Some of the finest books pull us deeper into familiar subjects—biographies of great statesmen, say, or fresh takes on the essentials of Christian doctrine and discipleship. Others introduce us to people, places, and ideas about which we know very little, if anything. Last year, I finally discovered Laura Hillenbrand’s epic World War II survival story, Unbroken. Going in, I’d never heard of her protagonist, the indomitable prisoner of war Louis Zamperini. Now, I won’t soon forget him.
It’s like that with our current crop of book awards, which pursue paths both old and new. One of the victory nods goes to a new study of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You’ve perhaps heard a thing or two about him. And like always, we honor plenty of volumes touching on the Bible, the church, and perennial matters of faith. But hopefully, we’ll also inspire at least some readers to acquaint themselves with abolitionists Hannah More and Sarah Grimke, or the philosopher Charles Taylor (and his penetrating look at our “secular age”).
Whether you’re browsing for something old or something new (or perhaps just eager to learn CT's choice for Book of the Year), we hope you’ll find your curiosity awakened. —Matt Reynolds, associate editor for books
Jonathan K. Dodson (Zondervan)
“Dodson rescues evangelism from the formulaic and trite recitation of biblical facts, re-centers it within the grand narrative of Scripture, and refocuses our attention on the particular needs of the person who needs good news. This is a biblically faithful and contextually sensitive approach to evangelism that systematically demolishes the most common obstacles to proclaiming Jesus as Lord.” —Trevin Wax, managing editor of The Gospel Project
Award of Merit
Craig L. Blomberg (Brazos Press)
“Although the title might lead one to think this is a beginner’s book, it is not. But neither is it a book only for seminary professors. It is for those who are ready to move on from the shelves full of introductory ‘case for’ books and want to see if the Bible (mainly the New Testament) can stand up to scrutiny from critical scholars. Blomberg answers the toughest challenges in an evenhanded and gracious manner.” —Craig Hazen, professor of apologetics, Biola University
Michael F. Bird (Eerdmans)
“This book covers the formation of the Gospels, asking and answering questions that have occupied undergraduate and seminary students, but in fresh ways. It will be of interest to students of the New Testament as well as anyone who takes an interest in the life of Jesus and the use of the New Testament in the early church.” —Mary Veeneman, professor of theology, North Park University
Award of Merit
Daniel I. Block (Baker Academic)
“This splendid volume is the culmination of an entire career of studying worship in the Old Testament context. What generations of students have learned from Block’s teaching is now available to all: the rich mosaic of experiences in Israel (and the church) that define us as humans. He explains how worship is done with pastoral sensitivity, theological insight, and the wisdom of a man whose life reflects the virtues he describes.” —Gary Burge, professor of New Testament, Wheaton College