7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness Eric Metaxas (Nelson) regularly $24.95
Special Sale Price only $18.99 – this week only. Offer expires June 15, 2013.
One could hardly select a more perfect book
to give as a Father’s Day gift. This is sturdy, well- designed hardback,
written by a lively, respected writer, about being a great man. It is inspiring, interesting, and quite informative about great stuff from various eras of mostly modern history. Many women will enjoy this, too, but it
is a book about men, their secrets of success which is, finally, not about
being successful, but rather about being committed to the harder path of being faithful, wise, good. In another author’s hands, these stories
could be overly moralistic, all about charming virtue, but not all that interesting or
profound or captivating. Instead, Metaxas gives us
stunning portraits, gritty examples of authentic, real-world heroes, living in the complexities of real history. I think this is a great book.
Some were not what one might call traditionally Christian
(George Washington) while others were renowned for their socially engaged, evangelical faith, such as we see in the excellent chapter on William Wilberforce. Some were once scoundrels (the Chuck Colson
chapter really is a great read; like him or not, it is a splendid testimony of
God’s remarkable grace and Colson’s radical discipleship.) There are two sports figures included, and both
have stories layered with pathos and profundity and Metaxas does them justice: Jackie Robinson and Olympic
runner Eric Liddell.
(Interestingly, both had movies made about them, too.) Pope John Paul II is here, as is
Dietrich Bonheoffer, described in a marvelously succinct re-telling of Metaxas’
popular, thick Bonheoffer bio. What’s not to
like? This is a great choice and
we are happy to promote it at an extra discounted price this week.
You know we have promoted Metaxas’ several other books, that we enjoy his
style, and appreciate his scholarly chops, always delivered with a light, playful
touch. He’s a great figure in today’s religious publishing and we like him a lot.
Os Guinness says of 7 Men
This is a book to read, to read aloud to
others, and then to read again. In a day when children are growing up stunted
because of our of empty-headed celebrities and contemptible villains, true
heroism and manliness need special nourishment. Eric Metaxas has done it again,
and again we are in his debt.
Road Trip to Redemption Brad Mathias (Tyndale Momentum) $14.99 This book is amazing, pretty well written, passionate, raw. The author admits to being so seriously involved in his work that he terribly fouled up his marriage. Further, he had an affair, and ended up living separated, in another state from his wife and children. God spoke to him in a pretty dramatic way and, long story short, he profoundly repents, returns to regain his wife’s trust, and through a miracle of God’s grace, is reunited. But that is merely the backstory, told in the opening chapters. Later, Mathias finds that he is growing distant from his teen kids — one maybe never forgave him from his earlier failings — so he and his wife and kids do a long road trip across the country.
This book narrates this heart-stirring, hair-raising trip and although it is firstly a great USA road narrative — part Jack Kerouac with a touch of the hapless Griswalds maybe — it is also about rebuilding family trust, about dads and daughters, a dad and his son, a husband and wife. Mathias was desperate to get everything right after his return to his family, lost control, and then, through this risky, wild journey, sees the country and gets a new perspective on his kids, and learns a lot about parenting. There are some suggestions at the end, too, if you want to try such a journey. Most of us won’t, but for some reason, the advice is still helpful to read. And the story itself is a blast — very fun, poignant, and inspiring. Been through hard times? Been on road trips with your fam? This book brings it all together, with (yep) vacation pictures. Ha. This is a fine, fun book and I think will help many who may not read a more traditional parenting book.
Manhood Restored: How the Gospel Makes Men Whole Eric Mason (Broadman & Holman)
$14.99 Eric has spoken (which is a mild world for his passionate, loud, edgy, preachin) on the main
stage at the Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh a few times and he’s brought the house down. His hip-hop style
is powerful, and particularly interesting to many young men these days, black and white. Eric is the founder and
pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in inner city Philly, and is a strong, theologically serious
presence in urban ministry there.
Matt Chandler says this book is “bold, fearless, Scripture saturated.” Tony Evans says “This fine work by one
of my sons in the ministry does a masterful job of unearthing the biblical teaching
of the Creator’s intent in creating men.”
This new book is arranged in three parts – the scope of manhood, the
problems in manhood, and, thirdly, the redemption of manhood. There is theological depth, here, the
footnotes include lots of Greek or Hebrew words, referencing study tools of the
references to the African American church tradition, but it is not
a book for African American men, although I trust black men will
especially appreciate it. (Epiphany is a mixed race, urban church.) Manhood Restored is for anybody who wants an energetic, well-informed, straightforward, intense, traditionalist
view of men, manhood, fathering, and how the gospel alone can make it all
happen as it should. Very solid by a guy I am sure is going to have other books in years to come.
Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son Richard Lischer (Alfred Knopf) $25.00 It is notable that a Lutheran clergyman, Duke Divinity
school theologian and professor and classy writer is published by one of
the most prestigious publishers in the land. But it isn’t surprising, really — perhaps you know his exquisite book on preaching, The
End of Words, or have seen him in the Christian Century. He’s a splendid wordsmith and sage thinker. It is more notable, I think, that such a public figure would
bare his soul with such candor, sharing an intimate memoir about the death of his adult
son. Some have called this
poignant love story “at once funny, heartbreaking and hopeful.” There is much wit; it is well written;
although emotionally-riveting, it “probes the heart without sentimentality or
self-pity.” For those who appreciate literary memoir and subtle, mature views of faith, this is may become an enduring classic in the genre.
Here is a sample paragraph from it:
He was so young and inexperienced he thought he had
discovered a new way to die. All my wife and I could do was keep him company
and follow him on what he somewhat dramatically called his “new path.” His new way, which was actually a very
old way, carried him beyond the starts to the very origins of his universes and
to the source of everything he loved. We traveled the path with him, but at a
respectful distance behind him, learning from him and trusting him to show us
the way. The last leg of his trip took him exactly ninety-five days. We never imagined how much grace would
be required for so brief a journey. Now we rely on it every day.
I suppose a book about grief and a couple losing an adult son is not the standard Father’s Day fare, and it may not be suitable for many families. But I have this hunch that it will be a thoughtful blessing to somebody. It is well-written, moving, often very sad, and very, very good.
God on the Rocks: Distilling Religion, Savoring Faith Phil Madeira (Jericho Books) $24.00 This brand new book is very creatively
written, more or less a life story of a former Baptist boy, Christian rock
star, esteemed studio musician and Americana guitar man. Currently in Emmy Lou
Harris’ band, Madeira has played with everybody from Phil Keaggy to Elvis
Costello, from edgy Christian hipsters like The Choir to top-shelf bluegrass
stars like Alison Krauss. But this
book is not just the story of a storytellin’ Nashville staple, although he does dish a bit about some fellow performing artists, but it is the
record of the journey of faith of a thoughtful, honest, and often funny,
doubting Thomas. As the great
Episcopal novelist and memoirist Ian Morgan Cron says of it, “If you’re a
cage-pacing, God- haunted pilgrim like me, then this deftly penned collection of
stories will deeply move you. Madeira’s voice is gritty and tender, broody and
vulnerable, unwaveringly honest, yet compassionate. I’m supremely grateful for
this heartfelt travelogue of faith.”
Perhaps you know the CD (which we carry, natch) Mercyland:
Hymns for the Rest of Us that Maidera pulled together — it has songs from The Civil Wars, The North Mississippi All-Stars, the Carolina Chocolate Drops to Emmy Lou to Matt Kearney to Buddy and Julie Miller. It is firmly grounded in the Americana roots sound and replete with Southern faith
traditions, layered with questioning, social criticism, honesty, and a pinch of righteous anger; think Flannery O’Connor, maybe. It’s a really fine album, and
in many ways is the perfect soundtrack for this fascinating and creatively
written set of reflections on Maidera’s faith and family, experiences of church, somewhat changing understandings of God and the call to justice, hope, beauty…
I agree with Amy
Grant who writes of her friend “Thank God for a storyteller like Phil Madeira,
who delivers a feast for the ears, and for the mind…” God on the Rocks is a very cool book that
will take you on your path of discovery, hearing some great stories — like most good storytelling traditions, you almost wonder if some of this is really true! — and the (slightly irreverent) pondering of great mysteries. He doesn’t have the faith thing all sewn up, and God is too big to fit simply in his back pocket. Do you know somebody who needs a book like this?
The God of the Mundane: Reflections on Ordinary Life for
Ordinary People Matthew B .Redmond
(Kalos Press) $12.95 First, you
should notice that this is the same publishing house as the The Exact Place, the wonderful 2012
memoir by our friend Margie Haack, of Ransom Fellowship.
This publisher delights in finding good writers, solid Christians who do
literary work that, in some ways, defies categories. In this case, this is a memoir-like set of meditations on
practicing the presence of God, a manifesto about honoring all people in all
careers or jobs, and a bit of a reminder that God doesn’t always expect us to
be remarkable. Can we find joy and
meaning in truly ordinary stuff? Can we take – as the funny old fashioned
carnivalesque poster cover design shouts – “A Breath-Taking Escape from the Fantastical?” (That’s great irony, eh?) Yeah, when they say “Ladies and
Gentleman, we are pleased to present…” Matt Redmond in “His First Appearance in
Decades” as “Your Host and Guide” you know it is going to be clever. This guy boasting about not doing too much, becomes, in some sort of subversive way, a great celebration of God’s great gospel; it is a book about grace, about being “good enough” in an age when it seems even among Christians who ought to know better, we want the sensational and something to prove our worth. So, this wise rumination of an ordinary Christian life teaches that we need
not be remarkable. This book is
about real, small-town pastors and plumbers and common folk who eat chicken fingers and stay
home watching movies. It is about
the God of the ordinary, the commonplace. The quotidian.
And it is
brief. The medium really is the
message, man. A simple book on a simple theme, that is, though, very well written. Enjoy!
Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander
Phil Robertson (Howard Books) $24.99 Have you see the A&E Duck Dynasty show yet? What a hoot – it is smart, funny, snarky,
red-neck as can be, and yet gently Christian and pretty solidly moral. I had no idea how addicting this is,
and can’t wait to read the new book about it all. I don’t care if you live in sophisticated New York City,
slick LA or inner city Chi-town. This is crazy fun. Give your dad this
ticket to rural Louisiana. Reading about
it, though, thank goodness, means you don’t have to deal with the snakes and mud. An easy, upbeat, inspirational read.
Biking Across America My Coast-to-Coast Adventure and the People I Met Along the Way Paul Stutzman (Revell) $12.99 The first book this guy wrote was a big seller, and very well loved. People would come back and buy extras to give away. Hiking Through was his account of hiking the Appalachian Trail as he coped with the
grief of his deceased wife. This
one allows the author to see other parts of the country, meet more people, and
tell a similar story of travel, faith, all sorts of hi-jinx and trouble, and a good bit of happy adventure. He goes from the coast of Washington State to the Florida Keys! This is a very nice book, ideal for
bikers, fans of travelogues, and anyone who likes neat stories about ordinary folks all across
The Civil War in 50 Objects Harold Halzer (Viking) $36.00 This is a bit of a neat fad, these days, and a good one, I think,
using this clever device to explore history. In this case, the author, with help from historians at the New-York Historical Society, choose ordinary artifacts — slave shackles intended for a child, circa 1800, John Brown’s pike, several different flags, odd uniforms, a snare drum, a diary, letters, battlefield sketches, official paintings, a footlocker, the first Dixie Reader, newspaper announcements, a sprig from Lincoln’s Bier, and so much more
— and arrange their telling of the war and its consequences by way of teaching about these
items. This is unlike any Civil
War book you’ve seen, and may be a great gift for the guy who has it all. The New-York Historical Society, by the way, was founded in 1804 and is still operative today. This is a very handsome book, a real keeper.
Mossy Oak Trail Guide: Featuring Devotions from The Message: Solo (NavPress) $19.99 This is a camo covered, slim devotional is ideal for hunters or outdoorsman. It includes some true stories of hunting and wilderness survival, has some outdoor survival conditions info, practical pointers even for tracking and dressing game. Best, the devotions are better than most in this genre —The Message Solo was devised with a “read/think/pray” process by Eugene Peterson — and has been for us a beset-selling devo (in a larger paperback edition) for years. This fuzzy-covered trail edition is pretty cool for guys that hunt or camp. Comes with a bright orange wrap-around paper sleeve — hunter orange, get it? Yeah.
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