I suppose that you have subscribed to, bookmarked, or drop by BookNotes mostly to see what is new at Hearts & Minds, or what I am most recently reading. You perhaps appreciate our particular mix of titles, and the way we promote reading widely as an act of Christian faithfulness. If you want long, serious, critical reviews from other authors, I suppose you know where to look.
Still, every now and then, an author we admire does an interview or essay that summarizes their work in a way that I badly want to share with others. In this past year we have given rave reviews to Os Guinness’ The Case for Civility And Why Our Future Depends on It and to David Naugle’s elegant and deeply moving Reordered Loves, Reordered Lives. The good doctors are both heroes of mine, and I trust they wouldn’t mind me calling them friends. If you follow Hearts & Minds, you will want to know them specifically, and, these sorts of books.
During inauguration week, Guinness had a very thoughtful piece in the widely-read USA
Today, a piece suggesting that President Obama is uniquely situated to offer a major speech or public initiative to frame the ways in which we attempt to resolve the “holy war front of the wider culture wars.” That is, Os explains how a way could emerge that is faithful to the framers and founders of this nation that could truly advance the ways in which religion is seen in the public square. Rooted in the best thinking of our founding years—James Madison called the American settlement “the true remedy”—and insightfully aware of the various ideologies that drive of the contemporary contentiousness, Guinness is wise and winsome and always worth reading. The op ed piece is a clear summary of much of his eloquent work The Case for Civility. I hope you agree that the article is very suggestive and that this is, indeed, an exceptionally urgent matter. You can read it here. If it strikes you as helpful, send it on to someone (perhaps an elected
official) and order the book, soon.
Dave Naugle has a heck of an interview in Comment, the on-line e-zine that comes from the Canadian think-tank Cardus This interview is really fabulous—from talking about his dog “Kuyper” to the things he loves to the best definition of happiness—and we commend it to you. If you’ve read Reordered Loves you will want to read this interview. If you haven’t, check it out here, and then order the book from us. It truly is one of the books of the year!
Thank God with us today that there are thoughtful writers, like Os and David, good books like these (and so many others), and that, occasionally, their good voices are heard beyond the covers of the texts, outside the bookstore, beyond those who have bought their books, and in such broad public venues as USA Today and Comment. Spread the word.