Posts Tagged ‘Phyllis Tickle’
Book Review: The Divine Hours—Pocket Edition
Author: Phyllis Tickle
Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780195316933
Over the years, I have enjoyed the company of many prayer books. I love them, prayer books. I have used the prayer books compiled by Phyllis Tickle for a number of years now, most faithfully, her three-volume set of Divine Hours. While I enjoy the larger, more comprehensive set of the Divine Hours, it is somewhat cumbersome to carry when you are on the road and away from home and study. This pocket edition solves that problem.
The Divine Office: Pocket Edition is set up to meet the needs of the full week of fixed-hour prayers also known as the Daily Offices of Prayer. Phyllis has allowed for each of the seven hours of the Office to be prayed, if that is your habit. She also includes in the indices Traditional, Seasonal, and Occasional Prayers and a listing of authors for prayers not taken directly from Scripture. If you are away from home, simply recycle and repeat the prayers as necessary. See also the online version of the Divine Hours.
The prayer book is a good size, compact, slim, and has a very reasonable and readable font. There is nothing that I do not like about it; however, I do think a few minor improvements might be made. I would like the option of a leather bound edition along with one or two ribbon markers. My copy is a hardback edition and has no ribbon markers. This is certainly no deal-breaker, but it would be a nice option.
By: Douglas Leblanc
The Ancient Practice Series by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
This is the seventh book I’ve read in the Ancient Practices Series from Thomas Nelson. I’ve really enjoyed the other books in the series, finding myself pleasantly surprised with the approach each author has taken with their individual subject and title. In this, Tithing: Test Me in This, I had a particular curiosity. Money has always been a tricky topic in church conversations and it continues to be a subject that illicits strong opinion even today. It is with that understanding and for that reason I wanted to read this book.
As a pastor-theologian, I am familiar with the doctrine behind tithing and I am very well versed with what the Bible says about the subject of money. I was hopeful this effort would not be rife with a clinical or academic study, and I was hopeful that there would not be a strong bias favoring one doctrinal position over another with respect to tithing. Not only were my hopes met, but they were exceeded exponentially with the unbiased and respectful “journalistic documentary” approach to this study by Douglas LeBlanc.
While there are eleven chapters, there are (technically) fourteen “portraits” (including the perspectives given in the introduction, forward, and epilogue) providing the reader with perspective and instruction in the discipline of the tithe. I loved (loved, loved, loved) the diversity of reporting. Each portrait (chapter) brings with it new perspective, life-experience, and church history to help develop full-bodied and holistic understanding to what the tithe is, how the tithe works, and what the expected outcome of the tithe should be. My sense of hope and my love for the Church was renewed reading these “real life” docu-dramas. I found it to be a pleasantly refreshing experience in light of the negative spotlight that is most often cast upon the church when the subject of money is spoken of.
I have immense appreciation for the efforts taken in this book, Tithing, by Douglas LeBlanc. I hope others will read it and be blessed with the same experience as I.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The Sacred Meal, by Nora Gallagher (The Ancient Practices Series)
The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher is a delightful book; period. There was nothing that I disliked or even remotely found issue within its contents. This is a lofty claim when speaking about something as sacramental as the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper. There are very diverse and polarizing positions regarding this holy practice, but Nora Gallagher has done an absolutely wonderful job of sharing insight about this communal, personal, sacred, public, and intimate practice. I loved reading the journey of her personal experiences and the gentle way she used them to explain the practice and purpose of this holy meal.
This book isn’t about instruction, nor is it about defining doctrinal perspective… it is about communion; coming together in order to remember and experience the breadth and body of our Savior Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Church universal. The Eucharist is much more than holy writ carried out by holy “roters.” The Lord’s Supper summons us (the church) to come to the table of our Lord forcing introspection and examination while in the presence of visible union with other believers doing likewise; unity and oneness that cannot be escaped. Nora Gallagher paints this picture using multiple scenes that give the reader permission to explore their own beliefs, but almost inescapably arriving at similar destination-conclusions regarding this practice…unity and oneness with Christ and with His Body, the Church.
As I have written, I loved the stories and experiences shared by Nora Gallagher in this book. Without giving too much away, I especially enjoyed her parallel comparing the Lord’s Supper with a soup kitchen; A Sacred Meal indeed. I think, if you are looking for instruction and information regarding the Eucharistic practice, this is a great book to supplement your journey. I don’t think it should stand alone, but it is an excellent companion to any other work you might have at your disposal. Highly recommended – more reviews here.
This book was provided by Thomas Nelson through their blogging for books program.
Fasting by Scot McKnight – The Ancient Practices Series
I finally finished Scot McKnight’s (of the Jesus Creed) contribution to the “Ancient Practices Series,” Fasting. I consider it one of the best offerings I have had the opportunity to read and study yet on this, often misunderstood, spiritual discipline.
Fasting is a discipline and an act that I have had much confusion, and consequently, minimal participation in. In my approaches to fasting, there has always been some little niggle in my soul that I could not get past. Additionally, I wasn’t always sure what the bigger picture was meant to be for the act of fasting. Much of what I had been taught was that fasting super-charged the prayer life, brought a person closer to God, showed God we really wanted Him to move or speak, or do something… This did not and does not sit well with me (like we can command or conjure God to do anything), so for the most part, and for much of my Christian walk, I just didn’t fast. Several years ago my passion for spiritual formation and ancient Christianity was aroused and I began studying the spiritual disciplines. I attempted fasting, but did not have reason or purpose other than motive to follow those who had trod (successfully) the journey of faith before me. I still didn’t feel right in my soul about this, so my practice was sporadic…not much discipline involved at all.
Fast forward to late 2008.
I began praying that God would teach me about certain disciplines that I did not understand; fasting and prayer were two of the big players in my God pleas. I sensed God’s leading me into an extended fast and complied. What I learned in a personal and experiential way, Scot McKnight shares in several aspects with his work in Fasting. I suppose it would have been nice to have gotten the book and read it before my own experience, but I would have missed out on a lesson from the greatest Instructor of all.
About the book that Scot wrote though, he centers and grounds the act of fasting around the “sacred moment.” Specifically, McKnight, calls attention to the true act of fasting being tied to a “response to grief.” I really appreciated how inclusive he was in describing the breadth of spirituality and fasting in response to these sacred moments of grief. I was even more impressed with appreciation with his honest representation of what the Scriptures teach us about fasting…and doing so with no recognizable bias. I like that. Read the rest of this entry »
I continue my studies and empirical practice of Sabbath as a holy discipline in my life. While I recognize that I am not where I would like to be in practice or understanding, I realize that I am making forward progress and that is encouraging to me. The latest “piece” in my study portfolio has been another volume from the Ancient Practices Series published by Thomas Nelson. This third release, Sabbath, by Dan Allender has been another delightful read for me. I am enjoying the ancient practices series on whole, but in particular, my studies have been centered on trying to understand the Sabbath day.
The book is divided into three main sections comprised of eleven chapters. The individual sections provide the reader-student with background for foundation in understanding Sabbath, purpose of/for Sabbath, and how Sabbath is lived/application. The book is very logical in progression and invites the reader into a comfortable and easily digested study. Considering my desire for additional study, I especially enjoyed the well documented notes and bibliography sections of the book. Having read several of the articles and a number of the books listed in the notes and bibliography sections, I was encouraged to know I was on the right path in my quest for knowledge. Read the rest of this entry »