It has been said that there is no end to the making of books (Ecclesiastes 12:12), and the veritable mountain of books slated for release in 2015 bears witness to that truth. Here are 12 of the books to be released this year that we’re most excited about:
(Note: Most of these are in the first half of the year because many publishers have not yet announced their fall lineups.)
by Sarah Bessey (August – Howard Books)
Bessey’s first book, Jesus Feminist, was both delightful and helpful, and I love that she is now tackling the sorts of unanswered questions that—if we are honest with ourselves—we all face daily.
by Rachel Held Evans (April – Thomas Nelson)
Blogger and commentator Rachel Held Evans writes with great insight that resonates with young adult Christians. This new book describing her experiences with church is highly anticipated as an important reflection on the nature of church in the 21st century.
by Pope Francis (April – Loyola Press)
Like many folks, I deeply appreciate the vision that Pope Francis has demonstrated in the early years of his papacy. I am very excited about this book, with its reminder that following Jesus is at the very heart of the Christian faith.
by Kent Haruf (May – Knopf)
The final novel in a series set in a small eastern Colorado town from the late novelist, who passed away in November, this book will not only immerse us into this carefully crafted rural American world, but will also be a pointed reminder of how much Haruf will be missed.
by Deb Hirsch (May – IVP Books)
The first solo book by Deb Hirsch offers “a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honors God and offers good news to the world.” In a world in which differing views of sexuality are tearing apart churches and communities, I am eagerly anticipating the promise of good news!
by Bethany Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson (April – Brazos Press)
Perseverance isn’t always a popular word, but it’s an essential virtue in a world shaped by fast food culture. This book promises to explore the intersections of working for justice and biblical theology, a combination that although slow, messy and demanding our perseverance, is at the heart of following Jesus.
by Erin Lane (IVP Books)
In further wrestling with the nature and practice of church, Erin Lane challenges us to imagine a faith in which belonging is just as important as believing. This will be another excellent resource for those who are struggling with church.
by Scot McKnight (February – Zondervan)
In our world in which people are losing the capacity to talk and work with people who differ from them, Scot McKnight reminds us that our churches are called to be diverse communities in which people of different backgrounds and beliefs are learning to be reconciled.
by Leonard Sweet (January – NavPress)
John Pattison and I argue in Slow Church that church should be much more like a meal. Leonard Sweet, always provocative, goes even further and says that our experience of Scripture should be more like a meal than a tablet set in stone.
by Toni Morrison (April – Knopf)
Toni Morrison is one of the few living master novelists, and a new novel from her is always cause for excitement.
by Lauren Winner (March – HarperOne)
I love imaginative works, and Lauren Winner here applies her imagination to the language we use for God, drawing upon lesser-known biblical descriptions of God. This book has potential to shake up our understanding of who God is and the language we use to talk about Him.
by Ken Wytsma (January – Thomas Nelson)
In a similar fashion to Sarah Bessey’s book above, this book highlights “the messiness of life” and how our Christian faith can help guide us in everyday challenges.
This list was adapted from a longer list of Top 50 Books to Watch for in 2015 from The Englewood Review of Books.
C. Christopher Smith lives and writes as part of the Englewood Christian Church community on the urban Near Eastside of Indianapolis, where he is the Senior Editor of The Englewood Review of Books. Chris is co-author of the award-winning book Slow Church (2014), author of Reading for the Common Good (2016), and is presently finishing a book manuscript with the working title, Conversational Bodies: A Field Guide for the Journey Toward Belonging.