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Awakening of Hope: A Book You Can Recommend

I’ve just finished reading a book which is such a wealth of insight and teaching, I might just start at page one and begin again. I’ll do a review of it later at Thinking Out Loud, but suffice it say to my fellow readers that this is a book that you can recommend wholeheartedly to that slice of your customer base that reads “good books” and “deep books.”

The Awakening of Hope : Why We Practice a Common Faith is the work of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove (Zondervan, paperback) who many of us got to know through the Common Prayer book of liturgical readings co-authored with Shane Claiborne, who also writes the intro to this one.

The book is structured around the features of monastic community.  Okay, I saw that eyes glazing over thing you just did. But this book is a mixture of equal parts church history, missional ministry, community living, world missions, etc.

But the part that you as fellow retailers need to know is that Jonathan’s writing bears an uncanny similarity to another Zondervan author, Philip Yancey. To be specific:

  • written from experiences made possible by extensive travel in that present-tense style used by travel writers
  • honest and personal
  • rich text — any one paragraph could stand on its own for study and further consideration
  • relevant to the situation we find ourselves in, which probably isn’t a monastic community
  • healthy doses of scripture verses that are somewhat cross-indexed or juxtaposed

It’s not enough to stock this book, you need to get staff to read it so you can recommend it. I’d suggest picking one of the features of monastic community which forms one of the chapters and then choosing the one that interests you so you have the feel of the style and pacing of the book.

Then recommend it to those customers who like to go deep, but perhaps have never heard of Jonathan, or Shane Claiborne for that matter.

For my consumer review, including a link to an excerpt of the book, click here.

Thanks to Mark at HarperCollins Canada for encouraging me to give this title a spin!

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