In our last post where we highlighted some brand new books (and some long-standing hardbacks that have been finally released in paperback) we noted that we had just gotten back from the big Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh. If you are new to BookNotes or the Hearts & Minds bookstore you may not know that this great event for 4000 college student run by the campus ministry organization CCO (with whom Beth and I are involved) is one of the most important things we’ve ever had the privilege of being involved with. We were involved as a member of the early committee for the event over 40 years ago to being an occasional speaker (yep, Beth and I both) and, in the last few decades, as book provider. I suppose, counting up my time on stage promoting books at the event I may have been up front as often as nearly anyone – and they keep allowing us to come back! It is an honor to invite students to “read for the Kingdom” and it is a hard but true joy to choose and lug and curate and set up (and lay out the cash for) a big pop-up bookstore each February in Pittsburgh.

Here’s a little impromptu Facebook video I made on a whim when we were starting to load the rented truck a week or so ago; I could make a less energetic one now that we are trying to get the hundreds of boxes unpacked and in some order in our basement warehouse. If you’ve got any time in your prayer schedule, add us on your list.


The work after events is harder and more stressful than many know and our bodies and minds are aching as we look to the next complicated weeks, in our personal lives and in the store, post-Jubilee. Which includes – oh yes it does! – A FOUR-DAY ONLY AFTER JUBILEE CLEARANCE SALE. While supplies last, the titles shown way below in the list are 30% OFF. This sale is over at the end of the day –11:59 pm EST – the night of March 8th 2018.

To gain admission to these deep discounts, you just have to read through my breathy rumination, so you know what’s behind all this jubilation. Or not – just skip to the bottom to see the clearance sale items. And the free book offer if you buy any three books mentioned.

To be clear, in this first part, my bibliographic essay about Jubilee, I cite a bunch of books. They are on sale for 20% off, if mentioned in passing in this essay portion. The ones shown in the list further below, however, are all 30% off. Buy any combo of any three mentioned or shown and we’ll throw in a freebie by Michael Frost, also shown below. Just use our order form page – click on the ORDER HERE link and it will take you to our secure site. Then, just type in what you want and give us your info and share your digits. Easy. We’ll confirm everything, old school, with a personal email. Unless you state otherwise we’ll send things the least expensive way we can, which usually means media mail.  Okay?


We don’t have reason to believe that the ancient Hebrews ever actually celebrated the Year of Jubilee as commanded in Leviticus 25. We’ve got a line about it on our Liberty Bell commemorating US political freedom from King George and some Tea Party types emblazon it on caps and tees shirts to complain about high taxes and a media they don’t like. But the Biblical teaching of an every-50-year Jubilee as detailed in Leviticus – dreamed about by the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 61) so many years later which then became the first lectionary text Jesus used in his first sermon (Luke 4) – was to be so much more than these cheap misappropriations. I’m sure you know that it included land redistribution, forgiveness of economic debts (it’s why we say “forgive us our debts” in the Lord’s Prayer) and other restorative social and economic policies. Years were shaved off of indentured servant’s obligations, prisoners got out of jail, animals got to rest, the land was to lay fallow, in a move ripe with environmental stewardship and an extraordinary experience of trusting the provisions of an abundance creation overseen by a gracious God. All of this good social policy stuff about second chances and renewed social infrastructure and the revival of stewardly economies, conjuring up the teeming blessing of shalom in Genesis 1 and 2, all was to begin on the day of atonement.

When we are made right with God through the sacrificial grace of a merciful Redeemer – you can see how this points us to the cross – our family hurts and social injustices and broken institutions and our relationship with the land itself changes and we can arrange our economies and our relations with the poor and our criminal justice policies and relationships with animals and our own personal budgets all in fresh, new ways. This is the full-orbed, creation-restored, abundant life envisioned by the Sabbath and Jubilee teachings within the Hebrew Scriptures, and it was the basis for Jesus’ inaugural sermon. He bluntly says the Jubilee is a reality, begun in Him. In so many words he says, after reading Isaiah, You’re looking at it.

Jubilee people realize God’s creation is wondrously covenantal and abundant and that God is trustworthy. We move from fear to freedom and – yes – we can rest. Jubilee, it could be said, is the every-50-year Rest of all Rests, the Sabbath of all Sabbaths; although just social policies were part of it, at its root was a trust in God and God’s promises that allowed a year of rest; it is where we get the idea of a sabbatical, after all. When we embrace this kind of abundance we can be like the Galilean youngster who shared a loaf and a few fish and ended up with holy leftovers to be re-shared. How many baskets were left over, by the way? A Jubilee-ish number to be sure, offering one more clue that Jesus’ proclamation in Luke 4 that he was inaugurating this “favorable year of the Lord” is oh so true.

I’ve mentioned in other Jubilee-related reflections that some Bible scholars (particularly of a few key texts in Chronicles) deduce that the Jewish exile into Babylon in the early 500s BC, and the number of years they were kept away from their homeland, were, in fact, the number of years they would have done the big Jubilee year of rest had they been obedient. That is, God was so faithful to God’s plan that even if the people had to be exiled for a generation or more, the land would get its rest and at least part of the Jubilee would occur. God apparently takes land and rest and what we now call sustainability seriously.

The land merely laying fallow while the people were in exile wasn’t the robust, joyful plan of social restoration that was intended and centuries later we learn how the prophet Isaiah longed for it; indeed he alluded to Jubilee (see Isaiah 61) and prophesied that it would someday happen. Jesus, so many years later, still, preaching his own very first sermon on that very Isaiah text, says, that, in Himself, that time has arrived. 

You know Jesus as the Christ, as Savior, Redeemer, Bread of Life, Lord, King, friend. I suggest you add “Jubilee Bringer” to the names of Jesus you use in your holy imagination and in your prayers and liturgy. Of course, “Kingdom-bringer” is another way to say the same thing: the Kingdom is at hand; the commonwealth of God, the reign of restoration has begun; the future age of new creation has broken into the now of real life! It is simple: we “seek first the Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33) and everything else falls into place. We preach the gospel “to all creation” (Mark 16:15) and long for “all things” to be reconciled (Ephesians 1:10.) We give all we have for that treasure in that field, we enter the Kingdom and, alas, “all things are made new, we are new creations!” Through Christ’s cross the dysfunctions of the idols and powers of this world are undone (Colossians 2:15) and “all things” are reconciled (Colossians 1:20.) All things?

All things?

God wants to heal and re-direct and receive glory from reconciled sports and architecture, nursing and filmmaking, science and business, cooking and international diplomacy? Christ-followers and Kingdom agents are helping renew schooling, philosophy, factories, farming, childbirth, politics, media, home-life, and higher education?

It’s no wonder that a group of people in Pittsburgh in the 1970s studying Dutch Reformed theologian and statesman Abraham (“Every Square Inch”) Kuyper and a Mennonite book called The Politics of Jesus concluded that Jubilee would be a good title for a conference about this big redemptive story of God based on forgiveness and trust, leading to social renewal and public justice, the grand hope of the restoration of all things.


As happens every year, I got teary and occasionally wept as I watched my younger colleagues at the CCO leading their college age students into this broad vision of God’s redemptive work in the world at the annual Jubilee Conference in Pittsburgh. Time and again in powerful main sessions and engaging workshops and vivid, loud worship, nearly 4000 students and lots of others were invited into a view of life that gives account for the goodness of creation and it’s God give orderliness and potential, the brokenness we know that comes from autonomy, sin, idolatries, stupidity, and cruelty, and, further, a vision of God’s grace that leads to redemption in Christ and true hope for the renewal of life as God intends.

It’s the best presentation of the gospel we ever year and the care and creativity obvious in the event is nearly overwhelming to me.

As you may know, the CCO arranges the Jubilee conference in those four major parts, with main stage gatherings moving from presentations on the goodness of creation to the awful fall into sin and the subsequent disruption of the world God made, on to the redemption Jesus brings and ending with a message of hope for the restored creation (what some might call “realized eschatology.”) By Sunday morning the worship and music and speakers inspire students to live into the tension of the “already but not yet” of Christ’s promises of healing the cosmos. “All things (re)new(ed)” promises Revelation 21 and 22 — our lives can be decisively shaped by this hope. Through union with the resurrected, ascended, and returning Christ, we can be the change we want to see. We are pregnant, as it were, with the promise of future hope. We are the light of the world, Jesus said, and we point people (through our good works, He also said) towards the good promises of Kingdom come, which is creation renewed.

The big artful images which served as backdrop for the stage this year were so powerful — I can’t seem to get images copies here, now, but look around for them on line if you like doing that. They were very, very cool.

There is, as N.T Wright wonderful ponders in Surprised By Hope and as Richard Middleton studies in every more detail in A New Heavens and New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (which ends in a great study of Luke 4, by the way), continuity between this world and the next.

It is, I believe, a continuity that provides meaning and structure and direction and purpose for life – for every aspect of life and every sphere of culture, including work and our callings into citizenship, the arts, entertainment, and more – that few churches proclaim with much clarity or gusto. Over and over at Jubilee we hear, even from adults: I’ve never heard this before!

Why is that?

I may be unfairly generalizing and there are grand exceptions, but it seems that more liberal/progressive churches, despite good stands on justice issues and a vision of radical inclusion (see the end of Luke 4 for good Biblical justification of outsiders getting in, so to speak) such churches don’t talk much about future hope or a second coming of Christ or frame ordinary day to day light in such eschatological terms; there isn’t much talk about glory or hope, it seems to me. On the other hand, more conservative evangelical churches still, despite some movement on this, think of “going to heaven” as the real point of all of life. They may be strong in helping individual believers grow in vibrant, personal faith and knowledge of God’s gift of salvation, but they are still weak in relating saving grace to all of life, and equipping folks to live into a hopeful vision of the reign of God that is a-coming, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Further still, we are glad that both mainline denominational folks and evangelicals are learning from Catholic monastics and contemplatives about spiritual disciplines, but, again, some of the centers for spirituality and formation these days talk more about mystical union with God and intimate friendship with Jesus than being shaped by the virtues of Christ to become vessels for all-of-life, love-of-neighbor, “seek the peace of the city” sort of restorative work. It is why we were so glad to tell people about Kyle Bennett’s Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World (Brazos Press; $17.99) that show how spiritual practices help us reconfigure and live in new ways in the real world. It makes perfect sense that James K.A. Smith wrote the forward to Kyle’s book and that they both have spoken at Jubilee. This Jubilee vision is, if nothing, integral.

So, in this still-too-rare Biblical perspective, all of life is being redeemed because God, in Christ, is redeeming this very world. For God so loved the world (the Greek word is cosmos, which means, literally, the stuff of Earth) you know. This was the sign of the first Jubilee – life renewed in a God-centered vision of the common good for all from the land on to reconfigured finances and jails and jobs – and it was at the heart of Jesus’ first sermon.


Which means, it all matters. Every square inch. Or, as the tag line of Jubilee 2018 put it, “This changes everything.”

Using the creation/fall/redemption framework (or the similar rubric of shalom/alienation/reconciliation offered by Lisa Sharon Harper in her wonderful book The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right (Waterbrook; $15.99) is so helpful and generative. Seen through the lens of this story we can see what’s right, what’s wrong, and what is to be done and hoped for. It is helpful beyond words for these students knowing that their hurts and their yearnings (from body issues to racial justice, and more) matter to God and that they can understand them through this framework. We have Lisa’s book listed below on sale for 30% off, so be sure to order if if you’d like.

We sell small books at Jubilee that make a big impact in explaining this; I hope you have some on hand to pass out to those with whom you talk about the full gospel of the Jubilee.

For instance, we love books such as All Things New: Rediscovering the Four Chapter Gospel Why It Matters by Hugh Whelchel (IFWE; $6.99 — although that is one we have under the clearance sale section at 30% off for the next four days) and A Christian Worldview: A Students Guide by Philip Ryken (Crossway; $11.99) which explain the significance of these four “acts” of the Biblical drama. One of our favorite small groups guides for this is the rare and wonderful Reintegrate Your Career with God’s Purposes by Bob Robinson (Good Place Publishing; $14.00) I hardly know any other simple resources that invite conversations about this coherent Biblical story that shapes how we think about all of life being redeemed. Do you? I wish we’d sell these routinely – they are so useful and so rare. They will create some fresh conversations in your circles, I’m sure!

We hope you know Richard Mouw’s thought-provoking book about the continuity between culture and redemption and new creation in his little book When the Kings Come Marching In: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem (Eerdmans; $15.00.) Again, I promise you’ll both enjoy its crisp writing and learn something new from it – some have found it confounding and others have found it clarifying. Will there be Beatles recordings in the New Earth? It is a serious question and he’s got a proof-text based on the ships of Tarshish!

Of course we always promote more serious explorations of this approach such as Creation Regained: The Biblical Basis for a Reformational Worldview by Al Wolters (Eerdmans; $15.00.) Even if you think you get the full implications of the c-f-r stuff, his chapter on “structure and direction” is worth the price of the book and priceless for helping us discern wisely about how to relate to the world and institutions and artifacts and stuff around us.

For those that want to dig into the eschatology of this “cosmic reordering of all things” we highly recommend the aforementioned Richard Middleton’s stunning A New Heavens and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology (Baker Academic; $27.99) which he summarized in his Jubilee talk shown above. And, of course, again, N.T. Wright’s well-known and very important, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (HarperOne; $15.99.)

You can pick up the hardback (usually $24.99) at our 30% off sale price now ($17.50) while supplies last, or get the brand new paperback at the 20% discount announced in the previous BookNotes offer. We only have a couple hardbacks so let us know asap if you want one at 30% off.

Yep, the Jubilee conference, informed as it has been by these kinds of books, help participants see the Bible as a shaping narrative, a story that coheres, which has a plot and trajectory, and matters as it points us to original blessing and order and goodness, helps us understand the brokenness and idols of the age, and enables us to trust in God’s promises and faithfulness, the person and work of Christ, and the pressing pull of the Kingdom coming “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” It re-orients the perspective of participants, re-directing their self-understanding and helping them see themselves as part of the big Biblical drama. It’s a light before our path, which is to say it illuminates what we know about the world so we can walk wisely in the ways of the Lord in every zone of life.  Many of the “how to read the Bible” books we promote there have that as a feature, such as Michael Goheen & Craig Bartholomew’s The True Story of the Whole World: Finding Your Place in the Biblical Drama (Faith Alive; $15.99) or Sean Gladding’s The Story of God, the Story of Us: Getting Lost and Found in the Bible (IVP; $17.00 or The Big Story: How the Bible Makes Sense Out of Life by the fun writer Justin Buzzard (Moody Press; $13.99.)

I wish our regular Hearts & Minds customers and BookNotes readers who are not in college could have a similar enthusiastic reminder that our jobs, neighborhoods, citizenship, leisure experiences, home lives, sexuality, technologies, urban spaces and built environment, eating habits, views of the natural world, and the like are all made good by God, but are not now as they are meant to be, and that every aspect and sphere of natural, cultural, social, and personal life is, although distorted as we experience them, claimed by Christ, part of His Jubilee. How beautiful to see our churches and ourselves as missional agents joining God in the transformation of the world and how very wise to frame it not just in terms of people knowing God’s love or even “changing the world” but to see God’s work of redemption as a restoration of creation order and beauty and intent. To be deployed to that vision of the rescue of creation and attentiveness to creational ordinances and norms and potential, as prelude to the restoration of all things is nothing short of life changing.

I’m sorry to be so wordy preaching all this for you. Thank you for reading along, bearing with me.

I hope you know I’m not just happily recalling the reformational, missional theology behind the CCOs Pittsburgh Jubilee event but I’m telling you why our store is the way it is, the animating vision the has shaped Beth and me, and why our bookstore carries books on work and art and politics and sex and spirituality, cookbooks and novels and books on engineering.

We hope it is your story, too, that God is stirring up in your own desires and yearnings, an increasing passion to learn and grow wise in the ways of the world and the ways of God’s Kingdom. Oh how these newly inspired young people need wise elders and church leaders that can learn from them and also help lead them. See my review of John Seel’s excellent The New Copernicans: Millennials and the Survival of the Church (Thomas Nelson; $16.99) for a reminder of that.

If any of this talk about wholistic faith, a worldview where all of life is being redeemed, where vibrant faith can transcend older debates between liberals and conservatives, but can tell this better story, if this touches a nerve, rekindles a desire, inspires a renewed hope for a full-orbed, incarnational way of being a friend of God in all of life, working for Jubilee justice, learning about faith in the marketplace and public spaces, then maybe our bookstore can help. We want to serve all kinds of readers, but we have you in mind, particularly. We have the tools you need.


Books matter. Books are important tools for thinking about the implications of this worldviewish perspective and good authors can be wise guides to help us think deeply about God’s intentions for creation. To be faithful agents of God’s redemptive purposes in our time we need more than the Bible, more than good church services, more than passion for the relevance of the gospel. We have to think it through, un-learn and re-learn some stuff, and work it out. Why did God in all of God’s wisdom, create humans with capacities to mirror God’s own care for the world God so loves? How does our sexuality or our thinking or are propensity to play or our ability to be creative or our deep need to work or the joy of learning or the call to rest or our spending of money or our capacity to make stuff or our kinship in families, not to mention our ethnicity and gender – all human things — fit into our Christian lives, our discipleship, our walking in the way of the Lord through this hard but wonderful world?

We need all the help we can get to learn what it means to be faithful in the modern world as redeemed people.

I’d say we even have to learn to ask the right questions, and good books can stimulate our minds and enlarge our hearts and guide us into this sort of curious, probing wisdom, with a view to working out a Kingdom viewpoint in all of life.

Books are the tools we need, since even the best pastors among us most likely can’t help you much as an mathematician, school teacher, engineer, business person, artist, barista, elected official, radiologist, or social worker.

We take about 160 categories of books to the Jubilee conference so that participants can see what a well-stocked Christian bookstore looks like and the tools for Christian living we can provide.

There are good books on everything, almost, and not enough people have access to these riches. And, more importantly, germane for this “all of life redeemed” missional Jubilee vision, we take so many books to the conference in order to help conferees discover resources about their own passions and pursuits, the offices to which they are called and their various tasks and duties, as students, friends, relatives, church members, citizens and so forth. The conference is for college students and the life of the mind as they think about their studies, of course, but it also means that we show off books on sexuality and dating, learning to step into what is playfully called “adulting,” and stuff like being a better friend or son or daughter. We sell a lot of “self-help” titles about shame and pain and how God’s grace equips us to forgive and move beyond hurts and setbacks and the insecurities many have. (Does your church help hurting people see the gospel as the balm they need to heal their anguish, to cope with their anxiety? I hope so.) And, naturally, for those still trying to figure out the truthfulness of this Christian story (can such good news really be true?) we sell popular-level introductions to the gospel, books for those with questions and doubts and books that make a good case for the credibility of this story we find ourselves in.

I was glad, by the way, to sell the paperback edition of David Dark’s allusive book Life’s Too Short To Pretend Your Not Religious (IVP; $17.00) and David Skeel’s not-quite-postmodern True Paradox: How Christianity Makes Sense of Our Complex World (IVP; $16.00) alongside the more popular Case for Christ and Case for Faith and other books of evidences and apologetics for those wanting to persuade their friends of the goodness of the gospel way. Hooray for good tools, too, like Os Guinness’s Fools Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion (IVP; $22.00) and Richard Mouw’s Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World (IVP; $16.00) and Winsome Persuasion: Christian Influence in a Post-Christian World by Tim Muehlhoff and Richard Langer (IVP; $22.00.)

Naturally, we promote resources on the big picture Jubilee worldview and try to encourage students to move a bit beyond the most popular Christian growth books into deeper spirituality (if they are ready for that, but for many, even Lewis’s Mere Christianity or Wright’s Simply Christian is a huge first step and a bit demanding) and, also, to buy books about their majors and future careers. Many of their CCO workers have raised some extra money to help those with limited funds to invest in a personal library, and it is beautiful to see. We have a huge selection of books about vocation and calling and we have a large section of books about work; not all Christian bookstores carry this kind of thing, so it’s precious to offer these tools of faithful Christian living to those who care. (Ahhh, if only older, more established Christian adults had half the passion and zeal and openness to learn that these 20-something have!)

Besides the arts and sciences, books about a Christian view of literature or computer science or nursing or film or business or special education – we think they should read a few books just about what we call “the Christian mind.” For this crowd I like John Piper’s passionate Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Crossway; $15.99) although I really, really like one by Philip E. Dow called Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development (IVP; $17.99.) It is lovely, nicely written and stimulating new ground; it is one faculty and anyone who prides themselves in thinking well should read too. I like to show off the brief Called to the Life of the Mind: Some Advice for Evangelical Scholars by Richard Mouw (Eerdmans; $10.00) mostly because it is so brief. Students don’t know John Stott, these days, but his very classic book (that we passed out at our grand opening 35 years ago!) called Your Mind Matters (IVP; $9.00) is one that pushes back at the sensationalism and anti-intellectualism in some evangelical circles. This stuff if foundational, I’d say.

I think the late, great James Sire (who has spoken at Jubilee more than once and whose recent death was discussed at the book tables more than once) would have been proud to see books about worldview and the Christian mind, including his own Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept (IVP; $22.00) and Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling IVP; $20.00.) I know Sire loved The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview by Brian Walsh and Richard Middleton (IVP; $22.00) and we had all of Walsh and Middleton’s other books too. Man, I wish folks would order Subversive Christianity: Imaging God in a Dangerous Time by Walsh (Wipf & Stock; $17.00) – it’s incredibly potent, thoughtful, deep, urgent, and one of the chapters was one of the meatier lectures ever given at Jubilee, years and years ago!

These are books that rocked our worlds over the years and I pray that showing them off to the rising generation of CCO staff and their young students will ripple down through the next decades, putting them on a trajectory of life-long, profound discipleship. Steve Garber’s research on how all that works – moving from worldview to way of life with the help of mentors and friends as described in his very significant Fabric of Faithfulness: Moving From Belief to Behavior (IVP; $18.00) – was displayed right there, too, alongside Sire and Walsh and Middleton and Al Wolters and Mark Noll and the like. Steve used to direct the conference decades ago, so it is always special to show Fabric of Faithfulness and Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good (IVP; $17.00), too. Both are eloquent, beautiful, stimulating, enduring books of Jubilee vision and whole-life discipleship. 

Increasingly, there are a large number of adults that attend Jubilee; in fact there is a tremendous, pre-Jubilee event for pastors and professionals, entrepreneurs and artists, businesspeople and other leaders who want to work out the Jubilee vision in their own grown-up worlds, called Jubilee Professional. I was again invited to speak briefly to this great group – right after a stunning DVD about coffee recently created by the Acton Institute, and speakers such as Andy Crouch and Tish Warren and Dan Allender. Jubilee Professional is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation and this year both Acton Institute and the wonderful Made to Flourish (founded by Tom Nelson) helped out. Do you know Tom Nelson’s Work Matters: Moving From Sunday Worship to Monday Work? Tom’s vision of seeing churches and pastors motivated and equipped to encourage their congregants in their work lives is lovely; his new book is on why we should know a bit about how the structures of economics unfold and how church folk can take up their lives not unaware of economic forces is called, beautifully, The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity (IVP; $16.00.) If you can, you should sign up for next year’s JubileePro. – it’s a great afternoon event, and then you get in to Jubilee for the big Friday night opening.

It is fabulous to have so many thoughtful, somewhat older adults visit our bookstore at Jubilee, too. Pittsburgh friends come by just to chat and shop; those leading booths (many seminaries, interestingly, but also ministry organizations, camps recruiting college-age summer staff, service opportunities and the like) swing by, to see for themselves what the fuss is about, as do many of the speakers and Jubilee Pro participants. Guests are amazed that we lugged so darn much there, and seem impressed that we have curated this particular mix of books about culture, society, faith development, spiritual formation and books about nearly every sphere of life. I almost cried when John Mark Comer said that “this is what it looks like when a true book lover curates a conference bookstore.” Dan Allender’s literal blessings meant the world to us and will keep us going at least another year. This is hard, hard work, and not particularly lucrative, but having mature Christians who know the book world – authors themselves, especially, and even editors like Bob Hoesak of Baker Academic and Brazos Press – say how much they respect our efforts is such a blessing. We are feeling such gratitude right now. It is an honor to get to work with the CCO and their Jubilee team and you who read our columns and send orders our way are a part of this. You really are as your routine business keeps us going to these sorts of missional events. It is part of what your support of our business enables and we are grateful.


We so wish that you, friend, could experience Jubilee for yourself. We’ve been involved in one way or another in almost every one of the 44 conferences and every year I think that “if only…” others could see what we see, experiencing this grand, bustling, energetic tribe of students struggling with the implications of the gospel for all areas of life, their own faith would be deepened and their own hope for the immediately future would be enhanced.

These kids are rocking their campuses – leading friends to faith in Christ, calling churches into better ministry, getting involved in university life, serving the community and heading off to service projects by the thousands. My, my, any Christian pastor or church leader or youth minister would come away from this event with a boat-load of fresh enthusiasm and good ideas. I have told some clergy to skip their routine professional conferences, the Festival of Homiletics, SBL, the State Pastors Conference, or whatever thing they usually attend and go to this for educational development. There is no event like it on the planet! And, by all accounts, it has the best book display of any gig anywhere.

So why not get next year’s Jubilee dates on your calendar and plan now to make the pilgrimage with us to Pittsburgh in February 22 – 24 in 2019.

I rarely use our BookNotes to promote specific organizations or ministries, but I sure do hope that if anyone has any interest in wholistic, evangelical campus ministry that works so well with this rising generation, that they’d consider donating to the Coalition for Chrisitan Outreach, known popularly as the CCO. The impact they make is fantastic. Or, who knows, maybe you might want to work with them; if you see yourself as wanting to partner with evangelically-minded churches near campuses to reach students (or you attend an evangelically-minded church near a college campus who wishes to reach students) you should contact them.

Here is one particularly vivid example of the impact Jubilee can have on a student – these kinds of stories could be multiplied over and over as young adults find this conference and the CCO’s ministry on their various campuses to be so very life-giving.

Check out this incredible video about our young friend MollyKate, who, after experiencing great hardship and depression (her father committed suicide) sensed God’s love anew through the ministry of the CCO at her campus. Interestingly, she was so taken with the creation-fall-redemption-restoration framework for the meaning of life and the aspects of the gospel story that she did a fashion design project at her school (she is a fashion design major in Ohio) creating dresses that represented these different aspects of the human condition. Her design teachers were so impressed with her couture fashion project – made from salvaged and reused fabrics, by the way – that she was selected to display her dresses with real models during New York Fashion Week. (You’ll see them in the video!) She has even made a little full-color book about her designs to tell the story of how Jubilee gave her a way to think about her calling as a dress designer which we stocked at Jubilee. On the back cover she mentions that those interested in the aesthetics of clothing might read a chapter in Steve Turner’s Pop-Cultured or dig deeper by looking at Calvin Seerveld’s Rainbows for the Fallen World. What a joy to have these conversations with a rising leader in her field. How cool is that — a fashion line inspired by Jubilee and the meta-narrative of Scripture sewn by a woman who has experienced her own, as she puts it, “journey of restoration.”




Books matter. We hear young people and older friends – from students who are not yet followers of Christ to main-stage speakers – tell stories of how books have impacted them. I know it is cheesy to say, but readers become leaders. These pages of print have long been a primary conduit for knowledge and inspiration, joy and healing. I was with a student who broke down in tears as she told me how a book helped her with her relationship with her mother. Another student cried as I found a book that named her particular area of hurt. Speakers told us of a life-changing book; students mentioned citing a book in a paper they were writing or how they had passed a resource on to a friend in the dorm. Books are gifts and we should rejoice in good authors, pray for publishers and bookstores, and remind ourselves just how God has used books down through the ages to deepen faith and resource disciples to live out their faith in more credible and beautiful ways.

But the corollary is, I suppose, that in our age of blogs and the 24-hour news cycle and YouTube comics and digital overload, we can grow both jaded and dumb. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman and The Shallows by Nicholas Carr continue to remind us that we are not as well read as we ought to be and our capacity to think well is being eroded daily. We were glad to sell Alan Jacob’s How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds (Currency; $23.00) and Christopher Smith’s Reading for the Common Good: How Books Help Our Churches and Neighborhoods (IVP; $16.00) two books we love. As much as I rejoice in telling you about how our book display was appreciated at Jubilee and how books have made a difference in so many lives, it is also true that indie bookstores (especially of the religious and theological sort) are increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

Those that know us well know that we are holding on by a thread, that our good sales at Jubilee and a handful of clergy conferences and other fun events we do all year are not enough to keep us afloat. We need a miracle of a renewed love of reading among our circles; we need more people who understand the need for reading widely, buying books, studying and learning and growing. Every year we come away from Jubilee with some bittersweet emotions – it is the very best thing we do all year and we are astonished at how good it is. We are also deeply aware that students do not read like they used to, that campus ministry professionals do not read like they used to, and that pastors and Christian leaders, with some stellar exceptions, don’t promote books like they used to. Bookstores are going extinct for a reason, and we are implicated in this shift away from what Richard Foster calls in Celebration of Discipline the “superficiality of our time” which can be countered by “the discipline of study.”

You say you want a revolution? Read for the Kingdom!

I will write about this more, later, I suppose, but I must note briefly that part of the reason for the demise of healthy bookstores in our culture (especially health religious bookstores) is not just because of this shift away from thoughtful reading, the loss of a love of the disciplines of real learning, and the dumbing down of content in our pulpits and faith communities and para-church ministries. It is also because so many people prefer the convenience and cheapness of shopping at Amazon.

We get the appeal of digital books, especially for those that travel, so we have no large beef there. We are glad that on-line vendors can sell used books at great prices. We are fond of libraries and used bookstores, so we appreciate that. Also, my hat is off to the geniuses at Amazon for their digital technologies and seemingly endless databases. It is scary when advertisers talk about pitching to the algorithms and how they can funnel and limit our knowledge of only certain books, but, manipulative as it is, it is technically impressive. Granted.

But the practice of buying from faceless sources who are mostly motivated by efficiency and speed and greed surely erodes the values that support serious learning and deep maturity. Like the way cheap and glitzy on line “education” fueled by greed and ideology should not be confused with a humane and transformative liberal arts education, so saving a quick buck at Amazon should not be confused with having a relationship with a real bookseller who cares about you and your formation. This is a reminder offered for the sake of your own intellectual health, a strategic plea on behalf of the sustainability of Kingdom living (what tools will we use to “think Christianly” when our best stores close down and all we have left are the algorithms at Amazon telling you what’s “liked” by others?) And I suppose it is a personal reminder that if you want us continuing to curate good book selections at conferences and doing good reviews of resources here on line, you should considering buying your books from us, or somebody like us. Buying good books is a spiritual discipline and sourcing them, as we say nowadays, from places of integrity that can help you well, is also a truly Christian practice. We are grateful for our friends and customers and we think we can provide you with a good service, so we want to remind you of that.

I write about this now in part because of comments occasionally made at conferences like Jubilee – sometimes even speakers stand in our bookstore and tell their followers to get their books at Amazon, stealing our livelihood in our very presence.

But I bring this up now also because, again, Jubilee is one of the best places anywhere to be inspired to live well in all areas of life, to make a difference with all we’ve got, to relate faith and culture, discipleship and our daily habits, to integrate our own lives with God’s story, day by day by day. To “think Christianly” and honor God in everything thing we do is just in the air, there. We learn from the conference to work out what it means to make our daily choices in ways that serve the common good that make sense from a Christian perspective, as we say. Jubilee invites us to live in ways that point to an alternative way of life that what is offered from late consumer capitalism, one that is based on, well, Jubilee principles of shalom and justice and restoration and stewardship, whole-life integrity. Jesus applauded those who were faithful in little things and promised that when we discern what faithfulness looks like in our small choices we will be able to move into deeper areas of impact, maybe even being agents of reformation and cultural renewal and history-making. I am so proud of CCO staff who walk alongside students in their critical years helping them discern a faithful sort of living.

You say you want a revolution? Start small; here’s one idea: buy from trusted sources that care. And, then, read for the Kingdom.



30% OFF THESE TITLES while supplies last

Buy any combo of any three and get the free Frost book shown below

This sale expires end of day, March 8th 2018.

These are all books we routinely stock and you can order them later at 10% off, or at a better discount if ordering in quantity. Give us a call if we can help further. For the next four days, though, while supplies last, we offer these shown below at 30% OFF.

We’ll call it rather inelegantly a clearance sale.

Garden City Work, Rest, and What It Means to Be Human John Mark Comer (Zondervan) $16.99 This is one of the best, refreshing, upbeat, fun books to read about all this good stuff. The design suggests a Rob Bell book. We really appreciated John Mark’s encouragement to us at Jubilee; he’s a good guy and did a great job Sunday morning. Buy a bunch of these and pass them out!




God Has A Name John Mark Comer (Zondervan) $16.99 . This is John Mark’s most recent book and it is oddly breezy yet profound, inviting us to know the name of God, to be in relationship with this God who cares. Interestingly, Comer suggests that the passage where God reveals God’s own name (in Exodus 34) may be the most quoted verse of the Bible in the rest of the Bible. Very nicely done.




The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life Os Guinness (Thomas Nelson) $17.99 Over and over I remind people that this is a beautiful, potent, elegant, thoughtful must-read. I think it is a very important work, one of my own personal favorites, and we highly recommend it. Get it now while on sale and you will want to read it more than once.





Culture Making Discovering Our Creative Callings Andy Crouch (IVP) $22.00 Again, this is one of those books that is nearly a must-read, essential to understand the Jubilee conference and Jubilee Pro as these ideas have been so significant in our community. This is a book that explores the “cultural mandate” of imaging God well in the world by using our creativity and abilities to learn to enhance the world God has given us and make a contribution. Andy did a splendid job at Jubilee –if you saw his video from an older Jubilee (where he plays as Bach piece as he did this year) it will be clear how very thoughtful and articulate he is.


Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power Andy Couch (IVP) $25.00 I can’t tell you how powerful and important this is. Most readers of BookNotes have some sort of cultural power and most of us need to be a bit more intentional about considering Christianly the goodness, troubles of, and redemptive practices that might help heal our weird relationship with institutions of power. Highly recommended.




Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing Andy Crouch (IVP) $20.00 This small hardback is still being discussed in places who have read it together and it is more than clever, it is a stroke of genius to have this formulation of how to do more than “balance” power and strength on one hand and risk and vulnerability on the other. Can we embody both? What are the implications? How we can learn to be fully human, exercising our gifts in cruciform service? One of the most generative books we’ve read in years…



A Woman’s Place: A Christian Vision for Your Calling in the Office, the Home, and the World Katelyn Beaty (Howard Books) $14.99 With a forward by the energetic, globally-followed justice activist Christian Caine, this may seem like quite the upbeat manifesto. But, although it is very well written – Beatty was a print journalist and eventually editor of CT, after all – but it is sober and wise and thoughtful and down to Earth. As you may know, we love books on calling and vocation and it is no surprise that Beaty has been to both Jubilee and Jubilee Professional… she’s thoughtful and highly respected, offering here the only good book in this field, linking calling and vocation to women’s experiences in the workplace and the world at large. It’s well worth having, a good book to share.

Learning for the Love of God: A Student’s Guide to Academic Faithfulness Derek Melleby & Donald Opitz (Brazos Press) $15.00 Okay, you are reading all of this and you realize you know young adults who are in college who never heard of Jubilee, or are too far away to come (although we had folks there from California and Tennessee and Florida and Michigan and Indiana) or who wouldn’t be inclined to come, even if they could. I get that. Not every young adult is comfortable thinking about God and church and Christ’s Kingdom and they sure don’t get that it connects to their experiences in college. I want to invite you to consider giving this book to them. (I’m not just saying that – I really hope you seriously give it your consideration. Whom do you know who needs this?) It explores how most American’s view college life (either it’s a blast a la Animal House or it’s super studious as a ticket to academic success and a future career with a good paycheck) and how God might be offering a different view of the young adult years. What if we could actually see God in the classroom? What if we study to know God’s world and ourselves better? What if we took up a liturgy of learning that helped us connect religion and life? I suppose you’ve heard that I adore these two authors – they are among my best friends – and that this book is dedicate to me. It is an honor I don’t take lightly, and it is a book I wish I could sell more widely. Please consider it. Now is a time to get it on sale. Your young student friend will be glad you cared.

The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Good Can Be Made Right Lisa Sharon Harper (Waterbrook) $15.99 You may recall that this is one of the books we’ve touted the most lately, and we like the way Lisa does the c-f-r approach, but using fresh and Biblical language.  She shows the blessed shalom of the good creation, the harsh alienation due to sin, and the cosmic reconciliation brought by Christ. In Him, the Prince of Peace, the alienation can be healed — indeed, in the second half of the book she explores how reconciliation can occur in so many areas where there are hostilities and pain, from our own body images to class differences, ethnic tensions to our relationship with the earth itself. This is very good news, indeed.

Go: Returning Discipleship to the Front Lines of Faith Preston Sprinkle (NavPress) $14.99 I am a big fan of this book and I’ll tell you why: discipleship — as in the Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer, say — is something folks are confused about. Are we all called to be disciples? What does that even mean; what does it look like? Does it mean one must also be a disciple-maker, as in a mentor or leader or something? Well, this book tries to clear up some confusion, and uses some nationally-gathered research, too, which is always interesting, to know what church folks across denominational lines think they this this elusive word means. Sprinkle thinks it is a good and useful word, and explores how our minds matter in how we think about life and times, so we should read and learn. (Sound familiar? Right on!) He talks about work and callings, aware that for many of us, the workplace is the main venue in which our faith is lived out. His refusal to have a large gap between Sunday and Monday, or between, say, evangelism and social action, shows he’s a new generation leader, offering a balanced and passionate, relevant and faithful, thoughtful and engaging sort of way to follow Jesus.  Thanks to the Barna Group for working on this project and thanks to Sprinkle for helping us think just a bit deeply (if colorfully) about what sort of renewal we should be seeking in these days.

Breaking the Idols of Your Heart Dan Allender & Tremper Longman (IVP) $16.00 Dan is a good friend of the CCO and his words of kindness and blessing to us meant more than he may realize. What an honest, raw, important storyteller he is, a seasoned therapist, thoughtful Christian psychologist, whose work about shame and hard stuff is informed by a wise, narrative view of the unfolding drama of God’s work in our lives and in the world. I think it is fair to say he was influenced as a young man by the Jubilee vision of the CCO — the creation/fall/redemption worldview stuff talked about in, say, Al Wolters’ Creation Regained or Walsh & Middleton’s Transforming Vision is in his bones. This is a creatively written approach study of Ecclesiastes, actually, colorfully co-written by a respected Old Testament scholar, highlighting the search for life’s ultimate meaning. Really good.

God Loves Sex: An Honest Conversation about Sexual Desire and Holiness Dan Allender & Tremper Longman (Baker Books) $16.99 This is another brilliant collaboration with Hebrew Bible scholar Tremper Longman and, like Breaking the Idols, they use a fictionalized story as a device as they watch a group of women and men walk through the Song of Solomon and struggle with the goodness, hurtfulness, and glories of redeemed sexuality. What a great resource!




To Be Told: God Invites Your to Co-Author Your Future Dan Allender (Waterbrook) $15.99 This was maybe the most popular book at Jubilee this year, and for good reason. It invites us to name our life’s story, to be self-aware about our pains and trauma, and to allow God to re-write a new story. This is really thoughtful material and we very highly recommend it.  A number of CCO staff used this before Jubilee and the conversations, we’re told, here rich and important.




Bold Love Dan Allender & Tremper Longman (NavPress) $17.99 Readers polls have continue to report that this is one of the best books people have read and it is surely one that is necessary and profoundly helpful. It isn’t easy, though, as it pushes us towards a deep and Christ-like love. Can we learn to love even a fool? What about those who have hurt or abused us? Can we love parents that have failed us? What do we make of the desire for revenge? Can we seek justice even as we are gracious? What’s with “turning the other cheek?” How can we avoid contempt and violence—can love be creative and even cunning? Jesus calls us to love and this bold book helps us get there. Brennan Manning called it “dazzling” and Dr. John Miller said it was “the best modern book on love I’ve ever read.” Wow.

Leading with a Limp Dan Allender (Waterbrook) $15.99 The tag line on this, if not exactly a sub-title, says it clearly: “Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness.” Really? Yep, Allender breaks convention and suggests we need not always lead from our strengths; in fact, perhaps our very brokenness is the sore spot that God might use to make us into great leaders. (Shades of the Enneagram, perhaps? He doesn’t mention that.) I think this is counter-intuitive and brilliant, offering a refreshing exploration of weakness and pain, hope and leadership, how to cope with betrayal and loneliness and more. What a good read it is, too – especially with chapters like “No More Jackasses” and stories drawn from the failure of a construction company. And great debates he has, in the endnotes, with his editor. (He admits, when his editor asked him some tough questions, he wrote back, “Ron: Leave me alone.”) What are your flaws? How can you “take advantage” of them? Flawed, but healthy, leaders, Allender says, “are successful because they’re not preoccupied with protecting their image. They are undaunted by chaos and complexity. And they are ready to risk failure in moving an organization from what it is to what it should be.” Hmm. Maybe a “limping leader” is the kind of person God uses to accomplish amazing things.

The Good Life Trip Lee (Moody Press) $11.99 AND/OR Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story Trip Lee (Thomas Nelson) $16.99 Let’s face it, it’s fun having a bone fide rock star – in this case an expert rapper, star in the hip-hop world along with his friends Lacrae and Sho Baraka and Propaganda (who were at Jubilee last year.) These are Trip’s two books, both really useful, clear, encouraging. The first, The Good Life is compact sized and makes a great gift for one who is seeking faith, who wonders what it means to life a good life, and how faith can help. Is the meaning of it all a nicer car and bigger house, getting what you think you want? Or is there more? Nicely done, for sure! The second, Rise Up, is his dramatic book about taking faith and discipleship seriously, about allowing God to touch you so you are a useful vessel, and being a part of the uprising of God’s Kingdom. Passionate, solid, inspiring, this is a great intro to relevant faith for anyone who might appreciate a book from the world of pop culture. Blurbs on the back are from NBA and NFL stars and the cover is way cool.

Welcome to the Revolution: A Field Guide for New Believers (Thomas Nelson) $12.99 AND/OR Free Book Brian Tome (Thomas Nelson) $14.99 We’ve promoted Tome’s introduction to Christian faith –Welcome to the Revolution on the opening night of Jubilee for years. I like it’s feisty invitation to be a part of some big God movement, but how it reminds newcomers to faith that they must learn the Bible, experience prayer, be involved in community, worship well, and serve. Welcome… is a fine introduction for young Christians who need these basics; I could see it even being used in confirmation classes if the kids are somewhat mature or creative. Free Book, though, is a step deeper, laden with fun and funny stories, really zealous and creatively written and it is about, well, freedom. Christ calls us to follow Him on this revolutionary adventure and that means we have to get away from religiosity and legalism and being tied up. Christ sets us free. Brian says, “I am a fanatic about freedom.” The gospel is about grace. We can be free to live abundantly and take risks for the Kingdom once we get this under our belts. It’s a great book, dissing the world’s systems (even the religious world) that wants people to buckle under, duped into fear and anxiety about being good enough. By the way, as it says on the cover “not that kind of free.” Ha, I wish. But we do have it at 30% off, which ain’t bad.

The Language of Faith and Science: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions Frances Collins & Karl Giberson (IVP) $22.00 Everybody needs a good handle on how to think about science these days. There is no doubt that many of us, even young adults, are curious about faith and science and we sold a lot of various sorts of books on this kind of thing at Jubilee. We have a brand new book in fact, just released by IVP, making the case that a healthy view of faith and science will help the church in its engagement with young adults. (Written by researcher Greg Cootsona it is called Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults. Drop me a note if you want more info on it.) I think this popular, sturdy volume by Francis Collins & Karl Giberson is a very good, very accessible work that would be useful for most of us to have on our shelves. 

Mariner: A Theological Voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge Malcolm Guite (IVP) $35.00 Okay, I’ll admit this wasn’t a huge feature at Jubilee, but I share it because I wanted you to see some of the specialty sorts of stuff we take for, in this case, mostly, lit majors, I suppose. (Or those who are huge fans of Malcolm Guite and his liturgical poetry, which should be everyone reading this.) We take a lot on the arts, aesthetics, pop culture, music, poetry, writing and such. This very new book is a serious contribution not only to the faith and literature genre, but it the latest in the significant “Studies in Theology and the Arts” series that we so esteem. We have each of the others (which all pertained to contemporary visual arts and aesthetics, so this, on literature, was a surprise.)

Here’s the fairly obvious description from the press, but know it doesn’t do this major book justice, written as it is, by a leading Anglican poet and theologian. What a book!

Poet and theologian Malcolm Guite leads readers on a journey with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose own life paralleled the experience in his famous poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” On this theological voyage, Guite draws out the continuing relevance of this work and the ability of poetry to communicate the truths of humanity’s fallenness, our need for grace, and the possibility of redemption.

Glimpses of Another Land: Political Hopes, Spiritual Longing Eric Miller (Cascade Books) $22.00 I raved about this a few years ago when it first came out; Eric is a friend (and a former school teacher from here in the York area) who has been a well-loved history professor at Geneva College in Western PA. He is a very thoughtful guy and he writes for places like the Front Porch Republic blog; that is, he makes it a real point to seek a “third way” between the left and the right. He’s a localist, if you will, a story-telling, oral history buff inspired by the likes of Wendell Berry and Bill Kauffman and, more significantly, Christopher Lasch. He helped co-write a major, scholarly book on a Christian philosophy of history and has a lovely blurb on the back of friend John Fea’s substantial, readable, Why Study History. But this – well, it’s a glorious collection of delightful, interesting, dare I say at times prophetic essays, ruminating on Pennsylvania, baseball, football, education, a sense of place, being post-partisan, true patriotism, seeking hope in fallen times, always hope. What does that mean, and, literally, what does it look like?

Mark Galli says “Eric Miller is one of the most thoughtful and graceful writers today – a combination of intelligence, humility, and faithful insight. I try to read everything he writes. What a gift to have so many of his essays collected in one place.” We love telling folks about this, and figured the extra discount might help. If you love good writing and thoughtful, wise, rumination on the state of the world, this is a treasure.

All Things New: Rediscovering the Four Chapter Gospel  Hugh Whelchel (Institute on Faith, Work, and Economics) $6.99 I mentioned this one above, linking it to the structure of the Jubilee conference itself, noting that it is one of the only small, inductive Bib le studies – look up the verses and talk about them – that shows the whole inter-related creation-fall-redemption-restoration story of the gospel. A fifth week shows why salvation cannot be truncated to merely the middle two chapters of the story (we are sinners and God forgives us, the assumption most make about the definition of the gospel) and a sixth session explores why it matters. We are one of the few bookstores carrying this and we’re eager to let you know even selling them at such a low profit margin, here, just because we really, really want to get ‘em out there. Order one, see what you think, and then order more for your small group, leadership team, Bible study, mentoring relationship, work-world fellowship group, or Sunday school class. Hang on — this is good, solid Bible teaching.

Jesus in the Courtroom How Believers Can Engage the Legal System for the Good of the World John W. Mauck (Moody Press) $13.99 AND/OR

Redeeming Law: Christian Calling and the Legal Profession Michael Schutt (IVP) $27.00  It was so exciting to have a workshop, as we often do at Jubilee, for young pre-law or law students. The amazing woman doing it this year was very sharp (and, happily, promoted Bryan Stephenson’s mighty book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.) We always encourage law students or attorneys to master the must-read classic in the field –every discipline and career should have such an astute classic book – my our friend Michael Schutt, Redeeming Law but we’ll admit it’s a bit heavy for some, what with the study of jurisprudence and it’s citing philosophers from Dooyeweerd to Aquinas. Dear John Mauck’s book, however, is short and sweet, clear as can be and inspiration for nearly anyone. Mauck is a very well known and widely respected attorney in Chicago and those in his firm are happy to know that John is outspoken about his faith, his own discipleship, and how it motivates him to do good work in his practice. Jesus in the Courtroom is a great little book, reminding us that Christ is King of all and that even something as sticky as legal work can point folks to true justice. Both books are on sale for this limited time, while supplies last. That’s a just ruling, eh?

A Beautiful Mess: How God Recreates Our Lives Danielle Strickland (Monarch) $12.99 Danielle Strickland did an amazing job at Jubilee, upbeat, perky, fun, crazy-funny, and yet serious, thoughtful, well-informed, and deeply passionate about God’s call to serve the poor and be agents of justice. She has been a strong leader and preacher within the Canadian Salvation Army for years and is now involved in a major initiative to stop the pipeline of kids from foster care ending up on the streets, trafficked and abused. You will be hearing more about that, I’m sure. We really recommend this powerful book. Shane Claiborne, after noting that it may feel like a punch at times, says it is “a beautiful book.” Amen.


The Ultimate Exodus: Finding Freedom from What Enslaves You Danielle Strickland (NavPress) $14.99 This book was first published in the UK and here is a fabulous, recent edition published here. I do not know of any book that accomplishes this project so well, exploring the Exodus narrative as a metaphor for our own journey to freedom. She sounds like some upbeat blend of Max Lucado and Walter Brueggemann, drawing on liberation theologians and social change advocates and personally alive conventional evangelicals, offering up a great, great book to read, or to use in a small group.

Brilliant thinker, activist, and cultural creative Ken Wytsma says:

It is common to find a book that would be good for someone you know. It’s rare to fine a book that would be good for everyone you know. Simple, beautiful, and comprehensive. The Ultimate Exodus holds treasures of Danielle’s life experiences and the depth of her spiritual reflections is poetic and life changing… This book is a gem.

Michael Frost, who we respect greatly as a writer, says:

This is a book about getting free and becoming a real and an honest-to-goodness follower of God — disciplined, focused, evangelizing, praying, serving, sabbathing, giving, and believing. And because I know Danielle Strickland, I can say that it’s written by one. You simply must read it.

Other great speakers and writers who live out what they write about endorse it with great gusto – Bob Goff, Jo Saxton, Peter Grieg, Alan Hirsch. Yeah. Order some today!

The Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women Danielle Strickland (Monarch Books) $12.99   Yes, the rumor is true: I promoted from up front at Jubilee the little book by Nigerian novelist called Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie We Should All Be Feminists. It’s based on her lovely TED talk and we think that in this ages of #metoo, it was important to say, although we’ve said it endlessly for decades. Thoughtful evangelical feminists have spoken at Jubilee in years gone by, from Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen to Elaine Storkey to Mimi Haddid to Lisa Sharon Harper. Anyway, if one wants an inspiringly upbeat, fabulously inspiring, Biblical basis for why I felt compelled to highlight Adichie’s little book, I’d happily recommend Strickland’s The Liberation Truth. 

I mentioned The Liberation Truth and her other ones from the main stage as we introduced her to Jubilee, but, to be honest, there was a lot going on after her talk, and students didn’t make their way to the book display. She was a really dynamic speaker and we are committed to selling her books; they aren’t as known as they should be, and we’re happy to offer them at a deep discount now.

The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms Timothy & Kathy Keller (Penguin) $17.00 AND God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life: A Year of Devotions in the Book of Proverbs Timothy & Kathy Keller (Penguin) $20.00  The famous New York Presbyterian scholar and pastor, Tim Keller (who is one of the most well-known contemporary writers in this crowd) was not a Jubilee (although we are sort of proud to note that Kathy was at the precursor to Jubilee, sponsored by the network that became the CCO in the early 70s.) These two very classy hardback devotionals (and all of his books, actually) were there. They are so nicely done and so solid, we featured them prominently at the conference. We’ve got some left over and figured we’d bless you with a good deal, while supplies last. Very highly recommended.

Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology James K.A. Smith (Baker Academic) $22.99  We had a big stack of these at Jubilee and I announced from the main stage that I still think Smith’s You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit is one of the most important books of the decade. But I have to admit, the three big ones that were summarized in You Are What You Love — that would be Desiring the Kingdom, Imagining the Kingdom and the most recent, Awaiting the King — were for the most part too academic for most undergrads who aren’t quite aware of this level of sophisticated Christian public theology. That this new one grapples with questions of public ethics (inspired by the often dense Oliver O’Donovan) and with urgent matters of how we construe race and racism (in engagement with Willie James Jennings’s brilliant and provocative Yale University Press volume, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race) indicates, I suppose, that these aren’t for everyone. Jamie is coming to York and Lancaster April 6th, so you might want to start working on this one now, though. We’ll offer it at the 30% off sale price for these four days.

Strange Days: Life in the Spirit in a Time of Upheaval Mark Sayers (Moody Press) $13.99   I have said often that I am a huge, huge fan of Mark Sayers, the brilliant Aussie cultural critic and missional church pastor. His lively but insightful Vertical Self is amazing and I still think his playful critique of hyper consumers (The Trouble with Paris) is potent. His study of Kerouac (The Road Trip That Changed the World) is pretty great (it’s really the only Christian approach I’ve ever read.) He has a book on leadership called Facing Leviathan on how to lead and create while in this cultural storm. Sayers has just started a new podcast done with John Mark Comer, so it was fun to give a shout-out about that at Jubilee – Comer wrote to me saying that Sayers is just such a darn fun writer. Well, I figured I could convince young adults to get Strange Days if they were touch a bit with their anxiety about this crazy season we’re living in, what with Trump bragging about the size of our nukes and our tensions with Russian and nearly weekly terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis still looming all over the world. Things are changing fast, with fairly benign changes like transgendered bathrooms and deeply scary things like school shootings. What in the world is going on out there? How do we find the power and comfort of the Holy Spirit in these strange days? I don’t know if the Gen Z gang didn’t get the allusion to the album by The Doors or didn’t get the brilliant move of early 1900s neon on the cover, speaking of strange days. Anyway, we have a big stack of these and I’m a fan. Buy this easy to read book to get a quick handle on the troubles of our times and try to develop discernment about these strange days.

Beyond the Modern Age: An Archaeology of Contemporary Culture by Craig Bartholowme & Bob Goudzwaard (IVP Academic) $30.00 After that, then, as I’ve said often in these pages, you should consider the recent book Beyond the Modern Age by philosopher and Bible scholar Craig Bartholomew and globally recognized economist and social critic Bob Goudzwaard. I named this as one of the most important books of 2017 and still commend it; it really is one of the most insightful studies of the roots of modern culture and the spirits of the age that I have read in a decade. Goudzwaard, by the way, is an amazing man and he spoke about modern idolatry at Jubilee many moons ago. We don’t have many in stock, but we’ll give you 30% off on that, too, if you want a deeper dive into the spirit of the age.


A Book for Hearts & Minds: What You Should Read and Why (A Festschrift in Honor of the Work of Hearts & Minds Bookstore) edited by Ned Bustard (Square Halo Books) $18.99  I suppose you know the story of this, how the owners of Square Halo Books surprised us with it on our store’s 35th anniversary in late November. It has in it all sorts of lovely quotes about Beth and me and our bookstore, but it is mostly a collection of pieces by folks doing book reviews, lists of good stuff that serious readers would want to know about. We hoped we’d move a bunch of these at Jubilee, but it just didn’t happen.Young people starting to develop their libraries need books about books, wise guides and well-written annotated bibliographies, so this book done in our honor (apart from being a delightfully cool memento of our store’s work and anniversary) might have been useful, but we didn’t have time to really get it into the hands of those who are learning to read widely. I suppose knowing that you need books about books like this and wanting to read these engaging ruminations by important folks is itself an acquired taste.  We know some of our regular customers have really, really liked it and even ordered more to give away to their own fellow book-lovers.

A Book for Hearts & Minds is a well-designed book lover’s treasure and a reader’s guide to all kinds of good stuff, as recommended by a whole bunch of remarkable people. Here we have some very informed folks – including Steve Garber and N.T. Wright and Andi Ashworth and Calvin Seerveld and Karen Prior Swallow and Gregory Wolfe and many others telling what books to read and why. More than one chapter mentions Jubilee, in fact – we so love Denis Haack’s description of meeting us amidst our stacks of books on film at a long-ago conference. Square Halo was kind enough to create this book as a surprise for us, but we believe it has much wider usefulness than just among those who want to pay homage to my wordy BookNotes reviews. Here, now, you can get it at 30% off. Don’t miss this chance – do you know book lovers who might appreciate it? I’m not embarrassed (well, not toooo) to say you should buy a few.



Surprise the World! The Five Habits of Highly Missional People by Michael Frost (NavPress) $6.99

If you take us up on any three books at this 30% offer (or even any of the ones I mentioned in the first half, in passing, at 20% off) we will give you, absolutely free, a copy of the small but potent little paperback Surprise the World! The Five Habits of Highly Missional People by Michael Frost (NavPress; $6.99.) We are sure it will help you focus and clarify some of your own habits and help you become more of a conduit for creating signposts pointing the way of God’s Kingdom. It’s very nicely done and we’re happy to share for free.



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Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown, PA  17313