Monday, December 11, 2006

Amazon review: 'The Word of the Lord": Liturgy's Use of Scripture' by David N. Power

A good, if uneven, survey of the meaning of the Scripture Being God's Word

The book's strength is in dealing with the history of the scriptures in the liturgy, and in the extra-liturgical uses of scripture. It's also good when dealing with comparative uses of the scriptures in churches around the world (the picture of the Mass in pps. 78 and 79 is a beautiful snapshot of the church is a particular community, far removed from that of most of us).

The weakness I see lies in several areas. First, the writer seems to try too hard to present a "relevant" take on contemporary problems such as AIDS, which -- only 5 years after it was published! -- has a dated feel. Secondly, the writer tries to survey non-Roman (specifically Lutheran and Anglican, and to a lesser degree, Reformed) liturgical use of the scriptures, and these attempts don't seem to have a lot of depth.

All in all, the book is weak at the beginning, but improves toward the end.

I also must warn that the author uses a turn of phrase that I cannot find warranted by history or theology. On p. 105, the author refers to Christ as a "Theotokos." Traditionally, this term, meaning "bearer of God," is used in reference to the Virgin Mary. I have NEVER heard of this term referring to Christ, who does not "bear" God (a phrase that sounds adoptionist, at least at first hearing) but IS God. I'm not sure what the author is meaning by the term, or if it was simply a mistake, but I would encourage readers to be wary of the author's theology.

No comments: