The second half of 2021 promises a ton of excellent new books! Here are 45 of our most anticipated books of Fall 2021 for Christian Readers…
These anticipated books of Fall 2021 (released in the second half of the year) wrestle with some of the deepest challenges of our day, and will guide us toward faithful living in the present and in years to come.
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Page 1: TOP 10 – Part 1
(In Alphabetical Order by Author’s Last Name)
(Random House, September 2021)
The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn’t choose?
It’s hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward good, better, best. But what happens when the life you hoped for is put on hold indefinitely?
Kate Bowler believed that life was a series of unlimited choices, until she discovered, at age 35, that her body was wracked with cancer. In No Cure for Being Human, she searches for a way forward as she mines the wisdom (and absurdity) of today’s “best life now” advice industry, which insists on exhausting positivity and on trying to convince us that we can out-eat, out-learn, and out-perform our humanness. We are, she finds, as fragile as the day we were born.
With dry wit and unflinching honesty, Kate Bowler grapples with her diagnosis, her ambition, and her faith as she tries to come to terms with her limitations in a culture that says anything is possible. She finds that we need one another if we’re going to tell the truth: Life is beautiful and terrible, full of hope and despair and everything in between—and there’s no cure for being human.
Rachel Held Evans (with Jeff Chu)
(HarperOne, November 2021)
A new collection of original writings by Rachel Held Evans, whose reflections on faith and life continue to encourage, challenge, and influence.
Rachel Held Evans is widely recognized for her theologically astute, profoundly honest, and beautifully personal books, which have guided, instructed, edified, and shaped Christians as they seek to live out a just and loving faith.
At the time of her tragic death in 2019, Rachel was working on a new book about wholeheartedness. With the help of her close friend and author Jeff Chu, that work-in-progress has been woven together with some of her other unpublished writings into a rich collection of essays that ask candid questions about the stories we’ve been told—and the stories we tell—about our faith, our selves, and our world.
This book is for the doubter and the dreamer, the seeker and the sojourner, those who long for a sense of spiritual wholeness as well as those who have been hurt by the Church but can’t seem to let go of the story of Jesus. Through theological reflection and personal recollection, Rachel wrestles with God’s grace and love, looks unsparingly at what the Church is and does, and explores universal human questions about becoming and belonging. An unforgettable, moving, and intimate book.
How to Have an Enemy: Righteous Anger and the Work of Peace
(Herald Press, July 2021)
Does Jesus’ call to love our enemies mean that we should remain silent in the face of injustice?
Jesus called us to love our enemies. But to befriend an enemy, we first have to acknowledge their existence, understand who they are, and recognize the ways they are acting in opposition to God’s good news. In How to Have an Enemy: Righteous Anger and the Work of Peace, Melissa Florer-Bixler looks closely at what the Bible says about enemies–who they are, what they do, and how Jesus and his followers responded to them. The result is a theology that allows us to name our enemies as a form of truth-telling about ourselves, our communities, and the histories in which our lives are embedded. Only then can we grapple with the power of the acts of destruction carried out by our enemies, and invite them to lay down their enmity, opening a path for healing, reconciliation, and unity.
Jesus named and confronted his enemies as an essential part to loving them. In this provocative book, Florer-Bixler calls us to do the same.
(Church Publishing, August 2021)
What would it look like if women built a lectionary focusing on women’s stories?
What does it look like to tell the good news through the stories of women who are often on the margins of scripture and often set up to represent bad news? How would a lectionary centering women’s stories, chosen with womanist and feminist commitments in mind, frame the presentation of the scriptures for proclamation and teaching?
The scriptures are androcentric, male-focused, as is the lectionary that is dependent upon them. As a result, many congregants know only the biblical men’s stories told in the Sunday lectionary read in their churches. A more expansive, more inclusive lectionary will remedy that by introducing readers and hearers of scripture to “women’s stories” in the scriptures.
A Women’s Lectionary for the Whole Church, when completed, will be a three-year lectionary accompanied by a stand-alone single year lectionary, Year W, that covers all four gospels. Year A features the Gospel of Matthew with John interwoven as is the case in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) and Episcopal Lectionary.
(Brazos Press, November 2021)
What makes people lonely? And how can Christian communities better minister to the lonely? In The Loneliness Epidemic, behavioral scientist and researcher Susan Mettes explores those questions and more.
Guided by current research from Barna Group, Mettes illustrates the profound physical, emotional, and social toll of loneliness in our country. Surprisingly, her research shows that it is not the oldest Americans but the youngest adults who are loneliest, and that social media can actually play a positive role in alleviating loneliness. Mettes highlights the role that belonging, friendship, closeness, and expectations play in preventing it. She also offers meaningful ways the church can minister to lonely people, going far beyond simplistic solutions–like helping them meet new people–to addressing their inner lives and the God who understands them.
With practical and highly applicable tips, this book is an invaluable tool for anyone–ministry leaders, parents, friends–trying to help someone who feels alone. Readers will emerge better able to deal with their own loneliness and to help alleviate the loneliness of others. Foreword by Barna Group president David Kinnaman.