New Books in the Library

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Working in the Presence of God

As the title suggests, this is a very practical book. Easy to read, the two authors offer interesting and very do-able suggestions for “becoming attentive to God in the midst of the work, in the midst of ordinary life” (3). The book is divided into three sections: Orienting to Work, Engaging in Work, and Reflecting on Work, with suggested spiritual practices throughout, and questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. ‘Real-life’ stories help the reader reflect on how the spiritual practices mentioned could play out in their own ‘ordinary’ work lives. Examples and principles from scripture are an important focus. This is a book that doesn’t make you feel guilty about what you’re not doing. Rather, it invites us into a refreshing and encouraging view of the work God has given us to do each day of our work lives.

Denise Daniels & Shannon Vandewarker, Working in the Presence of God: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Work (Hendrickson Publishers, 2019).

Psalms for Black Lives

Although this devotional title suggests that its focus is especially on Black Lives in the United States of America, it will be a worthwhile read for anyone. Each Psalm is printed in the book and followed by a brief reflection and short devotional, along with two or three “Questions for the Day”. There are thirty psalms covering thirty days with the Table of Contents helpfully matching the days with the selected psalm and title for that day. The authors have also prepared a four-week “Practicing Psalms for Black Lives: A Community and Congregational Study Guide” found at the end of the book. As I browsed some of the contents and read the accompanying reflections and devotionals, I was both encouraged and challenged in my faith walk.

Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes &Andrew Wilkes, Psalms for Black Lives: Reflections for the Work of Liberation (Upper Room Books, 2022).


Kathryn Greene-McCreight’s commentary on Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia is deep and thought-provoking, causing one to stop and think about new possibilities as to the significance of what Paul is saying – as well as consider the reasonableness of her exegesis. One reviewer notes: “[Her] work is informed by recent biblical scholarship…[and]…by the wisdom of the interpretation of the Christian tradition” (Mark W. Elliot). Greene-McCreight talks frankly about the importance of the body/embodiment in this particular letter, referring to circumcision and incarnation in particular: “Paul shows that the Galatians find their lineage and access to Christ not through Abraham’s circumcised penis but through Mary’s Jewish womb” (106). Those venturing into Greene-McCreight’s commentary will be rewarded with perhaps a challenge to their thinking, but also with a deeper appreciation for this letter of Paul to the Galatians.

Kathryn Greene-McCreight, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible: Galatians (BrazosPress, 2023)

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