Books by two Grove City College professors were selected for Christianity Today’s 2022 Book Awards.
“Reading the Times: A Literary and Theological Inquiry into the News” by Jeffrey L. Bilbro, associate professor of English, earned an award of merit in the Culture and Arts category, and “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution” by Carl R. Trueman, professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, was a finalist in the Politics & Public Life category.
Christianity Today’s editors said the awards recognize “the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought and culture’ and “represent some of the year’s most exemplary Christian thinking.”
Paul C. Kemeny, dean of the Calderwood School of Arts and Letters, said he was grateful that Christianity Today recognized the faculty publications and commended Bilbro and Trueman for their contributions to the public discourse and undergraduate education at Grove City College.
“Their work embodies the kind of thoughtful and theologically-informed Christian scholarship that we aspire to cultivate in our students,” Kemeny said.
“Reading the Times” was published this summer, just as Bilbro was beginning his first year at the College. The book lays out the case that “we are being not merely informed but also formed” by our news diet to the point that our news consumption can shape how our brains function. Bilbro offers a historical, theological and literary perspective on the subject to help readers understand better what the news is for and how to read it well – to “understand our times in light of what is timeless.”
Christianity Today reviewer Ned Bustard wrote: “This book is like the best class you ever took in college. Big ideas are delivered in a winsome and enticing way. We all know we are consuming bad news and it is eroding our society. Bilbro identifies the problem, shows how it’s likely worse than you imagined, and offers hope.”
Trueman’s “Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self” has driven a cultural conversation since it was published a year ago. The book examines how the modern conception of identity – individualistic, secular and inextricably tied to sex – developed and is now fueling a spiritual, theological and cultural crisis.
The book has been read and discussed widely in evangelical circles, with reviewers calling it “perhaps the most significant analysis and evaluation of Western culture written by a Protestant during the past fifty years” and “essential reading for all serious religious believers who rightly sense that the ground is shifting underneath their feet.”
Bilbro and Trueman are in good company at Grove City College. Other faculty books that made a mark this year include “No Free Lunch: Six Economic Lies You've Been Taught And Probably Believe” by Caleb Fuller, professor of Economics, and "Good in Every Thing: Meditations on Shakespeare" by Josh Mayo, professor of English. Several other professors are preparing books for publication in the new year.
“Reading the Times” and “Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self” are available at bookstores and online outlets. For more, visit the Christianity Today Book Awards website at christianitytoday.com.