The Weekly Hit List: May 20, 2016

Cover ArtBethany Hanke Hoang was interviewed about The Justice Calling on Equipped with Chris Brooks.

“As we look at the evil in the world, we may be tempted to toss up our hands in despair and ask ‘Is it even worth trying to make a difference for good?’ Guest host Susie Larson will talk with author and speaker Bethany Hoang. They will remind us of the One who is the source of justice and who calls us to join Him in His victorious work in the world!”

Andrew Wilson reviewed James K. A. Smith’s You Are What You Love.

You Are What You Love is a wonderful book: rich, readable, searching, provocative, theological, practical. For a book on how to live the Christian life well, it has remarkable depth; for a book on worship and character formation, it has remarkable bounce. I highly recommend it.”

Quick Hits:

At Godspace, Christine Sine reflected on Lisa Graham McMinn’s To The Table, and share the excerpt “Every Meal Holds the Hope of Life“.

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament, reviewed When Breath Becomes Air for Christianity Today.

Spiritual Friendship, by Wesley Hill, was featured in the Christian Century’s Take & Read.

First Things will be hosting a book talk and reception with theologian and pastor Victor Lee Austin, author of Losing Susan.


The Weekly Hit List: February 26, 2016

 The Englewood Review of BooksBook Trailer of the Week was for The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson.

Byron Borger praised The Justice Calling as well as The Future of our Faith by Ron Side and Ben Lowe.

“What a book! On the heels of #Jubilee2016 this is perfect for me, since the conversations within circle around a huge question for many of us: what is the future of the evangelical movement, in what ways do the rising Christian leaders see things similarly or differently than older church leaders, and what are the burning issues pressing on us now, and looming on the horizon.”

Quick Hits:

Peter Leithart’s Traces of the Trinity was reviewed at Mere Orthodoxy.

At Thoughts, Prayers, and Songs, James called Kathryn Greene-McCreight’s Darkness is my Only Companion “required reading for anyone doing pastoral work.”

Kristen Williams reviewed To The Table by Lisa Graham McMinn.

Eating with Intention – an excerpt from To the Table

The following is an excerpt from To the Table by Lisa Graham McMinn.


Most of us conform a fair bit to the norms of our culture; we can’t help it—norm conformity helps us fit into a community. As a result, most of us twenty-first-century Westerners struggle to balance norms that demand a high level of commitment to work and activities we value for ourselves and our children with a desire for communion and opportunities to forge bonds over food with our family and friends.

Cover ArtHowever, any and all of us can accept the invitation to eat at a common table by being more intentional about what we are eating, more attentive to those who share our table, and more grateful for God, others, and God’s creation that sustains us.

We move toward intention when we do some sleuthing and then make informed and life-giving choices about food we purchase (more on this to come). We move toward attention when we slow down, value, and engage those in whose presence we are eating. We move toward gratitude through the simple discipline of saying grace before a meal and saying thank you afterward.

Being intentional is being neighborly—an outward expression of our faith. It can mean committing to eating only fair-trade chocolate or going without it; it can mean buying eggs produced by pasture-based hens or going without them. Being intentional means learning the true cost of food and then choosing compassion and justice over convenience or thrift.

Being intentional is also about thinking beyond what we eat as individuals to the eating needs of others. I’m not as good at this practice, but I want to stretch toward reflecting what the church has embraced since the beginning: feeding the hungry, eating with the lonely, and taking food to families with new babies or who may be dealing with illness, death, or grief.

©2016 by Lisa Graham McMinn. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

This Just In: To the Table

Cover Art

With the growing farm-to-table movement and increasing popularity of local farmers’ markets, we are becoming more conscious of where our food originates. In this spirituality of eating and food, Lisa Graham McMinn encourages readers to reflect on the realities of food today and understand how eating forms their souls inwardly, upwardly, and outwardly.

McMinn celebrates the goodness of food in God’s creation, offering practical guidance on what it means to eat alone or in community with more intention, compassion, humility, and gratitude. She also tells the story of food that occurs every year as it transitions from seed to table.

To the Table features sidebars containing gardening and food tips, recipes, and food preservation guides. End-of-chapter questions for individual and group use are included.


Lisa Graham McMinn

Lisa Graham McMinn (PhD, Portland State University) is co-owner of Fern Creek, a thirty-family CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm outside of Newberg, Oregon. She is writer in residence at George Fox University, where she previously taught sociology, and is the author of several books, including Growing Strong Daughters and Walking Gently on the Earth.


Praise for To the Table:

“A warm and wise invitation to practice eating as a spiritual discipline—not as an act of self-improvement but as a way of living out and delighting in the generous, abundant, just, sweet, and savory love of God.”—Rachel Marie Stone, author of Eat with Joy

“With inspiring and illuminating stories and astute cultural analysis, McMinn shows us how the whole of eating can be a sacramental act that brings healing to our hungry and hurting world. This beautifully written book is ideal for group study, and its recipes and cooking advice will encourage people to gather in kitchens and around tables to share in the grace of God.”—Norman Wirzba, author of Food and Faith

To the Table is about dining devotionally, which feeds both body and soul. A deeply nourishing read.”—Joel Salatin, Polyface Farm

“If this book were a table, it would bow under the weight of its abundance. Filled with research, recipes, how-to tips, and personal narrative, To the Table will encourage faithful readers to head straight for their own gardens, farmers markets, pantries, and tables as they learn to eat more intentionally, more prayerfully, and with stronger community ties.”—Jenell Paris, Messiah College

“McMinn artfully weaves stories, Scripture, science, and recipes together in this holistic and practical exploration of what it can look like to eat well today….A warm and compelling invitation to a more compassionate, nourishing, and faithful way of living.”—Ben Lowe, Evangelical Environmental Network

“McMinn brings together a delightful collection of stories, recipes, and philosophy about gardening, cooking, and everything in between. This whimsical little book provides a feast in many forms. It is a must-read for every gardener, cook, and person concerned about where our food comes from and how we gather to eat it.”—Christine Sine, Mustard Seed Associates

“From its researched critique of the modern food industry to the way it describes our everyday practices and relationship with food as a spiritual experience, To the Table helps us regain the knowledge and intimacy necessary to eat well, to eat right, and to eat in communion with creation and each other.”—Randy Woodley author of Shalom and the Community of Creation

“A delightfully earthy book that combines keen theological reflection about food and community with personal stories and recipes. To The Table emphasizes the central role food plays in our lives, and challenges us to be more attentive to how we eat.” – Relevant Magazine

 Also, check out this recent Publishers Weekly interview with Lisa Graham McMinn!

The Weekly Hit List: December 4, 2015

 Cover ArtLisa Graham McMinn, author of the forthcoming To the Table, was interviewed at Publishers Weekly.

Sacramental eating calls forth a humble gratitude that inclines us to eat in ways that fosters the flourishing of other life. So we learn about and begin to pursue “just” food untainted with human exploitation, animal misery, or ecosystem degradation. We begin to open our hearts and minds to an ever-expanding community that changes how and what we eat. Perhaps we will influence how our partners and children eat, and introduce our friends and extended family to eating with an eye toward the flourishing of all life.

Alastair Roberts, at The Gospel Coalition, reviewed Jonathan Grant’s Divine Sex.

Grant presents a wide-angled-lens account of Christian sexual ethics within the context of contemporary culture. Rather than focus on discrete questions—he only lightly grazes on some of the fiercest prevailing controversies—Grant’s concern is to expose the nature of the shared cultural matrix from which they arise….This is a book I’ve already personally recommended to several friends and acquaintances. I highly encourage you to read it too.

Quick Hits:

Free to Serve, by Stephen Monsma and Stanley Carlson-Thies, was reviewed at Influence Magazine.

At Reformedish, Derek Rishmawy used Peter Leithart’s commentary on 1 & 2 Kings to discuss lessons for the church from the time of king Ahab’s reign.

Lisa Graham McMinn announced To the Table on her blog, Preserving Life.