Jesus Creed Books of the Year (2014)

Jesus Creed Books of the Year (2014) December 5, 2014

Our choice of Jesus Creed Books of the Year is not based on seeking out all the books but is based on books that come our way — either from publishers or by purchase. I asked each of our regular contributors to the blog to nominate books, and so the list below reflects the nominations of Scot McKnight, RJS, John Frye, Jonathan Storment, and Dave Moore.

What are your nominations for best books this year?

Jesus Creed Book of the Year (2014)

R. Balmer, Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. Mention former President Jimmy Carter and one is likely to get a response, and the most common is perhaps that Carter became more significant after his time at the White House than during his presidency. He is the only President in American history who used his presidency as a stepping stone to a more expansive career. Future historians may well demonstrate that Carter’s take on a number of issues — not least his routine questioning of our policies (one is tempted to write policings) and actions in the Middle East — was the wiser course. But what is perhaps most notable about President Carter is his (more or less) consistent application of his understanding of the Christian faith to public policy. This book combines exceptional prose, astute insight in Jimmy Carter’s faith and its impact on his Presidency, and all set in Balmer’s masterful perception of American evangelicalism. My best read of the year.

Old Testament

Iain Provan, Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

New Testament

Richard Hays, Reading Backwards

Sarah Ruden, Paul among the People


C.M. Date, ed., Rethinking Hell.

Richard Middleton, A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology.

Church History and Theology

Roger Olson, The Journey of Modern Theology

Science and Faith

Denis Alexander, Creation and Evolution: Do we have to choose? (2d edition)

Ronald Osborn, Death Before the Fall: Biblical Literalism and the Problem of Animal Suffering

Jonathan Moo and Robert S. White, Let Creation Rejoice: Biblical Hope and Ecological Crisis


Leslie Leyland Fields, Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers.

Reference tools

Angelo Di Berardino, T. Oden, Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity.

E.M. Yamauchi, M.R. Wilson, Dictionary of Daily Life (vol. 1).

Commentary of the Year

Craig R. Koester, Revelation

Irreverent Theology (a new category)

Francis Spufford, Unapologetic.


R. Balmer, Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter.

Andrew Root, Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker


Bruce Ellis Benson, Pious Nietzsche

Spiritual formation

John Ortberg, Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You

Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace



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