The last few weeks have been a blast for the sort of book lovers who read BookNotes, or at least it has been fun for us, serving those who send orders our way or stop by the Dallastown shop. We did two BookNotes naming some of our favorite titles of 2023; a few were truly exceptional and seem to us to be “must-reads.” Then we did one on some of the more scholarly or academic books we enjoyed talking about this year, and then, less than a week ago, we named a bunch of the novels that we enjoyed. (You can find them archived at our website, of course.)
Right after Christmas and the turning of the calendar into January, new books kept on coming. Don’t ask me why a publisher chooses to release a title a day or two before or after New Year’s but, complicated as it may be for those who work in retail, we’re thrilled. So thrilled — you see where this is going, I’m sure — we just have to tell you about them.
Here, then, are some new books that have come out while I was busy reminding you of the Best of 2023. Who knows? Maybe some will end up in our “Best of 2024” a year from now.
I’m going to try be brief since, well, I haven’t read most of these, and have only finished one or two, so I’m winging it. But my book spidey-sense is tingling, and I think I can say with confidence that many of our readers will want to know about these. Enjoy.
ALL BOOKS MENTIONED ARE 20% OFF. Scroll to the end to click on the “order” tab.
Gratitude: Why Giving Thanks Is the Key to Our Well-Being Cornelius Plantinga (Brazos Press) $22.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $18.39
Plantinga is a very good thinker and an incredibly talented wordsmith. His little devotional Under the Wings of God was praised by many who read it (and I am holding up in front of the big Jubilee conference later this month two of his books, one on sin and one on learning. He can write well about anything!) This brand new one just came and it is, as you can tell, about gratitude. If it were nearly anybody else I might yawn, but I’m sitting up and taking notice. Calvin University philosophy prof says it is “a treasure of pastoral wisdom on a signature virtue of the Christian life.” Austin Carty, the great author of The Pastor’s Bookshelf, writes, “While reading this book I found myself mentally preparing the sermon series that I will no doubt be preaching on its account.”
It is a treasure, and all people — pastors and parishioners, people of faith and people not of faith — would be well advised to read it. Trust me, you’ll be grateful that you did.
Land of My Sojourn: The Landscape of a Faith Lost and Found Mike Cosper (IVP) $24.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $19.20
I was given an early version of this and when the time was right I inhaled it. I read every paragraph, many twice, and couldn’t believe how good it was. I cried and laughed and sighed and shook my head. I wanted to cuss and I wanted to praise God. Okay, I did both.
It is a complex but easy to read book — and not that long — about two major things: his teacherly account of a couple of trips he took to the so-called Holy Land and his Biblical reflections on these inspired places. It is the best I’ve read in this genre. Enough said.
It is more fundamentally a book about his efforts starting ups (and more, sustaining) an edgy church in Louisville plant for disillusioned artists, cynics listening to hard indie-rock, kids who maybe were deconstructing their evangelical faith before that was a thing. Look; I’m not that interested in church planting (in fact, I’ve been known to make a case that we have too many churches and the last thing we need are more, heaven help us.) But I’ve read my share of books about all this and this was amazing. The hopes and dreams. The passion and care. The beauty and goodness and friendship and common vision. Until it, well, wasn’t. Until narcism and toxic stuff emerged. His faith was shaken and he and his wife found that some friends who they assumed they “do life” with were hardly speaking — in part due to tensions at the edgy cool church, and, oddly, even there, due to the Trump thing, the fear of all things woke. Man, he didn’t expect that.
It is a sad book, an honest book, an account of a journey unlike what many of us have endured, I would guess, but yet — oddly — I related to every line. This book meant a lot to me, even though it has not been my experience directly. Whether you directly relate or not, this book could provide both a huge glimpse into what has been going on in certain parts of the church in recent decades and the emotional impact that it can be for those who have been driven into exile, so to speak. It’s heartbreaking.
You may know Cosper for a great book he did on worship and another on re-enchantment in a secular age. I liked a very good one he did on TV and appreciated on he did on Esther as a model for culturally relevant ministry in a post-Christian era. He’s sharp and a fine writer, but in this new one he pours out his sad story and it is a blessing.
And, you may know, he did that recent, award-winning, multi-part podcast called “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” — and now I realize why he did that. Whew.
And, to bring it more full circle — he links his emotional story of pathos and failure and doubt to the respite found in study at in the places Jesus walked, the holy land portions of each chapter. It really works, marvelously so. Highly recommended.
A Quilted Life: Reflections of a Sharecropper’s Daughter Catherine Meeks (Eerdmans) $26.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $21.59
I met Catherine Meeks decades ago when she was travelling with John Perkins, I think. It was half a lifetime ago, and now she has written another autobiographical account of her journey. (I Want Somebody to Know My Name came out in the late 1970s.) She has led quite a life — including service in higher education, in anti-racism work, and as a writer of spiritual formation resources.) This may be the one we’ve most waited for, the wisdom she has garnered over her whole life “from her father’s sharecropping fields to the academy and beyond.”
Gregory E. Sterling of Yale Divinity School calls it “a mesmerizing autobiography.” Angel Sims of Colgate Rochester/Crozer Divinity School calls it “a candid account of a life shaped by juxtapositions and informed by a faith-filled and fierce determination to find her own voice, see beauty in a racist world, and be well.”
The Emancipation of God: Postmarks on Cultural Prophecy Walter Brueggemann (Fortress) $28.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $22.40
I gave a shout out about this when I was listing our favorite books of 2023. Conrad Kanagy had written the extraordinary biography of Walt Brueggemann and I mentioned that he was also editing a volume of Walt’s short, recent pieces that congealed around a theme, and that it would be out soon.
And it is. And is it! The Emancipation of God is a thrilling, excellent, thought-provoking collection of Brueggemann’s reflections about the nature of God (and it’s implications for church and culture.) As you can guess, God is free, but chooses to be in relationship which — well — causes God great grief and regret and hope and rage and investment in God’s own promises.
W.H. Bellinger of Baylor notes that it is a “jewel of delightful and remarkably crafted biblical interpretations” and it seems that is surely the case. Brueggemann is always worth reading, but there is something about Conrad’s wise framing of this, understanding, as he does, that emancipation has been central to Brueggemann’s interpretation project. Of course, part of this is that God is surely free from our attempts to control, and that means, we, as God’s church, should live into greater freedom in this often toxic culture of conformity. This is wild stuff, “a resource that will serve us well.”
Reversing Entropy: Poems Luci Shaw (Paraclete) $22.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.60
This just arrived and I couldn’t be happier with it. There are French folded covers, giving it a more classy feel, and there is a nice, brief introductory essay about the notion of entropy. (She notes that what she says there is what she has been trying to do most of her life, which should make us take notice.) Besides this nice prologue, there is a good introductory foreword by the great Paula Huston. The endorsements are extraordinary — good words from Julie Moore and Paul Mariani, and Marilyn McEntyre.
“Luci Shaw is the patron saint of wonder. Of all the loveliness she’s captured, over many decades, this might be her best collection yet.” — Sarah Arthur, author of Once a Queen
“Luci Shaw is the patron saint of wonder. Of all the loveliness she’s captured, over many decades, this might be her best collection yet.”
Telling Stories in the Dark: Finding Healing and Hope in Sharing Our Sadness, Grief, Trauma, and Pain Jeffrey Monroe (Reformed Journal Books) $21.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.59
I hope you recall Jeff Monroe’s name as he is the author of the very best book about the great Frederick Buechner. You can sense his appreciation for Buechner in the very allusions of this title, his brand new book.
Telling Stories in the Dark is exceptionally moving and a great read. Not only is it good storytelling but it accomplishes two things really well. Firstly, it holds up its thesis by believing, deep in its writerly bones, that storytelling matters, that our own habits of sharing our life drama, of doing memoir, is redemptive. Especially in hard stuff, it helps to know we are not alone — although, as he shows, it is deeper than that. In any case, each chapter is a well told telling of somebody’s tragedy. It is beautiful, serious stuff.
But here is the second thing: Monroe shows us how to think about these stories — not in a simplistic or cheesy sort of “moral of the story” or formulaic “lesson learned.” Rather, he invites another scholar, counselor, writer, pastor, or poet to help him process the story he has told, stories about lost dreams and lost children, suicide and injustice and more. Some of these folks in the second part of each chapter are authors we have promoted — Chuck de Groat and Marilyn McEntyre and Makoto Fujimura. (Mako helps evaluate Monroe’s moving story of Nicholas Wolterstorff’s book Lament for a Son and Nick’s own journey after the death of his son.)
The book is edifying, touching, and, finally, very helpful. If you need help thinking about your own story, or the stories of those around you, this puts you in touch with the raw pathos but also with some helpful analysis and guidance about appreciating the drama of the lives described.
This is simply a one-of-a-kind book and you will be better for having read it, I promise.
Wounded Pastors: Navigating Burnout, Finding Healing, and Discerning the Future of Your Ministry Carol Howard and James Fenimore (WJK) $25.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $20.00
Another brand new one, I have not even cracked the cover for more than a moment, but I know two things: Carol Howard is a great writer whose work I’ve appreciated much; her co-author is himself a former pastor and seasoned psychotherapist. (She is an ordained Presbyterian pastor herself who grew up in a fundamentalist church and she knows a thing or two about bad images of God and hurtful spirituality, besides this more general question about burnout and hard times in the ministry.) The two, I am sure, have a ton of experience and wise insight.
The book looks to ben quite thoughtful, naturally, but also tender. It will be, I am sure, a solace to many in ministry who have not found resilience or hope and who need to move into a time of discernment about what went wrong and what to do next. It seems practical. Listen to this, from the publisher:
(The authors) join their expertise to offer validation, support, and guidance for pastors who have been hurt by the church. With wisdom that can come only from experience, they describe and define aspects of struggle and pain readers may have difficulty articulating or claiming for themselves, and they offer compassionate, informed guidance on how to find healing. A systems approach to conflict sheds light on the dynamics of church conflict and how clergy can tend their own well-being amid leadership challenges. The final chapter helps readers consider their overall vocational path based on what they’ve experienced and decide whether they can remain in congregational ministry or need to pursue a different line of work.
Hope Ain’t a Hustle: Persevering by Faith in a Wearying World Irwyn L. Ince (IVP) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
I’m not sure why but I couldn’t put this down — I read it almost straight through one recent Sunday. It is a light study of the book of Hebrews. But — if that exaltation of Jesus the Christ and a Christ-centered worldview isn’t enough — it is written by a respected Black pastor who has written well about multi-ethnic ministry and the imperative of the church to be racially just and culturally diverse. (See his Beautiful Community: Unity, Diversity, and the Church at Its Best for his solid study of that.) In a way, this is a sequel, inviting us to ponder what faith looks like, where hope comes from, and how to live that out in a complicated world. It holds up Jesus and invites us to perservere. The forward is by the important Christina Edmondson (author of Faithful Antiracism and co-author of Truth’s Table: Black Women’s Musings on Life Love and Liberation.)
This wonderful book is a pastoral, homiletical gift to those in need of encouragement. Diagnosing the problem of our era as a failure of hope, Irwyn Ince shares the fruit of his profound meditations, study, and preaching of the book of Hebrews. This is the kind of strong medicine needed to restore hope in a generation that has been disappointed by apathy, injustice, and scandal. He shows us that the hope of the gospel is the secret to joy and endurance. For those who are discouraged, sorrowful, and struggling, this wise book helps us to have eyes to see the beauty of Jesus anew. — Tish Harrison Warren, Anglican priest and author of Prayer in the Night
Divine Generosity: The Scope of Salvation in Reformed Theology Richard J. Mouw (Eerdmans) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.20
Whoa — you may know I jokingly call myself a Mouwist, so you know I had to read this right away. It isn’t academic, but it isn’t breezy, although it is as generous in tone as it is in concept. I’d like to write about it more, but for now you can be assured that it is serious theology that isn’t arcane or overly detailed. But it does get into the weeds. What weeds, you wonder?
Believe it or not, some Reformed preachers (like, say, Jonathan Edwards, brilliant philosopher, academic, scholar, and pastor, and infamous for his “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” sermon) believe that many, many more people will be in God’s new creation than we might suppose. That is, while they do not disbelief in judgement over evil (that is, they are not universalists) they argue for, and certainly hope for a breadth in God’s mercy. Mouw is unsure of some things, and is as honest as anybody can be before Scripture and theology. He walks us through the key questions, the various spokespersons (especially in his own Dutch Reformed community) for a more limited view of salvation or a more generous sort of scope of redemption. Who has the gift of eternal life, we all should agree, is up to God and we must follow the clues we can in Scripture and the best thinking about Scriptural theology. Mouw helps us through this conversation, cheerfully inviting us to think along with him about divine generosity.
Not everyone will like this, but this is how the publisher reminds us of its importance:
Learned yet approachable, Mouw explains how Christians can affirm God’s justice while holding hope for the wideness of his saving mercy. Congregations today face pressing questions about how to reconcile orthodoxy with empathy in increasingly pluralist neighborhoods and communities. For Reformed pastors, students, and interested laypeople, Divine Generosity serves as a biblically based, doctrinally sound guide.
Jesus Human: A Primer for a Common Humanity Leonard Sweet (The Salish Sea Press) $27.95 OUR SALE PRICE = $22.36
You may know how much I love reading Len Sweet — he is an amazing thinker and knows more books about all sorts of stuff than almost anybody I’ve ever met. He’s got a photographic memory and weaves together quotes and notions and ideas and concepts from all over the world with the hope of helping those who follow Jesus understand the times and know what in the world we should be doing. He’s a postmodern Wesleyan, an evangelical semiotician, and a whimsical writer who, as he says in the acknowledgements, wants to be theologically sound (hence his Reformed brother’s read-through and thumbs up.) Sweet knows Victorian history and early church doctrine; he reads contemporary rhetoric and ancient science (and vice versa) and, here, ancient cosmology and early church Christology as well. Man, just the footnotes will provide an hour of entertainment for the intellectually curious. I’m not kidding!
This book is complicated— Doc Sweet admits that he jumps too quickly from thing to thing and apparently some editor helped home him in, but, God bless her, she didn’t quite pull it off. Every sentence is a wonder, a full-blown (and often provocative) idea, and then he’s on to another. It hangs together, mostly, so far. What a book.
The explorations are creative and generative with some finger-wagging preaching at foolhardy stuff that needs to be called out. There’s lots of grace, too, and lots and lots of energy. He’d call it the Holy Ghost.
As you might tell from the title it is about the full humanity of Jesus and, equally, the need to be fully alive as humans. Call it theological anthropology if you want to sound fancy pants, but this is gospel truth, preached wildly and packed full of the implications of these foundational claims. We are made in God’s image. As Christ-followers we become more human, not less.
We are in dehumanizing times; dangerously so — Sweet calls Abolition of Man prescient which, of course it was. Given modern tech from AI to gene splicing it should be obvious how urgent this project is. (Sweet was one of the first evangelicals to write about Dolly the Sheep — remember her?) It could be argued that our very humanity is at risk and we urgently need a robust theology of human-ness. This is one fun, fairly scholarly, mind-blowing, visionary-sounding place to start.
Whew — I can hardly contain my enthusiasm, even though it is hard to explain the charm of his manic writing and his endless love of alliteration. Enjoy. And then take this big, sturdy book to heart and press on. You know the old line from Ireneus about the glory of God seen in a person “fully alive”— and if you don’t, get this book immediately.
Rooted Faith: Practices for Living Well on a Fragile Planet Sarah Renee Werner (Herald Press) $18.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19
This recent book came in last fall and it took a bit into the holiday season to spend some time with it. I kept being drawn to it and wished I had named it a fav of 2023, but I just hadn’t studied it. Now, as I page through it, it really does seem to me like a brand new 2024 title — admittedly, I’m a little late — so forgive me if I announce it again, here, now.
Rooted Faith on Herald Press is a great read, a lovely story about ordinary lifestyle choices of making home well here on this “fragile planet.” You may recall how I raved about one of my favorite reads this past year, At Home on an Unruly Planet, an epic story of four places under threat from climate change. And you surely know we did that webinar recently with Brian Walsh & Steve Bouma-Predigar about the 15th anniversary edition of their heavy, breath-taking, broadly conceived study about cultural displacement called Beyond Homelessness. Well, Rooted Faith captures the same passions as these books, but is more down-to-Earth, faithful but imminently practical, inviting us to consider stuff we can do as intentional practices to care well for the ecology we are a part of.
Writers and activists have raved about this, with a common thread of how generous and whimsical and pleasant and winsome it is, even as it is very serious. Ched Myers notes the “poetic imagination” and Randy Woodley says it “reaches us where we live.”
Debra Rienstra says it provides “a friendly entry point.” I am sure some would enjoy studying together…
The Matter of Little Losses: Finding Grace to Grieve the Big (and Small) Things Rachel Marie Kang (Revell) $17.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.39
This brand new book is so creatively conceived and so delightfully written that I can tell just by glancing that it is one I will want to revisit, and share with others. The author, Rachel Marie Kang, did another very nice book, Let There Be Art which is a practical and inspiring guide to creativity. It was very well done. This new one is full of stories and rather sophisticated reflections about grief and losses (and the subtitle says, both big and small things.)
But here’s the happy catch, the unexpected delight — I ordered it sight-unseen since I trusted her from her previous book, even though, frankly, we’ve got way too many books about grief and loss and lament on our shelves, not realizing the organizing structure of the book. Each chapter starts with a meditation on a flower. As Ms. Kang takes us into the meaning of the scientific name or the natural history of the plant or the color or aroma or habitat, she gets at something helpful, lovely, even, that moves from God’s common grace to something profoundly Biblical to help us cope.
So, yep, it is set apart in that it helps us with all sorts of grievances and losses and it does so by reflecting nicely on flowers. How ‘bout that? Kudos.
Life Is Hard, God Is Good, Let’s Dance: Experiencing Real Joy in a World Gone Mad Brant Hansen (Thomas Nelson) $18.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.19
Again, this is a book I ordered because we like the author, in this case, Brant Hansen. His Unoffendable sold well throughout the country (we’re told) and I’m glad, as there is way too much outrage and judgmentalism and his fun book was a bit of solid, winsome outrage against the outrage. Ha. And I adored his book about human sinfulness, The Truth About Us, which was playful and wise, showing (including through social science research) how people usually overestimate their own ethics and expertise. Nope, we’re all a mess and we might as well admit it. I think the first book of his that I read was Blessed are the Misfits. Yep.
Knowing his fun writing style and his lively podcasting tone — he was even once a morning DJ — and the inviting, curious title, I was all in. We ordered a bunch and they came a week or so ago and now you can be the first on your block to learn to live all the truths in that witty title and the hopeful sub-title. Just having a book like this around could be good for your attitude, eh? I keep thinking of David Bowie, whose song “Let’s Dance” said we should “put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” Publishers Weekly called these essays “quirky” and an “optimism booster.” Enjoy.
(And, if anybody is noting it, ahem: I read the acknowledgements. You bet I did.)
Just Be Honest: How to Worship through Tears and Pray without Pretending Clinton Watkins (The Good Book Company) $14.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $11.99
Okay, if the previous one on brokenness in our fallen world was also upbeat and funny, this one is anything but. The author is from central Pennsylvania, a good and thoughtful guy who works in campus ministry, and I helped him a tiny bit choosing some books to research as he wanted to write about the Biblical teaching of lament. I sent the books and wished him well. Little did I know.
Little did I know that Clint and his wife had come to know that their baby wouldn’t live and that they would carry a beloved child that would die at birth, if not before. They were so excited about this baby — announced it to family and friends, picked out a name, bought the stuff. And then the awful news. How does one even begin to cope?
As serious and mature young leaders they knew they could lean in to God’s promises, but yet the horror and outrage and sadness and awkwardness… they needed the Biblical resources of lament in all its human pathos and they needed a faith community that wasn’t so cheery as to exile them from their sacred space. And it was hard.
Well, you can imagine — it was hard even to worship, to praise the goodness of God; it was awful to hear dumb remarks, it was painful to hold such anguish during times that to others was just ordinary time (let alone even happy times.) What to do?
Just Be Honest is not a scholar’s study (although it is informed by solid work) but a father’s awful story of being vulnerable, honest, raw. The first paragraph is one I will never forget. Realizing their son’s Eli day of birth and day of death was one in the same was gut-wreching to read and I felt great admiration for Clint in his willingness to tell this story, starting when his wife’s first pregnancy turned “from wonder to terror.” I’ve read a lot of books about grief and several good studies of lament and this short one gripped me more than any such narrative, I think. I highly recommend it to any and all, since we will all experience loss at some point, but, perhaps more urgently, there are people in your life that need you to know what to do; that they themselves may need permission to “pray without pretending” and “worship through tears.” This little gospel-saturated, candid story could help.
The Lost World of the Prophets: Old Testament Prophecy and Apocalyptic Literature in Ancient Context John Walton (IVP Academic) $22.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $17.60
Oooh, my, here is one that just came and I haven’t more than swished through the pages yet. I hope you know Walton — his PhD is from Hebrew Union College; and he is an emeritus Old Testament prof from Wheaton College and Graduate School. He has written several academic resources, Bible references tools, and studies of many themes of God’s covenant in the Older Testament. (A very recent in-depth study of how best to read the OT is Wisdom for Faithful Reading.) In recent years he has done a series of books that puts the social and political context of the culture in which various Biblical portions were written, such as The Lost World of Genesis One and The Lost World of Adam and Even (on Genesis two and three) and The Lost World of the Flood. This one on the prophets is my own little bit of wish fulfillment — after the ones on Genesis I said out loud, “Wouldn’t it be great if Walton did one on the lost world of the Hebrew prophets.” Oh yeah, here it is.
A superb guide to reading the message of the prophetic literature with integrity and faithfulness to the God of Israel and Jesus Christ.” — J. Richard Middleton, author of Liberating Image, Abraham’s Silence, and A New Heaven and a New Earth
Reckoning with Power: Why The Church Fails When It’s on the Wrong Side of Power David E Fitch (Brazos Press) $19.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $15.20
We have a lot of books about leadership and while some are quite useful and really fine, I’ve often had this suspicion that too often some seem to take pop level best sellers in the leadership genre and add a bit of Bible on the top, like icing on a cake, and re-purpose essentially secular notions. And, there have been bunches of books saying that, almost tirelessly so, over the last years. They are asking what does it mean to lead, to be in charge, even, when our Master says it is greater to be a servant; think, just for instance, of Arthur Boers important Servant and Fools: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Hooray.
In the last couple of years a few other very good books have come out on the core of the question of power. Some of these may be about leadership per say like the magisterial and provocative The Scandal of Leadership: Unmasking the Powers of Domination in the Church by JR Woodward, (with a good foreword by none other than David Fitch) while others have been more generally about how the church takes a posture towards power, generally; one need not be too Biblically aware to see the toxic influence of grasping after MAGA power has had on evangelical witness. Now, with David Fitch as a guide, we can get by that nearly obvious “low hanging fruit” — see the brilliant The Kingdom, the Power and Glory by Tim Alberta for the best expose of that weirdness — and explore even deeper and more subtle ways church folks seem to get “on the wrong side of power.”
How much more, really, can be said?
Ends up, quite a lot, I gather. I just started this and had to set it down for now, but I am sure this is going to be one of the most discussed books — at least it should be — of the year. It shares with Boers and Woodward a vision of Christian postures and practices that aren’t merely mimicking worldly power but is trying to ascertain a truly Biblical and Christian view of power itself. That is, in Reckoning Fitch seems to be doing more, here, than studying power as it has a detrimental effect on leadership, but it’s polluting on our whole Christian culture, and certainly the local church. He is asking what power is and what we mean by it and how it can (or cannot) be redeemed and “adopted” Christianly. As he does this critical assessment I am sure the book is going to be hard hitting. Good blurbs on the back are from the likes of Brian Zahnd and John Fea and Beth Felker Jones.
I am a fan of Andy Crouch’s exceptional Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and Fitch is not, although I think he mis-reads him (or maybe just doesn’t agree with Andy’s doctrine of creation and all that it implies about the ordering of reality.) But that’s a fine tuning discussion — as I said, this should be one of the most discussed books of the year.
The Servant Lawyer: Facing the Challenges of Christian Faith in Everyday Law Practice Robert Cochran (IVP) $28.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $22.40
Speaking of books we had a tiny hand in helping with, we were so very proud to be among the first to highlight The Servant Lawyer by our friend Professor Bob Cochran. He has written scholarly stuff on jurisprudence and is a lover of the Bible, committed to justice, and a thoughtful advocate for thinking Christian about the legal profession. He has ordered books from us and we’ve met at CLS (Christian Legal Society) events over the years.
Bob was absolutely right to realize that we need a thoughtful, wise, serious book that is not academic and for what we might call ordinary working lawyers. Most attorney’s — despite what some might think — are not doing the dramatic stuff you see on TV nor are they advocating around those causes that have attracted many Christians such as religious liberty or legal aid clinics or fighting trafficking. Most ordinary lawyers are just practicing their profession and trying to be faithful, day by day.
The Servant Lawyer should be reviewed and explained in great detail, but as I said when we first invited readers to pre-order it, we need a book like this. Every career should be so fortunate as to have a book like this. It will make you think and invite you to deeper discipleship. It is fun to read and exceptionally practical, even as it is informed by the best theoretic stuff on the market. For those in the profession wanting to live out their vocation in ‘everyday law practice” this is simply a must-read volume. Kudos.
Living Undivided: Loving Courageously for Racial Healing and Justice Chuck Mango and Troy Jackson (Baker Books) $24.99 OUR SALE PRICE = $19.99
Do we need yet another book on racism, faithful anti-racism, church unity and the call to do justice? Well, since the many great ones we have haven’t yet fully done the trick — although some of our books have moved the needle for some, we are told — we can always use fresh new takes, Biblically informed and historically aware calls to this important aspect of living in God’s Kingdom. And these authors are extraordinary. We are very impressed and happy to highlight this brand new resource.
Here’s an interesting thing — although Chuck Mango is black, Troy is a white guy who, by the way, was contacted years ago by Coretta Scott King to go through old papers of her beloved Martin’s sermon notes and sermons. The prestigious collection of the works of King made room for a major scholarly anthology that Troy put together — how cool is that. He has subsequently published other very good books on being a multi-ethnic urban church in Cincinnati and he’s a voice I immediately want to listen to.
Troy’s co-author and partner in good trouble Chuck Mango is the founder and CEO of LivingUNDIVIDED. His desire is to activate people to not only participate in acts of mercy and reconciliation but also challenge systems of oppression and injustice. He, too, lives with his wife and kids in Cincinnati. They both tell their respective stories in the first two chapters and I was hooked.
Saint Valentine the Kindhearted Ned Bustard (IVP Kids) $18.00 OUR SALE PRICE = $14.40
Hooray for this! I need not say much. You know Ned’s unique style of linocuts from his amazing work illuminating Square Halo Books titles, and his excellent art and design work co-producing the three exquisite Every Moment Holy volumes. And, certainly, you know his lovely, simple, rhyming, but seriously informed children’s books Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver and Saint Patrick the Forgiver.
The brand new Saint Valentine the Kindhearted is wonderful, colorful, clever, and (let’s be honest) very much needed these days. I think even more than the first two, good as they are, there are very few well-crafted children’s books on this second century saint — and who doesn’t want a book offering examples of Christian leaders who showed kindness, even to the seemingly unloved? There is more that could be said about Saint V and, as always, Ned’s lovely little author’s page in the back is worth the price of the book. We have it now, on sale. Like all of the others, it is 20% off. Why not order a few? Or pair it with Saint Patrick. March isn’t that far away!
TO PLACE AN ORDER
PLEASE READ, THEN SCROLL DOWN AND CLICK ON THE “ORDER HERE” LINK BELOW.
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.
ALL BOOKS MENTIONED
this takes you to the secure Hearts & Minds order form page
just tell us what you want to order
if you have questions or need more information
just ask us what you want to know
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 pandemic. We are very happy to help, so if you are in the area, do stop by. We love to see friends and customers.
We are happy to ship books anywhere.
We are here 10:00 – 6:00 EST / Monday – Saturday. Closed on Sunday.