Of Reviewing Many Books There Is No End

Of Reviewing Many Books There Is No End

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Collin Hansen: Every year at The Gospel Coalition we review about 300 titles between our academic journal Themelios and our regular book reviews section. And the man behind that book reviews section is Ivan Mesa. He’s also the organizer behind our annual book awards. He coordinates between dozens of editors, and publishers, and writers, and judges to deliver this curated list of the year’s best titles. I dare say it is a labor of love for Ivan.

Well, in TGC’s Book Awards our judges use four criteria. A book might be good but not necessarily aligned with TGC’s priorities. But in our awards, we’re looking for these things, we want books that first, offer gospel-centered argument and application. Second, include faithful and foundational use of Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament. Third, foster spiritual discernment of contemporary trials and trends, and fourth encourage efforts to unite and renew the church.

Well, for more on why TGC makes books such a high priority, the story behind this year’s awards and the reading culture at The Gospel Coalition, I’m joined by our books editor, Ivan Mesa. Ivan, thank you for joining me on The Gospel Coalition Podcast.

Ivan Mesa: Thanks for having me on.

Hansen: All right, Ivan, why does TGC do book awards?

Mesa: We just live in a day where we are blessed to have so many books that come out on a regular basis. So, in some ways, it’s the best and also the worst of times when it comes to book publishing. So, you don’t have to look far to look at a top bestseller lists, even Christian bestseller lists and be sort of discouraged when it comes to the theology being pumped out into kind of the mainstream publishing world. But we also live in very unique times and we’re very encouraged and blessed to have so many good, rich, faithful offerings when it comes to books. And so, I see our book awards as an opportunity to just express gratitude for the number of edifying good books that are released in every given year. We also assess like you mentioned that four-fold criteria, and we use that to look over what’s been published in our.. last year. And then thirdly, I guess, to promote these books for our readers, pastors that follow our website and our ministry, folks that are looking for good books to purchase…

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