4-Day Only 40% off (and 50% off) Post-Jubilee SALE

Okay, friends and faithful BookNotes readers: I won’t do an epic post-Jubilee conference report this year, but our big Pittsburgh gathering sponsored by the CCO, as I write, is nearly done. It’s the Monday after the conferees have left and we’ve been working hard boxing up the remaining books. Teamsters at the Convention Center are using forklifts and pallet jacks to move pallets full of boxes onto their loading dock where Beth and our buddy Sean – a rare bird who is a happy, energetic helper, incredibly strong, and a well-read philosopher who casually mentions Merleau-Ponty or Herman Dooyeweerd alongside his amazing knowledge of Scripture – are getting things into the rented truck so we can get it back across the state and unloaded by Tuesday, before they charge us for another day. Our backs and legs are sore, our brains a bit fuzzy, but our hearts are full.


The joy of talking about how books can inform us and help us embody a distinctively Christian lifestyle in and for the world, even in college studies, work, and civic life quickly shifted to trying to figure out how to get odd shaped boxes and boards and displays and cash registers and gobs of paperwork into a truck without them getting damaged. Dreaming with college students about the Jubilee vision with speakers like Steve Garber, CPJ Director Stephanie Summers, After College author Erica Young Reitz, Redeemer City-to-City leader Abe Cho and selling books to serious Christian students and seekers, too, as well as workshop presenters, speakers, and CCO staff is so rewarding, but now we’ve got some serious unloading to do. Will have hundreds of boxes unloaded into the shop later tonight. As the old catchphrase by one of the first black Hollywood stars goes, “Feets don’t fail me now.”

I’d love for you to read my past missives about Jubilee HERE, HERE, or HERE or HERE – each explains a bit about how Jubilee has influenced how we think and much of what our store has been about, helping equip people of faith to think Christianly about God’s care for all of life and to nurture a “spirituality of the ordinary” so people can find joy and make a difference in every zone of daily life. Of course the local church is a key to all of this, and that is one vital aspect of the whole missional movement, but it is surely not the only institution God cares about and ought not be the singular focus of our Christian lives. But, yet, prayer and church and gospel proclamation and gentle spiritual formation are all foundations for a robust, imaginative, embodied, Kingdom life in and for the various spheres of God’s good but fallen world.

Some young students with whom the CCO campus staff works and who they bring to Jubilee are nurtured by churches that do not have much of a Kingdom vision. Mired by a deep dualism between the so-called sacred and secular, resulting in a gap between Sunday and Monday, with a disconnect, then, between, say, prayer and politics or worship and work, or spirituality and studies, those students are astonished to learn that God cares about their majors (and future careers) or that there is a Biblically-informed worldview that can frame how the think about and live into their various callings in their real-world lives. Jesus isn’t just about going to heaven when you die? This is huge news for some, and, as the conference theme put it, it “changes everything.”

Think about that. Does your church or small group or Bible class or nonprofit organization integrate faith in creative but faithful ways into the very style in which you do your work? Has the news of the Kingdom “changed everything”? Do you equip people to read widely so you can think Christianly about all areas of life, including work and careers, citizenship and civic life, leisure and entertainment, money and creation-care? This call to read and study and embrace life-long learning towards deeper fidelity in learning how to navigate faithfully within our Babylonian culture of idols and ideologies is a great challenge, a new aspect of discipleship for some. I hope your faith community is about all of that.

(And, of course, although Jubilee [and the books we suggest here at BookNotes] reminds us of the need for deep cultural analysis of the distorted ways of thinking about structures, institutions, ideas, and policies, we must also think quite practically. We care about public affairs and the more personal — are leaders taken with power and egoism? Is servanthood and kindness commonplace? Do people pray for one another and treat each other with respect? Do we embody personal integrity? Is there trust within the folks within your church or organization? These, too, are Kingdom practices discussed often at Jubilee.)

We hope our bookstore has helped in some small way as you have worked to be a gracious agent of change, in your church and in your circles in the broader world and the culture at large. We need books to help us know how to be faithful salt and light and leaven. As we head home from this stellar, extraordinary, Pittsburgh event with students each February we are also so struck by the great opportunity we have been given to serve our store’s customers and various organizations across the country. We are thankful.

Now, for the slow unboxing and reshelving. This only shows one corner of our store — there are boxes everywhere! Wanna make it a bit easier on us?

Buy some books.

40% off for the next 4 days; 50% off the final two listed // Sale ends Tuesday (2-27-24) night at midnight.

Here are just a few of the books we had for sale at Jubilee — a bit of what we call in the biz “overstock.” These are excellent titles and we’d love to get them into your hands. Order a bunch. We’ll sell ‘em now at 40% off (or 50% off for the last two listed) but for four days only and while supplies last on each. After February 27, 2024 they will revert to our typical BookNotes 20% off.

We take about 150 categories of books, including lots of scholarly and semi-scholarly texts. From legal theory to aesthetics, urban planning to nursing, from disability studies to business, politics to sexuality to science to schooling, we have lots. But these are some general ones, mostly, that you might enjoy. They are 40% off for the next four day.

What If Jesus Was Serious About Heaven? Skye Jethani (Brazos) $16.99 SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.19

I highlighted this from up front, happily noting that it is an easy read, but provocative, with cartoons. Perhaps like N.T. Wright’s perspective offering insights about the Kingdom of God, Tish Harrison Warren (who has done main stage talks at Jubilee) says it offers aid “and a luminous, sturdy hope.” Highly recommended — for adults, of course, but youth could read it, too. Yes!


Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World Allen Mitsuo Wakabayashi  (IVP) $24.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $14.40

Another study which explores the under-explored theme of the reign of God. In what ways is the gospel the announcement of the regime change happening, of the inauguration of the Kingdom coming, “on Earth as it is in heaven?” Wakabayashi has shared the gospel of Christ’s salvation often, and when he came to study the theme of the Kingdom, we realized he had to tell the gospel story more faithfully. This is an amazingly useful book, one that I know has trasnformed countless lives and healthy ways. It is very highly recommended.


Do Something Beautiful: The Story of Everything and A Guide to Finding Your Place In It  R.York Moore (Moody Press) $13.99   SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $8.39

York is the fairly new President of the CCO and a friend; this clear book excites me each time I look through it; I like it a lot. Easy and delightful to read, Do Something Beautiful invites us to enact goodness in the world, to add beauty. What a solid but creative way of announcing the Kingdom and showing the implications of the gospel as it is unleashed in the world.  It’s a colorful, handsome, little book, too, a joy to behold. For anybody who has muttered, “There has to be more than this, right?” Hooray.

A 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  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $8.99

The subtitle says it all. Marotta is an Anglican priest and smart, smart guy — you may catch the allusion to Charles Taylor — and this lovely little book is a fine example of his solid, creative work. It was a joy to meet him (and to hear about another book on the saints of the church that he has coming out before too long, done collaboratively with an artist in his parish) at Jubilee this year. This recent one explores so well that ancient notion of how what we pray shapes what we believe which shapes how we actually live. Amen and Amen.

Your Minds Mission Greg Jao (IVP) $8.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $4.80

I will not wax eloquent on how I love this little booklet but if you are curious by what we mean by “thinking Christianly” or what a generative, creative, view of worldview might be like, or why study and reading widely matters, this booklet is worth its weight in gold. In the few minutes I have up front to talk about books during each major plenary session, I choose to take a minute and read a moving passage from page 8. Men and women, adults or students should all have a few of these on hand, always.


Being God’s Image: Why Creation Still Matters Carmen Joy Imes (IVP) $22.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $13.20

I’m sure you’ve seen me highlight this before, insisting that it is just grand, so informative, unlocking many aspects of what we are to believe and do when we reflect on God’s original plan. A study of the creation narrative, removing a theologically rich and Biblically astute picture, Being God’s Image is one of my favorite recent books. Dr. Imes — a respected and increasingly in-demand Bible scholar — did the Jubilee talk on creation last year (2023) and hit it out of the park, as they say. This book wasn’t out yet, then, so this year we touted it, hoping those who so enjoyed her last year would pick it up. And many did. We wanted you to have an opportunity to grab it now, with this deep discount. Maybe you have a Bible study group or Sunday school class who might want to work through it. Believe me, it’s readable yet profound, asking about who God is, what it means to be human, and why we should care about God’s good world. Hooray.

All Shall Be Well: Awakening to God’s Presence in His Messy, Abundant World Catherine McNiel (NavPress) $15.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $9.59

When we start the Jubilee conference on Friday night there is a talk on the goodness of creation; all of us live and move and have our being (as the apostle Paul put it, swiping a Greek pop culture adage of his day) in an ordered cosmos upheld by the Triune God who declared it all good. One can hardly serve God in the world (let alone in careers and professions) without knowing this foundational truth. One way to deepen that awareness, of course, is to read the arts and sciences and explore stuff like Andy Crouch’s must-read Culture Making. But I also like to highlight narratives like this…a beautiful young writer meanders through four seasons in her life, finding God’’s presence in the good and the bad, the beautiful and the broken. Lovely, luminous, wise (and with a foreword by poet Luci Shaw.)

Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey Sarah Shin (IVP) $18.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $ 10.80

Often, for those of us who have empathy for the marginalized or repressed, we’ve learned a bit about systemic racism and social injustices. Often we talk about race and ethnic diversity in light of the gross sin of racism. At Jubilee, I like to highlight this book up front the first night suggesting that before we talk about racism, as such, we can celebrate that God made the possibilities for an ethnically diverse world; multicultural concerns are not merely a result of the fall, but are the way things are supposed to be. God honors us with different sorts of racial and ethnic configurations and while it is true that we, as humans, have distorted our ethnicities, it can be said, still, that our ethnicity is a foundational good part of who we are. Hooray.

This book explains much of this and more. It is important and challenging, what James Choung has called “groundbreaking.” Ken Wytsma, after noting how beautifully written and astute it is, says that “Sarah Shin takes readers on a deep, honest, and spiritual journey… I can’t recommend Beyond Colorblind highly enough.”

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. (Eerdmans) $24.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $14.99

If we open the Jubilee event with a talk on creation, the Saturday morning main stage keynote talk is about what theologians call “the fall.” That is, the goodness and beauty and order of creation, is now — as we all know — “not the way it’s supposed to be.” Some years I highlight this vital title, even if it is maybe more than what some young adults are ready to read. It is a serious theology of sin, but it is so well written and wise and even charming (it is Neal Plantinga, after all, who can hardly pen a bad or boring sentence) that I assure them that they will learn much and enjoy it, too. Few believe me that reading a book about the brokenness of the world, the fall, the Biblical doctrine of the fall is necessary. Hence we have some left over. But believe me, this helps illuminate your world, bringing the lights on in fresh ways, offering this summary of sins in a way that is (as The Christian Century review put it years ago) “comprehensive articulate, and well-written.” It illustrates the topic with lots of then-current news reports, studies, and pop culture references and shows that most foundationally, sin is “a vandalization of shalom.” He, too, starts with creation (and has a final chapter on re-creation, the renewal and restoration the gospel brings) so it is ideal for the story Jubilee tries to tell. It is lively, marvelously done, and offers a wholistic account that we need, badly. First Things called it bracing. Indeed. Don’t miss it.

For Shame: Rediscovering the Virtues of a Maligned Emotion Gregg Ten Elshof (Zondervan) $16.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.19

I reviewed this several years ago at BookNotes and I think I’m going to read the book again. As you might guess, at an event aimed at young adults, there is much interest in self-help sorts of topics; we’ve got books on forgiveness and depression and sexual ethics and eating disorders. From our families of origin to the anxieties and stress of contemporary living, many young adults are struggling and many are hopeful that books that point them towards gospel-centered, helpful answers can be redemptive for them. Naturally, we have a handful of books in a section on shame and this one seemed to stand out, in part because of its contrary viewpoint. Most books — from Lewis Smedes to Curt Thompson to Brene Brown to Ed Welch and more — have a negative view of shame, but here, Ten Elshof (himself, interestingly, a student of world religions) offers a balanced and nearly positive view of the disturbing emotion. Of course we need not be permanently ashamed in a debilitation manner. But have you no shame? That might be a problem, he says.

Ken Shigematsu, who has written marvelous books on spirituality, and a new one on shame called Now I Become Myself: How Deep Grace Heals Our Shame and Restores Our True Self says:

“Brilliant, clear, and cogent! In the age of social media, where our lives are more exposed than ever, Ten Elshof shows us that the journey out of shame cannot be made by an individual alone but depends on a community of others who will bring the person honor.”

Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a a Distracted Age Alan Noble (IVP) $24.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $14.40

The great (and oh, so droll and witty) Alan Noble was at Jubilee again this year (and his books You Are Not Your Own and On Getting Out of Bed) sold well. This little guy was an award winning title a few years back and remains a major work (in my humble opinion) that ought not be missed. It is a clear-headed but nuanced and rather sophisticated study of distraction and how our daily lives have acquiesced to the trends of “the secular age.”

Karen Swallow Prior suggests that this book shows just “what the next generation of evangelicalism could and should look like — grounded, faithful, and circumspect.” As she notes, Alan “asks all the right questions and leads us to better answers.” What does bearing witness look like in our time and place, in this era, given our zeitgeist? Published in 2018 Disruptive Witness is more timely now than it was then.

It’s Not What You Think: Why Christianity is About So Much More Than Going To Heaven When You Die Jefferson Bethke (Thomas Nelson) $16.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.19

Are you new to the Christian faith and feel a bit confused about what it is supposed to be all about?  Or maybe you have kids or grandkids who are pushing back against conventional piety and church life? I’d say that may be a good thing — let them let go of bad religion. So often, despite our best efforts, we have been getting the story wrong. This young buck is fun and feisty and, as an evangelical pastor, offers really fun chapters on various misconceptions about faith and religion. I highlight this from up front, hoping some students who think they know what Christianity is will pick it up and be walloped or charmed into a bigger, better vision of relevant, faithful discipleship.

Jeff has written another terrific book that rattled more of my assumptions about Jesus. This is a good book, by a trusted friend, about an awesome God who doesn’t play by the rules we keep trying to give Him. — Bob Goff, author Love Does and Live in Grace, Walk in Love

With a deep discernment of the times we’re living in, Jefferson spotlights many misinterpreted truths in the Bible and puts a voice to the true heart of God’s Word. His desire to bring us into a more intimate encounter with God jumps off of each page. Christians need this book–now more than ever! — Lysa TerKeurst, author of Forgiving What You Can’t Forget

The StoryChanger: How God Rewrites Our Story by Inviting Us Into His David Murray (Crossway) $14.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $8.99

This is a short book, really engaging, a fine little reminder of the big picture of how we live and how we come to faith. That is, it is about the story of our lives, how that story gets lost, and how Jesus changes the script, overlaying His redemptive story onto the messed up narratives of our own lives. Everyone’s life tells a story. There are joyful parts and hard stuff, exciting times and boring moments. As it says on the back cover, “Sometimes you may wonder who controls the course of my story? If it goes off track, can it be revised? How will it end?

David Murray (PhD from the Virgo Universities in Amsterdam) is the pastor of First Byron Christian Reformed Church and that curious church name has nothing to do with me. But, man, this is a sweet little book, handsomely made with some full pages of color and practical questions to help readers understand God’s grace and have their own story transformed.

The Jubilee conference theme this year was “this changes everything.” Friends, it starts here. Many of us are trapped in a story — moving in a direction, shaped by values or principles that are not viable — and only God can re-route our direction, giving us a new story. This captivating look at Jesus as the StoryChanger is really something. I’d even recommend it for high school students.

On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts James K. A. Smith (Brazos Press) $19.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $11.99

One of the challenges of selling books to contemporary college students — especially just a year or so after the pandemic — is that they frankly often don’t know the rock star authors who are popular among their tribe even a few years ago. Jamie Smith has spoken at Jubilee more than once, knows CCO well, shares some influences (like the early leaders of the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto) and he once did a knock-out, fabulous main stage plenary address back in the era of “Occupy Wall Street.” Smith called that talk “Occupy Creation” which was a fabulous reflection on our calling to be engaged faithfully and energetically in God’s world. As his teacher Calvin Seerveld used to say, “culture is not optional” and Jamie reminded us of healthy ways to live well in a good, if fallen, world, in a very complicated, technological culture. Smith’s work is quintessentially Jubilee-esque. But yet, today’s rising generation doesn’t know who he is.

There was a workshop option (among so many) this year early on the early church learning from the first few centuries of Christian thinking, with a bit of a long stop on Augustine. Naturally, the presenter drew on Austin Gohn’s A Restless Age: How Saint Augustine Helps You Make Sense of Your Twenties and, of course, Smith. Jamie makes the case that the north African bishop, even before his rise to become one of the enduring theologians ever, was a seeker, a restless soul, one with burdens to be confessed, who knew what it meant to discover God. He is ideal for 21st century, postmodern-ish young adults and Smith’s book is an ideal invitation to that kind of an intentional life.

If you’ve not read this book about Smith’s journey into Italy following the steps of Augustine, you really, really should. Smith is on my short list of those I’d read anything he writes; I might suggest he serve you in that way, too. In any case, this great book is now in paperback and we have some left over after our great Jubilee experience telling students about it. Maybe they are too young for it. I bet your not. Please, check it out. It is, finally, as one reviewer put it, “a tour of the human heart.”

Not every Christian book these days comes with back cover blurbs from a member of the Avett Brothers, the heavy philosopher Charles Taylor, radio guru Krista Tippett, Jesuit James Martin, and United Methodist church historian Justo Gonzalez. Wow.

The Spacious Path: Practicing the Restful Way of Jesus in a Fragmented World Tamara Hill Murphy (Herald Press) $18.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $11.39

I am not saying anything new to remind you that we live in very, very hectic times. Young adults all complain about being too busy and our on-line digital habits have not always helped; many scholars have suggested it has been insidious, creating a toxic culture which has eroded many people’s mental health. In any case, we have to figure out how to enter into, as Tamara puts it, “a life ordered by restful rhythms of listening and love.”

For centuries, the “Rule of Life” was a spiritual tool to help us find a loving pathway for living out the whole gospel. There was much talk about this at Jubilee, with books on sabbath and spiritual practices. (Even Justin McRoberts was there again, teaching on his recent book Sacred Strides, which is an upbeat hoot of a title, wise and fun.) I featured this in a big stack hoping students would resonate with this idea of a restful, slower pace of life but also of the invitation to create a rule, to form communities that are shaped by such Benediction notions. As Lisa Colon Delay puts it, The Spacious Life is life-giving. “Her rich work reveals many specific ways that we can feel God’s embrace; and even better, how we can always begin again.”

Working From the Inside Out: A Brief Guide to Inner Work That Transforms Our Outer World Jeff Haanen (IVP) $18.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.80

It is a long story than you need to learn here, but I believe that the 1970s and early 1980s Jubilee conferences played a role in the now blossoming faith and work movement, from helping to inspired Tim Keller’s Center for Faith & Work at Redeemer in NYC to being early platforms for the then vital speaker and author William Diehl of Bethlehem Steel to generating conversations about distinctively Christian banking philosophy with Pittsburgh’s own black leader and friend, Robert Lavelle (of the respected Dwelling House Savings and Loan.) More than once as a young man at Jubilee in the late ‘70s I heard the CLAC (Christian Labour Association of Canada) talk about their work in industrial relations.  In any case, the grand truth that God invites humans to partner with God to develop the creation (see Genesis 1: 26-28 and, again, Genesis 2: 15) offers a foundational framework for thinking about work and all our labors.

Now, decades later, we are moving to newer ways to talk about our vocations in the work world and Jeff Haanen has been one of the key leaders of what I sometimes call the faith and work 2.0 movement. He is one of this generation’s brightest spots, an important voice, President, until recently, of Denver’s Institute for Faith + Work. This new book explores how our interior lives shape us to be fruitful in our “outer” work. This new book is a living gem, easy to read, thoughtful, so very, very helpful from a sophisticated and wise leader. We touted it up front at the day-before “Jubilee Professional” event along with the new one by his colleague, Johanna Meyers, Women and Work and Calling by Joanna Meyer. Kudos.

Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good Step Garber (IVP) $20.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $12.00

Steve is one of my dearest friends and a regular cheerleader for our work in curating book lists and selling fiction and nonfiction to friends far and near. You know his three very well written, exceptionally thoughtful works, Fabric of Faithfulness, Visions of Vocation, and the lovely, collection of shorter essays, The Seamless Life. If you have followed BookNotes long, you know I circle back to his books time and again. Did you know he once directed the Jubilee conference back when he worked for the CCO and lived in Pittsburgh? (Some of the stories in Fabric, actually, about higher education and young adults living into notions of truth and having mentors and forming life-long friendships) emerged from his work with folks at Jubilee. He was back, again, this year, and did several presentations. I adore this Visions of Vocation book which is rich and thoughtful and broad and wide and deep. One cannot easily summarize his work or his writing, but between real life stories and wise insights from movies and novels, he invites us to live for the world, propelled by love, knowing, as we do, that the world is good and very, very broken. Can we love well even after we know how complex our hurting world really is? God does! We take up visions of vocation and, like Christ, lay out our lives in joy for the world as it is and as it could be.

This is one of the great books of our lifetime, I believe, and we’re delighted to share a few now at this deeper discount, while supplies last. Please don’t miss it.

Myth of Equality: Uncovering the Roots of Injustice and Privilege Ken Wytsma (IVP)  $18.00 SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.80

This book is a bargain at any price but at 40% off, it should be one you get a few of and read together with others. I thought young students might be put off by the critique of privilege and while I don’t know if they were disturbed by what their home preachers who are shaped by Fox News might warn against as “woke” or “CRT” this great book by the great Ken Wytsma is thoughtful, balanced, deeply theological, and insightful about his systemic racism works. In our Saturday morning sessions at Jubilee we were exploring sin and our tendency to lean away from God’s ways and some years speakers tackle racism as an example of the distortions caused by sin and idolatry.

In any case, this one is a good case study of structural sin and social issues and remains, obviously, an urgent topic. This is one of the best overview treatments of the “roots of racial injustice” that I have read and I highly recommend it.

The Myth of Equality is written so skillfully that it’s easy to miss how much it accomplishes. The first part brings to light, with unflinching honesty, how deeply racism and white privilege are embedded within the founding documents and practices of the United States. The second part masterfully shows that this inequality violates the call of the gospel to justice and unity. And the third part offers some wise suggestions to those of us who are white Christians about how we can ‘lay down’ our white privilege. I have no doubt that some readers will be angered by the claim that they participate in and benefit from structures of racism and white privilege, well supported though that claim is. I predict that there will be more who are convinced and inspired by the patient, passionate, and non-defensive way in which Wytsma makes his case.

— Nicholas Wolterstorff, Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology, Yale University, senior research fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia

Live No Lies: Recognize and Resist the Three Enemies That Sabotage Your Peace John Mark Comer (Waterbrook) $26.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $15.60

John Mark Comer (who has graced the main stage at Jubilee in years past) is an edgy, cool, youngish writer that young adults seem to know. We sold out of his new one (Practicing the Way: Be with Jesus. Become Like Him. Do as He Did which I joked is “Dallas Willard for Dummies”) and of one of his early books, Garden City which I highlight the first night of Jubilee every year. It is a nearly perfect Jubilee book, energetic and entertaining, subtitled “Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.”

But this one. Oh my. Between other titles like The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry and God Has a Name, there was this, which is — without sounding weird – on spiritual warfare. You know that triad of dangers the Bible (and, famously, Luther) spoke of — the world, the flesh, and the devil. Yup. This is the best contemporary exploration of these enemies of our souls that I know of. I suspect, despite how beloved Comer is, this one was just a bit too scary. (Even if it is for those who feel depleted and that it is somewhat couched in lingo about living a false narrative, not just being told lies, but living them.) It’s really powerful. I dare you. Lent is a perfect time for this book — buy one for a friend and go through it together.

Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture (Zondervan Academic) $49.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $29.99

I didn’t think many of these would sell to students at Jubilee, even with the foreward by the late Timothy Keller, who some may have heard of, but there are a lot of sharp adult shoppers, too, but, alas, we now have a few too many left over. While supplies last, we have ‘em at 40% off — the best price around. This is a very big book, demanding, extraordinary in its learnedness and, in a way, a bit frustrating in what it does and doesn’t accomplish. It is, frankly, an overview of the Bible and how Biblical theology should unfold in a way that engages in fresh ways the many ideas and ideologies in the surrounding world. It is not an expose (or deference) of “cultural Marxism” or a slanderous critique of Critical Race Theory, although I suspect the goofy zeitgeist that got people who knew nothing about it using CRT as a shibboleth, played into the naming the book as they did. Mostly, it is a study of how the Scriptures can be formative for our intellectual lives and our world-and-life views.

Here is how the publisher succinctly tells of it’s nearly 675 pages which seems, to some, to be an modern update of Augustine’s magisterial City of God:

In Biblical Critical Theory, Christopher Watkin draws a winsome vision for biblical cultural engagement in which faithfulness to Scripture and sensitivity to culture walk hand in hand. If Christians want to speak with a fresh, engaging and constructive voice within our culture, we need to press deeper into the core truths of the Bible.

I suppose I can’t fault our 19-or-20 year-old Jubilee kids for not knowing about all this, but many of our BookNotes readers may be inspired by these sorts of rave reviews:

Chris Watkin maps a path out of some of the most fundamental impasses of our time . . . Urgent and weighty, Biblical Critical Theory is, simply, a tremendously exciting read. — Natasha Moore, Centre for Public Christianity

An effervescently brilliant book, that rare volume that excels both in biblical and cultural exegesis. — Bruce Riley Ashford, Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology The Gospel of Our King: Bible, Worldview, and the Mission of Every Christian

This is the best yet most accessible exploration of the intersection between Christianity, culture, and philosophy I’ve read in recent years. — Nathaniel Gray Sutanto, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, Neo-Calvinism: A Theological Introduction

The Liturgy of Politics: Spiritual Formation for the Sake of Our Neighbor Kaitlyn Schiess (IVP)18.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.80

One of the great aspects of Jubilee 2024 was the panel discussion sponsored by CPJ (Citizens for Public Justice) which brought together their director (Stephanie Summers, co-author with Michael Gerson of Opportunity) and founder James Skillen (author of, among other brilliant, reasonable works, The Good of Politics) and Wheaton College prof Vincent Bacote (three cheers for his exceptional wise, if short and simple, The Political Disciple: A Theology of Public Life.) In and among these old friends of the CCO came Kaitlyn Schiess who I’m told was spectacularly insightful and fun (as she is on “The Holy Post”, the podcast she helps host.) With endorsements from Matthew Kaemingk, Mako Fujimura, Molly Worthen, Jim Skillen, Kristen Deede Johnson,Sharon Hodde Miller and other authors we love, you should know this is an incredible book, a resource maybe able to help you ask others — especially younger believers, but oldsters, too — what shapes your public life, from what sources do you get your political ideas, how did you come to believe what you do about politics? She insists that “the way out of our political morass is first to recognize the formative power of the political forces all around us and then to recover historic Christian practices that shape us according to the truth of the gospel.”

In a way, this could serve as a companion to the new Michael Wear book, The Spirit of Our Politics: Spiritual Formation and the Renovation of Public Life. Her work is so good. Schiess has also recently written The Ballot and the Bible and is currently working on a PhD at Duke, studying with Luke Bretherton. Get The Liturgy of Politics today and if you like it as I hope you do, maybe plan a book club to read it together with others. Before this fall!

A Christian Field Guide to Technology for Engineers and Designers Ethan Brue, Derek Schuurman & Steven Vanderleest (IVP Academic) $28.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $16.80

I hope you recall me touting this before, insisting it is nearly a one-of-a-kind volume, a spectacular example of what we mean by “thinking Christianly” and “integrating a Christina perspective with a discipline or vocation. These guys are remarkable — one has a PhD in mechanical engineering, one has a PhD in electrical engineering, and the other a PhD in computer engineering. Each has worked in industry and are now professors. They are good writers and this book does what any good book might do — inviting us to think well about the field, about technology in general and about how engineers do their work in particular. Can designing and using technology actually be a way of loving God and our neighbors? Very highly recommended.

Three Views on Christianity and Science edited by Paul Copan and Christopher Reese (Zondervan Academic) $18.99   SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $11.39

Every career area should have a book like this (and a few do, like, say, one on psychology and one on politics.) This assumes that there is some natural relationship between faith and science. Of course, many agree that we need to integrate our convictions about God from the Bible into and alongside our study of the natural world; who doesn’t want a “Christian perspective”? But even how I said it just now is perhaps problematic and different serious thinkers about this question have different nuances of the details of what this project looks like. Which is right?

Here we have an “independence view” (where science and theology operate independently of each other, seeking answers to different questions) and a “dialogue view” (where science and theology are distinct areas of human knowledge yet can engage in legitimate and productive dialogue) and what the third author calls a “constrained integration view” where each discipline (science and theology) mutually inform and constrain each other, since all created reality is the conceptually integrated product of the divine. These three views are explained by Michael Ruse, Alister McGrath, and Bruce Gordon and after each chapter, the other two reply. As with other books in the Counterpoint series, we get different views and rebuttals and replies.

The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions Karl Giberson & Francis Collins (IVP) $24.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $14.40

This is a fairly easy to read hardback in a good Q & A format, offered in cooperation with the great BioLogos Foundation. Giberson is a “theistic evolutionist” who has written as an evangelical biologist and Francis Collins, you may know, is a world-class geneticist. This book is “destined to become a classic” says the Senior Medical contributor for ABC News (Dr. Tim Johnson.) Rave reviews come from folks as diverse as Harvard scholar of astrophysics, Owen Gingerich and philosopher of science at Fuller, Nancy Murphy.  We always feature it at Jubilee as it is a good entry level book for young science majors or anyone interested in “the language of God” and how modern science and Biblical faith might relate.

Imagining Our Neighbors As Ourselves How Art Shapes Empathy Mary McCampbell (Fortress Press) $28.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $16.80

What a blast it was having the always-fascinating, lively, and seriously-Christian insights of Mary McCampbell at Jubilee 2024. She spoke about what CCO calls academic discipleship — that is, how students can learn to love God with their minds and relate Biblical insights naturally into their college classrooms and studies — and, of course, did a workshop on this extraordinary book. It is a bit on the scholarly side so maybe it was a bit much for some students, but they were enhanced by her stories, illustrations, and very impressive discernment about narratives of various forms.

As you may recall, when we first announced this we talked about how it shows how narrative can shape empathy, and she uses as examples work from novels, naturally, but also TV shows, country songs, graphic comic books, video games, stories of all sorts. The opening section on the formation of empathy, drawing on the story of the Good Samaritan, is among the best stuff I’ve read on this. Narrative can make us better neighbors, she insists. She shows how it works.

This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us Cole Arthur Riley (Crown) $18.00  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $10.80

Beth and I have had our names mentioned in books before but to be acknowledged in this best seller has really, truly, meant a lot. You see, Cole (and her husband) have had connections with the CCO and have been involved in Jubilee’s past and have been dear to us for a long time. This memoir is a gorgeously written, raw and real story of Cole’s early days as a child in Pittsburgh, her experiences as a black woman sometimes hanging with mostly white evangelicals, and the formation and sometimes alienation that all of that helped cause. It is a story about faith and about the body, her learning to live stories and her living her own story — and writing it! — with great beauty and integrity.

I won’t say much but if you know her famous Instagram platform, “Black Liturgies” you will know a bit about her. We also have, by the way, her latest, which I have also highlighted here at BookNotes, the spectacular Black Liturgies: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Staying Human. In any case, This Here Flesh is a book we take everywhere and it was fun explaining to some who were browsing our memoir section at the conference, that we knew her.


WE’VE SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST — WE ARE SELLING THESE TWO AT HALF OFF. For the next four days, this is obviously a great opportunity for you as we sell them at a price we can rarely afford to offer. While supplies last, of course. Both were main stage speakers at Jubilee 2024 and although we’ve featured their good books before, now they feel like new friends. Hooray! Let’s do this.

Redeeming Vision: A Christian Guide to Looking at and Learning from Art Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt (Baker Academic)  $29.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $14.99

This is one of the great books of last year, a lush and glorious text, with many, many full color reproductions. Dr. Weichbrodt is a stellar, young scholar, a passionate Christian working with a solid angle of vision, telling us about why the arts matters, how to better understand visual cues in paintings, exploring the fascinating interpretations of art history, and helping us all relate faith to our efforts at art appreciation. We’ve honored this book before with robust enthusiasm, and having heard her speak (and watched her browse the book display, including our titles on the arts, creative, aesthetics, and such) we are huge fans. This is a great book by a great Christian scholar and we invite you to take advantage of this flash sale. After the deadline the regular BookNotes discount of 20% off will be back in place, but for how, this is a great deal on an excellent book.

I wish Redeeming Vision had been in my hands when I was a young Christian seeking to understand how to connect my faith, my love of art and beauty, and my mere humanity. This book isn’t just for art lovers; it is for thinkers, believers, skeptics, wonderers, and all humans. Redeeming Vision is instructive, engaging, delightful — in a word, outstanding. — Karen Swallow Prior, author of On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books and The Evangelical Imagination

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

Reading Black Books: How African American Literature Can Make Our Faith More Whole and Just Claude Atcho (Brazos Press) $19.99  SPECIAL SALE PRICE = $9.99

Oh my, speaking of a fabulous flash sale on a great, great book — at ten bucks you simply can’t go wrong. In my own speaking (about the importance of books and nurturing the reading life) this year I’ve been quoting from this; there are a couple of paragraphs that are so very moving I can’t help but share them. I’m a huge fan of Father Atcho, an Anglican priest, church planter (in Charlottesville, VA) and a part-time college prof, teaching literature to young adults. My, my, he’s my kind of guy.

This is a book that explores the value of literature, especially historic black literature. Each chapter brilliantly relates a theological theme found in a classic text of the African American experience. For instance he explains the image of God in Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and our understanding of sin in Richard Wright’s Native Son. Salvation is explored by telling about the great Zora Neal Hurston’s Moses, Man of the Mountain. By engaging other great authors Atcho explores healing and memory (from Toni Morrison’s Beloved) and topics such as justice and lament and hope. Wait until you see what he does with Jesus from Countee Cullen. There are discussion questions, too, which would make this a great book club choice. Come on, people!

Atcho offers us one part riveting English class and one part soul-stirring theological groundwork. His work reminds us of the truth that Black voices are more than trendy. Atcho’s words inspired me to revisit each and every work he profiled with fresh eyes and renewed appreciation. — Jasmine Holmes, Carved in Ebony: Lessons from Black Women Who Shape Us and Crowned with Glory: How Proclaiming the Truth of Black Dignity Has Shaped American History




It is helpful if you tell us how you want us to ship your orders.And if you are doing a pre-order, tell us if you want us to hold other books until the pre-order comes, or send some now, and others later… we’re eager to serve you in a way that you prefer. Let us know your hopes.

The weight and destination of your package varies but you can use this as a quick, general guide:

There are generally two kinds of US Mail options and, of course, UPS.  If necessary, we can do overnight and other expedited methods, too. Just ask.

  • United States Postal Service has the option called “Media Mail” which is cheapest but can be a little slower. For one typical book, usually, it’s $4.33; 2 lbs would be $5.07. This is the cheapest method available and seems not to be too delayed.
  • United States Postal Service has another, quicker option called “Priority Mail” which is $8.70, if it fits in a flat-rate envelope. Many children’s books and some Bibles are oversized so that might take the next size up which is $9.50. “Priority Mail” gets much more attention than does “Media Mail” and is often just a few days to anywhere in the US.
  • UPS Ground is reliable but varies by weight and distance and may take longer than USPS. Sometimes they are cheaper than Priority. We’re happy to figure out your options for you once we know what you want.

If you just want to say “cheapest” that is fine. If you are eager and don’t want the slowest method, do say so. It really helps us serve you well so let us know. Keep in mind the possibility of holiday supply chain issues and slower delivery… still, we’re excited to serve you.


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Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street  Dallastown  PA  17313

Sadly, as of February 2024 we are still closed for in-store browsing. COVID is not fully over and is on the rise. Since few are reporting their illnesses anymore, it is tricky to know the reality but the best measurement is to check the waste water tables to see the amount of virus in the eco-system. It is getting worse. It is still important to be aware of how risks we take might effect the public good — those at risk, while not dying from the virus, are experiencing long-term health consequences. (Just check the latest reports of the rise of heart attacks and diabetes among younger adults, caused by long Covid.) It is complicated, but we are still closed for in-store browsing due to our commitment to public health (and the safety of our family who live here, our staff, and customers.) Our store is a bit cramped without top-notch ventilation, so we are trying to be wise. Thanks for understanding.

We will keep you posted about our future plans… we are eager to reopen. Pray for us.

We are doing our curb-side and back yard customer service and can show any number of items to you if you call us from our back parking lot. It’s sort of fun, actually. We are eager to serve and grateful for your patience as we all work to mitigate the impact of disease. We are very happy to help, so if you are in the area, do stop by. We love to see friends and customers, old and new.

We are happy to ship books anywhere. 

We are here 10:00 – 6:00 EST /  Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sunday.