Christianity Today has released the winners of its 2023 Book Awards, and InterVarsity Press is pleased to announce that it received top honors in three categories: Church and Pastoral Leadership, Marriage and Family, and Politics and Public Life. Another IVP title received the Award of Merit in the Popular Theology category, and three IVP books were finalists in Biblical Studies, Culture and the Arts, and Politics and Public Life.
“Each year, the Christianity Today Book Awards reviews a distinguished list of books in categories pertinent to the church,” said IVP president and publisher Terumi Echols. “We and others in our industry respect these awards due to the rigorous review that the content receives. It’s not a popularity contest. It honors what nourishes the soul, challenges the mind, moves the heart, and strengthens our walk as Christians.”
The IVP title that received the 2023 CT Book Award in the Church and Pastoral Leadership category is The Flourishing Pastor: Recovering the Lost Art of Shepherd Leadership by Tom Nelson. Pulling from his years of experience as a lead pastor and president of a nonprofit, Nelson offers pastors and ministry leaders a timely vision for leadership that incorporates in-depth biblical teaching and whole-life discipleship.
Steven Garber, senior fellow for vocation and the common good with the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, said, “The deepest, truest learning is always over the shoulder and through the heart. In The Flourishing Pastor we are drawn into Tom Nelson’s long labor of love—a vocation born of commitments to biblical theology and missional practice that have formed his work as a pastor among a particular people in a particular place, a vision for his congregation and his city. With surprising candor and humility rooted in an honest spirituality that seriously wrestles with the Word and the world together, this is a window into the mind and heart of someone who longs for the reality of an integral life for himself and for all of us. Every pastor I know would be graced by this apprenticeship in print, a book where words become flesh in the life of a good man who is also a good pastor.”
The 2023 CT Book Award in the Marriage and Family category went to Teach Your Children Well: A Step-by-Step Guide for Family Discipleship. Sarah Cowan Johnson unpacks how parents can have an active discipleship role in forming their children’s faith, with age-appropriate insights and strategies for different developmental stages. She shows how we can identify God moments, facilitate spiritual encounters, clarify emerging beliefs, and encourage new faith habits in our children.
“Sarah Cowan Johnson’s instincts are absolutely right: parents can be the most important pastoral presence in their child’s life,” said Jared Patrick Boyd, author of Imaginative Prayer. “Our children need something real to grab on to—from our own life with God, from their own encounters with God, and from the everyday moments when God is close. God is always very close to us. This book is a very practical guide helping parents facilitate the practice of encountering God in the tiny moments of everyday life. This book will absolutely help parents in the work of the spiritual accompaniment of their children.”
The top CT honor in the Politics and Public Life category was awarded to Beyond Racial Division: A Unifying Alternative to Colorblindness and Antiracism. Sociologist George Yancey offers an alternative approach to racial relations where all parties contribute and are mutually accountable to one another for societal well-being. He provides empirical rationale for how collaborative conversations in a mutual accountability model can reduce racial division. History and societal complexity mean that different participants may have different kinds of responsibility, but all are involved in seeking the common good for all to thrive. Avoiding unilateral decisions that close off dialogue, Yancey casts a vision for moving beyond racial alienation toward a lifestyle and movement of collaborative conversation and mutuality.
Mark DeYmaz, cofounder, president, and CEO of the Mosaix Global Network, said, “There is not a more theologically sound, empirically informed, well-reasoned, or rational voice addressing the complexities of race, class, and culture in America today than that of Dr. George Yancey. In Beyond Racial Division, he navigates nuance and effectively challenges readers to get beyond rhetoric to results in their engagement of diverse others.”
The IVP title that received the Award of Merit in the Popular Theology category is The Thrill of Orthodoxy: Rediscovering the Adventure of Christian Faith. “Trevin Wax shows that traditional orthodox Christianity might not be as glossy and glamorous as Christianity gone worldly, but it is ancient, majestic, global, and glorious,” said Michael F. Bird, academic dean and lecturer in New Testament at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia. “It is a tried and tested alternative to the faddish and fragmentary fakes that masquerade as Christianity in some places. Trevin is not pushing dry doctrine but passing on fresh fire that is thousands of years old.”
The IVP books that were finalists for the 2023 CT Book Awards include The Samaritan Woman’s Story: Reconsidering John 4 After #ChurchToo by Caryn A. Reeder (Biblical Studies), A Supreme Love: The Music of Jazz and the Hope of the Gospel by William Edgar (Culture and the Arts), and What Are Christians For?: Life Together at the End of the World by Jake Meador (Politics and Public Life).
Echols said, “We are grateful to our authors for allowing us to work alongside them to bring their words and passions into fruition. Each gives the best of their hearts and minds in a desire to continue to breathe life into the church. Their words continue to challenge readers to think deeply about their faith and to navigate today’s culture with wisdom and grace.”
For a complete list of IVP award winners visit ivpress.com/award-winners.