The Weekly Hit List: September 18, 2015

Christians at the BorderCover Art, by M. Daniel Carroll R., was recommended at Prayerful Philosopher.

In the midst of unprecedented waves of migrants pouring into Europe from war-torn Syria and increasingly hostile political tirades about Hispanic immigration to the United States, there is no better time for Christians to pause and ponder the biblical perspective on the matter of immigration.

“Look at Jesus”: Ron Sider on the Biblically Balanced Life – An Interview with Evangelicals for Social Action.

I continue with a lot of writing. In addition to some shorter pieces, I published Nonviolent Action this year. Ben Lowe and I will release an intergenerational dialogue book called The Future of Our Faith early next year.




The Weekly Hit List: May 8, 2015

Eve Tushnet reviewed Wesley Hill’s Spiritual Friendship for The American Conservative.

Part of what makes my friend Wesley Hill’s slender new book so intriguing is that it is an attempt to give an account of friendship that is grounded in history, theology, and literature—yet forward-looking.

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Gay Christian is an essayistic collection of provocations, not a tome intended to be “the last word” on friendship or its relationship to Christian community.

It’s a book about hope and hope’s uncertainty, about trust and taking chances; it’s not a look back at a friendship well-lived. It’s an unfinished story.

Read “Friendship with a Future Tense” here.


Other Spiritual Friendship Media:

Wesley Hill will appear live in-studio with The Ride Home with John & Kathy on May 12 at 5:10 p.m. ET.

Eve Tushnet mentioned Spiritual Friendship in “Detachment in Friendship.”

Matthew Loftus mentioned Spiritual Friendship.

Michael Spalione reviewed  Spiritual Friendship.

Sam Heath wrote some discussion questions for Spiritual Friendship.



Christianity Today reviewed Nonviolent Action by Ronald J. Sider.

G. K. Chesterton famously said that the Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting, but instead been found difficult and left untried. If you read most proponents of Christian nonviolence, you’ll find that they generally feel the same way about pacifism.

This is why Ron Sider’s latest book is so helpful. In Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands but Most Christians Have Never Really Tried, Sider, a Mennonite ethicist who teaches at Palmer Theological Seminary, demonstrates that nonviolence has been far more effective than most people realize. . . .

Nonviolent Action is a welcome addition to discussions of just war and nonviolence, particularly for how it opens our imaginations to the moral and spiritual dimensions of decisions on war and peace. Sider forces us to recognize the imago dei in our enemies.

No matter your theological tradition, this is an essential discipline to cultivate.

Read the entire review here.


Quick Hits:

Jonathan Grant, author of Divine Sex, will speak at a plenary, a forum, and a workshop att Missio Alliance’s Being Truly Human conference today (May 8). Live video stream is available to subscribers here.

Nonviolent Action was reviewed by Matthew Forrest Lowe.

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings was reviewed by Matthew Forrest Lowe and Jordan Mark Stone , and recommended by Grace Bible Chapel blog.

M. Daniel Carroll R., author of Christians at the Border, wrote “Evangelicals Are Hungry for Leadership, Teaching on Immigration” for The Christian Post.

Scot McKnight discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

The Weekly Hit List: March 6, 2015

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, was interviewed by Publishers Weekly.

“Billings, research professor of reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich., and an ordained minister of the Reformed Church in America, has made significant theological contributions over the years.

“Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church (Baker Academic, 2011)—his study of the basic tenet of Christian faith and its effects on social justice, mission, and observant life—won a 2012 Christianity Today Award of Merit in the Theology/Ethics category.

“But when he received the news of his terminal illness at age 39, Billings’s world was shaken, and he faced the most personally difficult theological questions of his life.”

Read the entire interview here.


Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Todd will appear live on INSIGHT (on the Miracle Channel) on Monday, March 9, at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Todd appeared on Steve Brown, Etc.

Publishers Weekly mentioned Rejoicing in Lament in “Comfort & Counsel.”

Todd appeared on Mere Fidelity podcast.

Mail Tribune mentioned Rejoicing in Lament.

Trevin Wax reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Steven Shaffer reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Christ the King recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Chris Brauns reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

Michael Philliber reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.


Quick Hits:

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory, was interviewed by Wesley Accent.

Jerry Walls wrote “Predestination and Freedom” for Good News.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, appeared on Seminary Dropout podcast.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory was mentioned by Publishers Weekly in “Is Heaven for Real?”

Divine Sex by Jonathan Grant (July 2015) was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

Liberating Image by J. Richard Middleton was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was recommended by Phil Steiger and Steve Mathewson.

M. Daniel Carroll R., author of Christians at the Border, wrote “The Immigration Debate: Can the Bible Help?” for Evangelicals for Social Action.


Ebook Specials:

Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by James K. A. Smith is only $2.99 (80% off) from participating retailers through March 9.

Conversations with Poppi about God: An Eight-Year-Old and Her Theologian Grandfather Trade Questions by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold is only $0.99 (84% off) from participating retailers through March 11.

The Weekly Hit List: August 29, 2014

Eric Metaxas recommended iGods by Craig Detweiler on BreakPoint.

“Clearly, we cannot throw our laptops, smartphones, and electronic games out the window. But we can restrict when and how our kids use them. In other words, a Luddite response is not needed. But a Christian response surely is.

“To help you get started, let me suggest a new book, ‘iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives.’ It’s by Craig Detweiler, a communications professor at Pepperdine University. Detweiler’s book will help you begin to forge a ‘theology of technology,’ so that you can use it for good while avoiding the pitfalls.”

Read “Hey, Kid, Put Down that Tablet” here.


Quick Hits:

M. Daniel Carroll R., author of Christians at the Border, appeared on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Callie Glorioso-Mays.

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was recommended by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson.

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was recommended on Middle-earth Network.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was discussed by Dr. David Fitch.


Ebook Specials:

Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by James K. A. Smith is only $2.99 (80% off) through September 2.

Can These Bones Live?: A Catholic Baptist Engagement with Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, and Social Theory by Barry Harvey is only $1.99 (94% off) through September 4.

Immigrants and the Image of the God (an Excerpt from Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R.)

The following is an excerpt from chapter 2 of Christians at the Border, Second Edition: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R.


Value as persons. The creation of all persons in the image of God must be the most basic conviction for Christians as they approach the challenges of immigration today. Immigration should not be argued in the abstract, because it is fundamentally about immigrants. Immigrants are humans, and as such they are made in God’s image. Each and every one of those who have come to the United States is God’s creation and is worthy of respect. Because immigrants are made in the divine image, they have an essential value and possess immense potential to contribute to society and to the common good through their presence, work, and ideas.

Human rights and the image of God. If one takes what the Bible says in Genesis 1 seriously, as revelation from God, then what it communicates about humans becomes a divine claim on Christian attitudes and actions toward those who have arrived in this country—irrespective of whether they are here with or without the documents the government might mandate. To turn away or to treat badly one made in the image of God ultimately is a violation against God. As a consequence, the topic of immigration at some level needs to be considered from a human rights perspective and not be defined solely in terms of national security, cultural identity, or economic impact. From the standpoint of national security, for example, the primary concern is to control the border. Those trying to enter the country in any manner not permitted by law are categorized logically, then, as intruders and must be kept out. In contrast, a human rights perspective has as its special focus the needs and fate of the immigrants themselves. . . .

Expectations of the image. . . . For many reasons, immigrants can feel inferior and of less worth. They may have less schooling, come from a more deprived economic background, have a hard time learning English or speak what they do know with an accent, and be of a different skin color or of one that is different than those in their host neighborhoods. They may not know the laws or handle cultural cues well; many live in perpetual fear of the authorities. The fact that they are made in God’s image should generate a more edifying perspective about themselves—about who they are and what they can become, about what they can add to their new context and to the wellbeing of their communities. Whatever their previous or present condition, they are valuable before God and, therefore, to the United States.

Not surprisingly, this theme of the image of God and Hispanic identity and worth is a major topic in Hispanic theological writing. What these authors try to convey is that Hispanics have significance not only as humans in a general sense but also, just as important, as Hispanic persons. It is at this point that the theme of mestizaje . . . comes into play theologically and pastorally. Ethnicity is no longer something to be ashamed of. Mestizaje can be embraced as a gift from God and is inseparable from being a valued human being—a unique person, one from a special people with a matchless history and culture. Immigrants have an intrinsic dignity as humans and as Hispanics.

The image of God makes a claim on Hispanics as well. The fact that immigrants are made in God’s image should cause them to reflect on what his expectations of them might be. Their divine endowment has profound implications for the way they develop their capabilities in education and at the workplace; it should impact how immigrants carry out their responsibilities as potential citizens, raise their families, work at their jobs, handle their money, and generally engage the world in which they now live. In addition, immigrants should value the people of this country as those made in God’s image. To be easily critical of things Anglo or African American as a defensive reaction to prejudice or in order to extol the mores of Latin American cultures at the expense of others is to contradict what Hispanics themselves seek: appreciation for their backgrounds and abilities. For the Hispanic, as for the majority culture, being God’s representative is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Through its instruction on the image of God, the Bible can mold the attitudes and actions of the majority culture and Hispanic Christians. For the former, it can yield fresh appreciation of the immigrants’ value and promise; for the latter, its message is one of encouragement to forge ahead and an exhortation to live well as God’s representatives.


©2013 by M. Daniel Carroll R. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information about Christians at the Border, click here.

The Weekly Hit List: August 15, 2014

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was interviewed by Jonathan Merritt on his Religion News Service blog.  

“RNS: Many have argued of late that there is no middle ground and no third way on the issue of sexuality for Christians. What say you?”

“WV: If middle ground is seen as some sort of wishy-washy compromise, it is rightly judged as neither upholding deeply held convictions nor working towards the undoing of injustice and oppression. However, if a posture like generous spaciousness is recognized as the narrow path of humbly humanizing the other through intentional listening, then it shouldn’t be so easily dismissed. In a perfect world, we would be free to hold our deepest beliefs and no one would experience marginalization. We should recall our interdependence and, as Desmond Tutu says, remember that if I diminish you – then I diminish myself.”

Read the rest of “A third way for Christians on the ‘gay issue’?” here.


Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, spoke with Relevant Magazine about “8 Ways to Change the World.”

“If you want to make a difference in your own community or neighborhood or world, start by looking at what’s wrong and then figuring out how to make things right.

“In particular, what most breaks your heart or offends your sense of justice? Where do you feel the pain of the world most personally and passionately? Then find the other people who feel the same pain and passion around that reality and work with them to make a difference.

“But it has to take concrete shape in real contexts and situations, not just in our heads and rhetoric. What things have gotten your attention that you think are wrong? That is how every movement for justice starts, and changing the world through justice is as simple as that.”

Read the rest of “8 Ways to Change the World” here.


Quick Hits:

Daniel Carroll, author of Christians at the Border, will appear on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem for a live interview on Tuesday, August 19, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, was quoted by The Christian Post.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by The Orphan Age.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was recommended by The Seedbed Blog.

The Student Creed in Learning for the Love of God by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby was recommended by The Emerging Scholars Blog.


The Weekly Hit List: July 25, 2014

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, appeared on C-SPAN 2’s Book TV.

The interview was conducted at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and was part of Book TV’s College Series. 


Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, wrote “Smiling for ‘Auschwitz selfies,’ and crying into the digital wilderness” for CNN’s Belief Blog.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R. was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, was interviewed by Ann Swindell.

A Beautiful Disaster was reviewed on Life in Slow Motion.

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was recommended by Evangelicals for Social Action.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was referenced on The Pathway and recommended by Natasha Crain.

A Peaceable Psychology by Alvin Dueck and Kevin Reimer was reviewed by Abram Kielsmeier-Jones.

Esther & Daniel (BTCB) by Samuel Wells and George Sumner was reviewed on


Ebook Specials:

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung is only $1.99 (89% off) from participating retailers through July 28.

The Weekly Hit List: July 18, 2014

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Dr. Conrade Yap.

This is a remarkable book that tries to build bridges of understanding instead of fences of distrust. VanderWal-Gritter tries to encourage us to adopt the attitude of humility, hospitality, and honesty. 

“There are already many hurts and hurting people. The Church has already been divided and people are causing unnecessary harm and hurt on people when what they need is healing and a loving heart.

In an age where people often see the homosexuality issue as black and white, or with binary clarity, VanderWal-Gritter reminds us that we are to love our neighbour regardless of their sexuality.”

Read the rest of the review here.


Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by Michael J. Kruger for The Gospel Coalition.

“Blomberg has produced a deeply valuable and much-needed defense of the authority of Scripture in our modern age. While I disagree here and there, I appreciated his willingness to engage modern scholarship head-on over a wide range of significant issues.

“In a world where evangelicals are regularly denigrated in the academy, Blomberg has offered a helpful tool to encourage Christians that God’s Word really can be trusted.”

Read the rest of the review here.


Quick Hits:

Congratulations to Craig Detweiler! iGods won Silver in the Popular Culture category of Foreword Reviews‘ IndieFab Book of the Year Awards.

iGods was also recommended by Pastor Jason Esposito.

Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, was reviewed on the Every Child podcast, which was linked to on Bill Blacquiere’s Christian Post blog.

Jim Wallis was also written about in Christian Today: “Jim Wallis at Synod: ‘Politics and markets are riddled with sin'”

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, was interviewed by Faith & Leadership.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by Merv Budd.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Dan McDonald.

A Beautiful Disaster was excerpted on Litfuse, who are also giving away a copy.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R. was recommended on Sizemores in Honduras.


Ebook Specials:

Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World: A Little Direction by Daniel de Roulet is on sale for $3.99 (50% off) through July 31.

“Where Do We Go from Here?” – an Excerpt from Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R.

The following is an excerpt from chapter 5 of Christians at the Border, Second Edition: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R.


The church must regain the vision of being a distinct community, a distinct community made up of ordinary individuals (resident aliens) with a calling to be faithful to its Lord.

Christians are to display the life of Jesus, and this requires acquiring a set of virtues, like peaceableness, kindness, hospitality, and patience. Christians and the church need to be a certain kind of people with a particular way of looking at and living within society. For the church to be the church requires training in these virtues, the nurturing of Christian tradition through Word and sacrament, and the continual practice of the virtues.

Christians, both of the majority culture and Hispanic, are not to exclude the “other,” whether Christian or non-Christian. We are all called to embrace the “other.” We can embrace those who are different—and even those who have offended or wronged us—because we have embraced Jesus, who calls us to a self-sacrificing life for others. We embrace him, because he first embraced us. We take up that cross of forgiveness and hospitality because he took up his.

This embrace of the other—the majority culture by the Hispanic and the Hispanic by the majority culture—will be a “soft embrace.” The resident aliens of the majority culture (1 Pet. 2:11) will embrace the resident aliens from elsewhere. Both will be respectful and mindful of cultural differences, open to grow and change. This transformation will be reciprocal and mutual, personal and communal, in confidence of moving toward the common good, yet with great risk.

Assured of the teaching of the Word, the empowerment of the Spirit, the example of Jesus, and the blessing of the Father, Christians can be the light of the Triune God in this national confusion that sometimes can be so dark. Let the journey to reconciliation begin. May the church lead the way.

©2013 by M. Daniel Carroll R. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

From Education to Legislation by Daniel Carroll


Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. In this accessible book, an internationally recognized immigration expert helps readers think biblically about this divisive issue, offering accessible, nuanced, and sympathetic guidance for the church. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author is able to empathize with both sides of the struggle and argues that each side has much to learn.

This updated and revised edition reflects changes from the past five years, responds to criticisms of the first edition, and expands sections that have raised questions for readers. It includes a foreword by Samuel Rodríguez and an afterword by Ronald Sider. This timely, clear, and compassionate resource will benefit all Christians who are thinking through the immigration issue.


For more information about Christians at the Border, click here.