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Industry News and Notes

Here’s a few items that were seen and heard in the wider Christian marketplace this past week:

■ The 2019 Christy Awards for Christian fiction were announced last week. (See image above.) Patti Calahan’s Becoming Mrs. Lewis was Book of the Year.

■ Parenting Place: Using the new, third edition of the NIV Life Application Bible with your kids. “Overall, if someone knew nothing about the Bible’s background, this study Bible has more than enough information to get by while still not getting lost in the weeds with theology or historical information.” 

■ Scot McKnight kicks of a series of looking closely at Introducing Evangelical Theology by Daniel J. Treier (Baker Academic), which is organized differently from other books of this type. “Here theology is not forced into one biblical author that mutes the voice of other biblical authors, but instead it is shaped by the fundamental categories of the great tradition that forms the Apostles’ Creed and the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.” Don’t miss this introductory article.

The most talked about Christian news item in the past week concerned Christian comedian John Crist. We don’t have product by him in our stores, but in a few months, the book pictured here was to be released through Waterbrook. Here’s the whole ugly story about his indiscretions.

■ Won’t you be my neighbor? The Mr. Rogers movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opens US Thanksgiving weekend. (FYI: Fred Rogers was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963.)

■ Just as coastal regions put up beacons and lighthouses to warn passers-by of immanent danger, just to be clear, Harvest Bible Chapel has declared to the world that James MacDonald is presently unfit for ministry and “biblically disqualified.” 

■ Zondervan announces Zondervan Thrive, it’s latest non-fiction imprint. “The new imprint will equip readers with in-depth, practical solutions for thriving mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually in today’s world. Zondervan Thrive’s readers are seeking big, brave ideas on how to approach everyday life, discover informed solutions, live authentically, sustain their personal health and wellbeing, and make a difference in their world.”

■ Christian Education: J. Warner Wallace, author of Cold Case Christianity isn’t a fan of dumbing it down or trying to make it exciting and dynamic. He says we need to stop treating kids like kids because “this new generation is ripe to hear the word of God.” 

■ Prominent Southern Baptist Russell D. Moore explores the writings of Frederick Beuchner in all of his books and a new overview from InterVarsity.

■ From our Anglican/Episcopal friends, “Songs for the Holy Other includes almost 50 ‘queer hymns’ by and for individuals who identify with the LGBTQ+ community and their allies.” An article describes it as “…an amazing resource for music directors and for priests who are looking for hymns that are affirming for the LGBT community.” “There are songs about our created belovedness—how God created us, God loves us, and our sexuality, our gender doesn’t change that.” For worship leaders, they’re covered by your church’s CCLI license.

■ Names to Note: Addison Bevere is the son of well known authors John and Lisa Bevere, has a book coming in January with Revell, is the COO of Messenger International (his parents’ organization) and is the cofounder of Sons and Daughters.

■ New Music ♫ — These three all originated in the same place. I went to confirm an event date on the website of Life100.3, a Christian ‘superstation’ (not ‘superstition,’ spellcheck) in central Ontario, and found these three — none of whom I was familiar with — on their daytime Top 10 list.

♫ The band: We Are Leo; the song: Your Voice.
♫ The artist: Charlie Rey; the song: Undeniable Love.
♫ The artist: Joel Vaughn; the song: I Look to You.

■ Where Anne Graham Lotz turned up on television: Speaking about Donald Trump’s withdrawl from Syria as a fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. This is the sentence where the writer lost me: “…Lotz appeared on “The Jim Bakker Show” last Wednesday to promote her new best-selling book…” Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows.

■ Following the death of his 21-year old son, TobyMac has established a foundation to allow kids who can’t afford it to pursue music education. The Truett Foster Foundation is accepting single and monthly gifts.

■ Roger Olson lists (and laments) the many Christian leaders and authors who have landed on the Fundamentalists’ blacklist: “Tony Campolo (one of their first targets way back in the 1980s), Jim Wallis, Clark Pinnock, Stanley Grenz, Beth Moore, Rob Bell, John Sanders, Greg Boyd, Andy Stanley, Richard Foster, Carl F. H. Henry, Bernard Ramm; I could go on and on.” He wonders when “moderate evangelicals going to come out of hiding and condemn the vituperation of the neo-fundamentalists?”

Josh Harrisfirst public interview since renouncing his faith. It’s only 3 minutes, so there must be more somewhere.

■ The Vatican is behind a high-tech rosary. “However, unlike its traditional predecessor, the eRosary links to a ‘Click To Pray’ prayer app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. The device is activated by making the sign of the cross

■ They’ve got nothing to say: Sadly, the Twitter feed of David C. Cook consists almost entirely of links to job postings within the company. It’s been that way for several years.

■ Finally, something lighter for you: Did you ever laugh so hard you cried? That was the question posed to Brant Hansen (Unoffendable, Blessed are the Misfits) recently. Click on Podcast #1023, and jump to 12:28 and listen to the end. (Had to listen to it twice.) (5 minutes total.)

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