:: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 ::
Book review: 'God's Potters', and more on Da Vinci
My review of the forthcoming book about the vocations of America's full-time ministers, God's Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, is in the latest edition of Next Wave. Here's a sneak preview:
Sociological studies have a tendency to be a tad too esoteric and pedantic for my tastes, often because the authors tend to sprinkle their dull prose with words like "esoteric" and "pedantic." But sociologist Jackson W. Carroll's new book about the state of the American minister, as divined from a the most comprehensive study of ordained pastors and priests ever conducted, breathes some life into what might otherwise be just another statistical abstract.

Even as a collection of data, charts and tables, though, Carroll's book, God's Potters: Pastoral Leadership and the Shaping of Congregations, would prove fascinating. If you're into data, charts and tables, that is. More...
Next-Save's cover story this month is, of course, about The Da Vinci Code phenomenon. Written by Stephen Shields, "The Da Vinci Code and a Hunger for Something More" examines the varied Christian response to the book and movie, and discussions opinions that many of those attracted to the book and movie may have an inner spiritual longing. Shields has done his homework here, quoting and linking to a wide array of news articles, bloggers, theologians and church spokespeople who present different perspectives on how the church and Christians should react to the pop culture phenomenon. Essentially, the responses run the gamut of the "Christ in culture" options -- from ignoring the book and movie and its cultural impact to near full capitulation to the Da Vince Code heresies. Shields concludes that Christians "who have decided to engage Brown's work" should respect those who have decided to ignore the book and movie, but should "combine accurate biblical and historical information with something that also addresses the spiritual hunger that drives some to look anywhere for solid answers." Sounds like solid advice to me. But I still think what attracts many of us to the Da Vinci Code is that we love a good yarn.

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:: Andrew 08:58 + ::

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