The 2016 Book Awards p. 48

Once again, CT’s annual book awards overwhelmingly go to male authors and of those, many of the same old, same old. Very few women in the top slots even though women are the bulk of the Christian reading public.

Julia C. Duin
Fairbanks, Alaska

With Duin and others, we at CT magazine note that the winners of our book awards don’t always reflect the cultural breadth of the body of Christ. Beyond the criteria we use—that a book must be published in a given year, and that it must in some sense reflect beautiful orthodoxy—we are also limited by the author lineups of the publishers who submit their books to us. As such, our awards speak to a bigger and more complex malady—one that we hope the broader church will continue to wrestle with in years to come. —The Editors

I always enjoy seeing @CTmagazine’s annual book awards, but the titles this year are particularly solid and timely.


Congrats to the winners of Christianity Today’s 2016 Book Awards. Thank you for your labor of love and scholarship.


Made in China: The Next Mass Missionary Movement p. 20

An amazing perspective on the growth of the church in the East.


Love Doesn’t Stop at Two p. 27

I wanted to express my appreciation for the article “Where We Stand: Love Doesn’t Stop at Two” by editor Matt Reynolds. I can only imagine the mental and emotional challenge Chinese couples face when being mandated a severe limit of having one child. The allowance to have two children is definitely a wonderful new change in policy, but for a Chinese couple who is following Christ (likely in an underground church), this too may be difficult if their hearts’ desire was to have a larger family.

New Jersey

The Scandalous Gift of Grace p. 34

Regarding the interview with John Barclay: It always disturbs me when someone says that God extends his grace to humankind despite the fact that we have no worth or value. It is true that we cannot merit God’s grace—if we could, it would not be grace. But it is precisely because we are invaluable and of such great worth to God that Christ died to redeem us. If I should sit on the street and listen to a homeless person, it is specifically because he is of such great value and worth to God—a human being made in his image to have fellowship with him.

Please don’t equate the concepts of worth and value with merit. They are totally different.

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Lorna Ward
Tucson, AZ

A gift with any conditions or stipulations is not a gift. But a gift can carry with it expectations. Think of the father who gives his daughter in marriage. He makes no conditions, but he does have expectations. In the same way, our Father’s gift of grace carries expectations. They are, as James tells us, to be not mere hearers of the Word, but doers also.

Jim Severance
Loganville, WI

Dwelling in Light Accessible p. 40

This is beautiful. I love blown glass!

Katie Tyree

What a magnificent window. It’s just stunning.

Isabell Brown

. . . because all things beautiful are a sign of God’s handwriting on the human heart.


Black and White in the Red, White, and Blue p. 65

This measured critique of the new Jim Wallis book demonstrates why @ButlerJosh is someone worth listening to.


I’ve personally witnessed @JimWallis grapple with and pray about how to speak to white Christians on race. There has been some criticism of the book’s emphases, but I hope white evangelicals will read it for themselves.


Does Your Church’s Worship Need a Multicultural Makeover? p. 68

Multicultural is closely related to the word catholic. This implies that great company of Christians of all times and places and races.

Thus, to the extent that Christians around the world compose a marvelous multicultural group and identify with each other in the faith, and to the extent that many such Christians subscribe to one or another of the great ecumenical creeds that include the standard notion about the catholicity of the church, then yes, the church’s worship ought to reflect this catholic, multicultural essence of the Christian faith.

Americans have gone far down a path of individualism that too easily offends the sense of Christians as fellow members and participants in the body of Christ. When we involve various multicultural expressions, however, we should also be faithful to their purest forms and not risk the temptation to “convert” given expressions into our own narrowly focused expression.

There’s a huge but important difference between Calvinist metrical psalmody and Mennonite hymns and chorales, between Lutheran chorales and black spirituals, between shape-note hymnody and Oxford movement hymnody. Each on its own terms, please.

Karl E. Moyer
Lancaster, PA

Great thoughts on a relevant subject—how to foster unity across cultures in our churches.


When God Writes Your Life Story p. 96

Ah, Mitali, your writing always bring tears to my eyes!

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Your journey has been a beacon of God’s grace in my life since I first knew it years ago. Re-reading it, and seeing God’s continuing marvel in and through you, extends my thanksgiving to our good God. Love you, Mitali.

Mark Labberton
Pasadena, CA

This was so good! I love how this shows God’s presence is everywhere, and that he is the God of all cultures and places. Believers are all members of the one true church.

Mandy Stevens
Arlington, TX

Sometimes fiction can have more impact than any sermon.


The Year We Searched for Ourselves, p. 54

Interesting article. While the media glorify individuality and self-identity, we as human beings are created to be in community, to have relationships with each other. And, as the article explains, we find our identity in community, not on our own. Thank you, Alissa!

Brett Elisabeth Fenderson
Redmond, WA

A note about our March issue, from CT editor in chief Mark Galli:
We at Christianity Today apologize for publishing a personal ad in our Marketplace section that has been rightly seen as demeaning and in poor taste. We want everything in our magazine to reflect beautiful orthodoxy, and this ad did not. We have taken a hard look at our ad review process, made some changes, and we can assure our readers that no ad like this will appear again.

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