Late last week, Christianity Today announced the winners of its 2013 Book Awards. We were very pleased to discover that three Eerdmans titles are among this year’s 19 honorees.
Lamin Sanneh took top honors in the History/Biography category for his memoir Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African.
According to the Christianity Today,
“Sanneh, one of the most original Christian thinkers of our time, recounts how he made his way as a poor boy from a remote, colonial West African town to become a distinguished professor in one of the world’s greatest universities. At once a personal memoir, a conversion and pilgrimage story, and an intellectual excursion, the book shows how Sanneh’s lineage and life encounters have shaped his remarkable body of scholarship. With sharp insight, Sanneh … reveals some of the trials he has endured at the hands of prejudiced and unwelcoming colleagues and congregants. But even when doing so, he stays gentle, speaking the truth in love.”
Other honorees this year include F. Dale Bruner, who received an Award of Merit in the Biblical Studies category for his commentary on The Gospel of John.
Marianne Meye Thompson earlier offered a hearty endorsement of the commentary, saying,
“In this masterful new commentary, Dale Bruner digs deep into the Gospel of John and the history of its interpretation, mining both ancient Greek words and the church’s history of reading and studying them for their theological gold. Bruner’s work is suffused with a love for the text, the passion of a theologian, the care of a scholar, and the mind and heart of a teacher. Marked by a strong commitment to the authority of the Word and a deep love for Christ and Christ’s church, the commentary is a careful, creative, and compelling analysis of the Gospel of John that will both instruct and inspire.”
Thomas E. Bergler also received an Award of Merit, in the category of The Church/Pastoral Leadership, for his book The Juvenilization of American Christianity, which also formed the basis for his widely read Christianity Today cover story “When Are We Going to Grow Up? The Juvenilization of American Christianity” (June, 2012).
In the book Bergler traces the way in which, over seventy-five years, youth ministries have breathed new vitality into four major American church traditions — African American, Evangelical, Mainline Protestant, and Roman Catholic. Bergler shows too how this “juvenilization” of churches has led to widespread spiritual immaturity, consumerism, and self-centeredness, popularizing a feel-good faith with neither intergenerational community nor theological literacy.
We offer our congratulations to all three authors — and our thanks to the editors of Christianity Today for tackling the challenging task of selecting 10 winners and 9 notables from the 455 titles submitted to the contest by 68 publishers.
To find out more about our three award winners, you can
- Read Kelefa Sanneh’s foreword or Laura Bardolph Hubers’s review of Summoned from the Margin on EerdWord.
- Read a five-part EerdWord series by F. Dale Bruner on “The Adventure of Gospel Interpretation.”
- Watch the book trailer for The Juvenilization of American Christianity and our interview with Thomas Bergler on YouTube, or read parts one, two, and three of Bergler’s EerdWord blog series.
Click to view the full list of Christianity Today’s 2013 Book Award winners.