Humanizing Evangelicals

A Feature Review of

The River Caught Sunlight: A Novel
Katie Andraski

Paperback: Koehler Books, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Reviewed by Leslie A. Klingensmith

Followers of Christ have forgotten how to talk with one another. We talk to each other. We talk about each other. But as far as talking with each other for the purpose of building relationships and mutual understanding, we are failing in dangerous and tragic ways. As a “slightly left of center, socially liberal and theologically generously orthodox” Presbyterian pastor, I have made some effort to develop friendships with my colleagues who term themselves more “evangelical” than I am. I have a couple of those friendships that I especially treasure, for when I spend time with those women and men I am reminded all over again that we are all children of God. Despite the issues that divide us, we are more alike than different and (most of the time) we are making a sincere effort to follow the teachings and example of Jesus. Despite what I know about the desire we all have to serve Christ, I am also sinful. I publicly confess here to gravitating to authors whose viewpoint is more in line with my own, to not subscribing to evangelical publications, to rolling my eyes and hitting the “power off” button when prominent evangelicals are featured in the media, and succumbing to smug certainty that I am right and everyone else is wrong. Unless I am intentional about cultivating the relationships with people whose theology is more conservative than my own, I can easily become dismissive of their perspective, which is not helpful to me or to them or to the whole people of God.

Continue Reading…

Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(Brueggemann, N.T. Wright, Annie Dillard, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader…
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook


Sabbath as Resistance:

By Walter Brueggemann

*** $3.99 ***


Continue Reading…

Jacques Ellul

This week marked the anniversary of the death of Jacques Ellul….

Jacques Ellul was one of the keenest and most provocative Christian thinkers of the 20th century.

In remembrance of him, we offer this introductory reading guide, which highlights his most important books and suggests an order in which to read them.

Continue Reading…

One of this week’s best new book releases

BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google
John Palfrey

Hardback: Basic Books, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Watch a lecture that the author gave on the book:

Continue Reading…

What Makes a Hero a Hero?
A Brief Review of

The Former Hero: A Novel
Jeffrey Allen Mays

Paperback: AEC Stellar Publishing, 2014
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by Alicia Smock


Superheroes have become a big part of today’s pop culture. Not only do these supernatural beings wear the fun colorful garb and represent honor and justice like the heroes of the 20th century, but they are also developing deeper meaning. People everywhere — whether readers, viewers, gamers, etc. — are witnessing superheroes dealing with inner conflicts, not always being able to save the day, and even, sometimes, dying. But aren’t superheroes not supposed to fail? Aren’t they always supposed to fly in, beat the villain, and save the day? Jeffrey Allen Mays has taken this concept and has written a philosophical masterpiece that really makes readers think about what it means to be a true hero in his debut novel: The Former Hero.


Continue Reading…

Just started reading this excellent book…

A True Story of Murder in America

Jill Leovy

Hardback: Spiegel & Grau, 2015
Buy now:
Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Continue Reading…

Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)

City by City: Dispatches from the American Metropolis

By Keith Gessen and Stephen Squibb

Read the starred review from Publishers Weekly


Continue Reading…

Marilynne Robinson

Hymns of Gratitude

An Essay on the Work of Marilynne Robinson
on the Occasion of her newest novel, Lila

By Rachel Marie Stone


(This essay originally appeared in our print magazine, Advent 2014 issue. Are you a subscriber? Get more info and signup now!)


“I don’t know how to say this,” I said to Marilynne Robinson, as she signed her name to my copy of her fourth and most recent novel, Lila, “but I feel that your writing has changed my life for the better, and I want to thank you for that.”
“Thank you for telling me,” she said, looking right into my eyes, utterly in earnest—none of the “yes, yes, thank you for reading” dismissal one might expect from a writer who has received as much attention and acclaim as she has. “That is good to know,” she said. I gathered up my signed copy and ducked away, blushing. I felt like I was leaving the communion rail.


Continue Reading…

Here are 5 essential ebooks on sale now that are worth checking out:
(MLK, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, Lev Grossman, MORE)

Via our sister website Thrifty Christian Reader…
To keep up with all the latest ebook deals,
be sure to connect with TCR via email or on Facebook

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?

By Martin Luther King, Jr.

*** $2.99 ***

CLICK HERE for one other sale ebook by MLK


Continue Reading…


Read the Classics this summer….

Here are 10 classics that are worth reading (or re-reading) this summer.

All of these are available in FREE ebook editions, or I suspect that your local library will have a copy of most of these.

Enjoy, and share these with your friends! Maybe you can even get a group together to read one or more of these classics…


Jane Eyre: A Novel

By Charlotte Brontë


Jane Eyre (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847, by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name “Currer Bell.” The first American edition was published the following year by Harper & Brothers of New York.

Primarily of the bildungsroman genre, Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character, including her growth to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the byronic master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. In its internalisation of the action—the focus is on the gradual unfolding of Jane’s moral and spiritual sensibility, and all the events are coloured by a heightened intensity that was previously the domain of poetry—Jane Eyre revolutionised the art of fiction. Charlotte Brontë has been called the ‘first historian of the private consciousness’ and the literary ancestor of writers like Joyce and Proust. The novel contains elements of social criticism, with a strong sense of morality at its core, but is nonetheless a novel many consider ahead of its time given the individualistic character of Jane and the novel’s exploration of classism, sexuality, religion, and proto-feminism.
(via Wikipedia)

CLASSIC 1 of 10


IMAGE CREDIT: Pacostein – Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

Continue Reading…