Hundreds of books pass through our offices each year, ranging from Left Behind imitators to Prayer of Jabez knockoffs to self-published works about hidden numerical codes that prove God's existence.

But then comes the opportunity to consider more than 200 entries in our annual Book Awards contest. Long-standing evangelical publishing houses, daring new imprints, university publishers—all send us what they consider the best of their work that would be of interest to Christianity Today readers. Most of these entries renew our respect for the thousands of Christians involved in publishing books.

One of our judges raised a helpful point: Some books face wider competition than others do. With that in mind, we will mention how many nominees appeared in each category.

The past year was a rich one for thoughtful works by Christians. Here are the books our judges— 200 pastors, scholars, and church leaders—considered the worthiest this year.

Truth or Consequences

Truth or Consequences

Apologetics/Evangelism
10 Nominees
Truth or Consequences:

The Promise & Perils of Postmodernism

Millard J. Erickson
InterVarsity

Justification and Variegated Nomism

Justification and Variegated Nomism

Biblical Studies
20 Nominees
Justification and Variegated Nomism:

A Fresh Appraisal of Paul and Second Temple Judaism

D. A. Carson, Peter T. O'Brien, Mark A. Seifrid, eds.
Baker Academic

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

Christian Living
45 Nominees
If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

John Ortberg
Zondervan

Encountering Religious Pluralism

Encountering Religious Pluralism

Christianity and Culture (tie)
37 Nominees
Encountering Religious Pluralism:

The Challenge to Christian Faith & Mission

Harold Netland
InterVarsity

A Visit to Vanity Fair

A Visit to Vanity Fair

Christianity and Culture (tie)
37 Nominees
A Visit to Vanity Fair:

Moral Essays on the Present Age

Alan Jacobs
Brazos

Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God

Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God

The Church/Pastoral Leadership
26 Nominees

Powers, Weakness, and the Tabernacling of God

Marva J. Dawn
Eerdmans

A Common Life

A Common Life

Fiction
22 Nominees
A Common Life:

The Wedding Story

Jan Karon
Viking

Heaven Below

Heaven Below

History/Biography
27 Nominees
Heaven Below:

Early Pentecostals and American Culture

Grant Wacker
Harvard

No Other Gods Before Me?

No Other Gods Before Me?


Missions/Global Affairs
11 Nominees
No Other Gods Before Me?:

Evangelicals and the Challenge of World Relgions

John G. Stackhouse Jr., ed.
Baker Academic

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Spirituality
24 Nominees
Growing Pains:

Learning to Love My Father's Faith

Randall Balmer
Brazos

With the Grain of the Universe

With the Grain of the Universe

Theology/Ethics
46 Nominees
With the Grain of the Universe:

The Church's Witness and Natural Theology

Stanley Hauerwas
Brazos

Related Elsewhere

To order any of these books click on the book covers above or visit Christianbook.com.

Also appearing on our site today:

No Longer Left BehindAn insider's look at how Christian books are agented, acquired, packaged, branded, and sold in today's marketplace.

Christianity Today reviews of books listed above include:

God's Peculiar PeopleHistorian Grant Wacker explains in Heaven Below why Pentecostals survived and even flourished. (March 18, 2002)
The Upscaling of an EvangelicalIn Growing Pains, Randall Balmer returns to his father's faith—with qualifications and hesitations. (Jan. 22, 2002)
The Virtue of UnoriginalityThe old kind of Christian is the best hope for church renewal. (Paril 4, 2002)

Christianity Today sister publication Christian HistoryreviewedHeaven Below in August. An excerpt from the book is available on our site.

Christianity Today columnist Andy Crouch reviewedA New Kind of Christian for Christianity Today's sister publication Books & Culture.

See our earlier book awards for 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997, as well as our Books of the Twentieth Century.

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association also makes its recommendations of the best books of the year.

For other coverage or reviews, see our Books archive.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

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