A relatively straightforward message for a very specific audience, enriched by its focus on Christian community.

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A GOD-SHAPED WORLD

Langford (Why the Bible Is So Hard to Understand, 2015) discusses what he believes is the central focus of Jesus’ ministry: the kingdom of God.

The author’s study lays out what he sees as the characteristics of “the kingdom”—which he defines as “a world shaped by the character of God, embodying the ways of God”—and how it’s “at cross purposes with the world—society and culture shaped by the inherent inclinations of our self-serving human condition.” In other words, the kingdom, being reflective of God’s own character, often stands in stark contrast to ways that come naturally to ordinary people. Jesus’ life and ministry on Earth, he asserts, offer a glimpse of the life that all Christians ought to seek. By looking closely at Jesus’ example and walking in repentance, he says, they can learn how to live out of step with the world, pattern their thinking and behaviors after God’s character, and ultimately experience a “God-shaped world” in which “people relate to one another out of grace and forgiveness; power is used to serve; and material wealth is used…for the good of others.” Langford effectively encourages his fellow believers to cast off what he sees as fear-based thinking. That said, the text is a little repetitive at times, and the differences between the “kingdom” and “God-shaped” things can be difficult to parse: “A God-shaped world—the kingdom—is inseparably tied to God-shaped lives….A God-shaped life…is a life patterned after the ways of the kingdom.” But overall, this will be a satisfying read for Christians who, like the author, see the importance of emulating early Christ-followers’ priorities, particularly regarding living a “transformed” life and living in close community with other Christians. Overall, this book offers inspiring goals for believers to pursue.

A relatively straightforward message for a very specific audience, enriched by its focus on Christian community.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-973602-92-7

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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