August 2020 Selection

August 2020 Selection

We are delighted to offer Brendan Boughen’s cartoon collection Touching a Nerve as an eBook in a choice of three formats. US, Jewish, New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine has a new book and study guide to the Sermon on the Mount as a way of understanding the Kingdom of Heaven. We also feature three new books of collected essays by Prof Tom Wright on Interpreting Scripture, Jesus & Paul. And our choir, Festival Singer’s recordings are now available as digital music downloads.

In our mid-August newsletter we will tell you about worship, preaching and daily devotional resources for Year B – 2021

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 31 July 2020]

Sermon on the Mount:
A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Amy-Jill Levine.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781501899898.

Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

  • How is the follower of Jesus to understand the words of the Old Testament?
  • How are those words relevant to the New Covenant he is establishing?
  • What might the words of the Lord’s Prayer have conveyed to his initial followers, and why is that historical information essential to the prayer two millennia later?

Dr Amy-Jill Levine takes a detailed and colourful overview of Matthew 5-7, collectively known as Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Through Dr. Levine’s engaging method of biblical interpretation, readers will come away with a solid understanding of the Sermon on the Mount in its historical and theological context.

Chapters include:

  • The Beatitudes
  • The Extensions
  • Practicing Piety
  • Our Father
  • Finding Your Treasure
  • Living into the Kingdom

Explore the major topics in the most popular sermon ever delivered and unpack how Jesus makes his points using a solid knowledge of Hebrew Scriptures and moral teachings.

Additional components for a six-week study include a DVD featuring Levine and a comprehensive Leader Guide – see below:

Sermon on the Mount Leader Guide:
A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven
Amy-Jill Levine.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781501899911.
Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Includes a session outline for each group meeting with Scripture, prayer, opening activity, discussion questions, activity, ending with a call to action.

Sermon on the Mount DVD:
A Beginner’s Guide to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Amy-Jill Levine.
ISBN 9781501899935.
Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

The six-session DVD features Dr. Amy-Jill Levine guiding participants through the study. The video sessions are approximately 10-12 minutes in length and, when combined with the six book chapters, make an ideal six-week group study. All videos sessions are closed captioned.

Click to icon to see the first session video

Now available as eBooks.
Touching a Nerve:
A Curly Collection of Churchy Cartoons by Jim.

Brendan Boughen.
Your choice of
ePub, Kindle or PDF eBooks.

Philip Garside Publishing Ltd. (2020).

Buy eBooks at our
secure Payhip store

After paying for your eBook/s you will be provided with links on screen to download them immediately. You will also receive an email link to download them later.


This book collects for the first time 120 of these cartoons drawn for Touchstone and other media under the appropriate title Touching A Nerve: A Curly Collection of Churchy Cartoons by Jim.

It’s an irreverent, often thought-provoking, and laugh-inducing collection of cartoons that will touch readers’ nerves (and funny bones) on some big topics – life, God, religion, politics, social justice and spirituality in the modern world.

Print books are available to order here:

Interpreting Scripture:
Essays on the Bible and Hermeneutics
(Collected Essays of N.T. Wright #1).
N T (Tom) Wright.
Hbk 400pp. ISBN 9780310098362.

Zondervan (2020).
[Allow 5-6 weeks].

Interpreting Scripture brings together Prof Wright’s most important articles on Scripture and hermeneutics over the last two decades. Many of these essays have never been published or are only available in hard-to-find larger volumes and journals.

Here is a rich feast for all serious students of the Bible. Each essay will amply reward those looking for detailed, incisive, and exquisitely nuanced exegesis, resulting in a clearer, deeper, and more informed appreciation of Scripture and its application to Christian life and thought today.

Includes, these and other essays:

  • The Lord’s Prayer as a Paradigm of Christian Prayer (2001)
  • Freedom and Framework, Spirit and Truth: Recovering Biblical Worship (2002)
  • Christian Origins and the Question of God (2008)
  • Faith, Virtue, Justification and the Journey to Freedom (2008)
  • Imagining the Kingdom: Mission and Theology in Early Christianity (2012)
  • Revelation and Christian Hope: Political Implications of the Revelation to John (2012)
  • The Monarchs and the Message: Reflections on Bible Translation from the Sixteenth to the Twenty-First Century (2013)
  • Apocalyptic and the Sudden Fulfilment of Divine Promise (2016)

Interpreting Jesus:

Essays on the Gospels
(Collected Essays of N.T. Wright #2).
N T (Tom) Wright.

Hbk 368pp. ISBN 9780310098645.
Zondervan (2020).
[Allow 5-6 weeks]

Here are Prof Wright’s most important articles on Jesus and the Gospels over the last three decades. Many of the included studies have never been published or only available in hard-to-find larger volumes and journals.

Includes, these and other essays:

  • Towards a Third ‘Quest’? Jesus Then and No.
  • Jesus, Israel and the Cross
  • Five Gospels but no Gospel: Jesus and the Seminar
  • Kingdom Come: The Public Meaning of the Gospels
  • Son of God and Christian origins
  • Son of Man and New Creation: The Biblical Roots of Trinitarian Theology

Interpreting Paul:
Essays on the Apostle and His Letters
(Collected Essays of N.T. Wright #3).
N T (Tom) Wright.
Hbk 224pp. ISBN 9780310098683.

Zondervan (2020).
[Allow 5-6 weeks]

Interpreting Paul brings together Prof Wright’s most important articles on Paul and his letters since the publication of his magisterial Paul and the Faithfulness of God in 2013. Many of the included studies have never been published or only available in hard-to-find larger volumes and journals.

Here is a rich feast for all serious students of the Bible. Each essay will amply reward those looking for detailed, incisive, and exquisitely nuanced exegesis, resulting in a clearer, deeper, and more informed appreciation of Paul and the relevance of his teaching to Christian life and thought today.

Includes, these and other essays:

  • Justification by (Covenantal) Faith to the (Covenantal) Doers: Romans 2 Within the Argument of the Letter (2014)
  • How Greek was Paul’s Eschatology? (2015)
  • Paul’s Western Missionary Project: Jerusalem, Rome, Spain in Historical and Theological Perspective (2015)
  • The Glory Returns: Spirit, Temple and Eschatology in Paul and John (2016)
  • Historical Paul and “Systematic Theology” To Start a Discussion (2016)
  • God Put Jesus Forth: Reflections on Romans 3:24-26 (2016)
  • Paul’s Invention of Christian Theology (2015)

The Guided Life: Quaker Quicks:
Finding Purpose in Troubled Times.
Craig Barnett.
Pbk 80pp. ISBN 9781785358968.

Christian Alternative (2019).
[Allow 4 -5 weeks].

Barnett shares some of the spiritual practices that the Quaker tradition has developed to discover purpose and direction in daily life. These practices may be of use to anyone who is wrestling with the complex challenges and dilemmas of the modern world.

Quakers have made the cultivation of the guided life the focus of their spirituality for over three centuries. Generations of Quakers have developed practices for nurturing their connection to an inward source of guidance, meaning and purpose.

This Inward Guide is present in all people, cultures and traditions. It goes by many names and is understood in many ways, but it is equally available to everyone who is willing to listen and respond.


All about Anxiety.
Carrie Lewis; Sophia Touliatou (Illustrator).
Hbk 88pp. ISBN 9781506463209.
Beaming Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Anxiety. It’s an emotion that rears its head almost every day, from the normal worries and concerns that most of us experience, to outright fear when something scary happens, to the anxiety disorders that many children live with daily. But what causes anxiety? And what can we do about it?

Lewis tackles these questions from many angles. Readers will learn what’s going on in their brain and central nervous system when they feel anxious. They’ll learn about the evolutionary reasons for fear and anxiety and that anxiety isn’t always a bad thing–except for when it is! Most importantly, children will discover new strategies to manage their anxiety so they can live and thrive with anxiety.

The Missing Stage of Grief:
A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss
Claire Bidwell Smith.
Pbk 272pp. ISBN.9780738234786.

Hachette (2018).
[Allow 4 weeks].

A ground-breaking book exploring the little-known yet critical connections between anxiety and grief, with practical strategies for healing.

With concrete tools and coping strategies for panic attacks, getting a handle on anxious thoughts, and more, Smith bridges these two emotions in a way that is deeply empathetic and eminently practical.

If you’re suffering from anxiety but not sure why, or if you’re struggling with loss and looking for solace, Bidwell Smith offers help – and answers. Significant loss and unresolved grief are primary underpinnings of anxiety, something that she discovered in her own life and in her practice with her therapy clients.

Using research and real life stories, Smith breaks down the physiology of anxiety, giving you a concrete foundation of understanding in order to help you heal. Starting with the basics of What Is Anxiety? and What Is Grief? and moving to concrete approaches such as Making Amends, Taking Charge, and Retraining Your Brain, Anxiety she unpacks everything from our age-old fears about mortality to the bare vulnerability a loss can make us feel.

Drawing on a Deeper Love.
Mark Greene.
Pbk 72pp. ISBN.9781789741629.
IVP Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

As intricate as a Fabergé egg, as multi-layered as an onion, Ruth is the story of ordinary people working out how to live in God’s loving ways through agonising personal circumstances. It’s also an account of how the God of love works through faithful people to fulfil his purposes for them, for their nation, and indeed for all humankind.

In this six-session guide, Mark Greene’s astute questions, mini-features, and contemporary stories will help you to appreciate the book’s drama, wonder afresh at the Lord’s grace, and find inspiration and encouragement for all of life, Monday to Sunday.

A Chronicle of Grief:
Finding Life After Traumatic Loss.
Mel Lawrenz.
Pbk 168pp. ISBN 9780830837601.

IVP Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

“Eva not breathing. Pray.” That text message was Mel Lawrenz’s entry into the harsh reality of losing his thirty-year-old daughter. Pastor Lawrenz tells us how his family struggled to survive the sudden death of their beloved daughter.

In raw, vivid episodes, he describes the immediacy of the pain and the uncertainty of what comes next. Lawrenz addresses the realities of love and life and offers insights on how any of us can arrange our life priorities before tragedy hits. You are not alone. You too can find a way forward.

Yours Truly:
Parables and Stories.
Murray Watts.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780281080946.
SPCK (2019).
[Allow 4 -5 weeks].

Here is a collection of brilliant and poignant parables, for personal reading and public use. Each offers a penetrating insight into some aspect of the Christian faith.

They include:

  • A Celebrity Questions Jesus – a variant on the Rich Young Ruler
  • The Love Affair – a young woman, whose husband has betrayed her, finds healing in the crucified Christ
  • The Secret Of Life – a young man finds the greatest treasure of all, but how should he speak of it?
  • An Artist Tries To Create The World – an artist does her best, but makes a complete hash of things
  • An Atheist Troubled By His Doubts – some fun at the expense of the New Atheists, exploring how hard it can be to hold on to your lack of faith

A Doll for Grandma:
A Story about Alzheimer’s Disease.
Paulette Bochnig Sharkey; Samantha Woo (Illustrator).
Hbk 32pp. ISBN 9781506457383.

Beaming Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Kiera loves spending time with her grandma. They play dress up. They paint their nails. They make cookies for tea parties with Kiera’s doll. But then Grandma starts to change. She starts misplacing items and forgetting how to do everyday tasks. Soon she has to move out of her home into a memory-care centre for people with Alzheimer’s. She starts calling Kiera by a different name. Then Kiera has an idea and finds a new way to enjoy time with her Grandma.

A Doll for Grandma poignantly and sensitively tells the story of a girl’s empathy and kindness in the face of her grandmother’s growing dementia. Perfect for children grappling with their changing relationship with a family member who has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Aging with Agency:
Building Resilience, Confronting Challenges, and Navigating Eldercare.
Sandi Peters.
Pbk 304pp. ISBN 9781623174361.

North Atlantic Books (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

“We live in a society with elderly people, but very few elders. There just have not been enough guides from the first half to the second half of life. Great elders reveal both a brightness and a sadness. They mirror you rather than asking you to mirror them. Aging with Agency is a guide to developing the kind of awareness that moves us from being old to being wise. Through story and example, it counsels the reader to ripen rather than decline as the years unfold. It encourages movement toward gratitude and authenticity as the inner work of the second half of life is graciously embraced.” Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM, author of Falling Upwards: A Spirituality for the Second Half of Life, and prolific writer on re-visioning Christianity for our time

Aging can bring new fears, challenges, and concerns. Loss of career, loved ones, or changing physical and cognitive abilities can leave us feeling isolated and scared.

Sandi Peters shows us that growing older need not mean the end of personal growth. In fact, late adulthood can prove to be the most meaningful and transformative period of one’s life. The key, says Peters, is the development of one’s inner life, and with it a shift in one’s relation to the aging process.

The book draws on history, philosophy, psychology, gerontology, and spirituality to deepen and expand our understanding of what it means to grow old in the 21st century. Peters shares time-tested contemplative practices such as meditation, active imagination, dream work, and creative writing designed to enhance one’s inner worlds and enable us to face life’s inevitable changes with equanimity and insight. She offers practical advice on issues such as assisted living and home care, and a refreshingly new perspective on matters of memory and cognitive change.

Not Done Yet:
Reaching and Keeping Unchurched Emerging Adults.
Beth Seversen.
Pbk 250pp. ISBN 9780830841578.

IVP Books.(2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

Nones claim no religion. Dones have become disillusioned and left the church. Research shows many young adults are landing in one of these camps. But that’s not the end of the story. Many emerging adults, ages 18 to 33, are tossing aside the none and done labels and are instead embracing a transformative Christian faith.

Based on her extensive research, scholar-practitioner Beth Seversen outlines a model for how to engage and retain millennials and Generation Z in the life of the local church.

Emerging adults are likely to experience spiritual transformation in churches that welcome them into community, provide meaningful opportunities to make a difference, and invest in their development. Whether you’re a senior pastor or a youth minister, a parent or an educator, Not Done Yet will open your eyes to the generational barriers to vibrant faith while equipping you with insights to make your outreach to emerging adults more authentic and impactful.

Festival Singers of Wellington recordings now available as digital music file downloads


You can now buy our choir’s three CDs – Tell My People, Spirited People & People of the Light – as digital music files to download and play on your mobile or computer. There are two digital options:

Order zipped sets of CD quality MP3 files ($15 per set) on the choir’s website here: 

Each month we choose a selection of titles that we think you will find stimulating and satisfying to read. So come back to the Monthly Selections section of our website regularly.

Are you looking for a specific book?

Please also ask us to find any other books you are interested in. We will give you a price and time to deliver. Emailing us at works best.