The Weekly Hit List: April 17, 2015

Congratulations to Wendy VanderWal-Gritter! Generous Spaciousness is a finalist in the 2015 Word Awards in the Christian Living category.

Focusing on the church’s engagement with gay and lesbian Christians, this book invites readers into a gracious conversation regarding human sexuality.

The Word Awards are designed to bring attention to excellence in Canadian Christian writing in all genres.

Award winners will be announced at a gala on June 13, 2015, in Toronto, Ontario.

The complete shortlist is available here, and a complete press release can be found here.

 

Amy Plantinga Pauw reviewed and recommended Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings for Christian Century.

Buoyed by the psalmists, who trusted God in the midst of their anxiety, joy, anger, and suffering, Billings wrestles theologically with the daily realities and implications of his cancer diagnosis.

His honest witness can help Christians avoid glibness or sentimentality in supporting those facing serious illness.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Todd Billings appeared on Connecting Faith with Neil Stavem (Faith Radio network).

Paul Nierengarten reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

April Fiet referenced Rejoicing in Lament.

Ted Schroder reviewed Rejoicing in Lament.

 

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory  (Jerry L. Walls) Media:

Scot McKnight discussed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory in several posts: April 10; April 14April 16

Drew McCarthy reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory for Seedbed.

Joshua Torrey reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

Matthew Manry reviewed Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

 

Spiritual Friendship (Wesley Hill) Media:

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books recommended Spiritual Friendship:

It is one of the most important books of our time, vital, important, rare, wise, exceptional.  It is exactly about our embodiedness, yes, even about the redemption of our sexuality.

It is beautifully written, exquisite at times, and more candid then one might expect in an evangelical Christian book.  We are proud to carry it, and eager to commend it to one and all.

Matthew Loftus reviewed Spiritual Friendship for Mere Orthodoxy.

Wesley Hill will be appearing at Christ Church Anglican on May 2 with Tim Otto and Julie Rodgers.

Conciliar Post reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Dr. Conrade Yap reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

Tim Perry reviewed Spiritual Friendship.

 

Quick Hits:

Traces of the Trinity by Peter J. Leithart was reviewed by Tim Perry and recommended by Kuyperian Commentary.

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, will appear at Lipscomb University on April 23.

The (Un)Common Good by Jim Wallis was reviewed by Conversation in Faith.

Real Sex by Lauren Winner was mentioned by Publishers Weekly.

The Weekly Hit List: February 27, 2015

RELEVANT Magazine published “Are We Missing Something Important About Prayer?” by Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament.

“‘For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace’ (Psalm 102:3).

“When my lips cried these words in a public prayer service, it felt like I was exposing a wound. I had just been diagnosed with a lethal, incurable cancer. My expected lifespan had been chopped by decades. The cancer had already burned through the inside of my bones—like a furnace.

“Lament is bringing our grief and our protest before the Almighty when life doesn’t make sense.

“Praying this Psalm of lament felt a bit like speaking a foreign language. As a young Christian, I had been taught that prayer consisted of ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication. I found that structure helpful, and I still do. But there’s something missing: lament. Lament is not confession, and it can’t be reduced to bringing our petitions and supplications before God. Lament is bringing our grief and our protest before the Almighty when life doesn’t make sense.”

Read the entire article here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Today marks the end of a two-week blog tour for Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings. A complete list of posts, and the giveaway winners announcement, are on the blog tour web site.

Rejoicing in Lament was quoted on the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries blog: “Remedy for Control.”

Dillon Thorton recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

Jordan Mark Stone recommended Rejoicing in Lament

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Scot McKnight spoke with a panel at Westminster Theological Centre about Kingdom Conspiracy.

Jon Beadle recommended Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scott Lencke reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “A Robust Kingdom” on Jesus Creed.

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, was interviewed by Warren Cole Smith for WORLD Magazine.

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry L. Walls was reviewed on The Christian Humanist blog.

Miroslav Volf, author of A Public Faith, was quoted in USA Today.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was interviewed on WikiGod Podcast.

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, is speaking at Inhabit: Faithful Practice in the New Commons at the Seattle School of Theology & Psychology.

The Weekly Hit List: February 20, 2015

This was the first week of a two-week blog tour for Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings.

Participating bloggers this week included:

  • Peter Leithart
  • April Fiet
  • Kyle Strobel
  • Jill Carattini
  • Nate Pyle
  • Mary Vanden Berg

Don’t miss our book giveaway on the blog tour web site! The grand prize is a five-book package valued at over $80.

 

This week Todd appeared on Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals’ podcast Mortification of Spin, lending insights on ways to encourage those suffering with serious illness.

 

Todd also wrote “Divine Providence: Occupying The Mysterious Middle” for Reformation 21.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Ben Witherington finished a series of posts on Kingdom Conspiracy, including a lengthy interview with McKnight. Parts: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10.

Kelly Foster reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Chris Altrock reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

 

 

Nonviolent Action Media:

Ronald Sider was interviewed on John Morehead’s podcast.

Nonviolent Action was reviewed on Theologues.

Ronald Sider wrote “Opinion: An army of peacemakers: Time is ripe for a massive expansion of nonviolent efforts to end injustice” for Mennonite World Review.

 

Quick Hits:

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, wrote a guest post on Amy Julia Becker’s Christianity Today blog: “Does my Life as a Parent Count?”

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, was interviewed on WikiGod Podcast.

The Weekly Hit List: January 23, 2015

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings received a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

“An exploration of complex, age-old questions about suffering and God’s nature leads Billings to extol the beauty of mystery and the limits of human wisdom: ‘humans don’t have an answer to the problem of evil, and we shouldn’t claim that we have one.’

“Along with disclosing his wrenching questions, fears, and hopes, Billings explores ‘the ways in which God’s story intersects with the cancer story.’

“His poignant insight into the role of lament in faithful Christian living makes this a work of both astute scholarship and powerful testimony.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Quick Hits:

The Justice Calling by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (July 2015) was recommended by Relevant Magazine as one of “12 Books We’re Excited About This Year.”

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm was reviewed by Denver Journal.

Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight was reviewed by Chris Hennessey and by Johnny Walker.

Scot McKnight was appointed by Bishop Todd Hunter as a Canon Theologian for the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others.

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, spoke at Calvin College’s January Series on “Apple, Google, and other ‘iGods’.”

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was recommended on Hearts & Minds Books and reviewed on Anabaptist Redux.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was recommended on Hearts & Minds Books.

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner was recommended by Eddie Olliffe.

A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf was reviewed on The Christian Mind.

The Weekly Hit List: January 9, 2015

Rejoicing in Lament (February 2015) by J. Todd Billings received a 5-star review from Christianity Today.

“Few words have the power to chill the soul as does cancer. Combined with terminal, the effect is both exponential and surreal.

“It is trite to say that a cancer diagnosis will change your life. Hearing these words from a doctor is profoundly disorienting, more like an out-of-body experience than a medical judgment. Once the sentence is pronounced over us, like some strange and terrifying sacrament uttered by a priest, we are never the same.

“At age 39, theologian J. Todd Billings was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer. In his remarkable book Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer and Life in Christ (Brazos Press), he presents an unflinching look at how life changes after a medical death sentence. In the same tradition as C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Rejoicing in Lament is brave, honest, and probing. But this book has one important difference. Most writers in this genre look at death and dying through the eyes of a family member who survives. Billings surveys the same terrain, but through the lens of someone who is dying, someone whose landscape includes both ‘a narrowed future’ and ‘a spacious place.’ It is territory marked by fog and light, sorrow and joy. Billings wrote the book during various stages of his treatment, and its contours reflect the shape of a journey that isn’t over.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Three forthcoming Brazos Press titles were included in The Englewood Review of Books‘ Top 50 Books For Christian Readers to Watch for in 2015“:

 

Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands but Most Christians Have Never Really Tried by Ronald J. Sider (February 2015)

“Every once in a while a book substantially changes the conversation, and even the posture, of the church. What Ron Sider’s Rich Christians in An Age of Hunger did to change how Christians think about poverty, Nonviolent Action promises to do for how we think about war. This book is for every person who is appalled by evil but conflicted in how to respond to it in a way that honors Jesus, the Prince of Peace. It is not just for pacifists. It is for skeptics, war hawks, liberals, and conservatives—but is not for the faint of heart, for in the end it is a clarion call to take the cross as seriously as we have taken the sword.”
Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and founding partner of The Simple Way

 

Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian by Wesley Hill (April 2015)

“Wesley Hill captured my imagination by presenting a vision of friendship—spiritual friendship—that has been our Christian heritage. Each of us who make up the body of Christ will be enriched and our corporate witness to a broader culture enhanced if we can find a way to live into this vision.”
Mark A. Yarhouse, Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and professor of psychology, Regent University

 

The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance by Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (fall 2015)

Here two authors with firsthand experience in the justice movement encourage us to ground our call to justice in sound biblical and theological teaching as we engage with the most critical global needs of our time. The authors connect justice to Scripture, the character of God, and the long traditions of the church so that our passion meets perseverance and justice becomes an enduring and integrated part of our life and faith.

 

Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Books at a Glance reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

David Matthew reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Joshua Ryan Butler reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scot McKnight wrote “On the term ‘Kingdom.'”

 

Quick Hits:

Rejoicing in Lament by J. Todd Billings was reviewed by Reformation 21 in “New & Noteworthy Books in 2015.”

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, will present at Calvin College’s January Series on Monday, January 12, on  “iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives.”

Craig Detweiler discussed the positive and negative ways in which technology shapes our lives with the Centre for Public Christianity.

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was reviewed in Denver Journal.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Drew McIntyre.

Colossians (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Christopher Seitz was reviewed by Chris Woznicki.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed on Traces of Faith.

 

Ebook Specials:

Secret Faith in the Public Square: An Argument for the Concealment of Christian Identity by Jonathan Malesic is only $1.99 (93% off) from participating retailers through January 12.

The Weekly Hit List: December 12, 2014

Presence and Encounter by Dr. David G. Benner was reviewed by Englewood Review of Books.

“For being a relatively short book, it is contains a deeply powerful message. Although at times what Benner writes is complicated because of some philosophical language, it is challenging nonetheless.

“Most are seeking life change, and most seek it by adding more to their lives. We are told that that if we only had this thing or went to this seminar, then we could be changed. The truth is, true transformation starts with being present and will lead us to encounter with the divine. . . .

“Presence is such a powerful idea, but most of us miss it everyday. David Benner’s book presents us with a message that we all need to hear.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Quick Hits:

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, was quoted extensively in “The Painful Lessons of Mars Hill” in Leadership Journal.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed in Christian Courier and on Disembodied Beard.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter spoke at Trinity Western University.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed on One Theology.

 

Ebook Specials:

Creating a Spiritual Legacy: How to Share Your Stories, Values, and Wisdom by Daniel Taylor is only $1.99 (88% off) from participating retailers through December 13.

A Cross-Shattered Church: Reclaiming the Theological Heart of Preaching by Stanley Hauerwas is only $2.99 (85% off) from participating retailers through December 15.

Every volume in the Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina series by Stephen J. Binz is only $0.99 (92% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations by Frank G. Honeycutt is only $1.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Weekly Hit List: December 5, 2014

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, answered readers’ questions on Rachel Held Evans’ blog.

“Let’s agree that evangelicalism is almost uncontainable in a definition. But we can give a ballpark generic-package, lump-into-one-ball idea: evangelicalism affirms the necessity of personal faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior; it affirms the primacy of Scripture in forming beliefs and convictions; it affirms the centrality of Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection and rule.

“Yet evangelicalism transcends its core beliefs and has a history of its people and that means there’s some sociology or social description in this term so that it refers to America’s Calvinist and revivalist and holiness and Anabaptist impulses. Some are very evangelical and some are barely.”

Read the entire post here.

 

Other Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Scot McKnight wrote “Kingdom: A Proposal,” “The Biggest Mistake in Kingdom Talk,” and “The Character of the King” on Jesus Creed.

Missio Alliance discussed and recommended Kingdom Conspiracy.

Joshua Reich recommended Kingdom Conspiracy.

 

 

J. Todd Billings, author of Rejoicing in Lament (February 2015), wrote “Deadly Healing Medicine” for Christianity Today‘s The Behemoth.

“Incurable cancer.

“I could hardly believe it when I heard the diagnosis. My wife and I had just celebrated our tenth anniversary, and our lives were spinning in joyful commotion with one- and three- year-olds at home. Initial testing brought back some worrying results. I had researched the possibilities, and I didn’t sound like a likely prospect for this cancer.

“The average diagnosis age is about 70; I had just turned 39. But here it was: an active cancer that had already been eroding the bones in my skull, arm, and hip.”

Read the entire article here.

 

Other Rejoicing in Lament Media:

Billings wrote “Undying Love” for the December 2014 issue of First Things.

Aimee Byrd recommended Rejoicing in Lament.

 

 

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm was reviewed by Englewood Review of Books.

“[Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins] earns its spot as a highly useful tool for understanding sin in our own lives, and in our culture.  In a tone that is gentle but frank, it’s full of useful observations and counsel, from both the ancients and the moderns.

“Okholm delves into the monks’ focus on concepts such as the importance of habits – habits for good and habits that degenerate into sin, or, seeing sin in the context of community and its counterproductive privatizing impact. There’s a strong pastoral and devotional impact to this volume, and while it’s aimed at Christians who assume that sin is essential to address, a great deal will be useful to all students of the soul.”

Read the entire review here.

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins was also reviewed by Philip Zoutendam.

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Detweiler, author of iGods, was interviewed by WORLD magazine’s Warren Cole Smith for Listening In.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Evangelicals for Social Action.

Presence and Encounter by David G. Benner, PhD, was reviewed by Leader Kick.

The Bible Made Impossible by Christian Smith was reviewed on Wineskins.

Marlena Graves, author of A Beautiful Disaster, was interviewed on Inside Out.

A Beautiful Disaster was recommended by Suzanne BurdenDorothy Greco, and Mark Votava.

 

Ebook Specials:

Every volume in the Ancient-Future Bible Study: Experience Scripture through Lectio Divina series by Stephen J. Binz is only $0.99 (92% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations by Frank G. Honeycutt is only $1.99 (90% off) from participating retailers through December 31.

The Weekly Hit List: November 7, 2014

Scot McKnight, author of Kingdom Conspiracy, was interviewed by Publishers Weekly.

“About a dozen years ago, Scot McKnight, professor of New Testament at North Park Seminary and the author of 24 books, was sitting in church and heard the pastor say some things about Jesus and the Jewish world that didn’t sound quite right. ‘We can do better than this,’ he thought.

“The kingdom mission, McKnight writes, is ‘the local church mission: evangelism, worship, catechesis (wisdom), fellowship (love), edification (advocacy), discipleship (nurture), gifts (Spirit unleashed).’

“By illuminating Jesus’ view of the kingdom, Kingdom Conspiracy fleshes out the ideas McKnight wrote about in The Jesus Creed: that the church must be all about loving God and neighbor, and that those simple principles are the foundation of a loving kingdom community.”

Read the entire interview here.

 

 

Drama of LivingThe Drama of Living by David Ford was recommended by Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books.

“With this release, Brazos shows themselves to be one of the most important presses in the North American religious publishing landscape.

“I’ve been waiting for this sequel to The Shape of Living for, oh, gee, maybe fifteen years.

“Subtle, nuanced, deep, beautiful without being flamboyant, this wise, thoughtful theologian has given us practical theology and a spirituality of life itself. It isn’t simple, but it is eloquent.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Quick Hits:

David Fitch continued his review of Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight.

Dangerous Passions, Deadly Sins by Dennis Okholm was reviewed by Stephen Shaffer.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was recommended by Joshua Torrey: “The must buy book of the month.”

Can We Still Believe the Bible? by Craig Blomberg was discussed by Andrew Sullivan on The Dish.

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory (January 2015), was mentioned in Desert News National.

Kicking at the Darkness by Brian J. Walsh was mentioned in The Toronto Star.

 

Ebook Specials:

Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement by Ronald J. Sider is only $3.99 (80% off) from participating retailers through November 9.

The Weekly Hit List: October 24, 2014

Kingdom Conspiracy by Scot McKnight was reviewed by David Fitch.

“In Scot McKnight’s latest book, Kingdom Conspiracy,he has an axe to grind. He’s doing some honest complaining.

“The way he sees it, the word ‘Kingdom’ has become muddled. The phrase ‘Kingdom of God’ has lost its moorings. It has come to mean many different things to different people within the Christian world.

“As a result, the word ‘Kingdom’ has lost its impact. And McKnight thinks this word is too important to the Christian mission to get sloppy with.

“I think he has a righteous complaint.”

Read the entire review here.

 

Other Kingdom Conspiracy Media:

Englewood Review of Books included Kingdom Conspiracy as one their recommended new releases.

Ryan Dueck reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Justin Hiebert reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Jay Guin reviewed Kingdom Conspiracy.

Scott of The Prodigal Thought recommended Kingdom Conspiracy.

 

Quick Hits:

Craig Blomberg, author of Can We Still Believe the Bible?, was interviewed by Ben Witherington.

Ben Witherington also reviewed Can We Still Believe the Bible?.

Generous Spaciousness by Wendy VanderWal-Gritter was reviewed by Philip Zoutendam.

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was mentioned by Byron Borger on Hearts & Minds Books.

The Weekly Hit List: September 19, 2014

Nicole Baker Fulgham, author of Educating All God’s Children, was interviewed by Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt.

“All Christians, even those without school-aged children, have an incredible opportunity to be salt and light in our public schools. From loving and supporting teachers and administrators, to seeking out opportunities to serve under-resourced schools in our communities, each new school year brings with it countless ways to demonstrate God’s love.

“For those of us with school-aged children, public schools are often wonderful places for our kids to be exposed to students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds that prepares them to engage in an diverse and interconnected world. Far from undermining their faith, it gives them the opportunity to learn to be better neighbors, thoughtful citizens, and stronger Christians.”

Read all of “What Christian parents need to know about America’s schools” here.

 

Quick Hits:

A Beautiful Disaster by Marlena Graves was reviewed by Angela Shupe.

A Life Observed by Devin Brown was reviewed by Stan Bohall.

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness, will appear live on LifeLine (WDCX Radio) on Tuesday, September 23, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET.

Arthur Boers, author of Living into Focus, wrote “Too Busy to Be Faithful?” for Faith Today.

Living into Focus was quoted on Tides and Turning.