Archives For VOLUME 11


Get a taste of this month’s best nonfiction books, by reading the following excerpts:

    Digital Minimalism:
Choosing a Focused Life
in a Noisy World


Cal Newport

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What If We Can’t ‘Get Past’ Sex?
A Review of

A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality
Ashley Boggan Dreff

Paperback: New Room Books, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  

Reviewed by Alex Joyner
What if questions of human sexuality are not something that the United Methodist Church (UMC), like other mainline Protestant denominations, have to settle and get past, but rather are the foundation on which the structure was built? It’s hard to escape that question reading Ashley Boggan Dreff’s new book, Entangled: A History of American Methodism, Politics, and Sexuality.

United Methodists are preparing for a special meeting of their main legislative body, the General Conference, in February 2019 to consider proposals designed to give clarity to their positions on same-sex marriages and LGBTQ ordination, both currently forbidden by the denomination’s Book of Discipline. In the anxiety of the moment, many United Methodist leaders, myself included at times, are singing from the same score—“Let’s resolve this question so that we can get back to the mission of the Church, which is making disciples.”

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Amazon recently released their monthly ebook sale for January…
(Most ebooks in this sale are $3.99 or less!)


(Beginning with the Most Popular Titles)


*** Don’t miss the Audiobook deals below!


Here are 20 of the Very Best Deals
for Christian Readers from this sale… 


The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor

Amy Hollingsworth

*** $2.99 ***

*** PLUS, Buy the Ebook, and get
the Audiobook for only $7.49!!!

Buy Now ]


  Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions

Rachel Held Evans

*** $2.99 ***

Buy Now ]


How to Survive a Shipwreck: Help Is On the Way and Love Is Already Here

Jonathan Martin

*** $2.99 ***

Buy Now ]


Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain

Maryanne Wolf

*** $2.99 ***

*** PLUS, Buy the Ebook, and get
the Audiobook for only $7.49!!!

Buy Now ]


Jayber Crow: A Novel

Wendell Berry

*** $3.99 ***

Buy Now ]

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NPR is one of the many sources we look to for tips on excellent new books!
We especially love their interviews with authors.

Here is a Top 10 list of our favorite NPR author interviews of 2018…

 #10 – Love

Matt de la Peña

Hardback: G.P. Putnam.
Buy Now:
Amazon  ]  [ Kindle ]

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This week marks the anniversary of both the birth (1 Jan 1956) and the death (4 January 2008) of the Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue…  


O’Donohue’s posthumous book 
Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World
was released in the U.S. last fall.

Our review ran in our Advent 2018 magazine issue!


*** Our Intro Guide
to John O’Donohue’s work

We remember the poet with
four of our favorite poems by him…


John O’Donohue

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To A Church Gone Astray
A Review of 

Not Your White Jesus:
Following a Radical, Refugee Messiah

Sheri Faye Rosendahl

Paperback: WJK Books, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Justin Cober-Lake
The American church has rarely been so much its own branch of Christianity as it has become recently. In her debut book Not Your White Jesus, Sheri Faye Rosendahl addresses where it has gone wrong and how we can emphasize the teachings of Jesus to return to a faith that, in practice, looks more like him. To be clear, she goes after not all Americans, but the visible white, conservative version that makes political noise and votes as a block. We need her message now, and her anger and frustration brings a needed spark to a conversation that too often turns toward either anonymous internet shouting or dry contemplation. Unfortunately, the book contains a mix of necessary insight and unhelpful wandering.

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Cromwell, the Reformation, and Anglican Identity
A Review of

Thomas Cromwell:
A Revolutionary Life

Diarmaid MacCulloch

Hardback: Viking, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ] [ Audible
Reviewed by Joseph Johnson
Thomas Cromwell’s administrative prowess, enigmatic personality, and the striking nature of his rise and fall provide rich material for both fans of Hilary Mantel’s novels and aspiring historians wanting to sink their teeth into the fraught world of 16th century Tudor England. For these audiences, I think Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Thomas Cromwell: A Revolutionary Life may become one of their more long-lasting guides and conversation partners. MacCulloch possesses impressive credentials as a religious historian of the English Reformation in particular and Christianity more generally, so from one perspective, it’s interesting to see him take on a biography of Cromwell, who is sometimes viewed as a coldly calculating, rather Machiavellian secular figure (4). One of MacCulloch’s aims in this work, though, is to subvert this estimation of Cromwell and show how his religious and political motivations were intertwined (4, 371).

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Single People Matter
A Feature Review of

The Significance of Singleness:
A Theological Vision for the Future of the Church
Christina Hitchcock

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Catherine Guiles
To many evangelicals – and even some in wider American culture – applying the word significance to singleness seems strange, even offensive. After all, if God commanded the first couple to “be fruitful and multiply” in Genesis 1:28, what else could possibly be as significant as marriage and family? In her new book, Christina Hitchcock, a professor of theology at the University of Sioux Falls, responds with a robust explanation of why singleness has theological, not just practical, significance for the church that is based on the gospel, points to the resurrection and needs to be recovered and promoted.

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Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Madeleine L’Engle, Alice Walker, Brennan Manning, MORE )

Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.


Ebook / Audiobook Deals

from Amazon’s monthly sale!!! 
(December 2018)

A Circle of Quiet (The Crosswicks Journals Book 1)

Madeleine L’Engle

*** $2.99 ***

A classic memoir!
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Luci Shaw – Five Poems

December 28, 2018


Tomorrow (Dec 29) marks the birthday of poet Luci Shaw! 


Her latest collection of poems is
Eye of the Beholder (Paraclete Poetry)
Watch for our review in our Lent 2019 magazine issue!

We celebrate the occasion with five of our favorite poems by her…

The Slow Pleasures
Luci Shaw

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