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The Best Christian Writing 2004



The Best Christian Writing 2004

John Wilson (Editor), Miroslav Volf (Introduction)

ISBN: 978-0-787-96964-6 October 2003 Jossey-Bass 240 Pages

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This collection of the finest contemporary Christian writing is "a prime example of diverse beliefs among Christians."
Los Angeles Times

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 today's Christianity.

Includes contributions from a diverse group of distinguished writers:

David Batstone
J. Bottum
Andy Crouch
Scott Derrickson
Jennifer Holberg
Philip Jenkins
Douglas Jones
Jeremy Lott
Frederica Mathewes-Green
Wilfred M. McClay
Kathleen Norris
Julie Polter
The Preacher
James Calvin Schaap
Lewis B. Smedes
John D. Spalding
Tim Stafford
James R. Van Tholen
Lauren F. Winner
Albert Louis Zambone
Wendy Murray Zoba

Introduction ix

Preface xvii

Saving the Corporate Soul 1

Dakota Christmas 8

We're Rich 27

A Conversation with Wim Wenders 30

SWF Seeking King 55

A New Religious America 61

Just Wood 70

Jesus Sells 81

Both Door and Path: On Repentance 93

The Continuing Irony of American History 99

The Prodigal Reader 117

The Cold Reaches of Heaven 122

Be Thou My Vision 128

Dancing with Ghosts: A White Man at Wounded Knee 131

God and a Grateful Old Man 146

The Shocking Truth About John Wesley 151

How to Build Homes Without Putting Up Walls 157

Vegetarians in Babylon: Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time 171

Speaking in Tongues 179

Technology As If the Incarnation Actually Happened 185

A Sense of Place: The Many Horizons of Martin E. Marty 194

Biographical Notes 211

Credits 215

Chosen by Christianity Today editor Wilson, this eclectic treasure trove, on subjects as diverse as repentance, being an unmarried believer, and the evangelical Christian Book Association convention, contains some truly extraordinary writing. Notable essays include a wide-ranging interview with German filmmaker Wim Wenders, a spare but haunting recollection of a trip to Wounded Knee, and a wonderfully contemporary and demanding sermon on the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Wilfred McClay's subtle and keenly honed meditation on what it means to be an American Christian after September 11 is timely, theologically acute, and likely to be very challenging to some readers. Although some authors, like Frederica Mathewes-Green, Philip Jenkins, and Kathleen Norris, are famous, others edit religious journals, pastor churches, or teach in colleges. Rich in whimsy, overflowing with gentle wonder, and laced with both irony and anguish, these pieces by and large live up to their rather audacious billing, as the best of the best. (Oct. 24) (Publishers Weekly, August 25, 2003)

This is the fifth anthology in this most worthwhile series from Jossey-Bass (the first was Best Christian Writing 2000), and like any good anthology it provides a mixture of the sublime and the accessible. Of particular interest to the general reader will be Jennifer Holberg's amusing and touching "SWF Seeking King," James Calvin Schapp's achingly candid "Dancing with Ghosts: A White Man at Wounded Knee," or Albert Louis Zarnbone's striking "Technology As If the Incarnation Actually Happened." Overall, the essays in this year's edition are shorter and less challenging to the mind and soul than the previous years' have been-but this alone is no blot on the escutcheon for editor Wilson or his very fine series. For most collections. (Library Journal, October 1, 2003)