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Book reviews in 2017

 

January

The Amish by Steven M Nolt - Timely and intriguing analysis of a distinctive faith community 

The Lion and the Lamb by Pieter Lalleman - Pieter Lalleman's must have introduction to the book of Revelation is simple, but never simplistic

Overload: How to Unplug, Unwind and Free Yourself from the Pressure of Stress By Joyce Meyer - Meyer's down to earth and practical book explores something everyone experiences

God is no Thing by Rupert Shortt - A compelling case for the Christian faith from the Religion Editor of the Times Literary Supplement

How I Changed My Mind About Evolution - Edited by Kathryn Applegate and J B Stump - Many evangelicals have come to accept the conclusions of science while still holding to a vigorous belief in God and the Bible. How did they make this journey?

Dementia: Pathways to Hope By Louise Morse - Well-researched book which cannot fail to be helpful with those encountering dementia in its early stages 

Church Planting in the Secular West: Learning from the European Experience By Stefan Paas - 'By far the best book on church planting to have been published for many years'

Mount Sinai: A History of Travellers and Pilgrims By George Manginis - Scholarly book which will appeal to those who like foreign names and many, many facts, but not an easy read 

Church Planting in the Secular West: Learning from the European Experience By Stefan Paas - 'By far the best book on church planting to have been published for many years'


February

Out of the darkness - the transformation of one of Scotland’s most violent prisoners. By Anthony Gielty The autobiography documenting the transformation of one of Scotland’s most violent prisoners

Beginnings - Christian Aid Cymru The story of Christian Aid through the lens of Wales' experience, a tale of which Welsh and English readers alike can be proud

Heresy Unlocked, Faith Rebounds By Roger Wilson One time BBC journalist and co-founder of a cancer charity Roger Wilson is right in stating that Christians will find his views heretical

Mission In Marginal Places: The Theory
Mission in Marginal Places: The Praxis
Cloke, P., & Pears, M. (Eds.)
Encouraging start to a series looking at mission in marginal places, with some questions for what's to follow   

God Has Spoken by J.I. Packer - A re-issue of the bestselling sequel to Knowing God

Martyrs Mirror: a social history. By David L.Weaver-Zercher 
This history of the 17th century Anabaptist martyr book raises significant issues for reflection

Filthy Fishermen by Luke Holter
Promising elements of a number of themes in this book about redemption, but somehow not enough of any one of them
 

March

The Pauline Church and the Corinthian EKKLESIA: Greco-Roman Associations in Comparative Context. By Richard Last
An examination of Paul's Corinthian church in relation to contemporary cult groups from Mediterranean antiquity challenges accepted thinking

Christmas as Religion: Re-thinking Santa, the Secular and the Sacred By Christopher Deacy 
Deacy makes a good fist of challenging the misconception that Christmas has been emptied of its religious meaning as a result of secularism and consumerism

The Shadow Doctor by Adrian Plass 
Plass's latest book is challenging, raw and refreshing - and brings us back to Jesus

Digitally Remastered by Guy Brandon
Practical book which attempts to address the issues that flow from the most significant invention of our age

Not in God’s Name by Jonathan Sacks
A compelling analysis of the tension that exists between the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam 

Compassion and the mission of God by Rupen Das
Das provides an excellent theological foundation for anyone interested in ministries of social justice, relief, development and compassion

Live, Love, Lead by Brian Houston A book of daily readings from the Hillsong founder and senior pastor

The Eagle by Vicki Gibson Thought-provoking children's fiction that raises questions about some of life's biggest conundrums


April

Rescuing God from Religion by Muriel Seltman
Encourages people to construct their own ideas of God free of religious doctrine: presses many of the right buttons, but is less than fair to many who have struggled with them over the years 

Is Life Worth Living? Some Thoughts on the Message of Ecclesiastes By Christopher Brearley

Bible Reflections for Older People Timely study of communicating faith and love in our twilight years

Taken on Trust by Terry Waite Anniversary edition of Waite's compelling autobiography detailing his captivity ordeal, with new (but disappointing) chapter 
 

May

Prepared to Give an Answer by Peter Thomas Baptist minister’s clear guide to those perennial questions non-Christians fire at them; a good study book for house groups 

Religion in Secular Society 50 Years On by Bryan R WIlson A reissue which misses the opportunity to build on the points raised in the original 

Religion Can Be Fun – See The Difference For Yourself  May not totally convince the more conservative reader, but it will provide fresh understanding for a new generation of seekers

Comfort in the Darkness by Rachel Turner  A very useful aid for helping parents draw their children closer to God, and a must for the bedroom bookshelf
 

June

Leading as Jesus led Baptist minister Karl Martin's exploration of leading the Jesus way is one to recommend to any minister, pastor or leader

The Remarkable Life of Grace Grattan Guinness Delightful biography of the wife of one of the evangelical movement's great preachers during the Victorian era 

Jesus by Ed Kessler The latest in the series of Pocket Giants focuses on Jesus, written by the Founder Director of the Woolf Institute

Conchie: What My Father Didn’t Do In The War By Gethin Russell-Jones Informative and thought-provoking account from a Baptist minister's son about his father being a conscientious objector


July

The Great Spiritual Migration By Brian D McLaren Brian McLaren's ambitious analysis documenting three major shifts taking place in the Christian faith

Mariner: a voyage with Samuel Taylor Coleridge By Malcom Guite Hugely creative and thought-provoking reading of the revolutionary poet and philosopher-theologian, told through his most famous poem  


The Trinity in John - A Study in Relationships By W.M. Henry Well-written, encyclopaedic study of John's gospel with much to commend
 

August

Journeying to Justice – Contribution to the Baptist Tradition across the Black Atlantic
Edited by Anthony G Reddie with Wale Hudson-Roberts and Gale Richards
New publication that addresses the past, present and future of British Baptists and their relationships with Black people 

A Faithful Presence - Working Together for the Common Good By Hilary Russell
Russell's account of the Working Together for the Common Good initiative a generation ago offers a mix of hope and disappointment 

Joining the Angels’ Song: Eucharistic Prayers for Sundays and Holy Prayers, Year A, B & C
By Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher
Worthwhile collection of material that celebrates the Lord's Supper weekly and follows the lectionary

Exodus for Ordinary People: Unwrapping the Second Book of the Bible by Paul Poulton
Slightly eccentric but worthwhile book to help us understand Exodus, with a focus on the historical, chronological and geographical 

 

September

The Great Mystery: science, God and the ultimate quest for meaning By Alister McGrath
McGrath addresses the perennial human quest for meaning, and with a couple of provisoes has produced a wonderfully enriching book  

Open Hands Open Heart By Ifor Williams
Baptist minister's personal and challenging account of letting go and learning to give generously from the heart

The Gospel beyond the Gospels By Trevor Dennis
Trevor Dennis accuses the Gospels of misrepresenting God - and creates a god in his own pacifist image  

God is Stranger by Krish Kandiah
Once again Krish demonstrates that wrestling with the more difficult parts of the Bible can help us come to the most profound understanding of God

Engaging with Muslims by John Klaassen
A great introduction for anyone trying to learn more about their Muslim neighbour, outlining key areas for understanding Islamic beliefs

Donald A. McGavran: A Biography of the Twentieth Century’s Premier Missiologist By Gary L. McIntosh
Disappointing biography of the 20th century’s premier missiologist, in that it doesn't focus on McGavran as a person 

Fierce Imaginings: The Great War, Ritual, Memory and God By Rachel Mann
Recommended lyrical and original exploration of the impact of the First World War and the act of remembrance 
 

October

A Church for the Poor By Martin Charlesworth and Natalie Williams
Compelling book that offers them not only practical help but whole life transformation as disciples of Jesus

Human Trafficking, the Bible and the Church By Marion L.S Carson
Valuable piece of work offering a rigorous overview of the themes of slavery and prostitution within the Bible, and exploring a church response

Right Here Right Now - The Practice of Christian Mindfulness By Amy G Oden
Allays fears and gives fresh insight into Christian mindfulness, drawing on the author’s deep knowledge of the early and historical spirituality of our Christian predecessors

Black Sheep and Prodigals by Dave Tomlinson
If you like uplifting anecdotes of faith this book should be your bedtime read 
 

November

The Ghost of Perfection by Joseph Haward  
A fresh look at major themes both of the church and of wider society - a masterly debut from a Baptist church planter

The Daniel Prayer By Anne Graham Lotz and On My Knees By Chris Band
Two thought-provoking books on prayer that cannot fail to improve our understanding of prayer and its potential

Deep Calls to Deep, edited by Tony Bayfield
Reflections on four years of conversation between Christian and Jewish scholars that merit serious study
 

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