Our colleague, David Crowley, chaplain at Peabody Retirement Center in North Manchester, has recently published/updated two of his informative and helpful books. Prophets in a Minor Key: The Book of the Twelve, is a series of bible studies on the “minor” prophets. (They’re minor because they’re shorter books, not less important.) Crowley shows us that they’re a rich source of understanding of the times in which the prophets lived. He also demonstrates that they provide a source of deeper understanding of human nature and the expression of faith in our lives.
Bible studies organized by their appearance in the Hebrew Testament serve as the subject of this book about the prophets from Hosea through Malachi. Each chapter begins with an overview, followed by observations/reflections, and concludes with questions that would work well with a group or simply for the reader’s consideration. Crowley’s voice comes through loud and clear, in his own observations from study and experience, and of particular interest is the weaving of his experience and popular culture along with his academic scholarship.
Judge Not: A New Testament Bible Study is another of David Crowley’s books, this one topical on the study of judgment, and particularly the tendency of Christians to be less than mindful of the biblical injunction not to judge. Published in July 2020, the book is organized in chapters on Jesus’ teachings about judgment, Paul’s words on the subject, and chapters on social psychology and judgment. He concludes with a chapter on discernment as a tool against being judgmental. Like the minor prophets’ study, Crowley offers questions for personal reflection or discussion as a helpful way to guide the reader’s approach to this perennially relevant topic. The only negative “judgment” I’d make is that the font in this study is very, very, very tiny. Perhaps I will engage in some prayerful discernment and come to the conclusion that the font is not so tiny, but that my eyes are aging.
Both books are available on Amazon.