The Banner

God Friended Me

Department: Author: Trevor DenningOver the years, TV writers have found inventive ways to get characters to find and help one another. One show had a magical newspaper. Another used a computer algorithm. Sometimes they take the easy path (a Highway to Heaven, if you will) and use an angel. With soc

Who Is an Evangelical? The History of a Movement in Crisis

Department: Author: Robert JoustraThe term ‘evangelical’ has fast become a combustible label, especially since the 2016 election. Thomas Kidd generously understates our disagreements by saying the election has “renewed a sometimes acrimonious debate,” describing that election as “the most shatterin

The Scarecrow

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema This lovely, poetic children’s picture book—a celebration of a surprising friendship and the joy of helping others—begins with a lonely scarecrow guarding summer crops: “No one enters. / No one dares. / Scarecrow stands alone and scares / the fox and d

White Bird

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootOnce again R.C. Palacio has extended the world of her bestseller Wonder and its underlying theme, Choose Kind. At first glance, her new book White Bird, which she wrote and illustrated, seems not only unconnected but for a different genre and storytelling style alto

Behold the Lamb of God (2019 edition)

Department: Author: Robert J. KeeleyOne of the most thoughtful and beautiful albums of newly written Christmas music of the past 20 years is Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God. This year, Peterson has released a new version of the album, a faithful re-recording of the original with many of th

Harriet

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerOf course, there should have been a biopic about the great heroine, Harriet Tubman, a long time ago (in addition to a $20 bill with her image, but I digress). In “Harriet,” starring Broadway star Cynthia Erivo, we have the first of what hopefully will be many cinem

The Dog Who Lost His Bark

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema When a pup and his siblings are mistreated by their owner, the pup’s mother comforts him: “Don’t worry. Someday your BOY or GIRL will come. A human who is right for you.” Though the pup hopes for the best, his next owners are as bad as the first. Event

Living Undocumented

Department: Author: Mary Li MaThis six-part Netflix documentary presents the current immigration crisis in a way that goes beyond statistics and images. It weaves together stories of trauma and hope from eight families impacted by deportation measures targeting undocumented immigrants. These famili

Ash & Starlight: Prayers for the Chaos & Grace of Daily Life

Department: Author: Caryn RivadeneiraSpiritual snobs may sneer at the use of prayer books, but those of us who turn to the Psalms or recite the Lord’s Prayer when we run out of words for God understand the power of reading other people’s prayers. The best prayer books offer not only the language bu

‘Tante Corrie’ ten Boom is a Heroine for the Ages

Department: Author: Lorilee CrakerCan a book be one’s spiritual companion throughout the years? The Hiding Place has been a companion and a candle for me almost my whole life. First published in 1971 by Revell, The Hiding Place is the story of Corrie ten Boom, a middle-aged watchmaker who became a

Rescue Story

Department: Author: Paul DelgerChristian artist Zach Williams grabbed a 2018 Grammy award for his debut album, “Chain Breaker,” and now he returns with another potentially big record, “Rescue Story. “For this new album, the title fits because every song has a rescue story,” he said in a release. “W

Hit Hard

Department: Author: Jamie L BrummelWhat do you do when someone you love irrevocably changes—and time is forever divided into before and after? Hit Hard is the story of the McLeod family, a family affected by ambiguous loss. When Pat and Tammy, Harvard chaplains for Cru, receive the call that Zach,

The Public

Department: Author: Jenny deGrootPublic libraries are set apart from other institutions. They are places where people gather to connect with each other, share ideas and dialogue across lines of religion, gender, ethnicity, and age. Libraries are democratic, safe, and yes, even sacred spaces, provid

The Kids are Coming

Department: Author: Micah Van DijkNo one seems to understand the kids these days And why we live this way We got to clean up the mess you've made Still, you don't wanna change – The Kids Are ComingThe Kids are Coming by Tones and I is the debut EP from 19-year-old Australian Toni Watson. Similar

One Big Heart: A Celebration of Being More Alike than Different

Department: Author: Sonya VanderVeen Feddema In this charming children’s picture book, author Linsey Davis’s rhyming verse and illustrator Lucy Fleming’s bright, cheerful pictures highlight the diversity of God’s creation in a classroom of youngsters: “Our faces make a rainbow, / lots of colors a

She Said

Department: Author: Cynthia Beach“Be sure your sins will find you out” may encourage those who know the real story of power abusers, yet decades can sweep past with little or no justice. The story of famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was nearly that: a dark secret of alleged harassment, ab