Redeeming Law

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It has been a while since I’ve posted because Beth and I have been on the first of what is the most brisk whirlwind bookselling tour we’ve seen in years.  Last week, among some other good stuff, we had the great privilege of setting up a large book room for the renowned professional group for Christian lawyers, judges and law students, the Christian Legal Society.  CLS has made it possible to be their “bookstore in residence” during their annual conferences and this year—in a swanky place with beachy weather in Western Florida—we had the opportunity to recommend books to all kinds of CLS members.  Their speakers included the famous (for the filibuster against him when appointed to a federal judgeship by President Bush) and wonderful Christian gentleman, Judge Charles Pickering (read the 60 Minutes interview with him here), blogger extraordinaire and author Hugh Hewett, (he plugged his book Blog, which we highly recommend, and gave a remarkable speech against theological inquisition in the public square) and the dynamic (and I mean dynamic) John Lynch, who co-wrote TrueFaced which NavPress ($11.99) put our a few years back.  It is a marvelous book on God’s grace, and the interpersonal implications of living out of the confidence of God’s mercy, and not out of our own need to please God or prove anything. It makes a great small group study, and now that we’ve met him, we are all the more convinced it is important stuff.  His mentor and colleague, Bill Thrall, joined us as well. Mr. Thrall, as you may know, co-wrote TrueFaced and one of our favorite leadership books ever, The Ascent of a Leader (Jossey-Bass $25) 

With these kind of keynote speeches, the jurists, legal scholars, judges, lawyers, mediators, first amendment activists and law students—-hey to that gang from Pepperdine we shared a hot tub with at 2 am—had plenty to inspire them, but much of their time was spent in serious workshops and seminars.  And book-buying.  It isn’t every day we get to schmooze over thoughtful Christian books with culture-formers and justice-seekers and peace-makers like these very sharp Christian leaders. It was a bit intimidating, and very exciting for us. We wanted our larger circle of BookNotes readers and Hearts & Minds friends to know our whereabouts, and to rejoice that serious Christian books are made available in the most remarkable places. (The load-out and drive back was exhausting, and we’ve got several other large gigs in the next weeks, include a drive back to FL for the big Ivy Jungle event). Pray for our stamina, and the van’s endurance, please.)

And we must say this:  every field, academic discipline or job area should be so fortunate as to have a single must-read, absolutely foundational, solid and interesting book as do these CLS folks.  Our friend (he’s posted here once or twice) Michael P. Schutt, has recently had published his major work, Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession (IVP; $24)  a readable, insightful, introduction to the field of law, trying to develop, out of a coherent Christian worldview, a Godly perspsective on jurisprudence, a Christian philosophy of law that could fund and equip the practices of being a uniquely Christian attorney.  I found the book fascinating (I’m not quite done, for the record)—and nobody in my life has ever suggested I was smart enough to go to law school—so I would like to commend it far and near.  At least anyone interested in current affairs, government, public life or politics could enjoy it, and benefit quite a bit.  Mike is a winsome and fine writer (and a heck of a funny guy) who has done for the field of law what every field needs: write the classic, basic, must-have, go-to book on developing a Christian perspective on the calling of that career.  I can’t say enough about this (without doing a true review, which I’m hardly qualified to do, and which I needn’t do here.)  CLS is behind this book big-time, and Mike will be out and about (like at Jubilee 2008.)  His creds are impressive, his spirit right, his scholarship impressive.  What more can I say?  Know anybody you can buy this book for?  Know any church or community libraries that might benefit from having this around?  I know it is a bit of a stretch, being rather specific, as it is.  But come on, folks.  This is the kind of book you won’t find many places, the exact kind of a book we are thrilled to tell you about.  Check it out. Forward this on to somebody you know. 

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4 thoughts on “Redeeming Law

  1. I am so amazed by the places you travel, the people you meet, the way you serve.
    You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. So I have a friend who is a law student at a Christian University, and I would say he has a fairly good grasp on Christianity and the practice of law. Would this book still be interesting and helpful to someone who already has some experience combining his faith and his profession?

  3. Wendy:
    Thanks for reading the blog–it means a lot.
    And, YES, by all means, this is really, really sharp, very thoughtful, nothing like it in print. I can’t imagine anyone not benefiting from it, raising philosophical questions about an integrated view of jurisprudence, a Christian philosophy of law, a good bit of thinking about lawyering, etc. I wouldn’t say this about every book of course, but this is one everyone in the field should read; it is ground-breaking, important, and very helpful.

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