Summer 2021 Book Preview

I last did a book preview in late January. I’ve reviewed a number of great books in the intervening months (over 70!). Meanwhile, the publishers have obligingly sent me a number of new ones to review, books that are on my summer reading list. So here is a preview of the religious books that I’ve received. The links in titles are to the publisher’s web page for the book. If you decide you want to buy one of these before I review it, there are many outlets from the publishers to various online and brick and mortar sellers. For any of the books on this list, I’d recommend my favorite bookseller, Hearts and Minds Books (and no, I do not get a kick back–I just love the mission of the store as well as personalized service offered by Byron and Beth Borger, the proprietors).

The Fire Within, Ronald Rohlheiser. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2021. Where does sexual desire come from. Rohlheiser argues that it comes from God and is meant to draw us back to Him.

Art + Faith, Makoto Fujimura. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2020. Fujimura explores the spirituality and theology of making.

Worshipping with the Reformers, Karin Maag. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A companion to the IVP Academic Reformation Commentary on Scripture series, this volume considers the character of the worship life in 16th century Reformation churches.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus, Angela Alaimo O’Donnell. Brewster: MA: Paraclete Press, 2021. Chronicles in poetry a year in lockdown in a small village outside New York City, a journey in verse that will help us all remember and reflect.

Women Rising, Meghan Tschanz. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021. A global mission trip opened the author’s eyes to the abuses of women and the systems of injustice toward women in which churches, even her own church were complicit. Tschanz describes her own journey of finding her voice to speak out against and resist this injustice.

Iona, Kenneth Steven. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2021. Poems concerning Iona, often considered a “thin place” where people encounter God and the center of Celtic Christianity.

Working Abroad with Purpose, Glenn D. Deckert. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2019. An educator speaks of his experiences of working abroad and the opportunities for outreach as a self-supporting foreign national.

Finding Your Yes, Christine E. Wagoner. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021. How we might live lives open to God’s invitations and our own “yes” to those invitations.

Recovering the Lost Art of Reading, Leland Ryken & Glenda Faye Mathes. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2021. Reading of the Bible and other literature is in decline as our reading habits are shaped by online media. The authors propose who recovering lost practices of reading may be a delight rather than drudgery.

The Coming Race Wars, William Pannell, Introduction by Jemar Tisby. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021. An expanded edition of a 1992 book that calls the white church to account for its complicity in racial sin.

Pillars: How Muslim Friends Led Me Closer to Jesus, Rachel Pieh Jones. Walden, NY: Plough Publishing, 2021. “Personal friendships with Somali Muslims overcome the prejudices and expand the faith of a typical American Evangelical Christian living in the Horn of Africa.”

The Servant of the Lord and His Servant People [NSBT], Matthew S. Harmon. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. Explores the theme of “the servant” running through scripture, centering on Christ as well as his servant people.

Talking About Ethics, Michael S. Jones, Mark J Farnham, and David L. Saxon. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2021. A dialogue approach to ethical thinking about moral dilemmas.

No Longer Strangers, Gregory Coles. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021. When you don’t feel like you belong anywhere, it may be best to give up on belonging to follow Jesus and discover a new way of belonging.

Mother of Modern Evangelicalism: The Life and Legacy of Henrietta Mears, Arlin C. Migliazzo. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020. Her What The Bible is All About was my first guide to reading the Bible. Her impact extended far beyond that book touching the lives of men and women who would become evangelical leaders.

Every Leaf, Line, and Letter, Edited by Timothy Larsen, Introduction by Thomas S. Kidd. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A collection of essays on the uses and abuses of the Bible by evangelicals from 1730 to the present.

Passions of the Christ, F. Scott Spencer. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2021. A fine-grained study of the emotional life of Jesus in the Gospels.

Letters for the Church, Darian S. Lockett. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. How do we read those small books between Hebrews and Revelation–James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1-3 John and Jude? Lockett argues these are treasures.

Leadership, God’s Agency & Disruptions, Mark Lau Branson and Alan Roxburgh. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2021. The authors contend modernity’s belief in the irrelevance to life is reflected in leadership approaches that fail to consider God’s agency and his disruptive initiatives in scripture.

An Introduction To Ecclesiology, revised and expanded, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. A primer to the theology of the church including interfaith comparative theology.

Evil and Creation: Historical and Constructive Essays in Christian Dogmatics, Edited by David Luy, Matthew Levering, and Gregory Kalantzis. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020. A collection of essays on the doctrine of creation as it relates to moral and physical evil.

Conspicuous in His Absence, Chloe T. Sun. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2021. “What is the nature of God as revealed in texts that don’t use his name? How do we think of God when he is perceived to be absent? What should we do when God is silent or hidden?”

A Burning in my Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Winn Collier. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook, 2021. Peterson was one of my contemporary heroes. I’m looking forward to this one!

Science and the Doctrine of Creation, Edited by Geoffrey H. Fulkerson and Joel Thomas Chopp. A look at how ten theologians have engaged scientific developments regarding origins in light of the doctrine of creation.

The Black Church: This is our Story, This is our Song, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York: Penguin Press, 2021. A new history of the Black Church and its importance to the Black Community and its civil rights struggle.

Lead Like It Matters to God, Richard Stearns. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021. Stearns argues for values-driven leadership in a results-driven culture.

Who Created Christianity? Editors Craig A. Evans and Aaron W. White. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Academic, 2020. A collection of essays on Paul’s relationship with Jesus and Christianity.

Whew! That’s quite a stack and quite a list! Some are short and a quick read. Others deserve a leisurely, undistracted read. At any rate, summer’s coming. Hope this list offers a few idea for your own inspiration and edification!

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