This year, 43 publishers nominated 291 titles. CT editors selected the top books in each category, and then panels of judges—one panel for each category—voted. In the end, we chose 22 titles that bring understanding to people, events, and ideas that shape evangelical life, thought, and mission. Selections from judges' comments are below.

Apologetics/Evangelism

The Language of God: 'A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief
Francis S. Collins (Free Press)

Our judges said:

"Faces head-on the most tactically challenging issues that keep people from Christian faith in our time with both clarity and charity. And by showing a Christian who loves creation, science, his neighbors, and his Lord, it presents a rare and welcome picture of mature Christian character."

Our coverage:

Creation or Evolution? Yes! | Francis Collins issues a call to stand on the middle ground. (January 16, 2007)
Living with the Darwin Fish | Why the discovery of yet another 'missing link' doesn't destroy my faith. (March 12, 2007)
Not Too Simply Christian | Two approaches to apologetics. (Books & Culture, March/April 2007)

Biblical Studies

Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony
Richard Bauckham (Eerdmans)

Our judges said:

"Wonderful. A dazzlingbook. It reads beautifully, grabs the reader with its fascinating detective work, and sets the scholarly discussion of the historical Jesus on a new (very old!) foundation: eyewitness reports as the basis of the biblical gospel. This is biblical scholarship of the highest order that can be read with enjoyment by the thoughtful layperson."

Christianity and Culture

The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World
Miroslav Volf (Eerdmans)

Our judges said:

"How should a Christian handle the memory of abuse? If it is forgotten, where is justice for the accuser? How is reconciliation possible when abuse involves communities and nations? Volf addresses these questions with a profound theological grasp of their implications both for the present and the future."

Our coverage:

Redeeming Bitterness | Miroslav Volf tells how to stop the 'shield of memory' from turning into a sword. (April 9, 2007)
Excerpt:
An Obligation to Remember Eternally? | Resentment, even in the name of justice, is not for those who expect God's final reconciliation.

Christian Living

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?
Philip Yancey (Zondervan)

Our judges said:

"Directness and liveliness of illustration and argument, theological substance, quality of biblical reflection, and readability that may make it accessible even to those coming to faith, Bible reading, or prayer for the first time."

Our coverage:

Yancey: 'I'm Okay! Honest' | Author and CT columnist injured in SUV accident. (March 2, 2007)
Prayer and the Cross | Resurrection hope. (Books & Culture, January/February 2007)
When You're Sick of Prayer | Two books that make a delightful difference. (Review by Cornelius Plantinga Jr., December 21, 2006)
Grappling with God | Prayer sometimes feels like a hug and a stranglehold at the same time. (October 20, 2006)

The Church/ Pastoral Leadership

Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples
Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger (B&H Publishing)

Our judges said:

"This very practical book addresses a big gap in most evangelical churches: the lack of a functional process for actually making disciples (not just incorporating church attenders)."

Our coverage:

Simple Process, Vibrant Church | Simple Church calls churches to focus on making disciples. (January 8, 2007)

Fiction

Dwelling Places

Vinita Hampton Wright (HarperSanFrancisco)

Our judges said:

"Literarily sophisticated and subtle. Characters and setting are extremely well developed. The nexus of family drama and large sociopolitical context is very rare. Faith plays a subtle but powerful role."
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Our coverage:

Trouble in the Heartland | New fiction from Vinita Hampton Wright. (Lauren F. Winner, Books & Culture, March 1, 2006)

History/Biography

Upon the Altar of the Nation: A Moral History of the Civil War
Harry S. Stout (Viking)

Our judges said:

"Likely to change people's minds about deeply important cultural views and memories. The Civil War, Stout argues, was not a just war in its inception or in its conduct."

Our coverage:

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Gory | Two historians tell why Christian thought went AWOL during the civil war. (August 1, 2006)
Grapes of Wrath | A moral history of the Civil War. (Books & Culture, March/April 2006)

Missions/Global Affairs

The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative
Christopher J. H. Wright (IVP Academic)

Our judges said:

"Completely fresh with new insights presented in a lucid and compelling way. This is an important work of scholarship that will likely give future generations a firm foundation for thinking theologically about the church's mission in the world. Likely to affect the way that biblical theology and exegesis are done in evangelical seminaries."

Our coverage:

An Upside-Down World | Distinguishing between home and mission field no longer makes sense. (January 18, 2007)

Spirituality

The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life
Robert E. Webber (Baker Books)

Our judges said:

"A brilliant and convincing exposition of the deficiencies of intellectualized, mysticized, and experientialized approaches to spirituality with a convincing, positive case for Christian spirituality as entering into the reality (divine embrace) of what Christ has accomplished for us on the Cross. The engagement with the rich history of spirituality, orthodox and otherwise, is outstanding."

Our coverage:

Robert E. Webber, Theologian of 'Ancient-Future' Faith, Dies at 73 | Author of more than 40 books on worship, Webber was criticized, then lauded, for emphasizing early church practices. (April 20, 2007)
Together in the Jesus Story | Bob Webber's fingerprints are all over a new call to live the narrative that really matters. (September 1, 2006)
Excerpt:
God Is Not the Object of Our Worship | He is the subject who forms us as we sing, tell, pray, and enact God's story in worship. (April 30, 2007)

Theology/Ethics

The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche's Critique of Christianity
Stephen N. Williams (Baker Academic)

Our judges said:

"This book tackles a subject too often ignored by evangelical Christians. The role of Nietzsche in forming what we call modern culture is of foundational importance, and Williams expounds this for us in a clear and compelling way. Every pastor and Christian educator should read and ponder this book when addressing the concerns of modern society."

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Awards of Merit

Apologetics/Evangelism

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense
N. T. Wright (HarperSanFrancisco)

Our coverage:

Echoes and Voices from Beyond | N.T. Wright argues that Christianity better comprehends our deepest human longings. (September 1, 2006)
Mere Mission | N.T. Wright talks about how to present the gospel in a postmodern world. (January 5, 2007)
Not Too Simply Christian | Two approaches to apologetics. (Books & Culture, March/April 2007)
Against Tapioca Pudding | N. T. Wright's antidote for vague spirituality. (Books & Culture, March/April 2007)

Biblical Studies

The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made
Mark Dever (Crossway)

Excerpt:

Does God Have Enemies? | The message of Obadiah. (May 24, 2007)

Christianity and Culture (tie)

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Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity
Edward Gilbreath (IVP Books)

Our coverage:

Exit Interviews | Why blacks are leaving evangelical ministries. (January 15, 2007)

Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church
James K. A. Smith (Baker Academic)

Our coverage:

Books & Culture Corner: In Memoriam: Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) | Remembering a philosopher who never forgot about death. (James K.A. Smith October 1, 2004)

Christian Living (tie)

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus' Essential Teachings on Discipleship
Dallas Willard (HarperSanFrancisco)

Our coverage:

Dr. Willard's Diagnosis | Why we need to really die before we can really live. (September 1, 2006)
A Divine Conspirator | Dallas Willard is on a quiet quest to subvert nominal Christianity. (September, 2006)

Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God
Mark Galli (Baker Books)

Excerpt:

Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God | Apparently 'satanic' can be a synonym for 'relevant'. (July 1, 2006)
The Church/Pastoral Leadership

Why Church Matters: Worship, Ministry and Mission in Practice
Jonathan R. Wilson (Brazos)

Fiction

Winter Birds
Jamie Langston Turner (Bethany House)

Excerpt:

The Winter of Our Discontent | "A cantankerous old woman is never so annoying as when she is in some way related to you." (May 29, 2007)

History/Biography

A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan
Michael Kazin (Knopf)

Our coverage:

The Life of Bryan | Michael Kazin explains why American politics needs another William Jennings Bryan. (June 1, 2006)
The Great Loser | The ambiguous legacy of William Jennings Bryan. (Books & Culture, January/February 2007)

Missions/Global Affairs

The New Faces of Christianity: Believing in the Bible in the Global South
Philip Jenkins (Oxford)

Our coverage:

God's Word in an Old Light | Philip Jenkins on how global South Christians read the Bible. (December 5, 2006)
An Upside-Down World | Distinguishing between home and mission field no longer makes sense. (January 18, 2007)
Downward, Outward, Later | A superb new history of Christianity. (Philip Jenkins, Books & Culture, September/October 2006)
Companions of Life | A supple faith. (Philip Jenkins, Books & Culture, March/April 2007)

Excerpt:

"Shall the Fundamentalists Win?" | An excerpt from Philip Jenkins' new book, The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South. (December 5, 2006)

Spirituality

Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading
Eugene H. Peterson (Eerdmans)

Theology/ Ethics

Evil and the Justice of God
N. T. Wright (IVP Books)

Related Elsewhere:

Christianity Today's 2000-2006 book awards are available on our site.

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