This year we received 327 nominated titles from 52 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 23 titles that bring understanding to people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. We also include our judges' comments on the winners.


The Case for a Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God
Lee Strobel (Zondervan)
Explores the arguments for the existence of a personal Creator granted to us by advances in physics, cosmology, astronomy, biology, biochemistry, and other sciences.


The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
Scot McKnight (Paraclete Press)
In clear, engaging prose, The Jesus Creed offers a broad range of material—from personal anecdote to Jewish prayers—for abundant reflection on Jesus and on practical ways for loving God and others.


Africa and the Bible
Edwin M. Yamauchi (Baker Academic)
Fresh, deep research that challenges many of the excesses of Afrocentrism in U.S. and African biblical interpretation.


The Rise of Evangelicalism: The Age of Edwards, Whitefield, and the Wesleys
Mark A. Noll (IVP)
Destined to be the benchmark for an entire field of inquiry, no other book tells the story of evangelicalism's formative decades with such illuminating attention to the movement's historical antecedents.


The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design
William A. Dembski (IVP)
Exemplifies the classic way in which ideas are sharpened—through vigorous engagement with the strongest objections that can be raised against them.


Encountering New Religious Movements: A Holistic Evangelical Approach
Irving Hexham, Stephen Rost, & John W. Morehead II, ed. (Kregel)
The book treats a breathtaking range of biblical, historical, methodological, and practical issues related to Christian witness to new religious movements.


Christ, Baptism, and the Lord's Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship
Leonard J. Vander Zee (IVP)
Clear as air and brilliantly organized and written, this book offers sources and insight to pastors of any Christian tradition, including the emergent church.

Reviewing Leadership: A Christian Evaluation of Current Approaches
Robert Banks & Bernice M. Ledbetter (Baker Academic)
Focusing more on character and integrity than on methods and techniques, this book sifts through the enormous amount of literature on leadership to present essential theories and practices.

Article continues below


Gilead: A Novel
Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Like a wise elder whose front-porch musings keep you listening deep into the night, the narrative voice in this portrait of grace sparkles with insight, wonder, and both the frailty and indomitability of the human creature.


Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence
Ruth Haley Barton (IVP)
Countering the hyperactive evangelical subculture, this book shows in practical ways how a deepened intimacy with God, found in silence and solitude, can influence our perceptions and choices in daily life.


Violence, Hospitality, and the Cross: Reappropriating the Atonement Tradition
Hans Boersma (Baker Academic)
One of those rare evangelical tomes that engages critically and creatively with a major doctrine under attack—the Atonement. Boersma has written a spirited defense of divine violence as a means toward an eschatological state of pure hospitality.

Article continues below

Awards of Merit

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
Gary R. Habermas & Michael R. Licona (Kregel)

Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazareth
Michael J. McClymond (Eerdmans)

Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
Nancy Pearcey (Crossway)

Spirit and Flesh: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church
James M. Ault Jr. (Alfred A. Knopf)

When I Lay My Isaac Down: Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances
Carol Kent (NavPress)

It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian: How the Community of God Transforms Lives
Tod E. Bolsinger (Brazos Press)

Unveiling: A Novel
Suzanne M. Wolfe (Paraclete Press)

The Kingdom Is Always But Coming: A Life of Walter Rauschenbusch
Christopher H. Evans (Eerdmans)

Christianity Reborn: The Global Expansion of Evangelicalism in the Twentieth Century
Donald M. Lewis, ed. (Eerdmans)

How to Be Good in a World Gone Bad: Living a Life of Christian Virtue
James S. Spiegel (Kregel)

Seeing Is Believing: Experience Jesus Through Imaginative Prayer
Gregory A. Boyd (Baker)

The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship
Robert Letham (P & R Publishing)

Related Elsewhere:

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

Past coverage of the books listed include:

The Jesus Creed | Jesus' Guide to Spiritual Formation | The Lord's modified creed was key for disciples' growth, author says. (April 06, 2005)
Africa and the Bible | Sudan's Biblical History | Sudan's ongoing civil war isn't the only reason Christians should be familiar with the region. (May 25, 2004)
The Rise of Evangelicalism | An Authentic Narrative of Some Remarkable and Interesting Particulars | Mark Noll delivers the first installment of a five-volume, multiauthor history of evangelicalism. (Books & Culture, July/August 2004)
The Design Revolution | William Dembski's Revolution | The author of Intelligent Design set out to answer the toughest questions about the movement he helped promote. (March 30, 2004)
Encountering New Religious Movements | Targeted Apologetics | Encountering New Religious Movements with the Gospel. (July 07, 2004)
Gilead | This Poor Gray Ember of Creation | Marilynne Robinson's Gilead is a novel to savor. (Books & Culture, March/April 2005)
Of Fathers and Sons | The sometimes-fractured relationships between fathers and sons are the heart of this stellar second novel from Marilynne Robinson (first item, March 09, 2005)
Invitation to Solitude and Silence Excerpt: Are You Dangerously Tired? | A hard-to-recognize hazard for Christian leaders (from sister publication, Building Church Leaders)
Excerpt: Rest for the Mind | How can you still your racing thoughts in order to enjoy the presence of God? (from sister publication, Building Church Leaders)
Familiar Stranger Not a Tame Lion | An engaging theologian questions the Jesus of modern scholars. (Feb. 15, 2005)
Spirit and Flesh Living with Fundamentalists | Spirit and Flesh documents life in a Baptist church. (Oct. 27, 2004)
Excerpt: Fundamentally Personal | At The Shawmut River Baptist Church, worship and preaching are saturated with the familiar, the "at-home." (Oct. 27, 2004)
When I Lay My Isaac Down God Amid Tragedy | A review of When I Lay My Isaac Down. (Aug. 12, 2004)
Excerpt: When My Son Was Arrested for Murder | Finding faith under unthinkable circumstances. (Aug. 12, 2004)
Unveiling Life Imitates Art | Unveiling is a commendable debut novel. (April 05, 2004)
Seeing Is Believing Pictures of God's Love | Seeing Is Believing lays the theological foundation for imaginative prayer. (May 05, 2004)

See our earlier book awards for 2004, 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 and the weekly Books & Culture Corner.

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.