By J. Brent Bill. Eerdmans, 2016. 159 pages. $15.99/paperback or eBook.
Brent Bill’s writing style gets right to the point in Holy Silence, using language that Quaker meeting members and attenders will recognize. But Bill makes a point of addressing this book to all, as in anyone and everyone. As in our shared belief in the presence and accessibility of God, immanent but also beyond, pouring into us and allowing us to drop into silence that is deep and sacred.
Also in the manner of Friends is the use of queries. When Quaker ministry finds words (and this slim book is a lovely ministry), queries are often also present; they appear within the text from chapter 2 on. Queries also appear in a short section at the end. Because each of us is in a different condition, queries rather than directives help us internalize the ministry.
In this second edition, in addition to queries there is a new appendix called, “Silence Practices: Practical Steps to Experience Silence.” There are also a short glossary of Quaker terms and a list of suggestions for further reading.