From Library Journal
Taylor, an Episcopal priest and acclaimed preacher, begins with a series of personal reflections on her life, her perception of the church, and issues of vocation, imagination, Bible, worship, and preaching. Her reflections on post-Christian environments (from a visit to Turkey and her own life in America), on baptism and ordination, and on studying the Bible critically lead the reader to a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the familiar words of faith. The second half of the book consists of 13 of Taylor's sermons, which continue her emphasis on story. Throughout, there is a good balance between biographical material and algeneral reflection; the sermons support the discussion. Taylor's work is recommended for seminary, church, and large public libraries.
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Barbara Brown Taylor tells an engaging story of the birth of her own voice as a preacher, the struggles to bring the gospel to speech, and the joys of being an instrument of God’s will. (William H. Willmon)
It is easy for those of us who preach to slip into thinking of preaching as a task, a chore, even a weekly homework assignment. . . . Taylor, as a parish priest, is fully aware of the incessant demands of the pulpit. But to her mind, preaching is not just a duty; it is also a ceaseless delight. . . . Her use of language is enchanting; her prose is luxuriant. Images spin across the pages like ballerinas. . . . Taylor has the rare combination of a sturdy theological mind and a receptive, almost wide-eyed, openness to experience. . . .In sum, this is a book about the life of a preacher, but more than that it is about being fully alive in the Christian faith. Barbara Brown Taylor is, to use her own words, ‘a detective of divinity, collecting evidence of God’s genius and admiring the tracks left for me to follow. . . .’ I am grateful that she is on the case. (Thomas G. Long Princeton Theological Seminary
The decision of the Episcopal Church in 1976 to ordain women to the priesthood and episcopate has brought us many blessings, not the least of which is the improvement in preaching. Probably no other woman has contributed as much to that improvement as Barbara Brown Taylor. Nor is it likely that another has received so much recognition for her contribution. . . . I am convinced that whoever reads the book will marvel at it, take pleasure in it, and be lured beyond their present stage of progress by it. . . .In his essay on Anglican spirituality in The Study of Anglicanism, A. M. Allchin pointed out the close connection between our spiritual writings and the creation of great literature. This he attributes to a sense of the presence of God in all things and all people. Taylor’s work has that quality. While all of us cannot expect to preach as well as she, reading her work can alert us to looking for what she sees and can also show us how she enables us to see it too and to show it to others. At the very least, we can quote some of her phrases and help them to continue doing their marvelous work. (O.C. Edwards Jr Seabury-Western Theological Seminary
Barbara Brown Taylor has been called ‘One of the twelve most effective preachers in the English language.’ When you read her anthologies of sermons you can see why. She has a fabulous command of English and is a marvelous storyteller. These, combined with her deep and essential faith, make her sermons powerful and engaging. . . . This summer when I was chaplain at our Diocesan Family Camp, I read these sermons to adults as a morning meditation around the campfire. Everyone was engaged and found them immediately relevant to their lives. (Robert J. Gaestel)