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Why churches need to talk about sexuality : lessons learned from hard conversations about sex, gender, identity, and the Bible / by Wingfield, Mark,

Publication: 2019 . xv, 176 pages ; 22 cm Date: 2019

Happy First of the month everyone! The book of the week for 7/1/20 is "Why Churches Need To Talk About Sexuality" by Mark Wingfield, a seasoned journalist and associate pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

The author takes a most courageous step in tackling issues of sex, gender, identity while grappling with biblical context around these topics. Wingfield's emphasis on inclusivity in the church can be summed up with this thought, "God loves you, whoever you are, wherever you are. Whether you're a conservative or a liberal, a traditionalist or a progressive, a Protestant or a Catholic, a male or a female, gay, straight, trans, whatever. God loves you. Now, what are you going to do with that love?"

This book is easy to read and can be used in a youth setting, adult discussion and can be an additional resource for tough theological questions for both clergy leaders and lay persons around LGBTQI+ experiences within faith based communities. Added 07/01/2020 by Tonya M.

Including the stranger : foreigners in the former prophets / by Firth, David G.,

Publication: 2019 . xiv, 218 pages ; 22 cm. Date: 2019

In Psalm 137:4, the cry of the stranger is thusly stated, "How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?" The book of the week for 6/24/20 is, "Including the Stranger: Foreigners in the Former Prophets by David G. Firth." Firth, an Old Testament scholar at Trinity College in Bristol Uk and research fellow of the University of the Free State, South Africa, speaks to aspects of belonging and the desire to be grafted into a community even when that community is wary of the aspect of the "other." Firth gives a very scholarly and passionate discourse about critiques on Old Testament socialism and theological predilections. David Firth states, "It could be said that one of the virtues of reading as a foreigner is that I see things that the dominant culture might not see, or perhaps ask questions that might not otherwise be posed, while conversely others can make me more aware of biblical themes that I might otherwise miss." This book addresses the blindspots within canonical framework. Added 06/24/2020 by Tonya M.

Understanding transgender identities : four views /

Publication: 2019 . ix, 258 pages ; 23 cm Date: 2019

The Book of the Week for 6/19/20 is a rivoting and admittingly complex discourse entitled, "Understanding Transgender Identities: Four Views" authored by a diverse group of scholars spanning the spectrum of theological perspectives and lived experiences. Pertaining to gender identity and perspectival approach this topic is expansive and would need volumes to extrapulate all that entails the multi-faceted aspects of the trans experience.

In light of current debacles, a great many have been perplexed with the marginalization of various groups to where the grappling is persistent. This invariably holds true to our transgender brothers and sisters. As I reflect on the great Marsha Johnson of Stone Wall reknown I look with curious scrutiny and have found the voices of each scholar to be impactful and authentic to their prespective social locations.

It is important to note the depth of expertise that is present with this literary cohort. Very important contributions to the, "Queer Bible Commentary" Dr. Justin Sabia-Tanis combines theological discourse to social and cultural aspects to transgender theology and community. Dr. Julia Sadusky has a mental health approach and speaks to the complexities of sex reassignment and one of her co-authors on several works is Dr. Mark A. Yarhouse whose position comes across in my reading to be ambiguous and not fully landing on solid ground. While he has co-authored 12 books, this work feels distant, however Yarhouse attempts to speak with respectful boundaries as he opposes Dr.Owen Strachan's point on spiritual practices. Dr. Owen Strachan comes from an evangelical Protestant theological stand point and as a Wheaton College graduate, his understanding of marginalization could also come from slave narratives surrounding his Institution. This is important to note.

Dr. Megain K. Defranza comes from yet another perspective, having her theme in gender minorities which include inter-sex individuals. She embraces the liberation of the twin soul aspect of the body, being neither male or female. This indeed takes much reflection as well as open-mindedness to include groups that are sub-groups of sub-groups.

The potential for ambivolent lackluster begs for us in dominant societies to consider the complexities of others within our broader community. Again this is a tremendous undertaking and the theological as well as scholarly intent is executed in more than reasonable form, although some authors may or may not be as easy to comprehend, overall this book is a healthy analysis of understanding transgender identities.

Added 06/22/2020 by Tonya M.

The least of these : by Works, Carla Swafford,

Publication: Grand Rapids, Michigan : William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2020 . xvi, 205 pages ; 23 cm Date: 2020

The Book of the Week for 6/10/20, is "The Least of These: Paul and the Marginalized" by Carla Swafford Works

Carla Swafford Works has thoughtfully crafted a work that delves into both the pathology and ministry of Paul and his relatedness to the "other". Works has a solid grasp of the content and uses her theological background as an associate professor of New Testament studies at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. to land very complex theological debates around Pauline pathology regarding marginalized groups. There is an overarching theme to which Works sums up Pauline conviction incredibly, "God is not a creator of uniformity but diversity." Very good read Added 06/10/2020 by Tonya M.

Ecclesiastes Solomonis /

Publication: VVitebergae : Excudebat Ioannes Luft, 1532 . [8] pages, 125 leaves ; 16 cm. (8vo) Date: 1532

While Luther was in hiding at Wartburg Castle, he led a translation of the Bible into German. He completed the New Testament in 1522 and the Old Testament in 1534. This is a first edition of Luther’s translation of Ecclesiastes. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Das dise Wort Christi (Das ist mein Leib etc.) noch fest stehn widder der die Schwermgeister / by Luther, Martin,

Publication: [Wittemberg : Michael Lotther, 1527 . 74 leaves (148 p.) ; 19 cm. (4to) Date: 1527

Luther and Zwingli continued debating on the matter of reform. In particular, they debated on the understanding of Christ’s humanity in relation to the Eucharist. This work is an answer to Zwingli’s Amica Exegesis and reasserts that Christ’s human nature is ubiquitous, as Luther argued in his 1526 Sermon vom Sacrament. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Ad Ioannis Bvgenhagii Pomerani epistolam responsio Huldrychi Zuinglij ... by Zwingli, Ulrich,

Publication: [Zürich : C. Froschauer, 1525 . [19] p. : 21 cm. Date: 1525

Zwingli was a Swiss theologian and leading reformer in Switzerland. As a contemporary of Luther he was aware of Luther’s works but claimed not to be influenced by them. Johannes Bugenhagen was one of Luther’s closest allies and the first to openly criticize Zwingli’s teaching on the Eucharist in 1525.

This is Zwingli’s published response to Bugenhagen, who was also known as Pomeranus.

Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Missae christianorum contra Luterana[m] missandi formula[m] Assertio. by Emser, Hieronymus,

Publication: [Dresden? : Emserpresse?], 1524 . [44] p. ; 22 cm. (4to) Date: 1524

Emser continued to publicly disagree with Luther on a number of theological issues. In this work, Emser dialogues with Luther and defends the Mass. This is a direct response to Luther’s Formula Missae et Communionis published in 1523. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Artickel, so da hetten sollen auffs Concilion zu Mantua, oder wo es würde sein, uberantwortet werden, von unsers teils wegen : by Luther, Martin,

Publication: Wittenberg, 1538 . [63] p. ; 19 cm. Date: 1538

Pope Paul III called together a council to meet in Mantua following his election in 1536. The result was a report on the reformation and rebuilding of the church, Concilium de emendenda ecclesia, published in 1537. This report exposed many abuses of the church that had been criticized and attacked by Luther and other reformers, but failed to answer Luther’s call for true reform. Luther’s response came in the publication of his articles of faith in 1538, known as the Smalcald Articles. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Antwortt deutsch Mart. Luthers auff König Henrichs von Engelland Buch. by Luther, Martin,

Publication: Gedruckt tzu Wittemberg : Durch Nickell Schyrlentz, 1522 . [48] p. ; 19 cm. (4to) Date: 1522

King Henry VIII of England published Assertio Septem Sacrementorum, reasserting the keeping of seven sacraments in opposition to Martin Luther’s stated belief that there are only two true sacraments. Pope Leo X awarded Henry VIII the title of Defender of the Faith in 1521. This is Luther’s answer to Henry VIII’s book. He reasserts his opinions about the sacraments while also suggesting that Henry VIII did not write his own book. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Doctoris Martini Lutheri Acta VVormaciæ in Comitiis Imperialibus Principum. Anno salutis nostrae M.D.XXI, by Erasmus, Desiderius,

Publication: [Hagenau : Anshelm], 1521 . [10] leaves ; 10 cm. (4to) Date: 1521

In 1521, Emperor Charles V convened the imperial Diet of Worms, a general assembly of all the estates in the Holy Roman Empire. Luther was called to the assembly to answer questions about his views and works. Luther would not renounce his works or his views, but did apologize for the harsh tone of his writings in which he attacked individuals. At the conclusion of the assembly, the Edict of Worms was passed on May 25, 1521 banning Luther’s writings and calling for his arrest.

This is Erasmus’ account of and thoughts on the proceedings at Worms published that same year.

Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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Desiderii Erasmi. ad Reuerendissimu[m] Moguntinen.[sium] Praesulem: atq[ue] illustrissimu[m] Principe[m], epistola : by Erasmus, Desiderius,

Publication: [Nürnberg : Peypus, 1520 . [4] leaves ; 19.5 cm. Date: 1520

This is one of several unauthorized printings of a letter Erasmus wrote in 1519 to Albert of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz. Erasmus endorses many of Luther’s views in this letter. Some scholars have seen the unauthorized printing of this letter as an attempt to damage Erasmus in his arguments with Luther on the matter of free will. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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De disputatione lipsicensi, quantum ad Boemos obiter deflexa est / by Emser, Hieronymus,

Publication: [Leipzig : Melchior Lotter, 1519 . [12] p. (6 leaves) ; 20 cm. Date: 1519

Two years after Martin Luther published the 95 Theses, a public debate was held in Leipzig between Johann Eck and Andreas Karlstadt. It lasted two months, June to July 1519. Martin Luther joined the debate in July 1519 at the invitation of Eck.

This is an account of the Leipzig Disputation between Eck, Karlstadt, and Luther written by Hieronymus Emser, a German theologian who believed in a more practical reformation of clergy. Emser’s strong critiques of Luther in the time following the Leipzig Disputation make him one of Luther’s most notable adversaries.

Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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A venatione Luteriana aegocerotis assertio / by Emser, Hieronymus,

Publication: [Leipzig : Martin Landsberg, 1519 . 44 p. ; 20 cm. (4to) Date: 1519

Once sympathetic to Luther’s call for reformation, Hieronymus Emser parted ways with the reformer in 1519 after his radical calls for change at the Leipzig Disputation. This work violently challenges Luther’s assertions and sparked a vicious antagonism between the two theologians. Added 05/19/2017 by Seminary L.

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The Asian & Abrahamic religions

Publication: [Potomac, Md.] : Auteur Productions, 2011 . 1 videodisc (155 min.) : 4 3/4 in. + Date: 2011

Please note: This DVD seems particularly timely because of the controversy about how to treat American Muslims in the current election.

This video is the best thing I've seen on world religions in America! Not only does it include the top scholars I'm aware of in the field but it reveals the healing and unifying side of each of the faiths already present in our land and our history. Even though Christ must always be unique and central to us as Christians, there may just be a path to unity in the world religious realm that I hardly thought possible.

This dvd is the final of three and with the earlier two I imagine we'd have a fantastic Adult Ed. resource for many of our churches.There are already study guides developed. One of the key authors is an almost retired professor from Gordon Conwell, so I imagine even the evangelicals among us might be satisfied! And what could be more timely in our "trumped up" times?

Truth be told, I haven't watched the entire series because our LTS library only has the third of three. (So I haven't watched the one on Christianity and Islam.) Added 03/30/2016 by John P.

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Jehovah's Witnesses : by Holden, Andrew,

Publication: London ; | New York : Routledge, 2002 . xiii, 206 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2002

The author, Andrew Holden, presents a fairly objective evaluation of the Jehovah's Witnesses in modern secular society. The book is described as an "ethnographic study" as Holden writes from a sociologist's perspective. While the research is thorough and well documented, it is the direct quotes he gathers from current and former members that helps to capture an inside view of a very private religious community. The Witnesses shun the modern secular world yet it is modernity that aids them in attracting new members in search of absolute "truth" and/or the safety of a totalitarian system. Founded by a businessman from Pittsburgh in the late nineteenth century, the sect has continued to flourish despite an overall breakdown in Western populations identifying with orthodox Christian sects. Holden's first hand accounts are based in Great Britain where he resides. The book provides an in depth overview of the millenarian religious movement that is the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Parental guidance advised :

Publication: 2013 . xi, 147 pages ; 23 cm Date: 2013

This is the Friday Featured New Book for March 13, 2015. The following is the description from the publisher's website:

"Parental Guidance Advised shows the Old Testament to be a creative, humorous, insightful, bawdy, dynamic, and enriching collection of sacred literature hammered out over centuries of wrestling with the divine/human relationship. It depicts the Old Testament not as a series of scenes of saints in action but rather as real-life stories of sinners who, somehow, despite themselves, become protagonists in God’s plot of salvation.

"Drawing from all three years of the lectionary and non-lectionary texts, Parental Guidance Advised provides profound and provocative sermons that honor the depth and complexity of both Bible and everyday life. Each chapter includes a brief essay on its topic, followed by suggested texts for preaching. Nine scholars offer their insights in honor of renowned professor John C. Holbert: Ronald J. Allen, Walter Brueggemann, Roy L. Heller, Ruthanna B. Hooke, Martha Myre, Richard Nelson, Richard Stern, Steven Tuell, and Mary Donovan Turner." Added 03/13/2015 by Myka S.

John in the company of poets : by Gardner, Thomas,

Publication: Waco, Tex. : Baylor University Press, 2011 . xiv, 222 p. ; 24 cm. Date: 2011

I've loved modern American poetry for some time(A poem by Stanley Kunitz called "The Layers" helped renew my call to ministry in my first church back in the late '70s) But I never thought of a way that modern poetry could be used to enrich a literary reading of one of the Gospels! This author isn't a pastor but is a university professor of literature at VPI. In my experience you have to be extremely selective when using modern poetry in sermons, but I'm fascinated by this author's use of modern poetry to elucidate key portions of the Gospel of John. Added 03/04/2015 by John P.

A womanist pastoral theology against intimate and cultural violence / by Crumpton, Stephanie M.,

Publication: 2014 . xii, 212 pages ; 23 cm. Date: 2014

This is our Featured New Book for Friday, February 20, 2015. Dr. Stephanie Crumpton is Assistant Professor of Practical Theology.

From the publisher's website: "This book is about Black women's search for relationships and encounters that support healing from intimate and cultural violence. Narratives provide an ethnographic snapshot of this violence, while raising concerns over whether or not existing paradigms for pastoral care and counseling are congruent with how many Black women approach healing."

Dr. Crumpton also gave a lecture here on Thursday, February 19 entitled, "Laugh, Dance, Cry: Womanist Practices of Re-Bodying Identities Dis-Integrated by Violence." Added 02/20/2015 by Myka S.

Professional sexual ethics :

Publication: 2013 . x, 244 pages ; 23 cm Date: 2013

This is the featured new book for Friday, February 13, 2014. From the publisher's website: "Sexual health is an essential part of maintaining professional relationships in ministry. Focusing on implications for the practice of ministry, this book engages all dimensions of theological education and academic disciplines. Each chapter includes an analysis of common ministry situations, discussion questions, practical guidelines, and resources for further study. The volume is ideal for use in courses on professional ethics for ministry, advanced leadership training, and continuing education for clergy." Added 02/13/2015 by Seminary L.

This online catalog is a consortial partnership of the following organizations:
Lancaster Theological Seminary • 555 West James St., Lancaster, PA 17603 • 717-290-8707
E&R Historical Society • 2nd floor, Library Building, 555 West James St., Lancaster, PA 17603 • 717-290-8734

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