an excerpt from The Rest of God

Today I started the new book by Mark Buchanan, author of the well-written Your God Is Too Safe and a few others that we stock and that look quite good. The new one is called, delightfully, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul By Restoring Sabbath (Word) $17.99. I don’t know what more can be said about sabbath—I’ve read several, and they are all really inspiring—but the remarkable endorsements on this one, and his past good work made me want to glory in this one for a while. A rainy Sunday, kids off to church youth group, me nursing an awful cold.
The preface has a very nicely written telling of his memory growing up with cats; fun, and very evocative. He describes watching them in their catnaps, and continues:

I learned to join them, the cats in their cradles of sunlight. I curled up or sprawled out beside them and catnapped too. It had a unique power to replenish. Fifteen, twenty minutes later, a shadow like a cool, dry hand edged up my flesh and nudged me awake. I stirred, set up, and went about the rest of my day fresly aware.

That image comes to mind when I think of Sabbath; a patch of sunlight falling through a window on a winter’s day. It’s a small yet ample chunk of space, a narrow yet full segment of time. In it, you can lie down and rest. From it, you can rise up and go—stronger, lighter, ready to work again with vigor and a clear mind. It is room enough, time enough, in which to relinquish all encumbrances, to act as though their existence has nothing whatsoever to do with your won. It is an invitation, at one and the same time, to empty yourself and fill yourself.

I am not a catnapper. I wake up dazed and ineffectual, embarassed by the drool on my shirt. But the image works as a pointer to part of what Sabbath is about. It helps me believe that a day apart is enough, that trusting God is safe and good, that we need not always be productive. I love his take on a classic Bible text in his next story, which begins,

In the book of Acts, Philip the evangelist meets a nobleman from Ethiopia. He’s the treasurer for Ethiopia’s queen, an important man on important business. He’s a man in such a hurry that he does his reading while racing along on his chariot, like someone checking his Palm Pilot for e-mails between phone calls and strategy meetings.

The Spirit prompts Philip to come alongside him. It is one of God’s strange works of choreography: the Ethiopian at that very moment is reading something from Isaiah, something that stirs in him wonder and hunger. It gives him a taste for something more…

In the beautiful Mary Oliver poem (The Swan) which opens the book there is a line about being “idle and blessed.” I hope your Sabbath was such.

Free of Charge

Miroslav Volf is a Yugoslavian born and raised theologian who now teaches at Yale Divinity School. His good writing, thoughtful approach, genial spirit and important voice has made him surely one of the most important theologians alive today. His book Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation, has been widely reviewed, awarded and we have promoted it. It is not everyone who–from the land of the Bosnian war and ethnic cleansing and rape and diabolic violence–can write a gracious, serious-minded theological reflection on core Christian convictions and the practice caring for others, even enemies, and have it be respected by various folks in various schools of thought (just war thinkers and pacifists, evangelicals and more mainline scholars, etc.) It is one of the most important books we’ve stocked in the past decade and we hope you’ve heard of it.
His new one is now out, called Free of Charge and I have been itching to tell you about it. I’ve not gotten very far, yet, but it is beautiful. You may want to know it has been chosen by the always intersting Archbishop of Canterbury (Rowan Williams) as the 2006 official Lent book. I hope Episopalians this side of the pond buy it by the cases (not just because it is good, which it is, but because I love the thought of a liberal denomination supporting our more evangelical publishing friends at Zondervan, who have the US rights to this important work. I love a book that has a forward by Williams and a cover endorsement by John Ortberg!)
Volf here is breaking new ground, it seems, by rooting his reflections on social grace—the subtitle is “Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace”—in the core of the Reformation teachings about the cross. (He is a Luther scholar, after all.) He interweaves stories, powerful stories, and takes us into the vivid times when forgiveness was given (and times when it was not.) It is gently written, but yet is at time intense. It is about big ideas and inner formation.
How can we be people who can be giving, truly giving, and how can we build a culture of grace? As it says on the back cover, “Volf draws from popular culture as well as from a wealth of literary and theological sources, weaving his rich reflections around the sturdy frame of Paul’s vision of God’s grace and Martin Luther’s interpretation of that vision. Blending the best of theology and spirituality, he encourages us to echo in our lives God’s generous giving and forgiving.” Not bad for Lent, or anytime, eh?
Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stipped of Grace Miroslav Volf (Zondervan) $12.99

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Why James Frey Doesn’t Get It Right

When my good friend Scott got me doing this blogging thing, I was, to say the least, suspicious. Alas, I’ve grown to love telling about new books, and really appreciate the feedback we’ve gotten. I was very clear, though, that my blogging experiment would need to be focused upon what I sense to be my calling: bookselling. Of course, for us, our effort to have good livelihood by being small business operators has an educational aspect. We have to tell folks, yep, even try to convince folks, that reading the titles we recommend would be a good thing. Obviuosly, we opened our shop to sell books— books we believe in, books that carry ideas, insights, enjoyment and challenge. Whether artful or prosaic, fiction or nonfiction, children’s or adult’s, we want to make our living telling people about books. And so, we do our annotations and reviews, tell of our Dallastown shop, invite you into our circle of supporters and try to cheerlead for our work without sounding too self-indulgent.
To wit: I promised myself that I would not opine about other stuff here, as much as I may want to. Of course, in the shop we talk about all sorts of current issues and I write occasionally to the local papers. I regularly have hefty discussion on email with friends, folks I don’t know, even authors and the occasional enemy. Here, though, I want to be about the books.
Because of this desire for focus, I also do not use this as a forum to tell you about other good blogs (although I’ve got some great friends who write), websites or op-ed pieces that I’ve seen.. I would guess you have plenty to read and that you visit blogs and sites more thorough than this one. So forgive me if I haven’t mentioned your favorite blogster or haven’t linked you to the many sites that revolve around the books and topics I’ve reviewed.
I would guess you know where this is going, though: I’m going to break my rule and send you a link, a link to an essay that I found exceptionally well-written, very moving, and important to the genre of literature I so admire, that of memoir. As you may know, there has been a firestorm of controversy and media appearances in recent weeks around the alleged dishonesty of the now-famous and hugely popular Oprah book of last year, A Million Little Pieces. We stock this book and have been moved by James Frey’s creative prose, intense descriptions of his horrible journey into and out of brutal drug and alcohol abuse. It is not a book for the faint of heart, and although we find his humanistic self-dependency to be unsustainable (intellectually or experientially) it is a window into the dark side of the human experience.
Below is a link to a brilliant piece written by a woman who never trusted Frey’s book, dislikes his style, and shares how she–who sweated blood to tell her story honestly—resents his cavalier attitude about the facts of his life. It is the best thing I’ve seen on this particular debate and a moving tribute to all those who do memoir well. King’s essay (orginally in Publishers Weekly) has made me want to read her book, Parched, which is her own memoir of recovery from alcoholism. Anybody else know of it? We have it for those who are, as I was, moved by her brief essay.
Please click here to read Why James Frey Doesn’t Get It Right by Heather King. I hope you appreciate her clarity and care and integrity, even if you may not agree fully with her critique of Frey.

Eat This Book

You may recall that in our December year end awards list we proclaimed that Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places was the book of the year. You may also recall that when I did a full review of it a few months back, we explained that it was the major volume in a series of spiritual theology books he intends to do.
I don’t want to overstate my hype by calling it the publishing event of the year, but the slim second volume (with very cool matching cover, except a different painting on the front) is now out.
Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading is the provocative title, which comes from two texts where two characters(Ezekial and John the Revelator) who are told to eat the scroll they were reading/writing. As you may guess, this book is about spiritual reading, lectio divina and how to allow the printed page to become living Word in our lives. I have heard Peterson’s lectures on this (we stock many of the lectures from Regent bookstore in British Columbia, where he used to teach.) Having heard him carefully invite us to this kind of deep and attentive reading, I cannot tell you how badly I want to sit and read this book. And, like most of you, I need not tell you how busy I am, and how hard it will be to find time to steal away anytime soon.
So, look for further discussion about this important new book later. For now, rejoice that it is out, offer glad praise for Eerdmans publishing, and pray for Peterson. (He has others to write in this series, and a forthcoming title on NavPress coming next month.) And pray for all of us, that we may be those who understand the role of reading as a spiritual discipline. May this book help us to that end.
Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading Eugene Peterson (Erdmans) $20.00

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God Between the Covers

I’ve been a bit less bloggish lately, what with the Penn State bowl game—Beth made fondue and we ate around the TV!—and then the next evening’s Rose Bowl game. I was exhausted for days! And this from a fellow who rarely watches sports. My beloved is a Penn State fan, though, and JoePa is quite the icon around here. So it was a good couple of evenings, with no muse for book reviewing showing up anywhere.
But now, I’ve been struck. I have been ignoring a book for months because I knew once I picked it up, I would read it in nearly one sitting. The feared paperback is by an author who I want to know, and, truly, I’ve oddly avoided this little book. And it is true: once I opened this thing, I was hooked. Marcia Ford, who wrote with such charm in Memoirs of a Misfit: Finding My Place in the Family of God about her journey into and out of various streams of evangelical faith and charismatic renewal, is the author, and the book is a basically her spiritual memoir by way of the books she loves. It is called God Between the Covers: Finding Faith Through Reading (Crossroad; $19.95.) I suspect I may blog a bit about this again, because there is much to appreciate here and she may be my new patron saint. She tells of various stages in her faith journey, how thrilled (or rescued or enlightened or glad) she was upon discovering certain authors. Her reviews are not substantial but—rather like my style here–she tries to get at the heart of the book, why it is important, what it means to her, and why you should consider it. These are not New York Review of Books essays or Books & Culture pieces or critiques of the sort one would find at the New Pantagruel. They are brief, whimsical, autobiographical. But–with a few minor exceptions (hey grant the girl her taste)– she is dead on.
Where else do you find reviews of authors such as Thomas a Kempis and Anne Lamot (in an essay about why so many popular authors she likes have names like Anne, Ann, Annie), Francis & Edith Schaeffer and Basic Pennington; Oswald Chambers and Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Wendell Berry and Sheldon Vanauken? And a piece on Bruce Cockburn?? Ms Ford co-wrote a pretty nice book on Dylan, too, by the way (Restless Pilgrim released by relevant) so Zimmy is the other musician whose work is granted an entry here.
Her introductory chapter is a wonderful autobiographical reflection on her love of books, her addiction to book buying, her experience with bad schools and good authors, her book-cluttered house with stacks of books everywhere. I love it! Her later reflections include very brief reviews of serious theologians (Rowan Williams, say) social criticism (the black lit of the ’60’s like Malcolm X, James Baldwin and King, or the emergent church movement seen in Len Sweet or Brian McLaren) plenty of wonderful novels, provocative kids books, spiritual formation stuff (from the obvious like Brennen Manning, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwan to important lights such as Merton or Keating.) Each make this just the kind of book I would love to have our customers have.
There are some important things missing that are important to us (she does list my old housemate Bill Romanowski and his must-read book Eyes Wide Open: Finding God in Popular Culture so there is at least a nod to the neo-Calvinist world and life view approach of distinctive cultural engagement) and despite her often-mentioned disillusionment with simple answers of the Christian right, she doesn’t describe books by authors like Sider, Wallis, Perkins and the ESA orbit, let alone Berrigan, Stringfellow, Ellul or Yoder. Other key books that I would hope she knows by Os Guinness, certainly, or James Sire, even haven’t apparantly helped her along the way they did me.
Her mini-reviews of novels—Peace Like a River, A Separate Peace, Life of Pi, Poisonwood Bible, just for instance—are splendid, but how could she leave out…or…well, you get the picture.
Her love of books is contagious. Her descriptions are delightful. Her odd little observations—the poor print job of Merton’s No Man Is An Island or how she confuses a Robert Frost poem and a particular James Taylor song, or how Oswald Chambers could have single-handedly put an end to the “marlarkey” of recent tele-evangelists—is a hoot and a half. The way in which she tells of her own life as she tells of these books helps me recall not only why I love books, but why we sell ’em. Get this book for every church library or ministry resource-center you know. Use it as a guide if you feel a bit uninformed, or pass it on to those who would be blessed by it.
If I can add my own not-so-quirky observation: as a thin paperback, it seems a bit overpriced.* And the cover with the slightly open lap top tenting over a book is too symbolic for its own good. Still: this is a book I wish I could have described in my book of the year listings last month. It is that good. Consider it awarded.
*TO OVERCOME THIS MATTER, BookNotes here offers a blogsite discount. Email us at or use our order form here, and we will give you a 25% off discount. The regular price is $19.95 is—for you, dear booklover—$15.00. Happy Reading.

Some more award winners and Jubilee authors

It has been a complicated month—praying for friends with cancer, a tragic funeral to attend, computer issues, power outages, water pipes breaking, staff sick, car problems, meteorites (okay so there weren’t any meteorites.) Life as usual, I suppose, in a fallen world. Most stressful for us, and time consuming, has been the ongoing illness of our youngest daughter who was hospitalized for a week for her chronic pain issues. Hearts & Minds is a family-run business and our staff and customers feel like an extended family quite often, a gift that makes us glad. If your reading this—interested in the sorts of things we work for, books we like, authors we promote—you may want to pray for us. No real news to report except that Marissa remains plagued with something undiagnosed and bad and she is pretty waylaid.

At least, you might want to forgive this odd little column this month—more than 30 days late. I could quote something funky from Anne Lamott or some other disheveled kindred spirit to explain our tardiness, but even that takes too much energy. As we’ve twisted and turned through this month’s days, we just couldn’t get it together. So here is the January book review column. If you want something more ponderous, skip back a few months. I’ve been happy with these last few years of reviews, and hope you can browse around in the archives a bit.
So. Two parts this month. They will be brief, but, we believe yes, we really do—important, somehow. Take a peek and see what you think.


If January has been painful and hard, December was a blur. It is inevitable for even the most organized reviewer to have that dreaded aha when he or she realizes they forgot to mention something they read months previous. And so, no sooner did I go to press with my year end ramble then I thought about titles I really should have mentioned.

Here are just a few that I have to mention. My shins are black and blue from kicking myself, and hope you know that my late mention in no way detracts from these substantial titles that deserve 2005 accolades.

Art of Sandra BowdenEdited by James Romaine (Square Halo Press) $49.99 In my year’s end accolades I was beside myself with glee about good books about the arts, the re-issue of Cal Seerveld’s Rainbows for the Fallen World and mentioned some books about aesthetics. Also, I highlighted a few good coffee-table books honoring the work of important Christian artists. Few practicing artists and serious art collectors deserve as much credit as the ever-faithful Sandra Bowden, the executive behind CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts.) In a way this award not only honors her book but her leadership in this vital mission.
Here, we have a glorious coffee table book with excellent commentary, that truly is award-winning. Hearts & Minds would be remiss—was remiss—not to rave about it. As before, we give a hat-tip to our friends at Square Halo for bringing these kinds of books to the book-buying public, and for nurturing and supporting a community of folk who care about Christians in the arts. James Romaine is an excellent critic and does her work justice in his brief and coherently framed ruminations This book not only includes the good work of Ms Bowden, shown off very nicely, but reproductions of her own extensive collections. This is a very special book, well designed and produced (itself a work of art!) Substantial and gorgeous. Kudos!

Creation Regained: The Biblical Basics of a Reformational WorldviewAl Wolters (Eerdmans) $12.00 You may know that this book is one of the most foundational texts that explains the worldview that has motivated and sustained our work here at Hearts & Minds. The excellent Biblical study on the implications of the utter goodness of creation, the radicality of the fall, and the scope of Christ’s redemption is the best in print. And his somewhat philosophical wisdom on the structures of creation and how they can be unfolded in history appropriately for God’s Kingdom is extraordinary. We have seen Wolter’s as an inspirational mentor and friend and are delighted to announce this brand new 20th anniversary edition. If the book weren’t so very important, we’d joke about also awarding it for " most improved book cover" since it now looks really sharp.
Very important is the excellent and lengthy new last chapter which relates the missional vision of Leslie Newbigin and the narrative Scriptural work of N.T. Wright to the Dutch neo-Calvinism that drives Wolters’ insistence that all of life is redeemed and that the Kingdom God is the good Earth restored. This is the strength of the vibrant reformational movement— from Kuyper through Dooyeweerd, popularized by Schaeffer and, in more recent years, everyone from Brian Walsh to Nancy Pearcy (yes, yes, each with their own nuances and issues.) That this book is now available in an updated version, complete with this new, good chapter, is enough to make me want to award Eerdmans with a very special honor. Certainly this deserves to be in the Best Reprint of the Year. It arrived days after our award page went on line, and we’ve been itching for a month to tell you about it. Thanks be to God.

Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual ReadingEugene Peterson (Eerdmans) $20.00
I am not sure if I can do this, but this actually was in the publisher’s pipeline to us at the end of the year. We got it a bit later, and it is technically a 06 copyright. But it is so absolutely exciting that I want to award it here. We can call it the best sequel of the year. Since we awarded the first, more substantial one, Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places the "book of the year award" it is only natural to note this brand new one. Had I had it a few days earlier I would have written this, which ended up on our blogsite in early January:
I don’t want to overstate my hype by calling it the publishing event of the year, but the slim second volume (with very cool matching cover, except a different painting on the front) is now out.
Eat This Book’s provocative title comes from two texts where two characters (Ezekiel and John the Revelator) are told to eat the scroll they were reading/writing. As you may guess, this is about spiritual reading, lectio divina and how to allow the printed page to become living Word in our lives. I have heard Peterson’s lectures on this (we stock many of the lectures from Regent bookstore in British Columbia, where he used to teach.) Having heard him carefully invite us to this kind of deep and attentive reading, I cannot tell you how badly I want to sit and read this book. And, like most of you, I need not tell you how busy I am, and how hard it will be to find time to steal away anytime soon. This book is, in a back-door kind of way, part of the solution to this "don’t have enough time" business; we need to learn the habits of slowing down, in part, by slowing down as we read, attending, being careful, prayerfully mulling over the word, words, The Word. This book will help me, and you, I am sure.
So, look for further discussion about this important new book later. For now, rejoice that it is out, offer glad praise for Eerdmans publishing, and pray for Peterson. (He has others to write in this series, and a forthcoming title on NavPress coming next month, called Living the Resurrection.) And pray for all of us, that we may be those who understand the role of reading as a spiritual discipline. May this book help us to that end. There is no gold sticker announcing that it is a H&M award winner, now (although we may be the first to honor it.) No matter, this is going to be famous. And, Lord willing, it will help shape a generation of those who deepen their love for the printed page and for the ancient ways of abiding in the Word.

Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of ReligionBruce Feiler (William Morrow) $26.95 Perhaps you have seen the wonderful PBS series based on Feiler’s travelogue memoir, Walking the Bible or read any of his other quirky bits of reportage. While I didn’t agree with it all, I could not put down his sequel to Walking the Bible, the one that has him bolding hanging out with Jews, Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land, trying to figure out the whole story of Father Abraham, Abraham. Here is continue his meaningful journey, writing about his ponderings about the possibilities of religion united us. His travels, as you might guess, are through Iran, Iraq, and Israel. Powerful. We have a few autographed copies left, so call soon.

Parched: A Memoir Heather King (Chamberlain Brothers) $19.95 What Award category does this brave writer belong in? What can I say? We have put a link at our blogsite to her important article that appear in Publisher’s Weekly, where she critiques the false bravado of James Frey and his dishonest A Million Little Pieces. We’ve since realized just how great of a writer she is and want to honor her for getting the memoir genre right, for standing up for her craft, and for telling her own story of alcoholism, recovery and redemption.

This Heavy Silence: A Novel Nicole Mazzarella (Paraclete) $21.95 As I’ve noted, this is really a mea culpa list, a collection of a couple of books we intended to or should have awarded in our much-talked about year end Award Show column (December ’05.) Well, none of these few neglected award-winners are more award worthy than this extraordinary novel. Many of our readers know of the superb Festival of Faith & Writing conference held bi-annually at Calvin College in Michigan. It is most likely the premier event of its kind, with internationally known novelists, poets, children’s illustrators, songwriters, memoirists, and essayists reading and signing books and doing all manner of bookish things. Where else can you hear the likes of John Updike or Catherine Paterson, Anne Lamott or Walter Wangerin, and, this year, Mary Gordon, Nikki Grimes, Thomas Lynch, Marilynne Robinson (have we told you Gilead is now out in paperback?),Salman Rushdie, or Lauren Winner?
Two years ago, the exquisite writer Lief Enger (Peace Like a River) was the primary judge of the Paraclete Press contest for first time fiction writers there. Nicole Mazzarella won that award and Paraclete made good on their offer to publish her novel. This Heavy Silence is a moving story, a mesmerizing portrait of betrayal, forgiveness, and the mysteries of grace. It has been published to huge acclaim (and H&M should have been at the front of the line, cheering!) Christianity Today named it their best novel of the year and the prestigious Library Journal named it one of the top ten novels of literary fiction. Imagine! This is very important stuff, indicating a wise and well-crafted tale. It has been called "fiercely beautiful", "an unforgettable book by a writer to watch" and "ambitious and bittersweet." Mazzarella teaches creative writing at Wheaton College and Paraclete is to be commended for investing in first time writers of such high caliber. Hearts & Minds is happy to heartily commend it, and to name it, belatedly, in our best of 2005 list.


By JUBILEE Speakers

I mentioned a second part of this month’s column. You may know the Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh, a top-drawer event that we have helped plan (in one capacity or another) for nearly 30 years. It is the highlight of our yearly cycle of events, conference, book displays and author appearances and we love it not just because it is sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach (a campus ministry organization we used to work with and are still somewhat connected to) but because its design is to create opportunities for students to catch the vision of the Lordship of Christ over all of culture. It isn’t every inspirational conference that brings together scientists, engineers, artists and business leaders—and dozens of other topics—to help students gain a Godly sense of vocation and a Christian perspective on their academic disciplines. The worldview that pervades this conference (see my brief description of Al Wolters’ Creation Regained above) insists that a coherent set of Christian convictions and a faithfully Biblical lifestyle in the world will have huge implications for how we think about our callings and careers and will thereby truly revolutionize Christian living in the culture. It is no accident that one of the slogans of the CCO is "transforming college students to transform the world."

Here is a listing of some of the books written by this years Jubilee speakers. Please go to the excellent website of the conference (see the big row of booktables with college students browsing? Guess who set that up?) It is a great example of the sorts of things that we think radical Christian reading might lead to. And it might just inspirit you enough to get on line and register for this great annual event. It is mostly for students, but we find that nearly anyone can appreciate the feisty speakers, the rarely covered topics, and the visionary spirit of the event. Feast on the conference topics, and enjoy seeing the descriptions of the books of the authors in attendance this year.

Carl Ellis

Free at Last: The Gospel in the African American Experience (IVP) $14.00 This is one of our favorite introductions to black history and a wonderful example of Christian scholarship. Highly recommended.

The Changing Face of Islam in America: Understanding and Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor (Christian Publications) $12.99 Carl co-wrote this with Larry Poston and is a workable guide to the rise of Islam, including the Nation of Islam.

Going Global: Beyond the Boundaries (UMI) $9.95 A small but very inspiring call for historic black churches to be involved in world missions. Carl gives not only a timely call, and a bit of history of the black community in America, but a relevant and wholistic expression of the nature of missions in these days, emerging from a Christian world and life view.

Lauren Winner

Girl Meets God (Waterbrook) $13.99 One of our very favorite memoirs, a great story of a smart, young women who enters conservative, Orthodox Judaism, and then becomes an Anglican Christian. Wonderfully drawn, laden with insight.

Mudhouse Sabbath (Paraclete) $17.95 Things that Lauren found lacking in Christian spirituality that she lived out more robustly when she was Jewish. Rooted in memoir with reflective stories, this illustrates not only what Christians can learn from Jewish practice, but reminds us of the need for embodied habits that enable us to truly live out our faith in, but not of, the world around us. Excellent.

Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity (Brazos) $17.99 This has been widely reviewed and routinely raved about. One of the very best books about sexuality, especially for thoughtful, young adults.

Tony Campolo

Tony has so many books—several out of print that we thought we’d list just a few. Email or call us if you want to know about others.

Speaking My Mind (Word) $13.99 One of Tony’s most recent, controversial and important. Here, he weighs in with his views on a variety of social issues—feminism, war, poverty, science, churches, and the civil rights of gay persons.

Let Me Tell You A Story (Word) $12.99 Campolo is as well-loved for his stories as he is for his powerful call to Biblical faithfulness on public issues. Here, he gives us bunches of his most popular stories, illustrations and episodes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. Powerful and fun. Arranged by topic.

Adventures in Missing the Point: How the Culture Controlled Church Neutered the Gospel (Zondervan) $16.99 This is co-written in a back and forth style with the provocative and important post-modern thinker and pastor, Brian McLaren. What a great, great set of reflections by two of our most important critics of standard-fare evangelicalism, even when they disagree (and they do, at times!) They stretch us to think about postmodernism, the emerging church and an array of issues that, if handled well by the church, would more graciously show forth the heart of the gospel. Very thought provoking, the paperback edition is just now out.

Carpe Diem (Word) $12.99 Vintage Campolo, a rousing call to living out our faith with joy and passion at home, in church and in the marketplace. Fabulous.

The Survival Guide for Christians on Campus: How to Be Students and Disciples at the Same Time (Howard) $12.99 Co-written with the marvelous, understated (and former Jubilee keynoter) William Willimon, this is a very helpful guide to the basics of ordinary discipleship in the modern world. It is frustrating and troubling, though, that there is very little about college life, as such, and nothing about vocation, calling, academic discipleship or developing the Christian mind in one’s studies.

The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality For Racial Reconciliation (Fortress Press) $15.00 Co-written with Michael Battle, a respected young, black seminary prof and Dean. This is his newest, writing on a topic about which he has huge experience and deep wisdom. Very well done.

Revolution and Renewal: How Churches Are Saving Our Cities (Westminister/John Knox) $18.95 Co-written with Bruce Mains, this is a gritty and inspiring account of church-based urban ministry. Powerful.

David Greusel

Architect’s Essentials of Presentation Skills (John Wiley) $35.00 Obviously a technical book for professionals in this field. He is is one of the most revered men in his field and this covers very practical stuff about the business side!

Sam Van Eman

On Earth As It Is In Advertising: Moving From Commercial Hype to Gospel Hope (Brazos) $14.99 One of the only books on this topic from a Christian perspective, this is balanced, provocative, fun, and important. Written by a CCO staffer, this book is very, very nicely done and a perfect example of the Jubilee call to engage cultural appreciatively but with prophetic discernment. Sure to be very popular.

Dolphus Weary

I Ain’t Comin’ Back (Voice of Calvary) $12.00 This is Weary’s powerful story of encountering grinding poverty and oppressive racial injustice, his encounter with Christ and his renewed leadership in Kingdom answers to the problems of the rural south. We are privileged to have Dolpheus with us and pleased to have his book. What a testimony!

Vincent Bacote

The Spirit in Public Theology: Appropriating the Legacy of Abraham Kuyper (Baker) $18.99 It is hard not to rave about this, even though we are aware that not everyone gets excited about theology books. This is rich, good stuff, studying how various theologians understood the Holy Spirit, and how their Spirit-lead thinking shaped their approach to public life. Happily, the hero of the book is the great-great-grand-daddy of Jubilee himself, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Abraham Kuyper. Bacote is one of the best Kuyperian thinkers, involved in ecumenical (and emergent) conversations and obviously informed by his experience as a black theologian. This is a truly important work and good for nearly anyone interested in the "Jubilee vision."

Esther Meek

Longing To Know (Brazos) $16.99 Not everyone reads philosophy, but Esther (who teaches at Geneva College) has given us a very lovely introduction to how we know, how to make informed decisions, and how to sort out the debates about the relationship between "heart & mind." Drawing on the wholistic philosophy of science of Michael Polanyi, this is an essential book for beginning philosophy students and not a bad guide for anyone who has interests in discerning God’s will, being more reflective about knowledge, and having good answers for those who have tough questions about the faith.

Andrienne Chaplin

Art & Soul: Signposts for Christians in the Arts (IVP) $25.00 Co-written with Hilary Brand, this serious-minded, well-illustrated and altogether lovely book may be the best one in this field! Ms Chaplin was mentored by well-respected writer and teacher Calvin Seerveld, so it is well-written from within his important Dutch neo-Calvinist worldview. Not the simplest read, but not overly difficult, either, making it a perfect book for nearly any serious artist or anyone interested in the topic. Excellent.

Arthur Lindsley

True Truth: Defending Absolute Truth in a Relativistic World (IVP) $13.00 Many CCO staff have used Art’s helpful guide to apologetics (he, himself, used to work for CCO.) This is ideal for anyone who wants to know how best to give a cogent argument about the faith without seeming either sentimental & shallow or rigid & overly-rationalistic.

C. S. Lewis’s Case for Faith: Insights From Reason, Imagination and Faith (IVP) $14.00 Very nicely written with a fictional group of folks appearing in every chapter, this walks through Lewis’s own apologetic and how he came to come to faith. Happily as clear about Lewis’s appreciation for beauty and myth as his impeccable logic. A good intro to Lewis and a helpful guide for anyone thinking through faith.

Steve Stockman

Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 (Relevant) $13.99 A very readable, entertaining and informed study of the world’s greatest rock band. A must for music fans, and helpful for anyone wondering how to evaluate spiritually-themed contemporary culture.

The Rock Cries Out: Finding Eternal Truth in Unlikely Music (Relevant) $13.99 Stockman brings his Irish wit and Presbyterian faith to bear on his discernment of great artists such as Radiohead, Kurt Cobain, Lauryn Hill, David Gray, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley, Ani DeFranco, and other similar performers. Fascinating!

Tim Elmore

Tim has written quite a lot of curriculum on leadership development and sells his own resources through his website and some are published by a denominational publishers who does not officially with independent stores.

Pivotal Praying: Connecting with God in Times of Great Need (Nelson) $13.99 A co-authored work, this is a very helpful God about passionate prayer during pivotal moments in life.

Habitudes(Growing Leaders) These are Tim’s very creative meditations based on provocative photographs, each illustrating a different aspect of leadership development. This is a series, with each book developed around a different theme or aspect of leadership. Very cool.