Christianity Today’s 2019 Book of the Year

The release that best embodies our pursuit of Beautiful Orthodoxy.
Christianity Today’s 2019 Book of the Year
Image: Lauren Pusateri

The Storm-Tossed Family: How the Cross Reshapes the Home

Russell Moore (B&H)

“We live in strange times, when some Christians question the value of the family, and others think that devotion to family is the same as devotion to God. Moore refuses to let the conversation remain on the extremes. He recognizes that the family is crucial in God’s economy, but he doesn’t turn it into an idol. He explains persuasively how the church is our first family while giving practical, realistic direction in how to nurture and maintain a healthy, biblical family life, one that reflects the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord. In other words, he tells the truth about what it means to be a biblical family (orthodoxy) and does so in a way that makes the family good news (beautiful).” —Mark Galli, Christianity Today editor in chief

“This book can be a game-changer for anyone who yearns for a biblical understanding of family that extends beyond mere ‘family values.’ From the start, Moore pushes back against the idealized, Rockwellian vision of the family unit that’s all too common in Christian circles, openly acknowledging that families can be sources of both tremendous joy and unspeakable pain. Rather than fret or clutch pearls about the cultural forces that press in against family life, he instead insists on viewing the family as we should view all things: with clear eyes, through the lens of the cross. It’s rare and refreshing to see an evangelical leader discussing the family not strictly in terms of how it is threatened but in terms of what it offers, what it makes possible, and—most importantly—what it can become when it is approached not as an object of worship but as a signpost pointing to an even more wondrous reality.” —Adam Bryant Marshall, freelance writer and editor


(Read an excerpt from The Storm-Tossed Family.)“At a time when our culture and the church veer wildly and unpredictably between idolizing a romanticized vision of the family and lamenting the burden of self-denial that family life inevitably brings, Moore offers a refreshing and revitalizing word of hope. The biological family, according to Moore, was never meant to be the ultimate good. Freedom from that illusion allows us to see the family for what it is: a sanctifying context in which we are invited to experience, firsthand, the mystery of the cross. Moore’s creativity, sense of humor, and ruthless honesty embody the marriage of grace and truth.” —Shirley Mullen, president of Houghton College

(Read CT’s interview with Russell Moore in the September 2018 issue of CT.)

Award of Merit

Subversive Sabbath: The Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World

A. J. Swoboda (Brazos)

“In an iWorld that measures individual productivity down to the single step, Swoboda reminds readers that the climax of God’s creation was not humanity but rest. Subversive Sabbath is grounded in Scripture but includes observations from the realms of history, health, and community. Like a good physician, Swoboda diagnoses our busyness and offers readers a time-tested cure with equal parts theory and practice. In a Sabbath-kept world, flourishing replaces production as the standard, and one’s very schedule has the trickle-down effect of wholeness and justice.” —Sandra Glahn, professor in the Media Arts and Worship department at Dallas Theological Seminary, editor of Vindicating the Vixens

“In our 24/7 world, addicted to busyness, where metrics of work and production supposedly define our worth and identity, Swoboda’s book is more than a breath of fresh air. It’s the breath of the Spirit. The Spirit of the Sabbath that bids us find rest in the all-sufficient work of God in Christ. The Spirit that liberates us from the narcotic of busyness, bringing the sober peace of joy in the abiding presence of God and his gifts. This book is both theological and practical, wooing us back to the gift of the Sabbath and demonstrating how that looks in the life of a believer today. This work is a godsend to the bedraggled and a come-back-home call to the over-worked and under-rested church.” —Chad Bird, writer and speaker, author of Your God Is Too Glorious

“Swoboda writes in a nurturing way, employing practical applications and beautiful illustrations. His book is theological, holistic, pragmatic, and doxological. I have read several books on Sabbath, and this is the best.” —Allen Yeh, professor of missiology, Biola University

(Read an excerpt from Subversive Sabbath.)

(Click here to find the rest of the CT Book Awards.)

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