Joe Drape, Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith-Center Redmen (St. Martin’s Griffin 2010). This is the story of a tiny town in Kansas with a powerhouse football team who won 79 games in a row, usually by an unbelievable margin (like the time the Redmen scored 72 points in the first quarter). If you don’t know anything about small town America, read this book. If you’ve never lived in the heartland, read this book. If you love football or good journalism, read this book. A great story told very well.
Carl Trueman, Fools Rush In Where Monkeys Fear to Tread: Taking Aim at Everyone (P&R 2012). When a publisher puts out a collection of essays like this it often feels like cobbling together a book on the cheap. Barely worth reading the fist time around, let alone the second. But Trueman’s writing is different. He knows how to tickle your funny bone and punch you in the gut, smart too. Plus this volume comes with an excellent introduction from Rodney Trotter, Theologian-in-Residence at Pastoral Centre for the Creative Arts, writing on The Feast Day of St. Olaf the Sublime. What more needs to be said? These chapters will edify, entertain, and occasionally infuriate. Enjoy.
Mark Dever, The Church: The Gospel Made Visible (B&H Academic 2012). Everyone can benefit from Mark Dever when it comes to the theology and practice of the church. My blurb: “The church today desperately needs to think more deeply about the church. That’s why I’m incredibly thankful for Mark Dever. No one writes as passionately, as winsomely, as biblically, or as practically about the church. This book is a wonderful example of all those traits. Even though my theology is different on a few important points like baptism and congregationalism, I always learn from Mark when he talks ecclesiology. If you love the church, you’ll love this book. And if the doctrine of the church sounds terribly unimportant, then you need to read this book even more.”
Robert Sirico, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy (Regnery 2012). Rev. Sirico is a Catholic priest, the president of the Grand Rapids based Acton Institute, and a former radical leftists. As you can guess by the title, he’s since said goodbye to his socialist and Marxist leanings. It’s a shame than in our hyper-partisan climate many people will automatically dismiss the book as Republican propaganda. But it really isn’t. Sirico is picking up where Michael Novak left off in making a strong moral case for capitalism, free markets, and the calling of the entrepreneur. It’s a case that Christians need to consider more carefully, even if you end up disagreeing with some of Sirico’s points, especially the many pastors who bring a superficial understanding of business and economics with them into the pulpit. This would be a great book to read and discuss in a small group, a book club, or a senior seminar.