It’s almost Christmas! But before we head out for the holidays we want to let you in on two outstanding (and very different) books that should definitely be on your winter reading list. The first is a brand new novel that explores nursing, the impacts of war, and the power of love. The second is a cutting-edge resource on practical theology, that pulls together perspectives from across the board and presents a compelling case for how to lead your ministry effectively…
Francine Howard has her life all mapped out–until the man she loves announces his plans to bring home an English bride from war-torn Europe in 1945. Devastated, Francine seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.
Deeply affected by the horrors he witnessed at war, Ben Locke has never thought further ahead than making it home to Kentucky. His future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.
When Francine’s and Ben’s paths intersect, it’s immediately clear that they are from different worlds and value different things. But love has a way of healing old wounds . . . and revealing tantalizing new possibilities.
“This book cast a spell over me. Enchanting. Captivating. Riveting. And the word-crafting! Sheer beauty! No skimming allowed — you’ll want to savor every single sentence…Their love story is the perfect blend of laughter and uncertainty and oh-so-sweet-and-tender hope…Definitely one of my favourite novels of 2017.” – Kav from Best Reads
“As a huge fan of the Appalachia region and it’s history I was really looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed…It’s not a hard read, but it does keep you interested with all that is going on. Make sure you read the reader’s notes at the end, very interesting…Stars out of 5 : 5 Loved this book, a bit of history, a bit of a love story and a lot of real living, my kind of book!!” – Gill from That British Woman’s Book Review Blog
This introduction to the field of practical theology reclaims a theological vision for the life and work of the church. Pete Ward dispels the myth that practical theology is a distraction from the “real” tasks of ministry or from serious academic theological work. He argues that practical theology is part of the everyday life of the church and that its location in congregational life provides an orientation and a methodology based on how practitioners pray, witness, act, and live out their faith.
Ward challenges the distinction between applied theology and practical theology, thereby reintegrating a doctrinal orientation to the discipline. He argues that there are a variety of possible approaches to practical theology, helping readers evaluate the approach that is most appropriate to their ministerial context and theological tradition. This reliable, accessible resource will work well for those in training or in ministry.
“…Ward surveys Christian thought concerning practical theology, drawing from both conservative and liberal theologians. I was introduced to some ideas that I never considered before. I really appreciated this introduction and the high level of theological reflection Ward calls his readers to attain to. Reading this book only whetted my appetite for more… I highly recommend Introducing Practical Theology.” – Stephen J. Bedard from Hope’s Reason
“…Ward makes clear that practical theology is meant to produce more than an academic paper, or a book; it is not about training for ministry but about changing the lives of individuals, the church and society. Ward concludes that the transformation is when the Holy Spirit works in bringing an understanding that takes both theology and practice…I appreciated the many references to other writers of practical theology…but most of all I liked the way it was all brought together by the author and presented in a way that will benefit leader and student alike.” – wkrait from Books for Today’s Church Leaders
From all of us here at Graf-Martin Communications & Acorn Insight, Merry Christmas!