The Weekly Hit List: March 21, 2014

Five Brazos Press titles were selected as finalists in the ForeWord Reviews 2013 Book of the Year Awards.

A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis by Devin Brown in the Biography category
Drawing on Lewis’s autobiographical works, books by those who knew him personally, and his apologetic and fictional writing, this book tells the inspiring story of Lewis’s journey from cynical atheist to joyous Christian and challenges readers to follow their own calling. The book allows Lewis to tell his own life story in a uniquely powerful manner while shedding light on his best-known works.

 

 

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can—and Should—Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids by Nicole Baker Fulgham in the Education category
Education expert explores what Christians can—and should—do to champion urgently needed reform and help improve our public schools. The book provides concrete action steps for working to ensure that all of God’s children get the quality public education they deserve.

 

 

iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives by Craig Detweiler in the Popular Culture category
Provides needed Christian perspective on navigating today’s social media culture. Detweiler interacts with major symbols, or “iGods,” of our distracted age—Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Pixar, YouTube, and Twitter—to investigate the impact of the technologies and cultural phenomena that drive us. Detweiler offers a historic look at where we’ve been and a prophetic look at where we’re headed, helping us sort out the immediate from the eternal, the digital from the divine.

 

Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games by Kevin Schut in the Popular Culture category
Kevin Schut, a communications expert and an enthusiastic gamer himself, offers a lively, balanced, and informed Christian evaluation of video games and video game culture. He expertly engages a variety of issues, encouraging readers to consider both the perils and the promise of this major cultural phenomenon.

 

 

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good by Jim Wallis in the Religion category
Wallis explores how Jesus’s agenda can serve the common good, what it takes to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice, and how reading the Bible as well as the culture can shape our lives for genuine transformation.

 

 

 

The complete list of the ForeWord Reviews’ 2013 Book of the Year Award Finalists is available here.

The full press release from Brazos Press is available here.

 

Can We Still Believe the Bible? Media:

Margaret Feinberg published the second of several weekly interviews with Craig Blomberg.

This week for the Can We Still Believe the Bible? blog tour, Ken Schenck responded to chapter 1, Joel L. Watts and Lee Martin McDonald responded to chapter 2, and Phillip J. Long responded to chapter 3. The remaining blog tour posts will appear next week.

Don’t miss our five-book package giveaway (worth $180), which ends next Thursday, March 27.

 

Quick Hits:

Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, wrote “Exclusion or Saturation? Rethinking the Place of Religion in Public Life” for ABC Religion and Ethics.

iGods by Craig Detweiler was reviewed by Jim Kane.

Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

 

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 March 27.

Ebook Special for Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith

Now through March 27, the ebook of Letters to a Young Calvinist: An Invitation to the Reformed Tradition by James K. A. Smith is only $2.99 (80% off) from the following participating retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

CBD

 

“In this series of epistolary exhortations, Smith addresses the faults of the Calvinist theology to which he subscribes–for example, its seeming lack of charity and production of arrogant followers. He then calls on young Calvinists to rise above haughty intellectualism to embrace the richer, more sustainable Reformed tradition that grew out of Calvinist ideas. . . . Smith welcomes readers to embrace more than just a grumpy theological debate. He opens them to a tradition defined by grace, enjoyment, and group worship. This slim introduction will leave readers wanting more history and will prepare them to dive into more challenging texts.”
Publishers Weekly

“A wise and delightfully written portrayal of a robust Calvinism for the twenty-first century.”
Richard J. Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

Who would have guessed that something as austere as Calvinism would become a hot topic in today’s postmodern culture? At the five hundredth anniversary of John Calvin’s birth, new generations have discovered and embraced a “New Calvinism” with fervor and zeal, finding in the Reformed tradition a rich theological vision. In fact, Time cited New Calvinism as one of “10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now.”

Letters to a Young Calvinist provides pastoral and theological counsel, encouraging converts to and participants in this tradition to find in Calvin a vision that’s even bigger than the New Calvinism might suggest. Noted Reformed philosopher James K. A. Smith contends that much of what traffics under the banner of New Calvinism reduces “Reformed” to a narrow concern with Calvinistic soteriology. Smith introduces New Calvinists to the “world-formative” Christianity that was unleashed with the Reformation, presenting the Reformed tradition as an Augustinian renewal movement within the church catholic. Offering wisdom at the intersection of theology and culture, he also provides pastoral caution about pride and maturity.

The creative and accessible letter format invites young Calvinists into a faithful conversation that reaches from Paul and Augustine through Calvin and Edwards to Kuyper and Wolterstorff. Together these letters sketch a comprehensive vision of Calvinism that is generous, winsome, and imaginative.

James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he also holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. He is the editor of Comment magazine. Smith has authored or edited many books, including Imagining the Kingdom and the Christianity Today Book Award winners Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? and Desiring the Kingdom. He is also editor of the well-received The Church and Postmodern Culture series (www.churchandpomo.org).

The Weekly Hit List: August 2, 2013

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, was interviewed by Rachel Held Evans. Here is an excerpt:

“What would you say is the #1 thing that Christians who aren’t directly involved in education as teachers or administrators can do to help change the disparity and achievement gap within America’s public schools?

“This might surprise you, but I think Christians can have the biggest impact by becoming vocal champions of what’s possible in low-income public schools. Our society desperately needs more advocates for public schools who deeply believe in the God-given potential of every single student. If we don’t believe this type of success is possible, we will never garner the political will to enact the hard, but necessary, reforms. If we start proclaiming this belief over and over again in our communities—and then start putting our faith into action by becoming tutors, starting public school partnerships, and contacting our local, state, and national elected officials to demand change—then we’ll have a movement!”

Read the entire interview here.

 

On God’s Side media:

Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO.

Jim Wallis also appeared on “180 with Karl Clauson” on WYLL 1160AM Chicago.

On God’s Side by Jim Wallis was referenced by Pastor Jim Bell.

 

Quick Hits:

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed in The Banner.

Of Games and God was also recommended by Jonathan Ryan of Geek Goes Rogue on Patheos.

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was excerpted by Catalyst Conference.

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed by Tim Challies for American Theological Inquiry.

 

Ebook Specials:

God Hides in Plain Sight: How to See the Sacred in a Chaotic World by Dean Nelson is $3.99 (77% off) through August 3.

The Weekly Hit List: June 21, 2013

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed by Sarita Fowler with J. Scott Horrell for Bibliotheca Sacra.

“This work calls for a close reading but is not out of reach of most readers.

“As he envisions a harmonious world, or the need to strive for one, Volf emerges as a majestic thinker and architect for how public Christian expression can function.

“With careful reading A Public Faith will benefit anyone interested in the intersection of Christianity and other religions.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

 

On God’s Side Media:

“All Sides with Ann Fisher” on WOSU 89.7 NPR News.

“The Post-Cynical Christian” on Sojourners

“Would Jesus Love Ayn Rand Economics?” on CosortiumNews.com

 

Quick Hits:

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

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed by Sian Williams.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed by Matthew Vaughan for Christian Scholar’s Review.

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed by Thomas Creedy.

Letters to a Young Calvinis was also recommended by David G. Moore on Jesus Creed.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

June ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

Reclaiming the Body by Joel Shuman and Brian Volck M.D.
From Homer to Harry Potter by Matthew Dickerson and David O’Hara
Conversations with Poppi about God by Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold
Understanding Paul by Stephen Westerholm
What Christians Believe about the Bible 
by Don Thorsen and Keith Reeves

The Weekly Hit List: May 10, 2013

Of Games and GodOf Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Drew Dixon for Think Christian.

“I am thrilled, thanks to Schut, to have a tremendous resource to share with Christians to help them understand not only why they should care about video games, but also why they are worth engaging. Schut helps Christians understand what video games are and what they do best.

“He also wades faithfully and thoughtfully through the most common objections leveled against the medium by Christians with chapters on violence, games’ treatment of women, addiction and isolation.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

 

On God’s Side media:

“The Common Good in Politics” by Michael Gerson, in The Washington Post (syndicated): “Wallis’ argument, offered by a man of the left, reaches well beyond the left: In a political era of rights talk and special-interest pleading, a greater emphasis on the common good would make American politics more civil, admirable and humane.”

“Here & Now” on NPR

“The Tavis Smiley Show” on PBS-TV

“Pursuing the common good: Q&A with Jim Wallis” in World Vision Magazine

Kansas City Star Faith Matters blogger Bill Tammeus review

“9 Morning News” on KUSA-TV NBC

“Politics can benefit from religion, author says,” in Daily Camera

“Sojourners CEO Wallis visits local bookstore to discuss new book about common good” in West Michigan Christian

“Jim Wallis, bestselling author, preacher, holds two Denver-area events” in The Denver Post

“Six Months After Superstorm Sandy, Hope Emerges”  on The Huffington Post

“Religious Leaders to Government: We Must Get Our Fiscal House In Order” on Religion & Politics

“Monasticism, Beloved Community, and The Common Good” by Tripp Hudgins

 

Quick Hits:

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, was interviewed by The Urban Gospel Mission.

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed by There Will be Reflection.

Peter Leithart, author of 1 & 2 KingsAthanasius, and Solomon among the Postmoderns, had his Wheaton Theology Conference talk discussed on For Christ and His Kingdom.

 

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: December 14, 2012

A Hobbit JourneyMatthew Dickerson, author of A Hobbit Journey, wrote on “Seeing Christ in ‘The Hobbit‘” for The Huffington Post.

“Where is Christ in The Hobbit?

“This question might have caused author J. R. R. Tolkien to have fits, given his notorious distaste for allegory. Yet, some background on the celebrated creator of hobbits and the bestselling Middle-earth books suggests that there is at least some legitimacy in posing the question.

“Tolkien was a devout Catholic. While he eschewed allegory and sought to remove explicit religion from “The Lord of the Rings,” his personal letters and published essays show he considered his books to be deeply theistic, and he thought fantasy literature must convey religious truth. He was surprised that theistic aspects of his writing did not receive more notice, and he once commented that of the various biographical aspects of his life, his Christian faith was the only significant fact in understanding his works.

“So the broader question of whether Tolkien’s writings should be considered “Christian works” is complex. As I point out in “A Hobbit Journey,” there is no easy answer, and, depending on what one means by the question, there are some good reasons for answering yes and some for answering no.”

Read the rest of Seeing Christ in ‘The Hobbit‘” here.

 

Other Hits for A Hobbit Journey:

A Hobbit Journey was excerpted by Christianity Today.

A Hobbit Journey was reviewed by Englewood Review of Books.

A Hobbit Journey was mentioned in an article in Relevant Magazine.

 

Quick Hits:

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed by Areopagus.

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen was reviewed by Thursday Theology.

Speaking of Dying by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith was excerpted in pages 11-12 of L Magazine.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

December ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

The Virtuous Reader by Richard S. Briggs
Healing in the Bible by Frederick J. Gaiser
1 & 2 Kings (BTCB) by Peter J. Leithart
Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen
Claiming Abraham by Michael Lodahl
Where Mortals Dwell by Craig G. Bartholomew
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

The Weekly Hit List: October 5, 2012

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was reviewed in the September/October 2012 issue of Faith Today.

“The book finds its own pleasant balance between theory and practical realities, offering tips for managing technology as basic and important as the use of email to resolve conflict. . .; reclaiming Sabbath; questioning how busy, busy, busy we are and what we can do about it.

“This is a significant and readable book for any person of faith wanting to at least consider we might actually be servants of technology, instead of the other way around.”

To read the rest of this review, click here.

 

 

Quick Hits:

James K. A. Smith, author of Letters to a Young Calvinist, had an article in the September 2012 issue of Christianity Today: “What Galileo’s Telescope Can’t See.”

Eric O. Jacobsen, author of Sidewalks in the Kingdom, was interviewed on Christianity Today‘s blog This Is Our City: “Why Suburbia Really Is Affecting Your Spiritual Life.”

God and Charles Dickens by Gary Colledge was reviewed on by Glynn Young on his blog, Faith, Fiction, Friends.

The Huffington Post shared The Work Of the People video of Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, on “the moralizing framework and the blissful innocence that is puzzling to many about America.”

The October issue of Border Crossings, our monthly e-newsletter, is now available.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

October ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 75% off.

Deconstructing Theodicy by David B. Burrell
Song of Songs (BTCB series) by Paul J. Griffiths
Under the Influence by Monica Ganas
The Mind and the Machine by Matthew Dickerson
John (Paideia series) by Jo-Ann A. Brant
The Fall of Interpretation by James K. A. Smith
Killing Enmity by Thomas R. Yoder Neufield
Finding Your Plot in a Plotless World by Daniel de Roulet
Second Corinthians (CCSS series) by Thomas D. Stegman, SJ
A Liturgy of Grief by Leslie C. Allen

 

The Weekly Hit List: August 24, 2012

James K. A. Smith was interviewed about Letters to a Young Calvinist by Kyle McDanell of Blogizomai. Here’s an excerpt:

“In my experience, the resurgence in interest in Calvinism is in response to the vapid, anti-intellectual versions of Christianity that we’ve been fed in the megachurch era.  So at least in part, the new interest in Calvinism and Reformed theology is because it represents a much more robust intellectual tradition in Protestant Christianity.  It also represents a renewal of appreciation for the centrality of grace.  In this respect, the Reformation–on my account–is an Augustinian renewal movement within the church catholic, and I see the young, restless, Reformed movement as a kind of indirect renewal of Augustinian theology.  (Though, as you’ll see in Letters to a Young Calvinist, I think our generation could profit from encountering Augustine first-hand.)

“I think where this new trend differs from “old” Calvinism is that in the YRR movement, Calvin’s soteriology is unhooked from the rest of the package that drove his project of reform.  So you get people who eagerly adopt his doctrines of election and predestination, but don’t see how that is tied to his ecclesiology, his doctrine of the sacraments (including baptism), his vision for political reform, etc.  This is why I think some (like Ray Pennings) are correct to say that these aren’t really new Calvinists, they’re neo-Puritans.”

You can read the rest of the interview here.

 

Quick Hits:

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of the forthcoming Brazos book Educating All God’s Children, has an article on the four traits of successful public school reform in the September-October 2012 issue of Sojourners: “Beyond ‘Superman’”

James K. A. Smith had an article featured on Christianity Today’s blog This Is Our City: “How (Not) to Be Worldly: Tracing the Borders of the ‘Earthly City’”

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

August ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these ebooks are at least 60% off:

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes by Daniel J. Treier
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels
Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells
Creating a Spiritual Legacy by Daniel Taylor
The Truth Shall Make You Odd by Frank G. Honeycutt

The Weekly Hit List: August 17, 2012

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was reviewed by Comment Magazine.

In his latest book, Living into Focus: Choosing What Matters in an Age of Distraction, Arthur Boers (a colleague of mine at Tyndale Seminary) aims to be both prophetic and helpful to Christians in an age of increasing distraction provided by technology: prophetic, in alerting us to and warning us of our growing dependence on technology and the manner in which it has changed our world and patterns; helpful, in equipping people to be discerning as they engage with the fruit of technology.

To read the whole review, click here.

 

Quick Hits:

Kicking at the Darkness by Brian J. Walsh was reviewed by YouthWorker Journal.

Peter Enns responded to a Themelios review of The Evolution of Adam.

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen was reviewed by YouthWorker Journal.

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed on Kyle McDanell’s blog.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed on David D. Flower’s blog.

Englewood Review of Books featured Brian J. Walsh’s recent interview with Bruce Cockburn.

 

And in case you missed it:

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was reviewed by Canadian Mennonite Magazine.

Phillip Cary was interviewed on ReformedCast about Good News for Anxious Christians.

Dale Goldsmith and Joy V. Goldsmith, co-authors of Speaking of Dying, appeared on Dr. Bill Maier Live.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

August ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these ebooks are at least 60% off:

Proverbs and Ecclesiastes by Daniel J. Treier
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels
Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells
Creating a Spiritual Legacy by Daniel Taylor
The Truth Shall Make You Odd by Frank G. Honeycutt

The Weekly Hit List: August 3, 2012

God and Charles Dickens by Gary L. Colledge was reviewed in Englewood Review of Books.

“. . . Colledge’s work has been among the most valuable contributions to Dickens scholarship in recent years. His new book, God and Charles Dickens: Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author, focuses on a crucial aspect of Dickens’s life and work that has been sadly neglected of late.

“Without an awareness of this aspect, Colledge rightly believes, we are hampered in our understanding of  Dickens’s work. . . .

“. . . The resulting book will appeal to and enlighten Dickens readers at all levels, from the casual fan to the serious scholar.”

 

Quick Hits:

Letters to a Young Calvinist by James K. A. Smith was reviewed in American Theological Inquiry.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was reviewed in the July issue of Salvationist.

The Bible Made Impossible  by Christian Smith was reviewed on the blog Late Emerger.

 

We are giving away copies of two September 2012 Brazos Press releases over on Goodreads.

If you’re a Goodreads member, consider adding Brazos as a friend!

If you’d like to receive occasional updates from us on Goodreads, please join our group page.

We currently have giveaways posted for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth by Matthew Dickerson and Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement by Ronald J. Sider.