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http://www.epworthbooks.org.nz

Epworth Books Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand.

Specialist retailer in Christian, religion, theology, spirituality
and worship resources.

New Zealand distributor for
Christian Religious Education (CRE) materials,
(Bible in schools).

To Order please email sales@epworthbooks.org.nz or phone free 0800 755 355.

BOOK OF THE MONTH NEWS

The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero. Joel Baden. 310pp. HarperOne. $29.00.

David is one of the most celebrated characters in the Bible. We know him as the brave young man who defeated Goliath, the first king of a united Israel, the composer of the beloved Psalms, and, for Christians, the messianic forerunner to Jesus. And yet for all the glory we attribute to David's legend, the historical reality is both fascinating and disturbing.

In The Historical David, Joel Baden reveals that, in David's case, the Bible is political spin, "the goal of which is to absolve David of any potential guilt and to show him in a positive light." Through deep textual analysis, Baden reveals how the historical David has been painstakingly and successfully diminished, replaced by the portrait of a glorious king we are now familiar with.

To question David's legend opens up a debate about what it means to be a descendant of David—be it nationally, ethnically, or religiously. In The Historical David, Baden confronts this challenge, bringing the historical David vibrantly to life, and ultimately revealing that the flesh-and-blood man was far more complex and interesting than the mythical king.

 


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Featured recently

Live and Laugh with Dementia: The essential guide to maximizing quality of life. Lee-Fay Low. 224pp. Exisle. $34.99.

For every person with dementia, their family and carers are faced with the decision of how best to care for them. Live and Laugh with Dementia is all about how to make life with dementia as positive as possible — to maximize quality of life for all concerned.

Just as we need to exercise our body’s muscles to keep them strong, flexible and working well, so too do we need to exercise our mental muscles (our brain) in order to strengthen and maintain our neural capabilities. By tailoring activities to suit the needs and abilities of dementia patients, we can help them to:

       maintain their relationships with others

       maintain their self-identity

       slow the decline of mental function by providing physical and mental stimulation

       stave off boredom

       experience happiness and pleasure.

Low also addresses our attitude towards dementia and caring for people with dementia. It supports and inspires carers to build their relationship with the person with dementia and provide meaningful engaging activities. As well as suggestions for activities and how to tailor them, tips for people with mild dementia are included in order to empower them to be active and keep control of their lives as much as possible.

 

The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided. Jim Wallis. 320pp. Baker. $24.00.

Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus' ancient and compelling vision of the common good—a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighbourhoods, and world.

“Jim Wallis has once again issued a passionate, stirring challenge to the church. In this hopeful, incisive book that pulls few punches, he challenges the church to engage in the 'next battle' to 'occupy the gospel' and thus to join in God's reclamation of God's cherished world. As always, Jim gives us a way of rethinking today's pressing social issues in a vibrantly Christian way, producing fresh insights on almost every page. He also gives Christians some specific personal decisions we can make to better align ourselves with God's continuing revolution in Jesus Christ.” William Willimon

 

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World. Desmond & Mpho Tutu. 229pp. Hbk. William Collins Books. $34.99.

The Book of Forgiving, written together by the Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and his daughter Rev Mpho Tutu, offers a deeply personal testament and guide to the process of forgiveness. All of us have at times needed both to forgive and be forgiven - whether small, everyday harms or real traumas. But the path to forgiveness is not easy, and the process unclear. How do we let go of resentment when we have been harmed, at times irreparably? How do we forgive and still pursue justice? How do we heal our hearts? How do we heal the harm we have caused others? And how do we forgive ourselves?

Drawing on memories of reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa this book offers concrete steps along the path to forgiving and being forgiven.

 

The Bible: 4 x DVD set. 10 x 46 min episodes. R16. PAL Zone 4. $39.99.

Breathtaking in scope and scale, THE BIBLE features powerful performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe spectacular life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation.

Narrated by Emmy® winning actor Keith David, THE BIBLE features a stunning international cast including Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ and beloved actress, Roma Downey as Mother Mary. The four-disc DVD set dives deeper into the making of the series and features a behind-the-scenes look at how the groundbreaking docudrama came together. Interviews with producers, directors, and cast illustrate creative collaboration on-set and off and show how the remarkable Moroccan scenery was transformed into the world of the Bible.

Features hours of never before seen behind-the-scenes footage and making-of featurettes.

 

Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most. Marcus J. Borg. 241pp. Hbk. HarperOne. $41.00.

Theologian and Bible scholar, Borg reflects on his life and how he developed his most bedrock convictions and why they matter. The result is a manifesto for all progressive Christians who seek the best path for following Jesus today. With each chapter embodying a distinct conviction, Borg writes provocatively and compellingly on the beliefs that can deeply ground us and guide us:

·     God Is Real and a Mystery

·     Salvation Is More About This Life Than an Afterlife

·     The Bible Can Be True Without Being Literally True

·     Jesus's Death on the Cross Matters — But Not Because He Paid for Our Sins

·     God Is Passionate About Justice and the Poor

·     To Love God Is to Love Like God

Rich in wisdom and insight, Convictions is sure to, become a classic of contemporary Christianity.

 

We Make the Road by Walking: A Year-Long Quest for Spiritual Formation, Reorientation, and Activation. Brian D. McLaren. Hbk. 326pp. Jericho Books. $39.99. 

A brilliant retelling of the biblical story and a thrilling reintroduction to Christian faith. The 52+ readings can each be read aloud in 10-12 minutes, and offer a simple curriculum of insightful reflections and transformative practices. Organised around the traditional church year, these readings give an overview of the whole Bible and guide an individual or a group of friends through a year of rich study, interactive learning, and personal growth.

 Perfect for home churches, congregations, classes, or individual study, each reading invites you to: 

·      Cultivate an honest, intelligent understanding of the Bible and of Christian faith in 21st century

·      Engage with discussion questions designed to challenge, stimulate, and encourage

·      Re-imagine what it means to live joyfully and responsibly in today's world as agents of God's justice, creativity, and peace

 If you're seeking a fresh way to experience and practice your faith, if you're a long-term Christian seeking new vitality, or if you feel out of place in traditional church circles, this book will inspire and activate you in your spiritual journey. 
 

Another Mother's Love. Karen Scott. 312pp. Penguin. $38.00. 

A moving story of one family's attempt to make a difference. 

In 2011 Karen Scott and Mark Finlay and their six children opened their home and hearts to a sad, skinny five-year-old boy who was placed with them by New Zealand's Child, Youth and Family services. James arrived with nothing other than the clothes he was wearing, supposedly for just a short-term stay. But what followed were two turbulent years as Karen and Mark attempted to parent a very troubled young boy. 

A heart-wrenching account of a mother's attempt to nurture her foster child with unconditional love and kindness. However, is love enough? Karen and Mark faced a harrowing decision – to give up James or risk their family's future

 

Candle Bible Handbook. Terry Jean Day, Carol J Smith, Tim Dowley. 238pp Flexiback Colour. Candle. $24.99. 

This easy-to-read exploration of the Bible allows you to follow the key narratives from Genesis to Revelation. As you travel through Bible lands and times you will discover how the people lived: the foods they ate, the homes they occupied, the clothes they wore, and the work they performed. The focus on narrative means that those coming fresh to the Bible will find an easy point of access.  For ages 8-12.

Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Decoding Churches, Cathedrals, Temples, Mosques and Other Places of Worship. Jon Cannon. 224pp. Duncan Baird Publishers Hbk. 298 x 235 mm. $69.99.

Across the globe, pilgrims and tourists, locals and foreigners flock to sacred sites and houses of worship. Why? Because throughout time, humans have directed extraordinary amounts of energy toward the creation of architecture that expresses their religious beliefs.

From Stonehenge to the Sagrada Família; from the Acropolis to Angkor Wat, this book offers fascinating insights into some of the most impressive structures created by humans in the world. The superb full-colour photographs that can be found on every page are supplemented by ingenious 'decoder' sections. These zero in on the most important design elements, combining close-up detail with fascinating explanatory detail.

Rubble To Resurrection: Churches Respond in the Canterbury Quakes. Melissa Parsons. 248pp. Daystar Books. $28.99.

Parsons brings together previously untold stories of the churches’ response in the Canterbury earthquakes She asks:

·         How did the churches fare?

·         How did the ordinary folk in the pews reach out to their suffering neighbours?

·         How can lessons from this experience be of benefit in the future?

“So many times in the wake of suffering, the Christian Church – the body of Christ – faithfully responds with comfort and practical help. I saw that in person in Christchurch the year after the quake, and thank Melissa Parsons for honouring those who responded in the footsteps of the One for whom the city was named.” Philip Yancey.

 

Making Sense of Sex: Attitudes Towards Sexuality in Early Jewish and Christian Literature. William Loader. Eerdmans, $40.00

 

“My latest book is an attempt to summarise my key findings in a way that makes them accessible to the everyday reader. It sketches the main things we can say about approaches to a whole range of sexual issues in early Jewish and Christian writings, from whether sex is good or bad, to where sex belongs and does not belong, to managing sexual desire, and, of course, to sexual orientation, a hot topic for many today. People from both sides of that debate value my work because it provides an informed starting point for discussion, even though they may ultimately differ greatly about how to approach such matters today.

I have designed the book so that people can get a clear overview of the issues. For some that will be enough. The footnotes list only the ancient texts which are cited for ease of reference. For others, this book will be a doorway into further reading. For them I have included a subject index which covers not only this book but all five volumes of the research on which it is based.” Bill Loader

 

Question that Never Goes Away: What is God up to in a World of Such Tragedy and Pain? Philip Yancey. Hodder & Stoughton. $29.99

 

Some days, the news seems too much to bear. Yet another tsunami or earthquake or flood or fire or war atrocity. Really, God? We ask. This again? If we have faith in God, it gets shaken to the core. What was God doing in the moment when that tragedy could have been prevented? If we can’t trust God to keep our children safe or our loved ones from dying in agony, what can we trust God for? In his classic book Where is God When it Hurts? Yancey gave us permission to doubt, reasons not to abandon faith, and practical ways to reach out to hurting people. His visits to three particularly traumatised places in 2012 raised the old problems with new urgency; now, with new perspectives and stories gathered across nearly 35 years, once again he tackles the hard questions head-on.

·         Where is God When it Hurts? Revised and expanded. $8.99

·         Where is God When it Hurts? Revised and expanded + study guide. $19.99

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