This year's volume brings together an elegant and engaging array of essays by Christian luminaries tackling relevant issues. These writers distill the riches of belief into lucid explorations of faith and truth, reflecting the many dimensions of Christianity in the new millennium. Including such diverse and distingushed voices as: Frederica Mathewes-Green, who wrestles with some of the negative results of feminism in "Three Bad Ideas for Women and What to Do About Them." Richard John Neuhaus, examining the tensions and richness of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity in "Salvation Is from the Jews." Barbara Brown Taylor, offering a meditation on the confluence of the holy and the unholy in our lives in "The Derelict Cross." Walter Wangerin JR., recalling the steady, unpretentious wisdom of his farmer father-in-law in "One Man on a Tractor Far Away." Philip Yancey, sharing his lifelong love of G. K. Chesterson in "The 'Ample' Man Who Saved My Faith."
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Feeling inspired by The Best Spiritual Writing series, John Wilson, an editor at Christianity Today, has assembled this impressive collection of standout Christian writing. Considering that some sociologists claim that there are roughly 1.8 billion Christians in the world today, Wilson acknowledges that it would be impossible to represent every angle of Christian vision within one anthology. Instead he gathered a collection of North American voices that reads like a classroom full of the best and brightest seminary students. Each essay and story has a unique personal history and point of view and yet they all have a common purpose--that of exalting, living, and illuminating the Christian path.
The big-name writers in the collection include Jean Bethke Elshtain writing on "Abraham Lincoln and the Last Best Hope," Harvey Cox's essay "The Market As God" (originally published in The Atlantic Monthly), and Eugene Peterson on "Wise Teachers, Sound Teaching." Unfortunately, this anthology leans toward the theological, with only a few essays sustaining a hearty personal narrative. As a result, some readers may find the overall package a little dry. However, connoisseurs of Christian writing will recognize the merits of these well-crafted and provocative essays. In fact, the anthology's strength lies in a very satisfying and familiar formula--one that has always worked for successful sermon writing--linking biblical stories with a smattering of personal anecdotes and then applying them to our collective modern dilemmas. --Gail HudsonAbout the Author:
John Wilson is the editor of Books & Culture, the Christian review of literature, and editor-at-large for its parent magazine, Christianity Today.
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