Book Review ARTICLES

The Emergent Church - Dan Kimball

Thoughts on CTCR's "Immigrants Among Us"

The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man - Abraham Joshua Heschel

Hard Questions, Real Answers - William Lane Craig

Simply Christian by N.T. Wright

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

Dr. Kenneth C. Haugk's: "Don't Sing Songs to a Heavy Heart:; How to Relate to Those Who Are Suffering"

Normand Bonneau's "The Sunday Lectionary: Ritual Word, Paschal Shape"

Robert Wuthnow's "After the Baby Boomers"

Mike Aquilina's Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols

Mudhouse Sabbath: An Invitation to a Life of Spiritual Disciplines

Book Review: Doug Powell's Holman QuickSource Guide to Christian Apologetics

College Ministry from Scratch

Power, Politics, and the Missouri Synod ...a book review

Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy: a review

The Culture-Wise Family and Pop Culture Wars, reviewed

Lutheranism 101

A review of "Together With All Creation: Caring for God’s Living Earth, A Report of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations"

A Review of Jeffrey Jensen Arnett's book : Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens through the Twenties

A review of Mike Hayes' book: Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in their 20’s and 30’s

A review of David Dark's book The Gospel According to America: A Meditation On a God-Blessed, Christ-Haunted Idea

A Review of Dean Hardy's Book :Stand Your Ground: An Introductory Text for Apologetics

A Review of Gilbert Meilander's Book: Bioethcis: A Primer for Christians

A review of Gene Edward Veith’s The Spirituality of the Cross

The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict


Tribal Church

Additional "Book Review" Articles


Mike Aquilina's Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols
Published: 12/2/2011 11:49:25 AM


Walk into any Lutheran sanctuary and you are likely to see symbols. For those of us familiar with Lutheran churches, these symbols are familiar and comforting. However it’s possible that we still not be familiar with all of them and their meanings. More likely still, visitors less familiar with historic Christian symbols may be confused by them.

Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols is an easy read that provides some basic information on many of the symbols found in Christian sanctuaries. The book is written by a Catholic (and to a small extent for a Catholic audience) so there are a few points in the book where explanation extends to a particular Roman Catholic tradition or doctrine. But by and large, the book is just a simple explanation of Christian symbols. It is illustrated throughout with sketches of actual graffiti, inscriptions, and other ancient artifacts that bear the symbols being discussed. At the end of each brief chapter there are footnotes to writings primarily by the Church Fathers that mention the symbol just discussed.

While there is some mention of the non-Christian associations of some of the symbols, it is not the book’s purpose to treat this aspect of the symbols. Those looking for a more exhaustive treatment of this topic need to look elsewhere. The writing tends more towards the devotional at times rather than the academic.

If you or someone you know is looking for some basic explanations on some of the oldest Christian symbols and why they were selected or used, this is a good introduction. Each of the symbols – both the more common and the less common – seem to be included because of their very early or very widespread usage and/or attestation. Use this book as part of a reading group or study groups for Christians of all ages. It might be useful to utilize this book alongside Behold the Lamb: An Introduction to Christian Symbolism by Pam Nielsen and published by CPH.

Paul Nelson

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