LENT BRINGS with it new books intended to deepen faith and enrich spirituality. Here is a selection of the best of this year’s offerings.
The Fingerprints of God
Tracking the Divine Suspect Through a History of Images
Robert Farrar Capon
This novel presentation of salvation history traces images – many of them surprising – that point people to the godhead. As well, it analyzes the use and misuse of scripture by human image-makers. It’s worth having just for the imaginary pre-creation planning conference within/among the three persons of the Trinity.
Twelve Step Christianity
The Christian Roots and Application of the Twelve Steps
188 large format pages
An invitation to sort out your life with help from this all-purpose, explicitly Christian adaptation of the spiritual program made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Ashes to Glory
Meditations for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter
A “traditional” Lent Book: powerful meditations for the 40 days, plus Sundays, and seven special ones for Good Friday. The prologue, built around directions for a holy Lent by 8th century Bishop Theodulph (who wrote “All Glory, Laud, and Honour”), effectively sets the tone.
Diabolical Plans for the Church
Satirical “letters from hell” plotting the demise of the church: gentle, whimsical, and devastatingly on target. Think of every issue bedeviling church life today – sexuality, prayer and hymn books, gender, treatment of scripture – and remember I Peter 5: 8 and 9.
My Soul in Silence Waits
Meditations on Psalm 62
This is for the person unable to make a traditional retreat. After explaining how to make a “do-it-yourself” retreat wherever you are, the book offers eight meditations for waiting on God, built around themes like patience, trust, and expectation.
Renewing Your Faith through the Gospel Story
Forty meditations on some of the best-known New Testament stories – an “open ticket” to journey from Jesus’ birth through Pentecost – invite the reader to rediscover their impact and experience.
Understanding and Using the Lord’s Prayer
An English bishop barnstormed his diocese inviting people to join him in reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer. Here are some gems of insight from those pastoral encounters, supported by biblical, historical, and liturgical perspectives.
William Portman is Book Review Editor for the Anglican Journal