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Jun20MonMajor Howard Webber receives Christianity magazine's Book of the Year Award June 20, 2011
Major Howard Webber's Meeting Jesus: Inspiring Stories of Modern-Day Evangelism has been named Christianity magazine's Book of the Year. The book, published by The Salvation Army's UK Territory with the Republic of Ireland, was a runaway winner, receiving an overwhelming 82 percent of readers' votes!
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The Awards are part of the Christian Resources Together Retreat at High Leigh in the United Kingdom. Launched in 2010, Christianity Magazine's Book of the Year category celebrates quality, original, Christian-themed writing that offers something special to readers. Last year's winner was Breakout by Mark Stibbe and Andrew Williams, published by Authentic Media.
Steve Morris gave Major Webber's book five stars in his review in Christianity magazine.
He wrote: 'Fred is high on drugs and doesn't want Howard, the then Salvation Army captain, to come round to his flat because it is in chaos, rather like Fred himself. They meet, instead, in the cafe at a supermarket in a nearby town. But the road isn't straight and we follow the twists and turns of Howard and Fred's relationship – through missed promises, desperate heartache and self-destruction and final redemption.
'This book is perhaps the most extraordinary one I've reviewed since writing for Christianity. It is a series of stories of evangelism on the hard side of life. It is painfully honest and lists as many failures as successes, as many deaths as new lives. It documents Howard Webber's spiritual battles too.
It is perhaps the most moving set of accounts I've ever read and the most hopeful. It is all too easy to see the role of being God's ambassadors as reduced to preaching, or set among those who we love and are safe. But this book challenges us to be where Jesus would be, with the down-and-outs, with the hopeless and the broken. It looks the cost of such ministry square in the eye and carries on just the same.'
Ruth Dickinson, Editor of Christianity magazine, adds: 'I want to commend Howard Webber for this great achievement, all the more phenomenal because, as a first time author, he didn't have the same following as the other more well known writers on the shortlist.
'What I loved about Meeting Jesus was the way it documented his "failures" as an evangelist as well as his success stories. It's very rare to read something so honest and so inspiring at the same time.'
Other books in the shortlist, all of which received five-star reviews during 2010, were:
The Best Idea in the World by Mark Greene (Zondervan)
Mere Theology by Alister McGrath (SPCK)
Forgotten God by Francis Chan (David C. Cook)
Present Perfect by Greg Boyd (Zondervan).