While the pundits and wallahs have not yet identified it as a full-blown trend, slowly but surely evangelicals are reconnecting with their medieval past. The reconnection with the early church can certainly be called a trend. But for those adventurous souls who wonder whether God really abandoned the church at the beginning of the medieval millennium (roughly 500 – 1500), to return only with Martin Luther, there are more and more books on the market exploring facets of the faith of the Middle Ages. Here are a few.
(Note: Amazon sales rankings are from a month or two ago; as I know from my days as a bookseller on Amazon Marketplace, any Amazon ranking in the five digits is selling briskly. Even those in the low six digits are selling at a reasonably good pace).
–Leighton Ford, Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina, sings the praises of monastic spirituality (Amazon sales rank #45,000)
–Dennis Okholm, Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants; ditto (Amazon #15,000)
–Tony Jones tells young people about Divine Intervention: Encountering God Through the Ancient Practice of Lectio Divina (Amazon #178,000)
–Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Jon R. Stock, and Tim Otto ask how Inhabiting the Church (Amazon #249,000) can involve learning from the Benedictine vows of stability, obedience, and continual conversion
–Mark Noll asks “Is the Reformation Over” (Amazon #510,000, but it’s been out for some time)
–Rutba House, School(s) for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism (Amazon #58,000)
–Scott Bessenecker, The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World’s Poor (Amazon #300,000)
–Foster, Willard, Peterson, Houston, et al continue to pour “spirituality” books full of medieval content into the evangelical market (with top-selling results)