Playing, by James H. Evans Jr. This small but substantial book appears in the series Christian Explorations of Daily Living, which includes volumes on shopping, working, parenting and other activities of daily life. Evans is attentive to African-American experience and literature in his trinitarian explorations of the importance of play in the Christian life.
Christian Ethics: A Very Short Introduction, by D. Stephen Long. Beginning with the challenge pressed by atheist Christopher Hitchens and engaging Christianity's historic failures, Long brings elegant clarity to the project of Christian ethics.
I came away from Heaven Is for Real thinking that either Colton Burpo was carried in an out-of-body experience to a biblical wax museum or he's been channeling images from his father's sermons back to his credulous parents.
Faith of the Founders: Religion and the New Nation 1776–1826, by Edwin S. Gaustad. This is the best short, accessible, single-volume treatment of the religious lives, intellectual pathways and church-state politics of the preeminent founders of the United States—Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Washington and Franklin.
Sweden has the highest rate of domestic abuse in Europe, its suicide rate is among the highest in the world, and it has an alcohol problem. Yet it is people in the arts and theater who are tackling Sweden’s dark side, not the church, says commentator Giles Fraser. Most Swedes think the church is quite irrelevant. Despite state funding, only about 2 percent of the population goes to church. “Devoted atheists are never going to be persuaded by a theology of the cross,” says Fraser. “But no one whatsoever is going to be persuaded by a theology of nice” (Guardian, May 30).