Defender of Jerusalem by Helena Shrader

The struggle between Christian and Muslim in the Middle East during the era of the crusades is not in my usual realm of historical interest, but having read Helena Shrader’s masterful trilogy about King Leonidas of Sparta, I suspected that Defender of Jerusalem would be well worth reading, and I was not disappointed. Defender of [...]

Book Review: Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is from a moderate Islamic family who fled Iran after the overthrow of the Shaw. He converted to Christianity at the age of fifteen. Is he still a Christian? He says “The bedrock of evangelical Christianity, at least as it was taught to me, is the unconditional belief that every word of the [...]

Book Review: Foxes in the Vineyard by Michael J. Cooper

I have to confess that I did not know what to make of Foxes in the Vineyard when I first read it. It’s a very complex work that calls for more than one reading. Foxes in the Vineyard is a fast-paced adventure novel with a lot of historical content and a substantial mystical element. The [...]

Colossus: Stone and Steel by David Blixt

Yis’gadal, v’yit’kadash sh’mei  raba. . . . May his great name grow exalted and sanctified. . . The Jewish mourner’s Kaddish, spoken in every Jewish prayer service. Unlike other prayers which are in Hebrew, the mourner’s  Kaddish is in Aramaic, the language spoken in Judea at the time of the Roman conquest. I always assumed [...]