ECPA's Rush To PressIVP Titles Make Short Lists of WORLD Magazine’s
Best Books of 2016

WESTMONT, IL WORLD Magazine included two IVP titles on its short lists of the Best Books of 2016, which includes books published between April and December 2016. WORLD also cited IVP best-selling classic Knowing God by J. I. Packer as one of the “better reading options than last year’s Christian bestsellers.”

In response to the list of the top fifty best-selling Christian books of 2016 released by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association in January, Jamie Dean, national editor for WORLD, asked pastors, authors, and leaders for books they’d like to see on a list of books most read by Christians. In a March 18 article Dean wrote, “Instead of demanding health and wealth, pastors Terry Johnson and John Piper both picked J. I. Packer’s Knowing God, with Packer’s reminder the Bible doesn’t teach God will ‘shield his loved ones from trouble when he knows that they need trouble to further their sanctification.’”

Knowing God, first published by IVP in 1973, has sold more than one million copies in the United States alone, and in 2006 Christianity Today voted it one of the top fifty books that have shaped evangelicals. Packer is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America, and in 2014 was also named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores.

The Best Books of 2016 were also announced in the March 18 issue of WORLD. Marvin Olasky, editor in chief of WORLD News Group, wrote, “This year on the pages that follow five WORLD staff writers and five World Journalism Institute (WJI) graduates review thirty short-listed books from twenty-three publishers.

Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering by internationally renowned artist Makoto Fujimura made the short list as one of the best books in the Understanding the World category. Inspired by Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence—one of the greatest works of twentieth-century Japanese literature—Fujimura grapples with the nature of art, the significance of pain, and his own cultural heritage. Mindy Belz, senior editor at WORLD, said, “Silence and Beauty is part memoir, part cultural treatise, and part expedition into Japan’s sixteenth-century hidden Christians—the subject of the Shusaku novel, which Fujimura summarizes in an appendix. He has much to offer twenty-first century Christians who ponder how faith can express itself in a hostile culture.”

Silence and Beauty was also awarded the 2016 Aldersgate Prize by the John Wesley Honors College at Indiana Wesleyan University and named the 2017 Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year in the category of counseling and relationships.

The other IVP title to make the WORLD short list as one of the best books in the Science, Math, and Worldviews category wasTaking Pascal’s Wager: Faith, Evidence and the Abundant Life by Michael Rota. Laura Hendrickson, a graduate of WJI, described the book this way: “Rota defends the idea of seventeenth-century mathematician/philosopher Blaise Pascal that faith in Christ is reasonable because there’s much to be gained and little to lose. Rota addresses the criticism that such a commitment is self-serving, and then relies on decision theory and common apologetics arguments about the fine-tuning of the universe and the historicity of Christianity, as well as the simpler and possibly more satisfying argument that Christianity simply makes sense of humanity’s situation. He then moves from abstract arguments to concrete examples of the power of Christian commitment through the stories of the lives of faithful individuals.”

Taking Pascal’s Wager also received Christianity Today’s 2017 Book of the Year Award of Merit in the apologetics/evangelism category.

Visit for a complete list of honored IVP titles.

About InterVarsity Press

Founded in 1947 as an extension of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, InterVarsity Press serves those in the university, the church and the world by publishing thoughtful Christian books that equip and encourage people to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord in all of life. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Krista Clayton | 630.734.4013 |