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    book shelf stuffed with books

    Editors’ Picks Issue 3

    By Sam Hine

    January 20, 2015

    What do you have on your reading list for 2015? Consider adding these recently published books reviewed in Plough Quarterly.

    Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church

    Scot McKnight
    (Brazos Press)

    “Kingdom” is the most misused, misunderstood word in the Christian lexicon, McKnight argues. On one hand are those who use it as shorthand for social justice, “good deeds done by good people in the public sector for the common good.” On the other side are those who have relegated it to purely religious “moments of redemption.” But the kingdom of God, ­McKnight reminds us, is inseparable from the reign of Jesus in his Body, the church – a united people of God through whom he can work in the world.



    Cover of the book "Kingdom Conspiracy" by Scot McKnight. Kingdom Conspiracy

    Farewell to Mars: An Evangelical Pastor's Journey toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace

    Brian Zahnd
    (David C Cook)

    This may be a personal journey, but Zahnd’s bold and incisive message is anything but private. Individual salvation, Zahnd realizes, cannot be divorced from Jesus’ clear teachings about violence and power, vengeance and peacemaking, which have decidedly political and social implications. From a surprising corner comes a fresh, accessible introduction to what the Bible actually has to say about the way of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.



    Cover of "A Farewell to Mars" by Brian Zahnd. Farewell to Mars

    A Child Shall Lead Them: Martin Luther King Jr., Young People, and the Movement

    Rufus Burrow
    (Fortress Press)

    This well-researched book tells the story of the young people who helped define the Civil Rights Movement. Burrow shows how much King respected their youthful vision and passion, sometimes steering them, but often following their more daring lead. Burrow dreams of inspiring a younger generation to change their world; it will take more than a history book to do that, but still, he’s contributed an enduring testimony to the power of youth.



    Cover of "A Child Shall Lead Them" by Rufus Burrow. A Child Shall Lead Them

    Loving Samuel: Suffering, Dependence, and the Calling of Love

    Aaron D. Cobb
    (Wipf and Stock)

    Grief can open our hearts to God like nothing else. Months before their son Samuel’s birth, Cobb and his wife Alisha learned that he had Trisomy 18, a chromosomal abnormality “incompatible with life.” They welcomed him as a gift from God anyway, and held him for five precious hours. Not a word is wasted in this slim, luminous collection of a father’s reflections while waiting and preparing for his son’s birth and death (“an unimaginably long, short stretch of time”) and during the season of grief that would follow.

    Cover of "Loving Samuel" by Aaron D. Cobb. Loving Samuel

    The Disunited States

    Vladimir Pozner
    (Seven Stories)

    Translated into English for the first time, this outsider’s lyrical and perceptive portrait of America in the 1930s is an unearthed treasure. Pozner, a French novelist and screenwriter, captures the essence of a nation of contradictions at a moment of economic and spiritual crisis uncannily reminiscent of our times. Much of the book – including the extraordinary tour-de-force that is the first chapter – is drawn from local newspaper accounts. At times, the distance between our lives and those Pozner describes seems to dissolve, and we’re suddenly face to face with real human beings whose hopes and heartbreaks are strangely close to us.



    Cover of "The Disunited States" by Vladimir Pozner. The Disunited States
    Contributed By SamHine Sam Hine

    Sam Hine is an editor at Plough. He lives with his wife and five children in upstate New York.

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