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Friday, December 11, 2009

BOOK REVIEW - "The Mystery of the Cross"

The Mystery of the Cross
Bringing Ancient Christian Images to Life
by Judith Couchman

As a Christ-follower and a lover of both ancient history and art history, I was delighted to discover this treasure of a book. In forty short chapters, Judith includes a wealth of knowledge gleaned through intensive study. Each chapter includes photos and/or line drawings, helping the reader to visualize what is being described.

Judith invites the reader "to read intriguing stories about the sign of the cross, ponder their meaning and consider how these anecdotes speak to (us). She also suggests various ways in which the book can be used, such as" for art appreciation, historical information, personal meditation, spiritual formation, small group discussion, Lenten observation and worship insights. Reading this book will help the reader understand and appreciate the cross's spiritual work in the world and its power for everyday life."

This book is not meant for a quick read, but is one to which I will be returning again and again. Each chapter concludes with personal insight, relating the topic to our daily life experience. Beautifully written and illustrated, Judith has given us a treasure in this book!

Judith Couchman is the author or compiler of more than 40 books, and she teaches art history part-time for the University of Colorado. Her books include Art of Faith, The Shadow of His Hand and Designing a Woman's Life.

Published by Formatio, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, the book is available through the InterVarsity Press website at www.ivpress.com. It is also available through other on-line retailers, such as www.amazon.com and www.christianbooks.com , as well as through local bookstores.

Note:  I wish to thank Judith for providing a copy of her book for review purposes.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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