The Weekly Hit List: August 8, 2014

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, was interviewed by Tina Bustamente.

“The main theme throughout A Beautiful Disaster is finding God in the wilderness, coming to know Jesus and His presence in the arid seasons of one’s life, and you do such a tender job talking about all the different kinds of wildernesses we go through. What is one thing you’d like people to walk away with after they read your book? Something you hope for them?”

“My deepest desire is that those who read my book will know that they are deeply loved by God – even in the wilderness. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in and feel God’s love in what for some seems like a hell on earth because God at times can seem so distant. I hope to have in some ways shown how God is very close to us in our sufferings. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not snuff out (Isa. 42:3).” 

Read the entire interview here.


Quick Hits:

Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight (October 2014) was recommended by Nijay Gupta: “Scot has his finger on the pulse of Christianity in America today and he is a doctor that tells it straight. This incisive and challenging work will be very useful to current and future church leaders.”

Wesley Hill, author of the forthcoming (May 2015) Brazos Press book Spiritual Friendship, was quoted in Religion News Service and The Washington Post: “Gay, Christian and celibate: The changing face of the homosexuality debate”

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was mentioned by David Gushee is his column for ABPnews/Herald.

Live to Tell by Brad Kallenberg was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was quoted by Panhandling Philosopher.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was reviewed by Michele Morin.


Ebook Specials:

Dissident Discipleship: A Spirituality of Self-Surrender, Love of God, and Love of Neighbor by David Augsburger is only $2.99 (88% off) from participating retailers through August 10.

God Does Not…: Entertain, Play “Matchmaker,” Hurry, Demand Blood, Cure Every Illness by D. Brent Laytham is only $1.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through August 14.

The Weekly Hit List: May 24, 2013

Of Games and GodOf Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Mitch Toler for The Center for Youth Ministry Training.

“I encourage gamers to read the whole book. It will help you understand the way non-gamers think. It will help you see many pitfalls in video games that we often overlook or take for granted. It will also help you to see benefits of video games and that as a Christian gamer you’re not alone.

“Most importantly, Schut has given us all, gamers and non-gamers alike, tools to look critically and thoughtfully at what video games are communicating, how we interact with them, and what that means for our Christian spirituality.”

Read the rest of the review here.


On God’s Side media:

“Daily Circuit,” Minnesota Public Radio

“The Ronn Owens Show” on KGO-AM (CBS), San Francisco

“Books: Denver Best Sellers, 5/19/2013” in The Denver Post

“Author Jim Wallis says faith, not politics, is solution to fix cynical nation” by Bob Smietana in The Tennessean

“Ever the Prophet, Never the King” by Josh Good in The American

“The Jim Wallis Interview: What Abe Lincoln, C.S. Lewis, Narnia and Puddleglum can teach us about the Common Good” by David Crumm in Read the Spirit

“COLUMN: Common Good: What breaks your heart?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Is Little League baseball the answer?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Feeling ‘politically homeless’?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Can we still find common ground?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values


Quick Hits:

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was recommended by Education Week.

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Captain Comics Round Table.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was also reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Creston Davis, co-author of Paul’s New Moment, wrote “The logic of democracy” for Mmegi.


Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

May ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 52% off.

Searching for Home by Craig M. Barnes
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Everyday Apocalypse by David Dark
The Early Church on Killing edited by Ronald J. Sider
Simon Peter in Scripture and Memory by Markus Bockmuehl

The Weekly Hit List: March 22, 2013

On God's SideJim Wallis, author of the forthcoming On God’s Side, wrote about his new book in “What Does It Mean to Be on God’s Side?” for Sojourners.

“This is not just another book for me. I wrote it during a three-month sabbatical that started in a monastery overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Every day started before sunrise with prayers, walks, yoga, and exercise, followed by writing the rest of the day.

“My other discipline was not to write or comment publicly on the news. I watched the nation’s political discourse each night after a day of writing and found it more depressing than ever. It was an election year.

“The resulting book is not about politics in the narrow sense, but about how to engage our personal and public lives with an ancient but timely idea and practice—the common good—that has long and deep historical roots across many religious faiths and secular notions of democracy.

“I sought to explore the biblical and theological roots of the idea, and then apply it to the most basic questions of economic trust, the role of government, civility, renewing democracy, globalization, conflict resolution in a violent world, and, of course, what our faith can contribute to the common good with the world as our parish.

“Most compelling, I found Jesus’ call to love our neighbors to be the gospel foundation for serving the common good.”

The rest can be read here.


Quick Hits:

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was recommended by Ted Turnau.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was recommended by Ben Spackman.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was recommended in an excerpt written by Michele Howe, shared by Diane Markins.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was recommended by Matthew LaPine.

Video is available of Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, speaking on “Public Faith in a Pluralistic Society” at Q Forum.


Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

March ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 50% off.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R.
Performing the Faith by Stanley Hauerwas
Preface to Theology by John Howard Yoder
Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear by Scott Bader-Saye
Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would by Chad W. Thompson

“How to Die” – an excerpt from Be Not Afraid

The following is taken from first chapter of Samuel Wells’s recent Brazos book Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith.

How to Die

Perhaps the biggest fear for the contemporary imagination, captivated as most of us are by the realization and fulfillment of the individual self, is that beyond death lies simply oblivion. It is rationally hard to square the myriad complexity and texture of human existence before death with total emptiness afterward. But when we witness the mundane biological process of death in animals and plants, there can seem little observational reason for arguing that humans will be significantly different. As Johnny Carson is rumored to have said, “For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow—but phone calls taper off.” We’re left with just our bodies and the worms. All the restorative qualities of sleep suddenly go out the window, and we are faced with a sleep without end, a complete annihilation of the self—for many of us, a horrifying prospect.

In the face of this, St. Paul writes these stirring words, which conclude the eighth chapter of his Letter to the Romans: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul is addressing precisely these overwhelming fears—the fear of judgment, or at least of being eternally alone or perpetually in pain, and the fear of oblivion, of one’s consciousness being wiped out of the drama of existence. He is telling his readers, “Each one of you is precious in God’s sight. You are not merely biological human products. You are known, loved, called, redeemed, chosen. And you will be glorified. A whole set of forces may be against you—hostile others, troubling and extreme circumstances, even yourself—but if God is on your side, none of these will overcome you; indeed, you will overcome them, with something to spare. No power, nothing in the past, nothing in the future, no biological necessity, no demise of human cells, no amount of pain, and no sense of isolation will separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

So in the face of our fear of judgment, the good news is that God in Christ is for us. This is what we discover in Jesus’s healing ministry in Galilee and what we see when Jesus takes the world’s punishment on our behalf on Golgotha. And in the face of oblivion the good news is God in Christ is with us. This is what we realize is God’s earthly purpose when Jesus comes among us as a baby at Christmas, and what we discover is God’s eternal purpose when Jesus returns to us as our risen Lord at Easter. God is for us and God is with us. “If God is for us, who is against us?” writes Paul (Rom. 8:31). This is the essence of the good news of Christ.

To bring these claims back to our mundane and needy emotional experience, our biggest fears about those we love are that either they will come to hate us or they will forget about us. Paul is telling us that in our eternal relationship with God neither of these eventualities is possible. God cannot turn against us and God cannot forget about us. Because of Jesus we will remain perpetually at the forefront of God’s heart and mind. This is the gospel. This is the good news about the future that enables us to see our lives through to a good death.

©2011 by Samuel Wells. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without expressed written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: April 6, 2012

The April issue of our newsletter “Border Crossings” was just sent out.

You can read it here. To sign up, click here.

Two Brazos books were selected among the finalists for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards:

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was selected in the “Religion” category.

Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy was selected in the “Body, Mind & Spirit” category.

See the full list of finalists here.


Several blogs have given attention to Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. Many have been linking to the terrific interview with Smith by Frank Viola on the “Beyond Evangelical” blog. If you haven’t read this interview yet, check it out here.

Here are some blogs that have posted on The Bible Made Impossible:

“I Call You Friend” Blog

“Can’t Catch My Breath” Blog

“Court Can Write” Blog

 Quick Hits:

Peter Enns’s The Evolution of Adam was reviewed on the “Falling Off a Cliff Backwards” blog.

Brian Walsh’s Kicking at the Darkness was mentioned in a Vancouver Sun article.

Many great posts came from David Benner’s Spirituality and the Awakening Self being a part of the Patheos Book Club. Be sure to check out Tony Jones’s post (he’s giving away a copy of the book!).

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was reviewed on the “Ends & Means” blog.

Harold Cameron reviewed Samuel Well’s Be Not Afraid on his blog.

The Weekly Hit List: February 11, 2012

Peter Enns’s new Brazos book The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins has received a lot of attention this week. Here are links to some blogs that have engaged with this book:

Ben Irwin’s Blog – Part 1   Part 2

DavidTLamb. com

A Biologist’s View of Science & Religion

“RJS” posted two more entries for the “Jesus Creed” Blog:

“What About Enuma Elish and Other ANE Myths?” and “Adam and Atrahasis

Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith by Samuel Wells was reviewed by Church Times. The reviewer writes:

“My advice to readers is to take these essays one at a time and let them sink in. They are not the sort of pieces that demand, or even allow of, argumentative analysis — or, at least, not before their point has gone home. I got something from each. I specially profited from “Loving Yourself” and “The Discipline of Joy”. But there is much to value, not least in the biblical expositions, particularly of Old Testament stories.”

Read the entire review here.

Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible was featured in another post by Rachel Held Evans. She writes:

“While Smith does not question the inspiration and authority of Scripture, he questions attempts to reduce the Bible to a ‘blueprint for living’ with a simplistic attitude that begins with, ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it.’ Instead, Smith argues that ‘Jesus Christ is the true and final Word of God, in relation to whom scripture is God’s secondary, written word of witness and testimony.'”

Her post is called “God Hates Cretans? (and other passages of Scripture we’d rather not talk about)”.

Living Into Focus Book Giveaway

If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our latest giveaway – Living Into Focus by Arthur Boers.

From Publishers Weekly:

“Boers offers a needed antidote to the way of life he maintains has hijacked our humanity: technology addiction. A Benedictine oblate, the author summons readers to become intentional about habits that will cost something–write a letter instead a shoot off an email–rather than default continually to the path of least resistance and pick up the TV remote.”

To enter the giveaway, click here.

The Weekly Hit List: January 27, 2012

Peter Enns’ new Brazos book The Evolution of Adam has received a lot of attention this week. As we mentioned earlier in the week, Enns posted an article on The Huffington Post titled “Once More, With Feeling: Adam, Evolution and Evangelicals”.

At the “Jesus Creed” blog, RJS posted on Enns’ book and HuffPo article.

Be sure to also check out Peter Enns’ blog where he has been posting about The Evolution of Adam.


John Polkinghorne’s Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible continues to generate some excellent discussion by RJS at the “Jesus Creed” blog. The most recent post is titled “Why Would a Scientist Believe the Virgin Birth?”

Previous posts by RJS:
Testing Scripture 1 (RJS)
Testing Scripture 2 (RJS)
Testing Scripture on Creation and Fall (RJS)
Is There Ambiguity in the Bible? (RJS)

Testing Scripture was also blogged about over at “The Internet Monk”: “The Bible, through a Scientist’s Eyes”

Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship debuted this week at the Calvin Symposium on Worship.

It was featured in an article in the Grand Rapids Press.

Check out the website for the psalter.




The Englewood Review of Books recently featured reviews of two Brazos titles:

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells

The Vampire Defanged Ebook $2.99!

For just a limited time, you can purchase an ebook copy of The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero by Susannah Clements for only $2.99.

It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and

The Evolution of Adam Blog Tour and Giveaway

All next week we will be hosting the Evolution of Adam blog tour.

For a list of participants, click here.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway where you could win The Evolution of Adam and other books from Brazos Press. Enter here.

The Weekly Hit List: December 9, 2011

Several blogs have referenced or reviewed Christian Smith’s
The Bible Made Impossible this week:

Matt McCullough reviewed it at the Gospel Coalition website.

Tony Jones did several posts on the book:

Entry 1: The Ailment
Entry 2: The Cure

Scot McKnight made a reference to The Bible Made Impossible that points to the necessity of Smith’s book. Check it out here.

A piece from Samuel Wells, which is an excerpt from his book
Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith, was posted on

A Gospel for the Rich

Lee C. Camp’s Who Is My Enemy? was reviewed by Joe James on the blog “Ends & Means.”


Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy was reviewed in the latest Englewood Review of Books.

Creating a Spiritual Legacy Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the winners of The Brazos Blog Giveaway.

Karl Persson, Kyle Stevens, Craig Higgins, Dan Jesse, and Duane Young will each receive a free copy of Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy: How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom.

Check back next week for our next giveaway.

The Weekly Hit list: December 2, 2011

  An excerpt from the recent Brazos release Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith by Samuel Wells will be featured in the December issue of Christianity Today.

You can check it out online here.

Lee C. Camp’s Who Is My Enemy? was reviewed by Dan Martin on the Nailing it to the Door blog.

John Mark Hicks also reviewed the book on his blog.

Several blogs have recently posted reviews of The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith:

John Byron at The Biblical World

Tim Perry at Texas Flood Blog

Crispin Schroeder at My Life as a Wrestler

Matt Rawlings at Pastor Matt Blog

Creating a Spiritual Legacy Giveaway

Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway at The Brazos Blog.

Five lucky winners will receive a copy of Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy.

To enter, click here.