BA Books & Authors on the Web – August 8, 2014

Cover ArtEternity Bible College’s Theology for Real Life blog selected James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom as their book of the month.

“And here’s where Smith’s argument gets very important. The world is busy shaping our desires. Meanwhile, the church fights back by filling our minds. We fight love with facts. This is where the worldview approach often falls short. Descartes famous saying, ‘I think therefore I am,’ summarizes our default view of humanity. We are thinking beings. So put the right knowledge into a person’s head and he or she will behave accordingly. And there is some truth here. But we all know it’s not the whole picture.”

Also working through Desiring the Kingdom, Joel Willitts at Euangelion.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed Teenagers Matter by Mark Cannister.

Matthew Montonini, at New Testament Perspectives, is looking forward to George Guthrie’s forthcoming BECNT volume on 2 Corinthians.

At Hearts & Minds, Byron Borger recommended a number of Baker Academic titles, including:

Will Coberly at the Shepherds Theological Seminary blog recommended D.A. Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey. At Wisdom For Life, Steve Cornell also recommended Carson’s survey, along with Tremper Longman’s Old Testament Commentary Survey.

Susan Holman, editor of Wealth and Poverty in Early Church and Society, was interviewed by Alvin Rapien at The Poor in Spirit.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – June 27, 2014

Cover ArtDenis Fortin reviewed Robin Jensen’s Baptismal Imagery in Early Christianity for RBL.

“Jensen does a magnificent job of presenting these five core motifs of baptism in early Christian documents and art. Her excellent knowledge of ancient literature is evident and her analysis of art forms very enlightening….Any student of early church history and theology will appreciate its value.”

Also at RBL, Abson Joseph reviewed the third edition of Encountering the New Testament, by Walter Elwell and Robert Yarbrough.

Conrade Yap, at Panorama of a Book Saint, reviewed Reading the Historical Books, by Patricia Dutcher-Walls.

Andrew Marr reviewed David Neville’s A Peaceable Hope.

At Analogical Thoughts, James Anderson reviewed Christian Philosophy by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

James K.A. Smith, author of Who’s Afraid of Relativism? and Imagining the Kingdom, wrote Steadfast Principles in a Changing World as part of a New York Times series on Christianity and Capitalism.

Old Testament Commentary Survey by Tremper Longman, and New Testament Commentary Survey by D.A. Carson, were recommended in the Pastors Today article How to Find a Good Commentary.

An excerpt from Mark Cannister’s Teenagers Matter was shared in Outreach Magazine.

Haddon Robinson, author of Biblical Preaching, was interviewed by Ministry Magazine.

Walter Moberly’s Old Testament Theology was recommended in Catalyst’s Summer Reading list.


BA Books & Authors on the Web – March 7, 2014

Cover ArtAt Trans.formed, John Johnson reflected on The Mystery of God by Steven Boyer and Christopher Hall.

“We do have a God who has chosen to make Himself known in Christ. We do see God and know Him. But as Boyer and Hall note…we do face challenges that transcend rational exploration. This does not invalidate the exploration—which can be the fun part. However, it is important to know that there are matters that are of an unimaginable depth or density, that go well beyond our rational capacities.”

Teenagers Matter, by Mark Cannister, was awarded as the 2014 Outreach Resource of the Year in the Youth Outreach category.

John Poirier reviewed Michael Bird’s Are You the One Who Is to Come? for The Pneuma Review.

In a post about books to read during Lent, Byron Borger at Hearts & Minds recommended James K.A. Smith’s Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom.

BA Books & Authors on the Web – January 24, 2014

Cover ArtJonathan Pennington, author of Reading the Gospels Wisely, was interviewed by Matthew Montonini at New Testament Perspectives.

James K.A. Smith wrote a response to the recent critique of Imagining the Kingdom published in Books & Culture.

Byron Borger of Hearts & Minds Books included Imagining the Kingdom by James K. A. Smith,  God’s Good World by Jonathan R. Wilson, and Why Study History? by John Fea in his Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part One.

Hearts & Minds Best Books of 2013 – Part Two included Journey toward Justice by Nicholas Wolterstorff, Teenagers Matter by Mark Cannister, and Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood by David Setran and Chris Kiesling.

At RBL, Teresa Okure reviewed The Christ of the Miracle Stories by Wendy Cotter.

Jackson Watts, of the Helwys Society Forum, reviewed Christian Philosophy by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen.

John Walker reviewed Thomas Guarino’s Vincent of Lérins and the Development of Christian Doctrine, at Freedom in Orthodoxy.

At Unsettled Christianity, Joel Watts reviewed Lee McDonald’s The Story of Jesus in History and Faith.

John Cook and Robert Holmstedt’s Beginning Biblical Hebrew was reviewed by Brian LePort, at Near Emmaus.

Scott Klingsmith reviewed James Ware’s Paul and the Mission of the Church for the Denver Seminary blog.

Nijay K. Gupta’s post New Testament Scholarship: 50 Books Everyone Should Read (Part 1: Gospels), included Miracles by Craig Keener.

Postliberal Theology and the Church Catholic, edited by John Wright, and Another Reformation by Peter Ochs, were reviewed by Joseph Mangina for The Living Church.

Our monthly newsletter, E-Notes, was released this week.


eBook Special

Through Thursday, January 30, the eBook of Bonhoeffer the Assassin? by Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony Siegrist, and Daniel Umbel is available for $3.99 (86% off) at participating retailers, including:

Barnes & Noble

Bonhoeffer on the Local Church – an Excerpt from Teenagers Matter

The following is an excerpt from Teenagers Matter, by Mark Cannister.


Cover ArtWhile the local church is not perfect, it is our present reality, and we must be careful to live within our reality rather than idealize an alternate one.

Bonhoeffer suggests: “Christian brotherhood is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.” The church exists in real places and is composed of real people—not perfect people, but real people saved by grace. Therefore, Bonhoeffer warns against wishful thinking that exposits an ideal concept of exactly how the Christian community should operate.

A legalistic view of how Christians should fellowship, worship, serve, evangelize, or “disciple” creates a standard by which we judge the health of our church and neighboring churches. This inevitably leads to disappointment, disagreement, and discord within the local church. In Bonhoeffer’s view, the church is not the shadow of some eschatological reality. It is the real kingdom of God “established and real in Christ; it is a divine reality, the social form of revelation.” Hence, we are called to fight gravity’s narcissistic pull of idealism and focus on the people and relationships that compose our daily living.

Bonhoeffer’s view of Christian ethics suggests that the church belongs exclusively to our present reality and must never be considered as separate from the world. There is no moat surrounding the church and no drawbridge to pull up that would separate it from the world. The church is in the world, and the world is the church’s mission.

According to Bonhoeffer the community of faith “may not place itself above the profane and let itself become separated from the world as a kind of ‘exceptional luminary.’” The church is truly the church “only when it is related and open to the world.” The church must engage the world in every aspect of ministry in order to fulfill its redemptive mission through the ministry of Christ.

Bonhoeffer reminds us that the church is not something to be taken for granted. The community of believers is physical evidence of God’s grace in our own lives and serves as the vehicle through which God’s work is conducted here on the earth. It is “humanity being remade and redeemed as a result of God’s creative grace.” When the church operates in this manner, rather than as a club or institution, we gain a clearer sense of the unity and purpose to which we are called in all aspects of ministry—including student ministry.

©2013 by Mark Cannister. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


For more information on Teenagers Matter, click here.

New Release: Teenagers Matter, by Mark Cannister

Cover ArtWhen teenagers are valued, they bring life to nearly every sector of society, including the church. Although student ministry has come a long way in the last century, few churches have made it a high priority.

Veteran practitioner Mark Cannister brings together the latest ideas and research on adolescence to champion student ministry as integral to the life of the church. He explores how connecting teenagers into the church’s larger intergenerational community enriches the entire congregation, casting a prophetic vision for what the church can become when it truly values its young people.


“Mark Cannister has given his career to cultivating space for love and commitment between budding youth workers and youth ministry, between academic discourse and the field of youth ministry, and between the young people themselves and the church. This book is the manifestation of those many years of deepening skill and passion. On every page you’ll see a wise teacher, devoted parent, and ferocious advocate for the young.” – Andrew Root, Luther Seminary

“I’m always on the lookout for books that combine biblical faithfulness and theological reflection with in-the-trenches relevance, and Teenagers Matter is just such a book. It’s thorough, thoughtful, challenging, and practical.” – Duffy Robbins, Eastern University

“Reading this book was a profound and unexpected pleasure. Mark Cannister effortlessly connects the dots on behalf of comprehensive youth ministry. At last, here is a book that articulates why and how God’s people can step up into a faithfulness that will make a difference for every kid in our communities.” – Dave Rahn, Youth for Christ/USA; Huntington University

“Mark Cannister is a fresh voice, reminding the church of the reasons for and the ways to do authentic youth ministry. I love his tone: both helpful and hopeful. This is a must-read book for pastors, church leaders, parents, and youth workers.” – Len Kageler, Nyack College

Teenagers Matter is a benchmark book for the field of youth ministry, a book that will be widely read and referenced for years. Mark Cannister champions youth ministry’s value and mission in a book that will make readers feel like they’re getting the ‘inside word’ on what’s happening in youth ministry from one of the leading thinkers in the field. And they are.” – Terry Linhart, Bethel College


Mark Cannister (EdD, University of Pittsburgh) is professor of Christian ministries and chair of the Division of the Humanities at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. He has served as chair of the board of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators (AYME) and is currently executive administrator for the AYME. He has also served as president of the North American Professors of Christian Education and senior editor of the Journal of Youth Ministry

For more information on Teenagers Matter, click here.