Category: Book Reviews (page 1 of 13)

Quereshi on Seeking Allah, finding Jesus

Qureshi, Nabeel. 2014. Seeking Allah, finding Jesus: A devout Muslim encounters Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Nabeel Qureshi died of stomach cancer on September 16, 2017, leaving a wife and young daughter. Qureshi was raised as a devout Muslim and held Two MA degrees, an MD and an MPhil in Judaism and Christianity from Oxford University. He lectured to students in more than 100 universities and participated in numerous public debates in several countries. (For additional information see www.nabeelqureshi.com.)

In Seeking Allah, finding Jesus (SAFJ), Qureshi provides his account of a conscientious and sustained journey to understand the truth about Muhammed the Prophet and Jesus the Messiah, as well as about the Quran and Bible. His worldview of Islam is sympathetic, even as he outlines stories about the obligations of Islam, including detailed descriptions of the Muslim rituals and the Arabic words and phrases inherent in them.

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Nuland on Maimonides

Nuland, Sherwin B. 2005. Maimonides. New York: Schocken.

Sherwin Nuland, a clinical professor of surgery at Yale University, teaches bioethics and medical history there. He has written a number of books, resulting in a number of literary awards.

Rabbi Moses ben Maimon, known as Maimonides, was born in what is now present-day Sapin in 1135 (probably) and died in Egypt in December 1204. He worked as a rabbi, physician and philosopher and is known for his writings on Jewish law and ethics. His fourteen volume Mishneh Torah is a codification of Talmudic law.

Nuland devotes a chapter, “The Commentary on the Mishnah,” in which Moses, (another name for Maimonides), outlines the moral and social responsibilities of Judaism, as well as expounds its concepts, especially those which he believed had been misinterpreted.

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Maberly on God Spoke Tibetan

“At last, in the Tibetan year of the Wood Hog (1935) Yoseb laid down his pen.  Now fifty years old, he had toiled since he was twenty-three with the stupendous task.  Gazing on the completed manuscript, he bowed his head: ‘Thank you, Lord.  The Task is done.  Now the Bible has legs to go to my people.  Now the Book will be printed; then it will go to its appointed task.  May it be soon, Lord.'”

Allan Maberly, God Spoke Tibetan; The Epic Story of the Men Who Gave the Bible to Tibet, the Forbidden Land. Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1971, p.92.

It took just over 90 years of effort before the Tibetan people had the Bible.  It was two Moravian missionaries who first made their way into Tibet and attempted Bible translation. Unfortunately, as it turned out, they used the classical form of the language and what work they did complete could not be used or understood by the common people.

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Berman on Grief

Berman, Jeffrey. 2010. Companionship in Grief: Love and Loss in the Memoirs of C. S. Lewis, John Bayley, Donald Hall, Joan Didion, and Calvin Trillin. University of Massachusetts Press.

Berman’s book is about what happens in the life of a remaining spouse when the wife or husband dies. There are five chapters, each Berman’s examination of the writings of the grieving partner and the therapeutic value of the authors’ stories.

Although Berman is a “secular Jew” and certainly a non-believer as far as Christian doctrine is concerned, in Chapter one he gives a balanced and, indeed, favorable exploration of the writings of Joy Davidman (Lewis) and C.S. Lewis.

Berman has read the books of Davidman and Lewis carefully and even taught a course called “Love and Loss” based on A Grief Observed. He believes that Lewis’s book has “exerted…a profound influence on later memoirists who write about spousal loss” (21).

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Cooke on Jamaican Missions

Cooke, Lloyd A. 2013. The story of Jamaican missions: How the Gospel went from Jamaica to the world. Kingston, Jamaica: Arawak Publications.

Lloyd A. Cooke grew up in Jamaica, the son of an Anglican minister. His father often spoke of the Church’s Jamaican teachers and ministers who served in Africa during the 19th-20th centuries.

This is a massive book of 672 pages, with many illustrations and photos (292 are listed). It is divided into six parts containing 25 chapters, followed by a postscript, four appendixes, a bibliography and an index. There is also a timeline of the Jamaican church from 1512, when the Franciscan Friars arrived until 1996.

Section One covers the insurrection of slaves in 1831, led largely by an inspired slave named Samuel Sharpe. The insurrection was part of the so-called “Baptist War,” referring to those Baptists (and other missionaries) who were opposed to the British rule. Moravian missionaries were imprisoned; John Lang is singled out as an “extraordinaire” missionary, who “wore himself out in the work” (p. 100). Moravians had depended on plantations for income and support but eventually, burdened by slavery, they closed their main one, “Old Carmel,” and freed the slaves. However, New Carmel was opened in 1831 and by 1834 the Moravians had a number of stations open.

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