August Publication

Evangelical Christians sing hymns in which blood figures prominently; one in particular is called "Nothing But the Blood." Such Christians may have to change their tune after reading J. Denny Weaver's The Non-Violent Atonement, which proposes that the idea of "satisfaction atonement" must be jettisoned in favor of a nonviolent approach. Jesus' death, says Weaver, was not planned or sanctioned by God the Father; it was the inevitable result of sinful humans taking matters into their own hands. Perhaps the new hymn can be called "Everything But the Blood"? (Eerdmans, $22 paper 256p ISBN 0-8028-4908-3)

September Publications

Devotionals exist for teens, college students, new moms and every other kind of whippersnapper. But one demographic group has been relatively ignored by the niche-devotional trend: older Americans. Religious publishers are beginning to wake up to the aging of America (see "Confronting the Inevitable" in PW's Religion Update, July 2), and this is, as baby boomer maven Martha Stewart would say, a good thing. Into the mix, Judson offers Miles Ahead: Devotions from Older Adults, edited by Carol Spargo Pierskalla. Because it consists of older Americans writing for people their own age, there's no sense of condescension. Contributors muse about their spiritual journeys and about their grandchildren, deceased parents, retirements and regrets. It's a golden devotional for the golden years. ($13 paper 236p ISBN 0-8170-1405-5)

As a young woman, Denise Roy seriously considered a cloistered religious life, but ultimately decided to forego the nun's habit in favor of the crazy but joyful world of marriage and motherhood. Now a psychotherapist and mother of four, Roy shares spiritual tips in My Monastery Is a Minivan: 35 Stories from a Real Life, from Loyola Press. "Most of this book was written either in the middle of the night in my bathroom or in the middle of the day in our living room, where toys and soccer bags and an occasional kid surrounded me," she notes. Roy says that it's one thing to think and pray about forgiveness; it's quite another matter to put it into daily practice as a parent. These personal anecdotes are humorous and heartfelt; many parents will applaud her wise decision to find spiritual wisdom in the quotidian realities of washing dishes and tripping over Legos. ($14.95 paper 210p ISBN 0-8294-1687-0)

Open Debates on Open Theology

One of the hottest topics among Christian intellectuals in the last few years has been "open theology"—essentially, the theory that God has not irrevocably fixed the future. Evangelical theologian Clark Pinnock got the conversation started in 1994 with The Openness of God, which proposed that God responds to humanity's actions in an open, relational way. Pinnock fires another shot in the debate with Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God's Openness, which fleshes out the open view of God, traces it back to the Bible and the early church, and—just as importantly—responds to critics. Open theology, Pinnock explains, "asks us to imagine a response-ableand self-sacrificing God of changeable faithfulness and vulnerable power." This is a well-reasoned and passionate defense. Your move, traditionalists. (Brazos, $16.99 paper 224p ISBN 0-8010-2290-8; Aug.)

In a related issue, four theologians address the degree to which God is bound by finite time in God & Time: Four Views, from InterVarsity Press, edited by Gregory E. Ganssle, which has been putting out some highly provocative books on perplexing theological questions. While the essays by Paul Helm, Alan G. Padgett, William Lane Craig and Nicholas Wolterstoff deliberate the question on a plane too high for total newcomers (who may need clarifications of terms such as "omnitemporality"), theology students will not want to miss this. ($17.99 paper 252p ISBN 0-8308-1551-1; Oct.)

Christian Art

Entitled simply Churches, Judith Dupré's unique coffee-table book features stunning full-color photography of some of the world's most recognizable churches. The book highlights some of the oldest Christian houses of worship, such as Jerusalem's Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, and more recent additions, such as California's Crystal Cathedral and the MIT Chapel. The photography is simply first-rate. (Harper San Francisco, $35 176p ISBN 0-06-019438-3; Oct.)

While many people are familiar with the most famous European masters who painted scenes from the life of Christ, fewer can name the top-notch Christian artists who continue to develop the craft around the world today. Christ for All People: Celebrating a World of Christian Art treats readers to contemporary depictions of Jesus from more than 60 cultures; particularly fascinating are the many contributions from Third World Christians. The pieces are done in a variety of media, including mosaic, oil paintings, charcoal sketches, acrylic, sculpture, cut paper, tapestry, wood carving and chalk. (Orbis, $30 162p ISBN 1-57075-378-4; Sept.)