Book Reviews

In order to be effective in ministry to youth and young adults it is important to be reading books that are currently relevant to the culture we live in. This webpage is dedicated to the advancement and continued education of youth and young adult leaders. Each month we will be posting book reviews that have been provided by Adventist youth professionals. These are books that have been published recently—within the past few years. We encourage you to read through the page book reviews. This will help you determine if you would want to get one of these books for more in-depth learning or read another current book that may not be listed here. Happy reading – happy learning!

Note: if you are interested in providing a book review please email Dr. Steve Case.

Book Review: The Post-Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges + Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation

The Post-Quarantine Church: Six Urgent Challenges + Opportunities That Will Determine the Future of Your Congregation by Thom S. Rainer. Tyndale. Carol Stream, IL. 2020. Total pages: 111.

With no claim of a magical, Christian crystal ball, Thom Rainer believes some handwriting has already been written on the walls. Even though many people maintain a wait-and-see posture regarding ministry during and after the coronavirus pandemic, those who venture forward are the ones most likely to capitalize on the next chapter of life as it unfolds. Admittedly, there will be mistakes and miscues, but several things indicate trajectories that pastors and congregations can note right now.

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Book Review: Gen Z, Vol 2: Caring for Young Souls and Cultivating Resilience

Gen Z, Vol 2: Caring for Young Souls and Cultivating Resilience by Barna Group and Impact 360 Institute. Barna Group. Ventura, CA. 2021. Total pages: 79.

Barna, in conjunction with Impact 360 Institute, published Gen Z in 2018. As a sequel, Gen Z Vol 2, serves as a follow-up due to on-going research. It’s also wise to update a generational overview as the generation continues to come of age. And a lot of changes occur as this cohort moves through its teen years. For some of the reporting, Barna divided the group into teens (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-21). If you’re a bit older than that, you are either on the cusp or hanging onto the coattails of the Millennials.

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Book Review: The Future of Christian Marriage

The Future of Christian Marriage by Mark Regnerus. Oxford University Press. New York, NY. 2020. Total pages: 268.

Mark Regnerus, University of Texas sociologist, has dedicated his career to the study of sexual behavior, family, marriage, and religion. He is on a quest to discover the state of marriage in churchgoing Christians–Evangelicals, Catholics, Orthodox, and Pentecostals–not only in the United States but also in seven other countries: Mexico, Spain, Poland, Russia, Lebanon, and Nigeria. Religious traditions influenced the decision to include these particular countries.

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Book Review: The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus

The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus by Rich Villodas. WaterBrook. Colorado Springs, CO. 2020. Total pages: 219.

Most books on spiritual formation describe the importance of personal piety and even a monastic withdrawal from regular life in order to spend time with God. Various spiritual practices get explained, followed by a challenge for the reader to follow suit.

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Book Review: God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath

God and the Pandemic: A Christian Reflection on the Coronavirus and Its Aftermath by N. T. Wright. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI. 2020. Total pages: 76.

Shortly after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, New Testament scholar, N. T. Wright put together this timely Christian response. He dated the preface April, 2020. One wonders what he might write differently after nearly a year of the pandemic, and its worsening impact as the northern hemisphere “winter flu season” compounds this.

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Book Review: Creciendo Juntos

Creciendo Juntos by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin. AdventSource. Lincoln, NE. 2020. Total pages: 329.

Estas cansando de leer investigaciones que revelan por qué los jóvenes se van de las iglesias? Creciendo Juntos reporta el por qué los jóvenes están eligiendo permanecer en ellas. Este libro reporta los resultados de cuatro años de investigación a nivel nacional en cuanto a Iglesias en crecimiento. Los tres autores son parte de Fuller Youth Institute y utilizan sus áreas de especialización para escribir este material.

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Book Review: We are the Post-Theological: A Slightly Humorous and Deeply Serious Explanation of the World’s Fastest Growing Religious Group

We are the Post-Theological: A Slightly Humorous and Deeply Serious Explanation of the World’s Fastest Growing Religious GroupWe are the Post-Theological: A Slightly Humorous and Deeply Serious Explanation of the World’s Fastest Growing Religious Group by Steve Reilly. Polymath, 2020. Total pages: 112.

After Pew Research revealed those who mark their religious preference as “None” to be the fastest growing religious segment in America, Christians have been bewildered about how to relate to this “Rise of the Nones.” Steve Reilly labeled this group “Post-Theological.” The book reveals his personal explanation of how this unique and growing population thinks.

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Book Review: From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship

From Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital DiscipleshipFrom Social Media to Social Ministry: A Guide to Digital Discipleship by Nona Jones. Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, 2020. Number of pages: 151.

Nona Jones, a well-known speaker and author who, with her husband, leads a church in Gainesville, Florida. She also works for Facebook as the head of global faith-based partnerships. More information about her can be found at www.nonajones.com.

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Book Review: Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Anxiety

Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Anxiety by Walter Brueggemann. Cascade Books. Eugene, OR. 2020. Total pages: 71.

This short booklet came in response to the COVID-19 virus that has impacted the world, including the number one country (in cases and deaths): the United States. Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, known to draw on the messages of the Old Testament prophets and their call for social justice, cobbled some of his previous articles as well as some new creations for a Biblical response to the pandemic.

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