Just Tell the Truth: A Call to Faith, Hope, and Courage

Richard Lischer. Eerdmans, $24.99 trade paper (200p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7884-7
This plainspoken, thoughtful collection of sermons from Lutheran preacher and memoirist Lischer (Stations of the Heart) offers encouragement and accountability to serious Christians. Lischer centers each chapter on an address he delivered from the pulpit. He follows the liturgical calendar, providing insight into the many occasions on which a minister must speak, including ordinations, holidays, and public gatherings to grieve. His homilies generally follow the template of exploring biblical roots, bringing in contemporary references and illustrations, and finishing with encouraging calls to betterment: “Just tell the truth. That’s when the trouble starts.” His sermon on preaching to an empty church during the Covid era ends with a poetic admonishment to care for strangers: “Jesus once appeared as the Stranger, veiled from the eyes of those who loved him. He is still here. Disguised. Incognito. I wonder if he is wearing a mask these days. It would be just like him.” Lischer’s theology of suffering and liberating redemption may not appeal to all Christians, but his patience with human ailings and failings should inspire regardless. Agent: John F. Thornton, the Spieler Agency (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/30/2020
Release date: 02/01/2021
Genre: Religion
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