2017 Illumination Awards Medalist & Press Page

Congratulations to all of this year's medalists in the Fourth Annual Illumination Book Awards - "Shining a light on exemplary Christian books!"

This year's 81 Illumination Award medals went to books from 26 US states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The diversity of Christian publishing was also demonstrated by the fact that winners came not only from long-established publishers, but also from small presses and self-published authors.

Below is the official results press release.


Christian Books for Everyone
Announcing the Medalists of the 2017 Illumination Book Awards

(Traverse City, MI) - Jenkins Group is proud to announce the winners of the 4th Annual Illumination Book Awards, for books written and published with a Christian worldview. This year's 81 Illumination Award medals went to books from a wide geographic range of 26 U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and to publishers of all sizes, including a number of self-published authors. Christian publishing is becoming more diverse and inclusive, and this list of medalists has something for everyone, from history, to self-help, to women’s issues and humor.

The number one bestselling book in the U.S. – the Bible – is a vital part of our national fabric, but who hasn’t asked the question, “Where did it come from?” Religious studies professor and archaeologist Robert R. Cargill sets out to answer that question in his gold medal-winning The Cities that Built the Bible (HarperOne), taking readers on a tour of the Holy Land to explore the birth of language, literature, and Christianity. “The Bible shows us how human beings adapted to the challenges around them in the past and should provide inspiration for us as we continue to face many of these same challenges,” says Cargill.

“Alzheimer’s (is) ‘the caregiver’s disease' because it is so exhausting for the loving friends who care for those with Alzheimer’s, often for years or even decades,” says Mary K. Doyle, author of the gold medal-winning Navigating Alzheimer’s (ACTA Publications). She passes on a tip from fellow author Jo Huey, who says “guilt is never helpful” and that “caregivers need to acknowledge we are doing the best we can, and let the rest go.”

Silver medalist Through Her Eyes: Bible Studies on Women in Scripture (Judson Press) explores how women in the Bible such as Ruth, Esther and Mary Magdalene impact the lives and studies of seminary students today. Master of Divinity candidate and Methodist pastor Lori Mitchell writes about how the story of Ruth and Naomi teaches a lesson of selfless love and loyalty. “Like Ruth, I find family important,” says Mitchell, who became a primary caregiver during her mother’s mental illness and dementia. “My relationship with my mom helps me to have a faithful heart that keeps me in a close walk with God.”

In his touching and often hilarious take on “the line between what you may have heard and what Jesus actually said,” author Paul Ellis gathers many quotes in the gold medal-winning Stuff Jesus Never Said (Kings Press). “God Gives and Takes Away,” goes the old saying, but Ellis disagrees: “God is not a thief, but a Giver who gives and gives and just when you think he’s all done giving, he backs up the dump truck of his grace and gives you more.”

Another book that takes on the old ways and unwritten laws of Christian life, such as “Never doubt,” “Never question” or “Never get angry at God,” is the gold medal-winning Outlaw Christian: Finding Authentic Faith by Breaking the “Rules” (Nelson Books), by Jacqueline A. Bussie. “Why do CEOs in the U.S. make 369 times the salaries of their average employees? Why does a child in the world die every five seconds of starvation when half the kids in my neighborhood are obese?” asks Bussie. “Why do our leaders put politics over people without regard for the most vulnerable among us -- even though we know full well Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for him?” She reminds us of Jesus’ “outlaw moment,” violently knocking over the money changers’ tables and questioning why the rich should be able to exploit the poor in the name of God. “Such doubt gives new life to faith, because it makes us rise up, push for change, and knock over the tables of injustice.”

“The Bible is the original ‘good book’ that gave early Christians inspirational stories and a tool for enriching their faith,” says awards director Jim Barnes. “The Illumination Awards’ mission is to ‘shine a light’ on this year’s medalists in hopes of doing the same for Christian readers today."

To learn more about how the Illumination Book Awards recognize and promote the year’s best Christian books and the authors and publishers who make them possible, click here.


Illumination Awards medalist links:

Illumination Awards merchandise page: http://www.jenkinsgroupinc.com/store/index.php?p=catalog&parent=86&pg=1

  • Seals are available in rolls of 250 and 1000
  • You may order additional certificates with customized wording
  • Hi-res versions of the seal artwork are available for reproducing on book covers and promotional materials


Illumination Awards 2017 results page:

Illumination logo artwork:

Illumination Gold Medal artwork:

Illumination Silver Medal artwork:

Illumination Bronze Medal artwork:

Illumination Bookstore: http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=2143

Illumination Program: http://www.independentpublisher.com/includes/35_1/2017Illuminationprogram.pdf


Illumination Awards blurb:

“With the motto, ‘Shining a Light on Exemplary Christian Books,’ the Illumination Book Awards are intended to honor the best books published during the past year with a Christian worldview. Books have always been powerful tools for helping us understand Scripture and to explore various aspects of faith in a complicated world How does one choose the "winners" from the huge array of new titles released each year? The Illumination Book Awards are designed to "shine a light" on the best of them.