Saving the Bible from Ourselves: Learning to Read and Live the Bible Well

Glenn R. Paauw (InterVarsity Press)

Paauw, executive director of the Biblica Institute in Colorado Springs, wants to stage “an intervention for a Bible in crisis.” The “official story” within today’s church, he writes, is that “the Bible is dynamic, special, inspired, and inspiring—the crucial spiritual tool God himself has given us.” But hidden beneath our praise are hushed confessions of “frustration, boredom, and lack of connection.” To make matters worse, he says, “fragmentary, superficial, and out-of-context readings and misapplications abound.” How can we rescue the Bible from these dire straits? Paauw introduces seven “new understandings”—new meaning forgotten or overlooked—to help modern readers recover the fullness of Scripture’s historical context, literary styles, and message of the Good News.

Impossible Love: The True Story of an African Civil War, Miracles and Hope Against All Odds

Craig Keener and Médine Moussounga Keener (CHosen)

In a January web piece for CT, Keener, a New Testament scholar at Asbury Theological Seminary, opened a window on his “real-life Hosea story” of faithfulness in the aftermath of divorce. Impossible Love forms the unlikely next chapter of that story, as Keener falls for a Congolese woman he met through a Duke University campus ministry and pursues her back to her home country, unsure if she had survived that country’s civil war. Médine co-authors this memoir of “two people longing for closeness, but separated by continents, cultures, government regulations and war,” clinging tenaciously to the belief that “faith, hope, and love can surmount even the most overwhelming obstacles.”

C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity: A Biography

George M. Marsden (Princeton University Press)

Most books, observes Marsden, “eventually fade away like the ripples on a pond. Only a relative few take on lives of their own so that they are generating new ripples even a generation later.” Mere Christianity is one such book, an international publishing juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing after decades in print, many millions of copies sold, and translation into dozens of languages. Lewis’s masterpiece is the latest entry in Princeton University Press’s Lives of Great Religious Books series. Marsden, best known for his historical portraits of American fundamentalism, Christian higher education, and Jonathan Edwards, tells the story of how Lewis’s World War II–era radio broadcasts gave birth to one of the world’s finest defenses of Christian faith.

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