Resources on Book Reviews

Extreme Pastoral Care – Mission at Nuremberg

By Charlie Wingard · January 16, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Christian ministers seek the lost, proclaim God’s gospel of faith and repentance to all who will listen, and refuse pastoral care to no one who seeks it. Their commitment leads them to minister in dark places of human depravity. The prison complex of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany was such a place. Housed there in 1945-46 were prominent architects of the Nazi war machine and its “Final Solution,” standing trial for crimes against peace and humanity. With them was Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor and United States Army Chaplain Henry Gerecke, who provided pastoral care to the Protestants among them. At age 50 Gerecke joined the  U.S. Army Chaplain Corps. His years of leadership at City Mission in St. Louis were distinguished by care for  the poor, the sick, and…

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My Year in Books (2014)

By Charlie Wingard · January 2, 2015 · 0 Comments
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For as long as I can remember, I love to read, especially books. Below are the ones I completed during 2014. I reread favorites regularly, and a number on my list fall into that category, and particularly this year as I prepared my class syllabi at RTS. Shakespeare, Bunyan, Lloyd-Jones, Still, and Wells are among those that fall into that reread category. Some of this year’s most-liked: I enjoy no contemporary novelist more than Marilynne Robinson. In anticipation of this year’s release of Lila, I reread Gilead and Home, and enjoyed them even more the second time around. Her deep insights into human nature, the struggles of the soul, and the stresses of community and family life merit a pastor’s careful attention. Lila is the remarkable story…

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Charles Hodge (December 27, 1797- June 19, 1878)

By Charlie Wingard · December 27, 2014 · 0 Comments
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Today is the anniversary of the birth of Charles Hodge, a towering leader in American Presbyterianism. We do well to pursue biblical studies and theology with his disciplined passion. Evangelical believers of previous generations spoke of “the force of truth.” And rightly so. Paul rejoices that the Romans “obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17). That the union of will (obedience), affections (heart), and intellect (form of doctrine) marked their mature faith is no surprise. Through his Word, God appeals to our hearts through the mind, creating godly affections and sanctifying behavior. Charles Hodge knew the force of truth. His teaching career at Princeton Seminary spanned 58 years (1820-1878). Relationships with six decades of ministerial…

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“Every Child a Dauphin”

By Charlie Wingard · July 3, 2014 · 0 Comments
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Is there a finer contemporary essayist than Joseph Epstein?  This morning I read his essay “The Kindergarchy: Every Child a Dauphin,” in which he reflects upon the sad outcomes of a society in which children rule, and are pampered and spoiled like “direct descendants of the Sun King.”  As he’s wont to do, Epstein mixes social commentary with humor. I chuckled at this personal anecdote, I suppose from the 1940s: “I recall only once telling my mother that I was bored. ‘Oh,’ she said, a furtive smile on her lips, ‘why don’t you bang your head against the wall. That’ll take your mind off your boredom.’ I never mentioned boredom again.” – in Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other…

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“The Guns at Last Light”

By Charlie Wingard · May 24, 2014 · 2 Comments
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  Memorial Day weekend is a fitting time to finish reading The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945, the final volume of Rick Atkinson’s deservedly praised Liberation Trilogy. The author makes extensive use of servicemen’s letters home. None are more heartwrenching than those that proved to be last words to beloved mothers and fathers, wives, girlfriends, and children. One of many such stories: With less than six weeks remaining in the war, an American B-24 was shot down near Wesel, Germany. “The eight dead crewmen included First Lieutenant Earle C. Cheek of Missouri, the navigator, a ‘genial friend a good companion and a lovable comrade,’ according to the unit chaplain. Cheek had survived many harrowing sorties…

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