I've been a book reviewer for several years and my reviews have
appeared in The Englewood Review of Books and Spectrum Magazine.
History | Politics | Racism
Dr. Anthea Butler offers a succinct and compelling analysis of evangelicalism’s racist roots. While some have argued that evangelical racism began in the Trump era, and have loudly cried, “Not all evangelicals!” Butler gives ample evidence that racism has always been a cornerstone of evangelicalism.
Christian Theology | Politics
In Marilyn McEntyre’s latest book, Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict, she gives us a bold and necessary challenge: stepping into a world that is awash in “simplistic partisan rhetoric” and “glib euphemisms” and instead finding “words that comfort” and “sustain courage.”
Old Testament Bible Study
I finished reading Defiant: What the Women of Exodus Teach Us about Freedom by Kelley Nikondeha the same month Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor’s murders made national news, the same week as George Floyd’s murder, the same day protests broke out across the nation in response to police brutality and the continuous struggle in this country for black men and women to be seen and treated as equal to white people.
Like many kids my age, I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I didn’t know anything about Fred Rogers outside of his steady, calming presence and menagerie of puppet friends who greeted me each weekday after school, and my knowledge of him hadn’t increased much over the years before I read Shea Tuttle’s delightful book.
Every short chapter in Wild Hope is heartbreaking. It is a difficult, moving book that is confronting and uncomfortable for the reader, but as Boss says in her introduction, “hearts broken open in love create a new ark.” May this Lenten season be a time of awakening, a time of compassion, and above all a time of wild, indescribable hope for all of us.
This was a lovely little book to read during Advent and for visual learners like myself, imagining the gospel narratives as distinct homes has helped to bring the Christ story to life in a whole new way for me.
I appreciated the diverse selection of poets included in When Poets Pray, each a distinct voice uplifted, bearing out our human emotions, vices, and virtues — of devotion, suffering, selfishness, love, greed, praise, and joy. Each poem is a raw appeal to God, all pretense stripped away, to hear us, to know us, to bear with us in our humanity. Put simply, each is a prayer.
Sitting on my desk as I write, next to a copy of Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book Holy Envy, is my Worldviews and Religion textbook from high school. I remember sitting in that sunlit classroom of Andrews Academy my senior year, learning about the world’s major religions from this slim textbook, produced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Office of Education.
Reading Marilyn McEntrye’s writing feels like conversing with a
long-lost friend, the ebb and flow of conversation full of moments of both levity and gravity. Whether writing poetry or prose, McEntyre chooses her words deliberately and carefully, with the result a gracious invitation to the reader to pause, listen, digest, and grow.
In this brief book, author Jonathan K. Dodson invites the reader to discover the Holy Spirit. Dodson’s goal is admirable, however, the author’s execution of this subject fell flat. Readers won’t find a deep dive into theology in this work.
Brown’s little book of essays is uncomfortable, challenging, and necessary. A quick read packed with timeless truths, more relevant now than ever before in this broken world, this book reminds us of what living like Jesus truly looks like.
The season of Advent is upon us, and if you live in the Northern Hemisphere like I do, this means dark, frost-covered mornings that invite quiet reflection, preferably with a steaming mug of tea in hand and a dog sleeping at your feet.
Wiesel’s most well-known work, Night, the autobiographical account of his time in a Nazi death camp, sat unassuming on the bookstore shelf. It was a tiny volume of just over 100 pages that sold for $5.50, and yet when I opened it for the first time, it echoed questions I’d held close to my heart about God and His silence, about humanity and its penchant for evil, about surviving in the wake of terrible tragedy.
For many life-long Christians, prayer comes naturally. It’s something we’ve grown up with. We’ve prayed at the dinner table and heard prayer from the pulpit. Perhaps we whisper our individual prayers in the waking hours of the day or as the sun is setting in the evening. But how does a new Christian “learn” to pray?