The Strategically Small Church

Intimate, Nimble, Authentic, Effective
Brandon J. O'Brien
Bethany House, August 2010
171 pp., $10.99

Brandon O'Brien thinks the small church's biggest disadvantage is an underlying inferiority complex driven largely by megachurch ministry's definition of success. Seeking to renew the imagination of small-church pastors, O'Brien points to the small church's unique gifts for carrying out God's mission: simplicity, authenticity, participation, and a family-like environment. This book is helpful for small-church pastors looking to develop small-church strengths, and for big-church leaders who seek to emulate small-church gifts.

The Passionate Intellect

Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind
Alister McGrath
IVP Books, August 2010
192 pp., $15.99

This book comprises lectures about developing the Christian mind as integral to living out the faith. At times McGrath writes autobiographically, recording his journey from bewilderment at human evil and suffering to his eventual embrace of Luther's "theology of the cross." In the latter half, he responds to the New Atheism, putting on display the type of intellectual engagement he encouraged in the first half. Some may think him overly gracious to Darwin, but even so, McGrath's attempt to show that science is not necessarily a foe to faith is admirable.

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