This year we received 349 nominated titles from 45 publishers. CT staff selected the top five books in each category, and then panels of judges (one panel for each category) determined the winners. In the end, we honor 22 titles that bring understanding to people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. Our judges comment on the winners:
Going Public with Your Faith: Becoming a Spiritual Influence at Work
William Carr Peel and Walt Larimore
Practical but never programmatic, this book emphasizes that witnessing is more what we are than what we do. It is helpful in delineating the limits and possibilities of workplace evangelism, and it provides a nuanced approach to cultivating relationships.
My God and I
Lewis B. Smedes
The late Lewis B. Smedes's memoir is a compelling window into the messy, plodding process of becoming sanctified. Both accessible and inspiring, Smedes's reflections are central to corporate and individual spiritual life. His own story succeeds in drawing readers into the story of God's redemption in their own lives.
The Resurrection of the Son of God
Consummately erudite yet eminently readable, this book magnificently demolishes every objection, ancient and modern, to the doctrine of the bodily resurrection of Christ. Rather than a defense, this is a positive argument for the resurrection—compelling in both its overall scope and its detail.
THE CHURCH/PASTORAL LEADERSHIP
The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations
Relevant, cogent, and practical, this book contains ideas that are fresh and represent a significant thrust forward. The author thinks biblically about the nature of authentic church life—including worship, evangelism, and discipleship—and helps us to understand the church of the next generation.
CHRISTIANITY AND CULTURE
Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design
Combines a well-researched history of the Intelligent Design movement with an analysis of the rhetoric of both evolutionists and design theorists. It is well-organized and accessible. Sympathetic to the design movement, Woodward's treatment of both sides is measured and fair.
A Bearer Of Divine Revelation
This collection of stories is powerful and evocative. With taut syntax and precise word choice, Dorr's depictions of evil give rise to a poignant exploration of significant ideas and emotions. The stories are expertly crafted with figurative language and an interweaving of past and present.
Jonathan Edwards: A Life
George M. Marsden
(Yale University Press)
The author thoroughly demolishes the stereotype of Edwards as the purveyor of sadistic religion that damns most people to hell. Setting him and his ideas in context like no other, Marsden handles Edwards's complex ideas with brilliant clarity without oversimplifying them.
On Kingdom Business: Transforming Missions Through Entrepreneurial Strategies
Tetsunao Yamamori and Kenneth A. Eldred, eds.
This book offers prescient insight into what 21st century Christianity will require to claim for Christ the world's most resistant populations. The case studies and analytical pieces provide strategic approaches to building and strengthening the church in restricted-access countries.
Searching For Home: Spirituality for Restless Souls
M. Craig Barnes
Barnes creatively addresses the theme of drifting nomads searching for sanctuary. The book draws on formal and informal sociological research enlivened by the wisdom of pastoral experience. Weaving his father's story into the framework of Dante's Divine Comedy, Barnes makes the quest relevant, riveting, and prophetic.
Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context
Glen H. Stassen and David P. Gushee
A highly readable textbook on Christian ethics intimately tied to the Sermon on the Mount. By locating ethics within the kingdom of God, with its tensions between present reality and future fulfillment, the authors give practical guidance while holding to the eschatological dimension.
Awards of MeritAPOLOGETICS/EVANGELISM
Seeker Small Groups: Engaging Spiritual Seekers in Life-Changing Discussions
The Gospel of John: A Commentary, Volumes One and Two
Craig S. Keener
David E. Garland
Whose Religion is Christianity? The Gospel Beyond the West
Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing?
THE CHURCH/PASTORAL LEADERSHIP
Preaching That Speaks to Women
Alice P. Mathews
Touches the Sky
James Calvin Schaap
For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the End of Slavery
(Princeton University Press)
Whose Land? Whose Promise? What Christians Are Not Being Told About Israel and the Palestinians
Gary M. Burge
(The Pilgrim Press)
Embracing the Mysterious God: Loving the God We Don't Understand
James Emery White
Essentials of Christian Theology
William C. Placher, ed.
(Westminster John Knox)
Copyright © 2004 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
To order any of these books click on the book covers above or visit Christianbook.com.
See our earlier book awards for 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997, as well as our Books of the Twentieth Century.
For other coverage or reviews, see our Books archive.
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