(Slightly) More Objective Votes for 2011 Favorites
Well, we hate to brag. But we're going to anyway, of course.
Mark Scandrette's new book, Practicing the Way of Jesus,
was not just a favorite here at IVP.
It made RELEVANT
magazine's "Top Ten Books of 2011
" list and was described by reviewer John Pattison (who is, truth be told, coauthor of the IVP book Besides the Bible,
which we recently acquired from Biblica,
and coauthor of the forthcoming IVP book Slow Church
) as "inspiring and eminently useful." What more could you want in a book?
We also made well-known bookstore owner Byron Borger's lists (part one and part two) of his favorite books of the year. Several times, in fact. Here's what he says about just a few:
For the ever-popular Practicing the Way of Jesus: "It covers so many topics and, without being pushy, it does offer very good guidance on how to initiate and move towards greater faithfulness in daily living in the ways of Christ."
For The Story of God, the Story of Us (he starts to gush a little with this one): "Oh my, how I resonated with this, how I loved his creative retelling of the stories of Israel and church [and] how he offered this edgy, energetic vision of how getting lost in this story is the way to life." He also wants to nominate author Sean Gladding for an Oscar ("Gladding should get an award for best screen play").
For Jamie Arpin-Ricci's The Cost of Community: "There are lots of good stories of [Arpin-Ricci and his community's] journey (and the dramatic stuff that happens in urban ministry) and there are upbeat examples of great joy in the journey. But, too, this is serious stuff, inviting us--challenging us--to take Christ seriously, as Francis did. . . . Three cheers."
For The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry by Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean (one of my favorites of the year as well): "If the thesis of Christian Smith's important work (Soul Searching, upon which Dean built her famous book Almost Christian) is true--namely that churches are not doing a very good job helping youth name their spiritual yearnings or giving them categories to think theologically about life and discipleship--then this is a rich and vital answer, to that strong critique of our thin approaches. . . . I'm telling you, this is one of the best books of the year. If you are not in youth ministry, buy it for somebody who is."
And then, for Small Things with Great Love by Margot Starbuck (another favorite of mine; check back soon for much more to come on this book at Strangely Dim): "It pushes us, calls us, invites us, teaches us, shows us, how to reach out to others, how to see the alienation and poverty and sadness around us and to take up the vocation of being Christ's hands and feet in this world of need. There is literally something for everyone."
Byron also highlights several Formatio and IVP Academic books. (And no, he really is not a paid employee of IVP.)
So if you need something intellectually stimulating, spiritually challenging and potentially life-transforming to do to pass the time until the best-of-2011 movies are announced on Oscar night, pick up one or two IVP favorites from 2011 and let us know what you think. (On the other hand, if you don't want to be spiritually or intellectually challenged or to change anyone's life--yours or others'--feel free to keep playing video games and watching The Bachelor while your brain cells die off, one by one, and your perception of reality gets more and more twisted. Just don't ever say we never did anything to help you . . .)
Posted by Lisa Rieck
at January 26, 2012 5:39 PM