First SWJT Book of the Year Awards announced

Alex Sibley


Carl R. Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution (Crossway) has been named the “Book of the Year” in the first annual Book of the Year Awards, sponsored by the Southwestern Journal of Theology (SWJT) and selected by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary faculty. Thirty-seven books from 14 different publishers have been recognized, including two faculty-authored texts and four titles with faculty contributions. 

“The new Book of the Year Awards contest is further evidence of our determination to be leaders in theological scholarship through our academic journal, the Southwestern Journal of Theology, in addition to the scholarly work of our faculty across the full range of the theological disciplines,” says President Adam W. Greenway. “The book awards also demonstrate our engagement with the best in theological scholarship in the evangelical world. I congratulate Dr. David Dockery for his leadership of the SWJT and this contest, as well as all the winners.”

David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology and editor of the SWJT, says he is “deeply grateful” for the “thoughtful and engaging responses” from faculty members of all five schools of Southwestern Seminary in selecting these award recipients. 

“Scholars from every discipline participated, offering their evaluations of key 2020 publications,” Dockery says. “In keeping with the mission of the seminary, the books have been selected with a focus on volumes that will serve the church well in the days to come.”

Dockery adds that the seminary faculty is “truly thankful for those who serve in the Christian publishing field, who have helped to produce these outstanding books.” 

“Moreover,” he continues, “we appreciate the hours of hard work that authors have invested to provide these wonderful tools for the people of God. We trust this year’s results will offer helpful guidance for the Southwestern constituencies in the year ahead.”

Twelve categories of books are included, such as biblical, theological, and Baptist studies; church music/worship; evangelism/missions/global church; and Christian education/counseling/youth and children. For each category, a winner and two honorable mentions are named. 

Among the recognized authors are seven Southwestern Seminary faculty: Eric Mitchell, professor of Old Testament and biblical backgrounds, and Mark E. Taylor, associate dean of the School of Theology, contributed to The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary; David S. Dockery, distinguished professor of theology, W. Madison Grace II, associate professor of Baptist heritage, and Malcolm B. Yarnell III, research professor of theology, contributed to Baptists and the Christian Tradition; R. Allen Lott, professor of music history, authored Brahms’s A German Requiem; and Kenneth T. Magnuson, professor of Christian ethics, authored Invitation to Christian Ethics

In addition, Dockery served in editorial roles for the Christian Standard Commentary, which includes Thomas R. Schreiner’s 1 & 2 Peter and Jude, and the “Theology for the People of God” series, which includes Gregg Allison and Andreas J. Köstenberger’s The Holy Spirit

Four of the recognized authors are also alumni of Southwestern: Jason G. Duesing (Ph.D., 2008), J. Scott Duvall (M.Div., 1984; Ph.D., 1991), Robin Hadaway (M.Div., 1978), and J. Daniel Hays (Ph.D., 1992). 

Regarding the “Book of the Year”—Carl R. Trueman’s The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self—Dockery says the book “is certainly one of the most important Christian books published in the past year, if not the past decade.” 

“Written in an accessible style,” Dockery continues, “Trueman, an exemplary intellectual historian, offers incisive analysis of the developments in Western culture over the past 200 years that have brought us to our current cultural moment. Directed by Trueman’s brilliant interpretation as well as critique of influential and shaping philosophers, poets, scientists, psychologists, and ethicists, readers are able to see the connections that sadly led to the dominance of the therapeutic, the triumph of the sexual revolution, and the championing of expressive individualism. Providing faithful guidance to help reimagine how to direct our steps in the days to come, this book is essential reading for pastors and Christian leaders.”

Below is the complete list of winners and honorable mentions by category:


The Baker Illustrated Bible Background Commentary, edited by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays (Baker)


The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Daily Life in Roman Palestine, edited by Catherine Hezser (Oxford University Press)

A Christian’s Guide to Evidence for the Bible: 101 Proofs from History and Archaeology, by J. Daniel Hays (Baker)


The Problem of the Old Testament: Hermeneutical, Schematic, and Theological Approaches, by Duane A. Garrett (IVP)


1 & 2 Peter and Jude, in The Christian Standard Commentary (B&H), by Thomas R. Schreiner

Revelation, in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Zondervan), by Buist Fanning


The Trinity: An Introduction, by Scott Swain (Crossway)


The Holy Spirit, in the Theology for the People of God series (B&H), by Gregg Allison and Andreas J. Köstenberger

Christian Theology: The Biblical Story and Our Faith, by Christopher W. Morgan with Robert A. Peterson (B&H)


An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian Vision for Every Stage of Life, by Crawford Gribben (Crossway)


Tethered to the Cross: The Life and Preaching of Charles H. Spurgeon, by Thomas Breimaier (IVP)

Mother of Modern Evangelicalism: The Life and Legacy of Henrietta Mears, by Arlin C. Migliazzo (Eerdmans)


Baptists and the Christian Tradition: Toward an Evangelical Baptist Catholicity, edited by Matthew Y. Emerson, Christopher W. Morgan, and R. Lucas Stamps (B&H)


Oliver Hart and the Rise of Baptist America, by Eric C. Smith (Oxford University Press)

The Lost Sermons of C. H. SpurgeonHis Earliest Outlines and Sermons Between 1851 and 1854, vol. 4, edited by Jason G. Duesing (B&H)


The Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church, by R. Albert Mohler Jr. (Thomas Nelson)


The History of Apologetics: A Biographical and Methodological Introduction, edited by Benjamin K. Forrest, Joshua D. Chatraw, and Alister E. McGrath (Zondervan)

Cultural Intelligence: Living for God in a Diverse, Pluralistic World, by Darrell L. Bock (B&H)


Breaking Bread with the Dead: A Reader’s Guide to a More Tranquil Mind, by Alan Jacobs (Penguin)


Jesus the Great Philosopher: Rediscovering the Wisdom Needed for the Good Life, by Jonathan T. Pennington (Brazos)

“Here are Your Gods”: Faithful Discipleship in Idolatrous Times, by Christopher J.H. Wright (IVP)


Brahms’s A German Requiem: Reconsidering Its Biblical, Historical, and Musical Contexts, by R. Allen Lott (University of Rochester Press)


Worship and the World to Come: Exploring Christian Hope in Contemporary Worship, by Glenn Packiam (IVP)

Recapturing an Enchanted World: Ritual and Sacrament in the Free Church Tradition, by John D. Rempel (IVP)


Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, by Dane C. Ortlund (Crossway)


The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live, by J. Todd Billings (Brazos)

Invitation to Christian Ethics: Moral Reasoning and Contemporary Issues, by Ken Magnuson (Kregel)


A Little Book for New Preachers: Why and How to Study Homiletics, by Matthew D. Kim (IVP)


Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church, by Paul David Tripp (Crossway)

Pastors and Their Critics: A Guide to Coping with Criticism in Ministry, by Joel R. Beeke and Nicholas J. Thompson (P&R)


A Survey of World Missions, by Robin Hadaway (B&H)


40 Questions about Islam, by Matthew Bennett (Kregel)

We Evangelicals and Our Mission: How We Got to Where We Are and How to Get to Where We Should Be Going, by David J. Hesselgrave with Lianna Davis (Cascade)


Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests, by Edward T. Welch (Crossway)


Is it Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims, by Darby A. Strickland (P&R)

Excellence in Online Education: Creating a Christian Community on Mission, by Kristen A. Ferguson (B&H)


The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution, by Carl R. Trueman (Crossway)