Mid-June 2019 Selection

Mid-June 2019 Selection

Click here for details of Seasons of the Spirit materials for the next church year.

We are taking now orders on our website and will post catalogues and order forms soon to customers who have bought these materials from us in recent years.

This month we feature Echoes of Sinai two decades of favourite sermons by Rabbi Harold Kushner; Deep Focus which explores the intersection of theology and film; two new commentaries and study guides on Matthew’s gospel by Barbara E Reid and Cinderella Liberator and new take on the traditional children’s story.

This month’s selection also includes books on budgeting for a healthy church, new ideas about the process of preparing weekly sermons, how to resolve conflict, a major new worship resource on God’s good earth and a new book on Lesslie Newbigin’s missionary ecclesiology.

See the Ordering section below for information about ordering these titles, (including alternatives to using our PayPal shopping cart buttons). our postage charges and orders for overseas customers.

[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 15 June 2019]

Echoes of Sinai:
Favorite Sermons of Rabbi Harold Kushner.
Harold S Kushner.
Pbk 294pp. ISBN 9781944377298.
Harold S. Kushner (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

For 25 years, Rabbi Harold Kushner served as the congregational rabbi of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, speaking each week with understanding and compassion to his congregants. While readers across the world embraced his writing, it is only these congregants in Natick who have heard his spoken words – until now.

Echoes Of Sinai collects over two decades of Rabbi Kushner’s most popular sermons, exploring questions as essential as: What Makes Life Worth Living, To Be an Authentic Human Being, and more. The sermons are as compelling as they are thought-provoking and as personal as they are universal. Together, they affirm Rabbi Kushner’s status as one of our great humanists.

“As always, Rabbi Kushner writes in a way that makes deep religious thought accessible to the casual reader while giving the more sophisticated reader a great deal to ponder…This is a book that will stimulate your mind and encourage you to examine what are the lasting lessons in your life.” The Jewish Book Council

Deep Focus:
Film and Theology in Dialogue.
Robert K. Johnston; Craig Detweiler; Kutter Callaway.
Pbk 272pp. ISBN 9781540960030.
Baker Books (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Deep Focus is a brilliant contribution to the growing canon of books on the intersection of theology and film. The authors know and love their territory and plumb the depths of cinema’s historical and cultural landscape to break open films to find what is divine and authentically human. They explore a wide range of films from the silent era to the most current box-office hits and flow through diverse genres. The text is accessible and a pleasure to read.”
Rose Pacatte, FSP, Pauline Center for Media Studies; film critic, National Catholic Reporter


Budgeting for a Healthy Church:
Aligning Finances with Biblical Priorities for Ministry.
Jamie Dunlop.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780310093862.
Zondervan (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Many ministers conceive of the church budget as primarily a financial tool, but in fact it is primarily a pastoral tool.

Dunlop examines each section of the budget in light of Biblical principles to show how a church budget can lock in healthy approaches to ministry. Whereas most books on church budgeting are “how” books, explaining how the budgeting process should work, this is a “what” book, helping church leaders determine the pastoral implications of what they choose to fund in their budgets.

A church’s philosophy of ministry is locked into its budget, and so the budget will either stifle or accelerate any attempts to move a congregation toward a biblical model of church health. As such, the church budget is a far more potent pastoral tool than many church leaders realise.

The Practice of Finding:
How Gratitude Leads the Way to Enough.
Holly Whitcomb.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780802875303.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Seeking is in vogue these days. Many of us are continually, even obsessively striving and seeking – for something or other. But are we ever satisfied? What is enough?

Whitcomb presents the spiritual practice of finding as the antidote to chronic seeking, as the doorway to a grateful awareness of having received enough. Whitcomb exuberantly celebrates learning to savour beauty and relationships even as she also explores the gifts of vulnerability and suffering. She reflects on wisdom distilled by the finders – poets, play-wrights, psychologists, and theologians – and derived from her own experience. When we engage in finding, says Whitcomb, we recognize with humility and wonder that the universe contains possibilities beyond our power to imagine.

Gospel According to Matthew, Part One.
Barbara E Reid.
Pbk 104pp. ISBN 9780814664087.

Cistercian Publications (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Standing at the start of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew provides a bridge from the Jewish world awaiting a Messiah to the emerging Christian world of Jesus and his followers. This Gospel introduces us to Jesus as the Master Teacher whose words of instruction are captured in large teaching sections. Part One covers Matthew 1:1–16:28, from the birth of Jesus through much of his public teaching life, to the first prediction of his passion.

Includes commentary, study and reflection questions, prayer and access to recorded lectures. 5 lessons.

Gospel According to Matthew, Part Two.
Barbara E Reid.
Pbk 80pp. ISBN 9780814664339.

Cistercian Publications (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Beginning with the Transfiguration of Jesus in chapter 17:1, the Gospel of Matthew continues to reveal through Jesus’ teachings what it means to be a disciple. This second part of the study of Matthew reveals a growing tension as Jesus ministers around Jerusalem, is arrested, crucified and rises to new life. Revealed as Emmanuel (God with us) at the start of the Gospel, Jesus will promise his continuing presence as the disciples are commissioned at the close of the Gospel.

Includes commentary, study and reflection questions, prayer and access to recorded lectures. 4 lessons.

Upside-Down Spirituality:
The 9 Essential Failures of a Faithful Life.
Chad Bird.
Pbk 208pp. ISBN 9780801075674.

Baker Books (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Bird paints an enticing picture of the counter-intuitive, counter-cultural life that God wants for us. He helps readers delight in all of the ways that Jesus turned the world upside-down, allowing us to experience true freedom, not from our weaknesses but in the midst of them.

Where the world stresses the importance of success, Bird invites readers to embrace 9 specific failures in areas of our personal lives, our relationships and the church. Why? Because what human wisdom deems indispensable is so often an impediment to our spiritual growth, and what it deems insignificant is so often essential to it.

Surprised by Jesus Again:
Reading the Bible in Communion with the Saints.
Jason Byassee.
Pbk 200pp. ISBN 9780802871688.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A bold, historical, robust approach to reading Scripture and encountering Jesus anew.

Drawing on the early church’s theological giants – Origen, Augustine, Gregory the Great, and more from the historical cloud of witnesses – Byassee models how we can recover ancient Christians’ multiple ways of reading the Bible to our benefit.

“Jason Byassee goes hunting in the church’s past and discovers a long-forgotten and much-needed treasure for today – richer ways of reading Scripture than the dry, lifeless habits of reading that bewitch and bewilder the church with illusory, pointless, and life-sucking arguments. Others have discovered the same treasure, but Byassee’s account stands out as a winsome invitation to an adventure with Christ.” Jonathan R. Wilson

Mere Discipleship:
Growing in Wisdom and Hope.
Alister E. McGrath.
Pbk 176pp.ISBN 9780801094224.

Baker Books (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Theologian McGrath encourages readers to move beyond a superficial grasp of their faith, equipping them to grow in wisdom and develop a sound Christian worldview that informs the way they think, imagine and act.

Drawing on the insights of other illuminating writers, including: Dorothy L. Sayers, C. S. Lewis, John Stott, and J. I. Packer, McGrath offers counsel on holding on to hope while journeying through darkness and on how to live meaningfully in a world in which things don’t always seem to make sense.

Every Tribe:
Stories of Diverse Saints Serving in a Diverse World.
Sharon Prentis.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780281080854.

SPCK (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

The Bible tells us Jesus is for every tribe, language, people and nation – so why are all the saints in our stained-glass windows white? An oppressive bias has taken hold of the storytelling of the Church. Many are surprised to discover that St. Augustine was from present day Algeria, and even that most British of saints, George, was an immigrant with a Turkish father and a Palestinian mother.

Every Tribe celebrates the true diversity of the saints, inspiring the church to become what it is meant to be: the rainbow people of God serving the diverse needs of a diverse world.

Cinderella Liberator.
Rebecca Solnit;
Arthur Rackham illustrator.
Hbk 32pp. ISBN 9781608465965.

Haymarket Books. (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In her debut children’s book, Rebecca Solnit reimagines a classic fairytale with a fresh, feminist Cinderella and new plot twists that will inspire young readers to change the world, featuring gorgeous silhouettes from Arthur Rackham on each page.

In this modern twist on the classic story, Cinderella, who would rather just be Ella, meets her fairy godmother, goes to a ball, and makes friends with a prince. But that is where the familiar story ends. Instead of waiting to be rescued, Cinderella learns that she can save herself and those around her by being true to herself and standing up for what she believes.

Searching for a Silent God.
Sarah Parkinson.
Pbk 110pp. ISBN 9781789590388.

Sacristy Press (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Having come to faith as a young adult, Sarah Parkinson had always had a strong sense of the presence and loving care of God in her life. Following a family bereavement, she found herself searching for a God who no longer seemed to be there. Movingly expressed in reflective prose, and poems written at the time, she describes how this experience led her to a more profound and mature relationship with God.

The author tells her own story and in doing so enables others to search for and find transformation in their life of faith.

This is a thoughtful and engaging companion for all who experience times of spiritual crisis.

Sunday Comes Every Week:
Daily Habits for the Busy Preacher.
Frank G Honeycutt.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780802876454.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Seasoned advice for pastors facing the weekly challenge of preparing sermons.

For pastors, a new sermon comes every week. Conventional wisdom says that pastors need to sequester themselves to prepare their weekly sermon without distraction. But veteran preacher Frank Honeycutt suggests just the opposite: prepare your sermons as part of a daily, lived experience in the community.

Using the days of the week as a framework, Honeycutt describes practical and essential tasks leading up to the writing and delivery of the Sunday sermon – habits that will provide lasting spiritual nourishment for pastors who plan for a long career in parish ministry. With humour and candid acknowledgment of his own mistakes and doubts, Honeycutt reflects on the joys and hazards of ministry and explains how a faithful process of preaching shapes pastors for a lifetime of healthy ministry.

  • Monday: Listening
  • Tuesday: Hearing
  • Wednesday: Exegeting
  • Thursday: Naming
  • Reflecting: A Pastor Looks Back
  • Friday: Writing
  • Saturday: Rehearsing
  • Sunday: Offering

God’s Good Earth:
Praise and Prayer for Creation.
Anne Rowthorn; Jeffery Rowthorn.
Hbk 376pp. ISBN 9780814644126.

Liturgical Press (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

God’s Good Earth offers Christians and their communities an engaging resource for prayer, reflection, and worship that reflects and nourishes their efforts to serve God and care for God’s creation. Those who enter into the book’s praise and prayer will have their faith in God the Creator strengthened, their gratitude for the wonders of God’s creation deepened, and their commitment to act on behalf of God’s good earth enhanced.

Compilers Anne and Jeffery Rowthorn have prepared 52 beautiful, ready-made prayer services, each around a specific theme, drawing from a rich variety of ecumenical resources: psalms and other responsive readings, Scripture, hymns, prayers, and reflections from the world’s most engaging nature writers and interpreters of the social and cultural landscape.

Each section can be used in full, or the user may select smaller sections; permission is granted to the purchaser to reproduce the content for use in public prayer.

The Art of Noticing:
131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday.
Rob Walker.
Hbk 256pp. ISBN 9780525521242.

Knopf Publishing (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

An imaginative, thought-provoking gift book to awaken your senses and attune them to the things that matter in your life.

Welcome to the era of white noise. Our lives are in constant tether to phones, to email, and to social media. In this age of distraction, the ability to experience and be present is often lost: to think and to see and to listen.

This gorgeously illustrated volume will spark your creativity – and most importantly, help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises – 131 of them – Walker maps ways for you to become a clearer thinker, a better listener, a more creative workplace colleague and finally, to rediscover your sense of passion and to notice what really matters to you.

The Peacemaking Church:
8 Biblical Keys to Resolve Conflict and Preserve Unity.
Curtis Heffelfinger.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780801019500.

Baker Books (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

When human beings are involved in any endeavour, conflict is inevitable. But the best fight is the one a church never has to have because its members have been intentionally cultivating practices that lead to peace and preserve unity.

Whether they are dealing with conflict right now or hoping to avoid it later, church members, pastors, and ministry leaders will benefit from Heffelfinger’s proactive approach, which will equip them with the knowledge and practices they need to instil in their church leadership and membership.

How the Body of Christ Talks:
Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church.
C. Christopher Smith.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9781587434112.
Baker Books (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In today’s highly charged social and political environment, we often don’t know how to talk well with others – especially with people whose backgrounds differ from our own.

Smith, co-author of the critically acclaimed and influential Slow Church, addresses why conversation has become such a challenge in the 21st century and argues that it is perhaps the most-needed spiritual practice of our individualistic age.

Smith likens practicing conversation to the working of the human body. Bodies are wondrous symphonies of diverse, intricate parts striving for our health, and our health suffers when these parts fail to converse effectively. Likewise, we must learn to converse effectively with those who differ from us in the body of Christ so we can embody Christ together in the world. In community, we learn what it means to belong to others and to a story that is bigger than ourselves.

Smith shows how church communities can be training hubs where we learn to talk with and listen to one another with kindness and compassion.

The book explores how churches can initiate and sustain conversation, offers advice for working through seasons of conflict, suggests spiritual practices and dispositions that can foster conversation, and features stories from several congregations that are learning to practice conversation.

The Church and Its Vocation:
Lesslie Newbigin’s Missionary Ecclesiology.
Michael W Goheen.

Foreword: N T Wright.
Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9781540960474.

Baker Books (2018).
[Allow 2- weeks].

Lesslie Newbigin, one of the 20th century’s most important church leaders, offered insights on the church in a pluralistic world that are arguably more relevant now than when first written.

Goheen clearly articulates Newbigin’s missionary understanding of the church and places it in the context of Newbigin’s core theological convictions.

Suitable for students as well as church leaders, this book offers readers a better understanding of the mission of the church in the world today.

Disability and the Way of Jesus:
Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church
Bethany McKinney Fox.
Pbk 203pp. ISBN 9780830852390.

IVP Academic (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

“…How did Jesus heal and why? And how is a disciple of Jesus called to become a true healer? This opens up the need of every person to be healed from their fear of entering into a real and authentic relationship with people with disabilities.

We all need to learn to love and to respect people as they are and to see their beauty sometimes hidden behind their impairments. This book by Bethany McKinney Fox is excellent, filled with deeply Christian insights.”
Jean Vanier, founder of l’Arche

What does healing mean for people with disabilities? Bridging biblical studies, ethics, and disability studies with the work of practitioners, Fox examines healing narratives in their biblical and cultural contexts. This theologically grounded and practical resource helps us more fully understand what Jesus does as he heals and how he points the way for relationships with people with disabilities.

Beyond Busyness:
Time Wisdom for Ministry.
Stephen Cherry.
Pbk 112pp. ISBN 9781908381057.

Sacristy Press (2012).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Beyond Busyness abounds with practical wisdom for those engaged in Christian ministry. At a time when busyness, anxiety and stress characterise the lives of many of the Church’s ministers, Stephen Cherry has written a much-needed book. It very effectively challenges ministers to reflect on how they approach and use the gift of time.

Each of the short 28 sessions offers considerable insight into the nature of time and encourages ministers to confront their current habits and develop new life-giving practices through which their ministry can thrive and they can flourish. Every minister should spend time not only reading Beyond Busyness but integrating its wisdom into their lives.”
Dr Jocelyn Bryan, Director of Postgraduate Studies, St John’s College, Durham University

Customers in the Wellington metro area are invited to our choir, Festival Singers’ concert O Nata Lux – Born of Light on Sunday 23 June.
Click here for more details.


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Other recent email newsletters

Click here for:
Year C – 2019 Devotional, Worship and Preaching resources

And click here for links to our other recent selections.

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We have over 150 titles loaded on Trade Me, many of which are now reduced to $5.00 or less (but only while stock lasts). These are all in stock now. 50 are listed as auctions at any one time. They are all Buy Now only, so order straight away to secure your books. The listings last 5 days, so come back every few days to see a fresh list.
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Check out the Publish your book with us page on our website, which explains how we can work with you to publish your book in print and as an eBook.