J. Gordon Mcconville and Stephen N. Williams (Eerdmans)

OT scholar McConville and systematic theologian Williams both contribute to this volume in the Two Horizons Commentary, concluding with responses to each other. This series is committed to the theological reading of Scripture, which entails understanding the OT in explicitly Christian terms. Particularly valuable in this volume is Williams's substantial meditation on divinely commanded genocide—an exceptionally nuanced discussion. This is very much a commentary for the church—not just for academics and clergy, but for all who seek a deeper understanding of God's Word.

Making Toast: A Family Story
Roger Rosenblatt (ECCO)

Amy Rosenblatt Solomon, a pediatrician and mother of three (ages 6, 4, and 1), was 38 years old when she collapsed and died while exercising on a treadmill at home, victim of a rare and entirely unsuspected heart condition. Her parents, Roger (a successful writer) and Ginny, moved in with Amy's widowed husband, Harris, and the kids. This slim, powerful memoir moved me to tears with its account of a family getting on with life after a shattering loss. Making toast becomes a secular act of communion. Are we Christians, by contrast, childish in our hope? Perhaps. But "a little child shall lead them."

The Mind's Eye
Oliver Sacks (KNOPF)

A new book by Oliver Sacks is always cause for rejoicing. Having just had cataract surgery, I was particularly interested in his latest, which features case studies of individuals suffering from odd and arresting problems with vision (finally including, in a twist, himself). Uniting them all is Sacks's ongoing exploration of the ways in which the brain makes the world intelligible—a theme that goes all the way back to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. Alas, he can't refrain from a couple of smug putdowns of folk who, contemplating this extraordinary faculty of meaning-making, "invoke the supernatural." Ah, well.

Related Elsewhere:

Joshua, Making Toast, and The Mind's Eye are available from,, and other retailers.

John Wilson is editor of Books & Culture, a Christianity Today sister publication.

Other Bookmarks and reviews are in our books section.

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