Resources on Book Reviews

Booknote: “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson

By Charlie Wingard · September 12, 2018 · 0 Comments
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  I’ve read Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead twice, most recently in 2014.  This week a friend invited me to discuss the book, which brought to mind this booknote I published in another forum more than a decade ago. The first thing that struck me as I read Gilead is the author’s elegant prose as she finds the voice of Congregational minister John Ames. He has spent his entire life in Gilead, Iowa. His first wife and daughter died long ago, and after decades living alone, he marries a much younger woman. Now, with his own death fast approaching, he writes a letter to his son, seven years old. A significant part of the story is his long friendship with a Presbyterian…

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“Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness” by Megan Hill – A Review

By Charlie Wingard · September 4, 2018 · 0 Comments
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Megan Hill, Contentment: Seeing God’s Goodness. P&R Publishing, 2018 Full disclosure: my evaluation of Megan Hill’s Contentment is hardly unbiased. I have long admired both her and her family. In the early 1990s, her Dad welcomed me to the New England Reformed Fellowship. Megan’s writing talent is exceptional, a valuable gift to God’s church. For years I have read with profit her mother-daughter blog, Sunday Women, and her other posts at Christianity Today and The Gospel Coalition. Megan is also the author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer in Our Homes, Communities, and Churches. When I moved to the Jackson area in 2014, Megan and her husband, Rob, warmly welcomed me to their church and home. Biases…

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Focus on the Eternal

By Charlie Wingard · September 3, 2018 · 0 Comments
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“The present form of this world is passing away.” 1 Corinthians 7:31 The Smartest Guys in the Room chronicles the fall of corporate giant Enron. In one revealing scene, the company’s CEO, Jeffrey Skilling, is contemplating resigning. The years of criminal misconduct, lying, and falsifying financial records have caught up with him and his company. Stock princes plummet. Disaster looms, and he knows it. Into his office walks Ken Lay, Enron’s chairman of the board. What pressing issue is on his mind? In his hands are fabric swatches for the company’s new $45 million corporate jet. Which does the CEO prefer?*  There’s a lesson here: Don’t be consumed by the trivial when you are surrounded by issues of monumental consequence.…

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Booknote: “Meditations on Preaching” by Francis James Grimké

By Charlie Wingard · July 9, 2018 · 0 Comments
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First year students at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson are introduced to the remarkable life, ministry, and writings of Francis James Grimké  through Thabiti Anywabile’s The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors. Born in 1850 to a white South Carolina plantation owner and slave mother, Grimké lost his father at an early age and, along with him, the protective care that sheltered him from some of the inherent brutality of the slave system. After escaping the cruelty of a white half-brother, he was recaptured and sold to a Confederate officer. After emancipation, Grimké proved himself a gifted and industrious student, graduating from Lincoln University and, later, Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, he was among the last of Charles…

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My Year with Books (2017)

By Charlie Wingard · December 28, 2017 · 0 Comments
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When I finish a book, I add it to my list of books read. At the end of this post are the books I completed in 2017. The year was marked by celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Although I’ve used it as a reference and resource for lectures on the English Reformation, until now, I had never made time to read from cover to cover Diarmaid MacCulloch’s The Reformation: A History. Perhaps there’s a more comprehensive single-volume work on the Reformation, but I’m not aware of it. Over the past several decades, a number of young and intelligent Reformed folk have left Protestantism for Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Their concern is the shallowness of Protestant worship and…

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Lynne Goes Back to School

By Charlie Wingard · August 8, 2017 · 0 Comments
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For the next nine weeks, Lynne teaches again one of her favorite books, The Iliad, this time at Manchester Academy. I enjoy the new purchases that crop up around our home. I owe my love of The Iliad to one man, Dr. John Reishman, one of the outstanding literature professors at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Until his class, I don’t  recall reading a work of ancient Greek literature, and, had I made the attempt, the ability to navigate the text would have been sorely lacking. I needed a teacher, and found one in Dr. Reishman. Since then, I have read The Iliad several times in the translations of Fitzgerald, Lattimore, and Fagles, and a very small portion…

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