God Loves Sex: An Honest Conversation about Sexual Desire and Holiness

Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III (Baker Books)

Sexual desire, corrupted by the Fall, has a nasty habit of veering off into strange and unhealthy territory. In God Loves Sex, Allender (a Christian therapist) and Longman (a biblical scholar) combine forthright discussion of sexual struggles among believers with insights from the Song of Songs, showing how our disordered desires can be redeemed and transformed. “God intends to purify our desire in the holy consumption of his love,” write Allender and Longman. “We must take the risk of bringing our desire—holy and impure before his eyes—to be caught up in what sex is meant to offer: the arousal of our deepest desire to be in union with him.”

American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism

Matthew Avery Sutton (Belknap Press)

American Apocalypse focuses attention on the network of “radical evangelicals—preachers, evangelists, broadcasters, businessmen, Bible-college professors, publishers, and laypeople”—who predicted the looming end of the world at the turn of the 20th century. In this sweeping history, Sutton (a historian and biographer of Pentecostal evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson) argues that apocalyptic fervor exercised an underappreciated influence on believers, churches, and institutions, helping to propel the evangelical resurgence after World War II and continuing to shape the movement ever since. The consequence has been a “distinct religious culture and a distinct form of Christian cultural engagement that has impacted the world in profound ways.”

Paradoxology: Why Christianity Was Never Meant to Be Simple

Krish Kandiah (Hodder & Stoughton)

Studying Scripture can often feel like wrestling with one contradiction after another. How can God be present in our lives yet wholly transcendent? Full of wrath yet abounding in mercy? Sovereign over everything yet granting people free will? Kandiah, executive director for Churches in Mission at the Evangelical Alliance UK, challenges us not to write off such questions as mere sources of confusion. In Paradoxology, he argues instead that “the paradoxes that seem to undermine belief are actually the heart of our vibrant faith, and that it is only by continually wrestling with them . . . that we can really worship God, individually and together.”

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