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.
"Come Out, My People!": God's Call out of Empire in the Bible and Beyond, by Wes Howard-Brook. Howard-Brook creates a lively conversation between contemporary struggles over the demands of empire and biblical struggles with the various empires that sought to control Israel across its history.
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.
The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries, by Rodney Stark. Joining sociology and history, Stark contributes much new insight to the amazing rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire—and he reaches some surprising conclusions.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).