Short books for a Holy Week.

Some (mostly) very brief books you may not know of, suggested for these next holy days.
See below to learn about our one week only discount on these, while we have them in stock…hope this is helpful.  Blessings on your Lenten  journey.

characters-passion-lessons-on-faith-trust-fulton-j-sheen-paperback-cover-art.jpgCharacters of the Passion  Fulton J. Sheen (Liguori) $9.95  Fulton Sheen was a prolific writer, a beloved Catholic leader, certainly one of the 20th centuries most well-known prelates.  He was an articulate radio and TV personality, the closest thing there was to a Catholic Billy Graham, thoughtful and compelling–maybe a bit of C.S. Lewis, even.  He was known as a persuasive speaker, a wise leader, and a great Bible expositor.  Here he explores the eternal drama of the cross by using the stories of those who were influential in the death of Jesus.  There is comfort and strength and goodness and hope here through brief but penetrating characterizations of those involved in the passion story—Peter, Judas, Pilate, Herod, Claudia and Herodias, Barabbas and the thieves.  94 pages.

The Passion of Christ  Veselin Kesich (St. Vladimir’s SeminarySVSKESICH-05.jpg Press) $10.95  Dr. Kesich is Professor of New Testament and Greek at the famous Russian Orthodox seminary, St. Vladimir’s, in New York.  This brief and profound study, first published nearly 50 years ago,  shows “how the authors of the passion narratives present a double perspective: that of the time of Jesus and that of their own time following the destruction of the Temple.”  Within this historical context, the author addresses the questions of anti-Semitism and the family quarrels between Jews and Christians…”  Kesich reasserts (against some liberal scholarly opinion) the centrality of the cross, exploring the trial and the purpose of Christ’s suffering.  An important scholarly voice, written in a concise and nearly devotional style. 92 pages.

The Scriptures, the Cross & The Power of God: Reflections for Holy Week  Tom Wright (WJK) $12.95  This is a very small, mass-market-sized paperback that is worth its weight in gold, as they say.  N.T. Wright is always worth reading, and here offers 9 short meditations, starting with Palm Sunday Mattins, throughout each day of the week (including two on Maundy Thursday, morning and evening), concluding in a marvelous Easter Vigil meditation and an Easter morning sermon. Very nicely done. 84 pages

christians at the cross.jpgChristians at the Cross: Finding Hope in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus  N.T. Wright (The Word Among us Press) $10.95   I have written about this often, a book of Wright’s that is not as well known as it ought to be.  These are a series of 8 sermons, delivered in a rural parish that had the distinction of being the site of a horrible colliery accident in 1951, a tragedy that marked the town deeply.  Miners died and the town, it’s businesses and economy and community, grieved and struggled.  Later, the town was known for a bitter strike, and was eventually the last mining pit of this sort around—until it was closed by the government, leading to more crisis.  (You may have seen scenes of Easington in the movie Billy Elliott.) These are sermons–pastoral and prophetic–spoken into a setting of sadness, unemployment and loss.  79 pages

9780826405685.jpgStations of the Cross  Sara Maitland, with paintings by Chris Gollon (Continuum) $19.95  This is not a large sized coffee table book, just a hand-sized paperback, printed on heavy stock, to show off the evocative, striking–at times with an odd touch, although not quite like Salvador Dali–paintings of the stations. The paintings has been commissioned by this renowned, eccentric artist for St John on Bethnal Green, in the heart of London’s East End.  Novelist and storyteller Sara Maitland was so moved by these vivid paintings that she did a series of first person narratives, making this an engaging, contemporary, and provocative Holy Week resource. Not for everyone, perhaps, but some will find this very, very helpful. 125 pages

Christ on Trial: How the Gospel Unsettles Our Judgement
  Rowan Williams (Eerdmans) $15.00   This is a very profound and literate study of the trial of Christ by the eloquent and thoughtful Archbishop of Canterbury.  One need not approve of all of the Archbishop’s leadership to appreciate his scholarly abilities, his notable writing, and the way he can unlock a scene from history and plumb from it personal and contemporary meaning.  In this book he explores literature, current events, questions of martyrdom, meditates on matters of freedom and tyranny…and more.  Well worth pondering. 141 pages.

51TOq+4h0TL._SL500_AA300_.jpgCross Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words  Stanley Hauerwas (Brazos) $14.99 hardback These are real sermons preached in one of those three hour Good Friday services and is one of the more interesting ones I’ve ever read.  (I’ve read a few, and even preached at a few!)  They were revised a bit (when an author thanks Alasdair MacIntyre, Sam Wells, Greg Jones and Paula Gilbert, Ellen Davis and Rodney Clapp you know it is serious stuff.)  There are stunning wood-block prints by the amazing Rick Beerhorst before each sermon in this handsome, hand-sized hardback and these are worth the price of the book themselves. 
108 pages.

It is Finished: Meditations on the Death of Jesus
  Darrell W. Johnson (Regent College Press) $14.95  Johnson is a much-admired professor at Regent in British Columbia and has a tremendous book on Revelation (Discipleship on the Edge) and another on the trinity and another on the Lord’s Prayer.  Here he meditates on 6 key New Testament texts that explain the execution of Jesus and the mystery and majesty of the cross, exploring it from various angles.  To illustrate his perspective, know that he recommends scholars such as Gustav Aulen, Richard Bauckham, Henri Blocher, Martin Hengel,  Jurgen Moltmann, Leon Morris, Wright,  McGrath, his colleague J.I. Packer, and his friend John Stott.  Just what you’d expect from the thoughtful, solid folk at Regent!  I intend to read this this week, in fact—Johnson is very good.  95 pages.

Between Cross & Resurre
ction: A Theology of Holy Saturday 
Alan Lewis  (Eerdmans) $27.00  (This is now the paperback price, but we have one hardback [now out of print in hardcover] left for that price.)  I often recommend this, and most years we don’t even sell one.  A few very discerning pastors who read seriously have told me that this is one of the best books they have ever read.  It is mature and meaty, long and not simplistic.  I want to call it a tour de force.  Most eloquent endorsements are from the likes of Colin Gunton, Daniel Migliore, and Douglas John Hall and Thomas Torrance.  The late Dr. Lewis was a prof at the Presbyterian (USA) Austin Theological Seminary and this was truly his life’s work .477 pages.

FlemingRutledge.jpgThe Undoing of Death: Sermons for Holy Week and Easter  Fleming Rutledge (Eerdmans)9780802830210.jpg $18.00 I might as well list this one again this year as it is one of my favorite serious studies of the season–I say studies because it has an air of rigor about it, but each really is a sermon or homily preached by Rutledge and there are dozens here, compiled from more than 20 years of her preaching.  I’ve drawn from it often, cite it in classes or sermons I’ve done, and have enjoyed celebrating it with anybody who reads this sort of thing.  The author is moderate, eloquent, intellectual and literary, a beloved pastor of the energetic Grace Episcopal church in New York City.  There are a few photos in here, too—of bas relief, sculpting, ceramic art and frescoes, illustrating how our long tradition within the Christian church has understood this mighty topic.  Not a quick read, but richly rewarding and recommended.  May messages of this sort of sturdy orthodoxy flourish, moving God’s people to think and live and die well.  360 pages.


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