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The Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers

June 22, 2000

The Monitor's Guide to Religion Bestsellers

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1. ASSASSINS, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Tyndale House, $22.99

"Assassins" takes us past the midpoint of the Apocalypse, and we see more prophecies of the book of Revelation come to pass. The continuation of the story of the Tribulation Force - those left behind after Jesus' Rapture - gives plenty of background on each character as they pray to be chosen by God to assassinate the New World Order leader, Nicolae Carpathia. Fortunately, the Lord has provided the underground Trib Force with better techies to override the Antichrist's tools. (384 pp.)

By Jan Moller

2. HOW TO KNOW GOD, by Deepak Chopra, Harmony Books, $24.99

For Chopra, God "isn't a person, God is a process." Creatively weaving together physics and metaphysics, Chopra describes reality as a sandwich, with a transitional realm as the filling between God and the material world. Our brains are "hardwired" to enter this realm through seven different "God responses." Chopra draws from a variety of sources, including Eastern religions and physical sciences. While his argument at times seems jumbled, he makes several thought-provoking points. (320 pp.)

By Liz Marlantes

3. FRESH WIND, FRESH FIRE, by J. Cymbala & D. Merrill, Zondervan, $17.99

This is the story of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, a Manhattan church that was literally falling apart and could barely attract 25 people a week before the Rev. Jim Cymbala became pastor. It now draws a congregation of several thousand, and its nine-voice choir has grown to 250. Cymbala also wanted the church to have a midweek meeting dedicated to prayer; those services now attract everyone from professionals to the homeless. This was 25 years in progress and reflects a deep dedication to this urban community and its challenges. (192 pp.)

By Leigh Montgomery

4. MAXIMIZE THE MOMENT, By T.D. Jakes, Putnam, $19.95

Would you go to your therapist to get advice on God? If yes, then this book is for you. Although Jakes's ideas on life are connected to his ideas on God, the main portion of his book is advice one finds on self-help talk shows, not church services. Jakes says that life is but the hyphen on a gravestone placed between the day you were born and the day you die; nothing more. The key to truly living is to discover God's purpose for you. According to Jakes, we must learn how to live that purpose now. (237 pp.)

By Christy Ellington

5. THE BATTLE FOR GOD, By Karen Anderson, Alfred A. Knopf, $27.50

As a portrait of militant fundamentalism - Jewish, Islamic, and Christian - this is a stunning, genuinely brilliant and magisterial achievement. But as intellectual history, it is awash in muddy confusion. Anderson's theory is that the first Christians, knowing that they were writing fiction, fashioned their biographies of Jesus to look like eyewitness history. Anderson embraces the postmodern idea that religion is necessarily mythic and mysterious, so that the only kind of truth it can deliver is beyond the reach of reason. (Full review, March 23) (442 pp.)

By Colin Campbell

6. GRACE FOR THE MOMENT, by Max Lucado, Countryman, $12.99