Evaluated by Ken Wytsma
Now in its 18th year, the 2021 Outreach Resources of the Year honors the past year’s best books that emphasize outreach-oriented ideas and ministries.
The Christian living category was evaluated by Ken Wytsma, the author of The Myth of Equality, Pursuing Justice, The Grand Paradox, Create vs. Copy, and co-author of Redeeming How We Talk.
RESOURCE OF THE YEAR
Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope by Esau McCaulley (IVP Academic)
Esau McCaulley quickly and persuasively sheds light on and provides answers to questions everyone is asking on authority, civic responsibility and politics—questions few books honestly address and to which even fewer give fresh voice with biblical arguments. Reading While Black is beautifully written and deeply transformative, but also has the benefit of falling into the hands of the church when an apostolic word is required. McCaulley uses his own experience, incisive scholarship and the African American tradition as a lens for understanding key scriptural passages on the Christian pursuit of justice in society. In doing so, he elucidates and honors the Black church experience while also deeply challenging the American church as a whole. Practical, prophetic and necessary, this book will become the go-to resource for both the novice and expert alike seeking to understand, articulate and live a deeper spirituality in an age of confusion, division and longing for a more faithful Christian witness.
In an age of quick fixes, The Deeply Formed Life: Five Transformative Values to Root Us in the Way of Jesus by Rich Villodas (WaterBrook) provides a classic book tracing the contours of the narrow road, and calls us into the kind of authentic spirituality in Christ that transforms our lives and satisfies our hearts.
In The Way Up Is Down: Becoming Yourself By Forgetting Yourself (IVP), Marlena Graves’ voice adds texture and nuance to Jesus’ paradoxical call to find our life by giving it away. To those whose hearts long to connect with and find true contentment in Christ, The Way Up Is Down is a handbook that will be read and recommended again and again.
Additional Christian living resources are available at OutreachMagazine.com/christian-living.