BUY TWO BOOKS, GET ANOTHER BOOK FREE — an after Jubilee inventory clearance sale. expires 2-28-17

jubilee 2017 big shot.jpgThanks to all who prayed for us and sent encouraging notes about that last BookNotes column as we prepped for the intense work we do at Jubilee, the collegiate conference in Pittsburgh sponsored by the CCO.

Our partnership with Jubilee goes way back (and I even got to do a workshop on the history of the conference — sharing with younger students what inspired CCO more than 40 years ago to start such an event focusing on the Christian mind, nurturing a Christian imagination which is culturally relevant, and which invites folks to be agents of  God’s social renewal — and how the Biblical teaching of the Year of Jubilee informed the first sermon of Jesus in Luke 4.  That was a fun lecture (sermon? diatribe?) but the real work Beth and I and our store staff did started days before as we lugged our loaded boxes into a large rental truck and then, with a great team of volunteers, set up the largest book display we’ve ever done.  It took an extra day to get it all loaded back up at the end and we’re now, finally, unpacking the hundreds of boxes and the mounds of paperwork, back here in Dallastown.  

jubilee logo every square inch.jpgI won’t remind you, gentle readers, of why we think all of this is so very important and why we believe, seriously, that if you order good books from us, you, too, are part of this grand, redemptive, Jubilee vision. We are pretty sure you have a sincere desire to be part of this kind of thing, and you are inspired by all of this.

I’ve done that post-Jubilee conference follow-up before, explaining why those of us in local churches should take notice here and here, if you need that shot of big picture energy.

And if you haven’t yet watched the stunning 2 minute video clip inviting folks to last week’s event, I really, really hope you do. It is just so beautifully done, all by our good friends at the CCO.  What a great message for young adults and others; you could use that first 70 seconds to generate good discussions in your group or family!

But now, let’s get to what is a necessity for us and a savings for you:

the great, (occasional) Hearts & Minds post-event clearance sale.


Offer expires Tuesday, February 28th, 2017.

Naturally, the least expensive one is the free one.  

Sale_Tags.jpgThis should be fun not only because of the good savings for you, but it gives another glimpse into the sorts of books we feature at Jubilee.  Of course, we can’t show many of the thousands of books we had there – a number were single copies, specific, even hard to find books on particular aspects of science or medicine, law or music, farming or technology.  It even amazed us when we spread out all the goodies, such riches of insight, calling readers to think hard about the world we live in and consider the implications for serious Christian living, “in but not of” the often troublesome world order.

But these sale items will give you a hint. Maybe your own heart is pulling you towards this sort of religious reading.  Yes, yes, we had tons of basic Christian living stuff, books on spirituality and prayer, Bible reading and evangelism, church life and theology, sexual ethics, wholesome family life, and other things you might find in more conventional religious bookstores.  

But since the gospel is for all of life and God’s Kingship in Christ extends to — as the Kuyper phrase has it, that was the 2017 Jubilee motto — “every square inch” then we need to be reading in ways that help us integrate faith and scholarship, faith and work, faith and society. These are the tools of the trade, my friends. Take advantage of this big sale now while you can. Offer expires at midnight, the last day of February, 2-28-17.  Soli Deo gloria.

Every-Square-Inch ashford.jpgEvery Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians Bruce Riley Ashford (Lexham Press) $14.99  It is no secret that the “every square inch” tagline for Jubilee 2017 was drawn from a famous speech by Dutch public theologian and prime minister Abraham Kuyper. This little treasure of a book works out something like a modern Kuyperian vision for how faith impacts our everyday lives, how we should be involved with culture, and how to think through questions facing you and your church and community in these contentious times.

I am sure most readers of BookNotes have a concern to apply faith to all sectors of our lives and to winsomely promote social policies that are healing and hopeful, guided by Biblical principles. This book offers varying models for how faith relates to culture, has a short chapter with a few case studies, and then offers some provisional principles for faithful thinking about the arts, politics and the public square, economics and wealth, scholarship and education, and what they mean by mission. Agree or not with all of it, this is an amazing resource to get good thinking going, to enhance and clarify conversations, and maybe enable many to be more faithful seeing God’s gospel bring goodness and grace to every square inch of this hurting world that God so loves.

the-call-by-os-guinness.jpgThe Call: Finding and Fulfilling The Central Purpose of Your Life Os Guinness (Thomas Nelson) $17.99  Everywhere I go I meet remarkable people doing extraordinary work, leading conversations about faith and the marketplace, vocation and work, making a difference in big and small ways. Often, those who are the most articulate and passionate and admirable about their vocations almost always tell me, when we get around to talking about those “aha” moments that were most transforming and impactful for them, about their love for this book. It is essential, and we feature it every year at Jubilee, despite it being eloquent and mature in it’s literary style.  You know I’ve talked about it before, and even wrote about it as my choice for a “must read” book in my chapter in the collection of book reviews called Besides the Bible: 100 Books… We are glad to offer it in this sale list now. Don’t miss it.

Garden City- Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.jpgGarden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.  John Mark Comer (Zondervan) $19.99 In recent decades there has been an understandable emphasis in some quarters saying that it isn’t what you do that matters, but who you are.  The mid-twentieth century commitment to materialism and corporate culture over-emphasized success, status, prestige, accomplishment, productivity, making us all cogs in the wheels of progress and modernity. So wise people (not least those in the counter-culture) pushed back against that – we need not find our worth in our jobs!  Agreed.

But now, feisty John Mark Comer insists, we need another emphasize, one directly from the Bible.  Oh, how we need passionate, upbeat authors like the youthful Comer inviting us to realize that what we do does matter, that God calls us not just to be in religious relationship with our Maker but to serve God, to work, to play, to rest.  Younger adults need Os Guinness, as listed above, but they will perhaps more readily resonant with this very cool book, a white hardback sans dustjacket, well-designed.  Humans are called to be culture-makers and carve out a world. Work is a good thing, cursed, yes, but still part of what makes us human.  This is the biggest question of all: why are we here and what should we do about it?  This is a perfect book for the young adults at Jubilee, and some of us old-timers dig it too.

REINTEGRATE - book cover mockup 1-23-17.JPGReintegrate Your Vocation with God’s Mission Bob Robinson (Good Place Publishing) $12.00 This small group study guide is worth twice the price and is one of the brand new books I’m most excited about.  I’ll tell you more about it later but for now know that Bob caught the Jubilee vision himself (after studying under some of the greatest theological writers of our time) by joining up with the CCO and learning more about the Biblical creation-fall-redemption-restoration narrative and its implications for vocation and work, callings and careers.  This has some short chapters, tons of great pull-quotes and sidebars, and some good conversation starters or thought exercises for your own reflection and integration of this content. I am sure it will enhance your own spiritual formation as you learn how to deepend with your own sense of place and calling, work and purpose and, as he puts it, “re-integrate.”  Blurbs on the back are from the best leaders in the faith/work conversation these days such as Tom Nelson (Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship to Monday Work), Steve Garber (Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common God), Amy Sherman (Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good), Hugh Whelchel (How Then Should We Work?) and, yes, a small town business guy named Byron Borger (editor of Serious Dreams: Bold Ideas for the Rest of Your Life.)  Other rave reviews are by Lisa Slayton (of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation), Michael Wittmer (Heaven is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God) and our good friend, Gideon Strauss, now teaching at the Institute for Christian Studies.  This is a great resource and you should pick some up now while you can, on sale.

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  This is one of my very favorite books to promote among younger adults seeking a wise resource to help them determine their own God-give purpose and vocation. This is fun, upbeat, practical, offering insights on everything from overcoming past pains to finding health and wholeness to understanding your own vocational skills and capacities — all of this so you can learn how to develop a unique plan for your own life’s work. One really does need a “vocational credo” and this helps guide you into it, with missional gusto.  Nicely done.

Consider Your Calling- Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation.jpgConsider Your Calling: Six Questions for Discerning Your Vocation Gordon T. Smith (IVP) $16.00  If the above listed one by Deborah Loyd is upbeat and fun, broad-thinking and a very readable guide, this one is similar but shorter, a bit more intense, and a bit more spiritually-minded. By which I mean that the author is a deep and wise writer of books about spiritual formation and an experienced spiritual director. Although most of his books are about a sacramental sort of prayerfulness and inner transformation (see his hefty and substantive Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity) he has also written a wonderful book entitled Courage and Calling, that explores this stuff deeply.

This smaller one is a bit of a follow up to that, offering six mature questions to ponder as you invite God to guide you towards better discernment of your calling.  Good for anyone in times of transition or those seeking God’s guidance.  It is both a moving meditation and immensely practical.

Your Mind's Mission.jpgYour Mind’s Mission Greg Jao (IVP) $7.00  This little 30-page book is so potent I wish I could put it into the hands of every Christian person, and certainly of every Christian student. Jao nicely explains what a worldview is, how our lens to see and interpret life and learning is always shaped by presuppositions–including things like race and class and gender – and that we simply must be more self-aware about how we think. Further, he reminds us that the Bible calls us to a transforming vision, to see in ways that propel us to make connections between faith and life, integrating the life of the mind with mission and ministry.  As it says on the back, “Discover how you can use your mind to extend the glory of God throughout the world” – and, for starters, at least, in your own life and work. If you believe that Jesus is Lord, you will be dazzled by the implications of this thoughtfully written booklet.  Buy a few and give ’em out!  Come people — it even mentions Hearts & Minds!

learning for the love of god.jpgLearning for the Love of God: A Student’s Guide to Academic Faithfulness Donald Opitz & Derek Melleby (Brazos Press) $14.99  Okay, okay, I know that those who have read our BookNotes newsletter for a while know that I keep bringing this up from time to time. The book is dedicated to me, and I am so very deeply honored by that, that I truly want to let folks regularly know why it is so  important.

In a way, this is one of the top books to explore the Jubilee vision, helping students be students that allow Christ to guide them into “every square inch” of their studies, their labs, their papers, their research in the library, and their finding God in the classroom. Older, esteemed Christian scholars like the eminent historian George Marsden say, “This is the sort of book that should be read by Christian students going to college and studied in campus fellowship groups… I hope it will be widely used.” 

Popular philosophy prof and writer James K.A. Smith was an early advocate for this book, calling it “marvelous” and “one of a kind.”  Even at Jubilee, even among the great CCO staff, there is some sort of reluctance to really dive deep into “academic faithfulness” and I lament that we don’t sell more of these.  Why don’t you buy some for college students you know?  I think it could be life-changing.  Youth pastors? College workers? Campus ministers? Parents of college age students?  It’s a must.

god loves sex.jpgGod Loves Sex: An Honest Conversation about Sexual Desire and Holiness  Dan Allender & Tremper Longman (Baker) $16.99  Allender’s books on sexual abuse (Wounded Heart and Healing the Wounded Heart) sadly sell well at Jubilee. The many others Allender & Longman do together are also hits; it seems their Breaking the Idols of Your Heart: How to Navigate the Temptations of Life is always popular. This year, though, this open reflection on the good and the bad (and the ugly) of our sexuality which is treated so well in this thoughtful book was their most popular.

(The other biggest seller in that area that we push is, by the way, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity by Lauren Winner.)

Fun fact: both Dan Allender and Tremper Longman came to CCO conferences as students in the 70s and, in fact, knew Dr. Peter Steen, the Dutch, Kuyperian philosopher who helped us cast a vision for an event about Christian perspectives across the university curriculum and who helped us select the Jubilee name. No wonder so many intuit that Allender and Longman are voices that are so vital for our Pittsburgh gatherings.

storied leadership blue cover.jpgStoried Leadership: Foundations of Leadership from a Christian Perspective Brian Jensen & Keith R. Martel (Falls City Press) $18.00  I know if you follow BookNotes you’ve heard me talk about this before and I will admit that both authors are friends. I admire them greatly for the being so intentional about how this grand meta-narrative of Scripture — this Jubilee vision of the unfolding drama of creation-fall-redemption-restoration — should shape our understanding of leadership.  It has endorsements from the likes of Dr. Amy Sherman (author of the fabulous Kingdom Calling) and Steve Garber who says it offers “a seamless, story-formed vision of the good life and therefore what good leaders look like” I think this book should be much more known among us, on lists for leaders, and given out and discussed. It has the big picture stuff in the first half, tons of practical guidance and insight in the second.  There’s a lot of talk about using the Bible to form leaders or to disciple younger Christians, but this book immerses you in the Biblical narrative in a upbeat, easy-to-absorb way.  Very nice.  Get it now while we’ve got this “buy two get another free” sale going on.  You’ll be glad you did.

silence and beauty.jpgSilence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering Makoto Fujimura (IVP) $26.00  Of course we take all of Mr. Fujimura’s books, including rare ones like the Square Halo paperback that compares his work with George Rouault and the brand new paperback edition of his previously self-produced Culture Care:) This one, though, didn’t sell too well at Jubilee, perhaps because it is a bit mature for college students or because they were not familiar with the extraordinary Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo upon which is it based, Silence. (We did get to sell a few of those, by the way.) The recently released Martin Scorsese film adaptation of that novel has been much discussed in the thoughtful religious press but was snubbed by the Academy Awards nominations.  In any event, this handsome hardback was named as one of our Best Books of 2016 and we very highly recommend it.  Mako, too, has spoken at Jubilee in years past.

Culture Care new IVP cover.jpgCulture Care: Reconnecting With Beauty for Our Common Life Makoto Fujimura (IVP) $17.00 Ha!  What did I just tell you?  We carry all of Fujimura’s books. We have been privileged to be one of the select stores in the nation to sell Mako’s self-produced version of this when it came out two years ago, but we are thrilled now to offer it in a very handsome, nicely done paperback by InterVarsity Press.  It is a great and inspiring book for artists, musicians, dancers, writers, anyone wanting to think about their own creativity and role in doing creative work, but, more, perhaps, it is for any of us who want to be good stewards of the creative gifts around us, who want to be cheerleaders and patrons, seeking the common good by reminding our society how important the arts are.  Is it particularly urgent these days. Oh my.  There’s a new forward by Fuller Theological Seminary President Mark Labberton, too, affirming that this is a wise and helpful way our deepest theological truths can find traction in the public square.  This is very, very nicely done, a wonderful contribution to thinking about societal flourishing, the role of beauty and the arts, and the common good.

Resounding Truth- Christian Wisdom in the World of Music.jpgResounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music Jeremy S. Begbie (Baker Academic) $30.00  This year Jubilee seemed to have a lot of conversations about hip hop – with two electrifying rappers (Propaganda and Sho Baraka) performing and the Grammy nominated Lacrae  (yes, the evangelical, Reformed, gospel-centered rapper banned from Lifeway) speaking, so we sold some books like the little Does God Listen to Rap Music and the substantial Gospel.  But for those really serious about music or those who want a deeper study, this is simply magisterial, perhaps the best major work on Christian theory of music yet available.  I’m fond of the Christian philosophy of aesthetics Calvin Seerveld, not to mention Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Mr. Begbie (formerly a classic composer in the UK) is in their league, with endorsements on the back from Rowan Williams, N.T. Wright, Nick Wolterstorff, John Witvliet, Roger Lundin. Breathtaking in scope and range, written with a mature integration of faith and scholarship.

Why Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed).jpgWhy Business Matters to God (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) Jeff Van Duzer (IVP Academic) $20.00  This really is my favorite book on a Christian view of business. It is thoughtful, inspiring, offering a helpful framework and the “creative dimensions of God’s purposes and meaning for business.” It is thought provoking and I think so good it should be read not only by those in business but for anyone who cares about our corporate culture, economics, or the common good.  Very nicely done.  Van Duzer, by the way, is the dean of the School of Business and Economics and Professor of business law and ethics at Seattle Pacific.  Before that, interestingly, he practiced law in Seattle with an emphasis on finance and natural resources.

Business Through the Eyes of Faith .jpgBusiness Through the Eyes of Faith Richard Chewning, John Eby, Shirley Roels (HarperOne) $15.99  We are very fond of this whole “…Through the Eyes of Faith” series, which includes college-level Christian texts on history, music, literature, psychology, biology, mathematics.  I am especially fond of this one on business, and recommended it to every business major we could find. It is fascinating to me how few business people who are active in church haven’t read anything like this before, so we are glad for the opportunity to get CCO students at Jubilee who are business or accounting or management majors learning faith-based stuff early one. There are small sections on advertising, profits, marketing, management and more.  This is so good, written by three scholars who themselves are from slightly different theological traditions (an Anabaptist, a Dutch Reformed neo-Calvinist, and a conservative evangelical.)  Nice.

Business for the Common Good.jpgBusiness for the Common Good: A Christian Vision for the Marketplace Kenman Wong & Scott Rae (IVP Academic) $26.00  This one is another personal favorite and one I tried to sell to young business majors.  It is, admittedly, a bit heavier than the other two mentioned above, has a less interesting cover (it is part of a heady series called “Christian Worldview Integration” which itself seems a bit dry and the covers don’t communicate energy and passion) and is a few dollars more expensive. So it’s a “next level” title,  harder to sell, but certainly a must-read for professionals in the field.   How many people have bad views of the business community, assuming it is all cut-throat and driven only by greed?  (And how often, perhaps, is that the case?)  This book is important for all of us. Brian Porter of Hope College, says, in fact, “If you read only one book on faith integration and business, Business for the Common Good should be it.”  It is masterful and thorough.

The World Beyond Your Head paperback.jpgThe World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction Matthew B. Crawford (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) $15.00  I do hope you recall our rave review of this when it came out in hardback a year ago, an eagerly-anticipated sequel to his must-read Shop Class as Soul Craft. Some years CCO has a workshop or two at the conference for those in trade schools on blue-collar work and this book has been useful in thinking about formative practices, resisting abstraction, and learning from the attention needed in “shop class”– all in pretty mature, philosophical ways. Maybe Jubilee didn’t have such a workshop this year and our extra orders of this standard work are sitting here, waiting for you to order them. Damon Linker of The Week says it is “The most cogent and incisive book of social criticism I’ve read in a long time. Reading it is like putting on a pair of perfectly suited prescription glasses after a long period of squinting one’s way through life.”  Another pundit said The World Beyond Your Head could “easily lure any cultural pessimist into considerations that pass beyond the symptoms, deep into the causes of our present ills.”  The core of the book, though, is simple: Crawford interviews a handful of workers who are really good at their craft and explores how they’ve paid attention to the details of their work and job.

You Are Not A Gadget- A Manifesto.jpgYou Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto Jaron Lanier (Vintage) $15.00  Last year students loved this book; Lanier was a pioneer of digital media, considered the father of virtual reality technology, now an ” apostate of the internet age” and yet still passionate about programming.  Alas, foolishly, in our stress of setting out dozens of such books in the technology section, another book (with a similar cover – The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr) got stacked on top of these and, alas, we didn’t sell a one.  I kept wondering where it was, thinking it was lost or that somebody bought ’em all early on, and while tearing down late Sunday afternoon found this big stack.  Drats. Our loss is your gain – this is, as the San Francisco Chronicle puts it, “Thrilling and thought-provoking, a necessary corrective in the echo chamber of technological debates.”  The Washington Post says it is “mind bending, exuberant, brilliant.” Lanier is an important voice and I so wanted to get these into student’s hands.  Check it out.

The Language of Science and Faith- Straight Answers to Genuine Questions.jpgThe Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions Karl Giberson & Francis Collins (InterVarsity Press) $22.00  This book (apparently published in cooperation with the thoughtful BioLogos organization — who was at Jubilee with a great display booth, by the way) is one we so often suggest as a first step in relating faith and science and reminding readers that there need not by a conflict between faith and science.  Here’s what the publisher says, briefly, about this fine work: “Scientists Collins and Giberson show how to embrace
both science and faith without compromising either. Their fascinating
treatment explains how God cares for and interacts with His creation
while science offers a reliable way to understand the world He made.”

God in the Lab- How Science Enhances Faith .jpgGod in the Lab: How Science Enhances Faith Ruth Bancewicz (Monarch) $16.99  We think this is one of the best book for young thinkers, those just considering a career in the sciences.  I like the title, and that is shows how real scientists of Christian conviction do their work.  I appreciate the way it’s described by the British publisher.  (Yep, we get this from a publisher in the US who distributes UK books — we think it is that good.)  It is compiled by Dr. Ruth Bancewicz and six other practicing scientists.

They say, “Science can be unglamorous and tough, but it gives
the opportunity to use creativity and imagination, to appreciate the
beauty of the natural world, and to experience the joy of finding out
new things – thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”

How I Changed My Mind About Evolution.jpgHow I Changed My Mind about Evolution: Evangelicals Reflect on Faith and Science edited by Kathryn Applegate & J.B. Stump (IVP Academic) $16.00  This is another book published in partnership with BioLogos and we were delighted that J. B. Stump was at Jubilee, doing one of the several workshops on science.  We’ve got a huge science section in our small town bookstore and were delighted to share some of our wares with the science majors and others at Jubilee.  This one, of course, we’ve written about before and it is fascinating. It includes scientiests, pastors, Biblical scholars and theologians and philsophers (our friend Jamie Smith has a nice chapter in here.) What a fabulous little resource for anyone who thinks that orthodox Christian faith is unscientific or not able to make a solid contribtuions to standard scientific conversations. Agree or not with all of these conclusions — and there are heady new books that explore this in detail such as the brand new one from Brazos Press called Adam and the Genome: Reading Scripture After Genetic Science
by Scot McKnight & Dennis Venema and a new one just out from Eerdmans (published in cooperation with the Colossian Forum) called Evolution and the Fall, edited by William Cavanaugh and James K.A. Smith For starters, though, this How I Changed My Mind… is a great read.

Caring for Words, better.jpgCaring for Words in a Culture of Lies Marilyn McEntyre (Eerdmans) $19.00  One of my all-time favorite books, I announced this from the main-stage as essential in this current political context.  Not long ago I heard a Christian worship leader exhort a congregation saying ad lib that outside of Christ “it is all fake news” — which is patently stupid.  No, it isn’t all “fake news” (much about the world as it is, the Bible tells us, declares the glory of God) and we must be shaped in the ways of Christ and the virtues of decency and critical thinking and kindness and honesty so we can do the hard work of discerning real from fake, wise from foolish, good from bad.   If only that worship leader had listened to Jubilee speakers!

This book admits that there is much to be alarmed about and offers strategies to be better stewards of the gift of language, using words well, caring about writing and reading so we might learn civility and grace and truth and clarity. Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies is a tool we so badly need to help us learn the art of discernment, resisting propaganda and ideology and nurturing within us the capacity and virtue of thinking well, speaking well, listening well and desiring truthfulness.

I didn’t tell students this in my short spiel about the book, but it’s a great background fact: our beloved Abraham Kuyper delivered a set of lectures at Princeton in the early 1900s (still in print as Lectures on Calvinism) which influenced the very first team that put together the Jubilee conference. These are known as the Stone Lectures.  Marilyn McEntyre delivered the lectures about stewardship strategies for using words well that became this book also at Princeton, also in the annual Stone Lectures, just a few years back. It would be a stretch to say she was in the line of Kuyper, I suppose, but it is more than incidental. Anyway, this is a beautiful and essential book, now more than ever.

just mercy.jpgJust Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau) $16.00  I have often said, and I still say, that Stevenson should get the Nobel Peace Prize, and very well might, for his extraordinary service for those poor and often minority folks wrongly incarcerated, for his advocacy for youth in prison, and, more recently, for his brave and diligent project documenting the vigilante terrorism known as lynching.  We tell folks to read this before, or maybe after, The New Jim Crow, and to be prepared for one of the most riveting reads of your life.  We have been one of the early supporters of this book, and certainly one of the handful within the world of Christian bookstores who have promoted it. We have a few extras after Jubilee and we’re happy to offer them in this sale now.  The first time I heard of Stevenson, by the way, was from Tony Campolo, many years ago (Bryan was an undergrad at Eastern before going to at Harvard Law.) The first time I heard him speak was – you guessed it – in Pittsburgh at Jubilee before he wrote this acclaimed book and before he was famous.  Students at Jubilee really are introduced to some of the most significant speakers and leaders in North America and we’re happy to sell these kinds of serious books to these eager young adults. 

America's Original Sin.jpgAmerica’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the New Bridge to a New America Jim Wallis (Brazos Press) $17.99  CCO is passionate about multi-ethnic ministry and knows that the gospel insists upon both justice and reconciliation.  They are theologically pretty conservative/mainstream evangelical but on this topic they see the Biblical and theological trajectory towards a multi-ethnic new creation and want to practice now that glorious reality of racial reconciliation.  It not surprising that they had rapper activists like Propaganda speaking this year.  We stocked a lot of books on racism and civil rights and ethnic diversity at Jubilee and there was almost too much for students to take in. (Ohhh, if only the workshop leaders who facilitate these conversations would have been able to browse more; some have said we have one of the best-curated sections of this kind of stuff in any bookstore they know of and some of the leaders themselves might have benefited from the books in our selection.)  In any event, this one is a recent classic,  now in paperback, one that is strong and sturdy and sure to generate discussion. Agree or not with all of Sojo or all of Wallis’s past books, I think this is simply a must-read book for anyone working on this topic. As one evangelical leader said it is useful to “rivet our attention and commitment to a different future. This is a sobering and motivating act of hope.”  Glad it’s now out in paperback.  Pick it up today.

Aliens in the Promised Land good.jpgAliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions edited by Anthony B. Bradley (P&R) $15.99  We carry most of the books by this outspoken, articulate Christian leader (and so appreciated his Sunday morning Jubilee main-stage talk about being ordinary, transforming culture full of the hope of God’s final restoration, less by dramatic gestures of brave innovation by being, well, salt.)  We sold his collection of essays called Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development evangelical, Reformed critique of James Cone and other black liberation theologians in Liberation Black Theology and the powerful collection he edited called Black Scholars in White Space and had on display his brand new Something Seems Strange: Critical Essays on Christianity, Public Policy, and Contemporary Culture. We even had a book he’s been telling everyone (on twitter) to read, Doctrine and Race: African American Evangelicals and Fundamentalism Between the Wars (by Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews on University of Alabama Press.) I think this Aliens in the Promised Land collection is as good as any, though, put together by Dr. Bradley, offering a fine array of evangelical voices (of differing minority groups) pondering this vital question.

Prophetic Lament- Call for Justice in Troubled Times.jpgProphetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times Soong-Chan Rah (IVP) $17.00  Soong-Chan has spoken at Jubilee before and many of us respect him immensely. This is a fascinating resource that you may recall me touting before – it is, truly, a commentary on the book of Lamentations in the Bible, but with a very contemporary application.  Rowdy and energetic as Jubilee is, Saturday morning we heard hard truths about injustice and racism and other consequences of “the fall” which form our world in dysfunctional, idolatrous, and very broken ways. The worship team led us in slow, evocative songs and prayers were prayed that lamented our personal and corporate pains.  The American church – mainline, evangelical and others, I suppose – avoids lament. This is a nearly prophetic exposition of the book of Lamentations and will help us learn the role of lament, confession, and rejection of “success-centered triumphalism and hubris.”  Powerful, necessary stuff.

to live in peace.jpgTo Live in Peace: Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City Mark R. Gornik (Eerdmans) $26.00  There is, happily, an increased interest in urban life, in cities and in a theology of geography, so to speak, especially as we desire to serve our neighbors by being involved in the systems and structures that make up our neighborhoods, commercial centers, and under-resources ghettos. There are bunches of books about urban ministry, about Christian community development, and if anybody wanted anything along those lines we had stuff there. (In a special bibliography we put together for the conference, displayed on the Jubilee conference app, by the way, I described the very serious Beyond Homelessness Christian Faith in a Culture of Displacement by Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh.)  To Live in Peace by Mark Gornik (formerly of Baltimore), I believe, is simply the best thing written on urban life, especially in thinking about serving communities of need. This is deep, thoughtful, very readable, sophisticated and vital for us all. Very highly recommended.

Sidewalks of the Kingdom- New Urbanism and the Christian Faith.jpgSidewalks of the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith Eric O. Jacobsen (Brazos Press) $22.00  I’ve reviewed this extensively over the years, as I have Jacobsen’s brilliant sequel to this, The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Build Environment, which is more broadly on the built environment and one of our awarded Best Books of a few years ago.)  I suppose there aren’t that many urban planning majors at Jubilee but many of us are concerned about the efficiency, aesthetics, justice, and charm of our sidewalks and commercial spaces and the wisdom of our zoning laws and policies that shape our towns and cities. This is a fine introduction for ordinary folks, written by a thoughtful, small town Presbyterian pastor, about how to take up the conversations propelled by the likes of the legendary Jane Jacobs, the feisty James Howard Kunstler (I hope you know his snarky, electrifying books like Home from Nowhere), or the anti-sprawl, new urbanists such as Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Jeff Speck.  Sidewalks of the Kingdom, by the way, has a really nice foreword by Eugune Peterson.

Educating All God's Children- What Christians Can--And Should--Do.jpgEducating All God’s Children: What Christians Can–And Should–Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids Nicole Baker Fulgham (Brazos Press) $20.00  One of Nicole Fulgham’s staff from her wonderful, important ministry called The Expectations Project spoke at Jubilee this year (as Nichole herself has many times.) This book is nearly a handbook for any citizen or church group who wants to become allies and advocates for all children, especially those that are in lo0w-income schools.  With the recent cabinet appointment of the controversial Betsy DeVos – who I suspect isn’t as bad as some opponents suggest but who clearly is inexperienced in public school work – this book may be more important than ever. Whether you are a teacher who cares about educational policy (inspired in college by Jonathan Kozol, maybe, as I was) or a parent interested in making sure all schools in your area are treated fairly, or whether you are a citizen advocate for justice, this book is important and will be a fabulous and motivational read for you. Glad to have had The Expectation Project at Jubilee!

Same Lake Different Boat- Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability.jpgSame Lake Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability Stephanie O. Hubach (P & R) $14.99  Here in the store we have a good handful of books about disabilities, about how the church should be more aware of and inclusive of those with disabilities, and how we should all be more sensitive to the image of God in those with serious handicapping conditions.  We like several books by Brett Webb-Mitchell, for instance, and of course the important books by Joni Earackson Tada. With a few caveats, I recommend the Crossway book, Disability & the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace and show it off at Jubilee, too.

One of the books we most often suggest to special education majors or anyone interested in being more inclusive of those with disabilities is Same Lake Different Boat. It includes a great forward by Joni Eareckson Tada, endorsements from activists such as former Pennsylvania First Lady Ginny Thornburgh and church ministry practitioners like Susan Hunt.  This helps us think transformationally about disability, for the sake of the wholeness of the Body of Christ and is, happily, and importantly, framed by the same categories of the Biblical narrative explored at Jubilee — creation/fall/redemption/restoration.  Nice.

Go- Returning Discipleship to the Front Lines of Faith .jpgGo: Returning Discipleship to the Front Lines of Faith Preston Sprinkle (NavPress) $14.99 I pitched this in front of the crowd at Jubilee but in my short time up front perhaps didn’t explain it well enough. It really is a fabulous book that does two or three things well. Firstly, it reports on the fascinating survey commissioned by the Navigators that helps us understand what Christian people think about the word “discipleship.” Go offers sidebars and charts and info-graphics to explain this large-scale research on what is missing in the common understandings and attitudes about following Christ, making disciples, being salt and light and leaven in the world. Why is it that the church is often seen as weak, not very influential (even among its own members) and how many Christ-followers are drifting from a formerly robust, serious life of faith? How can we understand these deep concerns and how can we find solutions to chronic shallow faith and a privatized faith that doesn’t think much or engage the world well?  Preston Sprinkle’s book can help.

The Year of Small Things- Radical Faith for the Rest of Us.jpgThe Year of Small Things: Radical Faith for the Rest of Us Sarah Arthur & Erin F. Wasinger (Brazos Press) $17.99  Oh my, if only I had time to tell folks about this book — it’s surely going to be one on the big lists 10 months from now when we celebrate the best books of 2017.  In this lovely and wonderfully written memoir, these authors take up practices to make their lives more consistent with the teaching of Jesus. They are inspired by the likes of Mother Teresa who admonished us to do “small things with great love” and here explore how to actually do that. They write about raising kids, searching for community, make choices about diet and food and money and debt and they set out a path towards contemplative sorts of spiritual disciplines. One of the great challenges and invitations of the book is to find someone who can be in covenantal friendship with you, as they tell in this memoir, of doing life together in such as way that you really can take steps towards greater commitment, more Christ-like consistency, a better, saner life.  We can’t do this radical stuff alone…

I’ll tell you more about it later, for sure – Jen Pollock Michel (author of Teach Us to Want) is right to say “This is the best kind of spiritual formation book: serious and funny, smart and vulnerable – and, most useful of all, practical. Honestly, this is one of my favorite books this year.”  Some of our customers, by the way, will know Sarah Arthur from her three books offering “literary guide to prayer” for the church calendar.  Maybe not for students, as part of their story is how they raise their kids, how they bring faith into their home lives.  I think those who loved (as we did!) The Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren will find this a perfect “next step” sort of book.

Comfort Detox- Finding Freedom.jpgComfort Detox: Finding Freedom From Habits That Bind You Erin M. Straza (IVP) $16.00  I am so glad that Erin Straza just released this wonderful book; she is a smart and good writer, the editor of “Christ and Pop Culture Magazine” and host of the Persuasion podcast. I’ve followed her for a bit as perhaps you have, and am sure she has a lot to offer in a crazy book like this.

At Jubilee I sometimes wonder how these earnest and eager young adults can possible take up the big call to mission and service, justice and a redemptive life in the world that they hear at the conference.  This is one way, one important way:  many of us who are used to middle class comfort simply have to learn to get out of our comfort zones, as they say. Which is really to say we have to learn to not cling to convenience, to ease, to safety.   In this very fun book that pokes at our ” everyday complacencies” we are invited beyond this malady, beyond these idols, beyond the commonplace. Is there any sense we are almost addicted to false comfort? Can we take up a “comfort cleanse” program (as she calls it) to help us find real freedom? I’m eager to read this, wondering how her own vulnerability and honesty will guide us to deeper faith and more risky discipleship. Interestingly, this isn’t the only book out these days about this theme — there is a hunger for guidance out of the chains of abundance and into an authentic sort of freedom.  I think this could be the best.

Faith on the Edge- Daring to Follow Jesus.jpgFaith on the Edge: Daring to Follow Jesus Paul Tokunaga et al (IVP) $16.00  I could hardly believe it but this great publisher, who lives and breathes to serve others with thoughtful resources for evangelical, Kingdom living, offered to keep this book in print in part because they know I promote it at Jubilee this year.  It was listed and described in a special book list that was on the Jubilee phone app – so let’s be glad this gem of a book is still available. It is a book I love and hope you consider buying as it will meet needs for your own reading and learning, I am sure.  Especially if you are mentoring others or need books that offer short pieces about various aspects of Christian living.  Faith on the Edge is a gem.

Although it was put together for college students I am sure it is good for nearly anyone.  There are short readings and thoughtful reflection questions, with the readings arranged around three themes, almost like concentric circles. There are a bunch of short chapters on the themes of being “Rooted in Christ” and then some on “Committed in Relationships” and then the final section of short pieces called “Disturbing the World.”   From essays on experiencing God, knowing what it means to be a Christ-follower to how to find healing from broken relationships to thinking about work, calling, racial justice, serving the poor, doing evangelism, finding hope, and more, Faith on the Edge is a perfect little handbook for faith building groups, for mentoring young believers, for dipping into whenever you want some guidance on various aspects of wholistic Christian living. I even helped a tin bit with a couple of the chapters!  Highly recommended.

Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age.jpgPursuing Health in an Anxious Age Bob Cutillo (Crossway) $17.00  We have many books for those in health care fields – starting with Phil Yancey & Dr. Paul Brand’s Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, In His Image, and The Gift of Pain, through excellent books like Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing, Transforming Care: A Christian Vision of Nursing Practice, or the exquisite The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine by Abraham Nussbaum; we have been particularly taken by the luminous Attending Others: A Doctor’s Education in Bodies and Words by Brian Volck.)  So much good stuff…

 Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age is also extraordinary, perhaps not just for those in health care but for all of us.  As it says on the back, “Despite all the care available to us, our society is more concerned about health care than ever. Increase technology and access to health care give us the illusion of control but can never deliver us from the limitations of our bodies…” Dr. Cutillo is a clinical professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and an associate faculty member at Denver Seminary (and he provides patient care to under-served populations at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.)  He writes in this profound book, weaving together his own story of serving the most vulnerable, “what if our health is a gift to nurture, rather than a possession to protect?”  How might we think about health a bit different in this secular age? This is a foundational book for anyone interested in the deepest meaning of health and the reform of health care systems and we were glad to hear it being mentioned at Jubilee. Highly recommend.

Christianity and Social Work- Readings on the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice .jpgChristianity and Social Work: Readings on the Integration of Christian Faith and Social Work Practice (fourth edition) T. Laine Scales and Michael S. Kelly, editors (NACSW) $24.00  What is NACSW, you ask? It’s the North American Association of Christians in Social Work and this is the textbook type reader they produced for use in Christian colleges with social work majors or for any social worker wanting to think more faithfully about their calling into this line of work.  Every major should have such a fine, expansive reader, connected to a faith-based professional association like this. We are one of the few stores in the country that carry this, and we are happy to offer it on sale, here, now.  

Rebuilding-the-Foundations.jpgRebuilding the Foundation: Social Relationships in Ancient Scripture and Contemporary Culture John Brueggemann & Walter Brueggemann (WJK) $20.00  In many of our off site book displays I suppose we’d display this with the famous Old Testament scholar’s other books of Biblical studies. However, note: the primary author of this is the son of Walt Brueggemann, John. And John is an esteemed sociologist in his own right.  (In fact, professor John Brueggemann is the Department Chair of the Sociology Department at Skidmore and has published books such as Rich, Free, and Miserable: The Failure of Success in America and Inequality in the United States: A Reader.)

This is what Gary Dorrien calls “a jewel of a book, offering a rich conversation between a Biblical theologian father and sociologist son on caring for each other and the world.”  In fact, Mark Mulder (Chair of the Department of Social Work and Sociology at Calvin College) says of it, “Rebuilding the Foundations offers a clear, lucid, and compelling discussion of current social issues with insights from the intersection of biblical interpretation and sociology. A profound synthesis of the sociological and prophetic imagination.”  See what we’re doing at Jubilee, offering books like this to their sociology and social work majors?  I hope this book ends up in the footnotes of the papers students write next term.  Or in some sermons or Sunday school classes — why don’t you order it now while you can, on sale?

lawyers calling.jpgThe Lawyers Calling: Christian Faith and Legal Practice Joseph G. Allegretti (Paulist Press) $12.95  This delightfully interesting book is our first choice for pre-law majors, law students, or attorneys just starting to integrate faith and their vocation in the field of law.  The author is a Roman Catholic (who earned his J.D. from Harvard, cum laude) and an M.Div from Yale (summa cum laude, by the way) who, among other things, draws on Niebuhr. He is convinced that many lawyers are facing a crisis of meaning themselves, so need spiritual renewal and thoughtful theological insight about their calling.  I like this because it is basic, relatively short, inexpensive.

Redeeming Law- Christian Calling and the Legal Profession.jpgRedeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession Michael Schutt (IVP) $27.00 This, I always say, everywhere we go, is the book for serious Christians thinking about law and legal theory from a Christian viewpoint. Mike is a very, very good friend and even if you don’t agree with every jot and tittle of this large work, you will enjoy the conversation, learn much, and be well on your way to developing an integrated Christian vision of your work and faith by reading Redeeming Law.   He understands that God calls us into vocational arenas and wrote about that before the recent batch of books on this, and he then integrates a Biblical world-and-life view with a serious take on jurisprudence and the like. Kudos to Mike not only for writing this important book but for his upbeat work with law students through the Christian Legal Society.  We are big fans.  And, he has spoken at Jubilee more than once. He’s had me on his Cross and Gavel podcast, too, talking about books, of course. Yay.

Counseling and Christianity- Five Approaches.jpgCounseling and Christianity: Five Approaches edited by Stephen Greggo (IVP) $25.00 I love these kinds of four views debates, with varying authors saying how they relate, in this case, faith to their counseling practices.  After each position paper, the others offer their feedback, and so by the end you get not only four models of faith/counseling integration, but also the critiques others might make to the faithfulness and viability of the model.  I was hoping psychology majors who so earnestly want to help people and want a Godly approach would be eager to struggle through these competing options. Well, we have a few too many on hand, now, so surely there’s some BookNotes readers who would find this helpful.  There is another one that is a bit more scholarly/foundational called Faith and Psychology: Five Views and we have a lot of that one left over, too.  Any takers?  Order now while these are part of this buy two get one free dealio.

good of politics.jpgThe Good of Politics: A Biblical, Historical, and Contemporary Introduction James Skillen (Baker Academic) $24.00  I did a major, long review of this when it first came out and I maintain it is one of the essentials for anyone serious about thinking about the quandary of working out a Christian view of public justice in a pluralistic culture. A lot of church history and theology, Skillen is masterful in examining how different assumptions about politics, culture, history, institutions, the fall, the nature of redemption, all conspire to shape (or, more likely, to mis-shape) our views of the task of the state. Neither big government democrat committed to “progress” (whatever that means) nor a small-government conservative, Skillen really does work out political theory in light of a Kuyperian insight about the Bible, redemption, and the role of government. BookNotes subscribers know I’ve developed several lists of the best books about a non-partisan; uniquely Christian view of political life and responsible citizenship and this book is always on those lists.  Had I been with any poly sci majors I’d have pressed this into their hands.  Glad to offer a few here, now, on sale.

caring for creation.jpgCaring for Creation: The Evangelical’s Guide to Climate Change and a Healthy Environment Mitch Hescox & Paul Douglas (Bethany) $14.99  I hope you recall that we’ve had this dynamic duo in the bookstore here in Dallastown and that we big fans of this easy to read study of climate change and responsible, non-partisan policy ideas.  This is such an accessible, balanced, and Biblically-inspiring little book I wanted all the Jubilee participants to know about it.  I described it briefly during the main-stage time Saturday morning when we were lamenting what Bible scholars call “the fall” which reminds us that things are “not the way they are supposed to be.” Romans 8 overtly teaches that the whole creation is groaning, that the Earth itself is weighed down, awaiting redemption-at the hands of the new Adams and Eves that, in the Second Adam, can bring healing and hope to the planet.  There are more sophisticated books of eco-theology, more urgent books about push us towards climate change activism.  This is a great start, though, and in this current political era, it is clear that the Trump administration isn’t going to be funding or enforcing anti-pollution legislation, so things are only going to get worse. This is simply a fact. As pollution increases the church is going to have to be prepared. Get this book now and read it as soon as possible. 

Making Sense of God- An Invitation to the Skeptical .jpgMaking Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical Timothy Keller (Viking) $27.00  Many, many young adults love Keller’s astute sermons, listen to him on line and admire his fairly conventional worship and preaching at Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan.  Keller knows that the gospel is for all of life and has hosted conversations at his PCA church on everything from civility to the arts, bringing in folks as diverse as Pulitzer Prize literary figure Marilyn Robinson and poet Christian Wyman and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson. His gospel-centered call to “seek the peace of the city” encourages many towards civic engagement (and, to be honest, learned some of this perspective  years and years ago through figures in the early 1970s who were also seminal in influencing the CCO and Jubilee; Keller himself has spoken for CCO staff.)

Alas, nonetheless, this book was maybe too pricey for young students and maybe a bit intimidating. We had a large section on “apologetics” for those wanting to defend the faith with concise answers to tough questions but many were less sophisticated and less costly, more suitable for younger students.  Further, we had a large section of books we labeled “finding faith” for seekers and skeptics.  (Yes, CCO staff persuade even intellectually antagonistic students to come along to this overtly Christ-centered event and we had numerous conversations with sharp atheists or other non-Christian students.)  Anyway, be that all as it may be, we have a some of these big books we’re willing to add on to this sale offer.  This is sophisticated, thoughtful, engaging, and what is essential a prequel to his famous Reason for God. You should consider getting it and reading it’s remarkable insight and/or sharing it with a skeptic you may know.

new heavens and new earth.jpgA New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology J. Richard Middleton (Baker Academic) $26.99  Our friend Richard Middleton helped do some CCO staff training decades ago (back when he was writing with Brian Walsh, doing extraordinary – and still relevant! – books such as The Transforming Vision and Truth Is Stranger Than It Used to Be.)  Beth and I got to supply the books for a book release event launching A New Heaven and a New Earth into the world, hosted by Redeemer Presbyterian in New York a few years ago. Some of us were tickled pink when we heard Richard was doing the Sunday morning message at Jubilee that year and ever since we’ve carried a b it stack of this hefty volume.  Granted, it is more than most want to know about the restoration of creation and even if most Jubilee kids appreciated the “salvation is creation healed” view of the end, this is a through (not to say tedious) study.  Blurbs on the back range from Walter Brueggemann (who had nearly said about his book The Liberating Image that is was the best book on the imago dei in all of church history) to Jamie Smith (who says this book, if widely read would “transform North American Christianity”) to Lutheran Hebrew Scriptures scholar Terence Fretheim, to Biblical scholar and thermaculture farmer Sylvia Keesmaat to Creation Regained worldview author Al Wolters… This is a fabulous contribution and a must-read.  The last chapter explores living Jubilee a la Luke 4, by the way, and is nearly worth the price of the book just for that.

Adventures in Evangelical Civility- A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground.jpgAdventures of Evangelical Civility: A Lifelong Quest for Common Ground Richard Mouw (Brazos Press) $24.99  Mouw’s wonderful little book of social wisdom called Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World is certainly a much-needed book these days, but I wanted to remind you of this more recent one – it seemed so germane at Jubilee for young scholars and faculty and others who grapple with intellectual and theological and social issues.  This is more or less a memoir by the former Calvin College political philosophy professor whose early books so influenced those of us creating the Jubilee conference in the late 1970s who ended up the President of Fuller Theological Seminary.

Mouw did Jubilee workshops early on, decades ago, and just a few years ago did a major main-stage address.  (His short piece in my own Serious Dreams by the way, was a lovely little talk at Messiah College on why higher education matters and hopefully “rearranged” the intellectual luggage one carries around. It is, in a way, what Jubilee is about, too, or, as rapper Propaganda said this year, college is a great time of life because one begins to understand that things are a lot more complex than we previously thought.)  Anyway, this memoir – named as one of my favorite books of 2016 – shows how Mouw sought common ground with the books and authors he was reading, being engaged and interactive with the scholars and the social trends and the theological voices competing for influence. It is, in a way, a perfect guide (by way as example and storytelling) on how to do this Christian learning thing, being both principles and gracious, being open-minded but grounded in the Bible, being a committed evangelical but open to other influences and always involved in the issues of the day.  Most of the most admired Christian scholars and though leaders I know, and many who have graced the podiums and classrooms and late-night talk sessions in the lobbies at Jubilee are themselves fans of Dr. Mouw.  We should read his book, take in his stories, learn by example of how to be “in but not of” the world, open but truthful, always on a quest…

Recovering Classic Evangelicalism- Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. jpgRecovering Classic Evangelicalism: Applying the Wisdom and Vision of Carl F. H. Henry Gregory Alan Thornberry (Crossway) $17.99  I’ve heard quite a bit about this bow-tie rocking New York President of The Kings College who ends up in The New Yorker or the Wall Street Journal, making a case for culturally relevant, thoughtful, distinctively Christian ideals, worked out in the real world by energetic, thoughtful young adults.

Dr. Thornbury is young, exceptionally bright, fascinated by pop culture, and, indeed, helped edited with my good friend Ned Bustard, the Square Halo book Bigger on the Inside: Christian Faith and Doctor Who which (as books with a cult following sometimes do) surprised us by selling out at Jubilee. We were glad he was at Jubilee Professional (where his presentation was fabulously insightful and energetic!) and we heard he attracted a good crowd for his Jubilee workshop.  We’re glad the Doctor Who one was appreciated.

Yet his more conventional volume – although not at all stuffy for this kind of a book – about the former evangelical leader Carl F. H. Henry is a masterpiece.  I so wish others who are involved in contemporary cultural witness in these postmodern days would know this material. Whether the framework and approach of the then-young, socially-responsible, mid-twentieth century evangelical leader (now long gone) is adequate for our times is perhaps an unanswered question, but we should know his work and witness, know the history of ideas and practices and institutions developed by Henry (Christianity Today, for instance, and, in some convoluted stretch, the CCO itself.) Dr. David Dockery says, “This marvelously written volume brilliantly captures the essence of Henry’s massive writings for a new generation of students, thinkers, and leaders.”  I know that many of the 19 year-olds at Jubilee are still reading Crazy Love and Not a Fan; we hope our broader and perhaps more mature readership here will appreciate this important book – which suggests Carl F. H. Henry is “a key to evangelicalism’s past and a cipher for the future” – and take it up to consider carefully.  It would make a great little book club study or a book to read with a partner.  In this recent election cycle and in all the news reporting we’ve learned that evangelicalism has come to lose concise meaning and almost anybody who isn’t an excessive theological liberal is considered, these days, an “evangelical.”  We all should ponder what “classic evangelicalism” is.  This book can help.

VoV.jpgVisions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good Steven Garber (IVP) $17.00  Steve spoke at the pre-Jubilee day (Jubilee Professional, or JPro as we sometimes call it) and was, of course, hanging around the conference itself; he used to be the director and brought globally-respected evangelicals such as John Stott and Hans Rookmaaker to Pittsburgh decades ago. So many respect him throughout the country, but he has a special affection for Pittsburgh and for this decades old event. I almost always announce his important books at Jubilee, since they literally emerged, in part, from his years directing the conference and caring about grad students in Pittsburgh via IVCF and CCO; some years I tell of Fabric of Faithfulness, some years Visions of Vocation.

This year I gave it a rest – so many books, so little time.  So here ya go, now:  my nearly every-other-week plug for Mr. Garber’s luminous books.  Dare I say this has been one of the top two or three leaders who have influenced CCO and the Jubilee conference?  It is really true.

Somebody from the main stage this year said that Beth and I have been influential in the conference and gave us a very kind shout-out.  We appreciate being so honored and were humbled and grateful.  But let’s face it: our role is in getting the best books into the hands of leaders and students, pastors and others who help spread the words.   Beth and I wouldn’t have anything much to do if we didn’t have books of this caliber and authors and publishers that are so supportive of our feeble efforts.  Thanks Steve (and other good authors.)  Thanks Jubilee.  And thanks to you – BookNotes readers.  We’re in this together, reading for the Kingdom, serving God for the good of the world.



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