Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope
Jasmine Holmes pens a series of beautiful messages to her young son in this book. The letters are also helpful for Christian readers as they follow a black mother’s apprehensions and hopes for her son growing up in America and in the church. Holmes, the daughter of Pastor Voddie Baucham, shares her father’s deep faith but doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with him on race-related applications. Talking about her experience as a black woman who grew up in predominantly white churches makes some people uncomfortable. “They’re afraid that I want to sneak attack them with Marxist ideology,” she quips. “But what I want is for my siblings in Christ to consider that their experiences of evangelical culture are not universal. That our unique stories and experiences can serve to amplify the fact that Christ’s saving power infiltrates every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
A Place To Belong: Learning To Love the Local Church
Megan Hill has written a love letter to the Church in A Place To Belong. With many Christians separated from public gatherings for weeks or months this year, this book might cause a craving for casserole-laden tables in fellowship halls—not for the pasta salad, but for the feast of fellowship in Christ. Hill reminds readers that in a complex world, God carries out His mission and purpose in simple ways: Ordinary worship by ordinary people gathered in ordinary places. Every congregation is full of sinners, but even with divisions and failings, we should hold the Church in high regard because she belongs to God. However it appears to us, He is making her beautiful, and she remains the body of Christ.
Stop Taking Sides: How Holding Truths in Tension Saves Us From Anxiety and Outrage
In WORLD’s political coverage this fall, we’ve commended this book from Boston Pastor Adam Mabry. He says Christians should care about elections, but they should also “trust Jesus, receive peace, and refuse the anxiety that betrays an innate political idolatry.” That’s helpful counsel, but Mabry’s book is about more than politics. He explores how Christians can defend the truth while leaning into other mysterious tensions God ordains—including how He works strength in weakness: “Power tries to control a world it can’t keep. Ungodly weakness is controlled by a world with no lasting power. But meekness is God’s power in the world, and the path to humbly enjoying power in the world to come.”
Mercy for Today: A Daily Prayer From Psalm 51
Jonathan Parnell used to think of Psalm 51 as a sort of trump card to throw down after he sinned. King David’s famous prayer of repentance after his infamous fall served as a sort of “out” for Parnell’s own failures. In Mercy for Today, the Minnesota pastor explains how his view shifted: The key was understanding that what David needed in his worst moment is “what I need all the time.” Repentance itself is a gift from God that leads us to realize our whole lives—not just our worst moments—are all under His mercy. Parnell summarizes David’s prayer that God would open his mouth to declare His praise: “God, let me get in on your praise, come what may.”