Rolfing Unshelved

Books, news, and events from TIU's Rolfing Library

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Book Displays: Latino Heritage Festival Week

This week is Latino Heritage Festival Week here at TIU! We are celebrating with events, guest speakers and many other celebratory and educational experiences.

The featured chapel speaker for Latino Heritage Festival Week is Pastor Orlando Crespo, the national director of InterVarsity Latino Fellowship and the author of Being Latino in Christ: Finding Wholeness in Your Ethnic Identity.

Check out our display here at Rolfing highlighting resources in honor of Latino Heritage Festival Week! Here are just a few of the many books and media items we have available:

Being Latino in Christ: finding wholeness in your ethnic identity Building bridges, doing justice : constructing a Latino/a ecumenical theology In our own voices : Latino/a renditions of theology Los evangélicos : portraits of Latino Protestantism in the United States


How will you celebrate Latino Heritage Festival Week?

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Book Displays: Liturgical Worship


Liturgy. Even the word can cause fear and disapproval in some evangelical circles. Visions of rote readings, unenthusiastic congregants, and inhibition of the Spirit come to many minds when the topic of liturgy in worship is brought up.

I grew up in a traditional church where liturgy was a staple of our Sunday morning diet. There was something so powerful about publicly declaring what we believed as a community. Even as a child, it was clear to me that church was not only for watching, but for participating. Liturgy has the power to join us with Christians all over the world and throughout history. It gives us all a chance to participate in worshiping God as a community.

Liturgy has played a significant role in lives of Christians for centuries. Throughout history Christ’s followers have incorporated historical prayers, creeds, and songs into their worship experiences. But, the temptation to give into stale recitation without allowing the Spirit to saturate one’s heart will always be present.

This month, TIU had the privilege of hosting the Kantzer Lectures in Revealed Theology, featuring
Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff of Yale University. His series of seven lectures was entitled “The God We Worship: A Liturgical Theology.” Throughout the month of October, Rolfing is featuring a book display on the same topic.

Did you attend the Kantzer Lectures? What were your reactions to the material?

What do you believe is the role of liturgy in the church today?

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Global Christian Week

Chinese Christians PrayingIt is Global Christian Week here at TIU! Our keynote speaker is the Consulting Director for OMF’s Chinese Ministries, James Hudson Taylor IV. He will be speaking on this week’s theme, “Rooted.”

James Hudson Taylor IV is the great-grandson of James Hudson Taylor, an influential missionary to China. The elder Hudson Taylor lived and worked in China for fifty-one years in the mid-eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds. His work in China has left a lasting legacy of faith. Hudson Taylor is especially remembered for his integration into Chinese culture and his unique approach to missions, not in the colonial way of the past, but by chosing to live, dress, teach, and speak in the ways of the people he was witnessing to.

This week, representatives from Christian missionary organizations are available in the Waybright Center. Feel free to stop by, ask questions, gain inspiration, and gather information about the work Christians are doing around the world.

Check out some of Rolfing’s online resources about missions!

Encountering Theology of MissionSpiritual Warfare and Missions

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Book Displays: Poverty Minstry

Hole in our gospelWhat is the gospel? Is it something we do? Is it something Christ does? Or maybe a combination of both?  Richard Stearns’s book, The Hole in our Gospel, has gained a lot of attention since its publication in 2009. In his book, Stearns argues that the American church has lost a piece of the gospel message. He urges Christians to look beyond their own churches and work to win the world for God’s kingdom. He challenges Christians to move from simply having a private faith to experiencing their faith in a public way, mainly through reducing poverty and caring the the sick, underprivileged, and the hurting throughout the world. Stearns delves into realms of missions, self-denial, and caring for “the least of these” in hopes of encouraging Christians to see the hole in their gospel.

His tone is gentle yet firm, and it is difficult not to feel sympathy for his cause. There is no debating that his argument is valiant and beneficial. Poverty is a crisis that needs to be addressed. Yet some argue that there is something missing from Stearns’s argument. In a review from the Christian Research Institute, author and pastor Kevin DeYoung gives three criticisms of Stearns’s book.

First, DeYoung resists Stearns’s method of turning Christians from apathy. He agrees that Christians are often apathetic to needs outside their own daily life and community, but he does not agree with Stearns’s method of motivation. Stearns asks believers to move away from valuing those in their own circles over those around the world. After all, God values all his people equally, so why don’t we? DeYoung finds this method of motivation ineffective and responsible for producing unnecessary guilt.

Second, DeYoung disagrees with Stearns’s use of economics to prove his point. These facts are no doubt motivating, but somewhat misleading as well. His use of statistics creates a dissidence regarding who is responsible for world poverty. In some places, he says that western Christians are not to blame for world poverty, and in others, his facts and statistics seem to argue the opposite.

Third, and arguably most important, is the question, What is the gospel? Stearns focuses on a gospel based on the actions of believers. DeYoung argues that this focus is a disservice to the true gospel message. Although Stearns would no doubt agree that Christ atoned for our sins so we could be reconciled with God, his book does not make it clear. When viewed as a whole, it seems Stearns’s gospel is primarily focused on something that we do.

Undoubtedly, this is an interesting read and a valuable perspective to explore. We are interested in your thoughts on this subject! Please comment below and check out our display relating to poverty ministry!

What do you believe is the balance between words and deeds associated with the gospel?

Have you read The Hole in our Gospel? What is your reaction to Stearns’s premise?

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Book Display: Mathematics

I don’t know about you, but I have a slight math phobia.  I still remember sitting at my desk in the third grade, sweating as I watched the teacher hand out timed math quizzes. My hand would shake as I picked up my pencil and waited for her to say, “Start!”  There was always that kid who finished the test in an astonishingly short amount of time and made sure everyone knew it. Then there was me, using my fingers to do simple addition and having completely forgotten how to do math under all the stress .  Thankfully, the story does not end there. I had a fantastic calculus teacher in high school who would come to my lunch table and help me with my homework. It is because of him that I no longer sweat when I see numbers, although I do cling to my phone’s tip calculator when going out to eat.

This display is for people like me who have a math phobia, and for you mathematicians out there, and everybody in between!

Here are a few of my favorites!

Empowering science and mathematics education in urban schools How to read historical mathematics Number Sense and Number Nonsense Pioneering Women in American Mathematics

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Book Displays: Soteriology

Getting Saved: The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament

This month, Rolfing is highlighting resources on soteriology, the theology of salvation. In a work entitled Getting “Saved”: The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament, by Charles H. Talbert and Jason A. Whitlark, the authors explore what the New Testament says about salvation and what it means for believers. This collection of twelve essays by six authors focuses on the process of salvation in the context of the post-conversion experience.

The book was reviewed by John Frederick of St. Mary’s College for The Gospel Coalition. The reviewer had mainly positive things to say about the book. He recommended it as a valuable resource for Protestants and Evangelicals. The reviewer viewed the emphasis on  the inner renewal involved in the salvation process as a move in the right direction, as opposed to the sometimes lax view of inner change that plagues some evangelical circles. He also promoted the book as a great resource for people who do not agree with the authors’ premise. He suggests that people from any tradition can benefit from the results of these articles and the thoughts of the authors.

The reviewer argues that the title of the book is somewhat misleading. The title, Getting “Saved”: The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament, implies a comprehensive view of salvation; the process of conversion, sanctification, justification, and final salvation; past, present, and future.  The essays that make up this book mainly focus on the period after conversion, the “progressive element of salvation.”  The reviewer also felt that the booked lacked a clear declaration of the fact that salvation is only accomplished through faith in Christ alone . It is clear that the authors believe this is the way to salvation, but the reviewer counted it as a weakness that it was not stated as clearly and as often as one might hope in a book about “getting saved.”

Check out this and other valuable resources from Rolfing on our display about soteriology!

Have you read Getting “Saved”: The Whole Story of Salvation in the New Testament? What are your thoughts on the book? We want to hear your thoughts!

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Book Displays: Sociological and Anthropological Perspectives on Ethnicity

This month, Rolfing Library will feature a display highlighting the sociological and anthropological perspectives on ethnicity. This topic became especially relevant this week as I listened to an interview on WBEZ’s Afternoon Shift. This conversation focused on trans-racial adoption and the effect of ethnic differences on an interracial family.

The host interviewed a child of trans-racial adoption and a mother of two adopted daughters of another race. The conversation centered around the unexpected challenges of being part of an interracial family and the unique benefits of parenting and being a child of a interracial family.

During the broadcast, both the mother and daughter identified a phenomenon that they had experienced that I found specifically interesting. In many cases, people feel the need to comment on the family’s physical differences. Many people mean well, saying things like, “I see the family resemblance,” knowing full well that the parents and children are not related and do not look similar. Others ask questions like, “Who are their real parents?” Each question comes with its share of challenges and social difficulties. Affirming the family connection and identity as a unit is important in these circumstances, but denying the ethnic differences between the parent and child does not benefit the the child or the family. Both women commented on the importance of connecting the adopted child with a mentor of the same race. This helps affirm the child’s identity and explore the sides of themselves that differ from their parents. Ethnicity can be a difficult subject to discuss but exploring our own ethnic differences and similarities can lead to greater self-discovery and understanding of those around us.

Here are some resources available on our display. Stop by the library and check out our resources on the sociological and anthropological aspects of ethnicity!

We want to hear your thoughts and stories!

How are ethnicity and identity related?

What has been your experience with trans-racial adoption or interracial families?

Culture Keeping Taking sides Clashing views in race and ethnicity God's new humanity The convergence of race, ethnicity, and gender multiple identities in counseling