STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 08/19/2008

ARTICLE | Text and Context: New Faculty Books

Text And Context: New Faculty Books

A true picture of publishing activity at Gordon would look more like a continuum than a list. What you don't see in this roster of faculty books published in the past months, of course, is books still gestating and books a year or more out in the world--as well as the conversations and contexts that gave rise to them. For a more complete discussion of scholarly activity by our faculty--including journal publications and conference presentations--browse the Provost's Page.

Paul Borthwick, M.Div., D.Min.
Youth Ministries

Simplify. 100 Ways to Uncomplicate Your Life
Authentic, 2007

This book stands on three basic premises:

  1. Many of us are dissatisfied, restless or overburdened because our lives feel too busy and out of control. Even those who profess to be followers of Jesus are tired, stressed and missing the genuine joy thought to be a natural byproduct of living for Him.
  2. The economic realities of our world--where some are extremely affluent and others struggle to survive on $1-2 per day--combined with our increasing sense of living responsibly in an interdependent Global Village, require basic rethinking about materialistic goals and hectic lifestyles in Western culture.
  3. Premises one and two mean we all face choices--a key to simplifying our lives, restoring a sense of sanity to each day and living more compatibly with God's design for us. Simplify is about making these choices.

Paul Borgman, Ph.D.

David, Saul, and God: Rediscovering an Ancient Story
Oxford University Press, 2007

"In an era of numerous deconstructions and reconstructions of the Hebrew Bible's David, Paul Borgman has produced a detailed and thoughtful close reading of the accounts found in Samuel and the opening of Kings. Acknowledging the veneration and vilification applied to 'Israel's greatest, if massively flawed, king' by traditional and recent interpreters, Borgman seeks to unravel the mystery of who David is, making pointed use of the text's significant patterns of repetition. While engaging fully with recent literary scholarship on Saul and David, Borgman sets out in a fruitful direction of his own, examining the larger sweep of the narrative and fully incorporating such oft misunderstood sections as the 'appendix' of II Samuel 21-24. In helping us to see David in both his unabated complexity and his ability to grow morally, Borgman makes new sense of texts which are often viewed as ambiguous or contradictory. His reading illuminates Saul, David, and above all, the God of the Bible."

--Everett Fox
Allen M. Glick Professor of Judaic and Biblical Studies, Clark University

Harold Heie, Ph.D.
Center for Christian Studies

Learning to Listen, Ready to Talk: A Pilgrimage Toward Peacemaking
iUniverse, 2007

This book invites readers to reject dogmatic confrontation with others, preparing the reader to listen carefully and talk respectfully about disagreements. It is a natural outgrowth of Heie's many years as a professor and administrator at several Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) colleges including Gordon. Books and Culture's editor, John Wilson, in the article "Can't We Just Have a Good Argument: Lessons in Respectful Conversation" (October 2005), describes Heie as a "persuasive advocate" of "not bland, feel-good dialogue but the real thing, which will often entail strong disagreement and will always encourage forthright expression, undertaken with mutual respect." Wilson cites Heie's involvement with Gordon's Center for Christian Studies (CCS), where, under his direction, CCS sponsored a three-part series called "Christians Engaging Culture," intended to model respectful conversation for "public policy practitioners, politicians, scholars, and people like you and me, in the pews and parking lots of our fair land."

Kenneth Phillips, Ph.D.
Graduate Music

Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy
Oxford University Press, 2008

"This practical text provides a comprehensive introduction to understanding research in music education and music therapy. Designed primarily for the introductory research course taken by upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, it is also useful for all interested undergraduates in both fields. In contrast with traditional 'how to' textbooks, Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy adopts a unique 'how to read and comprehend' approach to music research. It helps students explore and understand articles in professional research journals, familiarizing them with the literature itself and with basic concepts, terms and statistical symbols" (from publisher's note). Phillips has dedicated Exploring Research in Music Education and Music Therapy to the first class of graduates in the master's program in music education at Gordon.

It is his fourth book on music education, following Teaching Kids to Sing; Basic Techniques of Conducting and Directing the Choral Music Program.

Dan Russ, Ph.D.
Center for Christian Studies

Flesh and Blood Jesus: Learning to Be Fully Human from the Son of Man
Baker Books, 2008

Christians usually do not find it difficult to see Jesus as God. But many are lacking in their understanding of Jesus as human, resulting in a stunted view of what it means for us to be human. A well-developed understanding of Jesus' humanity can show us the essential differences between being human and being sinners. In Flesh-and-Blood Jesus Russ helps readers get to know Jesus more fully through reflecting on His humanity. He reminds readers that God created them to be human and that through His sacrifice Christ redeems them back into His design for them as fully human. Russ also explores the inevitable tensions of being human in a fallen world and being sinful, showing readers that making mistakes and having limits are not sins. Chapter-end questions make this book ideal for personal and small-group study.

Russ has contributed to a number of books, including a chapter, coauthored with Gordon Provost Mark Sargent, "The Moral Imagination" in Christianity and the Soul of the University.

Gregor Thuswaldner, Ph.D.
(coeditor, with Olaf Berwald, University of North Dakota)

Der untote Gott: Religion und Ästhetik in der deutschen und österreichischen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts
(The Undead God: Aesthetics and Religion in Twentieth-Century German and Austrian Culture)

Cologne: Böhlau, 2007

Although religious themes and motifs are abundant in 20th-century German and Austrian literature and culture, this essay collection is the first attempt to explore these intersections. The book features a stellar group of international colleagues who investigate manifestations and negotiations of religious conflicts in 20th-century German and Austrian literary texts and cultural products. The Undead God illuminates ethical shifts and highlights psychological as well as social and political struggles. The authors of this essay collection engage in sophisticated analyses of intertextual connections with the Old and New Testaments, explore the status of religion in current Shoah Studies, examine literary manifestations of Jewish, Christian, Buddhist and secularized rituals, and discuss the religious identity of today's German-Turkish writers. 


David, Saul and God
Flesh and Blood Jesus
Learning to Listen