Cover image for The best Christian writing 2004
The best Christian writing 2004
Wilson, John, 1948-
Publication Information:
San Francisco, Calif. : Jossey-Bass, [2004]

Physical Description:
xix, 217 pages ; 22 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BR53 .B43 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This collection of the finest contemporary Christian writing is "a prime example of diverse beliefs among Christians."
-- Los Angeles Times

This year's volume brings together an elegant and engaging array of essays by Christian luminaries tackling relevant issues. These writers distill the riches of belief into lucid explorations of faith and truth, reflecting the many dimensions of today's Christianity.

Includes contributions from a diverse group of distinguished writers:

David Batstone
J. Bottum
Andy Crouch
Scott Derrickson
Jennifer Holberg
Philip Jenkins
Douglas Jones
Jeremy Lott
Frederica Mathewes-Green
Wilfred M. McClay
Kathleen Norris
Julie Polter
The Preacher
James Calvin Schaap
Lewis B. Smedes
John D. Spalding
Tim Stafford
James R. Van Tholen
Lauren F. Winner
Albert Louis Zambone
Wendy Murray Zoba

Author Notes

John Wilson is an editor at Christianity Today and editor-in-chief of its Christian review of literature, Books & Culture. He is a popular speaker at conferences and on college campuses.
Miroslav Volf is Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut. He received the 2002 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book Exclusion & Embrace.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Unaccountably skipping a year in its title (the third was dated 2002), the fourth edition of this annual challenges and entertains, at least once within the same piece, J. Bottum's Dakota Christmas. Bottum's rehearsal of mid-twentieth-century High Plains holidays evokes smiles aplenty but draws us up short with its self-questioning, regretful ending. Differently challenging is Douglas Jones' Just Wood, which alternates, with never a line's space between them, long paragraphs on rendering trees into lumber and long paragraphs on a family encounter with giant redwoods, and conveys much botanical and religious lore about trees in both expository streams. John D. Spaulding's Shocking Truth about John Wesley is a delicious addendum to the weighty studies celebrating the tricentenary of Methodism's founder, and James Calvin Schaap's Dancing with Ghosts: A White Man at Wounded Knee is as somberly powerful as its title promises. If the representative sermon seems condescending, one biographical piece seems out of place, and two critiques of business seem soft, they may not seem so to every reader. --Ray Olson Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Chosen by Christianity Today editor Wilson, this eclectic treasure trove, on subjects as diverse as repentance, being an unmarried believer and the evangelical Christian Book Association convention, contains some truly extraordinary writing. Notable essays include a wide-ranging interview with German filmmaker Wim Wenders, a spare but haunting recollection of a trip to Wounded Knee, and a wonderfully contemporary and demanding sermon on the Old Testament Book of Daniel. Wilfred McClay's subtle and keenly honed meditation on what it means to be an American Christian after September 11 is timely, theologically acute and likely to be very challenging to some readers. Although some authors, like Frederica Mathewes-Green, Philip Jenkins and Kathleen Norris, are famous, others edit religious journals, pastor churches or teach in colleges. In his introduction, Yale Divinity School professor Miroslav Volf argues that the "soul of Christian writing is the ability to know everything through Christ; take that away and you will lose its content, motivation and style." Rich in whimsy, overflowing with gentle wonder and laced with both irony and anguish, these pieces by and large live up to their rather audacious billing, as the best of the best. (Oct. 24) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This is the fifth anthology in this most worthwhile series from Jossey-Bass (the first was Best Christian Writing 2000), and like any good anthology it provides a mixture of the sublime and the accessible. Of particular interest to the general reader will be Jennifer Holberg's amusing and touching "SWF Seeking King," James Calvin Schapp's achingly candid "Dancing with Ghosts: A White Man at Wounded Knee," or Albert Louis Zambone's striking "Technology As If the Incarnation Actually Happened." Overall, the essays in this year's edition are shorter and less challenging to the mind and soul than the previous years' have been-but this alone is no blot on the escutcheon for editor Wilson or his very fine series. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Miroslav VolfJohn WilsonDavid BatstoneJ. BottumAndy CrouchScott DerricksonJennifer HolbergPhilip JenkinsDouglas JonesJeremy LottFrederica Mathewes-GreenWilfred M. McClayKathleen NorrisJulie PolterJames Calvin SchaapLewis B. SmedesJohn D. SpaldingTim StaffordJames R. Van TholenLauren F. WinnerAlbert Louis ZamboneWendy Murray Zoba
Introductionp. ix
Prefacep. xvii
Saving the Corporate Soulp. 1
Dakota Christmasp. 8
We're Richp. 27
A Conversation with Wim Wendersp. 30
SWF Seeking Kingp. 55
A New Religious Americap. 61
Just Woodp. 70
Jesus Sellsp. 81
Both Door and Path: On Repentancep. 93
The Continuing Irony of American Historyp. 99
The Prodigal Readerp. 117
The Cold Reaches of Heavenp. 122
Be Thou My Visionp. 128
Dancing with Ghosts: A White Man at Wounded Kneep. 131
God and a Grateful Old Manp. 146
The Shocking Truth About John Wesleyp. 151
How to Build Homes Without Putting Up Wallsp. 157
Vegetarians in Babylon: Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Timep. 171
Speaking in Tonguesp. 179
Technology As If the Incarnation Actually Happenedp. 185
A Sense of Place: The Many Horizons of Martin E. Martyp. 194
Biographical Notesp. 211
Creditsp. 215