Book Review: God the Economist

God the Economist: The Doctrine of God and Political Economy by M. Douglas Meeks (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989. 272 pp.) Currently the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair in Wesleyan Studies and Theology at Vanderbilt University, M. Douglas Meeks is a renowned researcher on the relation of Christian doctrine to economic, social, and political theory. Dr. Meeks earned both his B.D. and Ph.D. from Duke University and studied as a Fulbright Fellow at Tübingen University. In his previous appointment, he served as the dean and professor of systematic theology at Wesley Theological Seminary. Dr. Meeks has authored 16 books and numerous scholarly articles. He is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church serving as the Director of Wesleyan Studies and the… Read More →

Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender (New York: Doubleday, 2010. 304 pp.) Author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a New York Times Notable Book; An Invisible Sign of My Own, an L.A. Times pick of the year; and Willful Creatures, Aimee Bender lives in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at the University of Southern California. Her most recent book, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, won the SCIBA award for best fiction and an Alex Award. Her short fiction has been printed in many publications allowing her to receive two Puschart prizes. A Case for Food and Family Food is one of the most basic needs for human beings, the symbol of… Read More →

Album Review: Build a Rocket Boys

Build a Rocket Boys by Elbow (Downtown/Cooperative Music, 2011. 52 minutes) Formed in 1990 in Manchester, England, Elbow is a successful British rock band. The band is comprised of Guy Garvey (lead vocals), Mark Potter (guitar), Craig Potter (keyboards), Peter Turner (bass), and Richard Jupp (drums). Although Elbow has released 5 albums in their career, The Seldom Seen Kid received the most notoriety after Elbow won the 2008 Mercury Music Prize. Build a Rocket Boys is Elbow’s latest release. Looking Back While I am still considered young, I’ve spent enough time on earth to have memories both of joy and regret. Looking back at the route my life encountered, my memories flicker like a vintage slideshow. No matter the circumstantial… Read More →

Book Review: Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution — and How It Can Renew America By Thomas L. Friedman (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. 448 pp.) A prominent author, reporter, and columnist, Thomas L. Friedman has worked for The New York Times since 1981. During his time with the paper, Friedman has won multiple Pulitzer Prizes and published five best-selling books, including From Beirut to Jerusalem and The World Is Flat. Who Will Cut the Last Tree? Putting on my 20-20 hindsight glasses, a quick survey concerning the downfall of ancient empires seems to be closely connected with an overextension of resources. In a classic example, the Rapa Nui people deforested Easter Island to build villages and the moai,… Read More →

Book Review: The Crossing

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy (New York: Knopf Publishers, 1994. 432 pp) Cormac McCarthy was born in Rhode Island in 1933. One of six children, Cormac’s family moved multiple times in his childhood as his father accepted different occupations. In 1951, McCarthy attended the University of Tennessee majoring in Liberal Arts. Midway through his studies, McCarthy served in the Air Force for four years. After his service, McCarthy returned to college, writing his first short stories. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Ingram-Merrill Award for Creative Writing. Mccarthy’s first novel, The Orchard Keeper, was published in 1965. Several years, grants, and fellowships later, McCarthy published Suttree, Blood Meridian, and All the Pretty Horses marking his rise in literary acclaim…. Read More →

Book Review: Just Business

Just Business: Christian Ethics for the Marketplace, 2nd ed., by Alexander Hill (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2008. 276 pp) Alexander Hill is the President and Chief Executive Officer of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, joining in 2001. Under his leadership, InterVarsity successfully operates a publishing company and the world-renowned Urbana Student Missions Conference. In his previous position, Hill served as the Dean of the School of Business and Economics at Seattle Pacific University. Hill earned both his B.A. and M.A. from Seattle Pacific University before attending the University of Washington School of Law receiving his J.D. Over the years Hill has published numerous articles on top of his internationally published book, Just Business. Mr. Hill and his wife, Mary, have two daughters… Read More →

Album Review: Gold in the Shadow

Gold in the Shadow by William Fitzsimmons (Nettwerk Records, 2011. 37 minutes) Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to blind parents, William Fitzsimmons was raised with music functioning as a communicative necessity. Fitzsimmons began his music career after graduating from Geneva College with a master’s degree in counseling and working as a mental health therapist. While working as a therapist, Fitzsimmons began writing songs that functioned both as a preparative exercise for his profession and as way in which to encounter his personal demons. William’s first two records, Until We Are Ghosts and Goodnight, were self-produced and recorded at home. After some initial success with these records, Fitzsimmons wrote The Sparrow and the Crow as a personal apology to his wife of… Read More →

Album Review: The King of Limbs

The King of Limbs by Radiohead (Ticker Tape Ltd., 2011. 37 minutes) Formed in 1985, Radiohead is an alternative rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England. Led by Thom Yorke (vocalist, guitarist, and pianist) and Jonny Greenwood (guitarist and multi-instrumentalist), Radiohead found notoriety through the 1993 debut, Pablo Honey, and the hit single, “Creep.” OK Computer, the band’s third record, launched Radiohead into international fame. With lyrics discussing technological alienation and the artistic use of sound, critics worldwide proclaimed the record as the defining record of the 90s. The next decade found Radiohead expanding their experimental sounds on Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief, and In Rainbows. Of noted significance, In Rainbows created extensive buzz when the band announced that… Read More →

Book Review: Work in the Spirit

Work in the Spirit: Toward a Theology of Work by Miroslav Volf (Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001. 268 pp) Born in Osijek, Croatia, Miroslav Volf performed his undergraduate studies at Evangelical-Theological Faculty, Zagreb. For his master’s work, he studied at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and, finally, completed his doctorate at the University of Tübingen under Jürgen Moltmann. Volf teaches at Yale Divinity School as the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology and is the director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Of his many books, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation won the 2002 Grawemeyer Award and After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity won… Read More →

Book Review: Economy of Grace

Economy of Grace by Kathryn Tanner (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005. 172 pp) Working through the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels of Yale University, Kathryn Tanner recently returned home as a professor of systematic theology at Yale Divinity School. For her previous appointment, Tanner taught at the University of Chicago. Tanner focuses her research on constructive Christian theology relating to social, cultural, and feminist theory. On top of her numerous books and articles that have been published, Tanner serves on the editorial boards of Modern Theology, International Journal of Systematic Theology, and Scottish Journal of Theology. She is a member of the Theology Committee that advises the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops and is currently researching financial markets through the Luce… Read More →