I was delighted that the folks at Christianity Today asked me to serve as a judge for this year’s book awards, in the category of CT Women. I got to read four excellent books, and write up my thoughts on each one. The guiding light for the awards is this statement: “Our picks for the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.” I know from experience how valuable it is for an author’s work to be recognized in this way.
The 2019 Award of Merit for CT Women went to Amy Julia Becker’s White Picket Fences: Turning Toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege. The comments which accompany the award were the ones I wrote:
The word privilege is increasingly important in our national conversation about racial justice. For people of faith, the word ripples with significance because we worship the God who is Love, meaning love equally for all people. Amy Julia Becker writes from her context as an affluent white woman who could live comfortably within the white picket fences of suburbia. Yet she chooses to broaden her definition of neighbor. Told with grace and humility, this memoir will be a helpful companion to those who are wrestling with similar questions about privilege.
The 2019 Book Award for CT Women went to Sarah C. Williams for her memoir, Perfectly Human: Nine Months with Cerian. My comments are these:
This memoir straddles a fault line that divides our society regarding the termination of pregnancy. Knowing that her fetus would not survive delivery, Sarah Williams nevertheless chose to carry her pregnancy to term. Beautifully told, this very personal story brings human context to what is one of the most divisive issues of our time.
It will be obvious to any reader that each of these books comes straight from the author’s heart. Congratulations to them, and to all the other authors who created such fine books. The world is a better place for their efforts.
See the whole list here. If you’re Christmas shopping, remember that books make fine gifts!