The Brazos Press Best of 2013

Many of our titles received awards and were included in “best of” lists in 2013.

Following are some of the honors Brazos Press books received this year.

          

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns won Gold in the Religion category of ForeWord Reviews‘ Book of the Year Awards.

Speaking of Dying by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith was one of the Academy of Parish Clergy’s Top 10 Books of the Year.

          

Esther & Daniel (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Samuel Wells and George Sumner was included in Preaching.com’s 2013 Survey of Year’s Best Bibles and Bible Reference.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers won in the Christian Living category of The Word Awards.

On God’s Side by Jim Wallis was one of Revangelical Blog’s Best Books of 2013.

 

A happy 2014 to all our readers!

The Weekly Hit List: August 30, 2013

Educating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was reviewed in WORLD Magazine

“Fulgham poses a question: ‘To what extent is the Christian community working to help improve public schools for poor children—regardless of where we choose to send our own children?’

“She argues that most poor kids go to public schools, and if we care about children, the poor, and justice, we need to be involved in making those schools better. She provides a history of evangelical engagement with and withdrawal from public education, and spotlights churches and faith-based organizations that are successfully partnering with urban schools.

“The book hopes to inspire Christians to engage with low-income public schools and lays out practical ways to do it.”

 

Quick Hits:

Douglas Gresham (C. S. Lewis’s closest relative and consultant for all of the Narnia films) will make three U.S. appearances, speaking on the world of Narnia and the life and legacy of C. S. Lewis. Gresham will also be signing copies of A Life Observed: A Spiritual Biography of C. S. Lewis by Devin Brown, for which Gresham wrote the foreword.

Arthur Boers, author of Living into Focus, was interviewed by Andy Byers for The Big Bible Project.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed by Bob Trube for Intervarsity Emerging Scholars Blog.

Esther & Daniel  (BTCB) by Samuel Wells and George Sumner was reviewed by Steve Bishop.

 

Ebook Specials:

One Step Closer: Why U2 Matters to Those Seeking God by Christian Scharen is only $3.99 (75% off) through September 7.

We Were the Least of These: Reading the Bible with Survivors of Sexual Abuse by Elaine A. Heath is only $3.99 (80%) off through September 5.

The Weekly Hit List: July 19, 2013

Educating All God's ChildrenEducating All God’s Children by Nicole Baker Fulgham was reviewed by David Swanson for The Englewood Review of Books.

If there is any doubt that public education is in crisis then Nicole Baker Fulgham’s book, Educating All God’s Children, should convince the most dubious skeptic.

“Early on she outlines the inequities most of us have become accustomed to: far greater percentages of Asian American and White students gradate high school in four years than do African American and Hispanic/Latino students; noticeably fewer African American forth-graders preform basic math skills compared with White students.

“Many of us have heard these sorts of statistics often enough that we no longer really hear them; Educating All God’s Children makes sure we listen closely while beginning to imagine a different future.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

Quick Hits:

Jim Wallis, author of On God’s Side, spoke with Dan Koh of The Huffington Post on “Religion, Politics And Finding Common Ground.”

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was referenced by Jack Heppner.

 

Esther & Daniel Giveaway Winner:

Congratulations to Steven Smith, Doug Iverson, Kelly Hahn, Thomas Irby, and Nick Norelli!

They have each won a copy of Esther & Daniel (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Samuel Wells and George Sumner.

Keep checking back for our next giveaway.

This Just In: Esther & Daniel by Samuel Wells and George Sumner (and a Giveaway)

Esther & Daniel

by Samuel Wells & George Sumner

ISBN: 9781587433313
Price: $32.99
Category: Commentary – Old Testament

In this addition to the acclaimed Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series, two respected scholars offer a theological exegesis of Esther and Daniel. As with other volumes in the series, this book is ideal for those called to ministry, serving as a rich resource for preachers, teachers, students, and study groups.

Samuel Wells (PhD, University of Durham) is vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Anglican Church at Trafalgar Square in London, England. He previously served as dean of the chapel and taught at Duke University. Wells is the author of several books, including Improvisation: The Drama of Christian Ethics, Be Not Afraid, and Transforming Fate into Destiny: The Theological Ethics of Stanley Hauerwas.

George Sumner (PhD, Yale University) is principal and Helliwell Professor of World Mission at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto, in Toronto, Ontario. He has served in various pastoral roles and is an honorary assistant at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto.

 

Praise for Esther & Daniel:

“A fascinating conversation between two books that capture opposite aspects of the life of faith emerges in this volume of the Brazos Theological Commentary. In Esther, God seems to disappear from history, leaving the faithful to their own desperate devices. And in Daniel we read about God breaking into the chaos of history. Imaginatively and convincingly, Wells and Sumner show the theological, ethical, and even missional importance of these ‘outlier’ books within the Christian canon. Powerfully written, this book is designed to stimulate serious conversation in the church.”
Ellen F. Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity School

“This volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary series shows two keen theological imaginations interacting with two challenging books of the Bible. Wells and Sumner offer readings of Esther and Daniel that display their insights as careful, thoughtful readers, while also revealing their roles as contemporary tradents passing on insights from their historic predecessors to their contemporary community. Preachers, students, and scholars who care about the possibility of responsible theological interpretation—especially with regard to the relation of Jewish and Christian readings of biblical books—will find much of great value here.”
A K M Adam, lecturer in New Testament, University of Glasgow

“Here is a form of biblical interpretation the church should never have forgotten. Wells and Sumner read not uncritically, not even post-critically, but with a form of criticism born of cross and resurrection. And just so they remind us how beautiful are the books of Esther and Daniel.”
Jason Byassee, senior pastor, Boone United Methodist Church; fellow in theology and leadership, Duke Divinity School

 

Enter to win a copy of Esther & Daniel:

 

The Weekly Hit List: May 24, 2013

Of Games and GodOf Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Mitch Toler for The Center for Youth Ministry Training.

“I encourage gamers to read the whole book. It will help you understand the way non-gamers think. It will help you see many pitfalls in video games that we often overlook or take for granted. It will also help you to see benefits of video games and that as a Christian gamer you’re not alone.

“Most importantly, Schut has given us all, gamers and non-gamers alike, tools to look critically and thoughtfully at what video games are communicating, how we interact with them, and what that means for our Christian spirituality.”

Read the rest of the review here.

 

On God’s Side media:

“Daily Circuit,” Minnesota Public Radio

“The Ronn Owens Show” on KGO-AM (CBS), San Francisco

“Books: Denver Best Sellers, 5/19/2013” in The Denver Post

“Author Jim Wallis says faith, not politics, is solution to fix cynical nation” by Bob Smietana in The Tennessean

“Ever the Prophet, Never the King” by Josh Good in The American

“The Jim Wallis Interview: What Abe Lincoln, C.S. Lewis, Narnia and Puddleglum can teach us about the Common Good” by David Crumm in Read the Spirit

“COLUMN: Common Good: What breaks your heart?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Is Little League baseball the answer?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Feeling ‘politically homeless’?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

“COLUMN: Common Good: Can we still find common ground?” by Wayne Baker in Our Values

 

Quick Hits:

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

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was reviewed by Captain Comics Round Table.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was also reviewed in Regent’s Reviews.

Creston Davis, co-author of Paul’s New Moment, wrote “The logic of democracy” for Mmegi.

 

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: March 22, 2013

On God's SideJim Wallis, author of the forthcoming On God’s Side, wrote about his new book in “What Does It Mean to Be on God’s Side?” for Sojourners.

“This is not just another book for me. I wrote it during a three-month sabbatical that started in a monastery overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Every day started before sunrise with prayers, walks, yoga, and exercise, followed by writing the rest of the day.

“My other discipline was not to write or comment publicly on the news. I watched the nation’s political discourse each night after a day of writing and found it more depressing than ever. It was an election year.

“The resulting book is not about politics in the narrow sense, but about how to engage our personal and public lives with an ancient but timely idea and practice—the common good—that has long and deep historical roots across many religious faiths and secular notions of democracy.

“I sought to explore the biblical and theological roots of the idea, and then apply it to the most basic questions of economic trust, the role of government, civility, renewing democracy, globalization, conflict resolution in a violent world, and, of course, what our faith can contribute to the common good with the world as our parish.

“Most compelling, I found Jesus’ call to love our neighbors to be the gospel foundation for serving the common good.”

The rest can be read here.

 

Quick Hits:

Of Games and God by Kevin Schut was recommended by Ted Turnau.

The Evolution of Adam by Peter Enns was recommended by Ben Spackman.

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells was recommended in an excerpt written by Michele Howe, shared by Diane Markins.

Living into Focus by Arthur Boers was recommended by Matthew LaPine.

Video is available of Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, speaking on “Public Faith in a Pluralistic Society” at Q Forum.

 

Ebook Specials and Other Offers:

March ebook specials are currently running for multiple Brazos Press and Baker Academic titles. All of these are at least 50% off.

Christians at the Border by M. Daniel Carroll R.
Performing the Faith by Stanley Hauerwas
Preface to Theology by John Howard Yoder
Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear by Scott Bader-Saye
Loving Homosexuals as Jesus Would by Chad W. Thompson

“How to Die” – an excerpt from Be Not Afraid

The following is taken from first chapter of Samuel Wells’s recent Brazos book Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith.

How to Die

Perhaps the biggest fear for the contemporary imagination, captivated as most of us are by the realization and fulfillment of the individual self, is that beyond death lies simply oblivion. It is rationally hard to square the myriad complexity and texture of human existence before death with total emptiness afterward. But when we witness the mundane biological process of death in animals and plants, there can seem little observational reason for arguing that humans will be significantly different. As Johnny Carson is rumored to have said, “For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow—but phone calls taper off.” We’re left with just our bodies and the worms. All the restorative qualities of sleep suddenly go out the window, and we are faced with a sleep without end, a complete annihilation of the self—for many of us, a horrifying prospect.

In the face of this, St. Paul writes these stirring words, which conclude the eighth chapter of his Letter to the Romans: “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Paul is addressing precisely these overwhelming fears—the fear of judgment, or at least of being eternally alone or perpetually in pain, and the fear of oblivion, of one’s consciousness being wiped out of the drama of existence. He is telling his readers, “Each one of you is precious in God’s sight. You are not merely biological human products. You are known, loved, called, redeemed, chosen. And you will be glorified. A whole set of forces may be against you—hostile others, troubling and extreme circumstances, even yourself—but if God is on your side, none of these will overcome you; indeed, you will overcome them, with something to spare. No power, nothing in the past, nothing in the future, no biological necessity, no demise of human cells, no amount of pain, and no sense of isolation will separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

So in the face of our fear of judgment, the good news is that God in Christ is for us. This is what we discover in Jesus’s healing ministry in Galilee and what we see when Jesus takes the world’s punishment on our behalf on Golgotha. And in the face of oblivion the good news is God in Christ is with us. This is what we realize is God’s earthly purpose when Jesus comes among us as a baby at Christmas, and what we discover is God’s eternal purpose when Jesus returns to us as our risen Lord at Easter. God is for us and God is with us. “If God is for us, who is against us?” writes Paul (Rom. 8:31). This is the essence of the good news of Christ.

To bring these claims back to our mundane and needy emotional experience, our biggest fears about those we love are that either they will come to hate us or they will forget about us. Paul is telling us that in our eternal relationship with God neither of these eventualities is possible. God cannot turn against us and God cannot forget about us. Because of Jesus we will remain perpetually at the forefront of God’s heart and mind. This is the gospel. This is the good news about the future that enables us to see our lives through to a good death.

©2011 by Samuel Wells. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without expressed written permission is strictly prohibited.

The Weekly Hit List: April 6, 2012

The April issue of our newsletter “Border Crossings” was just sent out.

You can read it here. To sign up, click here.

Two Brazos books were selected among the finalists for the Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards:

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was selected in the “Religion” category.

Daniel Taylor’s Creating a Spiritual Legacy was selected in the “Body, Mind & Spirit” category.

See the full list of finalists here.

 

Several blogs have given attention to Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism Is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture. Many have been linking to the terrific interview with Smith by Frank Viola on the “Beyond Evangelical” blog. If you haven’t read this interview yet, check it out here.

Here are some blogs that have posted on The Bible Made Impossible:

“I Call You Friend” Blog

“Can’t Catch My Breath” Blog

“Court Can Write” Blog

 Quick Hits:

Peter Enns’s The Evolution of Adam was reviewed on the “Falling Off a Cliff Backwards” blog.

Brian Walsh’s Kicking at the Darkness was mentioned in a Vancouver Sun article.

Many great posts came from David Benner’s Spirituality and the Awakening Self being a part of the Patheos Book Club. Be sure to check out Tony Jones’s post (he’s giving away a copy of the book!).

Miroslav Volf’s A Public Faith was reviewed on the “Ends & Means” blog.

Harold Cameron reviewed Samuel Well’s Be Not Afraid on his blog.

The Weekly Hit List: February 11, 2012

Peter Enns’s new Brazos book The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say about Human Origins has received a lot of attention this week. Here are links to some blogs that have engaged with this book:

Ben Irwin’s Blog – Part 1   Part 2

DavidTLamb. com

A Biologist’s View of Science & Religion

“RJS” posted two more entries for the “Jesus Creed” Blog:

“What About Enuma Elish and Other ANE Myths?” and “Adam and Atrahasis

Be Not Afraid: Facing Fear with Faith by Samuel Wells was reviewed by Church Times. The reviewer writes:

“My advice to readers is to take these essays one at a time and let them sink in. They are not the sort of pieces that demand, or even allow of, argumentative analysis — or, at least, not before their point has gone home. I got something from each. I specially profited from “Loving Yourself” and “The Discipline of Joy”. But there is much to value, not least in the biblical expositions, particularly of Old Testament stories.”

Read the entire review here.


Christian Smith’s The Bible Made Impossible was featured in another post by Rachel Held Evans. She writes:

“While Smith does not question the inspiration and authority of Scripture, he questions attempts to reduce the Bible to a ‘blueprint for living’ with a simplistic attitude that begins with, ‘God said it, I believe it, that settles it.’ Instead, Smith argues that ‘Jesus Christ is the true and final Word of God, in relation to whom scripture is God’s secondary, written word of witness and testimony.’”

Her post is called “God Hates Cretans? (and other passages of Scripture we’d rather not talk about)”.

Living Into Focus Book Giveaway

If you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our latest giveaway – Living Into Focus by Arthur Boers.

From Publishers Weekly:

“Boers offers a needed antidote to the way of life he maintains has hijacked our humanity: technology addiction. A Benedictine oblate, the author summons readers to become intentional about habits that will cost something–write a letter instead a shoot off an email–rather than default continually to the path of least resistance and pick up the TV remote.”

To enter the giveaway, click here.

The Weekly Hit List: January 27, 2012

Peter Enns’ new Brazos book The Evolution of Adam has received a lot of attention this week. As we mentioned earlier in the week, Enns posted an article on The Huffington Post titled “Once More, With Feeling: Adam, Evolution and Evangelicals”.

At the “Jesus Creed” blog, RJS posted on Enns’ book and HuffPo article.

Be sure to also check out Peter Enns’ blog where he has been posting about The Evolution of Adam.

 

John Polkinghorne’s Testing Scripture: A Scientist Explores the Bible continues to generate some excellent discussion by RJS at the “Jesus Creed” blog. The most recent post is titled “Why Would a Scientist Believe the Virgin Birth?”

Previous posts by RJS:
Testing Scripture 1 (RJS)
Testing Scripture 2 (RJS)
Testing Scripture on Creation and Fall (RJS)
Is There Ambiguity in the Bible? (RJS)

Testing Scripture was also blogged about over at “The Internet Monk”: “The Bible, through a Scientist’s Eyes”

Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship debuted this week at the Calvin Symposium on Worship.

It was featured in an article in the Grand Rapids Press.

Check out the website for the psalter.

 

 

 

The Englewood Review of Books recently featured reviews of two Brazos titles:

Broken Hallelujahs by Christian Scharen

Be Not Afraid by Samuel Wells

The Vampire Defanged Ebook $2.99!

For just a limited time, you can purchase an ebook copy of The Vampire Defanged: How the Embodiment of Evil Became a Romantic Hero by Susannah Clements for only $2.99.

It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Christianbook.com.

The Evolution of Adam Blog Tour and Giveaway

All next week we will be hosting the Evolution of Adam blog tour.

For a list of participants, click here.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway where you could win The Evolution of Adam and other books from Brazos Press. Enter here.