In this issue we present our Fall Book Forecast, a partial listing of titles to appear over the next few months. From the number of new books available one would never guess that our nation’s economy is in some kind of recession! In just the first six months of this year, 644 new religious volumes poured forth from the presses in this country; another 216 publications were new editions of old books. (These figures are only for those books that enter into the book trade; there are also a few good and many not-so-good titles regularly distributed through other channels.)

Most people who find reading a joy, or even a necessity, simply do not have time to read all they should. Good stewardship calls for purposeful reading of only the most worthwhile books and articles. But how does one sift discerningly through the deluge of titles on any topic to find the “best”?

An ideal way would be to punch some telephone number requesting the computer at the other end to supply the desired reading matter through some electronic gadget in one’s home. But that solution is still a long way off. In the meantime one has to make do with much more haphazard methods—choosing among books that are already around the house from gifts, inheritance, or purchases (often because the price was sharply reduced); borrowing books that a neighbor or fellow church member or fellow student happens to own. When it comes to buying books or borrowing them from libraries, recommendations, skillful (and, dare we say it?, occasionally deceptive) advertisements, special bargains, and availability all combine in unpredictable ways to influence one’s choice.

To help the conscientious Christian be a little better equipped to decide what ...

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