For your autumn reading

IsobelTwo books by frequent contributors to this blog — Isobel de Gruchy from South Africa and Malkhaz Songulashvili from the Republic of Georgia are fascinating books to read  for this autumn.Malkhaz

Between Heaven and Earth Poems, Prayers, Pictures

ISBN: 978-1-4982-2274-7 | 146 pp. | $18 | paper
Isobel de Gruchy
Foreword by Desmond TutuBetween Heaven and Earth


Between these covers, in the form of poems and prayers, is condensed the insight and spirituality of a life lived fully in South Africa, a country first in struggle and then in transition. They are wide-ranging in their style and subject matter–from free-verse to traditional forms, from heartfelt prayers to light-hearted poems, from poems on nature to poems that ask deep spiritual questions, from poems and prayers written when all is light and full of joy, to those that take one into the depths of loss and grief. In short, they will take you between heaven and earth. They are interspersed with whimsical drawings that enhance the experience.

“In this mindful book of poetry, Isobel de Gruchy embraces the sacredness of earth and the whole of creation. These are poems of intimacy with—rather than detachment from—creation, herself, and those who people her world. . . . Refresh your spirit as you reflect upon this book of vivid poetry.”
—JUDITH MAYOTTE, professor, author, human rights activist

“Is there greater praise than, ‘I wish I wrote those poems?’ Yes, there is. When I finished Between Heaven and Earth for the third time, I felt empowered to pick up my pen or cursor, and, not copy her words, but write that true poem about my own true life, to pick up my brush and paint my own grape flowers, rivers, camelthorn trees.”
—MAREN C. TIRABASSI, author, pastor, poet

“Out of life’s elemental shards de Gruchy fashions images that help re-frame our lives. Welling out of the depths of her Christian faith, her message leaps across boundaries of race, place, and creed to link us in our common experiences between memory and hope, heaven and earth. Open this book and let your eyes see the world a little more deeply, a little more lovingly, even, as Emily Dickinson said, a little more slant.”
—WILLIAM J. EVERETT, theologian, author, poet

“Like the psalms, these poems lyrically express our human condition. Whether you are celebrating life or struggling with grief, filled with hope or fighting despair, de Gruchy’s words and drawings will move you and speak truth to your soul. With touches of humor, expressions of doubt, questions of anguish, and finally affirmations of faith, she traces the story of our lives. Take and read this wondrous work, giving thanks for this poet’s great talent.”
—SANDRA M. LEVY-ACHTEMEIER, author, psychologist and Theologian-in-Residence, St. John’s Church, Richmond, VA

Isobel de Gruchy is a retired teacher and homemaker, Christian educator, and volunteer worker, who lives with her husband, John, on Volmoed, a Christian Retreat and Conference Center, in South Africa. She has two sons, one of whom died tragically in 2010, a daughter, and three grandchildren. She is the author of a book of poem/meditations on Julian of Norwich, Making All Things New (2013). She devotes herself to poetry writing and painting, as well as compiling worship resources for the community.

Orders: Contact your favorite bookseller or order directly from the publisher via phone (541) 344-1528, fax (541) 344-1506 or e-mail us at

Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia
The History and Transformation of a Free Church Tradition

Evangelical christian BaptistBy Malkhaz Songulashvili


“Unique indeed is this account of the way in which the Baptist community in Georgia has responded in its life, liturgy, and mission to the peculiar context of the Georgian nation, which has been powerfully shaped by the Georgian Orthodox Church. In a work of rich significance for theologians, church historians, and missiologists, Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili draws attention to the indigenous roots of the Baptist movement in Georgia, its development under both Tsarist and Soviet rule, and its courageous attempts to engage in culturally relevant mission today.”

—John Briggs, Professor Emeritus, the University of Birmingham and former Director, Baptist History and Heritage Centre, Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford

“Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia is a truly remarkable and original book. Songulashvili’s skills as a historian and theologian have produced essential reading not just for those interested in the life of Baptists, but for all who are concerned with the Christian church during and after the Soviet era in

Eastern Europe.”

—Paul S. Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oxford and Principal Emeritus, Regent’s Park College, Oxford

“Drawing on a wealth of hitherto unused primary material, Malkhaz Songulashvili recounts the history of the Baptists in Georgia and discusses their sufferings, their dilemmas under Soviet persecution, and their subsequent embracing of Orthodox spirituality and ecclesiology. As a former archbishop of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia, Songulashvili writes with unique authority about this astonishing synthesis of Evangelical activism with Eastern Christianity.”

—David Bebbington, Professor of History, University of Stirling

Malkhaz Songulashvili, former Archbishop of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia (EBCG), provides a pioneering, exacting, and sweeping history of Georgian Baptists. Utilizing archival sources in Georgian, Russian, German, and English—translating many of these crucial documents for the first time into English—he recounts the history of the EBCG from its formation in 1867 to the present.

While the particular story of Georgian Baptists merits telling in its own right, and not simply as a feature of Russian religious life, Songulashvili employs Georgian Baptists as a sustained case study on the convergence of religion and culture. The interaction of East- ern Orthodox, Western Protestant, and Russian dissenting religious traditions—mixed into the political cauldron of Russian occupation of a formerly distinct eastern European culture—led to a remarkable experiment in Christian free-church identity. Evangelical Christian Baptists of Georgia allows readers to peer through the lens of intercultural studies to see the powerful relationships among politics, religion, and culture in the formation of Georgian Baptists, and their blending of Orthodox tradition into Baptist life to craft a unique ecclesiology, liturgy, and aesthetics.

978-1-4813-0110-7 Hardback
521 pages | 6 x 9 | $79.95 September 1, 2015 Subjects: Baptist History

Malkhaz Songulashvili is Associate
Professor of Comparative Theology at Ilia State University and Metropolitan Bishop of Tbilisi for the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia. Dr. Songulashvili received the 2015 Shahbaz Bhatti Freedom Award, given to a person for his or her outstanding work in promoting religious and minority rights around the globe. He resides in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

US Ordering: online at or call 1-800-537-5487.UK Ordering: online at call +44 (0) 1524 68765.For a review or examination copy, please e-mail

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