The Weekly Hit List: June 20, 2014

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

“Allow me to say clearly how helpful this is for those wanting a spirituality of the ordinary, of finding God’s presence amidst the turmoil of daily life and the injustices we ourselves face. (Not only did Graves grow up with some hardships, she’s observed some harsh injustices, even within Christian organizations, and she names some of these travesties, telling us how she reacted.)

“She is brave, but yet down to Earth; she writes as a young woman, mother, youth leader at a church, and now active writer and blogger — fairly ordinary, actually. She knows what you are going through. She guides readers towards the virtues of steadfastness and joy, bringing living water to the deserts of our lives.”

Read the rest of the review here.


The (Un)Common Good Media:

Jim Wallis appeared on Morning Joe.

Jim Wallis appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry.

Jim Wallis wrote “A Letter to Graduates: Whatever Happened to the Common Good?” for TIME.


A Beautiful Disaster media:

Her.meneutics featured an interview with Marlena.

Addie Zierman shared a guest post from Marlena Graves.

Preston Yancey reviewed Marlena’s book.

Dorothy Greco reviewed Marlena’s book.

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books reviewed Marlena’s book.


Quick Hits:

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut won in the Culture category of the 2014 Word Awards.

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, appeared live on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem.

iGods by Craig Detweiler and Sidewalks in the Kingdom by Eric O. Jacobsen were recommended in the June 28 issue of WORLD Magazine.

Peter Enns, author of The Evolution of Adam, was interviewed on the Newsworthy with Norsworthy podcast.

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was reviewed by Jennifer Neyhart.

The Liberating Image by J. Richard Middleton was discussed by Scot McKnight on Jesus Creed.

The Weekly Hit List: June 13, 2014

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

“The Sojourners president believes that liberals and conservatives both have a part to play in improving the common good.

“‘The best conservative idea is the idea of personality responsibility. I’ve never seen a problem solved or poverty overcome or the things I care about without personal responsibly as a part of the solution,’ said Wallis. ‘The best liberal idea is social responsibility: taking care of not just ourselves but taking care of each other.'”

Read the rest of “These 3 Things, Not Government, Will Eliminate Poverty, Social Justice Advocate Jim Wallis Says” here.


Other The (Un)Common Good Media:

Jim Wallis appeared this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Don’t miss Jim Wallis tomorrow (Saturday) morning on MSNBC’S Melissa Harris-Perry.

Jim Wallis wrote “How the Bible Understands Justice” for OnFaith.

Jim Wallis wrote “Happy Birthday, Prostate Cancer, and the Common Good” for God’s Politics.


A Beautiful Disaster Blog Tour:

Halee Gray Scott shared an excerpt.

Rachel Marie Stone reviewed the book.

Amy Simpson shared an excerpt.

Alexandra Kuykendall shared some excerpts.

Laura Turner reviewed the book.

Katherine Willis Pershey shared some excerpts.

Giveaway winners were announced!


Quick Hits:

Craig Blomberg, author of Can We Still Believe the Bible?, was interviewed on Books at a Glance.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? was reviewed on in Christ Jesus.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Bronwyn Lea.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed on Fulcrum.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed on Sacred Tension.

The Liberating Image by J. Richard Middleton was discussed by Scot McKnight on Jesus Creed.


Upcoming Radio Interviews:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, will appear live on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem on Tuesday, June 17, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, will appear live on The Bob Dutko Show on Wednesday, June 18 at 1:08 p.m. ET.

“Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good” – An Excerpt from The (Un)Common Good by Jim Wallis

The following is an excerpt “Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good,” the Epilogue from The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided by Jim Wallis.


The common good and the quality of our life together will finally be determined by the personal decisions we all make. The “commons”—those places, as we noted earlier, where we come together as neighbors and citizens to share public space—will never be better than the quality of human life, or the human flourishing, in our own lives and households.

Here are ten personal decisions you can make to help foster the common good.

1. If you are a father or a mother, make your children the most important priority in your life and build your other commitments around them. If you are not a parent, look for children who could benefit from your investment in their lives.

2. If you are married, be faithful to your spouse. Demonstrate your commitment with both your fidelity and your love. If you are single, measure your relationships by their integrity, not their usefulness.

3. If you are a person of faith, focus not just on what you believe but on how you act on those beliefs. If you love God, ask God how to love your neighbor.

4. Take the place you live seriously. Make the context of your life and work the parish that you take responsibility for.

5. Seek to develop a vocation and not just a career. Discern your gifts as a child of God, not just your talents, and listen for your calling rather than just looking for opportunities. Remember that your personal good always relates to the common good.

6. Make choices by distinguishing between wants and needs. Choose what is enough, rather than what is possible to get. Replace appetites with values, teach your children the same, and model those values for all who are in your life.

7. Look at the business, company, or organization where you work from an ethical perspective. Ask what its vocation is, too. Challenge whatever is dishonest or exploitative and help your place of work do well by doing good.

8. Ask yourself what in the world today most breaks your heart and offends your sense of justice. Decide to help change that and join with others who are committed to transforming that injustice.
9. Get to know who your political representatives are at both the local and national level. Study their policy decisions and examine their moral compass and public leadership. Make your public convictions and commitments known to them and choose to hold them accountable.

10. Since the difference between events and movements is sacrifice, which is also the true meaning of religion and what makes for social change, ask yourself what is important enough to give your life to and for.

Finding the integral relationship between your own personal good and the common good is your best contribution to our future. And it is the best hope we have for a better life together.


©2014 by Jim Wallis. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: June 6, 2014

We’re in the middle of the blog tour for A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves.

The following bloggers participated this week:

Caryn Rivadeneira shared an excerpt.

Ellen Painter Dollar interviewed Marlena.

Jen Pollock Michel reviewed the book.

Joel Willitts reviewed the book.

Megan Hill reviewed the book.

Micha Boyett shared an excerpt and is giving away three copies of Marlena’s book.

Michelle Van Loon interviewed Marlena.

Sharon Hodde Miller shared an excerpt and is giving away two copies of Marlena’s book.

Don’t miss our five-book giveaway grand prize on the blog tour web site!


Quick Hits:

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, wrote “I Beg to Differ: With the Right and the Left” on the New Direction Ministries of Canada blog.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by John Shaffet on Modern-day Pilgrim.

Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, wrote “Moment of Truth on Immigration Reform Is Now” for National Journal.

Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary was reviewed on Books at a Glance.

Learning for the Love of God by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby was reviewed on Conversation in Faith.

Crosslight wrote on Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith.

Miroslav Volf was interviewed for Engage.Mail.

The Liberating Image by J. Richard Middleton was discussed by Scot McKnight on Jesus Creed.


Ebook Specials:

Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible by John Polkinghorne is only $2.99 (83% off) through June 10.

This Just In: The (Un)Common Good by Jim Wallis

The (Un)Common Good:
How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided

by Jim Wallis


Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus’s ancient and compelling vision of the common good—a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world.

Now available in paperback with a new preface.



Wallis_photoJim Wallis is president and founder of Sojourners and editor in chief of Sojourners magazine. He is a bestselling author, public theologian, national preacher, social activist, and international commentator on ethics and public life. Wallis has written ten books, including the New York Times bestsellers God’s Politics and The Great Awakening, and is a frequent speaker in the United States and abroad.


Praise for The (Un)Common Good:

“Personal/political, religion/politics, faith/power, ideology/pragmatism . . . Jim Wallis is a wrestler of values, ideas, and policies and how they interact to shape the world we live in. His deep, melodious voice is easy to listen to, but what he says takes a harder commitment to live by.”
Bono, lead singer of U2; cofounder of

“Wallis persuades more powerfully here than ever before. . . . He lays out the theology of [Jesus’s gospel of the kingdom] and then issues to all Christians a rallying cry to apply that theology both in private life and in the arena of public activity.”
Phyllis Tickle, author of Emergence Christianity

“Jim Wallis has long been an influential voice on Christian ethics and public life. . . . A fresh take on the interplay of faith and politics in America.”

“Jim Wallis and I have a variety of differences on domestic and international policy, but there is no message more timely or urgent than his call to actively consider the common good.”
Michael Gerson, op-ed columnist, The Washington Post

“I love the work and books and existence of Jim Wallis. His is a profound and always-entertaining voice of reason, reconciliation, and passion for social justice and peace. Each of his books makes me wish I could get it into the hands of more politicians, right-wing Christians, left-wing Christians, secular humanists, economists, and regular people—everyone—so we could see how much we have in common and how much is at stake. Jim Wallis and I do not share many of the same political views, but we share the same heart and soul and love for God and all of God’s children. Plus, he’s a marvelous storyteller.”
Anne Lamott, author of Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

“I have read all of Jim Wallis’s books, books that call evangelicals to full conversion and an ecclesial faith that works. This is Jim’s best book; it is personal, pastoral, and prophetic—a summons to a deeper conversion, to bridge-building commitments to the common good, and to a family life that grounds active faith in a common, caring community.”
Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

“For decades, Jim Wallis has been an instrumental voice in God’s movement toward a better world. Here’s his latest gift to the movement—a book that isn’t just about where we went wrong, but about how we can join God in making things right again. And, thank God, it’s not just another book about God blessing us . . . it’s a book about us blessing God, by caring for God’s people, especially the most vulnerable ones among us.”
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and recovering sinner,

“Jim Wallis’s voice rings out on each page of this book, calling for a renewed global engagement in which the measure of ‘success’ is the well-being of all. Following his prescriptions would result in approaching the true common good: good news for the 100 percent!”
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, executive director of the Roman Catholic social justice organization NETWORK

“No one cuts through the confusion of our times with clarity and compassion like Jim Wallis. He is at his best in this book—bridging a cosmic vision of what humankind could be with a concrete plan for how we get there.”
Eboo Patel, founder and president, Interfaith Youth Core; author of Sacred Ground

“Let me be honest: I don’t believe in ‘must-read’ books. But The (Un)Common Good is a very important book, especially in a time of increased polarization and lack of civility. As a pastor, I thank Jim Wallis for writing this book because it will be a vital resource for many—especially for the church, as we seek to invite, empower, and equip people for the work of the common good. In an increasingly cynical world, this is a fresh and hopeful word.”
Rev. Eugene Cho, senior pastor, Quest Church; founder and visionary, One Day’s Wages

“The Christian faith requires more than mere belief. It is a faith intended to change the world because it demands that Christians work with passion for the good of their neighbors. This is the good news of the kingdom of God that Jesus first proclaimed in Luke 4, and it’s a message that Jim Wallis helps us better understand today.”
Richard Stearns, president, World Vision US; author of The Hole in Our Gospel

“At such a critical crossroads in our country’s history, people are looking for commonsense voices on the right and left who are willing to ask difficult questions. Jim Wallis is one of those voices—winsome and reflective, yet forceful and unafraid. In this book, Wallis again challenges Christians to think deeply about our world’s greatest problems. You might not always agree with his conclusions, but every chapter of the book will stretch your mind, challenge your thinking, and push you to consider the hope summed up in its opening words: ‘Our life together can be better.’”
Jonathan Merritt, author of A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus beyond the Culture Wars

The Weekly Hit List: May 23, 2014

On Monday, President Barack Obama unexpectedly showed up at Jim Wallis’ son’s Little League game.

Jim Wallis, author of The (Un)Common Good, wrote in TIME:

“Some of my baseball parents know that the President has been a friend of mine for a long time. I was a member of his original faith council and have worked with him on issues like poverty and immigration. But I had no idea he was coming and he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. ‘Wallis, what are you doing here!’ Obama yelled with a big smile as he walked onto Friendship Field. Like the best moments in sports—some things just happen.”

Read the rest of Jim’s article here.


Quick Hits:

Jim Wallis spoke on leadership for The Washington Post series “On Leadership.”

Craig Detweiler was interviewed about iGods on The Wednesday Bookmark on Family Radio (CHRI, 99.1).

Luke (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by David Lyle Jeffrey was reviewed by Stuart Dunn.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was mentioned by Englewood Review of Books as a new book release “worth checking out.”


Ebook Specials:

Today is the last day of our ebook special for every book in the Ancient-Future Bible Study series by Stephen J. Binz. Each volume is only $1.99 (83% off).

Click here for links to purchase each volume from participating retailers.

The Weekly Hit List: May 2, 2014

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was chosen as a finalist in the Culture category of The Word Guild’s 2014 Word Awards.

Five other Baker Publishing Group titles were selected as finalists in several categories.

The Word Awards (previously the Canadian Christian Writing Awards) has awarded prizes to Christian Canadian Writers for more than twenty-five years and are designed to raise the writer’s profile and acknowledge works of excellence in twenty-eight categories.

The award presentation will take place at the World Vision headquarters in Ontario on June 11 at 7:30 PM.

For a complete list of finalists, click here.



Quick Hits:

Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, appeared this morning on Morning Joe.

The April 2014 issue of Border Crossings is now available.

Publishers Weekly interviewed Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith.

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, received the City Funds Entrepreneur to Watch Award.

Nicole Baker Fulgham spoke at Q Nashville.

Educating All God’s Children was referenced by Megan Westra on Natasha Robinson’s blog.

The Weekly Hit List: April 25, 2014

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed by Living with Faith.

“The author, who is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, has written a book aimed not so much to refute sceptics as to guide believers into a balanced understanding and viewpoint of what the questions are and how we can best approach them.

Blomberg makes the point that we find two extremes – ranging from that of religious hardliners demanding unwavering concurrence at one end of the spectrum to unbelieving individuals who try to destroy the faith of believers at the other – and that both extremes are wrong.  Rather, the author shows, we can find a balance in which questions are not only fairly evaluated, but also settled in faith.”

Read the rest of the review here.


Quick Hits:

iGods by Craig Detweiler was reviewed by C.J. Stunkard.

Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas was mentioned by Peter Ochs on Religion and Ethics.

QIdeas shared “Whatever Happened to the Common Good?” by Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side.

Big Ideas (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) shared Miroslav Volf’s address for the Centre for Public Christianity at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music on “A Public Faith – Serving the Common Good.”

Marlena Graves, author of the forthcoming book A Beautiful Disaster, wrote “Hanging On The Cross Alongside Jesus” for Missio Alliance.

The Weekly Hit List: April 11, 2014

Two Brazos Press titles were selected as finalists in the 2014 Christian Retailing‘s Best Awards.

iGods by Craig Detweiler was nominated in the Church and Culture category.



On God’s Side by Jim Wallis was nominated in the Social Issues category.



The complete list of finalists is available here. Winners will be announced in June.


Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, appeared with Edward Blum on Religions & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS.

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, wrote “School Equality as a Matter of Faith” with Aria Kirkland-Harris for PRISM Magazine.

Craig Blomberg, author of Can We Still Believe the Bible?, was interviewed by Margaret Feinberg: “The Most Misinterpreted Verse in The Bible Uncoded”

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was recommended by Nate Claiborne.

Learning for the Love of God by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

Generous Spaciousness (May 2014) by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

The Weekly Hit List: February 28, 2014

Learning for the Love of God by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby was reviewed and recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books

Learning for the Love of God fleshes out the vision, explains the challenge and offers essential guidance to all that we mean by ‘developing the Christian mind’ in just the right way and a cheerful, intermediate level. It is easy to read and yet challenging, thoughtful but not arcane.

Learning for the Love of God is ideal for students, offering insight about the nature of learning, the ways to think faithfully in college, and how to discern God’s fingerprints (and the smear of idolatry and ideology) all over the subjects they are studying.”

Read the rest of the review here.



Quick Hits:

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was reviewed by Kristen Hannum.

iGods by Craig Detweiler was reviewed by Stephen Hiemstra.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was quoted by Ben Ditzel.


Ebook Specials:

Why You Should Care about the Person Who Made Your Cell Phone by Jim Wallis is FREE until March 5.