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Tell It Slant
Eugene H. Peterson

Eerdmans, 2008
287 pages

 

This is the 4th volume in Eugene Peterson’s projected 5 books on spiritual theology (beginning with Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places). The prolific author, pastor, and professor emeritus of spiritual theology at Regent College, Vancouver, insists there should be continuity between the language we use in church settings and our everyday conversations. His title comes from Emily Dickinson’s advice to tell the truth but “tell it slant,” in other words, with grace and sensitive skill. The book “listens in” to Jesus’ stories in the Gospel of Luke and to Jesus’ prayer as an example of “language that honors the holiness inherent in words.”—DD

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Building Bridges
Meditations by Wilmer Martin

Masthof Press, 2009
156 pages

 

 

 
This book of meditations grew out of the daily devotionals Wilmer Martin gives when he leads a tour for his company, TourMagination. They’re full of inspiring stories from his own life and the people he’s met in his work as a pastor, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, and tour guide. “The narrative leaps of Wilmer’s musings,” as foreword writer John L. Ruth call them, cover the art of being a pilgrim, joy in the midst of suffering, the influence of speech, and much more.

—Dora Dueck

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Paper House
Jean Janzen

Good Books, 2008
74 pages

 

 

 

 
This slender collection of poems by Jean Janzen of Fresno, Cal., forms a kind of memoir of the poet’s life – and the reader’s – as it touches down on experiences of childhood, church, marriage, and the seasons of the Christian year. Each touch is lovely, almost translucent, but is weighted too, with “a sob, or is it laughter” (“Paper House”), with awareness of what lasts and what doesn’t.

—Dora Dueck

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Crossing Frontiers
Helmut Lemke

Authorhouse, 2009
267 pages

 

 

 

In this autobiography, the author narrates a well-known historical era through the every-day experiences of an average German citizen. Helmut Lemke grew up in a Mennonite home in West Prussia before World War II, was drafted in active service in the German army in 1944 after years of Hitler Youth involvement, returned to high school at 25 before pursuing university studies in Germany and at Bluffton College, Ohio. After the war, he also became involved in Christian student groups and with Mennonite Central Committee youth programs. The book concludes with his emigration to Canada to join his sweetheart. He is now a member of Point Grey Inter-Mennonite Church, Vancouver.

—Karla Braun

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Women in Early Austrian Anabaptism, Their Days, Their Stories
Linda A. Huebert Hecht

Pandora Press, 2009
281 pages

 

 
When Linda A. Huebert Hecht of Waterloo, Ont., a member of Grace MB Church, began to read Anabaptist court records, she was astonished at the number of “courageous and committed” women mentioned there. She has made it her mission to bring these women to greater awareness, first in Profiles of Anabaptist Women, a collection she and C. Arnold Snyder edited, and now in this closer look at those in Austria. Huebert Hecht provides context for each of the years 1527 to 1531, then presents actual court text or summaries of various cases. Women comprised nearly half of the Anabaptist membership, and some were quite influential. A “form of leadership” also occurred through martyrdom. The book’s findings are not only historically interesting, but inspirational.

—Dora Dueck

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