I am sitting with my laptop in a cavernous space with piles of empty cardboard boxes and stuffing paper scattered around, waiting to be recycled. It’s a mess, cluttered but still, eerily different than it was a day ago when the huge pop-up bookstore we created as part of the CCO’s Jubilee conference was jam-packed with books on dozens of tables and – the point of it all – busting with collegiates browsing books which will hopefully help them on their journey of living out a robust and wide-as-life vision of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. This picture (taken before the crowds showed up) doesn’t even show all the tables.
Jubilee is run by the CCO (the Coalition for Christian Outreach) an evangelical para-church ministry with whom Beth and I have had long affiliations, that, while trans-denominational, has been influenced (at least in its earliest days) by what some call Dutch neo-Calvinism. It’s a cool story for another time, but Jubilee tells us much about the CCOs vision.
The story of the cosmic scope of Christ’s redemption and the future hope of “all things (re)new(ed)” has rich implications for the arts and sciences, for the humanities and the trades, for academic learning and public careers, for home life and urban planning. A Kingdom-centered and wholistic understanding of the Lordship of Christ at its best (and this is not exclusive to the neo-Calvinists like Kuyper and Bavinck) feeds a desire to serve our neighbors by forging a public theology that resists the idols of the age. It is missional and feisty, “in but not of” the surrounding world, as Jesus put it near the end of the book of John, capturing what Richard Mouw once termed “holy worldliness.” I like that.
(Speaking of Mouw, he cites me and explains a bit about the conference in his lovely little book All That God Cares About: Common Grace and Divine Delight which we obviously recommend, certainly when thinking about the impulses of the Jubilee event.)
The conference at its best unfolds some of this, offering glimpses of thinking Christianly about collegiate life and after-college times, work and worship, spirituality and sex, prayer and politics. You get the big picture, I’m sure. Imagine unchurched kids and serious seekers and a whole lot of lively Jesus-following young adults (from Anglicans to Presbyterians, Methodist youth to Assembly of God kids, Pentecostal grad students from Africa and frosh fresh from their nondenominational churches back home) all fired up for joining God in this story of stories. The worship singing was soulful and lively, that’s for sure. What a gig!
The Teamsters union that works at the Pittsburgh Convention Center are now using forklifts to move the pallets of boxes of books and supplies we lugged to Jubilee and are now taking them back to the loading dock. Beth and two amazing friends are carefully loading up the unsold books and placing lamps and crates and boards and shelves and supplies and paperwork into the rented truck just so for the rough ride back across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Dallastown. We are exhausted and exhilarated.
The empty boxes are, of course, tangible proof that we sold a lot of books. (And the hours and hours of lugging the full boxes down to the truck reminds us of all that we did not sell.) After doing the conference for the two worst years of the pandemic virtually, we were a bit nervous to be back in public (this Covid thing is not over yet) and we are a bit rusty. The CCO has been working hard to rebuild the reputation and brand of Jubilee and they pulled it off without a hitch. Even though attendance (counting guests with display booths and campus staff and donors and speakers) was a bit over 2000, sales were a bit less than most years.
The whole country – not just the rising Gen Z – is in a crisis of not reading as much as we once did. Bookstore sales are down all over; it is unclear if many of these students had ever been in a bookstore before, let alone a thoughtfully-curated store like ours. Some obviously knew some popular evangelical names (John Mark Comer, say, or Lysa TerKeurst or hip-hop artist Lecrae who performed there) but many authors we promoted were new to them. (That a few knew that their campus ministers liked Fleming Rutledge or Eugene Peterson or Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Esau McCauley or Jamie Smith was encouraging.) Yet, the very notion of reading from a uniquely Christian worldview which shapes a public theology helping them live into their future vocations with vigor and fidelity was pretty new.
Why is that?
We wonder what sort of good church nurtures in its community this kind of whole-life discipleship, thereby creating a hunger for reading about the implications of faith for all of life? I wonder why when I highlight books (here at BookNotes) on a Christian philosophy of engineering or law, education or creativity, journalism or business, nursing or ecology, few people buy them. And yet, this is one of the markers of churches that are retaining young adults, showing how Christian faith affirms work and cultural engagement. (The great book by David Kinnaman & Mark Matlock, Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus Digital Babylon, has a full chapter on this which actually has a page describing students eager to buy books about their particular callings and careers – from Hearts & Minds at Jubilee! It’s a great moment in the book, actually, illustrating the importance of this work that we do.) The point is that buying books about the missional expression of faith in the workworld just isn’t that interesting to most church folks, and I think it indicates that they haven’t had that vision cast for them. They are not inspired to care about such things — unless, maybe, they went to Jubilee as a young adult.
The CCO staff on campuses from Western PA to central Indiana to Florida to Fresno love doing relational evangelism, gently sharing the gospel in winsome ways inviting students into the movement of God’s mission in the world. At Jubilee we saw during a late night time many students transformed by “stepping into the Light” (as York Moore put it.) I am always grateful to see healthy, fruitful, evangelism and we pray that these new commitments are enduring. I really like York’s handsome little book Do Something Beautiful: The Story of Everything and a Guide to Finding Your Place in It which helps frame the gospel in such lovely ways.
But CCO staff also encourage what they call “academic discipleship”, which means inviting students not only to take their studies seriously (itself nearly a countercultural message in some circles) but to do so as an act of worship, practicing the presence of God even in the classroom. The book Learning for the Love of God: A Student’s Guide to Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz & Derek Melleby, in fact, emerged from CCO circles and Jubilee enthusiasm and is a delightful starting guide to this project. It regularly sells for $17.00 but OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60. You should buy one for every college student you know. Seriously.
What does it look like for an eager student to learn well from their professors but also to bring supplemental insights from Biblically-shaped authors, or, perhaps to offer a counter-narrative, bringing winsome critique to the ideologies and prevailing notions in their department? To be “in but not of” the psychology department or engineering program or chem lab or athletic team or outdoor club or student Senate can be an adventure. I’ve heard of students who have found the joy of the Lord when they realized that God cares about their ordinary lives in higher education. I’ve heard of some given extra credit and accolades when they bring God-given principles to bear offering true wisdom to their classroom conversations. I’ve also heard of students banned from speaking religiously in classes or being told they dare night cite serious Christian scholarship in the footnotes of their papers. Calling students to this dramatic vision of a life well lived in the university or community college or med school or trade school is what Jubilee is designed to do. As old Abraham Kuyper said, there’s not “one square inch” of their places where Christ does not lay claim.
(We didn’t try to push it at Jubilee since most undergrads aren’t quite ready, but Calvinism for a Secular Age: A Twenty-first Century Reading of Abraham Kuyper’s Stone Lectures edited by Jessica & Robert Joustra (IVP Academic; $28.00 – OUR SALE PRICE = $22.40) is a remarkable contemporary study of the current relevance of Kuyper’s famous lectures given at Princeton in 1898 affirming the Lordship of Christ over all of life. See my review of it here.)
Despite our best efforts to hold out this big story of God’s coming Kingdom and the visions of vocation that should shape young adult faith, still, many of the books we sold were about Godly ways to cope with anxiety, romantic breakups, shoring up one’s identity. There is among younger adults a real need for these sorts of resources. Happily, they are also learning about the systemic ways racism and injustice have so vandalized the shalom of God’s good creation and those sorts of topics sold well. Of course we sold a bunch of books by C.S. Lewis and his pals (JRR Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, and George MacDonald) and fun stuff ranging from popular culture to the sermons of MLK, from Ruth Haley Barton and Henri Nouwen to (yes) a couple of the brand-new Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction by Gray Sutanto & Cory Brock. We really did have something for nearly everyone.
As I type the Convention Center staff are continuing to lug our pallets of boxes down to the truck. Beth is meticulously loading the back of the U-Haul. Our helpers must make their way back to their own lives and work and we have a guy waiting back at the shop that will lend a hand as we unload the U-Haul a couple of hours down the road.
HERE you can watch my three 7 or 8 minute book announcements made before the crowds at the plenary session, filmed nicely on the spot by a quick-thinking friend. They are more or less geared to the themes of creation/fall/redemption. The books mentioned there, too, can get the BookNotes 20% off so check all of those out. No laughing at me, though, as I perform the bookselling spiel for the college crowd. I get pretty excited.
To give our BookNotes friends a bit of further glimpse into the diversity of titles we sell at Jubilee, here’s just a random handful for your consideration. As somebody up front at the conferences said about us, if you wonder if there is a resource on a certain topic, “ask Byron and Beth if there is a good book about that. There probably is.”
I hope you enjoy the diversity of topics illustrated, knowing this is just a tiny example of the fascinating books we took to Jubilee which is only a small portion of the stuff we have here at the bookshop. God is making all things new, so, well, that’s a lot of territory.
All books mentioned are, of course, 20% off. Order some today. Thanks for your support.
The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right Lisa Sharon Harper (Waterbrook) $17.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60
Although the conference is arranged around the “chapters” of the unfolding Biblical drama — creation / fall / redemption / restoration — Lisa Harper frames the great news of the gospel as shalom/alienation/reconciliation. Further, she explores the implications of the gospel call of being agents of reconciliation in a variety of spheres. This is a tremendous book by the famed activist and author of a riveting memoir, Fortune.
He Saw That It Was Good: Reimagining Your Creative Life To Repair a Broken World Sho Baraka (Waterbrook) $22.00 OUR SALE PRICE =17.60
Sho was at Jubilee and was on the main stage the first night. What a good guy (and funny, too.) This is a grand, persuasive call to use our God given creativity to help heal the world. Artists and creatives love it, sure, but I think it is truly for everyone, everywhere. Yes!
Pursuing an Earthy Spirituality: C.S Lewis and Incarnational Faith Gary S. Selby (IVP Academic) $24.00 OUR SALE PRICE =19.20
We had a lot of books by C.S. Lewis and the Inklings; here is one that is about the “earthy spirituality” that Jubilee is promoting. As spiritual leader and counselor Gary Moon puts it, “Selby beautifully reminds us that Lewis lived a spirituality that was at least as deeply rooted in emotion, imagery, beauty, and the body as it was in his keen intellect.” Other rave reviews come from Simon Chan and Malcom Guite.
Interpreting Your World: Five Lenses for Engaging Culture Justin Ariel Bailey (Baker Academic) $21.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.59
Justin Bailey, who teaches at Dordt College in Iowa, is now a friend, he’s a professor whose books we’ve reviewed and who we admire greatly. So good to have crossed paths with him at Jubilee. We sold his great book Reimagining Apologetics: The Beauty of Faith in a Secular Age, too, but this is the one he spoke on in a crowded workshop. Really profound and exceptionally wise stuff.
All Shall Be Well: Awakening to God’s Presence in His Messy Abundant World Catherine McNiel (NavPress) $15.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.79
If you saw the video of me up front you’ll recall we highlighted this the first night explaining that it is a memoir full of eloquent nature writing; McNiel walks us through a year in her life, arranged around four seasons. Yes, the world is both messy and abundant; broken but good. Her keen eye is a joy to behold. Highly recommended as a good read.
By Bread Alone: A Baker’s Reflections on Hunger, Longing, and the Goodness of God Kendall Vanderslice (Tyndale Momentum) $17.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39
Brand new, this great reflection is related to her previous Eerdmans title, We Will Feast: Rethinking Dinner, Worship, and the Community of God. If that offers an earthy, communal, vision of a missional sort of Kingdom church, this is on baking as a spiritual practice. What a book!
By Bread Alone is a soulful, searching glimpse into trusting the goodness of God when it seems most opaque. Kendall Vanderslice trades toxic positivity for the promise of sustenance, and the result is deeply honest and curiously comforting. These pages are dusted with the flour of daily bread. If you are lost, longing, hope-weary, or barely hanging on, read this and be nourished. — Shannan Martin, author of Start with Hello and The Ministry of Ordinary Places
I am grateful for Kendall Vanderslice’s By Bread Alone — a sustenance of hope, a needed nourishment for us hungering to create beauty faced with the bitter gaps of our divided cultures. Her words give rise to our tenderness, and her memorable chapters fill our hearts with compassion. Every page of this book (full of recipes) is brimming with refractive colors shining through the broken prisms of her life, a communion journey of service in tears, as a sojourner baker, a fellow maker into the aroma of the new. — Makoto Fujimura, artist and author of Art + Faith: A Theology of Making
Redeeming Vision: A Christian Guide to Looking at and Learning from Art Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt (Baker Academic) $29.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99
This is another brand new release that we were overjoyed to display at Jubilee. Somebody who knew the author (who teaches in the art department at Covenant College in TN) took at screen shot declaring it the first “in the wild” bookstore spotting of this new masterpiece. Kudos to Baker for the expert design, full color art, and a delightfully appealing approach to what is surely going to be known as a major text in the field. We’ve got a lot, and this new one is great.
Redeeming Vision is an erudite and yet wonderfully hospitable invitation for the layperson to engage deeply with art and art history through a profoundly Christian theological perspective. A vital contribution to the library of any sincere student of visual culture and its central importance in our lives. — Bruce Herman, gallery director, Barrington Center for the Arts
Transforming Care: A Christian Vision for Nursing Practice Mary Molewyk, Doornbos, Ruth Groenhout & Kendra Hotz (Eerdmans) $26.50 OUR SALE PRICE = $21.20
We have a large section in the store of books about health care, medicine, doctoring, and nursing. This is one of the great ones and it was good to feature it at Jubilee. Three clear-headed and big-hearted profs from Calvin University weigh in, showing us an intregal vision for nursing care. It’s so good, I’d recommend it to anyone in any health-care related field, from docs to physical therapists.
The Life We’re Looking For: Reclaiming Relationship in a Technological World Andy Crouch (Convergent) $25.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $20.00
I hope you recall that we honored this as one of the Best Books of 2022. It is eloquent, engaging, thoughtful, learned, and moving. It’s everything a good book can be and its vision is balanced, wise, helpful. I regret not pushing it from up front (I highlighted his Culture Making as a quintessential Jubilee book.) This one, though, takes my breath away. Highly recommended.
A Christian Field Guide to Technology for Engineers and Designers Ethan Brue, Derek Schuurman, Steven Vanderleest (IVP Academic) $28.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $22.40
Derek Schuurman was a presenter at the conference again — he has spoken at previous Jubilees about his excellent Shaping a Digital World: Faith, Culture and Computer Technology — but this time he got to share about the new one for engineers. I have been eager for this because the books which explore a philosophy of technology (of which we have many) are sometimes a bit abstract for ordinary engineering majors. This, though, brings it home, principled and practical about guidelines for normative engineering design. Simple put, it is a must for anyone in this field. Allow me to say that again, with feeling: Simply put, it is a must for anyone in this field.
The Locust Effect: Why The End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence Gary Haugen & Victor Boutros (Oxford University Press) $18.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.16
It was so good to see Victor Boutros again and so see him interviewed on the main stage, telling about his effective work mitigating trafficking in several regions of the country when he worked at the Department of Justice. Now the head of the Human Trafficking Institute, it was an honor to have him at Jubilee and a joy to sell this serious, Oxford University Press book that he co-authored with Kingdom rock star Gary Haugen of IJM. Excellent.
There Is a Future: A Year of Daily Midrash Amy Bornman (Paraclete Press) $19.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.20
We have highlighted this lovely poetry volume before here at BookNotes and it was a delight to know Amy was speaking at Jubilee. She is a Wheaton grad, an artful business woman, and a working poet, living in Pittsburgh. So, so good.
God and Guns: The Bible Against American Gun Culture edited by Christopher Hays & C.S Crouch – with an introduction by Stanley Hauerwas (WJK) $30.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $24.00
We had maybe eight different titles on this topic; each with their own tone or approach.This one is a bit heady, done by Biblical scholars offering different insights drawn from their academic work with Scripture. It’s fascinating and urgent. It may be the only one that actually approaches the topic — the urgency, the sociology, the data, the political philosophy — through the lens of Biblical studies. It is important.
Rethinking Life: Embracing the Sacredness of Every Person Shane Claiborne (Zondervan) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99
I hope you remember our pushing this a month ago; we thank those who pre-ordered it. The Friday night speaker at Jubilee (Carmen Imes of Biola) spoke passionately about our dignity and worth, gave a vivid call to honor the embodied worth of everyone, no matter their station or productivity. Here, Shane offers a lively denunciation of lop-sided anti-abortion views and invites us to a consistent Biblical nonviolence, honoring the worth of all, from the unborn to the prisoner, from the racially other to the aged. He explores powerfully why it is that many religious people don’t have this robust vision, making this a captivating, nearly prophetic work. I’m glad a few students noticed it and were intrigued.
Vivid blurbs on the back are from past Jubilee speaker Bob Goff, from Kristen Loves Du Mez (who calls it a “clear-eyed and hope-filled gift to the American church”) and Lisa Sharon Harper who says it is a book “you will cherish and quote for the rest of your life.” Let’s hope so!
Resisting Denial, Refusing Despair and Other Essays Walter Brueggemann (Cascade) $22.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.60
Of the many authors we’ve been privileged to meet in our four decades of bookselling, few have been as rewarding and interesting as informal time spent under the tutelage of Walt Brueggemann. Naturally we had many of his books at Jubilee (Prophetic Imagination remains one of the most important books I’ve ever read!) This new one is short, the chapters fairly concise, and although the prose is Brueggemann-esque and passionate, it is not dense. A fantastic, provocative primer.
Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen: How God Redeems Regret, Hurt, and Fear in the Making of Better Humans Scott Sauls (Zondervan) $18.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19
I don’t know him well but given his other books on befriending others with grace and making a difference in the culture through love and goodness (like Irresistible Faith, say) I’ve recommended him to be a speaker at Jubilee. This is his newest and maybe his most intimate. Self-help sorts of things are in demand at Jubilee as so many young ones are lonely, stressed, anxious, hurting. This one offers real hope in solid ways. Who doesn’t want to be a better human?
Emotionally honest, confessional, and full of grace . . . this book reads like a rope ladder of mercy, lifting us out of the pit of suffering and into the sunlight of God’s wisdom. Scott makes space for our brokenness and gives testimony to the grace that delivers us out of the low places of our shame and sorrow, up onto the high ground of God’s strength. Sandra McCracken, singer-songwriter and recording artist, author of Send Out Your Light: The Illuminating Power of Scripture and Song
For those whose trauma and pain seems large or small: read this book and be prepared for God to draw forth your beauty, emerging as it will beyond your imagination and from the places you would least expect. Curt Thompson MD, author, The Soul of Desire and The Soul of Shame
Color-Courageous Discipleship: Follow Jesus, Dismantle Racism, and Build Beloved Community Michelle T. Sanchez (Waterbrook) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
I was going to promote this from up front at Jubilee but couldn’t work it in — too many books, too little time, literally. We might have sold a bunch if only people knew about it. Here’s the short, short version: this is a book which nicely combines conventional evangelical disciple-making visions with anti-racism work. Building “the beloved community” is certainly part of what mentors of others should aspire to build into their young Christian mentees and any disciple-making program, if it is to be faithful and timely, simply must deal with this burning issue of the day. So, yes, this is a great combo approach, showing how wholistic Kingdom vision and racial justice efforts can be integrated into discipleship efforts in the local faith community. Yay. (There is even a teen version, by the way.)
The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief Francis Collins (Free Press) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
I wish I had taken a photo of the many science books we had at Jubilee and the crowds of science majors eagerly checking them out, some seeing this sort of somewhat scholarly work from scientists who are Christians. We had a section about the origins debates and stuff on various sub-categories within the natural sciences.
This one is an older classic, with the esteemed and kind geneticist sharing his overview of how his faith informs his science and, more, how he as a scientist, sees in the stuff of his daily work, the glory of God. This is a great book, good for anyone with basic interest in science and/or apologetics.
Disability: Living Into the Diversity of Christ’s Body Brian Brock (Baker Academic) $21.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.59
We had a large section of books about disabilities studies, about how churches can be more inclusive, how those who care for the handicapped can find hope in the gospel. There’s a lot going on in this field and this book is just one example of a thoughtful, justice-oriented, liberative theology for the disabled. Give us a ring if you want others.
Why Business Matters to God: (And What Still Needs to Be Fixed) Jeff Van Duzer (IVP) $26.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $20.80
We have a lot of business books, some more on economics, some more on management, some visionary and enthusiastic, some sober and sharp. In any case, this is one we most often recommend most readily — even the title illustrates the themes of teachings of Jubilee, that God made things good and yet things are not as they ought to be (due to sin and idolatry, of course.) Yet, we can work in hope, making things better. This is a book every business person should know, at least.
Reading Buechner: Exploring the Work of a Master Memoirist, Novelist, Theologian, and Preacher Jeffrey Munroe (IVP) $20.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $16.00
Jeff is a customer of ours and a good, good man, a thoughtful scholar (at Western Seminary in Holland MI) and a close reader of the incredible Mr. Buechner. He offers a glimpse into the various genres Buechner works in — and they are all good — and gives us insight about why he still matters. At Jubilee I gathered that most young students have no idea who he is (even though he was nominated for a Pulitzer and has given us some of the best memoirs and most clever lay-theology books ever.) In any case, Munroe’s book is great for beginners and will be really enjoyed by fans. We had a ton of books about books, lit and poetry, but this is a good example of some of what we enjoy most.
Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition Christine Pohl (Eerdmans) $21.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.59
I hardly have to say much about this as we’ve mentioned it often. It isn’t simplistic (and we had some easier ones for those less inclined to hefty studies) but it is well worth working through. There are a lot of other books on this practice of being hospitable, some quite nice (and quite practical.) This is the mature classic, though. See also her amazing Living into Community. These two are major works, seminal and vital for CCO folks.
The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection Robert Farrar Capon (Modern Library) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
We had a large food and eating section (complete with some More With Less cookbooks) and a section on food and farming. What a great case study this all is, learning to be faithful in this essential part of daily life. (Eat With Joy by Rachel Marie Stone is still a favorite, by the way; there is a picture out there on the internets of me highlighting it at Jubilee years ago with a picture of the book cover on the screen behind me.)
Capon was an Episcopal priest (and food writer for the New York Times back in the day) and we stock many of his books. Supper of the Lamb, though, is classic. Written in 1969, it is funny and theological and while offering reflections on life and cooking in God’s good world, it is, in fact, an extended recipe for a feast. What a book!
Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age Alan Noble (IVP) $17.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60
You may recall that I named Alan’s most recent (You Are Not Your Own: Belonging to God in an Inhuman World) one of the very Best Books of last year. He’s such a good guy. (And, by the way, I’ll be announcing soon that we are eager to take pre-orders for his soon-to-be-released little volume On Getting Out of Bed: The Burden and Gift of Living — now that would have been a Jubilee best-seller had it been available. It comes in April 2023.)
This Disruptive Witness is his first and it remains a standard book for those wanting a discerning understanding of the texture of modern life and how to be faithful in these complex, secularizing days. It’s brilliant and quite readable. Kudos all around.
Listen to Rich Mouw’s words about its importance:
I puzzle a lot about how to bring the claims of the gospel to bear on a changing culture that regularly bewilders me. Now I find out in this book that Alan Noble checks his Twitter account before he gets out of bed in the morning, and he watches Netflix while doing the dishes. He also knows a lot about vampirism. And then he reflects on all of this in the light of what he has read by Charles Taylor, John Calvin, Jamie Smith, and Blaise Pascal. Wow! IMHO this book is awesome. — Richard J. Mouw, president emeritus, professor of faith and public life at Fuller Theological Seminary, author of How to Be a Patriotic Christian
The Other Side of Hope Danielle Strickland (Thomas Nelson) $18.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19
Danielle Strickland’s Saturday night Jubilee talk was one for the ages — energetic, funny, culturally-savvy (she riffed on “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once”) and deeply moving. Her story about the wedding on the streets among the addicted and homeless was unforgettable. And that redemptive call to receive God’s love (and be a conduit of that unstoppable love for others) offered just a tiny bit of the energy and pathos of the many moving anecdotes found in this story-laded book The Other Side of Hope is nearly two books in one, one side packed full of stories, the other part a reflection on hope in a cynical, disbelieving age. Hooray.
Reweaving Shalom: Your Work and the Restoration of All Things Hugh C. Whelchel (The Institute for Faith, Work and Economics) $9.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $7.99
We have a plethora, a passle, a whole bunch of books on the integration of faith and work and we took a lot of them to Jubilee. There was a tremendous, well attended workshop at the Pittsburgh event this year since serving God in the workplace and vocations of all sorts captures much of the end game of our hopes for the conference. Of the many lively, thick, or provocative titles we have, this little one is clear and inspiring, framing our feeble efforts in light of God’s good promise to make all things new. Work matters. We are called to be agents of flourishing, reweaving shalom. Hugh is a great gift to many on this topic and we are glad to highlight this rare little gem that is a succinct as it is powerful.
The Gospel of Peace in a Violent World: Christian Nonviolence for Communal Flourishing edited by Shawn Graves and Marlena Graves (IVP Academic) $40.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $32.00
Co edited of this hefty volume, Marlena Graves, was at Jubilee and she shared from her good book on spiritual formation A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness and her more recent, award-winning book about the upside down, counterintuitive ways of faithful discipleship, The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself by Forgetting Yourself. I wasn’t sure if we’d sell this one since it is, well, sadly, a bit controversial and it is thick and pricey. And we had a number of students and other adults check it out! We had a sizable group of books about the discussion around biblical nonviolence (and a military chaplain who was there seemed very impressed.) This recent volume has tons of authors on many subtopics (that is, not just war and peace, but the violence down in many spheres and sectors) such as Drew Hart (who used to attend Jubilee), Lisa Sharon Harper (who has done main stage presentations) Mae Cannon, Randy Woodley, Ted Grimsrud. As one reviewer noted, it offers a lot — “from practices of nonviolence and peacemaking to earnest and unflinching discussions on equity, disability, immigration, environmental justice, and racial trauma, this compendium of essays pushes readers not only to contemplation but to action.”
Peacemaking is not as simple as it sounds. Marlena and Shawn Graves’s convicting new volume reveals how our lives are entangled in all kinds of everyday violence. Thankfully, it doesn’t leave us there. This book will not only open eyes but also spark imaginations, helping us to discern how a peaceable world—one more faithful to the gospel—might come to be. Heath W. Carter, Princeton Theological Seminary
Practice of the Presence : A Revolutionary Translation Brother Lawrence (Broadleaf) $25.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $20.70
What a gift this grand, if simple, spiritual classic is and what a story it tells. With Carmen Acevedo Butcher’s fresh, lively translation, this teaching about praying while doing mundane chores is remarkable for anyone, perfect for Jubilee-type worldview thinkers. Mystic Cynthia Bourgeault calls the new translation “radiant” and Mirabai Starr (no slacker in the translation biz, herself) says it is “a bold, vibrant, and potent translation.” So taken was I with the good, helpful introduction about Brother Lawrence (Nicholas Herman was his birth name) that I read out loud some of it to a student at Jubilee.
Liturgy in the Wilderness: How the Lord’s Prayer Shapes the Imagination of the Church in a Secular Age D.J. Marotta (Moody Press) $14.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $11.99
CCO, you may know, is a bit different than other well-known college ministry organizations in that they partner with local churches that are near campuses. This author is an Anglican priest who is, in fact, the pastor of a CCO partnership church in Richmond. So when we realized that, it was all the more germane. But we’d have enthusiastically promoted it anyway as it is nearly brilliant, a sleeper of a book, highly recommended.
Liturgy in the Wilderness offers us a fresh and engaging perspective on the Lord’s Prayer. Though this widely known prayer can be uttered in less than thirty seconds, this book shows us how it can — and should — impact every single area of our lives. Marotta takes us by the hand and guides us to see that while we may never get out of the wilderness, we can always move forward in hope. This book is thoughtful, filled with wise insights and engaging stories. And best of all, Marotta doesn’t merely write about this important message in his book; he lives the message, too. — J. R. Briggs, author The Sacred Overlap: Learning to Live Faithfully in the Space Between
Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation Collin Hansen (Zondervan) $26.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $21.59
I’ve mentioned this already at BookNotes, and now that I’ve read it, I’m really enthused. Agree or not fully with Keller’s theology and church practice, it is an intellectual biography that starts with the influence among others things with — get this — the CCO. From the hyper-Reformed teaching of R.C. Sproul in Western PA to the wholistic justice-influence evangelistic work of Harvie Conn at Westminster to Keller’s study in collaboration with James Davison Hunter which gave us To Change the World, this documents his visionary creation of a third way between the often theologically unorthodox progressives and the theologically overly-dogmatic conservative evangelicals. His culturally-engaged and winsome apologetic in this secular age has been nothing short of phenomenal and this study of his influences is stellar. Beyond interesting, it is, in many ways, commendable, a witness for us all no matter your own denominational afflictions. It’s very highly recommended, even if it didn’t sell well at Jubilee.
The kids have no idea how important this dude is, and can’t imagine how even the Jubilee conference’s vision overlaps with his creative and fruitful program. Yes!
Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good Steven Garber (IVP) $20.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $16.00
One of our all time favorite books, Garber once directed the Jubilee conference and his fingerprints are all over the place. His first book, Fabric of Faithfulness is iconic for serious thinkers concerned about higher education and the faith formation of those in their “critical years.” His small collection of essays, The Seamless Life ought to be bought by the boatload. Sometimes when thinking about the 45 year history of the conference, I think of how in God’s providence, Garber showed up at the right time and stewarded the event well, continuing on its remarkable trajectory.
I’m deeply, deeply grateful that he has written these amazing books and have them propped up each year at Jubilee, knowing that they can be transformational.
The Need to Be Whole: Patriotism and the History of Prejudice Wendell Berry (Counterpoint) $24.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $19.20
I have commented about this and many reviewers have weighed in. Even those who adore Berry’s rural commitments and agrarian vision find this problematic. Others think it is brilliant. It is, doubtlessly, one of the most serious, sustained arguments he has made, a major work (not a collection of essays.) In a way it is an ongoing conversation started in the must-read The Hidden Wound. I told a number of newbies to Berry’s work at Jubilee to start with Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community or the great collection edited by Norman Wirzba, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry. We sold a few of Norman’s important books, too. Hooray!
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Bryan Stevenson (OneWorld) $17.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $13.60
We had a large section on criminal justice (not to mention a section on incarceration and on policing, near our section on law and legal thinking.) Anyway, this story of Stevenson’s extraordinary work with the Equal Justice Initiative, legal aid advocacy organization he started is simply one of the best books I’ve ever read. That he spoke at Jubilee a decade or so ago — thanks to his mentor Tony Campolo — makes it that much sweeter when we stock this one at there. I hope you know this contemporary classic. The book is better than the movie, but the movie is great. Thanks be to God.
The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity Jason Thacker (Zondervan) $22.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $18.39
Thacker has a number of books, from his small but potent Following Jesus in the Digital Age to the brand new book about legal theories about digital freedom (The Digital Public Square: Christian Ethics in a Technological Society) but this first one on artificial intelligence was ahead of its time. Rich Mouw wrote a good forward.
Here is how the publisher describes it: “In The Age of AI, researcher Jason Thacker explores how the prevalence of artificial intelligence shapes what it means to be human today – and how the fact that we are made in the image of God transforms everything about how we use it.”
Reforming the Liberal Arts Ryan C. McIlhenny (Falls City Press) $14.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $11.96
We’ve mentioned this and other good books from the Western Pennylsvania indie press Falls City and it seemed right to highlight it here. We did have a section on higher education (hoping professors and collegiate student affairs staff might swing by) and this surely is one of the fiesty, wise, and helpful contributions to an on-going discussion about what needs to be done to keep our colleges and universities on track. This remarkable little volume literally draws on neuroscience and Reformed theology, contemplative spirituality and pop culture. He brings what some might call reformational philosophy to bear on this lively conversation, contenting that higher education can provide “a religious experience, a greater knowledge of self, the world, and God.” This is fresh and provocative, short and sweet. A great read.
By the way, we had little pre-order postcards featuring a forthcoming title from Falls City Press that will release in a few weeks. It is by my friend Alex Sosler who teaches at Montreat College in Black Mountain NC. That forthcoming one is hopefully going to become well known as it is simple and clear but just remarkably wise, digging deep, inviting students to the journey of formation that is higher education.
PRE-ORDER: Learning to Love: Christian Higher Education as Pilgrimage Alex Sosler (Falls City Press; $18.99 – OUR SALE PRE-ORDER PRICE = $15.19.) I’ve read the whole thing carefully and can’t say enough about how valuable it will be for incoming college students. Even though it is designed for use in faith-based settings, I think any Christian kid in college would benefit from it. It’s alongside the delightfully basic Make College Count (by Derek Melleby) and, of course, the aforementioned Learning for the Love of God (by Melleby and Donald Opitz.) Lots of good folks who work in education — from Erica Young Reitz to Drew Moser to Jeffrey Bilbro all rave.
Heaven and Nature Sing: 365 Daily Devotionals for Outdoor & Nature Lovers edited by Sharon Brodin (Brodin Press) $16.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.80
What fun that an outdoor education team leader for CCO has three entries in this compilation of nature-loving, wilderness/adventure devotionals. From day hikers to kayakers to campers to other adventure sports folks, this collection is one of a kind. We had a lot of books of nature writing and a good number on backpacking, leadership in the outdoors and the like. This devotional, though, is great for anyone who appreciates the great outdoors, works in camp settings, or appreciates wilderness expeditions.
Following Jesus in a Warming World: A Christian Call to Climate Action Kyle Meyaard-Schaap (IVP) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
Brand new, we were tickled to share this new potent book written by the young Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network. Previously, he was the national organizer and spokesperson for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, and he has been featured in news outlets such as CNN, PBS, NPR, NBC News, and U.S. News and World Report. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan would have fit right in to Jubilee, I’m sure. We had a lot of faithful ecology stuff, and if I could have I would have pressed this one into the hands of many.
This book does far more than share compelling facts about a warming world. It tells the story of how following Jesus leads us to protect a world threatened with ecological catastrophe. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap shares the stories of real people on this journey and offers pathways for us to follow. We often say, ‘Let’s hear the voices of young people shaping our future.’ Kyle has empowered them. But those voices are shouting, ‘Our future is on fire!’ Reading this book doesn’t just tell us what to think but shows us what to do. — Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, general secretary emeritus of the Reformed Church in America; author of Without Oars.
While fellow Christians remain apathetic or dismissive, Christians concerned about the climate crisis can feel they are walking a lonely journey. For these lonely journeyers, Kyle Meyaard-Schaap is a patient, trustworthy, experienced encourager. His irresistible passion calls us back from deceptive narratives into the real story of God’s redemptive love for all creation. This book is a deeply scriptural call to advocacy for people and planet as both moral necessity and spiritual discipline. What a gift! Finally, Christians can take courage and hand this book to others, saying, ‘This. Read this.’ — Debra Rienstra, professor of English at Calvin College and author of Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth
Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind Alan Jacobs (Penguin) $16.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.80
I’m not sure if this sold at Jubilee (maybe one or two at most.) But, whew, what a book. It is mature, thoughtful, exceedingly eloquent as we’ve come to expect from Dr. Jacobs. (I know we sold at least one of his nice How to Think and one young lit major was delighted to find his The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction. We had The Year of Our Lord 1943: Christian Humanism in an Age of Crisis in the history section of course.
But this. Wow, what a treatise, an argument for reading older books. He connects it with the dis-ease many young adults feel these days and although not everyone will find emotional serenity this way, it sure makes sense. Highly recommended.
Learning the Good Life: Wisdom from the Great Hearts and Minds That Came Before edited by Jessica Wooten Wilson & Jacob Stratton (Zondervan Academic) $29.99 Foreword by David I. Smith OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99
I reviewed this at BookNotes and was beside myself thinking of the many values of this great resource. There are bunches of chapters by Christian scholars who in readable prose invite us to learn from the best thinkers of the long history of the West. In that review I raved about the creative choices — good contemporary writers on mostly well known past thinkers. What a joy.
Reading Black Books: How African American Literature Can Make Our Faith More Whole and Just Claude Atcho (Brazos Press) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99
The title and subtitle pretty much says it all. I love Claude Atcho and would have been delighted to have him in our gathering. His book is lively and helpful, introducing folks to classic black literature, from Ellison’s Invisible Man to Wright, Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston and so many others. As any deeply Christian pastor and critic will do, he shows how these can help us in our faith formation and worldview.
Many contemporary friends have eloquently showed how important the book is, but I’ll just quote the publisher’s words:
Reading Black Books helps readers of all backgrounds learn from the contours of Christian faith formed and forged by Black stories, and it spurs continued conversations about racial justice in the church. It demonstrates that reading about Black experience as shown in the literature of great African American writers can guide us toward sharper theological thinking and more faithful living.
How (Not) to Read the Bible: Making Sense of the Anti-Women, Anti-Science, Pro-Violence, Pro-Slavery and Other Crazy-Sounding Parts of Scripture Dan Kimball (Zondervan) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.99
We had a huge section of books about the Bible at Jubilee. We had basic stuff, serious stuff, academic work and curiously unique things. From Bible overviews to Bible introductions, from Old and New Testaments to sub-categories (like Jesus in the Old Testament or women in the Bible) we had a lot. This is just one that seemed useful for college beginners. Kimball is a fun guy, raising important questions with a bit of wry wit and goofball energy. It’s really readable, really solid, and really helpful.
Dan Kimball has long been a guide for a generation trying to find their footing in a post-Christian world. For those of us who want to believe, yet struggle to make sense of the Bible in our age. Yet again, he steps in to offer kind, intelligent, wise, and, as you’d expect from Dan, funny guidance; this time around, on how (not) to read the Bible. — John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
More of You: The Fat Girl’s Field Guide to the Modern World Amanda Martinez Beck (Broadleaf) $24.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $19.99
There are a number of books like this one by my friend Amanda Martinez Beck. She is such a good writer and sharp thinker and this raises a matter that is awkward for many and yet so important — liberating, even. It is a theology of the body designed to de-stigmatize being “fat” — an often hurtful word that is being reclaimed and reused in mighty ways. It’s a great read.
Practical and straightforward with beautiful prose and a message of hope and freedom. Beck offers helpful tools for navigating a world designed to exclude fat people. She weaves together the strands of self-advocacy, history of the fat liberation movement, intersectional justice, and compelling memoir to provide a guidebook for all of us who want to live in such a way that we are at home in our body and in this world. — Nicole Morgan, author of Fat and Faithful: Learning to Love Our Bodies, Our Neighbors, and Ourselves
Counseling and Christianity: Five Approaches edited by Stephen Gregg & Timothy Sisemore (IVP Academic) $35.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $28.00
There are a few other books in this “spectrum” series and it is cool to explain them to students. I say something like this: each of these five authors agree with our Jubilee vision, that as followers of Jesus we need to have the mind of Christ, integrating our deepest, Biblical views with the ideas within our majors. Each affirms this whole project of being uniquely and distinctively Christian, but here’s the thing: they disagree about what that looks like. In this case there are five different models for doing this “Christian perspective” thing and they nicely discuss back and forth the approach they think is most faithful and fruitful.
I remind students that they, themselves, are going to have to hammer out their own view and that this is a handy (if a bit daunting) tool to process the varying perspectives and models for thinking about how a Christian in counseling should do her work. Yay.
ReFounder: How Transformational Leaders Take What’s Broken and Make It Better Patrick Colletti (Per Capita) $28.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $23.19
Patrick Colletti spoke at Jubilee and by all reports hit a real home run — students came to the book room after his presentation all fired up about business and corporate service and leadership. As a long-standing Western Pennsylvania business leader, Patrick has a lot of stories.
The main story is of his struggle with failure and restoration as a business servant leader with Godly tenacity and creative leadership capacities, Refounder is not only about how business leaders can “take what’s broken and make it better” (and the major case study of his tech biz) but how this impacts our own faith and discipleship. This is a rare and vital book and we are delighted that he made some available to us. Thanks, Patrick.
Patrick has written an important book for all of us, wherever we are in life. The world needs a movement of leaders reimagining what ought to be in our institutions, ventures, cities, and relationships, and Refounder is full of principles and ideas from someone who has done just that. — Joshua Margolis, Harvard Business School
A Little Manual on Knowing Esther Meek (Cascade) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
We so appreciate Dr. Meek, a philosopher with a multi-dimensional orientation and practical bent. Her books — from the quite deep (on a “covenantal epistemology”) to the mid-level (like Longing to Know), to this one, short and concise — are fabulous; they are informed by a knowing appreciation for Michael Polyani, with a bit of Parker Palmer. Here is what the publisher says about this one:
In refreshing challenge to the common presumption that knowing involves amassing information, this book offers an eight-step approach that begins with love and pledge and ends with communion and shalom. Everyday adventures of knowing turn on a moment of insight that transforms and connects knower and the known. No matter the field — science or art, business or theology, counseling or athletics — this little manual offers a how-to for knowing ventures. It offers concrete guidance to individuals or teams, students or professionals, along with plenty of exercises to spark the process of discovery, design, artistry, or mission.
Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus Rachel Pies Jones (Plough Publishing) $17.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39
We had a number of great Plough Publishing titles at Jubilee but this one found its way to our world religions and missions section. It’s a great story set in rural Somalia. She set out with a lot of antipathy towards Islam and, happily, locals showed compassion for “this blundering outsider who couldn’t keep her headscarf on or her twin toddlers from tripping over AK-47s.”
Amy Peterson says it is filled with “hard-won insights of a mature faith lived in long community” with Muslim neighbors. “Jones finds her faith unravelled and rewoven, strong for what she’s learned in the Horn of Africa from her Muslim friends.”
Cultural Engagement: A Crash Course in Contemporary Issues Joshua Chatraw & Karen Swallow Prior (Zondervan) $29.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $23.99
This is a solid hardback that is for many a great example of ways the diverse Body of Christ can agree to make a difference in our needy world, even if we disagree with some of the details. Two really great things about this “crash course.” First, it covers a lot — from hot button issues like complex bioethics and evangelical relations with the LGTBQ community and topics such as work and the arts and creation care. Secondly, there are top notch authors from a variety of generally evangelical perspectives. Who wouldn’t want to have a book with authors from Vincent Bacote to Katelyn Beaty, Lisa Fields to Mako Fujimura, from Anglican priest and writer Tish Harrison Warren to young politico Michael Wear, from organic farmer Joel Salatin to conservative brainiac Robert George. So good.
The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Our Neighbor Kaitlyn Schiess IVP) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
We have admired Kaitlyn Schiess since this spectacular book came out a few years ago — it is ideal for younger readers, of course, but we commend it widely, hoping for many to take in its balanced, remarkably thoughtful perspective. In a nutshell, she is asking — perhaps in light of some of James K.A. Smith’s insights about cultural liturgies and character formation from our habits — how, exactly, we form our political opinions. She invites us to think Christianly about this aspect of our discipleship and calls on communal discernment, being good citizens for the glory of God and the good of our neighbors. What a great little book.
Our old friend Dr. James Skillen raves, saying this:
This is a powerful challenge from a young heart and a mature mind. Schiess seems to touch every unexamined habit of Christian thought, work, leisure, and worship. With a wide sweep of life’s liturgies and church liturgies, of spiritual formation and political responsibility, of Bible reading and communication with others, Schiess goes straight for the heart in relaxed conversation that packs a prophetic punch about our complacency, ignorance of Scripture, cultural conformity, and more. Her urgent message is for communities of Christian faith to repent and turn ourselves over entirely to God, as disciples of Jesus Christ have always been called to do. It is hard to imagine how this young woman has been able to read so widely and think so profoundly about so much of life. Here you’ll find fresh insight and compelling hope that will renew your labors for the coming of God’s kingdom. Young people, old folks like me, and everyone in between, read this book now! — James W. Skillen, author of The Good of Politics, former president of the Center for Public Justice
Jesus and the Disinherited Howard Thurman (Beacon) $16.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.80
I am sure I don’t need to tell you that this is a true twenty century classic, a person who had significant influence on the ministry of Dr. Martin Luther King, and a personal favorite book of his. There are pictures in the MLK archives showing him carrying it around. I sometimes tell young people that if it influenced King, you should read it. Enough said.
Join the Resistance: Step Into the Good Work of Kingdom Justice Michelle Ferrigno Warren (IVP) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
Oh my, do you remember the previous book by Michelle Ferrigno Warren? It challenged me and encouraged me and reminded me of essential things. It was called The Power of Proximity and, in some ways, she struck me as a youthful, evangelical Dorothy Day. Yes, we must be present to others, including the poor, and there is great “power in proximity.” From simple things (I hate “drive through” and automated check out at the grocery store) to the bigger question of our typical segregated distance from the poor, it’s a hugely important book.
This one has similar insight, calm and reasonable, even if the title is a bit punchy. Yes, indeed, this invites us to “step into the good work” of creating signposts pointing the way to God’s coming Kingdom, and ways to be agents of social change and public justice. A great, inspiring, and helpful guidebook.
Mathematics for Human Flourishing Francis Su (Yale University Press) $16.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.80
We have a handful of books for math geeks, from Redeeming Math to Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith to the heavy Mathematics in a Postmodern Age but when we discovered this a few years ago we were delighted to learn that, aside from the tremendous, Jubilee-esque title, the author is a thoughtful, good writer and a person of sincere faith. A great read.
Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community Bonnie Kristian (Brazos Press) $24.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $19.99
We were thrilled that Bonnie Kristian was at Jubilee this year and it was funny (and a bit embarrassing) when I was going on and on about her previous book (A Flexible Faith) to a customer and she was standing right there, chiming in as if on cue. I wish more would have attended her workshop on journalism and I wish we had announced this one from the main stage as it. Is. So. Important. Fake news? Conspiracy theories? Not knowing who to believe? Why do wacky and often mean-spirited notions get passed around, even in churches? This book looks judiciously at all of this, pondering how we know what is true in this age of misinformation, spin, a propaganda. It’s got an excellent forward by David French and is simply a must read. We named it as one of the Best Books of 2023.
Non-Toxic Masculinity: Recovering Healthy Male Sexuality Zachary Wagner (IVP) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
This came a few days before our big event and of course I lugged a bunch of them there. Some years men’s topics are of great interest; I seem to think that there wasn’t much interest in this category this year. One never knows. In any case, this book looks tremendous and not only a lively and inspiring read, but really important. I like that it really seems to offer a solid Biblical narrative, placing “masculinity” in this redemptive context.
Here’s the quick pitch from the publisher’s info sheet:
Boys will be boys” and purity culture sell the same excuses with a different spin. Can we break the toxic cycle and recover a healthy identity for men? Confronting harmful teaching from the American church that has distorted desire, sex, relationships, and responsibility, Zachary Wagner offers a renewed vision for Christian male sexuality.
There’s a lot of good blurbs on this vital work. Check this out, noting how widely appealing it could be:
Boldly vulnerable, Zachary Wagner gives voice to the brokenness of male sexuality within contemporary Christianity, and in so doing, points the way toward healing. Because he is dogmatic only about the goodness of the gospel, readers from a broad spectrum are invited to join him as he continues to process the complexity of these issues. As one who advocates for the value of women in the Christian story, I am thrilled to recommend this book as one that restores and cultivates the God-given value of men. — Amy Peeler, associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, author of Women and the Gender of God and associate rector at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
((By the way, although it has a very different tone and style and comes at this topic from a different angle, I know my friend Nancy Pearcy’s book is coming out in mid-June 2023 and it will be well worth pondering. You can pre-order her forthcoming The Toxic War on Masculinity: How Christianity Reconciles the Sexes (Baker; $24.99.))
Do You Believe? 12 Historic Doctrines to Change Your Everyday Life Paul David Tripp (Crossway) $32.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $26.39
I have highlighted this before, too, and we were glad that one workshop leader — on memorizing the Bible, actually — was going to recommend it in her class. This is a handsome, readable, thorough introduction to basic evangelical doctrine, without the air of being a highbrow textbook. It is detailed but conversational and — get this! — after every chapter there is a follow up chapter on what difference this Biblical truth makes in our daily living and ordinary discipleship.
Tripp is a grace-based Biblical counselor and knows the hurts and foibles of folk, and as a Kingdom preacher, knows well the full-orbed, whole-life implications of the gospel. So this is a fine, straight-arrow approach that has some fresh insights and helpful guidance.
Stott on the Christian Life: Between Two Worlds Tim Chester (Crossway) $21.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.59
One can hardly think of a great 20th century preacher and writer and leader who has so influenced the best of modern evangelicalism that the late, great John Stott. (I so enjoyed having the book Living Radical Discipleship published a year ago by the UK Langham Trust which was inspired by him, edited by Laura Meitner Yoder.) This one, though, part of a great series by Crossway, gives a good overview of his life, his teachings, and what we can learn from his steadfast, wholistic ministry. A few friends are named in this, and there is plenty to enjoy, much to admire. Kids today don’t even know Stott, but some of us will never forget the time he spoke at Jubilee in the late 1970s. Get this!
Signals of Transcendence andThe Great Quest Os Guinness (IVP) $16.00 each OUR SALE PRICES = $12.80 each
Less than a year ago we promoted a fabulous little book by Os Guinness that invited us to “the examined life.” That was called The Great Quest: Invitation to an Examined Life and a Sure Path to Meaning and I showed it to a number of thoughtful seekers at Jubilee. The new sequel just came last week and we were happy to show it off, side-by-side. Signals of Transcendence is a guide to how various key thinkers and thoughtful seekers followed the echoes of truest reality, searching for some signal of the divine. Jews and Christians are included, with famous stories from figures who are described in ways that are classic Os — Malcolm Muggeridge, Peter Berger, W.H Auden, Philip Hallie, G.K. Chesterton, C.S Lewis and more. Included is a tender story of his own relative (Whitfield Guinness) and those who followed the quest who as different as Russian author Leo Tolstoy and the great Kenneth Clark. I’m not sure young adults know some of these names, but it is nothing short of spectacular, described by Mako Fujimura as “a gift” and “imaginative.” He says, “I found myself gripped by every page of this book.” It is a fabulous companion to The Great Quest.
A Skeptic’s Guide to Faith: What It Takes to Make the Leap Philip Yancey (Zondervan) $15.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $12.79
Yancey is a name we must continue to promote, as he is quiet and unassuming. His popular, riveting memoir (Where the Light Fell) made a bit of a splash last year but yet his older writings are enduring, smart, eloquent, but not arcane in the least. We highly recommend a steady diet of his many books.
A Skeptic’s Guide to Faith was first published as Rumors of Another World and while that is a bit more allusive, hinting at Peter Berger’s “signals of transcendence” this new title is clear and helpful. He is, he insists, an ordinary person, like most of us, just trying to figure things out, relating our lived experiences, the BIbles teachings, and wondering what is true.
As he puts it, “This book comes out of my own search and is written on behalf of those who live outside of belief — that borderlands region between belief and unbelief.” I wish we could have gotten it into the hands of more young adults (and others!) at Jubilee. Maybe you can help us spread the word about how very useful this lovely book is.
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Sadly, we are still closed for in-store browsing. COVID is not fully over. Since few are reporting their illnesses anymore, it is tricky to know the reality but the best measurement is to check the water tables to see the amount of virus in the eco-system. It’s still bad, and worsening (again.) With flu and new stuff spreading, many hospitals are overwhelmed. It’s important to be particularly aware of how risks we take might effect the public good. It is complicated for us, so we are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health (and the safety of our family, staff, and customers.) The vaccination rate here in York County is sadly lower than average. Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation so we are trying to be wise. Thanks for understanding.
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