New Books from Favorite Publishers

It was a good day, despite the sizzling heat here on the East coast, since new books came from a few of our favorite publishers. I often declare that my publishers of choice are InterVarsity Press, Eerdmans, Baker/Brazos. And we got big boxes from all three today.
Here are two from each publisher, brand new on our shelves.

Foundation for Soul Care: A Christian Psychology Proposal Eric L. Johnson (IVP Academic) $35 A bargain, given that it is over 700 pages. With endorsements from thoughtful writers in this diverse field such social scientists, psychologists and therapists as Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, David Powlison, Larry Crabb, Ellen Charry and Robert C. Roberts (whose new book on the psychology of the fruits of the Spirit we also just got in) this is a truly extraordinary contribution. As one reviewer says, it “sets the pace for discussions in the future.” That is putting it mildly.

From Achilles To Christ: Why Christians Should Read the Pagan Classics Louis Markos (IVP Academic) $24 I suppose I should read this myself, as I am not fluent in the treasures of Homer, Virgil or the Greek tragedians. I truly liked his previous Lewis Agonistes and imagine this is a splendid literary exposition. Joseph Pearce, the Tolkien scholar, says that Markos is “one of the most exciting writers around today, and there are few more able to lead us on a tour through God’s gallery of myth than he is.” The whole project—of a Christian congruence with the classics of antiquity—is debatable, of course, but this looks like a wonderful, informative and inspiring read.
The Beginning of All Things: Science and Religion Hans Kung (Eerdmans) $22 I am sure nearly any serious publisher in the world would have taken this manuscript, and it is telling that Eerdmans got it. This world-renowned Catholic theologian has written densely about natural theology and such, but here he offers a lay person’s introduction to his thoughts about the interface of science and faith. Kung is not a scientist, but is a world renowned theologian and, as John Polkinghorne suggests, many will find it fascinating to see “how a distinguished theologian offers his personal contribution…” Classy.
Why I Still Believe the Gospel Clarence Boomsma (Eerdmans) $12 A thoughtful little essay—drawing on authors like Brunner and Barth and other thoughtful giants—starts with the author’s own crisis of faith, and how he endured (decades ago) serious intellectual doubts about the credibility of historic Christianity. With a forward by Andrew Kuyvenhoven, this little book is a gem. Here’s what Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. says: “A relentlessly focused reflection on the gospel’s cry of the heart: ‘He has risen!’ This small and mighty book will straighten the spine of believers.

Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World: A Little Direction Daniel de Roulet (Brazos) $12.99 Brazos, a part of the Baker Publishing Group, has done one of the most significant jobs in recent years of offering consistently important, and usually very interesting, books in ecumenical traditions to the evangelical marketplace. Always more thoughtful than most, and always quite challenging—some of their titles seem akin to the radical orthodoxy movement, and many are about distinctively Christian approaches to the problems posed by our lifetime of cultural accommodation. Here, we have a guy quoting Groundhog Day, the fun fiction of Lee Smith, and the wonderful novel Peace Like a River to recover a sense of narrative to our too often too empty lives. This is a close look at those moments in which we lack direction. Been there? Read this book. Brazos—named cleverly after a river in Texas that reportedly runs the wrong way—can help with this question of finding direction.

Gender, Power, and Persuasion: The Genesis Narratives and Contemporary Portraits
Mignon R. Jacobs (Baker) $21.99 This thoughtful reflection by an Associate Professor of Old Testament at Fuller, can perhaps be best described as a study of the centuries-old misconceptions about biblical narratives that have been used to perpetuate gender roles, reinforce biases, and wield power. What an amazing array of scholarly tools this author brings to well-known (but often not closely studied) texts from the book of Genesis. Whew.
We recieved some boxes from some less than interesting sources today, too, and rung up some books that, well, I wouldn’t have truly wished on anybody, but, when boxes like this come, with the UPS guy sweatin’ up a storm to load ’em in, we are very grateful. Now, if we can only get ’em back out the door. Conservative mom and pop “Christian Bookstores” (or their slick, chain-store counterparts like LifeWay or Berean or Family) don’t usually carry these, and, sadly, some of the more mainstream ecumenical stores (and readers) distrust publishers with an evangelical heritage, like those I’ve mentioned above. It is part of our calling to stock these kinds of excellent books, to work with these kinds of solid, innovative publishers, and to invite a wider readership to the very best in religious publishing. Thanks for helping us spread the word, and for your part in our efforts.

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One thought on “New Books from Favorite Publishers

  1. Byron, great call on the publishers (although I might be biased!). Thanks for the review of the Foundation for Soul Care book – it looks great! Blessings, kyle strobel

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