Wales Evangelical School of Theology, is yet another welcome addition to the Bible Themes series of The Bible Speaks Today. This volume consists of helpful exposition of 26 Scripture passages, grouped around the topics of Christ promised, Christ incarnate, Christ crucified, Christ risen, and Christ ascended. This is a book for preachers!

Making Sense of Sex: Attitudes toward Sexuality in Early Jewish and Christian Literature (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2013; 168pp; $24; ISBN 978 0 8028 7095 7), by William Loader, is a distillation of the author’s earlier five-volume study. Not surprisingly, Loader has been likened the ‘Kinsey’ of biblical sexuality. This is a clear and authoritative guide.

The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford 2013; 512pp; £120; ISBN 978 0 470 67184 9), edited by Justin P McBrayer and Daniel Howard-Snyder, is a wonderful collection of essays summarizing the current scholarly debate on the problem of evil. This is accessible scholarship, providing much food for thought. Alas, the cost of the book puts it outside the reach of working ministers, but it is a magnificent work of reference for libraries.

The Secret Christmas: An anthology of the hidden joy of Christmas (Darton, Longman and Todd, London 2013; 141pp; £12.99 hardback; ISBN 978 0 232 53023 0), edited by Terence Handley MacMath, will keep for another Christmas. Some of the pieces are familiar, others are not. I was struck, for instance, by a contribution from Mark Oakley: “It is telling that most people seem to think that happiness lies in what we have, whether that be a Porsche or a loving family. Not a great deal of opinion has been voiced yet about whether it might, instead, be linked to who we are, and what we have become, and how we are resourced internally as human beings”. 

Recovering from Depression: a companion guide for Christians (SPCK, London 2014.  105pp: £9.99. ISBN 978-0-281-07075-6) by Katherine Smith, is a ‘resurrection’ book, in which out of her own experience she offer hope to those suffering from depression.  Rooted in the Christian faith, this will prove of great help not just to those seeking to overcome depression, but also to their friends and relatives.

The Vicar’s FAQ: all you ever wanted to know about Christianity and the Church (Darton, Longman and Todd; London 201; 201pp; £9.99; ISBN 978 0 232 53022 3), by Anglican curate Caroline Syncox, is a lively, down-to-earth, easy-to-read introduction to the Christian faith in general and to the Church of England in particular.

Engaging with C H Dodd on the Gospel of John: Sixty Years of Tradition and Interpretation (CUP, Cambridge 2013; 297pp; £55 hardback; ISBN 978 1 107 03566 9), edited by Tom Thatcher and Catrin H Williams, celebrates the 1963 publication of C H Dodd’s Historical Tradition in the Fourth Gospel, which proved to be a milestone in New Testament research. This present volume consists of fourteen scholarly essays on the implications, limitations and potential of Dodd’s ground-breaking work. Although this is an important contribution for academics, the reality is that these debates are a world away from the preaching task of readers of Ministry Today.

Tools for Rebuilding: 75 really, really practical ways to make your parish better (Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, Indiana 2013; 297pp; £11.99; ISBN 978 1 59471 444 3. Available in the UK from Alban Books of Edinburgh), by Michael White and Tom Corcoran, is written from the perspective of North American Roman Catholicism. It is full of practical wisdom.

God remembered Rachel: women’s stories in the Old Testament and why they matter (SPCK, London 2014; 140pp; £10.99; ISBN 978 0 281 06684 1), by Jenni Williams of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, is a great book for preachers. Erudition and sensitivity combine with application to the world of today. Each chapter ends with questions for reflection, which in turn makes the book usable in home groups who are prepared to do the necessary homework of reading not just the Bible stories, but also the commentary supplied in the book.

The Message of Jeremiah (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 444pp; £12.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 032 2), by Christopher Wright, replaces an earlier and much shorter commentary by Derek Kidner in The Bible Speaks Today series. A great commentary for preachers – and excellent value!

Encompassing God (SPCK, London 2014; 153pp; £8.99; ISBN 978 0 281 07058 9), by David Adam, contains a wonderful collection of prayers and meditations about how God holds us and all creation in his loving embrace. To read these prayers is to be enriched and affirmed.

Dealing with Dying, Death, and Grief during Adolescence (Routledge, London 2014; 265pp; £21.99; ISBN 978 0 415 53450 5), by David E Balk, an American academic who directs a graduate programme in thanatology in New York, this scholarly work deals first with adolescent development, and then examines recent findings relating to life-threatening illness and bereavement during adolescence. Theory and research are blended with personal stories. Although not written from a Christian perspective, hospital and hospice chaplains could benefit from this book. 

A recent edition to the Apollos Old Testament Commentary is 1 and 2 Kings (Apollos, Nottingham 2014; 615pp; £32.99 hardback; ISBN 978 1 78359 031 5), by Lissa M Wray Beal, an Anglican scholar based at Providence Theological Seminary in Manitoba, is yet another great resource for preachers. Not only is there detailed exegesis, but after every passage there is a full exposition of the theological message.

Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in the United Kingdom during the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2013; 409pp; £75; ISBN 978 0 19096 483 2), edited by David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones, consists of 20 wide-ranging essays ranging from ‘Baptists and Fundamentalism in Inter-War Britain’ to ‘Evangelical or Fundamentalist? The Case of John Stott’. The editors in their concluding essay acknowledge that a form of fundamentalism did exist in 20th century Britain, but the fundamentalists occupied only a narrow space towards one end of the broad spectrum of British evangelicalism. Evangelicalism in Britain cannot be equated with fundamentalism. This fascinating volume will undoubtedly appeal to many readers of Ministry Today, but the price puts it beyond the purchasing power of most.

With Luke 1 (covering Luke 1.1-9.50) and Luke 3 (covering Luke 19.28-24.53) already published, it is good to welcome the English translation of Luke 2: a commentary on the Gospel of Luke 9.51-19.27 (Fortress Press, Minneapolis 2013; 663pp; £46.99; ISBN 978 0 8006 9759 4), by Francois Bovon of Harvard Divinity School. Part of the Hermeneia series – A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible – this is very much a work of scholarship, yet preachers can also benefit from this thoughtful commentary. I particularly found interesting the ‘history of interpretation’ which accompanies the exegesis.

The Oxford Handbook of Atheism (Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013; 763pp; £95 hardback; ISBN 978 0 1909 6465 0), edited by Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse, is the first major reference book on atheism. It consists of 46 scholarly, albeit accessible, essays grouped into seven main parts: Part 1 Definitions and Debates (e.g. the case against atheism; arguments for atheism; atheism and morality; atheism and the meaningfulness of life); Part II History of (Western) Atheism; Part III Worldviews and Systems (e.g. humanism; existentialism; Marxism); Part IV Atheism and the Natural Sciences (e.g. atheism and Darwinism); Part V Atheism and the  Social Sciences (e.g. the psychology of atheism; atheism and societal health; atheism, health and well-being); Part VI Global Expressions;  Part VII Atheism and the Arts. Beautifully produced, this will surely be an essential reference work for Christians engaged in serious apologetics.

The Christ-Centred Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Classic Sermons for the Church Today (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 277pp; £12.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 102 2), edited by Elizabeth Catherwood and Christopher Catherwood, will no doubt please fans of the ‘Doctor’, but the reality is that this collection of sermons – inevitably – has a very dated feel. For instance, the attack on the ‘social gospel’ belongs to another era and runs counter to where most evangelical Christians are today. This is no criticism of Martin Lloyd-Jones, but sermons, preached within a particular context, are always time-limited.

You Can Pray (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 175pp; £9.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 084 1), by Tim Chester, is a simple introduction to prayer for new Christians, and deals with such issues as how we pray, why we pray, and what we pray.

Driven to Despair: Perfectionism and Ministry (Mosaic Press, Preston, Victoria, Australia 2013; 126pp; £14.99; ISBN 978 1 74324 106 6. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), by psychologist Alan Craddock, considers the nature of perfectionism from psychological and theological viewpoints. A very practical book, written to help ministers struggling with unhelpful forms of perfectionism.

Ready, Steady, Grow: Equipping Today’s Gospel Churches (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 235pp; £10.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 113 8), by Ray Evans, pastor of Grace Community Church Bedford, is a popular guide to church growth by a pastor who is ‘doing the business’. The author helpfully shares his experience, and also draws on the insights of others. However, I find the title a little jarring – it is inevitably is a judgment on other churches. The author’s conservatism is also apparent in the way in which he talks of ‘men’ leading churches.    

Psalms for Everyone: Part II Psalms 73-150 (SPCK, London 2014; 237pp; £9.99; ISBN 978 0 281 06314 1), by John Goldingay, is a stimulating popular guide to the Psalms, which provides a resource preacher and pilgrim alike.

From Creation to New Creation: Biblical Theology and Exegesis.  Essays in Honour of G K Beale (Hendrickson, Peabody, Massachusetts 2013; 309pp; £32.99 hardback; ISBN 978 1 59856 837 0), edited by Daniel Gurtner and Benjamin L Gladd, is an academic ‘Festschrift’ consisting of fourteen essays devoted for the most part to scholarly exegesis. A book to bless the ‘academy,’ but not the church!

The Inspiration and Interpretation of Scripture: What the Early Church can teach us (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids 2014; 201pp; £16.99; ISBN 978 0 8028 6963 0), by Michael Graves of Wheaton College, looks at the Christians in the first five centuries believed about the inspiration of Scripture, and the implications of that inspiration for the inter-pretation of Scriptures. He concludes that pluralism in the interpretation of Scriptures was not a problem, but a blessing to the church.

Fruitfulness on the Frontline: Making a difference where you are (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 202pp; £8.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 125 1), by Mark Greene, is yet another helpful resource for equipping the 98% of Christians who are not engaged in paid church work. The author develops a helpful ‘framework’ for fruitfulness, which involves modelling godly character; making good work; ministering grace and love; moulding culture; being a mouthpiece for truth and justice; and being a messenger of the gospel.   

Vose Seminary at Fifty: From ‘Preach the Word’ to ‘Come, Grow’ (Mosaic Press, Victoria, Australia 2013; 252pp; £20.99; ISBN 978 1 74324 096 0. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), edited by Nathan Hobby, John Olley and Michael O’Neil, contains not just a splendid account of the way in which the former Baptist Theological College of Western Australia has developed into what is a highly progressive seminary named after its first founding principal, Noel Vose, but also some thoughtful reflections on fifty years of changes in theology and the church. In the latter regard, the essay on preaching by the current principal, Brian Harris, is of interest – not least his comment that “preaching is not primarily mouth-to-ear, but heart-to-heart”. I also appreciated the essay by Stephen Ingram entitled ‘Who stole my pastorate?’ where among other things he notes that leadership now trumps pastoral care! Much as I would like to commend this book to readers of Ministry Today UK, the reality is that – theological educators apart – this is primarily a book for the Australian market.

Australians and the Christian God: An Historical Study (Mosaic Press, Preston, Victoria 2013; 217pp; £23.99; ISBN 978 1 74324 016 8. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), by Hugh Jackson, traces the decline of the Christian faith in Australia. Well-written, its penultimate paragraph gives food for thought: “The temptation for the churches has long been to play down their message about a judgment and a salvation beyond this earthly life in order to make the Christian religion more acceptable to those with a this-worldly orientation. Giving way in the past to this temptation has not brought anything more than ephemeral popularity – and often not even that. If indeed there is a God such as was believed in by the earliest Church, then the Church in today’s Australia is obliged to teach the primacy of the supernatural over the natural life”.

Final Chapters: Writings About The End Of Life (Jessica Kingsley, London 2014; 128pp; £8.99; ISBN 978 1 84905 490 4), edited by Roger Kirkpatrick, consists of 30 short stories and poems about death, dying and bereavement, originally written for a competition by the Dying Matters Coalition set up by the National Council for Palliative Care with the assumption that many people would find it less upsetting to write about dying than talk about it. Sadly, however, this selection (from the almost 1,400 entries received) are all pretty bleak – not one reflects any Christian hope. Was this true of all the entries I wonder?

The Blessing of Abraham, the Spirit and Justification in Galatians: Their Relationship and Significance for Understanding Paul’s Theology (Pickwick Publications, Eugene Oregon 2013; 240pp; ISBN 978 1 61097 372 4), by Chew-Chiew Lee, is a detailed examination of Galatians 3.14, The author concludes that the promise of the Spirit is not the content of the blessing of Abraham in Galatians 3.14; rather the blessing of Abraham is identified with justification, and the Spirit functions as the evidence of receiving the blessing and the means of perpetuating the blessing. This is a book likely to appeal to scholars rather than to ministers of local churches.

Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 272pp; £16.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 101 5), by Donald Macleod, a retired systematic theologian who taught for many years at the Free Church College, Edinburgh, is a clear and detailed statement of the traditional evangelical understanding of the Cross. It will be particularly appreciated by theological students.

New Frontiers: Redefining Christian ministry in 21st Century Contexts (Mosaic Press, Victoria, Australia 2014; 241pp; £21.99; ISBN 978 1 74324 051 9. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), edited by Jon K Newton, consists of a series of papers given in 2012 to a conference at Harvest Bible College, a Pentecostal college in Melbourne. The topics dealt with include leadership development, ordination, the pastor’s wife, changing paradigms in mission, emotional intelligence and ministry burnout, and distance-learning. Not exactly ground-breaking, this book is probably of most interest to Pentecostals ‘down-under’.

Christian Worship: A Theological and Historical Introduction (Mosaic Press, Victoria, Australia 2013; 174pp; £16.99; ISBN 978 1 74324 185 9. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), by Glen O’Brien of the Sydney College of Divinity, could serve as a text-book for theological students – or even as a study book for interested lay people – each chapter ends with a list of questions for discussion. Unlike many introductions to worship, it includes reflections on charismatic worship and alternative worship.

I gave to an 84 year old friend a copy of Finishing Our Course with Joy: ageing with hope (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 106pp; £6.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 089 6), by Jim Packer. She commented: “As you would expect, the theme is well constructed and developed. Discipleship is all. There is no ‘let up’ for the aged, just a continuation of the same: Jesus first, Jesus now, Jesus last. Ageing is a challenge, but ageing does not muzzle us”. Unlike other IVP books, the font size is considerably larger than the norm – a thoughtful gesture to senior citizens!

One of the latest volumes in the Kregel Exegetical Library is A Commentary on The Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89) (Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan 2013; 841pp; £29.99 hardback; ISBN 978 0 8254 2563 9. Available in the UK through Alban Books of Edinburgh), by Allen Ross, is a preacher’s commentary, with scholarly exegesis always followed by a section on ‘message and application’.

It is a delight to welcome yet another John Stott reprint. First published in 2001, The Incomparable Christ (IVP, Nottingham 2014; 250pp; £10.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 107) is divided into four sections, each of which is sub-divided into a further twelve sections: Part 1 deals with the original Jesus – or how the New Testament witnesses to him; Part II deals with the ecclesiastical Jesus – or how the church has presented him; Part III deals with the influential Jesus – or how he has inspired people; and Part IV deals with the eternal Jesus – or how he challenges us today (essentially a short exposition of the Book of Revelation). This is a book to buy and to enjoy!  

‘For Their Rock Is Not As Our Rock’: An evangelical theology of religions (Apollos, Nottingham 2014; 383pp; £19.99; ISBN 978 1 78359 100 8), by Daniel Strange of Oak Hill College, London, is a thoughtful and eirenic textbook by a Reformed scholar, who on a number of occasions speaks of wanting to use a scalpel rather than wield a machete when engaging with opposing views to his own. This is demonstrated in his concluding chapter, where he first calls evangelicals to have both a living knowledge of other religious traditions and a loving attitude towards those who are part of them; second, for a breaking down of the high walls between different theological disciplines, so that all can be enriched; and third, for evangelicals to rehabilitate and reclaim the discipline of religious studies.

First published in 2002, Graham Tomlin, the Dean of St Mellitus College and Principal of St Paul’s Theological Centre, Holy Trinity, Brompton, has produced a fourth edition of his deservedly popular The Provocative Church (London, SPCK 2014; 180pp; £10.99; ISBN 978 0 281 07129 6). Four pages shorter than the 3rd edition, the changes to this helpful guide on evangelism, are minimal. 

First published in hardback in 2001, An Anglican Companion: Words from the Heart of Faith (SPCK and Church House Publishing, London 2014; 129pp; £10.99; ISBN 978 0 281 07165 4), compiled by Christopher Cocksworth and Alan Wilkinson, is intended as a guide for newly confirmed members of the Church of England. Divided into four sections, Part One ‘Walking the Way of Christ’ contains key texts such as the Apostles’ Creed and the Beatitudes; Part Two, ‘Prayer for Today’ contains material for a fortnight’s daily prayer; Part Three, ‘Changing Scenes of Life’ contains readings and prayers on such topics as work, love, pain, growing older, and bereavement; Part Four, ‘Sharing in the Company’, describes the communal spiritual disciplines of teaching, fellowship, the Eucharist, and prayers. A somewhat eclectic collection, it does, however, provide adults with an introduction to Anglican way of being the church.

Kevin Mayhew of Stowmarket last year (2013) published two helpful books for Lent, both based on the Gospel of Mark, and both ‘undated’. Who do you say that I am? A Lenten journey into the world of Jesus (254pp; £14.99; ISBN 978 1 84867 679 4), by Annie Heppenstall, is intended for daily use, with 47 days’ worth of reflections, questions, a word for the day, and a prayer. Waymarkers: a route map through Lent to Easter (78pp; £8.99; ISBN 978 1 84867 678 7), by John Saxbee, a former bishop of Lincoln, is made up of seven weekly studies and could be used by small groups.

Recent Grove booklets from Cambridge, all 28pp in length and priced £3.95, include:

Starting from Scratch (Youth 31, 2013; ISBN 978 1 8517 4869 3), by Linda Hopkins and Gale Richards, gives basic advice to people considering starting youth work from scratch.

Developing Our Pastoral Wisdom; Reflecting together on pastoral care (Pastoral 134, 2013; ISBN 978 1 85174 868 6), by Helen Thorp, consists of five group studies based on five key passages from Scripture: pastoral care as shepherding (Matthew 18.10-14); serving (John 13.1-5); listening (Luke 24.13-35); seeing (Mark 10.46-52); and the image of God (Luke 15.11-32). This could be a useful resource for a pastoral team. 

Emotional Literacy for Youth Workers (Youth 32, 2013; ISBN 978 1 85174 878 5), by Claire Farley and Philip Eley, is a practical guide to help youth workers can recognize and respond to their own emotions and those of others they meet. 

Mission-shaped Unity: Missio Dei and a New Way of Being Churches Together (Evangelism 103, 2013; ISBN 978 1 85174 875 4), by Colin Marsh and Jim Currin, examines in particular how mission and unity are combined in Rugby, but strangely ignores the way in which the establishment of the Church of England ensures that in most places there is no level playing field when it comes to working together in mission.

Homelessness: Grace, Truth and Transformation (Pastoral 135, 2013; ISBN 978 1 85174 877 8), by Jon Kuhrt, who works for the West London Mission, and Chris Ward, who shares his own experience of homelessness, is extraordinarily helpful in the guidance it gives to churches wanting to help the homeless, and to my mind is one of the best booklets in the series. I particularly appreciated the combination of ‘grace’ and ‘truth’, as also the insistence on churches working together with local authorities.

Sex Offenders, Pastoral Care and the Local Church: Caring for the Accused, the Abused and the Wider Community (Pastoral Series 136, 2013; ISBN 978 1 85174 886 0), an excellent guide by Paul Rosier, a retired Baptist minister and magistrate.

Paul Beasley-Murray

Senior Minister of Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford<br>and Chair of Ministry Today

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You are reading Issue 61 of Ministry Today, published in August 2014.

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