cover image Sacred Signposts

Sacred Signposts

Benjamin J. Dueholm. Eerdmans, $16.99 trade paper (180p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7417-7

In this instructive debut, Dueholm, pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church in Wauconda, Ill., examines central practices of Christianity and explains why they still matter today. Addressing a post-Christian world and an America that is experiencing a “significant, ongoing decline in formal religious participation,” Dueholm implores readers to consider seven Christian practices: word, water, meal, forgiveness, ministry, prayer, and cross. He abandons jargon in favor of language that makes religious concepts easy to understand: “The habit of prayer connects the disparate moments of our lives and the scattered intentions of our hearts.” The seven sacred signposts “begin with something stubbornly ordinary: people,” Duehold says, reminding readers to move beyond political and theological divides and extend grace to others. To illustrate how biblical practices can be applied to everyday life, Dueholm shares a handful of personal stories, but most of the book is a collection of his thoughts on faith and ruminations on passages from the Bible. He also draws on the teachings of St. Augustine, Martin Luther, and Dietrich Bonhoffer to help readers learn how to practice faith in a secular world. Though lacking in anecdote, Dueholm’s pensive reflection on biblical virtues will be welcomed by Christians interested in simple theology. (July)