Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis
Not another book on Lewis? Hang on. This feat of scholarly detective work will absorb your attention from start to finish. Michael Ward proposes a heretofore unnoticed structure that unifies the Chronicles of Narnia, based on Lewis's lifelong engagement with medieval astrology. (No, not the Nancy Reagan variety.) The result is both surprising and persuasive.
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Beyond Left and Right: Helping Christians Make Sense of American Politics
Amy Black is a professor of political science at Wheaton College; she's also been in the trenches, having served on the staff of a congresswoman. That combination of scholarly perspective and street smarts sets her book apart. If it's been a few years since your last civics class, you'll particularly appreciate Black's overview of the American political system; she's also helpful in distinguishing between the various "political theologies" that continue to shape voters' perceptions. No matter your political affiliation, here's the perfect guide to get you through this election year with your sanity intact, your friendships unbroken, and your Christian convictions uncompromised.
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Global Pentecostalism: The New Face of Christian Social Engagement
Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori
This long-awaited book is the fruit of years of research around the world, in firsthand encounters with an extraordinary variety of Pentecostal believers. Make room on the shelf where you keep Andrew Walls, Lamin Sanneh, Philip Jenkins, and others who are giving us glimpses of the 21st-century church. One moment drawing on a case study in Poland, the next moving to Buenos Aires, Miller and Yamamori show how Pentecostalism is changing lives and reforming social structures. And while they are not uncritical observers, they debunk many hostile characterizations of this vibrant movement.
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