New Books for the Week of February 11, 2013

LincolnLincoln’s Battle with God: A President’s Struggle with Faith and What It Meant for America by Stephen Mansfield (Thomas Nelson, 2012).

Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved of all U.S. presidents. He freed the slaves, gave the world some of its most beautiful phrases, and redefined the meaning of America. He did all of this with wisdom, compassion, and wit. Yet, throughout his life, Lincoln fought with God. In his early years in Illinois, he rejected even the existence of God and became the village atheist. In time, this changed but still he wrestled with the truth of the Bible, preachers, doctrines, the will of God, the providence of God, and then, finally, God’s purposes in the Civil War. Still, on the day he was shot, Lincoln said he longed to go to Jerusalem to walk in the Savior’s steps. What had happened? What was the journey that took Abraham Lincoln from outspoken atheist to a man who yearned to walk in the footsteps of Christ? In this thrilling journey through a largely unknown part of American history, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the richly textured story of Abraham Lincoln’s spiritual life and draws from it a meaning sure to inspire Americans today.

ReligionReligion in Early Stuart England, 1603-1638: An Anthology of Primary Sources by Bill Leonard; Debora Shuger, Editor (Baylor University Press, 2012).

This collection of primary sources from Early Stuart England, compiled by the acclaimed Deborah Shuger, reflects the varieties of religious expression, theological conviction, and spiritual experience of the fascinating and turbulent period in English religious history from 1603-1638. With selections ranging from sermons, devotional bestsellers, and sacred lyrics to ecclesio-political satires and doctrinal controversies, Religion in Early Stuart England, 1603-1638 offers scholars and students key primary sources that will stimulate research and discussion.

Long Journey HomeThe Long Journey Home: Understanding and Ministering to the Sexually Abused by Andrew J. Schmutzer, Editor (Wipf & Stock, 2011).

Maybe the only thing new about sexual abuse is quality discussion from several professions (psychology, theology, and pastoral care). Here are the insights of over two dozen psychologists, theologians, and those in pastoral care, all targeting the issue of sexual abuse. Designed as a resource for Christian educators, therapists, pastors, social workers, group leaders, and survivors, The Long Journey Home combines current research in mental health with rich theological reflection, global concern with fervent pastoral wisdom for the local faith community. Whether you are a counselor, professor, pastor, or spouse of a survivor, you hold in your hand a fresh resource of information and advocacy for those suffering from the devastating effects of sexual abuse and rape. The breadth of material, biblical insight, discussion questions, and helpful resources gathered here just may be the tool of a generation.

counsesling theory and scripturesCounseling Theory and the Scriptures: The Conflicts and Compatibilities of Psychological Theory and the Bible by Roger L. Alliman & Rick Surley (2012).

The concepts of human psychology have deep roots in today’s culture. From lecture halls to prisons, counseling clinics to church pulpits, from talk shows to the tabloids at your grocery store, there is little doubt that the world has a deep interest in who we are, how we think, what triggers certain actions and how two children can come out of a near-identical environment and be poles apart in their values, reasoning and motivating life paths. The authors purpose in writing Counseling Theory and the Scriptures is to provide the reader with guidelines that will be helpful in comparing some of the major counseling theories with what we believe the Scriptures present.

Going soloGoing Solo: Doing Videojournalism in the 21st Century by G. Stuart Smith, (University of Missouri Press, 2011).

Smith (journalism, media studies, and public relations, Hofstra Univ.) provides a compact, well-written book that will be a necessary read for any aspiring video journalist (VJ). Today’s journalist has to evolve in an ever-changing environment in which television news collection and print media are both shifting from “old school” techniques to fast-paced “lean” news collection. In traditional television journalism, a crew often comprising a reporter, camera operator, and sound technician covered a news event; today, most often a single reporter–acting as camera and sound person as well as a news reporter–covers a story. And video journalism for traditional television news, print media, and magazines is becoming more streamlined and in many ways more personal and informal. Since working solo is becoming the norm for VJs, they need to adapt to new technologies to succeed in the changing, and in many ways contracting, news-reporting field. Anyone interested in telling a story with a video camera, whether professional or amateur, will find this book an invaluable resource for producing better video narratives. The chapter highlighting some of today’s successful VJs will be especially helpful to anyone considering entering this demanding, challenging, and rewarding field.–CHOICE

Response to InterventionResponse to Intervention and Precision Teaching: Creating Synergy in the Classroom by Kent Johnson; Elizabeth M.Street, (Guilford Press, 2013).

Johnson, director of an elementary and middle school academy, and Street (psychology, Central Washington U.) show current and aspiring general and special education teachers, school psychologists, and administrators how to use the instructional technology known as precision teaching with the response to intervention framework to improve the academic skills of students. Drawing on experiences at Johnson’s academy, they describe each practice and ways to combine them, including their history, the framework of response to intervention, and practices of precision teaching; aspects of content analysis that inform precision teaching, including component-composite analysis, types of learning, and learning channels; what precision technology looks like in practice, with a focus on a peer coaching model; its role in reading, math, and writing, with examples of curricula and practice sheets; the use of precision teaching practices in the content areas; and how it contributes to learners’ abilities to engage in project-based learning.

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