top of page

Book Reviews and Reflections


Larry the Librarian.jpg

Welcome to the Reviews and Reflections page.  I am Larry the Librarian. I earned a bachelor of arts at Bethany Bible College.  I was a Theology major and a History minor. I first developed my love of research there while writing a paper on the early church's debates on the Trinity. (There is a certain irony that I am now the librarian at Trinity Library.)  I also received a Masters Degree at San Francisco Theological Seminary were I experienced and enjoyed the Graduate Theological Library in Berkeley. While at Princeton I was privileged to use the Wright Library to complete my Doctoral work on religious initiation from both theological and sociological perspectives.  We are a truly literary church.  We have a modest but mighty book collection. I will be highlighting aspects of that collection on this page. Books reviewed below deal with the issues of war and peace.


The Kingdom of God is within You: Christianity Not as a Mystic Religion but as a New Theory of Life   By Leo Tolstoy

This book is a bit of a “thick read” but it has changed the world. Ghandhi said of this book,  “Before the independent thinking,  profound morality, and the truthfulness of this book all the books given to me by Mr. Coates seemed to pale into insignificance. Coates was a Quaker who supplied books to the Barrister Ghandhi in the hopes of converting him to Christianity. It did convert Ghandi to the non-violent revolution which changes so much in his world and in ours through Martin Luther King. 


Independence Square by Martin Cruz Smith

The author wrote the iconic “Gorky Park” which was made into a blockbuster movie starring William Hurt as his iconic detective Arkady Renko. 

In “Gorky Park”  his sharp and sensuous descriptions of Russia and Russians ring true. “Independence Square” makes our Trinity War and Peace display selections because it is a story that moves between Russia and Ukraine during the current Ukraine war as Detective Renko unravels mysteries of the heart and of history. 

Although it is a work of fiction it will give you a sense of the social political dynamic of that conflict. 

A Theology of Peace, Collected Addresses of Paul Tillich Edited by Roland H. Stone. The always insightful Doctor Tillich gave addresses on politics, war and peace, anti-semitism and pacifist movements. Several significant ones are collected here. It is absolutely incredible how relevant these writings are for today. Doctor Tillich, like Karl Barth, time and again stood on the right side of history. 


Militia Christi, The Christian Religion and the Military in the First Three Centuries by Adolf Van Harnack. 

The author is an astute scholar and an expressive writer. This is a short but deep book on the early churches attitude to the military. A must read for the thinking Christian especially as we face a world at war in the Ukrainian theater. 

bottom of page