The Weekly Hit List: January 4, 2013

Some of the Best of the Best of 2012:

The Evolution of Adam

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was included as a “Best Book of the Year” by Rachel Held Evans.

It was also one of Brian LePort‘sTop Ten Books I Read This Year“:

“I finished this book with the conclusion that the Gospel does not depend on the historicity of Adam, but that doesn’t mean that this discussion is meaningless. A lot has to change for conservative Christians if they decide to abandon the historicity of Adam. Debates over everything from the nature of Scripture, to hermeneutics, to worldview, to gender roles, to eschatology can be impacted by one’s understanding of Adam (and Eve).

“If you are not satisfied with the ‘Bible v. Science’ paradigm this book may be a useful tool in beginning to reassess how you think about a lot of things.”

 

The Space Between

 

The Space Between by Eric O. Jacobsen, author of Sidewalks in the Kingdom, was the “Best provocative new book” of the “Best of 2012 in green community solutions,” according to Kaid Benfield (Director of Sustainable Communities for the National Resources Defense Council):

“This one was a very tough call, given The Walkable City . . . and Chuck Marohn’s . . . Thoughts on Building Strong Towns. But my nod goes to Eric Jacobsen’s Christian case for cities, The Space Between, because of its freshness.”

The Space Between was also an Honorable Mention on Englewood Review of Book’s Best Books of 2012 list.

 

Quick Hits:

Matthew Dickerson, author of A Hobbit Journey, was interviewed by Jeffrey Overstreet. Read part 1. Read part 2.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was reviewed by Mennonite World Review

Testing Scripture by John Polkinghorne was included in a post on Jesus Creed.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

January ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 40% off.

Commentary on the New Testament by Robert H. Gundry
The Character of Christian Scripture by Christopher R. Seitz
Creator Spirit by Steven R. Guthrie
Dictionary of Scripture and Ethics edited by Joel B. Green
Genesis (BTCB) by R. R. Reno
Flawed Families of the Bible by David E. Garland and Diana R. Garland
Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass

The Weekly Hit List: December 21, 2012

PeterStephen J. Binz, author of the Ancient-Future Bible Study series, was interviewed by Fr. Dwight Longenecker.

Here is an excerpt:

“‘Ancient-Future’ expresses the connection between ancient wisdom and future possibilities that I want to create in this series. The term is used in the arts to emphasize a blending of tradition and innovation.

“Ancient-future music and dance fuses centuries-old traditions with contemporary genres and technology. By learning from the world’s great traditions and ancient practices, artists create cross-cultural expressions that are richly profound yet also widely appealing.

“In this series, I combine the ancient art of lectio divina with contemporary Bible study to produce work that is richly traditional and attractively engaging.”

Read the rest of the review and interview here.

 

Quick Hits:

Gary L. Colledge, author of God and Charles Dickens, was interviewed in a CBN News article, “God and Scrooge: Finding the Faith of Charles Dickens.” Video can be seen here, starting at 18:23.

Matthew Dickerson was interviewed on Faith Radio Mornings about A Hobbit Journey.

A Hobbit Journey was included in an article by Publishers Weekly: “The Souls of Hobbits: New Books Unearth Tolkien’s Christian Themes.”

A Hobbit Journey was also included in an article on Busted Halo: “Of God, Tolkien, and Hobbits.”

Darkness Is My Only Companion by Kathryn Greene-McCreight was recommended by Kyle Roberts on the Cultivare blog.

 

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: 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

A Hobbit Journey Movie Ticket Giveaway

In honor of the release of the new film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and the release of Matthew Dickerson’s Brazos book A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, we are giving away a copy of the book along with a gift card to go see the new movie!

Enter below to win a $30 gift card for Fandango.com – which you can use this weekend to see The Hobbit. The winner will also receive a copy of Dickerson’s book. Three runner-up winners will receive a copy of A Hobbit Journey.

*To increase your chances of winning: Link to this giveaway on either Facebook or Twitter to receive a second entry in the giveaway. Visit our FB page (facebook.com/brazospress) to “share” our post about the giveaway or retweet our announcement on our Twitter feed (twitter.com/brazospress). Make sure that your post or tweet is traceable for us (include our FB and/or Twitter handles in your posts).

This giveaway has ended.

The Weekly Hit List: December 7, 2012

The Space Between by Eric O. Jacobsen, author of Sidewalks in the Kingdom, was reviewed by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books for Comment magazine

“Since Jacobsen’s 2003 Brazos Press introductory book Sidewalks of the Kingdom, many were hoping that the Presbyterian pastor turned new urbanist would write a more substantial follow up, taking readers further into the fascinating study of our built environment.

“His nearly decade of further study, writing, speaking, and engaging this interdisciplinary field has paid off with extraordinary fruitfulness, and Jacobsen’s new book is, without a doubt, one of the most important books in the field, and should be considered to be one of the most important books of the year.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

Quick Hits:

Lee C. Camp, author of Who Is My Enemy?, was interviewed on “Kresta in the Afternoon” on Ave Maria Radio on December 3, 2012.

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed in Family Fiction.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was recommended by Andrew Wilson on the Theology Matters blog.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was recommended by Dana Cassell.

Frank G. Honeycutt, author of The Truth Shall Make You Odd, wrote an article for The Christian Century: “New life without parole.” (The full text is available to subscribers only.)

Soulful Spirituality by David Benner was recommended by Barry Pearman.

 

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: November 30, 2012

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed by Lawrence E. Garcia.

“Not many, including myself at one point in time, would have considered mythology an avenue to the betterment of the world in which we live, but after reading Matthew Dickerson’s A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-Earth I not only consider this genre a valid option, but a necessary one.

“After all, Tolkien’s world is ‘in some sense connected to our own history’ (albeit only culturally and literarily); it is not merely a never-never land as Tolkien himself might say, but a tall tale that is meant to incite our hearts and imaginations to set in motion a more transcendent way of life for all earth’s inhabitants.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

 

Quick Hits:

The Space Between by Eric O. Jacobsen, author of Sidewalks in the Kingdom, was reviewed by Elliot Ritzema.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed by Brian LePort.

God and Charles Dickens by Gary L. Colledge was reviewed by Mark Braye.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

Today is the last day our November ebook specials are running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 60% off.

Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey
Beginnings by Peter C. Bouteneff
Creation Untamed by Terence E. Fretheim
From Stone to Living Word by Debbie Blue
Evangelicals and Empire by Bruce Ellis Benson and Peter Goodwin Heltzel
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
God in the Gallery by Daniel A. Siedell
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

The Weekly Hit List: November 9, 2012

Matthew Dickerson, author of A Hobbit Journey, was interviewed by PJ Review of Books.

[In response to the question: “In what ways does A Hobbit Journey differ from your other books on Tolkien, Following Gandalf and Ents, Elves, and Eriador?“]

“It is quite different in tone that [of] Ents, Elves and Eriador.  That book has a somewhat more academic voice — though I think it is still very readable — and it is also much narrower in topic, focusing really just on environmental and ecological aspects of Tolkien’s writing. A Hobbit Journey has a much broader topic, and I think therefore a broader audience, both in the breadth of what I explore and in my approach.  I will say that both books do get at the ideological core of Tolkien’s works.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

Quick Hits:

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed by Mathew Sims.

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed by J. C. Schaap.

Miroslav Volf’s “Values of a Public Faith” were recommended by Arni Zachariassen.

Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider was recommended by Kacie Rogers.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

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

Luke (BTCB) by David Lyle Jeffrey
Beginnings by Peter C. Bouteneff
Creation Untamed by Terence E. Fretheim
From Stone to Living Word by Debbie Blue
Evangelicals and Empire by Bruce Ellis Benson and Peter Goodwin Heltzel
The Forgotten Ways Handbook by Alan Hirsch with Darryn Altclass
God in the Gallery by Daniel A. Siedell
The Vampire Defanged by Susannah Clements
Adventures in Daily Prayer by Bert Ghezzi
Seven Deadly Spirits by T. Scott Daniels

The Weekly Hit List: November 2, 2012

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

“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.

“An early friend of CLS, James Skillen, says ‘Ron Sider builds on years of experience and conversations with Christian across a very wide spectrum. His balance is better than that of most who want to influence politics for the better. And biblical faith is the solid platform on which he builds and balances. Listen to Ron carefully before taking your next step.’”

 

Quick Hits:

Psalms for All Seasons was featured as a Book for Leading & Worshiping in Worship Leader‘s Best of the Best issue.

Psalms for All Seasons was also reviewed and recommended in The Banner.

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed by Fr. Daren J. Zenle.

A Hobbit Journey was also reviewed by Hearts & Minds blog.

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was also reviewed by Hearts & Minds blog.

Luke (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) was recommended by Pastor Clint Schnekloth.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

For the month of November, we have several wonderful Brazos Press and Baker Academic ebooks available at deep discounts.

All titles are at least 60% off and can be purchased through a variety of ebook distributors.

For more information, visit www.brazospress.com/ebookspecials.

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Between the Lines: A Conversation with Matthew Dickerson – Part 4

We recently had the chance to talk with Matthew Dickerson about his new Brazos book, A Hobbit Journey.

Matthew Dickerson (PhD, Cornell University) is a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, a writer, and the director of the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf. His previous works include From Homer to Harry PotterThe Mind and the MachineNarnia and the Fields of Arbol: The Environmental Vision of C. S. Lewis; and Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J. R .R. Tolkien.

In Part 1, Matthew spoke about the relationship between our world and the world of The Lord of the Rings.

In Part 2, he explained how his love for Tolkien’s writing influenced the composition of A Hobbit Journey.

In Part 3, he discussed whether The Lord of the Rings should be understood as allegorical.

Today he offers some thoughts on Peter Jackson’s film portrayals of The Lord of the Rings.

—————————————————————————

Do you think the original trilogy of The Lord of the Rings films accurately portrayed the themes you see in the books? Do you anticipate that The Hobbit films will be accurate portrayals?

I will reserve judgment of Peter’s forthcoming trilogy of films based on The Hobbit until I have seen them. I am curious to see how much use they make of material in the Appendices, and how much they add to (or take away from) the plot. I think it might be really good. The one thing that concerns me from the trailers I have seen is the addition of a sword fight between Bilbo and Gollum. That could very much change some important philosophical and moral ideas that Tolkien incarnated in his original story.

As for the original trilogy, there were certainly some aspects that were very well done by Jackson. I was particular moved by his portrayals of a few of the individual characters. By and large, I thought he did Boromir very well, and Eowyn too, though perhaps his Eowyn might have been a bit stronger. Sam was well done. I think Jackson also did a good job with some environmental aspects, in his portrayal especially of the ravages of Isengard under Saruman.

But by and large, I thought that Jackson absconded with Tolkien’s names and characters and plot elements in order to put forth a very different underlying worldview that in many ways was entirely at odds with that of Tolkien. I read once that Jackson said he might change a few plot elements to make them fit better with film instead of book, but that he was committed to Tolkien’s most basic philosophical beliefs. And in that I think Jackson is flat out wrong on some very important areas. I outline a few examples in my book. One is how Jackson undercuts some of the most important moral free-will choices of the book’s heroes. Another is how he seeks to show corruption and moral failure in almost every important virtuous hero such as Faramir, Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf; he applies broad brushstrokes of cynicism where Tolkien did not.

Jackson, in making his grand cinematic display—and trying to keep it more action centered—not only eliminates much of the dialogue and description and the importance of the world itself, but I think he also glorifies violence in a way Tolkien’s books never do. It is much more “sword and sorcery” than Tolkien’s works.

—————————————————————————

For more information on A Hobbit Journey, click here.
To read an excerpt, click here.

The Weekly Hit List: October 26, 2012

An article by Christian Scharen, author of Broken Hallelujahs, was featured in the latest issue of Immerse Journal.

“The Wisdom of Elders: Listening to Leonard Cohen’s Old Ideas

“In just over a year, after playing his final show in December 2010, Cohen recorded and released one of the best albums of his career.

“Playfully called Old Ideas, the album represents both the ideas of an old man and at the same time a set of songs engaging old ideas, those deep and enduring concerns that remain after the fluff of life blows away in the wind.”

Read the rest of Scharen’s article here.

 

 

Quick Hits:

A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson was reviewed by Anne Brown on her blog, The Book Garden.

A Hobbit Journey was also reviewed by Velma Daniels for the News Chief.

Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider and A Hobbit Journey by Matthew Dickerson were included in a post by Patrick Floyd on The Methoblog.

Michael Gorman linked to Miroslav Volf’s values of A Public Faith and recommended Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider in a post on “Christians and Politics.”

 

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