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‘Purpose-Driven Life’ named top book for 2nd straight year

ATLANTA (BP)–Rick Warren’s “The Purpose-Driven Life” has received the Book of the Year Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for the second year in a row.

Among the 20 books named as 2004 ECPA Gold Medallion recipients, meanwhile, are “Foundations” by Kay Warren and Tom Holladay in the Christian education category and “Covenant Marriage” by Gary Chapman in the marriage category.

Covenant Marriage by Chapman is from Broadman & Holman Publishers, the trade books division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., has spent more than 70 weeks on The New York Times’ best-seller list. “The Prayer of Jabez” by Bruce H. Wilkinson also was a two-time Book of the Year, in 2001 and 2002.

“The fact that books like these have won in consecutive years is a true testimony of the lasting impact a Christian book can have on one’s life,” ECPA President Doug Ross said. “These titles are mere examples of the power of God working through His people to convey the message of hope. I pray they continue to impact lives for Jesus Christ for many years, driving people to discover the many other resources our industry offers for growth and encouragement.”

Zondervan published Foundations, a doctrinal study of 11 core truths of Christianity aimed at developing a Christian worldview, developed by Warren’s wife, Kay, and Tom Holladay. Holladay is a teaching pastor at Saddleback.

The Foundations curriculum has been used at Saddleback for more than 12 years to teach doctrine. Holladay said he does not anticipate he and Warren publishing another similar study any time soon, simply because of the time it requires. “It was a big project, so we’re taking a little breather,” Holladay said. “Actually, Kay is focusing right now on a very significant calling of God in her life, working with AIDS victims throughout the United States and in Africa.”

Among the winners in various other Gold Medallion categories:

Bibles — “Revolve: The Complete New Testament” (NCV), Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Reference Works/Commentaries — “Philosophical Foundations For A Christian Worldview,” by J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, InterVarsity Press.

Fiction — “Thr3e” by Ted Dekker, WestBow Press.

Biography/Autobiography — “In the Presence of My Enemies” by Gracia Burnham and Dean Merrill, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Theology/Doctrine — “Old Testament Theology” by John Goldingay, InterVarsity.

Devotional — “Pierced By The Word” by John Piper, Multnomah Publishers, Inc.

Inspirational — “Next Door Savior” by Max Lucado, W Publishing Group.

Christian Living — “The Trouble With Jesus” by Joseph M. Stowell, Moody Publishers.

Christianity and Society — “Being the Body” by Charles Colson and Ellen Vaughn, W Publishing Group.

Missions/Evangelism — “Permission Evangelism” by Michael L. Simpson, NexGen, an Imprint of Cook Communications Ministries.

Christian Ministry — “The Emotionally Healthy Church” by Peter Scazzero with Warren Bird, Zondervan.

Family and Parenting — “Preparing Your Son for Every Man’s Battle” by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey, WaterBrook Press.

Gift Book/Poetry — “Think About These Things” by Ric Ergenbright, Crossway.

Bible Study — “Experiencing the Heart of Jesus” by Max Lucado, Thomas Nelson.

Spanish — “El Cristiano en la Aldea Global” by Antonio Cruz, Vida Publishers.

The awards were announced during an ECPA banquet in Atlanta June 26 which celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary.

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