Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.
As a books editor for a Christian magazine, I think I’m contractually obligated, every so often, to mention that verse from Ecclesiastes about there being no end to the making of books (12:12). (Though I can’t help wondering whether an updated version might instead remark on the relentless production of podcasts, that contemporary magnet for “everyone and their cousin” barbs.)
The “making of books” verse carries the same world-weary tone that pervades much of Ecclesiastes. And we have to admit some truth here. Consider the investment of mind, body, and soul involved in writing books few may read or remember, and ask yourself: Why do so many people, across so many eras and cultures, willingly empty themselves in this way?
Even so, you’ll never catch Christianity Today pronouncing “Vanity of vanities” upon the whole book-making enterprise. Recall that God himself speaks to us through a book—as does the author of Ecclesiastes. Sometimes, you can’t tell the truth about the world with anything less.
That’s why we’re pleased to dedicate the bulk of CT’s January/February issue not only to our annual Book Awards (which now include a new category: Marriage and Family), but also to books themselves, in the form of excerpts from several of the finalists (and a number of the winners). Together, we believe they represent some of the year’s most exemplary Christian thinking. (To locate these excerpts, look for the links as you scroll through the categories.)
Congratulations to this year’s honorees—and let no one dismiss their work as a chasing after the wind. —Matt Reynolds, books editor
Apologetics & Evangelism
Urban Apologetics: …