New Book Releases

Daniel Literary Group celebrates our authors' recent releases:

Jacqueline A. Bussie's OUTLAW CHRISTIAN: FINDING AUTHENTIC FAITH BY BREAKING THE "RULES" (Thomas Nelson). Living according to a set of unspoken "rules" is killing real Christian life, contends religion professor Bussie. Outlaw Christian proposes a rebellious, life-giving, authentic alternative. Through captivating stories and with disarming honesty, Bussie gives concrete, practical strategies to help readers cultivate hope, seek joy, practice accompaniment, compost their pain, and rediscover the spiritual practice of lament.

"A solid exhortation to live outside the sphere of hackneyed holiness...Excellent exegeses...authentic insights...Bussie piles on stories of hope to countermand lies such as 'nothing ever changes'...Bussie writes with poetry, pathos, and pepper."
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 

David Dark's LIFE'S TOO SHORT TO PRETEND YOU'RE NOT RELIGIOUS (IVP Books). Both incisive and entertaining, Life's Too Short to Pretend You're Not Religious combines Dark's keen powers of cultural observation with candor and wit. With equal parts memoir and analysis, Dark persuasively argues that the fact of religion is the fact of relationship. It's the shape our love takes, the lived witness of everything we're up to for better or worse, because witness knows no division.

"With candor and humor, (Dark) synthesizes a broad range of cultural voices alongside his own 'attention collection' of personal influences to create an argument against the thought that we can escape religion. . . . Through references to science fiction novels, Wendell Berry, Thomas Merton, and Daniel Berrigan, Dark sheds light on how thoughts are handed down to us, what we judge to be essential, and the ways in which we can begin to unlearn all that we have unwittingly inherited. Dark's argument couched in a memoir is a persuasive, well-grounded case for religion's place in modern society."
  Publishers Weekly

Melissa Musick and Anna Keating's THE CATHOLIC CATALOGUE: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE DAILY ACTS THAT MAKE UP A CATHOLIC LIFE (Image). The popular mother-daughter team behind the hit website helps readers to discover, rediscover, and embrace some of the smells and tastes, sounds and sensations, holidays and seasons of the Catholic life. This collection of prayers, crafts, devotionals and recipes will help readers make room in their busy lives for mystery and meaning, awe and joy.

"Putting the richness of Catholic liturgy and life on full display, Melissa Musick and Anna Keating show us that Christianity is constituted by keeping habits, performing practices, and embodying the traditions of the church. This book will be useful to Catholics, indeed to all Christians, looking for ways to make their faith practical." Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School

Jessica Kelley's LORD WILLING?: WRESTLING WITH GOD'S ROLE IN MY CHILD'S DEATH (Herald Press). When her young son was diagnosed with brain cancer, Jessica Kelley couldn't stomach Christian clichés. God's will? Divine design? The Lord's perfect plan? In Lord Willing?, Kelley boldly tackles one of the most difficult questions of the Christian life: if God is all-powerful and all-loving, why do we suffer? For Kelley, this question takes an even more painful and personal turn: did God lack the power or the desire to spare her four-year-old son?

“What’s God’s role in suffering? As a theologian and as a father who knows what it feels like to put a child’s stocking back in the box instead of hanging it above the chimney with care, I’ve wrestled with this question in all its painful complexities. And to be perfectly honest, every answer I’ve ever read has left me wanting, unfulfilled, and even at times more discouraged. That is, until I read this book. This book may very well be the missing link in your understanding of God’s role in human suffering- it was mine.” Benjamin L. Corey, author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus

Acclaimed New Testament scholar and author Scot McKnight's THE HEAVEN PROMISE:ENGAGING THE BIBLE'S TRUTH ABOUT LIFE TO COME (WaterBrook). How can we know for sure what heaven will be like? Well, according to McKnight, all we need to do is to turn to Scripture to answer our questions. Separating fact from fiction, McKnight helps the reader examine the witness of God’s Word in order to discover what awaits us on the other side of the grave.

“What a terrific book! Scot lays out the great questions about heaven—What will it be like? Who’s going there?—and seeks to address them with biblically grounded wisdom." John Ortberg, senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, and author of All the Places to Go

The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II with Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, THE THIRD RECONSTRUCTION: MORAL MONDAYS, FUSION POLITICS, AND THE RISE OF A NEW JUSTICE MOVEMENT (Beacon Press). In this memoir of how Rev. Barber and allies as diverse as progressive Christians, union members, and immigration-rights activists came together to build a coalition, he offers a trenchant analysis of race-based inequality and a hopeful message for a nation grappling with persistent racial and economic injustice.

“A battle-hardened pastor calls for a faith-based, grass-roots movement for social justice...It’s the religious component that makes his story particularly interesting. Fully aware of the suspicion Bible-speak arouses in modern progressive circles, the author still insists on viewing the justice struggle through a moral prism, one always backstopped by ‘a Higher Power.’...A heartfelt dose of old-time religion mixed with modern-day activism." Kirkus Reviews

Nadia Bolz-Weber's NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, ACCIDENTAL SAINTS: FINDING GOD IN ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE (Convergent/Random House), in which the tattooed, profane, pastor details how God keeps showing up in the least likely of people.

"Compulsively readable… [Nadia Bolz-Weber's] love for God and for humankind shines through on every page.”  Publishers Weekly

Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth's THE DAY I MET JESUS: THE REVEALING DIARIES OF FIVE WOMEN FROM THE GOSPELS (Baker Books).The authors travel back in time as they retell the dramatic accounts of women who met Jesus and whose lives were never the same as a result.

"The way Mary and Frank portray these women's stories will help any woman has experienced heartbreak, loneliness, and rejection step right into the extravagant grace and love of Jesus." New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst

Pastor and popular speaker Doug Pagitt's FLIPPED: THE PROVOCATIVE TRUTH THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT GOD (Convergent/Random House), in which the author takes a new look at provocative statements made by Jesus, Paul, and the prophets, turning the tables on religious assumptions.

"“Instead of taking sides in contentious us-them debates, Doug Pagitt points a way through the tensions to a wider, better place. He uncovers hidden treasures from the Bible and flips conventional  understandings. A wise, insightful, and stimulating book." Brian D. McLaren

Award-winning author Greg Paul's SIMPLY OPEN: A GUIDE TO EXPERIENCING GOD IN THE EVERYDAY (Thomas Nelson), inviting readers to a simple practice of prayer and awareness that can turn each ordinary workday into a deepening spiritual journey.

"Paul lays out a contemplative path to develop greater awareness through the senses and become more conscious of God in a four-step process of releasing old perceptions, receiving new ones, becoming more authentic, and doing things differently."
Publishers Weekly

Matthew Paul Turner's OUR GREAT BIG AMERICAN GOD: A SHORT HISTORY OF OUR EVER-GROWING DEITY (Jericho Books/Hachette), in which the author explores the United States' vast influence on God, told through an amazing true history of faith, politics, and evangelical pyrotechnics.

"Engaging history that turns a penetrating eye on how God has been shaped to fit the varieties of faith in America... An energetic presentation of our complicated relationship with God."    Kirkus Reviews

Sara Miles' CITY OF GOD: FAITH IN THE STREETS (Jericho Books/Hachette), in which the acclaimed author and Director of Ministry at St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church in San Francisco, narrates the events of Ash Wednesday, 2012, in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of carrying ashes out to the streets of San Francisco and touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality.

"Gorgeous, gritty, profound . . . I love everything she writes, but there is something special about this new book."  New York Times bestselling author Anne Lamott

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's STRANGERS AT MY DOOR: A TRUE STORY OF FINDING JESUS IN UNEXPECTED GUESTS (Convergent/Random House), in which the author recounts the stories that have come out of his and his family's move to the poverty-stricken side of Durham, North Carolina, where they have opened their door to anyone who knocks, welcoming visitors, guests, neighbors, and strangers.

Strangers at My Door is not only an invitation into the life of a hospitality house; it’s an invitation into real Christianity. By that I mean the radical inclusivity of Jesus that embraces and fights for the ones mainstream society shuns and abhors and terminates without batting an eye. It is, in short, an invitation for each of us to open our lives to the stranger and become more fully human.”  Sister Helen Prejan, author of Dead Man Walking

Popular author Jon M. Sweeney and his wife, Rabbi Michal Woll's MIXED-UP LOVE: RELATIONSHIPS, FAMILY, AND IDENTITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY (Jericho Books/Hachette). Jon, a Catholic writer, and Michal, a Reconstructionist rabbi write of living out the challenges of an interfaith relationship as husband and wife, and as parents to their daughter Sima, who is being raised Jewish. They explore how interfaith relationships affect dating, weddings, holidays, raising children, and family functions--and how to not just cope, but thrive.

"An instructive, refreshing, spiritually sophisticated guide for any couple seeking to navigate a complex religious path."  Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, bestselling author of Kabbalah: A Love Story

Debbie Blue's CONSIDER THE BIRDS (Abingdon). Highlighting ten birds throughout Scripture, Blue offers an edgy, scholarly, and shocking take on these winged messengers to reveal poignant life lessons on desire and gratitude, power and vulnerability, insignificance and importance. Taking a closer look at these unknown and unseen creatures in some of the best-known passages of the Bible, Blue provides us with profound truths about humanity, faith, and God's mysterious grace.

"A different kind of field guide! From the raven to the dove and the ostrich to the sparrow, Debbie Blue reminds us how rich the biblical account of the natural world can be, and endless source of metaphor and inspiration!"  Bill McKibben, New York Times bestselling author

Sarah Thebarge's memoir, THE INVISIBLE GIRLS (Jericho Books/Hachette). After nearly dying of breast cancer in her twenties, Sarah Thebarge fled her successful career, her Ivy League education, and a failed relationship on the East Coast and started over in Portland, Oregon. She was hoping to quietly pick up the pieces of her broken life, but instead she met a Somalian refugee and her daughters, and set out on an adventure she'd never anticipated.

"The interweaving of her story with that of a Somali mother and daughters is masterful. This isn't the American dream. It's a vibrant and authentic story of loss, disenchantment, discovery, and a reawakening of faith and hope."  Bestselling author Randy Alcorn

Denise Hildreth Jones's newest novel, SECRETS OVER SWEET TEA (Tyndale). Secrets can be funny things. We think they keep us safe, but more often than not, they spill out when we least expect and make a mess out of everything. It's a truth Scarlett Jo Newberry knows all too well--a truth Grace Shepherd and Zach Craig are about to learn the hard way.

"A heart-wrenchingly believable story.... Readers will find it lingering in their hearts and minds long after the last page has been turned."  Publishers Weekly

Pastor and author Lillian Daniel's WHEN SPIRITUAL BUT RELIGIOUS IS NOT ENOUGH: SEEING GOD IN SURPRISING PLACES, EVEN THE CHURCH (Jericho Books/Hachette). In reacting against the cliched catchphrase, "I'm spiritual but not religious," Daniel tells stories - both biblical and contemporary - of what the life of faith can be: odd, wondrous, and worth trying.

"This is the wonderful, essential Lillian Daniel at her best--earthy, perceptive, devout, tough-minded, angry and laugh-out-loud funny, all in one. Daniel's easygoing style is just right for revealing her great gift of finding God in the everyday."  Bob Abernethy, Executive Editor for PBS's Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

Philosopher and theological firebrand Peter Rollins's THE IDOLATRY OF GOD: BREAKING OUR ADDICTION TO CERTAINTY AND SATISFACTION (Howard Books/Simon & Schuster). Showing how God has traditionally been approached as a product that will render us complete, remove our suffering, and reveal the answers, Rollins introduces an incendiary approach to faith that invites us to joyfully embrace our brokenness, resolutely face our unknowing, and courageously accept the difficulties of existence.

“This full-scale repurposing of Christian vocabulary and endorsement of theological mystery is often deeply rewarding.”  Publishers Weekly

Founder and executive director of The Gay Christian Network, Justin Lee's TORN: RESCUING THE GOSPEL FROM THE GAYS-VS.-CHRISTIANS DEBATE (Jericho/Hachette), uses his personal story as a backdrop to intelligently engage some of the toughest issues of the Gays-vs.-Christians debate. This is the most important, practical guide for Christians everywhere who struggle with how to relate to gay friends or family members, or with their own sexuality.

"The most important book I've read in years, and the first I'd recommedn to anyone interested in bridging the divide between the LGBT community and the church. Justin has given us a precious gift with this story. May we receive it with the same courage and faith with which it was delivered."  Rachel Held Evans, bestselling author of A Year of Biblical Womanhood