June Ebook Specials

Now through the end of June, several ebooks from Brazos Press & Baker Academic are on sale.

Click on each book cover for more information about that title.

For a list of places to purchase the ebooks, visit www.brazospress.com/ebookspecials.

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Retail Price: $22

Discounted Price:
$7.99 – 64% off!

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Discounted Price:
$7.99 – 66% off!

Retail Price: $20

Discounted Price:
$7.99 – 60% off!

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Retail Price: $5.99

Discounted Price:
$1.99 – 77% off!

Retail Price: $19.99

Discounted Price:
$7.99 – 60% off!

New Website for the BTCB

We’re excited to announce that we just launched a website for our Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series.

Visit www.BrazosTheologicalCommentary.com

On the site you will find information about the BTCB series and each individual volume. There are excerpts, sample pages, reviews, sales info, and much more. Be sure to check out the list of forthcoming volumes.

BrazosTheologicalCommentary.com is your hub for all things BTCB. Check back as we add more tools and resources.

BTCB Website

 

A Hobbit Journey Movie Ticket Giveaway

In honor of the release of the new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the release of Matthew Dickerson’s Brazos book A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, we are giving away a copy of the book along with a gift card to go see the new movie!

Enter below to win a $30 gift card for Fandango.com – which you can use this weekend to see The Hobbit. The winner will also receive a copy of Dickerson’s book. Three runner-up winners will receive a copy of A Hobbit Journey.

*To increase your chances of winning: Link to this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter to receive a second entry in the giveaway. Visit our FB page (facebook.com/brazospress) to “share” our post about the giveaway or retweet our announcement on our Twitter feed (twitter.com/brazospress). Make sure that your post or tweet is traceable for us (include our FB and/or Twitter handles in your posts).

This giveaway has ended.

December Ebook Specials

During the month of December, several ebooks from Brazos Press & Baker Academic are on sale.

Click on book covers for more information on that title.

For a list of places to purchase the ebooks, visit www.brazospress.com/ebookspecials

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Retail Price: $27

Discounted Price:
$7.99 – 70% off!

Retail Price: $27

Discounted Price:
$9.99 – 63% off!

Retail Price: $29.99

Discounted Price:
$9.99 – 67% off!

Retail Price: $17.99

Discounted Price:
$4.99 – 72% off!

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Retail Price: $23

Discounted Price:
$8.99 – 61% off!

Retail Price: $29.99

Discounted Price:
$9.99 – 67% off!

Retail Price: $16

Discounted Price:
$1.99 – 88% off!

Retail Price: $14.99

Discounted Price:
$1.99 – 87% off!

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Retail Price: $17.99

Discounted Price:
$1.99 – 89% off!

Retail Price: $20

Discounted Price:
$2.99 – 85% off!

The Vampire Defanged Ebook- $1.99

With the latest film in the Twilight series – Breaking Dawn Part 2 – on top of the U.S. box office for two weeks straight, it seems clear that vampires continue to be a fascinating phenomenon in popular culture. Beyond the Twilight books and films, vampires seems to be everywhere – True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.

It seems timely that through the end of November Susannah Clements’ Brazos title The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero is only $1.99 as an ebook.

Bringing her literary expertise to this timely subject, Clements reveals the roots of the vampire myth and shows how it was originally immersed in Christian values and symbolism. Over time, however, vampires have been “defanged” as their spiritual significance has waned, and what was once the embodiment of evil has turned into a teen idol and the ultimate romantic hero. Clements offers a close reading of selected vampire texts, explaining how this transformation occurred and helping readers discern between the variety of vampire stories presented in movies, TV shows, and novels. Her probing engagement of the vampire metaphor enables readers to make Christian sense of this popular obsession.

The Vampire Defanged is just one title among many ebooks that are on sale through November. To see the entire list, visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com/brazospress/l/ebook-specials

 

Brazos Press at ETS/SBL/AAR Annual Meetings

Over the next week, Brazos Press and Baker Academic will be attending the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society in Milwaukee and the Society of Biblical Literature & American Academy of Religion in Chicago.

Visit our booths for a 40% discount to all participants.

At ETS, we are booth #319; at SBL/AAR, #600-601.

We thought we would highlight a few Baker Academic titles that have just released and will be of interest to readers of The Brazos Blog. Here is a preview:

Personal Jesus by Clive Marsh & Vaughan Roberts

Clive Marsh and Vaughan Roberts show that popular music is used by religious and nonreligious people alike to make meaning, enabling listeners to explore human concerns about embodiment, create communities, and tap into transcendence.  Personal Jesus incorporates case studies featuring noted music artists of our day–including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Sigur Rós, Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen, and Lady Gaga–and includes practical implications for the church, the academy, and daily musical listening.

The Economy of Desire by Daniel Bell

In this addition to the award-winning Church and Postmodern Culture series, Daniel Bell compares and contrasts capitalism and Christianity, showing how Christianity provides resources for faithfully navigating the postmodern global economy. He approaches capitalism and Christianity as alternative visions of humanity, God, and the good life. Considering faith and economics in terms of how desire is shaped, he casts the conflict as one between different disciplines of desire.

 The Gospel after Christendom edited by Ryan Bolger

This book explores what is happening today in innovative church movements in continental Europe, Asia, and Latin America and in African American hip-hop cultures. Featuring an international cast of contributors, the book explores the changes occurring both in emerging cultures and in emerging and missional churches across the globe.

Ron Sider on the Importance of Voting and Political Engagment

On the eve of the 2012 election, we thought we would share from Ronald Sider’s recent Brazos book Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement. The following excerpt is taken from the first chapter of Just Politics where Sider explains why faithful Christians should be active in politics and voting.

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It is a simple historical fact that political decisions have a huge impact—good or bad—on the lives of literally billions of people. Think of the devastation and death the world might have avoided if German voters had not elected Hitler to public office. Think of the freedom, goodness, and joy that followed for tens of millions from the fact that evangelical member of Parliament William Wilberforce labored for more than thirty years and eventually persuaded his colleagues in the British Parliament to outlaw first the slave trade and then slavery itself in the British Empire.

It is through politics that country after country has come to enjoy democracy. It is through politics that nation after nation has stopped jailing and killing “heretics”—thousands of my ancestors in the sixteenth century were burned at the stake or drowned in the rivers by fellow Protestants who disagreed with our belief that the church should be separate from the state. It took centuries, but eventually more and more politicians in more and more countries decided that religious freedom for everyone is a necessary mark of a just political order. It is through politics that Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism first conquered and developed and then waned and disappeared in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It is through politics that we develop laws that either restrict or permit abortion, allow or forbid “gay marriage,” protect or destroy the environment. Politics is simply too important to ignore.

The theological reason for political engagement is even more compelling. The central Christian confession is that Jesus is now Lord—Lord of the entire universe. The New Testament explicitly teaches that he is now “ruler of the kings of the earth” (Rev. 1:5). “All authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to the risen Jesus (Matt. 28:18). Christians who know that must submit every corner of their lives to their wonderful Lord.

Since we live in democratic societies where we have the freedom to vote, our votes—or even our failure to vote—shape what happens in important areas of politics. If Christ is my Lord, if Christ desires the well-being of all, and if my vote has the potential to encourage political decisions that will promote the well-being of my neighbors, then the obligation to vote responsibly follows necessarily from my confession that Christ my Lord calls me to love my neighbor. One way Christians must live out our belief that Christ is Lord, even of political life, is to think and pray for wisdom to act politically in ways that best reflect Christ our Lord.

©2012 by Ronald J. Sider. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Ronald J. Sider (PhD, Yale University) is president of Evangelicals for Social Action and professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience.

For more information about Just Politics, click here.
To read a longer excerpt, click here.

Values of A Public Faith – Part 6

This is the sixth and final entry in a series of posts from Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, titled “Values of a Public Faith: A Contribution to a Conversation.”

Click here for the firstsecondthird, fourth, and fifth installments.

18. Public Role of Religion

Value: Every citizen, religious or not, Christian, Jew, or Muslim, has the right to bring his or her own perspectives on human flourishing and on the common good to bear on public life and to do so on equal terms with everyone else.

Rationale: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7). “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12).

Debate: The debate should not be whether religious voices should be excluded. It should be about what kind of political arrangements will ensure the equal access of all to participation in the political process on equal terms and what might be the limits to legitimate pluralism.

Questions to Ask: Does the candidate support the participation of every person in public life, encouraging them to do so on the basis of their own specific motivations and reasons? Does the candidate seek to protect the voices of ordinary people from being drowned out by powerful interest groups (like lobbies and Super PACs)?

19. Truthfulness

Value: Those seeking public office should forswear spin and contempt, being truthful with the public and civil to one another. You can “advertise” but not fabricate; you can criticize but not disrespect.

Rationale: We should all “[speak] the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) and seek to “honor everyone” (1 Pet. 2:17).

Debate: While the line between advertising and spinning is not always clear, the main debate should be about effective means to diminish the spin and contempt that have become part of our democratic system of elections.

Questions to Ask: Do the facts about the candidate’s own performance as well as those of their opponent match with the candidates’ words? Is the candidate attempting to correct rather than benefit from the spin that others, without his direct endorsement, do on his behalf?

20. Character

Value: Competence (technical expertise, including emotional intelligence), though essential, matters less than character because knowledge, though crucial, matters less than love.

Rationale: “If I . . . understand all mysteries and all knowledge . . . but do not have love, I am nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2).

Debate: The debate should be about what dimensions of character matter most and what blend of virtues and competencies is most needed at this time.

Questions to Ask: Whom does the candidate strive to be like? Whom does he most resemble in character? Will the fear of losing power corrupt him?

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For more information on A Public Faithclick here.

Values of A Public Faith – Part 5

This is the fifth in a series of posts from Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, titled “Values of a Public Faith: A Contribution to a Conversation.”

Click here for the firstsecondthird and fourth installments.

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15. War

Value: War is almost never justifiable, and every successful justification has to show how a particular war is an instance of loving one’s neighbors and loving one’s enemies.

Rationale: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighborand hate your enemy.’But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?”(Matt. 5:43–46).

Debate: There is a legitimate debate about whether acts of war can ever be a form of love of neighbor and of enemy and, if they can, about what causes justify war (rule of a tyrant?) and what constitutes just conduct of war (drones?).

Questions to Ask: Has the candidate supported or advocated ending unjust wars in the past? Has the candidate condemned significant forms of unjust conduct of war?

16. Torture

Value: We should never torture. It dehumanizes both the detainee and the interrogator by violating the dignity of the one and degrading the integrity of the other, [1] and it erodes the moral character of the nation approving it. (For a definition of torture, see http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html.)

Rationale: “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom. 12:21).

Debate: There is no debate on this one—at least not a debate that, from my reading of Christian moral obligations, is legitimate. Even if torture were effective (which, according to most knowledgeable sources, it is not), it would be morally unacceptable.

Question to Ask: Has the candidate unequivocally condemned the use of torture?

17. Honoring Everyone

Value: We should honor every human being and respect all faiths (without necessarily affirming them as true). As citizens, we have the right to mock another religion, but as followers of Christ, we have a moral obligation not to.

Rationale: “Honor everyone” (1 Pet. 2:17).

Debate: The debate about one’s relation to other religions should not be whether we have the right to mock what others hold to be holy; we do have that right. At the same time, the debate should not be about whether we have a moral obligation not to make use of that right; we ought not mock what other people hold to be holy. Instead, the debate should be about what the authentic teachings and practices of individual religions are, to what extent the claims of their teachings are true (or false), and in what ways each religion fosters (or hinders) human flourishing.

Question to Ask: Will the candidate promote respect for all religions, including Islam, while at the same time affirming the need for honest debate about how true and salutary they are?



[1] See Jennifer S. Bryson, “My Guantanamo Experience: Support Interrogation, Reject Torture,” http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2011/09/3934/.

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Check back on Thursday for the sixth and final entry in this series.
You can also follow our blog feed to make sure you don’t miss a post.
For more information on A Public Faithclick here.

Values of A Public Faith – Part 4

This is the fourth in a series of posts from Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good, titled “Values of a Public Faith: A Contribution to a Conversation.”

Click here for the first, second, and third installments.

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11. Death Penalty

Value: Death should never be punishment for a crime. Since out of love Christ died for every human being (“the world”), no one should rob a human being of a chance to be transformed by God’s love, and no one should put to death a human being who has been transformed by God’s love.

Rationale: “Jesus straightened up and said to her [the woman caught in adultery, an act for which the Old Testament prescribes the death penalty], ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again’” (John 8:10–11). “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).

Debate: Notwithstanding the Old Testament endorsement of death penalty, for Christians, there is no debate on this one.

Question to Ask: Will the candidate push to abolish capital punishment, and if so, how hard?

12. Criminal Offenders

Value: Mere retributive punishment is an inadequate and mistaken way of dealing with offenders. We need to find creative ways to reconcile offenders to their victims and reintegrate them into the society.

Rationale: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18). “For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Eph. 2:14).

Debate: We should debate viable alternatives to incarceration and how best to achieve the reintegration of offenders into the society. We should also debate the extent to which ethnic and racial prejudices are influencing our practices—more specifically why it is that Hispanics and African-Americans make up the largest proportion of the prison population—as well as the effect of the privatization of prisons on the increase of the prison population (the U.S. has the highest per capita prison population of any country in the world!).

Question to Ask: What does the candidate propose to do to reduce the number of incarcerated people in the U.S.?

13. World Hunger

Value: Given the world’s resources, no human being should go hungry; as individuals and a nation we should be committed to complete eradication of hunger.

Rationale: “[The Lord] executes justice for the oppressed [and] gives food to the hungry” (Ps. 146:7). “Then he [the Son of Man] will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink” (Matt. 25:41–42).

Debate: The debate should not be whether the eradication of world hunger ought to be one of our top priorities but rather what the most effective ways are to achieve that goal, including how best to fight corruption in countries in which hunger is widespread.

Questions to Ask: Is the candidate committed to the eradication of world hunger, and if so, what means will he use toward that goal? Is the candidate prepared to set aside a percentage of the Gross National Product for the eradication of hunger?

14. Equality of Nations

Value: No nation represents an exception to the requirements of justice that should govern relations between nations. America should exert its unique international power by doing what is just and should pursue its own interests in concert with other nations of the world.

Rationale: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12).

Debate: The debate should not be whether America is somehow exceptional (and therefore permitted to do what other nations are not—for instance, carrying out raids on foreign soil in search of terrorists). The debate should, rather, be about what it means for the one remaining superpower to act responsibly in the community of nations.

Questions to Ask: At the international level, would the candidate renounce a double moral standard: one for the U.S. and its allies and another for the rest of the world? Even when the candidate considers an American perspective morally superior, will he seek to persuade other nations of the moral rightness of these values rather than imposing them on other nations?

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Check back on Tuesday for Part 5 of this series.
You can also follow our blog feed to make sure you don’t miss a post.
For more information on A Public Faithclick here.