The Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers

The Monitor's Guide to Religion Bestsellers


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

One of America's most popular Christian writers, Lucado has produced a simple study guide for daily inspiration. Each page, one for every day of the year, begins with a subject, such as "Not Perfection, but Forgiveness," and then presents a Bible verse and a relevant passage from one of Lucado's previous books. In his preface, the author notes that the quiet moments in the morning are quickly overwhelmed by "the pounding pace of the human race." This attractive little book is a handy way to begin fighting back against that din and establishing a routine of morning prayer. (398 pp.)

By Ron Charles

7. ARE WE LIVING IN THE END TIMES?, by Tim LaHaye et al, Tyndale, $19.99

This book attempts to draw a prophetic connection between current societal developments (the global economy, surveillance technology) and Biblical passages, primarily in Revelation. Those who have been reading LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins's hugely popular "Left Behind" Christian fiction series will find this book particularly interesting. Whether or not one believes that the Rapture, or Christ's second coming, is imminent, their book is one way to observe currents of belief for a significant population of Christians in the US and elsewhere. (400 pp.)

By Leigh Montgomery

8. BOUNDARIES, by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend, Zondervan, $19.99

If you're trying to bring balance to your life, but you're afraid that doing so will break the Golden Rule, then this is a must read. Learn how to say "no" and when to say "yes" and have the Biblical chapter and verse to back up your decisions. You might want to keep your Bible handy. Interwoven in the text are stories about others who are finding a way to put up healthy boundaries in their lives. As with most self-help books, it all boils down to committing yourself to take the first step and then the next and the next if you want to change your life. (256 pp.)

By Jan Moller

9. THE FOUR WITNESSES, by Robbin Griffith-Jones, Harper, $25

Griffith-Jones argues that the first four books of the New Testament, the Gospels, are valuable for what we can learn from them as individual works of literature. The author avoids ponderous theological jargon and has instead written a book accessible to the layman about "finding" Jesus by finding the men who wrote about him. Mark "the Rebel," Matthew "the Rabbi," Luke "the Chronicler," and John "the Mystic" are the protagonists here. And what each has to say, and how each says it, is as important to the study of Jesus as the man they want us to know. (405 pp.)

By Alan Messmer

10. RISE ABOVE, by Gwen Shamblin, Thomas Nelson, $24.99

Tired of not being able to lose weight? Gwen Shamblin has some advice for you. Forget about dieting. Shamblin says that those who struggle with being overweight are using food to unsuccessfully satisfy a spiritual hunger. "Rise Above" claims that opening the Bible will temper the desire to open the fridge. Shamblin uses a Christian workshop approach complete with Bible verses and assignments to help readers nurture a more satisfying relationship with themselves, food, and the Lord. (340 pp.)

By Kendra Nordin


(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to The Monitor Guide to The Bestsellers
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today