Talbot School of Theology professor Uche Anizor was recently honored as the recipient of Christianity Today's “Book of the Year” award for his book Overcoming Apathy: Gospel Hope for Those Who Struggle to Care, which explores the widespread experience of spiritual lethargy among Christians and offers practical advice for fighting against indifference.
“Anizor appeals to lukewarm believers, not with an accusing glare or a motivational speaker’s bullhorn, but with the compassion of someone who has fought this battle himself,” the magazine’s books editor, Matt Reynolds, wrote in the award announcement in December 2022. “Across the board, the judges who read and evaluated it commended Anizor for putting his finger on a problem that routinely flies under the radar, even as it sinks so many of God’s people into a spiritual quagmire.”
In addition to being recognized as the magazine's overall book of the year, Overcoming Apathy also won in the “Christian Living & Spiritual Formation” category. Anizor, an associate professor of theology at Talbot, had previously written several other academic books, including How to Read Theology (which earned recognition as one of Outreach Magazine’s “Outreach Resources of the Year” in 2019). Overcoming Apathy was his first real attempt at writing for a general audience, he said, and was born out of his interest in learning why so many Christians lack motivation to engage in prayer, Scripture reading, evangelism and other spiritual practices.
“The book arose from my own desire to sort of understand myself — especially me in my 20s, where I just really felt like apathy was the thing that sort of defined my Christian life,” he said in a recent radio interview with Ed Stetzer, the new dean of Talbot. “And then as I’ve interacted with students in mentoring situations and whatnot, I’m just seeing that this is the pervasive issue. More than any other issue, I think this is the issue.”