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December 7, 2019 | Vol. 34, No. 23

2019 Books of the Year

Great books tell stories. Here’s our pick of vivid and insightful new releases for better understanding America, world events, history, science, and theology

FEATURES
Liberty and justice for all Will religious liberty survive?
Grappling with evil Explaining an ‘unmitigated, genocidal disaster’
Vivid memories Asking probing questions, diving into details
Darwinism’s big breakdown Michael Behe says evolution degrades genes but doesn’t create them
Curving heavenward Paul Miller explains how true living comes through dying
Battles on La Rambla Two great older books illuminate the Spanish Civil War and the road to polarization
A 30-ring circus Tribulations and trials highlight a fortnight’s news 
From watchdogs to lapdogs? USCIRF commissioner resigns over attempts by Congress to ‘undermine the independence’ of commissioners

CULTURE
MOVIES & TV

Men of the church

The Two Popes portrays a friendly rivalry between Pope Emeritus Benedict and Pope Francis

Magic on ice

Funny Frozen II flirts with vague animism but offers some positive messages

Neighborly graces

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood shows the power of unselfish love
Music

New Christmas albums

Another Sunday Service

Music from Jarvis Cocker’s BBC show reveals an interesting and open musical mind
 
Children's Books

’Tis the season

Family devotionals for advent 

NOTEBOOK
Lifestyle
Learning to wrestle pigs
Farmers Dennis and Margaret Guth fought often—until they learned to understand and appreciate their differences
History
A Heart Mountain reunion
Formerly interned Japanese Americans gather 75 years after the Supreme Court decision that ended their exile 
Sports
Muscling in
No matter the activists’ spin, biological males maintain unfair advantages when competing against women