Communion and Feeding

Blessed are the Hungry: Meditiations on the Lord's Supper
by Peter J. Leithart
190 pages

Find it: Sacraments, 265 Lei

In this concise collection of essays, Leithart takes an intriguing look at the typological framework of sacramental theology. He provides expositions of Bible stories that involve the centrality of table fellowship with God. When you participate in the Lord's Supper, Leithart shows, you are being fed the fruit of the Tree of Life, participating in the sacrifice of the altar as a priest, entering the land of milk and honey.... and so much more.

His expositions on various feeding stories in the Bible reveal the clues communion holds to the meaning of all creation and history. With skill, Leithart blends technical theological discussions with wonderfully meditative reading.

"I doubt that anyone could walk away from reading this little paperback book of meditations without having a perspective adjustment and a greater appreciation for God's revelation of Himself and the means of grace He has blessed."
--R. Goulden, Charlotte, North Carolina for Christian Book Distributors


Teens: Time travel to ancient Britain

Hostage Lands
by Douglas Bond
234 pages

Find it: Teen Interest, YA Bon
Color code orange

Join Neil Perkins, Latin student at Haltwhistle Grammar School in England, as he uncovers a story of treachery and betrayal. After unearthing an ancient Roman manuscript, Neil dedicates himself to studying Latin and translates this exciting story from the third century. Disaffected centurion Rusticus serves Rome at Hadrian's Wall, an unruly frontier. He is saved from massacre by Cadwal, a Celt who was deeply changed when he saw Christians martyred in the Roman Colosseum.

Readers will learn what it was like to be an early Christian in a far corner of a vast, powerful, pagan empire.

"With a wide but understandable vocabulary, a talent for keeping the plot under control, a penchant for characterization, and a wonderful imagination, Bond presents a tale sure to engross any reader."
- Donna Eggett, Christian Book Previews.com


Commentary: Galatians

Grace in Galatia: A Commentary on Paul's Letter to the Galatians
by Ben Witherington III
512 pages

Find it: New Testament 227.4 Gal

This book is an innovative socio-rhetorical study of Paul's most polemical letter. Ben Witherington breaks new ground by analyzing the whole of Galatians as a deliberative discourse meant to forestall the Galatians from submitting to circumcision and the Jewish law. The commentary features the latest discussion of major problems in Pauline studies, including Paul's view of the law and the relationship between the historical data in Galatians and in Acts. Yet the narrative character of Witherington's work allows it to remain exceedingly accessible. This volume also includes sections following the major divisions of the commentary that point to the relevance of the text for believers today.


Kids: Story of a Reformation hero

The Hawk that Dare not Hunt by Day
by Scott O'Dell

Find it: Middle readers, J Ode
color code yellow

The year is 1525 and books written by reformers like Martin Luther are being burned all over Europe. For Tom Barton, who smuggles such books into England, the ban is an opportunity to make money. But when Tom meets William Tyndale, who defies the king and distributes Bibles to the common people, he realizes that the Reformation is more than a money-maker and that spreading God's Word is worth risking one's life.


Women: Facing midlife

The Afternoon of Life: Finding Purpose and Joy in Midlife
by Elyse Fitzpatrick
216 pages

Find it: Family/Relationships
color code purple

As we age, we wonder at the many changes occurring in our lives. How do we make the necessary adjustments? How do we handle all of this? Elyse Fitzpatrick shows us how our faith can be at the center of how we respond to these life changes.

With humor, transparency, and biblical wisdom, she helps us see that God's purpose in bringing us through this time is to glorify himself and sanctify us. There are questions at the end of each chapter to help women during what may be the most difficult time they will face.


Church History for Kids

Peril and Peace
Chronicles of the Ancient Church

by Brandon and Mindy Withrow
207 pages

Monks and Mystics
Chronicles of the Medieval Church

by Brandon and Mindy Withrow
223 pages

Find it: Teen, YA Wit
Color code: Orange

Local authors, Brandon and Mindy Withrow, have undertaken the task of writing a multi-volume history of the church for youthful readers. And the results are a wonderful gift to the church, both providing a helpful historical resource and narrating lives and events in a way that engages and inspires.

The first volume, Peril and Peace tells the story the early church from the time of the apostle Paul to Saint Benedict, figures whose accomplishment shape the church even still. The Withrows help us see the struggles, triumphs, mistakes, and growth of the first Christian centuries as God sent his people on mission among many cultures and nations.

The second volume, Monks and Mystics covers the centuries from Pope Gregory I to the reformers Wycliffe and Huss, as the church moved forward in a world marked by the growth of Islam, theological controversy, church divisions, new learning, and spiritual decline. Follow the story of God's people as the stage is set for the Reformation and the emergence of the modern world.


Urban missions: faith in the city

To Live in Peace:
Biblical Faith and the Changing Inner City

by Mark R. Gornik
261 pages

Find it: 253 GOR

How are Christians to understand and respond to our distressed inner-city communities? Building on both the perspective of God's new creation and the view from the neighborhood, Mark R. Gornik's To Live in Peace shows how the life of the church, the strategies of community development, and the practices of peacemaking can make a transformational difference.

Centering the book is the story of Baltimore's New Song Community Church, a church that stands as a witness to what can happen when the risks of the gospel are taken. Engaging with a wide range of theological and missiological perspectives, Gornik demonstrates how placing blame for the current conditions of life in the inner city on the residents themselves fails the test of critical analysis and the witness of Scripture. Yet his proposals also show ways that the church can work with the community to overcome structural obstacles to human flourishing.

"Churches live primarily to serve themselves and compete with one another for providing services to increasingly consumeristic congregations. For all the talk about mission and service, the churches are driven by numbers, ever more elaborate programs, psychobabble, and slick buildings. At best, ministries of reconciliation and justice become optional add-ons to the program menu of churches, when the Gospel requires them to be at the core of all we do in the church.

Gornik lays out a sophisticated prescription for change. In the process he does not advocate for 'mercy' ministry that humiliates its recipients. Instead he calls for simply connecting faith with life. This unfolds into a vision for restoring the shalom of God's new creation through 'thousands of little things' done 'right over a period of many years.' He addresses both indiviuals and structures in the process."
--Rev. R. Cannata, New Orleans, Louisiana