How (Not) to Be Secular, by James K. A. Smith

Jamie Smith has written a string of smart books that explain the significance of contemporary theory for Christian life and ministry. His new field guide to Charles Taylor may be his best.

Running to the Fire, by Tim Bascom

Tim Bascom’s family, from small-town Kansas, returned to Ethiopia as missionaries when he was 15. “Build­ing Christ’s King­dom—as my parents were trying to do under the violent regime in Ethiopia—required an ex­treme form of pick-up-your-cross-and-follow-me self-denial,” Bascom says.

The Collected Sermons of Walter Brueggemann, Volume Two, by Walter Brueggemann

These sermons are organized according to the church year, with a handful prepared for milestones such as graduation or marriage. They show the author’s understanding of preaching as the outcome of a layered imagination.

Shaping Public Theology, by Max L. Stackhouse

The essays in this volume provide an accessible and comprehensive introduction to Max Stackhouse's thought, and they raise provocative questions about how we are constructing public theology today.

Eager to Love, by Richard Rohr, and When Saint Francis Saved the Church, by Jon M. Sweeney

Richard Rohr and Jon Sweeney, authors of two new books on St. Francis, would be united in their advice to us: forget the statue with the birds.