The Bible Is for Living: A Scholars Spiritual Journey by ProQuest

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The last chapter of the book, devoted to "key aspects of the spiritual life," offers a series of profound meditations on several verses from the Bible, beginning, aptly enough, with this affecting statement in the Book of Isaiah: "The Word of Our God will stand forever" (40:8).

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									Christian witness, executed well, made                The book’s nine chapters address such         ple, I Thessalonians 1:3). Considering
deft dynamic adjustments, recruited ef-            key biblical tropes as covenant, holiness,       all these passages together allows King
fectively, exercised financial realism, and        prayer, prophetism, wisdom, and bibli-           to meditate on the three virtues at some
promoted growth and competition.”                  cal women. The reflections on “faith,            length, tracing them from Paul’s epistles
   The challenge is to transfer these              hope, and charity” are representative            to their antecedents in the Old Testa-
virtues and methods to the parish. The             of the book’s overall excellence. We are         ment, then drawing them forward into
authors divide the rest of the book into           all familiar with the passage about love         contemporary life.
two large sections: one devoted only to            in First Corinthians—“And now faith,                The last chapter of the book, devoted
parishes, the other to both the parish             hope, and love abide, these three; and           to “key aspects of the spiritual life,” of-
and the diocese. In the first section the          the greatest of these is love” (13:13).          fers a series of profound meditations on
authors write about how to develop a               King points out that Paul uses this triad        several verses from the Bible, beginning,
robust liturgical life, about the structure        in at least four other places (for exam-         aptly enough, with this affecting state-
of religious education for both children
and adults, and about ways to enhance
service (diakonia—hence our word “dea-
con”). In the second section they high-
light such familiar and vexatious topics
as priest shortages and the development
of lay leaders, as well as the ever-looming
problem of church finances.
                                                                   
   It is hard for me to judge whether                       
their recommendations are practical, or
even possible, since my own perspec-                           
tive is from the pew, but it does seem to                       
me that this book would be an excellent                        
point of departure for discussions at both                     
the parochial and the diocesan levels.                         
Informed by a sophisticated social theory                    
and theology, Renewing Catholic Parishes                     
arrives at some very concrete proposals.                      
It is designed not only to be read and                     
discussed but also to be used.                                  
                                                          

The	Bible	Is	for	Living                                       
A	Scholar’s	Spiritual	Journey                               
Philip J. King
Biblical Archaeological Society, $24.95, 199 pp.             
                                                           
                                                        
   Fr. Philip J. King, recently retired from             
teaching Scripture at Boston College, is                 
justly proud of the fact that he is the only                                                                             Commonweal . September 25, 2009
American scholar who has ever presided                          
over the Society for Biblical Literature,                        
the American Schools of Oriental Re-                          
search, and the Catholic Biblical Associ-                      
ation. This distinguished CV reflects the                       
esteem of King’s academic peers, which                      
								
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