The Sign and the Sacrifice: The Meaning of the Cross and Resurrection
WJK, 128 pages
Rowan Williams speaks clearly and succinctly to the great theme at the heart of the Christian faith. Few do theology for the people as well as Williams. It includes study questions making it perfect for group conversation.
Reading John for Dear Life
WJK, 198 pages
This is unique commentary on John’s Gospel by a scholar who calls upon all the senses of the reader. She does exegesis alongside poetry and guided meditations. The gospel is meant to touch your life and Jaime Clark-Soles intends that to happen, too.
Race: A Theological Account
J. Kameron Carter
Oxford, 504 pages
This is an older book (2008) that deserves a fresh reading given the current culture. We need a better theological understanding of racism and this book does it in an extraordinary way.
Hidden in His Own Story: Discovering Jesus in the Parables of the Gospels
Wipf & Stock, 92 pages
Andrew Walton is a gifted pastor and storyteller. Here he retells the stories of Jesus in a way that recovers Jesus’ humanity without losing his divinity. The stories are told in such a way that the reader is compelled to know Jesus differently.
Renewing the Christian Mind
HarperOne, 544 pages
This is the definitive collection of writings from Dallas Willard, the philosopher who inspired many with his clear attention to Jesus’ way of discipleship.
A Gathering of Larks: Letters to Saint Francis from a Modern-Day Pilgrim
Eerdmans, 96 pages
What a creative way to engage Saint Francis! The author takes readers on a journey of wonder, through these 40 “letters” to Francis that are poems, questions and excursions of curiosity.
Moments with Martin Luther: 95 Daily Devotions
Donald K. McKim
WJK, 138 pages
In the 500th anniversary year of the Reformation, this is an excellent introduction to Martin Luther through daily devotion. Various writings from Luther are followed by a commentary from the author who is a Presbyterian scholar of Luther.
Stories from the Bible
Kathleen Long Bostrom
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 128 pages
This is the perfect way to introduce young readers to the Bible. Seventeen beloved stories are retold and beautifully illustrated. Wonderful for families.
Practicing Pilgrimage: On Being and Becoming God’s Pilgrim People
Cascade Books, 220 pages
This book is everything you could want to know about pilgrimage as a Christian practice. The author is a teacher, a pastor and a pilgrim who grounds the practice theologically and then shows us how to practice prayer as pilgrimage in our own lives.
Islam: What Non-Muslims Should Know
Fortress Press, 162 pages
More than perhaps any other time in recent history, we need a clear understanding of Islam. This book is a revised and expanded version that intends to fill that need.
Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell
Scribner, 336 pages
The Psalms frequently invite us to experience the whole of life as an occasion to praise God and give thanks. This book invites us to do the same through an exploration of a dog’s life, particularly the sense of smell. The science of smell becomes an occasion not only to learn about dogs, but to also learn a fresh way for humans to experience life in all its fullness.
An Explorer’s Guide to Karl Barth
IVP, 239 pages
Here is an exceptionally accessible to guide to Karl Barth’s theology. One will find key concepts and a tour of Barth’s early work (including “Church Dogmatics”). Great for beginners and for those looking for an introductory textbook.
Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels
Richard B. Hays
Baylor, 524 pages
This is a masterpiece from Richard Hayes. For a generation, he has sought to explain “figural reading” as a legitimate approach to reading the Bible. Here he takes up each of the Gospels through an intense exploration of figural reading. Anyone who wants to read the whole Bible well should take up this masterwork.
Body: Biblical Spirituality for the Whole Person
Fortress Press, 128 pages
Spirituality is often considered apart from the body – even against the body. The author corrects this with a recovery of the body as essential to a healthy biblical spirituality. She offers a theology of the body through a fresh treatment of St. Paul.
Red Dragonflies and Other Postcards from Heaven
Almacourt Books, 200 pages
The author is a pediatric oncologist who shares stories of Jesus encountering the most vulnerable: children with cancer. He is keenly aware of the gifts his patients teach him and has no hesitation pointing to the reality of the living Christ encountering suffering children with grace, mercy and love.
Keeping Faith in Fundraising
Peter Harris and Rod Wilson
Eerdmans, 164 pages
Finally a wise exploration of fundraising that is authentically Christian. All churches and faith-based institutions have to raise money. Often the effort is disconnected from biblical and theological foundations. This book overcomes that problem with a rich exploration of the ways fundraising can be successful and theologically sound.
What Do You Seek? The Questions of Jesus as Challenge and Promise
Michael J. Buckley
Eerdmans, 160 pages
Asking probing questions is one way to get to the heart of Jesus’ teaching. Michael Buckley is a renowned scholar and theologian who brings the reader into an encounter with Jesus. This is the Ignatian tradition of spirituality at its finest.
Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin
Baker Books, 336 pages
The authors of the acclaimed Sticky Faith series from the Fuller Youth Institute are back with a sequel. This volume describes congregations that are engaging young people (ages 15-29) and as a consequence becoming vital, life-giving congregations.
Visual Arts in the Worshiping Church
Lisa J. DeBoer
Eerdmans, 310 pages
The author, a professor of art history at Westmont College, makes a compelling case for her argument that “this is an auspicious momentum for both the arts and the church in our culture.”
The Gospel of Simon
Leapfrog Press, 150 pages
This novel retells the story of Jesus through the experience of Simon of Cyrene who helped him carry the cross. What comes forth is a stirring message for the turbulent times we are living through right now.
Feasting on the Word: Children’s Sermons for Year A
Carol A. Wehrheim
WJK, 128 pages
No one is a better guide for children’s sermons than Carol Wehrheim. Everyone who has the duty and delight to offer sermons with children should have this book as a constant companion.