Booksellin’ Travels With Byron

Earlier this week I spent nearly two full days packing up a big display of books which we drove literally in the middle of the night, out to Western PA. It has been months since I have had the opportunity to be with my campus ministry friends at the Coalition for Christian Outreach—I helped with their new staff training this summer, and taught some of their best and brightest students at the OCBP, both of which I blogged about in what seems like another era. But their whole staff, together, asking about books and buying resources renewed our sense of purpose this busy fall. Those who do campus ministry need all kinds of stuff, from the recent studies about collegiate life (God on the Quad by Naomi Riley, for instance, or Binge: What Your College Students Won’t Tell You) to the details of Christian doctrine and discipleship, spirituality, and social ethics. We sold Piper and Manning, Merton and Foster, Yancey and McLaren, Calvin and Peterson. I’m so glad we sold more of Shane Claiborne’s fiesty little Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical and the Relevant Press brief handbook about how to be involved as advocates for a variety of social issues, The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World. The days are increasingly past when those with standard evangelical theology ignore the burning human rights issues of the day. One of the big sellers this time that I promoted was the brand new, 4th edition of the thoughtful book by John Stott, Issues Facing Christains Today which we are very happy to see back in print in an expanded version. It has thoughtful, Biblical perspectives on dozens of social issues, from the dignity of work to bioethics, from sexual ethics to politics and poverty, from racial justice to how to speak faithfully in a pluralistic culture. It is a very helpful resource, wise, passionate and serious without being overly arcane or academic.
Of course we sell books on sexuality and dating, on pastoral care issues, things on church, worship, the emergent conversation, stuff on the arts and pop culture, science, business, education, and, the forte of the CCO, general worldviewish, whole-life discipleship books that help students work out the implications of their faith for their academic work, their vocations and callings and careers. If you know any college age students, please consider getting them the elequant and wise Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning and Living by Neal Plantinga. James Sire on the Discipleship of the Mind: Learning to Love God in the Ways We Think is stellar, also, and the kind of book most students raised in typical churches don’t know about. Helping a young generation of Christian students to take the life of the mind seriously, to study well–thinking Christianly in light of Biblical truth—is a huge passion of ours, and it thrills us to sell these kinds of books to CCO staff. You can check here to see where the various schools where CCO does their work.
After getting back to Dallastown, we re-arranged a few fixtures in our store and hosted an event this evening with a local high school friend who, for part of his school work, taught the history of philosphy (in two hours!) over cookies and coffee to a batch of teen friends, parents and teachers. What a delight to have such a good few hours of good conversation about faith and, as Chaus put it, “the most important questions.” We didn’t sell any books, but it was music to our ears to here young people citing authors, books, texts and titles. And we have some tasty left-over goodies. It has been a good few days.
Thanks for your support of our work, your business and your willingness to tell others about our reviews. Without buiness support, we simply cannot sustain our efforts to talk about and make available a the mix of titles we promote. We hope you take pleasure in knowing you are somehow a part of it all…Sabbath peace be yours.