The Gospel Coalition honored two InterVarsity Press titles, In Search of Ancient Roots and The Economics of Neighborly Love, with 2017 TGC Book Awards.
TGC editor Ivan Mesa said, "Each year we review around three hundred titles between our academic journal Themelios and our regular book reviews section, so at the end of the year it's good to take stock of the most helpful titles from 2017."
In Search of Ancient Roots: The Christian Past and Evangelical Identity Crisis by Kenneth J. Stewart was the winner in the History & Biography category. Stewart surveys five centuries of Protestant engagement with the ancient church, showing that Christians belonging to the evangelical churches of the Reformation have consistently seen their faith as connected to early Christianity. Stewart explores areas of positive engagement, such as the Lord's Supper and biblical interpretation, as well as areas that raise concerns, such as monasticism.
Gavin Ortlund reviewed Stewart's book for TGC in November and said, "In Search of Ancient Roots is a helpful resource that not only provides context for understanding evangelical departures, but also envisions the kind of robust, historically rooted Protestantism that may discourage them from happening in the first place."
The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community's Compassion and Capacity by Tom Nelson was chosen as the runner-up in the Public Theology & Current Events category. Marrying biblical study, economic theory, and practical advice, Nelson presents a vision for church ministry that works toward the flourishing of the local community, beginning with its poorest and most marginalized members. Nelson resists oversimplification and pushes us toward more complex and nuanced understandings of wealth and poverty.
Tim Keller, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, said, "Tom Nelson's new book is a great contribution to a growing and needed literature that helps churches connect to their parishes and neighborhoods and serve not only individuals, but the public good. There is an emerging awareness of the importance of this, but few volumes are as practical as this one in describing the way forward."
TGC winners and runners-up were chosen based on whether they offer gospel-centered argument and application; include faithful and foundational use of Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament; foster spiritual discernment of contemporary trials and trends; and encourage efforts to unite and renew the church.