2016 Illumination Book Awards
Cindy Safronoff’s historical biography has been judged one of the best Christian books of the year. Results for the 2016 Illumination Book Awards contest have been announced, and in the category of “Christian Thought” judges gave a bronze award (3rd place) to Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage. This award category is in the Enduring Light Metals section of the contest, described as for books deemed to have an enduring message. The other winners in “Christian Thought” are A More Christlike God, by Bradley Jersak (Gold), and The Divine Progression of Grace: Blazing a Trail to Fruitful Living, by Bob Santos (Silver).
Best Christian Books
With the motto “Shining a light on exemplary Christian books,” the Illumination Book Award honors the best books published in the past year with a Christian worldview and “shines a light” on them. Winners came from 27 different states, plus Canada and New Zealand. Winning books were published by long-established publishing companies, small presses, and self-published authors.
Christian Battle Themes
Crossing Swords was not the only award winning book using a battle theme to explore Christian concepts. Robert Vera won silver for A Warrior’s Faith, a book about wounded Navy Seal Ryan Job. Living Sword Publishing won gold for a Christian fiction book by Jaye L. Night called Resistance, which has the image of a sword on its cover. Tony Jones won gold for Did God Kill Jesus? The press release announcing the 2016 Illumination Book Awards was titled “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Awards Director Jim Barnes explains, “Christian authors use their storytelling and their voices as weapons – weapons of peace.”
The Battle for the Soul of Marriage
Crossing Swords with its “Battle for the Soul of Marriage” certainly fits the 2016 “Christian Soldiers” theme and the awards director’s explanation. This historical biography explores an 1870s marriage debate when America was wrestling the question of with how giving women full civil rights would change the institution of marriage. Despite the provocative book title and its subtitle about nineteenth-century American culture war, Crossing Swords is ultimately a book about peace–finding peace about and within marriage.
Crossing Swords: Mary Baker Eddy vs. Victoria Claflin Woodhull and the Battle for the Soul of Marriage by Cindy Peyser Safronoff (This One Thing, July 4, 2015) is available on Amazon, by special order through your favorite local bookstore (through Ingram), and at a growing list of public libraries.