June 2021 Selection

June 2021 Selection

Topics covered by the books in this list include:

  • Sabbath and rest
  • Lament
  • Climate Change
  • A biography of Eugene Peterson, translator of the Message Bible, and .
  • The power of seeking justice together.

For the 2021-22 church year, we can now offer the option of ordering your Seasons of the Spirit Fusion and Encore materials on a USB STICK. This will give you the benefit of digital access to the materials on computers and laptops which don’t have a CD/DVD drive.

We are now taking orders for
Seasons of the Spirit PRINT, CD ROM & USB STICK packs
for Year C 2021-2022.

You can order these popular worship and children’s ministry resources on our website here:

Order and pay for your materials by
31 July 2021 to get our
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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 30 May 2021]

Reclaiming Rest:
The Promise of Sabbath, Solitude, and Stillness in a Restless World.
Kate H. Rademacher.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781506465999.

Broadleaf Books (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Stillness. Prayer. Sabbath. In a restless world, what do those words even mean?

Public health expert Kate H. Rademacher grew up thinking it was up to humans to bring healing and justice to earth. Saving the world meant working long hours, answering emails day or night, and competing for professional awards and funding. In an era of pandemic, racial injustice, and deepening inequality, who’s got time for a nap? Stressed out and frazzled, Rademacher landed on the Christian story, in which a sought-after Saviour retreats to solitary places and prays alone in the wilderness.

Rademacher tells the story of a year of monthly Sabbath retreats, during which she withdraws from family and work obligations for periods of solitude. She also experiments with disciplines like walking, praying, taking a break from social media, and finding a Sabbath buddy.

“If you do not recognize yourself in the first few pages of this compelling, sage, and down-to-earth book, trust me: Rademacher is going to call your name before she is through. I cannot think of another book that makes a better case for wedding faithful activism to equally faithful rest.” Barbara Brown Taylor, author of Always a Guest and An Altar in the World

Also on this topic:

Sabbath as Resistance.
Includes Study Guide.
Walter Brueggemann.
Pbk 150pp. ISBN 9780664263294. Westminster John Knox (2017).

[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not simply about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society. Brueggemann calls out our 24/7 society of consumption, a society in which we live to achieve, accomplish, perform, and possess. We want more, own more, use more, eat more, and drink more. Brueggemann shows readers how keeping the Sabbath allows us to break this restless cycle and focus on what is truly important: God, other people, all life.

Perfect for groups or self-reflection Sabbath as Resistance offers a transformative vision of the wholeness God intends, giving world-weary Christians a glimpse of a more fulfilling and simpler life through Sabbath observance.


Imagining a Childlike Faith Beyond the Baggage of Western Culture.
Mandy Smith.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781587435058.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A popular pastor and speaker shows that Western culture is in a tailspin and Christian faith is entangled in it: we do kingdom things in empire ways. This book invites us to detox from the deeply ingrained habits of Western culture, helping us reimagine how to follow God with our whole selves again and join with God’s mission in the world.

“Do not, dear reader, take up this book unless you intend to be changed, because this book concerns emancipatory transformation… [It] is a powerfully compelling good word to the church in our society – evangelical and liberal – that has largely exhausted its old endowments.” Walter Brueggemann (from the foreword).

A Burning in My Bones:
The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of the Message.
Winn Collier.
Hbk 368pp. ISBN 9780735291621.

Waterbrook Press (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

For Peterson, the gifts of life were inexhaustible: the glint of fading light over the lake, a kiss from Jan, a good joke, a bowl of butter pecan ice cream. As you enter into his story, you’ll find yourself doing the same – noticing how the most ordinary things shimmer with a new and unexpected beauty.

“This essential authorised biography offers unique insights into the experiences and spiritual convictions that shaped the unforgettable life of Eugene Peterson, iconic American pastor and beloved translator of bestselling Bible paraphrase The Message. His quiet life of deep integrity and gospel purpose is a bright light against a dark backdrop.” John Mark Comer, author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry.

The Alarmist:
Fifty Years Measuring Climate Change.
Dave Lowe.
Pbk 272pp. ISBN 9781776564187.

Victoria University Press (2021).$40.00.
[Allow 7-10 days].

His research was urgent fifty years ago. Now, it’s critical.

In equal parts adventure and a warning, and with the wisdom and frustration of half a century behind him, The Alarmist  is the exhilarating autobiography of a pioneering Kiwi scientist who has dedicated his life to sounding the alarm on climate change.

What followed was a lifetime’s career marked by hope and despair. As realisation dawned of what his measurements meant for the future of the planet, Dave travelled the world to understand more about atmospheric gases, along the way programming some of the earliest computers, designing cutting-edge equipment and conducting experiments both dangerous and mind-numbingly dull.

From the sandy beaches of California to the stark winters of West Germany, the mesas of the Rocky Mountains and an Atlantic voyage across the equator, Dave has faced down climate deniers, foot-dragging bureaucracy and widespread complacency to open people’s eyes to the effects of increasing fossil fuel emissions on our atmosphere.

The Making of Biblical Womanhood:
How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth.
Beth Allison Barr.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9781587434709.

Brazos Press (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Biblical womanhood – the belief that God designed women to be submissive wives, virtuous mothers, and joyful homemakers – pervades North American Christianity. From choices about careers to roles in local churches to relationship dynamics, this belief shapes the everyday lives of evangelical women. Yet biblical womanhood isn’t biblical, says Baylor University historian Beth Allison Barr. It arose from a series of clearly definable historical moments.

This book moves the conversation about biblical womanhood beyond Greek grammar and into the realm of church history – ancient, medieval, and modern – to show that this belief is not divinely ordained but a product of human civilization that continues to creep into the church. Barr’s historical insights provide context for contemporary teachings about women’s roles in the church and help move the conversation forward.

A New Heaven and a New Earth:
Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology.
J. Richard Middleton.
Pbk 336pp. ISBN 9780801048685.

Baker Academic (2014).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In recent years, more and more Christians have come to appreciate the Bible’s teaching that the ultimate blessed hope for the believer is not an otherworldly heaven; instead, it is full-bodied participation in a new heaven and a new earth brought into fullness through the coming of God’s kingdom.

Drawing on the full sweep of the biblical narrative, J. Richard Middleton unpacks key Old Testament and New Testament texts to make a case for the new earth as the appropriate Christian hope. He suggests its ethical and ecclesial implications, exploring the difference a holistic eschatology can make for living in a broken world.

“Richard Middleton plunges boldly into a most-treasured misreading of the Bible. He shows the way in which ‘other-worldly’ hope of ‘going to heaven’ is a total misread of gospel faith. In a demanding, sure-footed way he walks the reader through a rich deposit of biblical texts to make clear that the gospel concerns the transformation of the earth and not escape from it.

Middleton summons us to repentance for such a mistaken understanding that has had disastrous practical implications. This is a repentance that he himself avows. When his book catches on, it will have an immense impact on the way in which we think and act about our common future in the gospel, a common future with important socioeconomic, political derivatives.” Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

How to Read Paul:
A Brief Introduction to His Theology, Writings, and World.
Yung Suk Kim.
Pbk 200pp. ISBN 9781506471440.

Fortress Press (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

How to Read Paul provides an incisive, yet brief, examination of Paul as a writer and theologian steeped in the cultural, intellectual, and religious crossroads of the ancient world.

Through an analysis of Paul’s undisputed letters, Yung Suk Kim explores and explains Paul’s key theological concepts and situates them in their proper cultural context.

By placing Paul in the Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman worlds that informed his thinking, this book re-examines familiar themes in his letters, such as gospel, righteousness, and faith. In so doing, How to Read Paul provides teachers, students, and interested lay readers with a clear, user-friendly portrait of the apostle, informed by a critical, yet appreciative, integration of the new perspective on Paul, emphasizing the faithfulness of Christ as well as believers’ participation in Christ.

The first few chapters give an overview of Paul and his letters, while the remaining chapters deal with key theological concepts and their cultural contexts. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter help students focus their reading and reflection on central elements, features, and themes.

Beyond These Shores:
Aotearoa and the World.
Nina Hall (ed).
Pbk.  ISBN 9781988545639.

Bridget Williams Books (2020).

See sale priced copy here:
March 2022 Stocktake Sale

This book brings together a new generation of voices, who are seldom heard in current foreign-policy debates.

New Zealand looks out to a turbulent world. Long-standing alliances are fracturing, nationalism is surging and the oceans are rising. The contributors ask that we fundamentally rethink Aotearoa’s role in the world and offer practical ideas grounded in progressive values and evidence.

Contributors: Fairlie Chappuis, Amelia Evans, Max Harris, Thomas Nash, Tina Ngata, Tulia Thompson and Zeng Dazheng.

Click here to view a video of book launch: https://youtu.be/uRmtZo5UJSk

Living Into the Diversity of Christ’s Body.
Brian Brock.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9781540962973.

Baker Academic (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A leading ethicist and pastoral theologian shows readers that thinking more closely and theologically about disability is a doorway into a more vibrant and welcoming church life for all Christians.

“Brock is one of the most interesting and original thinkers within the field of disability theology. In this balanced and thoughtful account Brock provides not only an excellent overview of the field but also new and original ways of thinking about disability and responding to the practical and theological issues that arise from thoughtful exploration. People new to the field and those of us who have been around for a while will find this book invaluable.” John Swinton, University of Aberdeen.

You Can Talk to God Like That:
The Surprising Power of Lament to Save Your Faith.
Abby Norman.
Pbk 200pp. ISBN 9781506469065. Broadleaf Books (2021).

[Allow 2-3 weeks].

The notion that we have to be positive all the time, putting on a happy face through anger, frustration, and pain, hinders our ability not only to heal ourselves and society, but to have an authentic relationship with the Divine.

We long to connect with God over the very real sorrow in our lives and in the world around us, but so many of us were never shown how. This lack of knowing how to lament – an ancient practice of expressing anger and pain to God – damages us personally and spiritually.

Pastor Abby Norman is here to tell us that we can talk to God like that. In her fresh, tell-it-like-it-is voice, she unpacks the power of lament, providing us with the tools and the grace-filled permission to heal the problems we have been ignoring for too long. She shows us how to express our laments to God and to each other when things are definitely not okay. And through this process we will discover a richer connection with God – who has wanted nothing more than our whole selves from the start.

“This book is an absolute gem of straight-talking encouragement and practical wisdom for anyone who’s frustrated by the lack of authenticity in church. Everyone needs an Abby Norman in their life: she has a rare gift of writing about unresolved suffering that will leave you feeling seen, hugged, and galvanized at the same time.” Tanya Marlow, pastoral theologian and author of Those Who Wait

When We Stand:
The Power of Seeking Justice Together.
Terence Lester.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9780830831784.

IVP (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Activist Terence Lester knows it’s hard to change the world. But mobilizing and using our gifts in collaboration with others empowers us to do more than we ever could on our own. Offering practical ways for us to get involved as groups, families, churches, and communities, Lester shows how the body of Christ can transform society when we stand together.

Lester looks at the obstacles that prevent us from getting involved, and he offers practical ways that we can accomplish things together as groups, families, churches, and communities. He helps us find our place in the larger picture, discerning the unique ways we can contribute and make a difference.

By connecting with our neighbours and discovering our own paths of service, we can drastically change how we follow Christ and see God moving in the world.


The Seeker and the Monk:
Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton.
Sophfronia Scott
Barbara Brown Taylor (

Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9781506464961.
Broadleaf Books (2021).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun? Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions in the 20th century. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today.

Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times. As a black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love.

She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it? By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within – and even to love – this despairing and radiant world.

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 books@pgpl.co.nz  works best.