About February 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Hearts & Minds Books in February 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2011 is the previous archive.

March 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

February 2011 Archives

February 1, 2011

Best Books of the Year List finally posted. Whew, what great books we've seen this year.

first-place-blue-ribbon-300x283.jpgBEST BOOKS OF 2010 POSTED.

Yes-sir-eeeee, folks, it is finally here.  I've rambled on and on and finally had to call it a day.  I was starting to think up goofy categories like I do some years in this "best of" list, just to have the opportunity to tell you about a book I really liked.

I was even going to list John Dower's mighty Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor / Hiroshima / 9-11 / Iraq as "The Best Book of Contemporary History That Is Way Over 500 Pages That I Haven't Really Read Yet But Think It Deserves An Award Anyway" but then I realized that Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution 1787-1788 by the highly esteemed Pauline Maier would have to win the award for "Best Book of History of the 18th Century That is Way Over 500 Pages That I Haven't Really Read Yet But Think It Deserves An Award Too" and that sounded sketchy. 

I had cooked up the "2010 Shhh Award" for The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise by the excellent wordsmith Garret Keizer but that was just too dumb of a an award category, and didn't want to sully the reputation of this outstanding study with my loud tomfoolery.   Images of Salvation in the New Testament, a remarkably brilliant and serious work by Brenda Colijn was lined up to receive an award alluding to her ability to kick the behinds of Bible guys who only have one single image of how salvation must be described, but I realized that, while it is true, it isn't an Award, now is it?  And when I wanted to honor a book by a popular inspirational author by creating "The Worst One-Paragraph Description of Postmodernism I Have See This Year Award" I knew I was getting grumpy.

So, this year, I've thought long and hard, and wrestled the list to, well, be less wordy than some years.  These are all really solid winners.  You may want to print it out.  Get some hot chocolate and prop those feet up.  This is going to be sweet.  We are grateful for the winners, and a whole lot that didn't end up on the program.  And see are time-limited award-winning discount below.

Please click on the link for the 2010 Hearts & Minds Best books of the Year Awards list, posted as the January 2011 monthly column over at the website.  Thanks for reading---the reviews that we do, of course, and more importantly, for supporting the authors and publishers who do the writing and releasing.  As I sincerely say at the very end (may you arrive there eventually) there wouldn't be a book industry and bookstores, if there weren't readers like you who want to read, and perhaps own some real books.  Thanks for caring.

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February 7, 2011

Reflections on a local Summit: Your Work Matters to God

Thanks to those who read my face book plea a few days ago to pray for our staff, our families, and the conversation we were hosting on Friday with Steve Garber, author of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior (IVP; $16.00.)  (See my hefty review of it here.) It means a lot that so many folks---including those who order books from us on line, even though we've never met---support our ministry, and call upon God to bless and sustain us.  There is some pain and hardship on this end---where isn't there?---and we are glad that friends care.  We are blessed.

The Garber event hosted at Living Word Community Church was fabulous.  Steve is a dear,16975_100196520011356_100000630242594_2816_6847126_n.jpg kind friend, and it was an honor to chat him up, as the Brits might say, in front of a crowd of more than 100.  He is rich in his vocabulary, honest and profound, and although I tried to insert a bit of goofy upbeat energy, his intense and deeply meaningful conversational style carried the day.  The mood in the Living Word coffee bar wasn't somber, really (indeed, Steve talked a bit about his adolescent view of girls, joked about being a California boy who still isn't fond of the cold Pennsylvania weather, and the significance of hope, informed by a Stanley Hauerwas article he uses with students sometimes.) But there was remarkable intensity in the room as people leaned forward to catch every word.  We did struggle with important, weighty matters; he is a man of passionate energy, but gentle and soft-spoken.  He told stories of having conversations about Africa with folks as different as rock star Bono, a republican leader in DC with whom he is friends, and Gary Haugen, who Steve had encouraged as he was starting the International Justice Mission (IJM) which pioneered the struggle against sexual trafficking; he has traveled to Africa with Jars of Clay promoting their Blood:Water Mission (he's on their board) and has a son who is a veterinarian who studied disease control in India.  Whew.  The mood grew lighter, but no less insightful, when he talked about his own story---dropping out of college in the early 70s to live with other Christians in a Bay area commune and then going to L'Abri to meet Francis and Edith Schaeffer, learning to "not leave your brains at the box office" by attending cinema with the late Donald Drew, or moving to Pittsburgh to work for the CCO, mentoring young law or medical students in thinking about "the truest truths of the universe."  For a few years he helped organize our beloved Jubilee conference; there were some Jubilee-bound students there, in fact!

15261973.JPGOne of the themes that emerges from nearly every page of Fabric of Faithfulness is the question of what it means to be a responsible human being, especially once we know things.  From the ethical implications of "knowing" in a Biblically-informed (Hebrew) way---yada, means to know and to care for and to be responsible for---through the media criticism of Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, through recent critiques of the info-glut culture of the internet, lamented by significant books like Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains---which may actually keep us from knowing and doing as we should--- Steve invited us to think with our heads and our hearts, to feel deeply this truth that we are implicated in the brokenness of the world.  The telling of the Good Samaritan story (as an answer to a lawyer who wondered about who we must love) could be, as he sometimes says, quoting novelist Walker Percy, the story of the guy who "got all A's but flunked Life."  We can be smart and successful and so well informed, but not do anything about it all.  What good is that? How human is that?

He didn't set up a video screen, but he described the power of the song "Numb" written by The Edge and Bono, recorded on the U2 album Zooropa.  (Don't feel, don't touch, don't think, don't connect...I feel numb!) There were some serious U2 fans in the crowd, sipping Seattle's Finest roast, and this was a nice touch.  We had some fun doing analysis of popular culture, and he shared a few key Bible insights.  He told us about his longing for better answers about the meaning of our caring (or not caring, as the case may be) and what lead him to write this book about long-haul, responsible discipleship.  I know a lot of folks enjoyed hearing a thoughtful author talk about his life, and how it shaped his book.  Who knew it would go from the San Joaquin Valley to Helmhotlz Switzerland, from the Greek Stoics to contemporary Seinfeld.  Yada, yada, yada, you know?

It was especially moving for us when he told about a moment he said he'd never forget, an evening when he was invited to listen to and talk about the gospel with, a private gathering of Tiananmen Square protest survivors, some who, in fact, where the actual ring-leaders of that historic uprising and massacre.  He could not be glib--he does not believe in "cheap answers" he said---as he carefully listened to these young leaders who love China, and wondered if Christianity might provide them with a full-body vision of life, if it would be true enough, to answer the deepest questions for their heroic lives and their changing culture.  He was speaking to the best and the brightest of the Asian world's emerging culture, young leaders who saw their childhood friends die in their arms, perhaps the "Chinese Vaclav Havels" as the State Department China expert put it to him.  What would you say?

And we smiled as he answered a good question (what are some of the best things anybody said to you, what conversations were the most memorable or formative?) He told how his father wrote a letter blessing him when he chose to drop out of college; as a serious Christian and scientist in the early 70s this must not have been easy for him to do, and Steve is even now grateful for that blessed encouragement.  And he told how his future mother-in-law affirmed him when he and Meg announced they were to be wed.  He may be a bit of a romantic, but this is more than romantic sweetness---he knows that it is the deepest truth of the gospel that we can be known (in our clay-footedness) and still be accepted.  This grace shown to him by family is symbolic, for him, it seems, of the very grace of our merciful God, who knows us and loves us still.  And who commissions us to know the world ever more deeply, and love it, as God does.  Good stuff, this lovely episode from his courtship of Meg to a gospel centered life, to a passion for common grace for the common good in a world of war and sadness.

Well, the event was a good one, and we were glad to host an important writer, whose good words emerge from his good work, hosting conversations, networking artists and business folk, writing and speaking about the integration of vocation and the mission of God, the need to live fully for God in meaningful ways our secularized culture might understand.  People stayed and asked good questions, hugged one another, browsed important books under the subdued lighting.  It was a rich feast, an important and moving evening.  Steve writes on occasion for Comment, so you can find some archived essays there if you'd like.  And be sure to visit his own organization's site, The Washington Institute on Faith, Vocation and Culture.

These questions about human responsibility to care was the thrust of his keynote addresses the next day as over 300 people gather at the LWCC Summit on Vocation: Your Work Matters to God.  He suggested that a wise and faithful work world ministry is all about translating the truest things about the human condition and the nature of the world into concrete and incarnational practices that can help our neighbors and culture flourish.  (It should come as no surprise, then, that he read Jeremiah 29, instructions for Daniel and the other exiles to "seek the peace of the city" where they find themselves.)  We live in a needy world, and few have gotten this matter of work and economics and justice and jobs very well figured out.  (Charles Dickens and Karl Marx lived in the same part of London in the same years, Steve noted, asking important questions about the meaning of the industrializing forces of the West, at the same time Pittsburghers were killing each other in the streets over labor uprisings and large factories and mills abusing their workers.)  No, there are no easy answers or simple formulas for a wholistic and historically relevant kind of lifestyle or work life here within late-model capitalism.  I'm not sure most of us who want to serve God day by day think about the big picture that much, so Garber was very helpful on this score.  Yet, this isn't abstraction (as he often said.) This is the full, down-to-Earth weight of our living in God's world, with it's needs and tragedies and joys and pleasures.  He even told the story of his friend Hans Hess who has a top-shelf, organic-type, fair-trade, eco-friendly burger chain, Elevation Burger (yes, named after the U2 song.)  The tag line is "Ingredients Matter." 

Comment magazine's quarterly hard copy (they do a free weekly on line edition) had a great interview with Hans, by the way ("Jesus, Burgers & Taxi-Cabs") in their last issue.   We have a few that we sell for just $5.00.   See it here and then let us know if you want one. 

Again, despite these rather intense observations in Steve's talks, and some passionately told stories, it was an upbeat day of thinking and learning and celebrating our call to leadership and service in our work.  I got to introduce Steve, had the pleasure of touting his book, and I later led a workshop as did other folks who did seminars on thoughtful Christian engagement of the worlds of education, medicine, management, banking, and the like.  There was a panel about women in the work-world, one workshop was on ethics, another on how to do evangelism in the workplace.  Yet another popular one was on discerning one's vocation and choosing a new career area. a lot of books.  I believe the audio recordings of Steve's two plenary talks will be available from LWCC and we will be glad to try to acquire them if you are seriously interested.

In a way, this event thrilled me as much as anything we have done for a while; to bring our friend Steve to a local church, to have that church so affirming and gracious in allowing he and I to have a public conversation, and then to help lead an entire event the next day, is a privilege.  Equipping folks for thinking about Godly ways within their careers and callings has long been a passion of ours and I would love to have chances to talk further about being in the business world, say, or to help social workers or educators or blue collar employees.  I am touched that some of my friends wanted to be a part of this kind of rare conversation and that LWCC pulled it off as they always do, with excellence and grace.

1596381779_l.gifMuch of all of this call to think Christianly about calling and career can be summarized, albeit a bit briefly, in a wonderful booklet we featured at the LWCC Summit, What Is Vocation? by Steven J. Nichols (P&R) $3.99.   I loved promoting it at LWCC and hope you, too, might want to know about it.

 This little booklet is just fantastic to explore a Christian view of calling, vocation, work and career.  It is simply a great read, a fine tool, and a useful way to invite people of faith to consider how their ordinary jobs may reflect God's deepest care for the world.  You may know of my fondness for The Call: Finding and Fulfilling The Central Purpose of Your Life by Os Guinness (Nelson; $17.99.)  The short Steve Nichols booklet would appeal to any who like that, or it might be good for anyone who thought that the Guinness book to be a bit too literary or long.  Nichols spends more time on simple teaching about work, serving God in your job, and learning to have an appropriate vision for and attitude about the old 9-to-5, so it is a bit more focused on employment than Guinness on the notion of calling.  We really, really recommend it.  (Plus, it is so important to, well, almost everybody, that you could easily share it with someone you know--who knows, maybe to start off a conversation at your own workplace.  At this price, why not buy a batch?)

In my own workshop on work I noted four things that are described in a John Piper book called Don't Waste Your Life (Crossway; $9.99) in the chapter called "Making Much of God in the 8 to 5."  Rev. Piper wonders--helpfully, as it ends up---how human work is different than, say, the work of a hummingbird or beaver.  Beavers build dams and such, but somehow our work is different; we are made in God's image and called to reflect His stewardly rule over the creation. We have freedom to work in certain ways.  How is our work unique? 

Piper mentions four things; I will paraphrase them here.

 1.  We self-consciously dedicate our work to God.  Like Genesis 1:26-28 suggests, and Romans 12:1 states, and Paul implores, our work is to be done to God's glory; it is worship.  I don't think beavers intentionally do their building for God (unless they are Narnians, of course.)  Like his hero Jonathan Edwards, Piper says we can do so, and we must.  

 2.  We are called to live our lives in service to our neighbor.  That is, Piper says, we must do our work as an act of love.  With a bit of thinking, we can see the place nearly any job plays in that great web of social inter-dependence, and it seems to me that if you see the bigger picture of your supply chain or place in culture, you can see that what you do matters to somebody; your product or service, somehow, makes the world a better place.  If not, maybe you should find another job.  Anyway, Piper says we do our work in service, motivated by love.

3.  While not everyone has the luxury of this, it is unique to our human condition to be able to be self-reflective about our skills and aptitudes, our gifts and abilities.  We can wonder how we're wired, and do work that brings some measure of satisfaction. We can be useful.  Piper doesn't go into this quite like, say, the great book by Max Lucado called The Cure for the Common Life or Randy Singer's Made to Count but he does affirm that we should find a place of employment, to the extent that we are able, that is a good fit for who God has made us to be. We work using the gifts God has given us.

4.  The fourth is very intriguing to me, and is brief, but clear in the Piper chapter.  Basically he notes that we are called to use our minds, determining the normative nature of any given job or task, and we then can use our God-given abilities to open up the possibilities of that sphere of creation in a way that is appropriate.  That is, we do our job the right way, in harmony with the very structures of creation.  We are called to wise reflection on normativity, and to submit to something like natural laws or creational ordinances.  At the very least, this suggests a commitment to excellence, to mastering the habits, practices and skills of your given craft.  We have to learn the ropes and do good work the right way.

ResizeImageHandler.ashx.jpgI promoted other good books that would serve well as an introduction to this topic such as the standard Your Work Matters to God by Douglas Sherman and William D Hendricks (NavPress; $16.99) and Mastering Monday: A Guide to Integrating Faith and Work by John Bennett (IVP; $18.00) or the handsome study guide for personal devotional use or small group What Do I Do With My Life: Serving God Through Work by Kenneth Baker (Faith Alive Resources; $9.99.)

One of the foundational books on this topic, a serious and good collection I've mentioned here before is The Others Six Days  Vocation, Work, and Ministry in the Bible  (Eerdmans; $27.00) by R. Paul Stevens (who is a professor of marketplace theology at Regent College in Vancouver.) Read anything this good thinker writes!   Leaders who are hoping to raise these concerns (pastors, preachers, campus ministers?) really should know this stuff and we recommend that as a key text.  Professor  Stevens has a new one that we commented on right before Christmas---what a wise and interesting work, Taking Your Soul To Work: Overcoming the Nine Deadly Sins of the Workplace (Eerdmans; $14.99.)  This isn't a cutesy title about "deadly sins of the effective worker," meaning not dressing for success or something like that, but is a true study of the historic seven deadlies, plus two more, and ends up being a remarkable reflection on the sort of self-aware, gospel-based formation we need if we are going to do this "Christian perspective on the work world" stuff in long-term, sustainable ways.

 As Eugene Peterson writes in his brilliant forward, noting that God works (creating the world) on the very first page of Scripture, and most of Jesus' stories are set in fields and fishing boats, "Once we identify God in his workplace working, it isn't long before we find ourselves in our workplaces working in the name of God....this is a major work for restoring dignity to the laity and infusing vigorous health into the Christian community."

I told a number of folks about a book we had displayed, Shop Class as Soul Craft: An
shop class.jpg Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew Crawford (Penguin;$15.00)  You may recall us raving about it when it first came out in hardback---it is about a thoughtful white collar scholar who is drained by the abstractions and confusing ethics of the think-tank world so he dropped out and started a stellar motorcycle repair shop.  This is an eloquent, and much discussed book, about why we seem to devalue craft and mechanical skills; how will we survive the so-called "information age" if we fail to pass on the skills and dispositions needed to, well, fix stuff?  How can work have greater meaning in an age when working with one's hands is nearly despised.  Great stuff, a bit literate for many blue collar guys who would tend to agree with it, and yet we commend it with hopes folks will work their way through it's elegant, thoughtful prose and important, weighty arguments.

Ad.jpgAnd we announced that we were fond of the very creative, deeply faithful (but not written with religious sounding lingo) Sequencing: Deciphering Your Company's DNA Decipher by Mike Meztger (Game Changer Books; $17.95.)  It is ideal for anyone in business or the corporate world, or for anyone wonder how to help their company tell a better story, framing their work by the biggest questions and themes.  You can get a flavor of his insight and writing style at the Clapham Institute's DoggieHeadTilt blog.  

And, I told them about those who reflect on all kinds of jobs and work-world matters at The High Calling blog.  In fact, I quoted their recent piece "Your Artisanal Life" which was pretty nice.   That's a place you should check out daily! 

In the workshop, we brainstormed a bit about songs and movies and jokes and saying that tend to impose a negative view of work upon us, and struggled to consider how to be faithful in corporations that do not treat us well.  We wondered how we can be agents of God's rule, even among supervisors, co-workers, clients and customers who may not have an idealistic vision of the exalted purpose of our work.  It was important stuff for church folks to be talking about.

41589_47708448650_5486088_n.jpgThis great LWCC gathering---stretching and thoughtful and serious---feels now like a bit of a prelude to the bigger and splashier event with 2500 college students in Pittsburgh on Feb 28-20, the CCOs JUBILEE 2011 (not to mention the excellent Jubilee Professional day, held also at the Pittsburgh Convention Center all day on Friday, February 28th, co-sponsored by Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, an event collaborating with the student event, but designed for adults in the workworld.)

Check out that Jubilee conference link for archives of some of their old presentations---they have a cool feature called Jubilee TV which hosts video archives of some of the keynote speakers of the recent past.

If the local LWCC Summit event was more tender and important to me because it was among my best friends and neighbors here, the CCO Jubilee event is great because, well, it is about the best large conference in the whole world, and we've been attending since the mid-1970s, and it is run by a few of our very best young friends who are doing truly exceptional work.  It is the largest thing we do and if you follow or pray for our bookstore ministry much, you already know of our yearly role there.  There are Jubilee students for all kinds of college students,  workshops on science and art, business and engineering, mathematics and theater, writing poetry and writing memoir, film and politics, creation care and soul care. It is energetic and fun, multi-ethnic and ecumenical.  There are solid missions groups like IJM and Compassion International and World Harvest Mission there, and groups which network culture leaders around issues of worldview, cultural reformation and engaging the Christian mind---including web-based communities like catapult and the Canadian think-tank Cardus.  That is going to be an amazing gig.  If you know any college students anywhere in the mid-Atlantic, at least, it isn't too late to get them to go.  The younger generations of visionary evangelicals are energetic and thoughtful, and it seems to me that Garber and I worked out a lot of the vision for the very stuff we now talk about, the things about vocation and culture and caring about justice and nurturing the Christian mind in glory to the risen Christ, as we did at LWCC's Summit this weekend, when we were their age, trying to make sense of a lackluster and disengaged evangelicalism of the post-Jesus movement years. Jubilee has been a signpost towards God's Kingdom for Steve and Meg and Beth and me, as it has been for many...  

bookNext.jpgGabe Lyon gets at this wonderfully when he writes about what he calls The Next Christians: How a New Generation is Restoring the Faith (Doubleday; $19.99) I was happy to be among the first booksellers to review this book last fall and we called it one of the books of the year in our "Best of 2010" list last week.  I really like how we explains and holds up this wholistic vision of those who have little interest in culture wars or defending a Christian America, but only want to follow in the way of their savior, the true King Jesus, as they serve Him with grace in all areas of life.  In many ways, this approach--based on the four-chapter story of the gospel of creation/fall/redemption/consumation is the very ethos of the Jubilee event!

Gabe writes that these "next Christians" see themselves as called into vocations, not merely employed at occupations.  They see themselves more as creators of culture than moralistic critics.  They are less interested in pronouncing judgment about social evils, but are eager to help solve problems, in God's ways.   In all of this and more they want to be agents of God's restoration. His Next Christians book and/or the new DVD is a perfect companion and follow-up, it seems to me, of the LWCC Summit and really resonates with the overall message offered by Garber at our time together last weekend.  Lyon, in fact, is one of the many rising young evangelical leaders who esteems Garber and values his writings and work. 

 â€¨â€¨And (as things come full circle) Mr. Lyons is speaking in two weeks at Jubilee 2011.  He's one of several major main-stage speakers.  Jubilee is a conference about nurturing young restorers.  Garber will be there, too.  What a month!

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February 8, 2011

Reflections on a "Conversation with Steve Garber" and the Summit on Vocation: Your Work Matters to God

Well, friends, I wrote a long and (I hope) interesting reflection on the "evening with Steve Garber" conversation from Friday night, and the Living Word Community Church Summit on Vocation and Work.  Along the way, I note some books, old and new, and give the big picture of Steve's journey, how we here so resonate with his vision and style, and then segue into a reminder of our role in the upcoming Jubilee 2011 conference in Pittsburgh.  Since it's a bit long, I posted it as the monthly column for February.  I really, really hope you take a few minutes to read it.

Here is how it starts, with a sincere word of gratitude for prayers and supportive friends.  We have been touched by the many prayers offered on our behalf.  So, to start:

Thanks to those who read my face book plea a few days ago to pray for our staff, our families, and the conversation we were hosting on Friday with Steve Garber, author of Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior (IVP; $16.00.)  (See my hefty review of it here.) It means a lot that so many folks---including those who order books from us on line, even though we've never met---support our ministry, and call upon God to bless and sustain us.  There is some pain and hardship on this end---where isn't there?---and we are glad that friends care.  We are blessed.

The Garber event hosted at Living Word Community Church was fabulous...
                                                                                        READ THE WHOLE PIECE, HERE.

Here are just a few of the book covers of titles I mention at the longer review.  There's a good discount deal over there, too, so check it out.  And pass it on.  Thanks for caring.


shop class.jpg



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February 10, 2011

Jubilee bound: Pray for our work in Pittsburgh

So I'm sitting here shaking my head at the over three foot tall poster with brightly colored paper taped on cardboard which I convinced Beth to make, listing, in rather large type, the almost 70 categories of books we have to pack to eventually put in the rented truck, heading West to JUBILEE 2011 next week.  I can prop this bad boy up in our basement warehouse, and see what I'm needing to do.  Make a big sign.  Check.  Pray and ponder, study and sweat.  Check.  Get busy boxing up the titles, selected from stacks laying around everywhere, from garage to cellar, from van to back office.  Nope.  Can't get in that zone yet.

Better World Books warehouse 2.jpg                                                                                                 okay, so it isn't this bad..

Soon, though, we'll be pulling and packing, maybe listening to the new Over the Rhine CD or the recent Indelible Grace Live Hymns album (you really ought to order that from us) or an old fav to get me going, Zwan, the first post-Smashing Pumpkin's project of Billy Corgan.  And Bill Mallonee, perfect for the near despair and "just over the horizon" hope we have prepping for these exhilarating gigs.  Music is a must as we're pulling the books.  If I really need to ramp up out of a slump, I break out the Bach.

Few folks really know how much mind-numbing back room works goes on planning and executing these off site traveling bookstores.  If you've seen us on the road, this Jubilee conference is a lot bigger than anything we do anywhere else.  And, getting ready for this one, is more complicated because there is so darn much going on, so many topics and speakers and issues.

Just today I was negotiating the shipment of a very innovative architecture book rethinking notions of "sacred space" (see the stunning website of their award-winning design firm VisioneeringStudios) hoping it arrives in time. And we're trying to figure if historian John Fea's forthcoming book that is slated to release from the bindery just next week---Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction (WJK; $30.00)--will be shipped to our site in time. He will be there, and won't have seen it yet.  We will have it before the Westminster/John Knox warehouse, Lord willing, so that will be very fun.  We had a very interesting hunt looking for just the right books for a workshop on faith and food; they'll be drawing on Pollen and Berry and the new localism, framed by serious Christian convictions about home and place; we have so many on that topic, but which are most useful for this gang? I know they will use Food Politics: What Everyone Needs to Know by Robert Paalberg (Oxford University Press; $16.99.)  I think I'll show 'em the new Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture by Mark Winne (Beacon; $24.95.)  If only I can remember who distributes that publisher, nowadays.  

And that was the easy part, researching more books, making some calls, thinking about related, relevant titles, and getting publishers do get us the goods.

ron at book table.jpgSo, here we go, needing to ask you to pray for us again.  We will talk to many of the nearly 2000 participants at this upbeat and zany gathering for college students, and they will have good questions, important book needs, wanting to read the right stuff.  Jubilee is loud and big, but it is, in a joyful way that is hard to describe, studious.  Students want to consider---some for the first times in their lives---the implications of their religious convictions for college, for career, and for their citizenship in the 21st century. 

I mentioned in our last post that Gabe Lyon will be there, talking about the vision behind his last book, The Next Christians (Doubleday; $19.99.)  I featured it at the LWCC Summit on work, which I wrote about in the last post,  and offered a discount on my last blog post about it, because he writes about the notion of calling, and how folks are thinking in terms of not just employment, but of holy vocations, so it was a great fit for that event.  Gabe is right that there are new sorts of faith expressions around the evangelical churches these days, and Jubilee is a part of that story.  Jubilee has helped create that story.

Next Christians is mostly about how younger adults are drawn to faith that is principled, active, caring, and creative, faith that enables them to take up careers and vocations where they see themselves as agents of0310324491.jpg restoration, seeking God's best for the world.  Lyon's hosts the Q Society Room DVDs that we've reviewed before are and these are somewhat indicative of what Jubilee is like.  (In fact, that innovative architect and design firm I mentioned? Mel McGowan is on the Q DVD Where You Live Matters and he will be speaking at Jubilee 2011 next week. He is an example of the caliber of the folks who speak there, evoking deeper faith and action from these twenty-somethings, showing how to be a serious Christian and passionate about your calling, career or service.  You won't get the energy or loud music, but those four DVDs and their companion study books really are the sort of thing we're talking about.  Check 'em out with you group!

Not all of the speakers are as hip and splashy as all that, though, and some are doing important work with the world's poorest and most vulnerable.  There will be workshops on stopping human trafficking, including one or two by IJM staff; you may know books like Not for Sale or Just Courage or The Good News About Injustice; we'll have 'em.  Few conferences or movements bring together the thoughtfulness of nurturing the Christian mind and topics like work and vocation, all alongside this big passion to help mend the world of some of it's hurts.  Only God builds Christ's Kingdom, of course, so we lift high the cross.  But we do so with intentions to be agents of change, in service to our neighbors. 

zealous-love-practical-guide-social-justice-danae-yankoski-paperback-cover-art.jpgA keynote speaker, Bob Goff, who plays a significant part as a mentor to Donald Miller in Million Miles in a Thousand Days will be back--do watch his fantastic, funny talk from last year at jubileetv---and has a good chapter in a collection of pieces about stepping out and getting involved in social reformation.  It's called Zealous Love: A Practical Guide to Social Justice edited by Mike and Danae Yankoski (Zondervan; $16.99) with a foreward by Eugene Peterson.  We couldn't be happier to promote it.  Great chapters, handsome, colorful look, excellent authors, very useful.  And Bob's chapter, "Why I Do What I Do" has as much verve and spunk as he does.  Good advise from an international activist and all around good guy.

Another speaker or two will talk about writing (Denise Frame Harlan has that amazingly good chapter in Spirit of Food: 34 Writers... that I've raved about here; heck, she talks about CCO in that chapter, so it's great she's speaking) while another speaks about mathematics from a Christian perspective. (Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith is coming out later in 2011 from HarperOne; somebody out there has to care, eh?)

 throughascreendarkly_2.jpgA fabulously energetic couple from New York will join us---he is an actor, and she a dancer. Jeffrey Overstreet will bring together his passion for visual arts and writing by doing a workshop on his great book about film, Through a Screen Darkly: Looking Closer at Beauty, Truth and Evil at the Movies and another on writing fantasy.  You may know his Auralia's Thread series is considered some of the most nicely written fantasy stuff in quite a while.  The first three books are Auralias Colors, Cyndere's Midnight, and Raven's Ladder. The fourth installment, Ale Boy's Feast, will be arriving in March.  Three cheers.  Students who love fantasy and those wanting to learn to write will so enjoy Overstreet.  (By the way, it is said that the director of WALL-E, during the last months of him making that great animated film, was reading Jeff's movie book.  How cool is that?

Yes, Jubilee is all about equipping students to be faithful to Christ, living their lives--including their studies and their eventual careers---for the advancement of God's glory.  We hope they learn, are inspired, network with other students, and buy books so that they might be more faithful to Jesus.  We hope that church leaders pay attention, and see this broad Kingdom vision, this emphasis on cultural engagement, work, vocation, thinking faithfully, living out discipleship in all zones of life.  What would a local congregation look like if this Jubilee vision--the Lordship of Christ making a transforming difference in people's lives and in all of society---was thoughtfully proclaimed and modeled?  How can you nurture in your circles a deeper commitment to the grace of the gospel and the willingness to think about new ways to connect faith and life? 

Please look here to see the speakers at Jubilee.  If you read it carefully, you see many are authors and we will have their books there.  (Or, in the case of the important indie musicians playing their recorded work.  Don't miss the descriptions of Zac Williams and the unique Colonizing the Cosmos, who we love, by the way.)  There are nearly 20 authors who have published books, some of them a lot of books, and we are thrilled to cross paths with so many good writers and Godly teachers.  Check these out, pray for us as we pack them, and let us hope that they sell.  These books in the hands of college-age disciples--those Next Christians--will rock the world.  Maybe you should pick up a few so you can be a part of the movement, whether you come to Pittsburgh or not.

 Order anything Jubilee related
mentioned here or in those bios shown at the
 Jubilee website link,
we'll offer you
  20% discount.

Or maybe you should just drop everything and head to Jubilee.  Stranger things have happened.  Be a last-minute show up there, and we'll give ya some free books at the mammoth book table display.  If you can choose, from the over 70 categories.  Come on!

If you go, or if you know some college student you can convince to go, they'd hear, among others:

Daniel Sepulveda, a professional athlete, from a little outfit called The Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dr. Curt Thompson, a psychotherapist who wrote a wonderful book on brain studies, Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections Between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships (SaltRiver; $14.99)  I've been touting this for much of the year.  Very, very interesting.
Soong-Cha Rah, author of the new Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church (Moody; $14.99)  A must-read on multi-ethnic ministry.

Charlie Peacock, recording artist, Grammy-winning producer, and mentor through his Nashville Art House. Author of New Way to Be Human (Waterbrook; $12.99.)  This is a perfect example of ordinary discipleship stuff with this creative, engaged, real take.  Right on.  Just a few left!

Andi Ashworth, co-founder of Art House, and author of Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring (Waterbrook; $12.99.)  One of our favorite books on the vocation of homemaking.

Walt Mueller, Director of CPYU, and author of, among other good stuff, the seriously brilliant Engaging the Soul of Youth Culture (IVP; $18.00.)

Lisa Sharon Harper, New York activist and author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican or Democrat (New Press; $24.95.) An important voice!  With a forward by John Perkins. 

Eric Metaxas, most recently, author of the award-winning biography, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. (Thomas Nelson; $29.99.)  See my review, here.

James Emory White, author of Christ Among the Dragons, Serious Times, and The Mind of God(InterVarsity Press; $17.00 $15.00 and $13.00.) A visionary calling folks to thoughtful engaged cultural reformation.  I recommend these three, especially.
Kent Annon, just back from his work in Haiti, will launch his brand new book After Shock: Searching for Honest Faith When Your World Is Shaken, the follow up to the excellent Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously (IVP; $16.00 and $15.00.)  These will stretch you for sure.

make-college-count-a-faithful-guide-to-life-and-learning.jpgDid I mention Derek Melleby?  There are more speakers, but I have to mention Mr. Melleby.   I've already announced his very new book Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Live + Learning (see my description here.) It is published by Baker, selling for just $12.99.  It's a small, handsome, well-designed hardback.  In many ways, Derek's book is at the heart of this whole Jubby shindig.  The CCO, the campus ministry organization that sponsors Jubilee, is all about helping students think about their experience in higher education in ways that are fresh, meaningful, and good.  That is, they invite students to wonder what God thinks of it all---what is a Christian perspective on college?  

This is the extraordinarily important question for college students that Derek and his co-author Donald Opitz raise in their earlier book, The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness: A Guide for Students (Brazos Press; $13.99.)  In many ways, that book is "the" Jubilee introduction, helping students this this "outrageous" idea that God cares about their college life and that a Christian worldview can provide insight, direction, meaning and purpose to their classroom work.  I dare say if it weren't for the influence of the Pittsburgh Jubilee Dr. O and Derek never would have thought to write Outrageous Idea.  And if they would have, it wouldn't have been so good.  I still say that there is simply no other book for collegiates like it.

And that is important (if I may preach just a bit more.)  Many don't get it. Even some who care a lot for students don't quite get it.  They don't see that young adults want a vibrant faith, ought to bend their knee to Christ Jesus, and that when they do, they will have an entire new vista of meaning and coherence in their sense of vocation as students. Their renewed minds will necessarily lead them to consider their academic work in a new light (literally, a new Light.)  Because Derek studies the transition high school students make as they move off to college,  he was convinced there needed to be a resource to give to younger students, inviting them to ask the big questions about the point of college, before they leave for campus.  Can their church experiences and faith from their high school youth groups sustain them into being intentional Christian students in their college years?  Make College Count: A Faithful Guide is that book, the small, but handsome, short but powerful gift item to give to high school kids, or first year college students.  Derek will be at Jubilee, too, doing one good workshop for high school students and their parents, and another for younger college students.

 I am sincere when I say Derek's work at Jubilee is really as important as any.  Yes, they haveCTI Logo - Web.jpg scientists, PhD's in economics, internationally known preachers and several professional artists, playwrights and novelists.  They have a former White House speech writer, and a State Department staffer who has, well, she has traveled extensively into countries I can hardly spell. They have exceptionally successful and thoughtful business people and there are workshops on everything from sports to medicine, engineering and psychology,  from being a college professor to being a homemaker, from fighting for justice in Africa to thinking about new ways to heal our racial tensions and our hurting urban schools.  But Derek?  His little Make College Count is the starting point, helping students at least enter the conversation of what God thinks about their higher learning and why they have reason to think that the Christian faith will help them get through it well.  It isn't a bad question to consider, is it?  Please pray that we help them answer it well. 

Want a Melleby book autographed?  We can make it happen.  What a nice gift to a student transitioning to college.   Just give us the name of the guy or gal.  Give 'em that now, and who knows, maybe they'll want to attend Jubilee 2012.

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February 14, 2011

The Four Holy Gospels

FourHolyGospels.jpgBeth and I have had the great pleasure of often hearing Makoto Fujimura, the esteemed New York abstract painter, and founder of IAM (International Arts Movement) at venues large and small, including a moving plenary presentation at last year's Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh.  We will sell books again at the upcoming IAM Encounter (March 3-5) with an extraordinary array of artists, dancers, actors, writers, designers, thinkers, cultural creatives, musicians, and patrons of the arts. We have often commend his moving collection of essays---many set in the immediate aftermath of the fallen towers on 9-11---called Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art, and Culture (NavPress; $24.99)  It is a truly wonderful paperback, handsome, well-designed, and worth reading again and again, as we see this multi-cultural global citizen, living for God's Kingdom in Manhattan, ruminating on what art and artists might offer as we see the common good in times such as ours.

Although Mako is low key and humble--the IAM Encounter is so full of remarkable people that he is just one among many strong Christian thinkers and creators--but I suspect that this year, the event will have at least some strong energy from the historic release of Mr. Fujimura's collaboration with Crossway Books, the much-anticipated illuminated Bible edition called The Four Holy Gospels.  This commissioning was pitched to Fujimura by the President of Crossway, who envisioned doing something extraordinary to celebrate the much-publicized  400th anniversary of the King James Bible this year.  How about a rare illumination by a modern abstract artist, in the recent, beautifully-rendered English Standard Version?  The ESV is a recent, elegant and exceptionally accurate translation (which some, by the way, say is the most accurate Bible translation yet done, and which has a cadance and feel, or so it seems to me, somewhat like the old RSV.)  Fujimura is one of the living masters of nihonga, the ancient Japanese technique of painting, on the floor, using crushed mineral pigments.  I've talked about his stunning work here before (here, for instance) and we stock his other books.  To invite him to do major original paintings on the themes of the four gospels (not to mention embellished letters and such) was brilliant.  The project must have felt daunting.  See his exceptional, crisp website and a bit about his thoughts doing these paintings, here.
9781433521942.jpgThe Four Holy Gospels project is nothing short of spectacular.  The Biblical text is in a good font, in a good size, making it ideal for liturgical reading---some churches carry the gospels in during the assembly and some hold high the book as they read from the gospel each week.  It is nice not only for reading aloud in public (the nice font is so helpful) but beautiful for home use as well.  We are not fancy people, Beth and I, and our home is crummy and cluttered.  But there is a place for such beauty and we trust that many of our readers will not balk at the price of such a high quality volume.  This may be a once-in-a-life time type purchase, something wonderful to have and to give.

As Jonathan Wilson said last week in his wonderful Books & Culture podcast, some may keep this as a collectors item, or as a coffee-table art book. It is (as all of the Crossway Bibles) exceptionally made, with a smyth-sewn binding, and durable, elegant paper.  John is fastidious about his books and he knows that there is no shame in wanting to handle a Bible like this with great reverence, or to keep it nice for display.  But I was thrilled to hear him say he is prepared to allow it to get beat up a bit as it is going to be used in his home.  Am I cheesy to think of the Velveteen Rabbit story?  Yes, The Four Holy Gospels are illustrated with original, important artwork, making it very special. It is on glossy paper and has the look of a coffee table art piece, and it is.  But it is meant to be used. I am sure of it.

It is interesting that this sort of project---one single artist illuminating the Biblical text--has not been done, as far as we know--for perhaps 400 years!  When I said in my first paragraph that this was historic, I wasn't not using breathy hyperbole. 

You may know the ongoing Bible calligraphy project called The Saint John's Bible, beautifully20071130stjohnbible.jpg produced by The Liturgical Press of St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Minnesota.  (Do visit their truly great website, here.  Do a "google image" search and see some of the wonderful work done.)  We have stocked those hefty volumes as they've come out, one by one, the Pentateuch, the Wisdom Literature, the Prophets, The Gospels & Acts. The Historical Books is the sixth and most recent (and the largest and most expensive, selling for $70.00.)  We sell each volume for 20% off.

The writing of The Saint John's Bible is equally historic--a lost art being revived by a team of world class calligraphers doing the entire Bible (in the NRSV) by hand.  We are very fond of these, stock a few little paperbacks about the project as well, and have enjoyed a video documentary on the making of it. Some of our customers have seen the originals in an exhibition that was traveling (and spoke to us of how deeply moving it was to behold them.)  We pray God will use these artists to illuminate the text, in every sense of the word.  The joy and beauty and craftsmanship of this is tremendous, but my sense is that it isn't used as a reading Bible.  Not too many will risk reading the calligraphy in church or lug this thing to a Bible study.

D8B9-170.jpgCrossway's The Four Holy Gospels, though, just might find its way into ordinary home use, or at least churchly readings.  It is large, it is artfully embellished, and it may feel unusual for those of us used to tossing our compact paperback Bible into our purse or backpack.  But we commend it.  This is art to be used, the Bible enhanced, the Word of God made vital to encounter, to open up a multi-sensual, worshipful, heightened reading.

We are eager to offer this handsome ESV gospel volume, complete with13404710_Screen-shot-2010-11-15-at-10.26.29-AM2-560x416.png the handsome and sturdy slipcase.  We will sell it, at least for now, at an introductory price that is seriously discounted; we understand that good art and well-crafted books are expensive, but want to make this more affordable for you.  Read the publisher's description of it here for further background, details, and some basic dimensions and such. There is a great video there, too, which you'll want to see....Help us spread the word. 

The Four Holy Gospels
illustrated by Makoto Fujimura
usually $129.00
now only

order here
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February 26, 2011

Perhaps it Was the Door: Word Pictures--and books---from Jubilee 2011

06b3b_jubilee%20%5B104%5D.jpgThanks for your prayers and your interest in our work at the CCOs Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh last week.  And for those of you we bumped in to at Jubilee, please forgive me if I was rushed or confused.  I was, well, rushed and confused (and more cranky that I should have been.)  Still, crazy-making as it may be, it was fun to be out there, again, wasn't it??

For those who did not make the pilgrimage to Pittsburgh, I invite you to click over to my March monthly column where I do an extended review of some of the moments that stood out, some of the authors we met, some of the books that sold best.  Whether you care about this gathering of young adults or not--and you should, you know--I think the points raised and the descriptions of the books will be beneficial.  Let me know what you think, if you'd like, by posting a comment below.  (Facebook comments are welcome, too, but are less lasting, so why not comment right here on the blog.  No orders here, though---that's what the webpage order form page is for, and it's a bit more discreet.)

I found myself typing this writerly riff---I wish you coulda been there.  Oh, and I really do wish you could have experienced it for yourself---nearly 2000 college students learning about God's Kingdom.  Seeing the now-defunct
jubilee  booktable.JPG prison door, brought from Northern Uganda by Bob Goff.  Seeing me on stage with the jumbotron book covers, celebrating great authors.  Listening in as engineering majors asked why no one ever invited them to think about the relationship of faith and technology. Watching the math nerds argue about pages in a book we carry offering a Christian view of mathematics. Meeting folks just back from Haiti.  Experiencing the glorious insights from the multi-racial speakers--and learning about that subject from a passionate evangelical sociologist of the global church.  Catching the book buzz as titles flew off the tables---Anatomy of a Soul (or neuroscience), Bonhoeffer (on a Nazi-resisting Lutheran martyr), Aurilia's Colors (the first in a well-written fantasy series), books on localism, food, and farming, books on faith and science, faith and business, books on calling and vocation, resources on doing justice, a brand new book on American history, books about prayer, books on faith and scholarship, books about making a difference.

And being blessed as friends brought us pizza and coffee and sandwiches and throat lozenges.  I wished you coulda seen us, working the book display from 8 am until 1 am, talking not stop, listening, recommending resources, highlighting titles.  Doing our H&M thing. 

Yep, I think the column is pretty great, not that I tell it that well.  (This is hard to express and I leave so much out, good authors and good friends who should have been named.)  But the stories told are instructive for anyone interested in how churches can equip ordinary folks to live life with a lively faith in the real world, and how best to inspire younger adults to be, as Gabe Lyon's describes them in his must-read book---and the Friday night keynote talk at Jubilee 2011--The Next Christians.  We offered a lot of links to authors and organizations so you can check them out for yourself.

I hope by reading my description of Jubilee 2011 you not only get a glimpse more into what your support of Hearts & Minds enables us to do, but helps you get a sense of some of the themes and topics and books and authors about which we are most impressed. Stay in touch if we can serve you further.  Thanks for reading.

Do consider taking advantage of the
"Wish I Coulda Been There" Discount Special"
which I describe at the end of the column.

Click over to the monthly Review Column, here.

Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown, PA  17313     717.246.3333 

February 28, 2011

Two more glimpses into Jubilee, three more popular books

In my March monthly column which I posted the other day I had a long piece about the Jubilee conference; I really hope you enjoyed it. Alongside a lot of descriptions of a lot of authors and books,  I noted a few things that were symbolic of the Pittsburgh Jubilee gathering, episodes that offered windows into the wonder of it all.

Here are two more.

Imagine a gathering of more than 1500 college students (and a goodly batch of adults, too.)  They are run ragged attending serious workshops, listening to several plenary speakers at a time, blasted with sound and lights and "late night ops."  There is a lot to do and a lot of content. 

As the final few shoppers lingered at the book display area around 12:30 am one night, a large group came spilling down a near-by escalator.  I figured most students were over at the hotel, singing, praying, eating pizza or out running around the city, fooling around as kids do.  Yet, a large gang had stayed up late after the main sessions, taking in a screening of the heavy documentary Waiting for Superman.  As you probably know, this is a study of the problems with public education.  A spirited conversation ensued and it is fantastic to think that these students-- tomorrow's educators, policy makers, parents, and citizens-- would (as thoughtful Christians) take up this controversial debate, late into the night.  I was glad we sold a few Jonathan Kozol books, too.  Everybody should read a Kozol book or two at some point in their lives. 

Another vignette: some of these same night owls---with minds ablaze with important discussions and hearts full of visionary dreams of reforming culture---got up early before the start of the day to pray.  CCO offers several prayer rooms and opportunities for pastoral care throughout Jubilee, but this was an early morning op for practicing lectio divina, a prayerful and open-hearted reading of Scripture.  Drawing on exercises from Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina (Zondervan; $11.99) students were invited to experience God more directly through The Word.  Hundreds of students participated.  The prayer time was led by a very solid, exceptional CCO staffer and I can't stop thinking of how good it is that the conference created this unique kind of sacred space for quiet time and that so many collegiates chose to rise early for morning prayer. 

Discussing the future of our troubled school system and wanting to enter in to ancient, slower ways of attending to God in prayerful Scripture reading.  And more than just a few students choose these extra opportunities!  Thanks be to God!  I hope you have know any young students away at college that they are being enfolded into fellowship groups and Christian ministries like this.

180134_10150107806043351_343966923350_6179306_7809793_n.jpgOf course, for us, at least, much of the memory of Jubilee involves the books that were most popular, the good conversations we had at the book tables, and the joy of knowing that students were learning the habit of reading as an act of discipleship.  Here are three more books we promoted--the authors were not there, but I high-lighted them from up front, and we sold them well; order them now from us and get the "wish I coulda been there" disount!

Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition James K.A. Smith
51KK-mlP4QL._SL500_AA300_.jpg (Baker) $14.99  As I have said here before, this is an ideal guide--thoughtful, wise, aware, a bit assertive, and yet kindly--written as a series of pastoral letters from an "older brother" to some younger, fired-up Christians who have discovered the intellectual and doctrinal meat of a robust, conservative Calvinism.  James understands the passion of this new movement and yet invites them to a somewhat more broad and culturally-engaged sort of Reformed tradition.  As sometimes say that this is a great read, spiritually beneficial whether one is young or Calvinist.  It is also a very helpful overview of the different "sorts of" or expressions of the Reformed traditions, written by a popular philosopher who in many ways captures the neo-Calvinist worldview that animates much of the Jubilee vision.  I didn't say in my announcement my rhyme that it is a survey moving from John Piper to Abraham Kuyper" but I know at least some would have gotten the allusion.  Highly recommended.

What is Vocation?  Stephen Nichols (P&R) $3.99  I highlighted this when I described the
1596381779_l.gif local Summit: Your Work Matters to God that we helped with a few weeks ago.  Steve is a very sharp young theologian who has written in this booklet the best, simple, brief teaching on work and calling and vocation that we know of.  I pushed this from up front, thinking that if students get this, they will be far along the journey of relating faith and life in the way the conference intends.  You hope you agree that this is one of the important conversations in which the local church must be engaged.   Let us know if you want to order any in bulk for your congregation or group.

Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different Tullian Tchividjian (Multnomah) $18.99  Whenever one works with younger folks in a big way like this, attracting some of the most hip and savvy missional organizations and speakers in the country, we run the risk---or so it seems to me---of sending a message that what the event is about is mostly just being relevant. Edgy.  Fashionable.  Reaching out through accommodation and contextualization.  Much good can be said for that bridge-building impetus and heaven knows that too many churches are too boring, too ugly, too unaware of the interests and needs of their members, disinterested in the postmodern ways of most Americans under the age of 50.  However, awareness of, and engagement with, the artistic styles, forms and fashions of the culture should not be understood as a call to compromise.  The ethos of Jubilee is not one of merely being cool;  it is way cool, but simply is not the point. 

unfashionable-making-difference-in-world-by-being-different-tullian-tchividjian-hardcover-cover-art.jpgTo make this un-mistakenly clear, I touted this book and we were thrilled that we sold a bundle.  This is one of the wisest, most compelling, and inspiring books that does this Biblically-grounded dance of "in but not of" the world of which we know.  That CCO students believed my quick announcement, that this would be a worthwhile book to own, and that the ideas are urgent, meant a lot to us.  This is radical stuff. 

The author has done his walk on the wild side, and has experimented with missionally-savvy, culturally-relevant church planting, too.  He is now the pastor of a large and rather typical Presbyterian (PCA) church in Florida.  Tchividjian is actually Billy Graham's grandson and we love all three of his recent books.  Unfashionable really is fantastic and it captures much of what Jubilee is about, much of what we believe here, and we are happy to commend it.  Frankly, I hope you are at a place that worries about these things (if you are not, you may be just a bit too out of it, or a bit too comfortable.)  Read this book!

The "Wish I Was There" post-Jubilee Special
any book mentioned
20% off
this week only
order here
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inquire here
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