I hope you saw the BookNotes post from a few days ago – we celebrated the CCO and their Jubilee 2013 conference with my excited ruminations and an on-going sale on the best-selling titles we had there. If you care about what some of the smartest young adults we know are reading, what sort of things resonate with them, what kinds of topics capture their hearts, it would be time well spent, I think, to check it out.
And, if you want a short vimeo video with a few students sharing their enthusiasm, visit this. (Be sure to let it load a bit; you know vimeo.)
You may recall that in David Kinnaman’s important study of de-churched young adults, You Lost Me (Baker; $17.99) he reported that his research showed that many young adults drift from faith because their church seemed disconnected to the world as they know it, especially the world of professions, the arts, science, work, career, calling. And also because many churches seem to be too politically conservative, perceived as more interested in a particular cultural regime rather than standing for the justice and mercy that Jesus proclaimed.
Well, Jubilee gets much of that right.
We promote books there that are consistent with their vision — books about art and film, on science and engineering, explorations of media culture and creation care, and so much more. We promoted stuff on social justice, showing off books about fighting poverty, racism, the disregard of the unborn, books with peacemaking themes, and, of course we had age-appropriate books about sexuality and dating and marriage. We displayed books to reinforce the Jubilee vision that their speakers proclaimed – God in Christ is redeeming all aspects of the fallen creation and we get to play a part in the epic rescue project! They helped students imagine their college lives not as a passport to privilege but as skills and insight for the service of the common good and intregal Christian witness.
If you don’t have many twenty-somethings at your church (ahem, you know who you are: most of us) you should study that list. Order some of those books. Get them into the hands of the young adults you know. I hate to sound like a finger-shaking “told-you-so” grump, but there are some of our readers who don’t read these books, don’t start book clubs of this sort with twenty-somethings, don’t talk about faith and work, don’t facilitate conversations about the Christianity and the arts and digital culture, and they still complain to me that they don’t have the “you lost me” demographic. You don’t have to come to Pittsburgh for Jubilee (although you could drag a few young adults there next year, or help fund your collegiates with a scholarship) but to fail to pay attention to those themes that make that event so fruitful is just short-sighted.
Ho, ho, you may be thinking: Byron is on his high-horse (again) telling us to solve the malaise of our youth programs and (mostly non-existent) college age ministry, by just reading BookNotes and getting a couple of cool books.
I know it isn’t that easy. But cut me a break: I’m not making this stuff up. We’ve been involved in young adult church work, on and off, for nearly 40 years. We’ve seen kids come alive when given the chance to engage these kinds of authors, reading books of serious faith and contemporary relevance.
And, I also know it doesn’t always work.
Even at Jubilee, we still misjudge what will sell, what works, what we are able to promote in the hectic, too-short weekend. We get stuck at the end of with a lot of unsold inventory, good, good stuff, that we just didn’t sell.
So, here ya go. As promised, here’s a list of titles that didn’t sell so well, books we ordered in in greater quantities, and that we now need to unload. Bookselling is a roll of the dice, really, and we too often get stuck with stuff. You now benefit with deeper than usual discounts.
Okay, so we don’t have this much overstock, but you get the picture.
THIS WEEK ONLY 30% OFF.
This week only, until end of day March 3, 2013, you can have anything on this list at 30% off. While supplies last. (Afterwards, these titles remain at our usual BookNotes 20% discount.)
As always, we show the regular retail price, and will deduct the discount for you. Just click on the order tab below and tell us what you want.
Wisdom and Wonder Common Grace in Science and Art Abraham Kuyper (Christian’s Library Press) $14.00 Here is why this was a bust: we promoted the daylights out of it last year (it was brand new then) telling students that this remarkable former Prime Minister of Holland from 100 years ago had given deep, serious, foundational insight about common grace for the common good, and that there is a pretty direct line between the revival in the Netherlands under Kuyper, the worldviewish reformational tradition sometimes now called neo-Calvinism, and the heritage of the Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh. So, yeah, we pushed it before. Also, Stephen Grabill, who helped edit the thing, was going to be a speaker at the pre-conference for adults, Jubilee Pro, and around for the week-end, but he got sick and couldn’t attend. Okay, maybe that blew it. Rats. Anyway, now’s the time to grab it, hearing directly from the man who coined the phrase about Christ redeeming “every square inch.” As James K.A. Smith says of it, “it is just what we need!”
Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction RIchard J. Mouw (Eerdmans) $ Well, this is the best book that explains the significance of Kuyper, his views of reforming society (not conservatism, but not revolution, either.) Rich Mouw is a very thoughtful and justice-seeking, ecumenically-aware evangelical — my kind of guy! — who has, like his old friend Nicholas Woltersdorf, say, been deeply influenced by Kuyper’s legacy, his writing, and the on-going conversations about him and is the perfect guy to guide us into why he matters at this junction in history. (Mouw spoke at Jubilee last year, and some students have heard of Kuyper but this historic shot on the cover doesn’t help any, if you get my drift.) This is without a doubt the best little introduction. There will be a major, historic release of a new biography by James Bratt,
soon, so read this now and whet your appetite. Please, please, buy these now at this good Dutch discount.
Creation Regained: The Biblical Basis for a Reformational Worldview Albert Wolters (Eerdmans) $15.00 Again, this is, quite simply, one of the most enduring books sold at Jubilee, a constant influence of CCO staff and their distinctive work. The structure and flow of the conference – talks on the goodness of creation, the brokenness of the fall, the grace of Christ’s redemption, and the full-orbed, this-world restoration of God’s coming Kingdom – is described here with as much Biblical clarity as in any book we know. The slightly philosophical chapter called “structure and direction” is a must to master. I was going to describe it up front and, uh, forgot. Yikes. We have quite a stack, here, on sale, now. It’s 30% off, while this batch lasts.
Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things Ken Wytsma (Nelson) $19.99 This came a few days before we left for Jubilee and, since Wystma is the guy who had founded the popular Justice Conference, I figured we’d be applauded for having it, hot off the press. There is a lot of talk about this topic at Jubilee, and this important, balanced, thorough resource has blurbs and endorsements by oodles of great folks from across the theological spectrum. (Nicholas Wolterstorff, John Perkins, Bethany Hoang, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Eugene Cho, Walter Brueggemann, Jeremy Courtney, Stephan Bauman, just to name a few.) Yet – maybe it is because it is a hardback (what were they thinking there at the publishing house?) – I don’t think we sold a single one. Yes, there are cheaper, similar resources readily available. I’ve started to skim this, study the footnotes, and it is, indeed, very, very good. But, this is nearly historic, less because of the study itself (which, again, looks fantastic) but because of what it represents, this progressive, justice-seeking, evangelical movement. This is a very important book, and this movement is growing. This may be a bell-weather book, and I think for you to have it would be wise.
The World Is Not Ours To Save: Finding the Freedom to Do Good Tyler Wigg-Stevenson (IVP) $16.00 Huge kudos to IVP, their “likewise” imprint, and the collaboration here with Q Ideas. Tyler has been deeply involved in helping warn international leaders about the dangers of nuclear weapons and if anybody could get depressed, it is he. Alas, this good blessing of a book is perhaps his most lasting gift – how to work for social change out of hope, not despair, how to do good out of response to the mercies and promises of God, not out of our own frenzied desire to make a difference. I wish I had this book 35 years ago. I pushed it at Jubilee, and sold a few to the seasoned activists there, but, to be honest, it could be that the audience was a bit too young – still idealistic, taking on their dizzying array of causes and cares with great energy. If you fear you are growing cynical or jaded, if you feel like you have the weight of the world’s sorrows on your shoulders, this is a must-read for you.
Mud and the Masterpiece: Seeing Yourself and Others Through the Eyes of Jesus John Burke (Baker) $19.99 I can’t believe I didn’t have the opportunity to really explain this, and think it didn’t sell because the title just isn’t that clear. Or because it is a hardback (sometimes publishers just mystify me.) Still, this book is worth every penny. It uses a neat metaphor, and once you get it, it is very cool – it talks about art restoration and how they have to carefully remove the mud from historic paintings; that is, as we scrap off the encrusted dirt, we can see the beauty underneath. As it says on the back, “Every person you see – including the one you see in the mirror – is a Masterpiece.” This author (who wrote a useful book about missional hospitality, No Perfect People Allowed) has a heart to work through the junk in other’s lives. Would that we all could see that there are (as Lewis put it) “no ordinary people.” This uses this art restoration shtick coupled with an engaging study of Jesus’ encounters with imperfect people. Let’s not be like the Pharisees, but learn to see with Christ’s eyes, revealing the Masterpiece in others. I wish I could have explained this very creative, very interesting work. It is a message we all need to hear, and it could give a real concrete way to think about our love for others, especially those who are most hurting and needy. And, as one reviewer noted, Mud and the Masterpiece “drips with hope.”
God, Freedom & Human Dignity: Embracing a God-Centered Identity in a Me-Centered Culture Ron Highfield (IVP Academic) $22.00 I am so, so pleased with the academic line of IVP and carry nearly everything they do (even though we are not, technically, an scholarly store.) This new release is one of those foundational books that, as far as I can tell, would be incredibly useful for anyone studying in the social sciences, for anyone exploring the nature of the person, or the philosophical questions about dignity and worth. Does God’s all-encompassing will restrict our freedom? Does God’s ownership and master over us diminish our dignity? This Promethean quest has long been a major theme in Western thought and Highfield traces out the development of this in Western thought from Plato, Augustine, and Descarte, through Locke, Kant, Hegel, Nietzche, and others. Okay, you can see why your typical student didn’t grab it. And you can see why it is nonetheless very important – offering a discerning overview of the genealogy of an idea that is so very central to a life well lived and to healthy human flourishing. Rave, rave reviews on the back from Scot McKnight, Richard Mouw, and Chap Clark, who says “we’ve needed a book like this for a long, long time, but it’s been worth the wait.” You aren’t going to find it any cheaper than this deal, now.
Truth Speaks to Power: The Countercultural Nature of Scripture Walter Brueggemann (Westminster/John Knox) $17.00 There is a lot of talk at Jubilee about a Biblically-informed perspective on life and times, and Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination is sometimes cited. Most younger students aren’t quite ready for this subtle, mature, nuanced, powerful author, but I should have sold a few more of these. It is brand new.
It is his (controversial, to some) view of how the Bible works, the subversion of established institutions of power, that a close reading of Biblical texts can yield. There is a thick complexity of this sort of textual reading, but he insists that we can move beyond an innocent reading, and hear what might really have been going on in these beloved Bible stories. He looks carefully and provocatively at Moses, Solomon, Elisha, Josiah, and offers a final chapter “Power and Truth Among Us.” Wow.
More Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel Spencer Perkins & Chris Rice (IVP) $17.95 Every year, we feature a lot of books about multi-ethnic ministry, racial reconciliation and the like. There are a lot of folks interested in this – thanks be to God! – and we sometimes overdo how many books we bring. Plus, there was another conference a few days before Jubilee on racial diversity in higher education, and we had featured this there. Anyway, it is a true classic, one of the best books on faith-based conversations around racism and reconciliation, especially between blacks and whites. We always carry this, but this week, we’d love to sell a few extra ones at this deeper discount. If you haven’t read this yet, I guarantee you it will move you, you will learn something, and you will care more deeply about this Biblical mandate. Highly recommended.
Heroic Conservatism: Why Republicans Need to Embrace America’s Ideals (And Why They Deserve To Fail if They Don’t) Michael Gerson (HarperOne) $15.00 The always eloquent Mike Gerson was set to speak at Jubilee Professional and, alas, had to fill in on a day’s notice for a national PBS gig, subbing for David Brooks. Can’t blame him; Mr. Leher’s Newshour gets an audience of millions. Anyway, we were stuck with extras of this fascinating book that we have often mentioned here before. Here, Gerson writes, movingly, of leaving the employ of the White House, and why the Republican Party ought to attend to the just cause of supporting the poor and oppressed. You may know of his passion for Africa and the historic anti-AIDS funding from the Bush years. No matter what side of the isle you’re on, if any, you should read this thoughtful book.
Inked: Choosing God’s Mark to Transform Your Life Kim Goad & Janet Bostwick Kusiak (Abingdon) $15.99 How cool is this? Really. It just seemed to get lost in the plethora of good titles displayed in our “basic Christian growth” section. Yes, it is about tattoos, offering glimpses of insight by those who wear tats, and offering a spirituality for them. It offers some neat insight from the world of tattoos but moves to how we are “inked” by our own life experiences. The authors are therapists, inviting us to attend to, (as Susan Isaacs writes on the back) ” the marks of sin and pain in our lives, and to choose God’s mark over the scars life has left on us. After all, God himself wears a tattoo with our name on it. ‘See, I have written you on the palm of my hands.'” I wish I could have shown this to some of our friends there, but just didn’t have the opportunity. Is there somebody you could get it for, who could use this message of affirmation, grace, and transformation?
Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work To God’s Work
Timothy Keller & Katherine Leary Alsdorf (Dutton) $26.95 This is a
no brainer — a book you really have to have, perhaps one of the few defining
books in the field, clarifying some of the best and most urgent sorts of
ministry going down today — at 30% off. And, it is also a no brainer
why it didn’t sell as well at Jubby as it might have: we were pushing Tom Nelson’s Work Matters book, who was there. And we were happily selling his equally great book in paperback. You know I love both books, but it was obvious that we had to feature (and were glad to feature) Tom’s. (Did you see our review yesterday?) So now we have this Keller tour de force, in a large stack, and want to move ’em pronto. Buy some now, while this batch lasts. After this sale, the price will return to our BookNotes 20%.
Gods At War: Defeating the Idols that Battle Your Heart
Kyle Idleman (Zondervan) $14.99 His cool introduction to discipleship called Not a Fan has been huge in recent years, and we enjoyed it a lot, recommended it often, and found it easy to explain (Jesus doesn’t want us to “like” him like a fan, but to follow him, like a disciple!) Here, Idleman goes a bit deeper with a graceful, if a bit raw, bit of healing surgery – how can we explore the battlefield of the heart that prevents us from fully trusting and obeying God? Idolatry isn’t just an issue, Idelman says, it is “the” issue. This is solid, helpful, sound, upbeat, good – Ann Voskamp says “Only pick up this book if you are tired of losing your battles.” Or, as Lee Strobel says, “Don’t just read this book – read it now! In these pages, liberation awaits.” I am not sure why it didn’t sell well at Jubilee. We had it right next to the popular Not a Fan and we had it with other books on idolatry. Maybe it seemed too harsh. My hunch is the title wasn’t clear enough. The scruffy cover is edgy, but maybe not inviting enough. I don’t know, but I think I agree with Stroble – some of you need this book now. We’re glad to offer it at this 30% off sale, this week only.
Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives CCEF (New Growth Press) $19.99 If only the affiliated Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation authors from whose work this compilation of 366 readings is showcases were on the cover, astute readers would have realized how useful this is. No-nonsense Bible-based authors who excel at applying Biblical truths to daily life are here, folks like Ted and Paul Tripp, Timothy Lane, Edward Welch, David Powlinson, and Michael Emlet. Edited by Nancy Wilson, this brings short readings about temptation, resentment, fear, depression, anxiety, trust, relationships, and other sorts of real-life, personal matters. We sell a lot of daily devotionals at Jubilee, and wish we’d have been able to hand sell this – it is brand new, and very, very useful. Maybe you know somebody who needs this solid, gospel-centered wisdom about personal health and hope.
Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs J.I. Packer (Tyndale) $14.99 We often try to promote some really accessible, basic book on theological truths, something straight forward, clear, standard-fare stuff. I know, I know, some folks want edgy, odd stuff, heading off on rabbit trails and interesting side trips. But, as they say in art school, before you break the rules, you first have to know ’em. So, yeah, we lament the theological ignorance out there, in our churches and in our para-church fellowships and worry that some emerging creatives are all eager to explore the perplexing edges, without ever having be taught the core basics. This is a fabulous way to get up to speed, a clear and helpful summary of orthodox Christian doctrine, a few pages on each study, exploring what Packer calls “permanent essentials.” I guess I don’t have to tell you it didn’t sell. We had a big stack, just to capture attention of those browsing. It didn’t work. The extra discount, now, is yours.
The Fabric of Faithfulness: Weaving Together Belief and Behavior Steven Garber (IVP) $16.00 I can hardly name a book that means as much to me, and whose author is as loyal to and influential in the Jubilee/Jubilee Pro conference circles. Steve directed the conference, in fact, in the 80s, and his profound research into what makes long-lasting, whole-life discipleship is evocative and important. Convictions, character, community? And more. This is a rich, thoughtful, eloquent, and in many ways challenging work, to be read slowly and carefully, for those who want to enter an enduring conversation about faith, meaning, and the coming reign of God. Steve, of course, offered a workshop at Jubilee and we want to promote his book here, at this extra discount. I know you’ve heard us describe it before. It seems to fit here, as a post-Jubilee special.
OFFER EXPIRES MARCH 3, 2013
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