The Weekly Hit List: December 19, 2014

Nonviolent Action (February 2015) by Ronald J. Sider received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

“In this persuasive book, Sider (Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger) argues that nonviolence is the best way to defeat the sword. Using case studies primarily from modern history, he asserts that nonviolence is not only more ethical and successful than warfare, but more practical: the nonviolent action that liberated India from Britain cost only 8,000 lives, whereas the violent revolution that freed Algeria cost a million.

“Even bloodthirsty regimes like Nazi Germany couldn’t suppress nonviolent protest: in Bulgaria, civil disobedience saved 50,000 Jews. More recently, nonviolent action has toppled oppressive governments in East Germany, Liberia, the Philippines, and Tunisia.

Sider recognizes that civil disobedience often functions as only one factor among many in ending oppression—but often the one that tips the balance. Nonviolent action will cost lives, Sider says, but it cannot be taken seriously until people are willing to die for its cause. Proponents of just war and pacifists need to recognize they are often on the same side and work together to make war a true last resort. History shows they can. (Feb.)”


Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig L. Blomberg won Christianity Today‘s 2015 Book Awards Award of Merit in the Apologetics/Evangelism category.

“Although the title might lead one to think this is a beginner’s book, it is not. But neither is it a book only for seminary professors. It is for those who are ready to move on from the shelves full of introductory ‘case for’ books and want to see if the Bible (mainly the New Testament) can stand up to scrutiny from critical scholars. Blomberg answers the toughest challenges in an evenhanded and gracious manner.” —Craig Hazen, professor of apologetics, Biola University


Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

PARSE listed their interview with Scot McKnight as one of their “Top 14 of ’14.”

Dr. Conrade Yap reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

The Christian Humanist reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Timothy Hawk reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Kingdom Conspiracy was chosen as one of Joshua Reich’s “Favorite Books of 2014” and one of Mechanic Hedge Preacher’s “7 Best Reads of 2014.”


Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, appeared on Mornings with Katrina Roe on Hope 103.2.

Wesley Hill, author of Spiritual Friendship (April 2015), was mentioned in The Washington Post.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was discussed on Anabaptist Redux and chosen as one of Grace for Sinners’ “Staff Picks for Favorite Books of 2014.”

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was excerpted on Gifted for Leadership.


Ebook Specials:

Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt is only $2.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through December 22.

Every volume in the Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina series by Stephen J. Binz is only $0.99 (92% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations by Frank G. Honeycutt is only $1.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

Ebook Special for Holy Teaching by Frederick Bauerschmidt

Now through December 22, the ebook of Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas by Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt is only $2.99 (90% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“Here is a book that, by rights, should transform the way that Aquinas is taught among undergraduates and seminarians. [Bauerschmidt] has introduced the Summa Theologiae, thoughtfully produced extracts of it, and then expanded on it with rich explanations and examples in footnotes. . . . Bauerschmidt is to be applauded for succeeding remarkably well in maintaining the mystery of this holy teaching.”
Scottish Journal of Theology

Dante once wrote that Aristotle was “a master of those who know.” This description applies equally to the great theologian St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), who was declared a doctor of the church in 1567. Along with St. Paul and St. Augustine, Aquinas stands as one of the towering figures in the history of Christian theology.

In the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas attempts to set forth the whole of Christian theology in summary form. It was written, he says, for “the instruction of beginners,” but few Christians today have the time or inclination to reach for the five thick volumes that comprise the standard English-language edition.

Frederick Bauerschmidt wants to change that. In Holy Teaching, he presents some choice selections from the Summa Theologiae, along with commentary that unpacks the selections and places them in context.

With Bauerschmidt as a reliable guide, readers can follow Aquinas as he travels the length and breadth of Christian doctrine. Aquinas begins the Summa by proving the need for theology and then moves quickly to examine the attributes of God, vexing questions about living the Christian life, a study of the two natures of Christ, and the nature and purpose of the sacraments.

Holy Teaching is an ideal introduction to the work of Aquinas that will give students, pastors, and interested laypeople a greater appreciation for our common Christian inheritance.

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt (Ph.D., Duke University) is associate professor of theology at Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the author of Why the Mystics Matter and Julian of Norwich and the Mystical Body Politic of Christ.

The Weekly Hit List: December 12, 2014

Presence and Encounter by Dr. David G. Benner was reviewed by Englewood Review of Books.

“For being a relatively short book, it is contains a deeply powerful message. Although at times what Benner writes is complicated because of some philosophical language, it is challenging nonetheless.

“Most are seeking life change, and most seek it by adding more to their lives. We are told that that if we only had this thing or went to this seminar, then we could be changed. The truth is, true transformation starts with being present and will lead us to encounter with the divine. . . .

“Presence is such a powerful idea, but most of us miss it everyday. David Benner’s book presents us with a message that we all need to hear.”

Read the entire review here.


Quick Hits:

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, was quoted extensively in “The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill” in Leadership Journal.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed in Christian Courier and on Disembodied Beard.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter spoke at Trinity Western University.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed on One Theology.


Ebook Specials:

Creating a Spiritual Legacy: How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom by Daniel Taylor is only $1.99 (88% off) from participating retailers through December 13.

A Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching by Stanley Hauerwas is only $2.99 (85% off) from participating retailers through December 15.

Every volume in the Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina series by Stephen J. Binz is only $0.99 (92% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations by Frank G. Honeycutt is only $1.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

Ebook Special for Creating a Spiritual Legacy by Daniel Taylor

Now through December 13, the ebook of Creating a Spiritual Legacy: How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom by Daniel Taylor is only $1.99 (88% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



We establish wills to pass on our possessions and property to family members and friends, but what about the things that really matter: our values, beliefs, wisdom, and stories? Those are the things of lasting significance, the things that make up a spiritual legacy. Daniel Taylor, a heralded teacher, bestselling author of Letters to My Children (over 50,000 sold), and a proven master of preserving spiritual legacies, shows how anyone–not just professional authors or those who consider themselves creative–can preserve and pass on their vision of life.

No matter what age or stage of life you’re in, creating a spiritual legacy both enriches your own life and blesses the lives of those you love. Chock full of practical guidance, exercises, and examples, this hands-on book helps ordinary people identify wisdom and core values and articulate them in an enduring story form. Taylor promotes the importance of spiritual legacies and shows how to express them not only in writing but also using audio-visual formats and crafts.

Daniel Taylor (PhD, Emory University) is the author of ten books, including The Myth of Certainty, Letters to My Children, Tell Me a Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories, and In Search of Sacred Places. He has worked as a stylist on various Bible translations and is cofounder of The Legacy Center. He is also a contributing editor for Books & Culture.


Ebook Special for A Cross-Shattered Church by Stanley Hauerwas

Now through December 15, the ebook of A Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching by Stanley Hauerwas is only $2.99 (85% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“This exciting book of profound and often challenging sermons by Hauerwas is to be warmly welcomed, as it will enrich the life of the Church and its proclamation of the Gospel–to say nothing of revitalizing relevant Christian theology.”
Expository Times

“‘Preaching Repentance in a Time of War’–not actually a sermon but an appendix to the book–should be required reading for all American Christians. Hauerwas’s sermons, like Karl Barth’s in Deliverance to the Captives, provide an accessible path into his theology.”
Christian Century

With passion and insight, eminent theologian Stanley Hauerwas shows how the sermon is the best context for doing good theology in A Cross-Shattered Church. He writes, “I am convinced that the recovery of the sermon as the context for theological reflection is crucial if Christians are to negotiate the world in which we find ourselves.” The book includes seventeen sermons preached by Hauerwas, which he considers his best theological work. They are divided into four sections: Seeing, Saying, Living, and Events. Sermon titles cover a broad range of topics, including (among others): Believing Is Seeing, The Glory of the Trinity, The End of Sacrifice, Was It Fitting for Jesus to Die on a Cross?, Only Fear Can Drive Out Fear, The Appeal of Judas, Slavery as Salvation, To Be Made Human, and Water Is Thicker than Blood. Professors and students of theology, pastors, and those interested in what Hauerwas has to say about theology and preaching will value this work.

Stanley Hauerwas (PhD, Yale University) is chair in theological ethics at the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. He previously taught at Duke University. He is the author of numerous books, including Cross-Shattered Christ, A Cross-Shattered Church, War and the American Difference, and Matthew in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible.

Ebook Special for The Truth Shall Make You Odd by Frank G. Honeycutt

Now through December 31, the ebook of The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations by Frank G. Honeycutt is only $1.99 (90% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“Focusing both on congregational life and pastoral vocation, the author pulls no punches describing the havoc Satan wreaks on Christians through dishonesty. The book contains many practical ways to speak and live truthfully in a culture of deception. The section on adult catechesis and conversion is a good example.”
Leadership Journal

In the life of a pastor, it can be tempting to offer half-truths that make everyone happy and the pastor popular. Speaking difficult truths may anger or alienate church members, but authentic pastoral care sometimes requires it. How can those in ministry speak honestly in the inevitable awkward situations they face?

Here a wise and witty pastor-storyteller draws on his church life experiences over the past twenty-five yearsincluding sermons, funerals, and board meetingsto offer nitty-gritty guidance on handling the uncomfortable situations that all pastors face. Utilizing humor and encouragement and speaking across denominational lines, Frank Honeycutt examines a variety of biblical contexts where the truth of Jesus is difficult to hear, but direly neededespecially in settings where half-truths are the norm. He shows pastors how to courageously speak the truth no matter the risk or cost.

Frank G. Honeycutt (DMin, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago), a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor for twenty-five years, is senior pastor of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of many magazine articles and six books, including Preaching to Skeptics and Seekers and Sanctified Living.

Ebook Specials for Ancient-Future Bible Study Series by Stephen J. Binz

The following volumes in the Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina series by Stephen J. Binz are each only $0.99 (92% off) through December 31 from participating retailers.

Abraham: Father of All Believers
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Paul: Apostle to All the Nations
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD
Peter: Fisherman and Shepherd of the Church
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD
David: Shepherd and King of Israel
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD
Women of the Torah
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD
Women of the Gospels
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / CBD


Ancient-Future Bible Study incorporates contemporary study of the Bible with an experience of the church’s most ancient way of reading Scripture, lectio divina. This time-honored practice consists of five basic movements: biblical study (lectio), reflection (meditatio), prayer (oratio), discernment (contemplatio), and contemplative action (operatio). In these six clearly written volumes, bestselling author Stephen Binz helps readers study the Bible in a way that leads to spiritual transformation and brings them closer to God.

“A method of Bible study that has a long and celebrated history in the church is given renewed momentum with this series. The goal here is more than instruction. The five movements of lectio divina are an invitation to immerse oneself in the riches of our biblical tradition and to give flesh to that tradition in our daily lives. This series will be a wonderful aid for the development of one’s spiritual life.”
Dianne Bergant, CSA, professor of Old Testament studies, Catholic Theological Union

The Weekly Hit List: November 14, 2014

Chicago residents: If you haven’t already registered, there are a limited number of on-site registrations available for tomorrow’s special Kingdom Conspiracy event with Scot McKnight and Missio Alliance at Northern Seminary.

Click here for more information.


Quick Hits:

Craig Blomberg appeared on The Janet Mefferd Show to discuss Can We Still Believe the Bible?

David Fitch continued his review of Kingdom Conspiracy.

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm was reviewed by Pastor Drew McIntyre.

The Drama of Living by David F. Ford was reviewed by Jonathan K. Dodson.

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner was quoted by Stephen P. Carlson.


Ebook Specials:

Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers by Elizabeth Newman is only $1.99 (92%off) from participating retailers through November 19.

Ebook Special for Untamed Hospitality by Elizabeth Newman

Now through November 19, the ebook of Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers by Elizabeth Newman is only $1.99 (92% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“This book offers a fresh look at Christian hospitality as a ‘practice’ that shapes and defines our participation in the life of God.”

“An intriguing approach to Christian spirituality. [Newman] understands the contemporary diminutions and distortions of hospitality in dinner parties and the slighter manifestations of charity or politeness; her pioneering work moves toward recognizing and cherishing the ‘stranger,’ whose receipt of hospitality will change us and bring us closer to the heart of the mystery of the Eucharist and of Christianity itself. Her gently persuasive and deeply spiritual work is far-reaching in both its scholarship and its implications. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal

Today’s society has reduced hospitality to hosting elaborate dinner parties and exchanging niceties in conversation with friends. In Untamed Hospitality, Elizabeth Newman seeks to reclaim the true meaning of Christian hospitality as an extension of the abundant and extravagant generosity of God. She argues that Christian hospitality calls for welcoming not only friends but also strangers who will challenge us and enhance our lives in unexpected ways. In doing so, we are prepared to embrace the ultimate stranger: God.

In this theological and cultural analysis, Newman argues that worship itself is participation in divine hospitality—a hospitality that affects our economic, political, and private lives. Her message that hospitality calls us to live in the true marks of the church—one, holy, catholic, and apostolic—is vital in a world separated by national, racial, and ecclesial divisions. It will challenge Christians to move beyond coffee fellowship hours to live out God’s radical hospitality.

Untamed Hospitality offers a fresh approach and will appeal to theologians, biblical scholars, and ethicists, as well as those seeking to redefine Christian hospitality in churches today.

Elizabeth Newman (PhD, Duke University) is professor of theology and ethics at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. She is the coeditor for Studies in Baptist History and Thought and has published numerous articles in theology and ethics, including essays on theology and science, Christian identity and higher education, the priesthood of all believers, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

Ebook Special for Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider

Now through November 9, the ebook of Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement by Ronald J. Sider is only $3.99 (80% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“Sider has given the Christian community yet another thoughtful critique, this time exhorting Christians to become politically active. . . . Just Politics offers an insightful overview of the theology and history of political engagement. Sider has offered Evangelicals convincing reasons to engage politically as well as the beginnings of a methodology for how to do so thoughtfully and effectively.”
Brethren in Christ History and Life

“If I were to pick one book on politics for educated lay readers, this would be it. Sider offers a faithful methodology, starting with the biblical narrative as it shapes our worldview and public philosophy, to a coherent view of the state, to an examination of the pertinent biblical texts, to a judicious study of various sides of the contemporary issues. Biblical, gracious, balanced, this is a fine example of the way evangelical thoughtfulness can make a contribution to our civic lives.”
Byron BorgerHearts & Minds BookNotes blog

Evangelicals today probably have more political influence in the United States than at any time in the last century–but they might not be certain what to do with it. It has been difficult to develop a unified voice on pressing issues such as social justice and moral renewal.

Bestselling author and theologian Ron Sider offers a biblically grounded, factually rooted, Christian approach to politics that cuts across ideological divides. Shaped by a careful study of society, this book will guide readers into more thoughtful and effective political activity.

Practical, balanced, and nonpartisan, this book will be a welcome resource during the 2012 presidential race. It is a revised version of what was previously published as The Scandal of Evangelical Politics and includes a new introduction and revisions throughout.

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