Another book for people who stereotype Christians as conventional thinkers: WORLD correspondent Anthony Bradley’s Something Seems Strange (Wipf & Stock, 2016). Some of his reflections are brilliant, and some seem … strange, but unpredictability is fun in a world often predictable. K.C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. are also politically incorrect when they argue in The Campus Rape Frenzy (Encounter, 2017) that ideologically skewed campus policies and federal bureaucrats are pushing university officials to presume that accused students are guilty until proven innocent.
When did campus culture change so radically? J. Harvie Wilkinson III’s All Falling Faiths (Encounter, 2017), a memoir focusing on his time at Yale, examines the promise and mostly failure of the 1960s generation that grew up protesting the war in Vietnam, but he still provides notes of hope. That’s very different from Ninety-Nine Stories of God (Tin House, 2016) by Joy Williams, who gains high ratings from the literacracy—see a 2015 profile in The New York Times—as she pushes the insignificance of man and the irrelevance of God.
Christopher Goscha’s Vietnam (Basic, 2016) is a scholarly history of the fought-over land’s past millennium, with particular emphasis on the last two centuries. Concluding chapters show how Communists won the war against the United States but lost the peace economically, as they found out what their Soviet mentors had learned: Communism doesn’t work. Nor does capital punishment, according to Shane Claiborne in Executing Grace (Harper One, 2016).
Earl Blackburn’s 50 World-Changing Events in Christian History (Christian Focus, 2016) is a theologically sound way to learn some history in 1,200-word bursts, but some of the writing is clunky. Albert Raboteau’s American Prophets: Seven Religious Radicals & Their Struggle for Social and Political Justice (Princeton, 2016) provides readable and sympathetic introductions to Abraham Heschel, Thomas Merton, and others who did not follow election returns.
Robert Muir-Wood’s The Cure for Catastrophe (Basic, 2016) makes too much of global warming but offers a useful history of man’s responses to natural disasters.