Every now and then we do a string of back to back off-site events,  book selling events that make our proverbial heads spin, as we serve very different sorts of folks within the wider church. Before I list the books at our Spring Cleaning 30% off sale, allow me to tell you about some books we sold the last week or so, hither and yon… thanks to those who hosted and helped us.

sticky learning Inglis.jpgTwo weeks ago we were with pastor and educator Holly Inglis who lectured delightfully about brain science and developing thoughtful strategies for more effective education and nurture and worship to professional church educators in the PCUSA; we have her book on sale, below.

And then we hosted three events here at the shop on the spirituality of reading for college students, offering ideas about why books matter for Christian discipleship, especially as they think about their own majors, callings, vocations and future jobs.

We then zoomed to Northern Virginia to a wonderfully vibrant, evangelical mega-church whose large, classy conference called Blue which this year focused on interfaith dialogue, racial justice, the global refugee crisis, civility in public life, all framed by a big vision of missional ministry that equips the congregants to serve God in all areas of life, work, and culture.

And the last few days we’ve been at one of our favorite annual events, a low-key, small gathering of UCC clergy who serve mostly smaller, old and quintessentially mainline denominational congregations.  Some of these are a bit formal — old German Reformed folks in the Mercersburg tradition, say, using hymnals from the mid-20th century, or parishes partnered with Lutherans – and some are wildly progressive, at least in the manner that aging liberal 64272370005069745375Pic.jpgconfessing jesus christ.jpgProtestant denominations are, sans tattoos and emergent vibes. Their main speaker was the articulate and pleasant President of Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, David Lose, whose  little book Preaching at the Crossroads: How the World–And Our Preaching–Is Changing (Fortress; $19.00) sold okay.  His Eerdmans release, Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World ($29.00) is a bit daunting but is important; I wish it would have sold better. Order it on sale now, if you want.

I joked in one of the workshops I did that, mentioning the back-achingly hard work of loading and lugging heavy book boxes here and there to these different groups that  we’d never be allowed to bring the books we take to that event to this one, but that isn’t really true.  The evangelicals were buying The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michele Alexander (New Press; $19.95) and Jim Wallis’s America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America (Brazos; $21.99) (although not a one  of The Vulnerable Pastor- How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry Many Smith.jpgWallis sold to the Presbyterians or the UCC) while the UCC leaders picked up The Vulnerable Pastor: How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry by my friend Mandy Smith (IVP; $16.00.) Her writing is tender and honest and brilliant and, for these folks working in a culturally conservative region of the country, a bit of a stretch) and, say, resources such as the wonderfully orthodox Worship Sourcebook (with CDRom) created with nuance and care by the good people at the Calvin Institute on Christian Worship, edited by Emily Brink (Baker Books; $44.99.) 

when god was a little girl.jpgPerhaps I will tell you more about other children’s books we offered in other BookNotes review, but two that people liked were fun to sell;  we sold well a lovely, creative and colorful children’s book telling of a conversation between a father and daughter called When God Was a Little Girl by David Weiss, illustrated by Joan Hernandez Lindeman (ACTA; $19.95) and the must-have, wonderful resource called The Day God Made the Make a Stand- When Life Gives You Lemons, Change the World! .jpgChurch by Rebekah McLeod with wonderful illustrations by Stephanie Haig the-day-when-god-made-church-a-child-s-book-about-pentecost-3.jpg(Paraclete Press; $15.99.) It is one of the only books for children on Pentecost.

We even sold some of the great picture book about a little girl that started a nonprofit (Make a Stand) to fight slavery called Make a Stand: When Life Gives You Lemons, Change the World! by Vivienne Harr (Chocolate Sauce Press; $18.99) which is a personal fav.

Many took my recommendations of You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by Jamie Smith (Brazos; $19.99) and Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing by Andy Crouch (IVP; $20.00) – my two favorite books of the year, by far – although I wanted to sell more than we did. Seriously. 

Life's Too Short to Pretend You're Not Religious  .jpgAnd I pushed David Dark’s Life’s Too Short To Pretend You’re Not Religious (IVP; $20.00) to anyone who seemed up for it, poetic and allusive as it is in its own charmingly literate and bohemian way. I mentioned that David has a section on the late Daniel Berrigan and was met by blank stares by too many who should know the famous priest, poet, peacemaker.  So it goes.

Whenever I could I told folks about Slow Church: Cultivating Community in the Patient Way of Jesus by C. Christopher Smith and John Pattison (IVP; $17.00) and the new Slow Church Study Guide that was just released to make it even more usable in small groups or classes or book clubs.  (Just $8.00 — on sale, too; see below.) I am convinced this is a must-read, and I’m glad to once again promote it as I can.

becoming wise krista tippett.jpgAnd, naturally, we promoted spiritual formation stuff, prayer books, devotionals, and books about daily discipleship. Many places where we go we sell memoirs, and in one book announcement I took some sly pleasure in describing the exquisite, gentle, articulate collection of stories of intellectually sophisticated spiritual seekers collected by Krista Tippett  who weaves wondrous interviews with her own story in her new hardback Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living (Penguin Press; $28.00) which truly is a must for those who follow listen to her on her NPR show “On Meaning” right next to the hilarious, plain-spoken memoir of Southern Pentecostal-ish seeker, Jamie Blaine, a blue-collar pin-ball playing, roller-rink DJ and crisis Midnight Jesus- The Late Night Psychiatric Crisis Guy Jamie Blaine .jpgintervention counselor, called Midnight Jesus: Where Struggle, Faith, and Grace Collide (Thomas Nelson; $15.99.) I doubt that any of Blaine’s mostly rural, poor, troubled folks listen to NPR, so it has a very different, shall we say, tone, and his search and story of social service among the crazed and addicted is a lot more edgy and fun that most.  Both books, different as they are, are great reads and both sold well.

We never can really predict what people are going to buy at these pop up bookstores of ours. We take days to curate them, pulling and boxing and then often 10 hours setting ’em up, and, hopeful as we may be about this or that title that we think will be well received , there are those titles that are ignored. We are sometimes not rewarded with brisk sales and we get stuck with too many of some great, great books.

Here are some of them. These are all worthy titles, but we are overstocked.

And so, our three day Spring Cleaning Sale.

30% off red_blue.jpgAll of these are on sale until the end of Tuesday, May  10th for 30% off (or sometimes better) while supplies last.

This is as good as it gets, folks, and we would be pleased to send some of these out at unusually deep discounts to you, rather than pay shipping to return them to the publishers. Help us make some space in our dining room that is already cluttered with boxes and paperwork. Check these out and send us an order right away.

I trust you now that you can easily use the order tab below which will take you to our certified secure order form page.  Or, give us a call if you’d rather.  We’re at your service.

Sticky Learning- How Neuroscience Supports .jpgSticky Learning: How Neuroscience Supports Teaching That’s Remembered Holly Inglis, with contributions by Rodger Nishioka and Kathy Dawson (Fortress) $24.00  A fairly scholarly, truly fascinating, very helpful study of neuroscience as it can inform our work in congregational life. We had a blast being with her at Eastern APCE but attendance was low and we have a handful of extras. SALE PRICE $16.80

failure of nerve.jpgA Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix Edwin H. Friedman  (Seabury)  $28.00  Ed Friedman was a famous Jewish pastoral counselor, a grand thinker about family systems as it relates to congregational life.  (The excellent books by Peter Stienke that so many use are informed a bit by Friedman. Do let us know if you don’t know those.) This a classic work released after Friedman’s death on being a non-anxious presence, a leader of care and insight. SALE PRICE $19.60

Slow Church Study Guide.jpgSlow Church Study Guide  Chris Smith (IVP) $8.00  We have sold a good number of this book that I mentioned above and that I really, really like. I’d love to get this study guide out there to encourage people to read or re-read it, enjoying and pondering it anew, thinking about how to process its lovely , if counter-cultural practices, adapting and adopting it in your own setting. SALE PRICE $5.50

imagining the kingdom cover.jpgImagining the Kingdom: How Worship Works (Cultural Liturgies Volume 2)  James K.A. Smith (Baker Academic) $22.99  I’ve made a big deal about You Are What You Love which is a lighter-weight introduction to and working out the implications of the two previous scholarly books by Smith, Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom.  If you liked the middle portion of YAWYL about worship, you should drill down a bit deeper and work with this remarkable study of the phenomenology of worship.  Pastors, preachers, worship leaders need this book. Get it at this great price, while you can. SALE PRICE $16.00

Envy- Exposing a Secret Sin.jpgEnvy: Exposing a Secret Sin Mary Louise Bringle (Westminster/John Knox Press) $17.00  Wow, this is an amazing little book, very thoughtful, witty, well written, provocative, important, even. Any PCUSA Presbyterians out there may know that Mel, as she’s called, helped with the great new Glory to God hymnal. She is a lively professor of religion, philosophy and the humanities at Brevard College in Brevard NC.  I like what John Buchanan (former editor of The Christian Century) says of this: “It is not easy to produce a work of scholarly social commentary that is also a page-turner…” Don’t miss this one. SALE PRICE $11.90

A Little Handbook for Preachers- Ten Practical Ways.jpgA Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten Practical Ways to a Better Sermon By Sunday Mary Hulst (IVP) $16.00  Pastor Mary as she is called at Calvin College where she is the campus chaplain, is a great preacher and pastor and leader. We have admired and enjoyed her good sermons and many that we respect – students, alumni, faculty and staff there in Grand Rapids – esteem her immensely and appreciate her powerful sermons.  I know I’m a little odd, but enjoy reading books about homiletics, and as a non-clergy person who happens to do some public speaking, an occasional sermon, and a regular adult class on Sunday morning, I think, I’ve benefited from diving into this genre of books. This one is introductory, yes, but fascinating and a great read. I commend it to anyone learning to preach, anyone who needs a refresher course, and, frankly, for anyone who listens to sermons with any regularity. It’s a fine book.  We will, of course, keep it on hand, but would love to promote it here as it is new and needs to be known. SALE PRICE $11.20

revealed.jpgRevealed: A Storybook Bible for Grownups Ned Bustard (Square Halo Books) $36.99  Check out my previous BookNotes review of this “picture Bible storybook for adults” created with provocative black and white art and thoughtful artistic ruminations on the unfolding drama of the Bible. Yes, it focuses on some violent texts, and a few of a sexual nature, but mostly it is just a great way into pondering  anew some key stories of the Bible, maybe even doing Visio Divina.  SALE PRICE $25.00

Mercy & Melons- Praying the Alphabet.jpgMercy & Melons: Praying the Alphabet Lisa Nichols Hickman (Abingdon) $15.99  I love this very handsome book of 26 meditations, literally from A to Z.  What is cool and enlightening about this is the way the author reflects on two seemingly contrasting things with each entry – something supposedly secular and something seemingly sacred, so to speak – and  26 Ways to Pray the Alphabet- Daily Spiritual Practices to Help you Ask, Begin, Center, and Do.jpginvites us into seeing the presence of God interwoven in each of these (contrasting?) words.  You may want to also pick up the small workbooky resource to use with Mercy & Melons called 26 Ways to Pray the Alphabet: Daily Spiritual Practices to Help you Ask, Begin, Center, and Do (Abingdon $9.99.)  This little guide can be used by individuals or groups.  Nice.

SALE PRICES  BOOK, $11.00; GUIDE, $6.99

Jesus_for_President.jpgJesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw (Zondervan) $16.99  This is a passionately written book, with full-color, crazy-wild artwork and graphics on every page, inviting us to think Biblically about the revolutionary nature of Christ’s community, what Phil Berrigan called the “kin-dom” of God.  Black evangelical Tony Evans reminded us once that when Jesus returns he won’t be riding an elephant or a donkey.  I have written about how important it is to develop a Biblical framework for thinking about politics (here) and about why we need to consider the breadth of various theological positions and postures on questions of church and state (here.)  I think James Skillen’s serious book The Good of Politics is a must-read about a positive Biblical view of the state (see my review, here.) Having said all that good, balanced, reforming stuff, I also think that Shane’s and Chris’s feisty lament about politics as usual and their call to take Jesus seriously is a very, very valuable voice and this book is well worth reading. It is a captivating book and a great bargain. I recommend it and at this price, it’s great.  SALE PRICE  $11.50

The Irresistible Revolution- Living as an Ordinary Radical .jpgThe Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical (updated & revised) Shane Claiborne (Zondervan) $16.99  I loved this book when it came out and promoted it, despite a few small misgivings — surely we aren’t all called to this spartan and prophetic life, are we? But I loved it, and many younger folks resonated as it introduced new generations to a sort of faith lived out by Mother Theresa and Phil Berrigan and Saint Francis and Martin Luther King, Jr and John Perkins and others. This new edition is considerably updated and unlike many books that are only mildly “revised” this really does offer a lot of new content. And what is cool — leave it to Shane and his peeps to think of this — the new stuff is printed in a slightly darker brown ink, so you can see his additions and new portions. This is well worth reading, even if it isn’t fully your cup of herb tea.  We’re tickled to have a bunch and are willing to sell ’em cheap. SALE PRICE $11.50

 Executing Grace- How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It's Killing Us .jpgBy the way, we are taking PRE-ORDERS for his forthcoming book Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us (HarperOne; $17.99) Due in early June 2016. Pre-order now and get better than 30% off.  SALE PRICE $12.50

America's Original Sin.jpgAmerica’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America Jim Wallis (Baker) $21.99  Do I really have to remind you that this is a very, very important book?  Agree or not with all Jim has said and done over the last 40 some years of working with Sojourners, there is no doubt that he has earned the right to speak into this complicated matter of race, white privilege, civil rights, justice and reconciliation. I am sad we haven’t sold more of this, so we want to offer you this great discount. It would make a good book club book. SALE PRICE $15.00

Reconciling All Things- A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing.gifReconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing Emmanuel Katongole & Chris Rice (IVP) $16.00  I tell people about this often, the first in the series on various aspects of reconciliation put out by the Duke Center on Reconciliation.  I love this book, about how we should understand and join God’s redemptive work in the world, though Christ, the great reconciler. What does it mean that Ephesians 1:10 says God is “summing up” all things in Christ?  What does it mean that Colossians 1 insists that Christ is “reconciling all things” to Himself? What does it look like to take up the mandate given in 2 Corinthians of “the ministry of reconciliation”?  This book is an important, lively little volume that will expand your vision, inflame your heart, and lead you to better ways to live out your faith. Highly recommended. SALE PRICE $11.20

Delivered from the Elements of the World.jpgDelivered from the Elements of the World: Atonement, Justification, Mission Peter Leithart (IVP Academic) $30.00  This is a major new work by a very significant  and hard-to-peg theological voice. (Jamie Smith called it “a monumental achievement.”)  We will be with Leithart at the Mercersburg Society conference in Lancaster this summer (June 6-8, 2016) and if you going you may want to read this first. It will be a tad daunting for some — uh, make that most  — of us, but at this discounted price, it’s a good one to pick up.  Listen to these endorsements, that I shared before when we announced this previously at BookNotes:  

“Peter Leithart is one of our best and most creative theologians. In this wide-ranging book Leithart shows that doctrine is not some abstract entity disconnected from contemporary life but is in fact deeply relevant and pregnant with social and political insights. Leithart is biblically, theologically and culturally literate a rare combination and thus able to produce the sort of work we so badly need today. Attending to the doctrines of the atonement and justification, he writes in the best tradition of apologetics, namely that of creative, orthodox, contextual theology.” Craig Bartholomew, professor of philosophy and religion and theology, Redeemer University College

“Among contemporary theologians, only Leithart has the biblical erudition, theological breadth and rhetorical power necessary for writing a book like this one. His Christian creativity and love for Jesus Christ jump off the page. As an account of atonement, this book is also an account of the entirety of Christian reality, and indeed of the reality of Israel as well, in light of pagan and secular cultures and in light of the church’s own failures to live what Christ has given. At its heart is an urgent call for all Christians, living in the Spirit, to share the Eucharist together against every fleshly barrier and Spirit-less form of exclusion. Leithart’s dazzling biblical and ecumenical manifesto merits the closest attention and engagement.” Matthew Levering, Perry Family Foundation Professor of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

“When you read Peter Leithart, you suddenly realize how timid most Christian theologians are, tepidly offering us a few ‘insights’ to edify our comfort with the status quo. Leithart is like a lightning strike from a more ancient, more courageous Christian past, his flaming pen fueled by biblical acuity and scholarly rigor. In this book, he does it again here is the City of God written afresh for our age, asking a question you didn’t know to ask but now can’t avoid: Why is the cross the center of human history? Couldn’t God have found another way? Leithart’s answer this book is a monumental achievement.” James K. A. Smith, professor of philosophy, Calvin College, editor, Comment magazine

SALE PRICE $21.00 

How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth.jpgHow to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth Christopher J.H. Wright (Zondervan) $18.99  The “for all its worth” series has been a standard seller for us in evangelical circles and we still think How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee and Stewart, is one of the very best introductions to how to read the Bible well that we know.  Chris Wright is a brilliant and clear and progressive evangelical who gets how the Older Testament is part of a broader big story of God’s covenant with the creation and has done both scholarly and thoughtful, popular-level stuff on reading the Old Testament well, especially learning to wisely apply its principles of social ethics and public justice and its communal, missional vision.  This one is brand new, looks great, and I wanted to move a few of these out right away.  SALE PRICE $13.30

Night Driving- A Story of Faith in the Dark .jpgNight Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark Addie Zierman (Convergent Books) $14.99 I wrote a little about this the week it released in a BookNotes column not long ago naming a handful of books that capture the searching, seeking, passionate desire for authentic faith among younger post-fundamentalist young adults. Addie is a heck of a great writer, and her road trip memoir telling about her own journey to recover faith in the midst of doubt — the title is so good, isn’t it? — is provocative and thoughtful and fun.  What a read!  You should get this now and savor it this summer. SALE PRICE $10.49

soul of shame.jpgSoul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves Curt Thompson, MD (IVP) $22.00  We named this as one of the Best Books of 2015 and it has been one of our best sellers this year; we take it almost every where we go and have wonderful conversations about it. We’re sitting on a big box, though – I double ordered them inadvertently, I think – so wanna blow some out at this cheap price.  Remarkable Biblical insight by a working psychiatrist who is particularly knowledgeably about neuroscience and a good friend of Hearts & Minds — you should know this book!  I hope you read my long review last year, which is still archived at the H&M website.  SALE PRICE $15.40

overplayed.jpgOverplayed: A Parents Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports David King & Margot Starbuck (Herald Press) $15.99  At almost any church gathering we attend, there is this subtext, this elephant in the room, of how busy everyone is and how commitments to the local congregation are less then they might be, and certainly less then they used to be. There are many reasons for this, of course, but parents involvement in youth activities — and supremely, youth sports — is a major factor in dis-ease and frustration among church leaders.  How has this happened? Why is is seemingly so out of control?  And is it healthy, not only for the broader social fabric and the work of the church, but for kids themselves? Is sports even fun any more? Can parents possibly enhance the life of play and joy of their athletic kids without overdoing it?  The very title of this book, Overplayed, like the writing itself, is spot on.  David King is Director of Athletics of Eastern Mennonite University and has thought and taught about this for years; he had coached at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, too, so this isn’t an anti-sports screed.  Ms. Margot Starbuck, I hope you know, is a great, energetic, and witty writer and a theologian and author herself (even as she is a mom of three kids.) Together, they have gifted us with a book unmatched and exceptionally important. My fear is that some church leaders, and many parents, are simply afraid to tackle this huge issue. Can you help us spread the word about it? This great book invites us to make youth sports about the kids; as one reviewer put it, “Every page of this book screams common sense.” On this topic, in these days, though, that’s challenging and almost prophetic. I do hope Overplayed: A Parents Guide… gets picked up and read, discussed and applied. It will be good for our kids,  good for our families, and good for our culture. Yeah!  SALE PRICE $11.20

Sabbath As Resistance- Saying No to the Culture of Now.jpgSabbath As Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now  Walter Brueggemann (Westminster/John Knox Press) $14.00 You know that we love Walt’s profound, eloquent, sometimes dense and sometimes provocative Bible preaching based on his literary and political readings of mostly Hebrew texts. He’s at his best in deconstructing the idols of the age and showing how a Bible-based prophetic imagination is created among those gathered around these ancient texts, giving them fresh energy for counter-cultural witness. Sabbath practices seen as a witness against and alternative to the (Pharaoh-like) consumerist ideology has been a stock theme for Brueggemann for decades and this brilliant little book is his clearest, most helpful explication of this stuff.  Read it at your own risk.  SALE PRICE $9.80

How-Jesus-Saves-the-World-from-Us.jpgHow Jesus Saves the World From Us Morgan Guyton (Westminster/John Knox Press) $16.00  I thought this edgy call to reject toxic faith and narrow dogma and to embrace a grace-filled, Christ-centered freedom from stupid forms of religion would really resonate with many; did you see my announcement of it, here?  Maybe it is for those once wounded by hard-edged, fundamentalist faiths, or those who want to be challenged to think differently about how faith can be embodied in our postmodern age, or especially for those who want to reach out to the “nones” and the de-churched,  but at any rate, we’ve got a bunch, and think is could be a lot of fun to read together. Guyton makes the case (drawing particularly from Jesus’s own conflicts with the religious authorities of his own day) that what many Christians need saved from is the toxic understanding of salvation we’ve received through bad theology. Whew! A good one to generate healthy discussion in your next small group or adult forum.

Listen to this nice endorsement from Brian Zahnd, author of A Farewell to Mars:

Morgan Guyton is helping heal a Christianity that has become infected with the pathogens of American culture. As Morgan prescribes antidotes for a toxic Christianity, he does so with keen insight and crisp writing. More importantly, Morgan does all of this with the grace and humility of one who genuinely loves the church and longs for her well-being. I am grateful for Morgan Guyton’s important and timely voice.  

SALE PRICE $ 11.20

how not to be secular.jpgHow (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor James K.A. Smith (Eerdmans) $16.00  I sure hope you recall my major review of this when it first came out two years ago (still archived at our website, here.) We even hosted Jamie lecturing about this, in fact, at our annual Pittsburgh Summer Lecture a few years back.  Tim Keller has a great chapter on this in his useful little book Preaching and I agree with him that anyone who wants to deeply understand the culture in which we live here in late modernity and communicate well within it should grapple with what Smith teaches us about the insights of Charles Taylor. Taylor is way to hard for most of us, and Smith’s book is still demanding, but well worth the work. Glad we can offer a few at this deep discount.  SALE PRICE $11.20

new heavens and new earth.jpgNew Heavens and New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology J. Richard Middleton (Baker Academic) $26.99  Again, this is a book I lug everywhere we go, and we are happy see a few stalwart souls who care about the Bible’s teaching about God’s restoration of all things, and how being “surprised by hope” really matters that they are willing to tackle this tome.  I was proud of the long review I did back at BookNotes in late 2014, and am glad to tell you about it again. This is the most important Biblical study on this topic I have ever read and commend it to you.  It’s a big book so this is a great bargain.               SALE PRICE $18.89

Consider Your Calling- Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation.jpgConsider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation Gordon T. Smith (IVP) $16.00 Gordon Smith is a remarkable person, a gentle soul, a serious scholar, and a writer who has written exceptional books on spiritual formation.  Maybe a bit deeper then Gary Thomas and maybe a bit more lively than Dallas Willard, he is a CM&A pastor with great fluency in the Catholic mystics and ancient contemplatives. He’s a bit like Foster, although maybe a tad more overtly Protestant.  Anyway, he wrote a serious, good book called Courage and Calling which helped readers think about vocation and discernment, inviting us to contemplative practices in order to think about what our true callings are.  This is more of that kind of thing, short, sweet, practical, wise. I say it is “no-nonsense” in that he doesn’t strive to be chatty or witty and doesn’t win us over with passionate stories of world-changing. Reading Consider Your Calling is like having a good conversation with a prayerful, wise and calm elder.  SALE PRICE $11.20

Your Vocational Credo- Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose.jpgYour Vocational Credo: Practical Steps to Discover Your Unique Purpose Deborah Koehn Loyd  (IVP) $16.00 So: this is so interesting to me, that IVP – still the publisher I respect as much as any – has given us two books in the same season about the same thing, discerning vocation. This lively one is different than the Consider Your Calling by Gordon Smith (see above) because (a) it is longer, (b) it is more fun to read as it is clever and witty and full of stories, and (c) it offers a bit more detailed suggestions for self-reflection and assessments of one’s own credo and one’s own dreams.  If Smith is calm and clear with six contemplative practices to guide one’s discernment, this is an energetic ride with tons of cool and inspiring ideas. SALE PRICE $11.20

Justice Calling Where Passion Meets P.jpgThe Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance Bethany Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (Baker) $19.99  I have said that this may be the best book I’ve read in a long time on the topic of justice in the Bible and what it means to develop the habits of heart to be patient and persistent and spiritually mature enough to stand up and be involved in working for the repair of the world in God’s own way.   Very, very highly recommended.  If you think you’ve read enough on this, I implore you – read just one more, this one!  If you haven’t tackled this topic yet by doing a good study, there are easier and simpler ones, but The Justice Calling is surely one of the few that will be enduring, and a must for your library. SALE PRICE $13.99

The Dusty Ones- Why Wandering Deepens Your Faith.jpgThe Dusty Ones: Why Wandering Deepens Your Faith A.J. Swoboda (Baker) $15.99  I have pushed this everywhere I go and have noticed that many are deeply touched by considering it – standing around a book table at a conference is the perfect venue to hear people’s reactions to titles and subtitles, as I quip about this and listen to that or maybe read a short excerpt of on or another. Despite the fascinating, nonetheless, this hasn’t sold as well for us as I had expected. (Is the the cover, maybe?) It is one of those books that, oddly, people are may be afraid of.  I trust BookNotes readers are not afraid of asking questions, of honoring our fears and doubts and anxieties, and wouldn’t mind exploring these themes.  Maybe you say my rave review of The Dusty Ones back in the early days of Lent. You know how that famous line from the poem goes: there is an end to our exploring. So we embrace wandering.  Or is it wondering?  Do you wonder as you wander? I love this book, I love this author, and we are pleased to offer it here at a great, extra discount.  Check it out! SALE PRICE $11.00

Renaissance -  Os Guinness.jpgRenaissance: The Power of the Gospel Not Matter How Dark the Times Os Guinness (IVP) $16.00  I wish my friends in mainline denominational churches knew Guinness’s impressive body of work, and I wish all sorts of congregational leaders and Christian folk took up this very impressive book. Agree or not, it is simply a must-read!  There has been much made in recent years — thanks be to God! — of the church’s renewed commitment to society, both to fight for social justice and human rights and to more generally be a formative influence in the social ethos of the culture. From edgy evangelicals to thoughtful liberals, from First Things to Sojourners to The Behemoth, everybody wants to think about faith and society, and many disagree about methods and postures for living for the life of the world. The 2010 Oxford University Press book by James Davison Hunter, To Change the World, caused much conversation and in some ways, this is Guinness’ contribution to this conversation, as urgent now as ever. He is sober at times, eager to see Christ honored as Lord by God’s people, and knows well that we must work this out within our secularizing, pluralistic society.  Complex and hard as things are, Os is upbeat because he believes that God is God and impossible people.jpgthat renewal is always a possibility. Do you need to think a bit more carefully about cultural engagement, and what hope looks like? Do you want a very thoughtful, learned, but heartfelt call to refuse the easier way of cynicism or culture war anger? Do you want a spiritually warm and intellectually solid basis for trusting God even as we work?  Very, very highly recommended.  SALE PRICE $11.20

By the way, Dr. Guinness has a new one coming this summer called Impossible People: Christian Courage and the Soul of Civilization (IVP; $20.00) which you could pre-order now and get the 30% off if you do so before the end of the day May 10th. I will be making much of it, I’m sure, once it comes out.  

Gracism- The Art of Inclusion.jpgGracism: The Art of Inclusion David A. Anderson (IVP) $16.00 We have more books on racial reconciliation and multi-ethnic ministry probably than we will ever sell but someday in the distant future when somebody looks over our huge inventory of these books, they’ll know this was a principle passion of ours. I think this is a wonderful book, clever, honest, balanced, fair-minded, and a useful guide to these heavy conversations, conversations that are needed, and the need for which is not going to go away. The author is a black pastor of a racially diverse church, Biblical, refreshing in candor and hope. Replace racism with gracism – get it?  Very nicely done. On extra sale now, for this limited time offer. Please? SALE PRICE $11.00

Sacred Sense- Discovering the Wonder of God's Word and World.jpgSacred Sense: Discovering the Wonder of God’s Word and World William P. Brown (Eerdmans) $22.00 Brown is arguably one of the wider churches best Bible guys, and his speciality is wisdom literature. In this, he is offering a rambling handful of various sorts of essays, wonderful stuff to dip into and to savor. It is, as Ellen Davis of Duke Divinity School says, “eye-opening and occasionally jaw-dropping.” Steven Bouma-Prediger of Hope College says it is “serious and funny, full of deep insights written in sparkling prose… a timely exploration of wonder in the Bible and in the world.”  Even the nature writer and environmental activist Terry Tempest Williams chimes in, saying “Bill Brown is my kind of theologian — smart, provocative, surprising; a visionary with both soul and wit. He reminds me of the power of story as he translate sacred texts into a collective prayer for our future.”  SALE PRICE $15.40

The Big Story- How the Bible Makes Sense Out of Life Justin Buzzard.jpgThe Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense Out of Life Justin Buzzard (Moody Collective) $13.99 Buzzard is a young pastor in a new church in the Silicon Valley, and has written before. (He helped with the excellent Why Cities Matter, published by Crossway.) I have highlighted this great book from time to time — I even recommended it from the main stage at Jubilee last year in front of 3000 college students, which might show how seriously I believe in this book.  Could you explain the story of your life to a stranger? Do you have a sense of what story shapes you and your unfolding life? What about the Bible — might it provide the contours of a storyline, a plot that gives meaning to daily living? Biblical Christianity, Buzzard says, offers “a story that’s big enough to make sense of both the beauty and the brokenness in our lives and in our world.” This is at once a lively, relevant overview of the Bible, and, in a way, an invitation to the forward movement that comes when one embraces Christian faith. A great gift for a young adult, especially, I think.  There’s a nice blurb on the back by Sally Lloyd-Jones. On sale now, while supplies last. SALE PRICE $9.79




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