As a books editor for a Christian magazine, I think I’m contractually obligated, every so often, to mention that verse from Ecclesiastes about there being no end to the making of books (12:12). (Though I can’t help wondering whether an updated version might instead remark on the relentless production of podcasts, that contemporary magnet for “everyone and their cousin” barbs.)

The “making of books” verse carries the same world-weary tone that pervades much of Ecclesiastes. And we have to admit some truth here. Consider the investment of mind, body, and soul involved in writing books few may read or remember, and ask yourself: Why do so many people, across so many eras and cultures, willingly empty themselves in this way?

Even so, you’ll never catch Christianity Today pronouncing “Vanity of vanities” upon the whole book-making enterprise. Recall that God himself speaks to us through a book—as does the author of Ecclesiastes. Sometimes, you can’t tell the truth about the world with anything less.

That’s why we’re pleased to dedicate the bulk of CT’s January/February issue not only to our annual Book Awards (which now include a new category: Marriage and Family), but also to books themselves, in the form of excerpts from several of the finalists (and a number of the winners). Together, we believe they represent some of the year’s most exemplary Christian thinking. (To locate these excerpts, look for the links as you scroll through the categories.)

Congratulations to this year’s honorees—and let no one dismiss their work as a chasing after the wind. —Matt Reynolds, books editor

Apologetics & Evangelism

Urban Apologetics: Restoring Black Dignity with the Gospel

Edited by Eric Mason | Zondervan

The essays in Urban Apologetics do much more than merely debunk the myth that Christianity is a “white man’s religion.” They compellingly blend an adherence to biblical truth with an awareness of cultural trends. The authors evoke themes like Black dignity and Black consciousness, and in the next breath they press the importance of the sufficiency of Scripture, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the necessity of conversion. They take identity seriously, and they also take the gospel seriously. They are not blind to prejudice, and neither are they deaf to truth. In all this, they deftly expose the shallowness of the false choice between biblical faithfulness and ethnic identity. Perhaps it should not be surprising that concern for culture and identity can sit alongside contending for the faith, but in today’s social climate it is a wonderfully refreshing combination. —Christopher Watkin, associate professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia

(Read an excerpt from Urban Apologetics.)

Award of Merit

In Quest of the Historical Adam: A Biblical and Scientific Exploration

William Lane Craig | Eerdmans

This is a bold, rigorous, original work at the intersection of faith and science. For those who wonder whether contemporary science, including evolutionary science, is compatible with the Christian faith, Craig’s book will be seen as a breath of fresh air. For the sake of argument, Craig assumes the evolutionary thesis of common ancestry and considers whether that thesis is compatible with a historical Adam and Eve. He concludes that the evidence is not only consistent with the belief in an historical first human pair, but provocatively, that the first humans ought to be identified with Homo heidelbergensis, dating back to somewhere between 750,000 and a million years ago. I don’t agree with every move that Craig makes. Undoubtedly, many within the Christian community will not agree either. But his project is not revisionary. Rather, he is seeking, with intellectual humility, boldness, and rigor, to walk the path of reason in the search of truth. —Paul Gould, associate professor of philosophy of religion at Palm Beach Atlantic University

(Read CT’s interview with William Lane Craig.)

Finalists

Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College

Michael Kruger | Crossway

Why God Makes Sense in a World That Doesn’t: The Beauty of Christian Theism

Gavin Ortlund | Baker Academic

Biblical Studies

A Theology of Paul and His Letters: The Gift of the New Realm in Christ

Douglas Moo | Zondervan

Many of us are familiar with Moo in analysis mode from his various commentaries on books of the New Testament. Here, we also find Moo in synthesis mode, as he details the theology of Paul across his epistles. This is biblical theology at its best, as this foremost Pauline scholar comprehensively presents the fulfilment of Old Testament promises in Christ while looking forward to their consummation. I especially appreciated Moo’s up-to-date and balanced presentations of contested issues like the “New Perspective” on Paul. —Peter Lau, visiting lecturer at Sydney Missionary & Bible College

Award of Merit

Covenant: The Framework of God’s Grand Plan of Redemption

Daniel I. Block | Baker Academic

This is a work of developed biblical theology from an established scholar. Block’s years of training manifest themselves in the breadth and depth of this book as he guides readers through the cosmic story of God’s ultimate plan of redemption through the framework of covenant. While Block is primarily an Old Testament scholar, he explores how the Old Testament view of covenant carries over into the New Testament in profound ways. Covenant should be a fixture in courses on biblical theology for years to come, while also appealing to interested readers and scholars. —Beth Stovell, professor of Old Testament at Ambrose University

Finalists

The Beatitudes Through the Ages

Rebekah Eklund | Eerdmans

(Read an excerpt from The Beatitudes Through the Ages.)

Understanding the Jewish Roots of Christianity: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Essays on the Relationship between Christianity and Judaism

Edited by Gerald McDermott | Lexham

Children & Youth

Any Time, Any Place, Any Prayer: A True Story of How You Can Talk with God

Laura Wifler | The Good Book Company

Adults have a tendency to complicate prayer, but Wifler does an exceptional job of reminding kids (and us) how simple it is to talk to God. Walking through the prayer of Christ, she exemplifies the joyful life of prayer in the life of a believer and captures God’s receptive heart to the prayers of his children. This book is theologically sound and beautifully illustrated, and it will encourage children and adults alike to grow in a prayerful life. —Amy Gannett, writer, Bible teacher, and founder of Tiny Theologians

Award of Merit

Whistlestop Tales: Around the World in 10 Bible Stories

Krish and Miriam Kandiah | Hodder & Stoughton

The Kandiahs provide meaningful and much-needed context for some well-known—and some lesser well-known—Bible stories, highlighting the contemporary countries and ancient cultures in which they are set. A Syrian spy, an Iranian queen, a Sudanese senator, and an Italian soldier are among the international heroes featured in these tales, which highlight each character’s ethnic heritage, something often overlooked in children’s Bible stories. Each story is retold with humor and warmth. And Andy Gray’s action-packed illustrations will keep children turning pages to discover what comes next. —Meadow Rue Merrill, author of Redeeming Ruth and The Lantern Hill Farm series

Finalists

What Is God Like?

Rachel Held Evans and Matthew Paul Turner | Convergent

Stay This Way Forever

Linsey Davis | Zonderkidz

Christian Living & Discipleship

Living Radical Discipleship: Inspired by John Stott

Edited by Laura Meitzner Yoder | Langham Global Library

John Stott was one of the most respected theologians of all time. On the tenth anniversary of his death, editor Laura Meitzner Yoder compiled a series of essays from contributors who share how Stott’s radical convictions on topics such as creation care, social responsibility, and global church leadership shaped their thinking and ministry praxis. As with many anthologies, some of the essays feel more relevant than others. Nevertheless, Living Radical Discipleship reminds readers how the gospel intends to transform our lives so that we can then transform the world around us. —Dorothy Littell Greco, author of Marriage in the Middle and Making Marriage Beautiful

(Read an excerpt from Living Radical Discipleship.)

Award of Merit

What God Has to Say about Our Bodies: How the Gospel Is Good News for Our Physical Selves

Sam Allberry | Crossway

Allbery’s work guides disciples of Jesus to understand their own bodies in light of Scripture. Avoiding both an overly negative picture of the body (with its temptations to shame) and a naively cavalier picture (with its temptations to false liberty), he casts a vision rooted in the bodily death and resurrection of Jesus. Nearly every page brims with insight, from the effects of body-shaming to the motivations driving the popularity of tattoos. —Dave Morlan, cofounder and teaching pastor of Fellowship Denver Church

Finalists

Abuelita Faith: What Women on the Margins Teach Us about Wisdom, Persistence, and Strength

Kat Armas | Brazos

Leaving Silence: Sexualized Violence, the Bible, and Standing with Survivors

Susannah Larry | Herald

The Church & Pastoral Leadership

Preaching to People in Pain: How Suffering Can Shape Your Sermons and Connect with Your Congregation

Matthew D. Kim | Baker Academic

As a preacher, I found this book an invaluable and timely resource. Oftentimes, people sitting in our churches are suffering immensely from different hardships and challenges. Kim’s book will help preachers offer words of hope and empathy for suffering saints. He gives readers insights on different types of pain, a plan for preaching on pain, sample sermons, a brief theological overview on suffering, and personal stories that grip the heart. —Benjamin Shin, associate professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Biola University

Award of Merit

Winsome Conviction: Disagreeing without Dividing the Church

Tim Muehlhoff And Richard Langer | InterVarsity Press

With an engaging style, Muehlhoff and Langer teach readers how to have crucial conversations about sensitive issues without digressing into contempt and animosity. Using Scripture, conflict theory, and church history, they offer readers a map for navigating disagreements in a robust and civil manner. They teach us how to identify the difference between confessional absolutes, convictions, and personal tastes (preferences), and how to dialogue through differences with Biblical truth and love. This is a needed tool for our contentious age! —Lucas Woodford, president of the Minnesota South District, Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

(Read an excerpt from Winsome Conviction.)

Finalists

Power in Weakness: Paul’s Transformed Vision for Ministry

Timothy G. Gombis | Eerdmans

Planting a Church without Losing Your Soul: Nine Questions for the Spiritually Formed Pastor

Tim Morey | IVP Academic

Culture & the Arts

Discovering God Through the Arts: How We Can Grow Closer to God by Appreciating Beauty & Creativity

Terry Glaspey | Moody

This is a superb explication of the Christian’s relationship to the arts. Or at least what the Christian’s relationship should be to the arts. The book is full of references to, and insightful explanations of, paintings, music, film, literature, and other media that are either spiritually encouraging or spiritually challenging. Glaspey remarks on the relationship of the arts to spiritual discipline, wonder, mystery, and Scripture, and he describes how art can help us find comfort, discover courage, and develop a passion for justice. —Drew Trotter, senior scholar, Consortium of Christian Study Centers

(Read an excerpt from Discovering God Through the Arts.)

Award of Merit

Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry into the News

Jeffrey Bilbro | InterVarsity Press

This book is like the best class you ever took in college. Big ideas are delivered in a winsome and enticing way. We all know we are consuming bad news and it is eroding our society. Bilbro identifies the problem, shows how it’s likely worse than you imagined, and offers hope. Reading the Times helps us think about time itself and how beauty, faith, and simple human practices can shift our perspective in healthy, God-honoring ways that will, in the end, enable us to read and respond to news wisely. —Ned Bustard, author, illustrator, and founder of World’s End Images

(Read CT’s review of Reading the Times.)

Finalists

The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World

Brett McCracken | Crossway

(Read CT’s review of The Wisdom Pyramid.)

He Saw That It Was Good: Reimagining Your Creative Life to Repair a Broken World

Sho Baraka | WaterBrook

Fiction

Revival Season

Monica West | Simon & Schuster

This novel stands out thanks to its overall mastery. The waning world of revivalism is vividly portrayed, the narrative moves with urgency while revealing deeper layers at every stage, and the characters, though all too human, are drawn with sympathy and complexity. As Miriam comes to see her father’s faults and deceptions, what could have been a simple “coming of age as rejection of faith” story turns into a much more interesting quest to disentangle the legacy of a divine father from a human one. —J. Mark Bertrand, crime novelist and pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Award of Merit (tie)

Sugar Birds

Cheryl Grey Bostrom | She Writes Press

In Sugar Birds, readers will find hints of a coming-of-age story with similar themes as Where the Crawdads Sing. Told from the perspectives of 10-year-old Aggie and 16-year-old Celia, the novel is about self-discovery and learning how to survive in a world that isn’t always kind or easy to understand. Lyrical at times, the book is enjoyable both in paper and on audio. —Cara Putman, novelist and attorney

The Weight of Memory

Shawn Smucker | Revell

Smucker’s novel draws you in right away and keeps you reading. It is imaginative, builds upon suspense effectively, and combines narrative movement with evocative phrasing. The Weight of Memory raises questions of what truly matters within the framework of our mortality. —Carolyn Weber, professor at New College Franklin (Franklin, Tennessee), author of Surprised by Oxford and Sex and the City of God

Finalist

Little Hours

Lil Copan | One Bird Books

History & Biography

God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America

Aaron Griffith | Harvard University Press

God’s Law and Order examines the controversial issue of the prison system by exploring evangelical engagement with that system through the 20th and early-21st centuries. Demonstrating nuance and a deep understanding of evangelical thought and practice in the public sphere, Griffith explains how dominant evangelical ideas about sin, punishment, and justice intersected with larger societal trends related to crime and punishment. Through his book, Griffith provides strong evidence for his argument that “One cannot understand the creation, maintenance, or reform of modern American prisons . . . without understanding the impact of evangelicalism.” —Trisha Posey, professor of history at John Brown University

(Read CT’s review of God’s Law and Order.)

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Award of Merit

Mother of Modern Evangelicalism: The Life and Legacy of Henrietta Mears

Arlin C. Migliazzo | Eerdmans

Arlin Migliazzo spent more than a decade researching the life and legacy of Henrietta Mears. His hard work is on display throughout this well-written and enjoyable biography. By grounding his work in an impressive array of archival material, Migliazzo was able to go beyond previous examinations of Mears, revealing the full extent of her personal influence upon figures such as Bill Bright and Billy Graham and showing how her extensive writings decisively shaped the development of evangelicalism in post–World War II America. In pointing out how Mears fostered changes in “relationships,” “attitudes,” and “perspectives regarding American culture” that marked evangelicalism’s transition away from fundamentalist separatism, Migliazzo makes meaningful contributions to ongoing discussions about the nature of conservative Protestantism in America. —Keith Bates, professor of history at Union University

(Read an excerpt from Mother of Modern Evangelicalism.)

Finalists

Chosen Peoples: Christianity and Political Imagination in South Sudan

Christopher Tounsel | Duke University Press

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth

Beth Allison Barr | Brazos

Marriage & Family

Where the Light Fell: A Memoir

Philip Yancey | Convergent

Where the Light Fell is a moving and captivating autobiography. Yancey describes the heavy mantle of his mother’s vow that he would follow in the ministry footsteps of his father, who had died suddenly as a young man. Tracing his life through the fundamentalist church, the Deep South, and a subculture that rejected anything outside its own narrow understanding of “truth,” Yancey tells a story of hurt, rejection, and responsibility, yet in a way that is incredibly transparent and inviting. Though not everything is resolved in the end, the book closes with Yancey’s reflections on how God used family difficulties to draw him toward grace and faith. —Kristin Kellen, assistant professor of biblical counseling at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

(Read CT’s review of Where the Light Fell, as well as an excerpt from the book.)

Award of Merit

Lament for a Father: The Journey to Understanding and Forgiveness

Marvin Olasky | P&R

Lament for a Father is a beautifully written, deeply personal reflection on parents, specifically parents who disappoint. Olasky is appealing to those who “have unresolved conflicts with a parent, living or dead.” Written by a seasoned and prolific author, Lament is the culmination of research that made his father “come alive” for him. The book is motivated by a desire to understand more about his father, his mother, and how his family’s history influenced who they were. Easy to read, intimate, and personal, this book provides a glimpse into one man’s journey to redeem and reconcile his lifelong disappointment with his parents by his drive to know them as people. —Chap Clark, pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California

(Read CT’s review of Lament for a Father.)

Finalists

The Intentional Father: A Practical Guide to Raise Sons of Courage and Character

Jon Tyson | Baker

Handing Down the Faith: How Parents Pass Their Religion on to the Next Generation

Christian Smith and Amy Adamczyk | Oxford University Press

(Read an excerpt from Handing Down the Faith, as well as an interview with the authors.)

Missions & Global Church

Migration and the Making of Global Christianity

Jehu Hanciles | Eerdmans

This is a groundbreaking work from a recognized African scholar of global Christianity. Following in the footsteps of scholars like Andrew Walls, Brian Stanley, Philip Jenkins, Dana Robert, Emma Wild-Wood, and others, Hanciles convincingly argues that migration is the lens for understanding the DNA of a historic global missionary church. In this volume, he navigates sociology, history, and theology to make sense of migration as key to understanding the global church. Challenging the notion that missionary institutions have been the prime movers in missions history, Hanciles introduces everyday global Christians who have contributed to the church’s mission. As he writes on the first page, “Every Christian migrant is a potential missionary.” —Edward Smither, professor of intercultural studies at Columbia International University

Award of Merit

Advanced Missiology: How to Study Missions in Credible and Useful Ways

Kenneth Nehrbass | Cascade

Christ has commissioned us to make disciples of all nations, and Advanced Missiology is a helpful guide toward fulfilling that aim. This book does an excellent job defining and developing a cross-cultural discipleship strategy for the church. Beyond offering a solid course in missiological studies, I appreciate how Nehrbass gives concrete action steps. This book is a practical guide for keeping discipleship at the center of our missions efforts. —Eddie Byun, associate professor of Christian ministry at Biola University

Finalists

World Christianity and the Unfinished Task: A Very Short Introduction

F. Lionel Young III | Cascade

(Read an excerpt from World Christianity and the Unfinished Task.)

The Religious Other: A Biblical Understanding of Islam, the Qur’an and Muhammad

Edited by Martin Accad and Jonathan Andrews | Langham Global Library

Politics & Public Life

Reparations: A Christian Call for Repentance and Repair

Duke L. Kwon and Gregory Thompson | Brazos

Kwon and Thompson have done the difficult and necessary work of asking contemporary questions with the full weight of Scripture, orthodox theology, and Christian tradition in mind. This book takes on the truly admirable task of fully fleshing out a theological response to a political and social issue, doing justice to both the theological task and the contemporary question. The authors outline a distinctly Christian account of reparations, relying neither on proof-text theology nor uncritical acceptance of modern arguments. They weave together history, social science, and theology to give a robust account of what Christian love requires in the pursuit of our common life together. It takes opposing arguments seriously and addresses them with conviction and compassion. —Kaitlyn Schiess, author of The Liturgy of Politics

(Read CT’s review of Reparations.)

Award of Merit

We the Fallen People: The Founders and the Future of American Democracy

Robert Tracy McKenzie | IVP Academic

McKenzie, history professor at Wheaton College, offers a complex and fascinating American history that asks whether our nation is great because we are good, or because the founders designed a government that intentionally accounts for our fallen nature. Lessons for both the left and right abound throughout the book, complementing McKenzie’s own astute reflections. We are in desperate need of greater historical depth to situate and inform our contemporary political challenges. We the Fallen People is a must-read for any American Christian interested in reforming our political witness. —Matthew Hawkins, PhD student and cohost of the podcast Crossing Faiths

(Read an essay from Robert Tracy McKenzie.)

Finalists

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution

Carl Trueman | Crossway

(Read an excerpt from The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, as well as CT’s review of the book.)

Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth: 12 Questions Christians Should Ask about Social Justice

Thaddeus Williams | Zondervan

(Read CT’s review of Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth.)

Spiritual Formation

God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World

Andrew Wilson | Zondervan

Wilson’s book is substantive, insightful, endearing, engaging, and well-written. It offers an important corrective to the gnostic tendencies of evangelical Christianity in America, which tends to divide the spiritual from the physical. I prefer works on spiritual formation that derive from the Scriptures, articulating how God’s Word informs and affects our spiritual development, and God of All Things succeeds in every respect. As Wilson moves from the biblical world—with all of its peculiar terminology and strange social mores—to our world, he shows us how to live what we read. —Rodney Reeves, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas

(Read an excerpt from God of All Things.)

Award of Merit

Living Vocationally: The Journey of the Called Life

Paul J. Wadell and Charles R. Pinches | Cascade

Wadell and Pinches offer a robust and encouraging examination of living vocationally. In a culture full of books about the quest of the solitary person and other helpful books about building careers, Living Vocationally is a refreshing exploration of the spiritual, communal, and moral aspects of the good life. Neither glibly formulaic nor impractically theoretical, this book weaves spiritual wisdom with narratives of people’s vocational experiences, such that readers are invited to hear the whispers of their own hopes and stories of calling. —Susan Phillips, spiritual director, executive director of New College Berkeley

Finalists

Holier Than Thou: How God’s Holiness Helps Us Trust Him

Jackie Hill Perry | B&H

(Read an excerpt from Holier Than Thou.)

Humbled: Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God

David Mathis | B&H

Theology & Ethics

Simply Trinity: The Unmanipulated Father, Son, and Spirit

Matthew Barrett | Baker

When it comes to books on the Trinity, words like accessible, welcoming, entertaining, and soul-stirring typically don’t come to mind. For Simply Trinity, however, all these descriptions apply. Barrett invites readers to enter into the landscape of historical Trinitarian theology and see why the classical doctrine of the Trinity is good news for Christians today. He also helps readers navigate contemporary challenges to the doctrine, illustrating why what we think about the Trinity matters beyond the realm of theological debate. —Gayle Doornbos, associate professor of theology at Dordt University

(Read an excerpt from Simply Trinity, as well as CT’s review of the book.)

Award of Merit

The Doctrine of Creation: A Constructive Kuyperian Approach

Bruce Riley Ashford and Craig G. Bartholomew | IVP Academic

Christians confess that God is the maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; yet many modern Christians unknowingly subscribe to a gnostic conception of God’s creation. Ashford and Bartholomew lean upon the approach of famed Dutch Reformed theologian and politician Abraham Kuyper to provide a meticulously biblical, theological, and historical corrective. The authors believe God calls Christians to contribute toward all spheres of life, and they hold up creation as the domain of God’s ongoing restorative work—originally designed “very good” and meant to be “even better.” —Sean McGever, Young Life area director and faculty member at Grand Canyon University

Finalists

Providence

John Piper | Crossway

(Read CT’s review of Providence.)

The Logic of the Body: Retrieving Theological Psychology

Matthew LaPine | Lexham

Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year

Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep

Tish Harrison Warren | InterVarsity Press

This book is extraordinary for its beauty, honesty, and profound insights on suffering. Page after page, my eyes were opened to new ways of thinking about the nature of grief, how humans respond to it, and how God uses it. It’s hard to write a book on a subject that so many have written on before and yet offer so much fresh insight, but Warren has undoubtedly done that here. I couldn’t put it down. —Natasha Crain, author, speaker, and podcaster

Christians are sometimes guilty of overplaying a theology of glory while overlooking a theology of the Cross. Instead of patiently accepting suffering as a part of our lives, we skirt over the subject as much as possible. Prayer in the Night is the rare book that leans into the reality of darkness and vulnerability in the Christian life. Although it may appeal to readers enduring their own seasons of suffering, its value is truly timeless. —Samuel Chiang, executive director of the Global Evangelism Network of World Evangelical Alliance

This is a beautiful book. It is among the richest treatments of pain and suffering I have encountered. It is both deeply theological and profoundly personal. As one who recently has walked through my own dark night of the soul, I found Warren’s writing to be both a balm and a beacon, pointing me back to hope in Jesus. —Micah Fries, director of programs at the Multi-Faith Neighbors Network

(Read an excerpt from Prayer in the Night, as well as CT’s review of the book.)

Award of Merit

Enjoying the Bible: Literary Approaches to Loving the Scriptures

Matthew Mullins | Baker Academic

A sad truth of our time is that many people who want to know God attempt to do so without wanting to know the Bible. There are many reasons, including the way in which many who do know God have framed the Bible as an instruction manual. Charitably, and with considerable dexterity, Mullins pushes back on reductionist notions of studying the Bible as a repository of information. Instead, he highlights the literary nature of the Scriptures to promote reading the Bible with developing delight, emotional investment, and transformative impact. I can’t wait to place this book in the hands of others, as I believe it will help a great many reconnect reading the Bible with knowing God and relating to him. —Mark Ryan, director of the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary

Warning: This book will change the way you read the Bible! Mullins offers a definitive explanation and defense of how the Bible, like Jesus, is both truth and grace. Rather than coming to the Bible with a hermeneutic of information, we’re invited to see how the Bible itself requires a hermeneutic of love. The former uses the Bible to extract instructions, whereas the latter seeks to understand the Bible according to its fullest function: to captivate, delight, entice, comfort, confound, and even shock the reader. The Bible is as much a masterpiece as it is a manual, as much a work of art as it is an argument. —Edward W. Klink III, senior pastor of Hope Evangelical Free Church in Roscoe, Illinois

I was not expecting to enjoy a book about the Psalms and other literary aspects of the Bible, but then, that’s the point of this book—to reinvigorate our reading of God’s Word. Mullins inspires readers to see the literary beauty of Scripture so that we are driven to read more, rather than simply rushing through particular passages to find the main idea. Perhaps the most convicting part of the book for me—a Christian apologist who frequently focuses on matters of the brain rather than the heart—was the oft-repeated refrain that our emotions and intellect work together in comprehending Scripture. —Lindsey Medenwaldt, executive director of Mama Bear Apologetics

(Read CT’s interview with Matthew Mullins.)

Finalists

God of All Things: Rediscovering the Sacred in an Everyday World

Andrew Wilson | Zondervan

Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter

Timothy Keller | Viking

(Read an excerpt from Hope in Times of Fear.)

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