The first half of 2021 promises a ton of excellent new books that will be released! Here are 40 of our most anticipated books of Spring 2021 for Christian Readers…
These anticipated books of Spring 2021 (released in the first 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)
(Hardback: UNC Press, March )
The American political scene today is poisonously divided, and the vast majority of white evangelicals play a strikingly unified, powerful role in the disunion. These evangelicals raise a starkly consequential question for electoral politics: Why do they claim morality while supporting politicians who act immorally by most Christian measures? In this clear-eyed, hard-hitting chronicle of American religion and politics, Anthea Butler answers that racism is at the core of conservative evangelical activism and power.
Butler reveals how evangelical racism, propelled by the benefits of whiteness, has since the nation’s founding played a provocative role in severely fracturing the electorate. During the buildup to the Civil War, white evangelicals used scripture to defend slavery and nurture the Confederacy. During Reconstruction, they used it to deny the vote to newly emancipated blacks. In the twentieth century, they sided with segregationists in avidly opposing movements for racial equality and civil rights. Most recently, evangelicals supported the Tea Party, a Muslim ban, and border policies allowing family separation. White evangelicals today, cloaked in a vision of Christian patriarchy and nationhood, form a staunch voting bloc in support of white leadership. Evangelicalism’s racial history festers, splits America, and needs a reckoning now.
Diana Butler Bass
(Hardback: HarperOne, March)
The award-winning author of Grateful goes beyond the culture wars to offer a refreshing take on the comprehensive, multi-faceted nature of Jesus, keeping his teachings relevant and alive in our daily lives.
“How can you still be a Christian?”
This is the most common question Diana Butler Bass is asked today. It is a question that many believers ponder as they wrestle with disappointment and disillusionment in their church and its leadership But while many Christians have left their churches, they cannot leave their faith behind.
In Freeing Jesus, Bass challenges the idea that Jesus can only be understood in static, one-dimensional ways and asks us to instead consider a life where Jesus grows with us and helps us through life’s challenges in several capacities: as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence.
Freeing Jesus is an invitation to leave the religious wars behind and rediscover Jesus in all his many manifestations, to experience Jesus beyond the narrow confines we have built around him. It renews our hope in faith and worship at a time when we need it most.
(Hardback: WaterBrook, March)
This essential authorized biography of Eugene Peterson offers unique insights into the experiences and spiritual convictions of the iconic American pastor and beloved translator of The Message.
“This hunger for something radical—something so true that it burned in his bones—was a constant in Eugene’s life. His longing for God ignited a ferocity in his soul.”
Encounter the multifaceted life of one of the most influential and creative pastors of the past half century with unforgettable stories of Eugene’s lifelong devotion to his craft and love of language, the influences and experiences that shaped his unquenchable faith, the inspiration for his decision to translate The Message, and his success and struggles as a pastor, husband, and father.
Author Winn Collier was given exclusive access to Eugene and his materials for the production of this landmark work. Drawing from his friendship and expansive view of Peterson’s life, Collier offers an intimate, beautiful, and earthy look into a remarkable life.
For Eugene, the gifts of life were inexhaustible: the glint of fading light over the lake, a kiss from Jan, a good joke, a bowl of butter pecan ice cream. As you enter into his story, you’ll find yourself doing the same—noticing how the most ordinary things shimmer with a new and unexpected beauty.
(Hardback: Yale UP, January)
From a world-renowned painter, an exploration of creativity’s quintessential—and often overlooked—role in the spiritual life
“Makoto Fujimura is the rare artist whose life has something of the same purifying and galvanizing force of his work. His new book brings those two elements—life and art—even closer together, and is a real tonic for our atomized time.” —Christian Wiman
Conceived over thirty years of painting and creating in his studio, this book is Makoto Fujimura’s broad and deep exploration of creativity and the spiritual aspects of “making.” What he does in the studio is theological work as much as it is aesthetic work. In between pouring precious, pulverized minerals onto handmade paper to create the prismatic, refractive surfaces of his art, he comes into the quiet space in the studio, in a discipline of awareness, waiting, prayer, and praise.
Ranging from the Bible to T. S. Eliot, and from Mark Rothko to Japanese Kintsugi technique, he shows how unless we are making something, we cannot know the depth of God’s being and God’s grace permeating our lives. This poignant and beautiful book offers the perspective of, in Christian Wiman’s words, “an accidental theologian,” one who comes to spiritual questions always through the prism of art.
Tish Harrson Warren
(Hardback: IVP Books January)
How can we trust God in the dark? Framed around a nighttime prayer of Compline, Tish Harrison Warren, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary, explores themes of human vulnerability, suffering, and God’s seeming absence. When she navigated a time of doubt and loss, the prayer was grounding for her. She writes that practices of prayer “gave words to my anxiety and grief and allowed me to reencounter the doctrines of the church not as tidy little antidotes for pain, but as a light in darkness, as good news.” Where do we find comfort when we lie awake worrying or weeping in the night? This book offers a prayerful and frank approach to the difficulties in our ordinary lives at work, at home, and in a world filled with uncertainty.