Results of Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Awards are in, and InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that The Listening Life: Embracing Attentiveness in a World of Distraction by Adam S. McHugh was chosen as the book of the year in the Spiritual Formation category.
"At a time when we are drowning in words—both digital and spoken—this quiet little book throws us a life preserver," said Tish Harrison Warren, author of Liturgy of the Ordinary and a judge for the Spiritual Formation category. "The Listening Life is gentle, thoughtful, biblical, and eminently practical. It outlines a broad theology of listening alongside specific and clear practices that teach the reader to listen in a new way. Whether you are a loud lover of words or a shy lover of solitude, this book will likely convict you."
John Koessler, author of The Radical Pursuit of Rest, reviewed The Listening Life in the November 2015 issue of Christianity Today. He wrote, "Adam McHugh wants us to know that our God is also a God who hears. We should not mistake divine silence for disinterest. 'Listening begins when we learn that our heavenly Father listens to us,' writes McHugh. 'The pattern of human life may be to listen first, but with the Lord, we are always heard before we hear.' God's apparent silence is not a mark of his absence. It means that we have his full attention."
The Listening Life was also honored as Bookwi.se's Favorite Book of the Year in the Non-Fiction category, and was named the Best Christian Living Book for 2016 by the Logos Association Bookstore Award.
Four other IVP titles were honored with special recognition as part of Christianity Today's 2017 Book Awards:
The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World by Sandra Van Opstal was given an Award of Merit in The Church/Pastoral Leadership category. Efrem Smith, president and CEO of World Impact and a judge for the category, said, "In a time of great ethnic diversity—but also division—this book is sorely needed. Van Opstal provides a practical theology and missional framework for why we must rethink the corporate experience of worship. Her vision goes beyond building a diverse worship team or singing songs in an unfamiliar language. I pray every pastor and worship leader will read this book."
Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements by William Dyrness received the Award of Merit in the Missions/Global Church category. Kent Annan, author of Slow Kingdom Coming, said, "The word insider in the title is accurate but also misleading, because the joy of reading this book is learning more about how God acts and moves in people's lives outside of where and how we might expect. Dyrness takes us through the Bible, theology, history, culture, and case studies to open our eyes to different ways Jesus is being followed today. As a result, our eyes are opened to God's redemptive grace moving creatively in the world. And we're better prepared for thoughtful missions work that participates in God's story without imposing unnecessary cultural baggage."
Taking Pascal's Wager: Faith, Evidence and the Abundant Life by Michael Rota was honored with the Award of Merit in the Apologetics/Evangelism category. "Rota, a skilled analytic philosopher, provides an engaging and compelling case for taking Pascal's wager,” said Chad Meister, professor of philosophy and theology at Bethel College, Indiana. "The precision of the points is manifest on every page. But what makes the book even more profitable is its accessible prose. Inviting, charitable, and provocative—this is the sort of book that one could heartily give to a believer, agnostic, or even an ardent atheist. A home-run for Christian apologetics."
The Award of Merit winner in the Culture and the Arts category was Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious Impulses of Modernism by Jonathan Anderson and William Dyrness. Wade Bearden, a writer, film critic, and category judge, said, "Just what should Christians think of modern art? Is it void of all religious impulses and persuasions? Or is there a deeper vision often left unexplored? Rather than writing off the last century and a half of visual art as purely secular, Anderson and Dyrness meticulously detail the patterns of piety and spirituality that both influenced and empowered artists like van Gogh, Gauguin, Kandinsky, and Warhol."