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Christianity and Culture

How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor

James K. A. Smith (Eerdmans)

“Taylor is the author of a monumental study of contemporary life called A Secular Age, which explores the widespread loss of religious sensibility in modern life. His work exposing the ideology of secularism has important implications for contemporary apologetics, evangelism, and ministry. But it’s so technical and sophisticated that it is mainly accessible to academics. Smith has offered not a CliffsNotes style simplification, but a paradigm-shifting book that creatively applies Taylor’s findings to the church and the larger society.” —Gene Edward Veith, provost, Patrick Henry College

Award of Merit

Facing Leviathan: Leadership, Influence, and Creating in a Cultural Storm

Mark Sayers (Moody Publishers)

“Like Francis Schaeffer at his best, Sayers uses cultural observations, historical lessons, and pastoral wisdom to penetrate the various myths and lies our culture believes. He gives readers a set of pictures to better understand the gospel and the unique challenges facing the church.” —Jake Meador, editor at Fare Forward

Christian Living

Teach Us to Want: Longing, Ambition, and the Life of Faith (Christianity Today's 2015 Book of the Year)

Jen Pollock Michel (InterVarsity Press)

“Most of us have wanted something at some point in life. Some of us live with a deep void in our souls that never seems to be filled. How do we live with such desires? How do we respond to the emotions brought on by longing and wanting? With raw honesty and a scriptural foundation, Michel shows that our desires have a place in the journey of faith.” —Courtney Reissig, Her.meneutics writer

Award of Merit (Tie)

Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good

Steven Garber (InterVarsity Press)

“Many Christians struggle with envisioning what it is to be and to work in the world. Garber offers stories and wisdom that affirm the goodness and rightness of Christians pursuing callings in areas not traditionally considered ministry, but that may be missional nonetheless.” —Rachel Marie Stone, blogger, author of Eat With Joy

If Only: Letting Go of Regret

Michelle Van Loon (Beacon Hill Press)

"Don't be fooled by the book's slender frame. Wise and insightful, If Only tackles a universally recognizable subject—regret—in muscular prose that expertly balances biblical and personal stories.” —Karen Swallow Prior, professor of English at Liberty University, author of Fierce Convictions

The Church/Pastoral Leadership

Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches

Peter Greer and Chris Horst (Bethany House Publishers)

“Greer and Horst identify the common—but not inevitable—tendency of Christian organizations to slowly, often imperceptibly, lose focus on the purpose and values that that first called them into existence. Writing from case studies and their own experiences in missions organizations, they not only describe the problem but also offer practical remedies.” —Bill Teague, pastor, Langhorne Presbyterian Church (Langhorne, Pennsylvania)

Award of Merit

The New Parish: How Neighborhood Churches Are Transforming Mission, Discipleship, and Community

July/August
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