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December 9, 2017 | Vol. 32, No. 23

B is for Books

WORLD’s 2017 Books of the Year

FEATURES
Backward advantage Accessible Theology: Living one breath away from the finish line
Conquering job insecurity Understanding America: The poor do not have to stay poor
To wage a famine Understanding the World: Stalin’s command—to starve millions of Ukrainians
Kings and politics History: The view from the Prophet Samuel’s front-row seat
Fragile philosophy Origins: Skewering Darwinism’s ‘science of the gaps’
And one we missed ... Interracial marriage proposals two centuries ago
Adventures in exposition Series of the Year: Dive into the Bible with the Reformed Expository Commentary
Not invisible Medicaid is bloated and ripe for reform, but the disabled who rely on the program worry cuts could target them
The Roy Moore moment Some hard questions for conservative evangelicals
Designated haters The Southern Poverty Law Center’s scattershot labeling of ‘hate groups’ leaves many unfairly tarnished

CULTURE
MOVIES & TV

Mudbound

A sobering look at the past with little hope for uplift

Coco

Coco offers a better and deeper message for children than the shopworn “be true to yourself”

A Christmas transformation

A heartwarming yarn about the origin of Dickens’ Christmas Carol reminds us of the rebirth we all need

A middle-school story

Predictable but engrossing Wonder shows a boy who’s trying to fit in
Music

New or recent releases

Mary’s (and Isaiah’s, and Gabriel’s) song

Immanuel looks at the birth of Christ from different perspectives
 
Q&A
Persevering saints

Persevering saints

Repressing Christians in China may be harder than government officials think
Books

Recent nonfiction books

A walk on the dark side

A look at Sally Quinn’s ‘religion’
Children's Books

Complicated plots

2017 Young Adult National Book Award winner and finalists

NOTEBOOK
Science
Sowing catastrophe?
The speculative science of geoengineering could pose a threat to the planet
Sports
New foul territory
An LGBT advocacy group wants to squelch Biblical sexual ethics in college athletics
Lifestyle
Finding Jesus after the Summer of Love
50 years later, some former hippies still follow Christ
Religion
Epic opening
New Bible museum invites you to engage with God’s Word but won’t tell you what to believe