Trio of Religion Faculty Publishing Books

Just in time for Advent season, three members of the Religion and Philosophy department at Tennessee Wesleyan University have recently published books, two of which include messages on the holiday season.


Hope for the Holidays by Rev. Andrew Lay, Adjunct Instructor

Hope for the Holidays(Kharis Publishing, 2021)

Hope for the Holidays is more than just a catchy phrase that you might find in a Hallmark greeting. Hope is vital to our lives, and it is often the most prevalent during the season of Christmas. This book speaks about the message of hope that we find in the Christmas story as we celebrate Jesus' birth. This book explores the ways we can experience hope for the holidays. Each chapter explores the different characters in the Christmas story and how they offer a message of hope to us in our own lives.


Hope for the Holidays on Amazon



Saturday Faith: Moving Through the Crisis of Hopelessness by Rev. Dr. Charles Ensminger, Adjunct Instructor

Saturday Faith(Wipf and Stock, 2021)

Saturday Faith is a book that seeks to offer support for those who find themselves in the times of hopelessness and/or theological crisis. Sometimes the ideas we have thought of as foundational fail us, and that can lead to times when everything is called into question.


“I focused on hopelessness because it is a feeling we have all experienced at one time or another,” said Ensminger. “For many Christians, though, hopelessness is something to be avoided, even feared. I wanted to speak to that and say that hopelessness is nothing to be avoided, because the only way to overcome hopelessness is to move through it. It isn’t a sin, and it isn’t evil. It is a part of living. Even the disciples expressed hopelessness.”


“I hope that what people can find in this book is permission to not only experience that sense of hopelessness, but to find that hopelessness can be the door to new life, new ideas, and new pathways. The church has often marginalized people who have deep questions of faith stemming from crisis, but those are the very persons for whom the church should be a place of comfort.”


Saturday Faith on Amazon



O Come Emmanuel: An Advent Study by Rev. Dr. Alex Thompson, Assistant Professor of Religion

(Wipf and Stock, coming soon)


Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, Advent is often treated as little more than an extended celebration of Christmas. In this short study, Rev. Dr. Alex Thompson examines the season of Advent as a distinct and important part of the Christian story as it anticipated both Christ’s arrival and his return in glory.


Using the rich imagery of the classic Advent hymn Oh Come Emmanuel, Thompson explores the way the New Testament draws on the Old Testament to express the longing for God’s deliverance in Jesus. Readers are invited to reclaim Advent as a Christian season that captures the longing of the Church and invites them into deeper commitment to Jesus as Emmanuel, God with us.


“This book grows out of a desire to help Christians better understand the language of Advent as it is expressed in Old Testament longings and the birth narratives of Jesus in the Gospels,” said Thompson about his upcoming release. “The hymn Oh Come Emmanuel has been a resource for centuries for Christians to learn how to understand this mystery, but the meaning of the language has been lost as we have grown unfamiliar with the Bible. The book is an attempt to reclaim that language and allow it to continue to form the Church in the 21st century.”