Four Brand New Books
On the heels of the season’s biggest gig, our big book display at the CCO’s JUBILEE conference, we packed up some books, scribbled notes on a yellow legal tablet, fetched our out-of-date NYC map and trekked to Manhattan. We were honored and thrilled to be sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s alum program, an innovative effort to track young college grads and see how they are doing, particularly around discerning vocation, work-world faithfulness, maintaining the vision of making an impact in the marketplace or in their ongoing efforts in advanced higher education. Ed Miller of the New York/New Jersey region hosted us well and convened a gang of sharp young adults to help us lug the books up from the freight elevators into the Trinity Place building and prepare us for a day long conference on mentoring, staying connected, maintaining the vision and seeking to make history in the New York region. Thanks to the mentors who came to encourage the younger workers and thanks to everyone for allowing me to do a plenary talk, to do a workshop, and to have great conversations around books, integrating faith and life, and equipping young Christians to live out the implications of God’s care for the city in their callings and careers.
So, now, I am finally able to tell you about some books that have arrived in the middle of all this book-sellin’ caravanin’. Each deserve lengthy reviews and I am confident you will see them listed in many a “best of the year” lists 11 months from now. These are important, top-drawer titles so you should cut and paste this post, forwarding it to anybody who cares about serious Christian books. I will be brief.
Living the Resurrection: The Risen Christ in Everyday Life Eugene Peterson (NavPress) $16.99 Even if you only remove the jacket, frame the cover with the skyscraper buildings forming a cross, it is worth the price of the book. More importantly, one of our generation's finest pastoral theologians here gives us more insight from the teaching he did in his award winning Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places. Our church is going to form aSpringtime adult ed class around this book, a study of the post-resurrection narratives in the gospels. What a joy to think that in the ordinary stuff of real life we can experience the same power as rose Christ from the dead, and live into the mystery of the New Creation breaking in. Transformation teaching plain and simple.
The Word Than Redescribes the World: The Bible and Discipleship Walter Brueggemann (Fortress) $25.00 Serious essays from the pen and preaching of our times most significant Old Testament scholar. Those who follow this blog may recall my talking about selling books for him at an Episcopalian gig last December. He was at his best, prophetic, interesting, pastoral, challenging, fascinating. These various articles, essays, and journal pieces have been compiled under three sections: “The World Redescribing the World,” “The Word Redefining the Possible” and “The World Shaping a Community of Discipleship.” Take a deep breath and dive.
To Own A Dragon: Reflections on Growing Up Without a Father Donald Miller & John MacMurray (NavPress) $13.99 When we got back from Jubilee and found that this had come right after we left, I almost cussed; Miller, you must know, is the hottest writer among college age folks we have ever seen. This long-awaited memoir piece about his personal journey of redemption through the crisis of fatherlessness is important and will surely be darkly funny and really interesting. Hey, it isn’t every evangelical book that has an endorsing review from The Washington Post and Jeff Foxworthy. Uh-huh. This is it.
Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons Frederick Buechner (Harper) $24.95 A handsome hardback collection of various sermons from the writer/memoirist/theologian. Most have appeared in some of his smaller paperback collections but there are also some new ones. The introduction by Brian McLaren is exquisite, really exquisite. Speaking of back cover blurbs, this is graced by wonderful endorsements by John Irving, Annie Dillard, John Ortberg, Will Willimon, Max Lucado, and Rob Bell. Nice.