I don’t know about you, but I always make sure I have some time alone during Holy Week, especially on Friday and Saturday. Even if it is just to ponder a few pages, read slowly, savored and considered with care, it is very important to me. There are a few books that I pull out every year, and I’d love to tell you about them, briefly. And a couple others that we have here now on sale.
We have them on sale for 25% off.
Sale prices good only until Saturday, April 19, 2014.
While supplies last.
The Undoing of Death
Fleming Rutledge (Eerdmans) $22.00 sale price $16.50
We’ve recommended this stellar author before, and I often name this as one of my favorite Lenten books. Ms Rutledge was a parish priest in New York and is known for being an astute Episcopalian theologian and a very eloquent, profound preacher. This is a sermon collection, drawn from over 25 years of her solid preaching, and ideal for dipping in to any time, but certainly this week. Samuel T. Lloyd III the dean of Washington’s National Cathedral says “Here is passionate, unstinting, full-blooded preaching on the deepest mysteries of the Christian faith…she brings her formidable intellect and her wide reading to bear in saying what is nearly unsayable: God has overcome the world’s darkness, and what happened on a hill outside of Jerusalem has made all the difference.” This is a wondrous book, thoughtful, powerful, sure to reward repeated readings.
The Cross of Christ
John R.W. Stott (IVP) $26.00 sale price $19.50
I know there are many theories and theologies of the nature of the atonement and what happened at Calvary. I have on occasion reviewed books of various sorts, but I find myself drawn back to this eloquent, thoughtful, systematic yet moving study by the fine evangelical leader, one of the best of the 20th century, the late John Stott. This hardback edition has a foreword by Alister McGrath and a study guide included. Various sorts of authors have given ringing endorsements on the back, from emergent voice Tony Jones, who may not agree with some of it, but offers accolades (“Books like this stand the test of time”) to social activist Shane Claiborne (“Grab this book and get ready to live real good and get beat up real bad. It is the story of our faith.”) J.I. Packer notes that “John Stott rises grandly to the challenge of the greatest of all themes… This, more than any book he has written, is his masterpiece.” Evangelist Luis Palau says simple that it is “One of the outstanding books of all times.”
Between Cross and Resurrection: A Theology of Holy Saturday
Alan E. Lewis (Eerdmans) $28.00 sale price $21.00
I mention this every year this time, and remind people that there is such rare richness here it is well worth owning. We’ve had it in the shop, but, to be honest, it is more serious then many of our local friends may want — or, we’ve pressed it on them previously. There isn’t much written on this topic, but there needn’t be, as this is now a contemporary classic. Douglas John Hall called it “splendid, lucid, and refreshingly original.” Publishers Weekly
wrote that it is “an original interpretation of a relatively unmined topic, a rare achievement in Christian theology.” The Theology Today
journal says “Few works of contemporary theology so wonderfully combine great learning, stylistic eloquence, and moving depth of insight.” Listen to this amazing statement by the very important Thomas F. Torrance: “This is the most remarkable and moving book I have ever read.” Wow — whether you wonder about the hiatus between Good Friday and Easter Sunday or not, this rumination on the death of Christ and the disciple’s experience of the absence of God is, as Colin Gunton wrote about it, “a life-and-death concern.”
Final Words From the Cross
Adam Hamilton (Abingdon) $16.99 sale price $12.75
Most readers really appreciate the many popular books by this dynamic United Methodist pastor (including his brand new one published by HarperOne on how to read the Bible without being literalistic.) I’ve listed this one on the famous seven last words earlier in the Lenten season, and it is very well done, creatively so, with a first person monologue in each chapter. A few readers have shared how much it has meant them. This is sweet, solid, provocative stuff; maybe it could be just right for the end of this week.
Cross Shattered Christ: Meditations on the Seven Last Words Stanley Hauerwas (Brazos Press) $14.99 sale price $11.25 I assume you know that Duke’s professor Hauerwas is a feisty preacher, both plainspoken (at times) and very philosophical at others. He’s a top notch philosopher and a passionate no-nonsense preacher. He’s written widely about what makes for good preaching — attention to the text, obviously, and application to an idolatrous, violent world, and here is a tremendous example of good preaching, on stuff from the words of Jesus that we too often fail to study carefully. He observes that “we are at once drawn to these words, yet we fear taking them in our hands.” A compact sized hardback with a some very striking wood cuts. As is so often the case, Brazos delivers a very artful little book.
The Kingdom and the Cross
James Bryan Smith (IVP formatio/Renovare) $8.00 sale price $6.00 I hope you know the impressive trilogy, The Good and Beautiful God, The Good and Beautiful Life, and The Good and Beautiful Community, all by James Bryan Smith, done in partnership with Richard Foster’s Renovare ministry. This short book includes six reflective studies on the cross, on being an apprentice to Jesus, and how our own transformation points to the coming of the Kingdom of God. This is very, very nice, highly recommended for any time, but especially to ponder these next days.
Learning to Walk in the Dark Barbara Brown Taylor (HarperOne) $24.99 sale price $18.75
I mentioned this brand new release in passing in my last BookNotes essay, and will review it later — perhaps I will read it at the end of this week. It isn’t that long, and the topic, about a spirituality that works when times are hard and things are unclear — “finding light in the dark” — certainly feels right to read this time of year. Shauna Niequist writes that it is “a gift to every person who’s felt the darkness but not had the words to articulate it, which is to say it is for all of us. A truly beautiful book.” Lauren Winner (who moved many of us so deeply in her book Still) says “Beautiful. Profound. Nourishing. I have needed to read this book for a long time.” Perhaps you do too.
Here is a good interview
that my friend Jonathan Merritt did recently with Barbara Brown Taylor about her new book. Check it out, and see there the BBT video as well. After this week, we’ll have this at our more regular BookNotes 20% discount… I hope to review it soon.
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