Book reviews are a vital element of SCJ‘s ministry to its readers. Our goal is to cover books written across as wide a spectrum as the purpose statement for the journal indicates. We try to match each book to the reviewers interests, scholarship, and experience, while at the same time involve as many reviewers who are in the circle of the Stone-Campbell Movement as possible. Those who have specifically contacted us about their interest in reviewing books will have the highest priority. While in most instances, books for review will be chosen by the editors, suggestions from reviewers to the appropriate editor will be considered. A Books Received section will appear in SCJ from time to time. If you wish to review one of these, simply contact the editor. Books received from publishers that need reviewers are also made available at the annual SCJ conference.
If you contact SCJ about doing reviews, please include your mailing address, phone number and e-mail address, areas of expertise and interest, current position, and institution. This is vital to get you into our reviewer database.
Most book reviews for SCJ are assigned in the month of February each year. Since books from come directly to the reviewer from the publisher, the goal is for reviewers to receive their books by early summer. Once assigned a book, reviewers will occasionally be emailed by the book review coordinator for an update on where they are in the process. Have they received their book? Will the have their book reviewed by the needed date? Prompt response to this communication is vital. We are managing over 100 reviewers and books at one time.
For reviews to be useful to readers (and to publishers), they must be published as close to the publishing date of the book as possible. Ideally, should everyone stay on target, we should be able to publish reviews within a year (no later than two) from when the book is published. This requires the editors working with the latest catalogues possible, publishers getting books to the reviewers in a timely manner, and reviewers writing their reviews promptly. Remember, when you accept the free book from the publisher, you obligate yourself to fulfill everyones concern for promptness. If you are unable to complete your review after one extension, you may be will be asked to send the book on to someone who can. Sometimes a delay in publishing your review occurs even after you have it has been submitted. Carrying over reviews to the next issue is our primary way to trim an issue down to its required size.
Each review should consist of four elements. First, the books contents should be summarized or surveyed. Second, the books strengths and weaknesses should be noted. Reviewers should be civil, but no book is perfect. It must have some quirks or be missing something. We have chosen you because we think you can spot them! This should be done cordially without using the review article as a platform to pontificate your own views. You should also think in terms of how those from the Stone-Campbell Movement might react to various components of the book. Third, the books value for use in the college or seminary classroom, ministers study, or scholars bookshelf should be pointed out. Fourth, please include your name as you would like it to appear, your title, and institution.
Length and Quality
The length of reviews should be between about 600 words unless otherwise designated. If it is too long or too short, or does not meet the standards just outlined, it may be returned to you for revision. SCJ has established a good working relationship with publishers. Help us continue to do so with your timely, thoughtful book review, so that we can all be proud of the quality in each issue.
Completed reviews should be submitted to the book review coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org in Word format. Contact this email address for any questions or problems that arise, including not receiving your book and delays in completing your review. This will connect you to a graduate assistant who is responsible for keeping track of all aspects of the book review process, from requesting books from the publishers to getting your review in SCJ.
Vital information on the book at the head of the article should look like this:
Everett Ferguson. The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996. 463 pp. $35.00.
At the end of the article, include your information depending on your situation exactly like this:
Professor of New Testament
Hope International University
First Christian Church
M.A. Student in Theology
As with most academic journals, SCJ does not notify reviewers when their reviews appear. Most reviewers are subscribers and will receive see their review when they receive their regular issue. FIRST TIME contributors will receive a copy of the issue in which their reviews appear with a special offer to become a subscriber. All others need to check with their library or on the SCJ website. All reviews are made available for free at the SCJ website