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 2: TOP 10 – Part 2
(In Alphabetical Order by Author’s Last Name)
(Hardback: Broadleaf Books, April)
The world seems terrifying. Whether your fear is about violence, shame, illness, money, meaning, or the collapse of certainty, you are not alone. Yet the power of the fear we feel depends on the story we tell about fear. Fight, flee, or freeze: are these are only options?
Growing up near the troubled city of Belfast, Gareth Higgins was schooled in suspicion, mistrust, and paranoia. Would someone be lurking behind the door? Was there a bomb under that car? Yet fear feeds on the stories we tell ourselves, Higgins claims, and in the pages of How Not to Be Afraid, he delves into the mechanisms of fear, as well as the quiet, immense strength of individuals and communities that refuse to let it reign.
Grounded in personal experience and expert reflection on violence, conflict transformation, and trauma recovery, Higgins traces vulnerability as strength to address seven common fears that plague each of us at some point in our lives. By examining such topics as the fear of being alone, the fear of not having enough, and the fear of violence and death, he invites readers into habits of hope rooted in Celtic spirituality and the mysteries of love.
In the rich spiritual, activist, and literary tradition of Walter Wink and Kathleen Norris, Higgins points us toward tenderness, empathy, and gentle encounter with each other and with our deepest and most relentless fears. He shows us how we can replace our narratives of fear and cynicism with better stories. Peace is the way to itself, he reveals, and when we choose this path, our lives will never be the same.
(Paperback: Baker Academic, January)
Churches often realize they need to change. But if they’re not careful, the way they change can hurt more than help.
In this culmination of his well-received Ministry in a Secular Age trilogy, leading practical theologian Andrew Root offers a new paradigm for understanding the congregation in contemporary ministry. He articulates why congregations feel pressured by the speed of change in modern life and encourages an approach that doesn’t fall into the negative traps of our secular age.
Living in late modernity means our lives are constantly accelerated, and calls for change in the church often support this call to speed up. Root asserts that the recent push toward innovation in churches has led to an acceleration of congregational life that strips the sacred out of time. Many congregations are simply unable to keep up, which leads to burnout and depression. When things move too fast, we feel alienated from life and the voice of a living God.
The Congregation in a Secular Age calls congregations to reimagine what change is and how to live into this future, helping them move from relevance to resonance.
(Paperback: Broadleaf Books, March)
What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun?
Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions in the twentieth century. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today.
In The Seeker and the Monk, Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times.
As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love. She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it?
By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within–and even to love–this despairing and radiant world.
(Paperback: Brazos Press, May)
Western culture is in a tailspin and Christian faith is entangled in it: we do kingdom things in empire ways. Western approaches to faith leave us feeling depressed, doubting, anxious, and burned out. We know something is wrong with the way we do faith and church in the West, but we’re so steeped in it that we don’t know where to begin to break old habits.
Popular pastor and speaker Mandy Smith invites us to detox from the deeply ingrained habits of Western culture so we can do kingdom things in kingdom ways again. She explores how we can be transformed by new postures and habits that help us see God already at work in and around us. The way forward isn’t more ideas, programs, and problem-solving but in Jesus’s surprising invitation to the kingdom through childlikeness. Ultimately, rediscovering childlike habits is a way for us to remember how to be human.
Unfettered helps us reimagine how to follow God with our whole selves again and join with God’s mission in the world.
(Hardback: Zondervan, January)
Racism is pervasive in today’s world, and many are complicit in the failure to confront its evils. Jemar Tisby, author of the award-winning The Color of Compromise, believes we need to move beyond mere discussions about racism and begin equipping people with the practical tools to fight against it.
How to Fight Racism is a handbook for pursuing racial justice with hands-on suggestions bolstered by real-world examples of change. Tisby offers an array of actionable items to confront racism in our relationships and in everyday life through a simple framework–the A.R.C. Of Racial Justice–that helps readers consistently interrogate their own actions and maintain a consistent posture of anti-racist action. This book is for anyone who believes it is time to stop compromising with racism and courageously confront it.
Tisby roots the ultimate solution to racism in the Christian faith as we embrace the implications of what Jesus taught his followers. Beginning in the church, he provides an opportunity to be part of the solution and suggests that the application of these principles can offer us hope that will transform our nation and the world. Tisby encourages us to reject passivity and become active participants in the struggle for human dignity across racial and ethnic lines. Readers of the book will come away with a clear model for how to think about race in productive ways and a compelling call to dismantle a social hierarchy long stratified by skin color.
Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith
"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
-Karen Swallow Prior
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