Sunday Showcase #18

I got a newsletter from Netgalley featuring some non-fiction Christian works. I bit. 🙂

Pastor and author Martin Thielen has compiled a list of ten things Christians need to believe—and ten things they don’t—to “qualify” as Christians. This lively and engaging book will be a help to seekers as well as a comfort to believers who may find themselves questioning some of the assumptions they grew up with.

Many people in the twenty-first century hunger for an expression of Christian faith that is different from the judgmental and narrow-minded caricatures they see on television or in the news. With an accessible style that’s grounded in solid biblical scholarship, Thielen shows how Christians don’t need to believe that sinners will be “left behind” to burn in hell or that it’s heresy to believe in evolution. And while we must always take the Bible seriously, we don’t always have to take it literally. At the same time, Christians do need to believe in Jesus—his life, his teachings, his death and resurrection, and his vision for the world. Thielen articulates centrist, mainline Christianity in a way that’s fresh and easy to understand and offers authentic Christian insights that speak to our deepest needs.

This is an ideal book for individual, group, or congregational study. A free leader’s guide that shows how the book can be used in these various settings is available at

Why I picked it up: Mostly curiosity. What does the author have to say for the bare minimum Christians? Hmm… we shall find out, won’t we?

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

Fea offers an even-handed primer on whether America was founded to be a Christian nation, as many evangelicals assert, or a secular state, as others contend. He approaches the title’s question from a historical perspective, helping readers see past the emotional rhetoric of today to the recorded facts of our past. Readers on both sides of the issues will appreciate that this book occupies a middle ground, noting the good points and the less-nuanced arguments of both sides and leading us always back to the primary sources that our shared American history comprises.

Why I picked it up: I hear so many people say America was founded on Christianity. I’ll be honest. I don’t believe it. Sure, many of those who signed the Constitution and such might have been Christian, but my understanding is many were not. Basically, I want to read what this author has to say about the issue.

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

N. T. Wright has undertaken a tremendous task: to provide guides to all the books of the New Testament, and to include in them his own translation of the entire text. Each short passage is followed by a highly readable discussion, with background information, useful explanations and suggestions, and thoughts as to how the text can be relevant to our lives today. A glossary is included at the back of the book. The series is suitable for group study, personal study, or daily devotions.

Why I picked it up: Research mostly. I’ve been considering a post-apocalytic like book based on Revelations. I’m hoping this work will make some connections for me. We’ll see. 🙂

Available at: Barnes & Nobles and The Book Depository

I read very little non-fiction books. Some aspects of Christianity really pique my interest. I’m what one would call an information whore on that topic. I like to examine what other people believe… see how it matches up with what’s actually in the bible. I guess it’s rather morbid… maybe even judgmental. <sigh> It’s a flaw.

What about you? When you get into non-fiction, what topic absorbs your interest?

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