Book Review: Rev. Vahan H. Tootikian’s ‘Observances and Observations’

By Rev. George Kevork Terian

Cover of Rev. Vahan H. Tootikian’s Observances and Observations

In the first week of the New Year 2016, the Armenian Heritage Committee of Greater Detroit released the 38th book by Rev. Dr. Vahan H. Tootikian entitled, Observances and Observations/Doner Yev Nshmarner. This hard cover, bilingual volume consists of 158 pages and is comprised of 26 English and 15 Armenian articles and essays dealing with religious, social, theological, and Armenian subjects.

The author has dedicated this book to the church of his birthplace—the Emmanuel Armenian Evangelical Church of Ekiz-Olouk, Kessab (Syria)—where he received his early Christian education.

In Observances and Observations, the author tackles tough questions that relate to our existence and does not shy away from giving Biblical answers to the problems that we encounter. He deals with the “why” type of questions that people with inquisitive minds often raise, such as: Why do we commemorate certain religious, national, and ethnic holy days and holidays? Why do people pay “lip service” to their Creator and to their fellow creatures rather than paying “heart service”? Why are some people, especially professionals, jealous of one another, and how do they cure this deadly sin? Why do people drift with the crowd? Why do people make some unimportant matters seem important? Why is the Armenian culture so vital for the Armenians? The author analyses these and similar questions and provides answers from a Christian perspective.

What I particularly like about Observances and Observations is its immense depth. Every paragraph contains words of wisdom, and every sentence needs to be read carefully to be fully comprehended.

What makes this volume valuable is its candid discussions about society, about life, about those things that are deep within us that cause us to groan and laugh, reflect and ponder, and most of all, to never give up hope. It is well written and reflects the author’s empathy with our dilemmas and aspirations.

I highly recommend the reading of this book to all those who, in an age of uncertainty, are looking for a firm foundation for their lives; for those who, in a time of confusion, want to retain clarity of mind; and for those who, in a period of doubt, want to cling to the enduring truths of the Gospel.

This hard cover, bilingual book may be obtained for $30.00 by writing the Armenian Heritage Committee, 3922 Yorba Linda Blvd. Royal Oak, MI 48973.

Source: Armenian Weekly
Link: Book Review: Rev. Vahan H. Tootikian’s ‘Observances and Observations’

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