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New Books–July 2017

                                                            Complete New Book List

                                                                      July, 2017 

Institutes of the Christian Religion 1541 Edition (White Translation), by John Calvin. This newly published edition of Calvin’s Institutes is known as the White Translation, or “Calvin’s Own Essentials Edition”. It was an abridgement made by Calvin himself, eliminating the polemic material and much of the more technical details, to leave what Calvin considered the essentials of his theology—its “heart and soul”. It was translated from the French by Robert White in 2014 and published by Banner of Truth. For those who have found the 2-volume edition of the 1552 Institutes too intimidating, this may be for you. The text covers 822 pages, half the size of the standard McNeill version of the 1552 edition.

Steps Toward Heaven, by J.C. Ryle. Ryle (1816-1900) was a famed Bishop of the Church of England and a stalwart evangelical. In this short book, he deals with sin, conversion, justification, and the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirt. As he said: “To understand our position in the sight of God is one step towards heaven”.

The Way to True Peace and Rest, by Robert Bruce (Puritan Paperbacks). Bruce (1554-1631) was a minister in Edinburgh and a leading Reformed churchman in Scotland. It was said of Bruce that “no man in his time spake with such evidence and power of the Spirit”. This newly published work consists of six sermons on Isaiah 38, recording the illness that afflicted King Hezekiah and his reaction to it.

NARRATIVE NON-FICTION: In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, by Erik Larson. In 1933, William Dodd became the first American Ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history. Dodd brought with him his family, including his flamboyant daughter Martha. Enamored with the “New Germany”, Martha had one affair after another, including with the first chief of the Gestapo. As the story unfolds and as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, Dodd gradually becomes aware of the true menace represented by Hitler and the Nazi movement and attempts to convince an indifferent State Department back home.

The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary, by Jonathan T. Pennington. The author brings his expertise in the Gospels to bear on the theological masterpiece that is the Sermon on the Mount, alert to personal transformation as a justified aim in reading. Robert Yarbrough calls it “an eschatological, Christ-centered, kingdom-oriented piece of wisdom literature”.

3-2-1: The Story of God, the World, and You, by Glen Scrivener. Matt Smethurst says that while he would still give such classic apologetics books as Mere Christanity and The Reason for God to unbelievers, he believes this is the best description of Christianity he has ever read. The “3” represents the Trinity, the “2” represents two men, Adam and Christ, and the “1” shows how through faith we are able to be one with Christ rather than one with Adam. This is an excellent tool for evangelism. Watch the short video at www.three-two-one.org.

God Is: A Devotional Guide to the Attributes of God, by Mark Jones. Acclaimed as a worthy successor to Knowing God and written in the spirit of the great Puritan tradition, this is a needful primer on our great God and his all-beautiful character. Recommended by Rosaria Butterfield, Liam Goligher, Scott Swain and others. Jones is one the most profound young Reformed thinkers today.

The New City Catechism Devotional: God’s Truth for Our Hearts and Minds, by The Gospel Coalition and Collin Hansen. A devotional based on the catechism, with contributions from current (such as Kevin DeYoung and John Piper) and historical figures (such as Calvin, Luther, and Augustine) to aid meditation on key doctrines of the historical Christian faith.

Embodied Hope: A Theological Meditation on Pain and Suffering, by Kelly M. Kapic. This book makes no attempt to defend God. Instead, it invites us to consider the example of our Lord Jesus. Recommended by Joni Eareckson Tada. The author is a theology professor at Covenant College.

The Christ of Wisdom: A Redemptive Historical Exploration of the Wisdom Books of the OT, by O. Palmer Robertson.

Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home, by Jen Pollock Michel. Home is a fundamental human longing, and this book presents a new vision of what it means to live today with our longings for eternal home. Trevin Wax calls this an amazing book as the author “takes us on a journey through Scripture, church history, and the many places she has called home.”

HISTORICAL NON-FICTION: The Religious Life of Robert E. Lee, by R. David Cox, with Foreword by Mark Noll. Lee was many things, but also a person with deep Christian convictions, and the author shows how those convictions directed and redirected his life, especially in the aftermath of defeat.

Future Grace: The Purifying Power of the Promises of God, REVISED EDITION, by John Piper. This is a 2012 revision of Piper’s 1995 book by the same title. In the preface, Piper says since publishing the first edition, he has walked through extended controversies regarding justification, which has caused him to sharpen his grasp of what the Bible teaches, and this was reflected in several subsequent books. Since some people have felt tensions between the first edition of Future Grace and these subsequent books, he has issued this revised edition to remove those tensions. He says in the never-ending question of how Christians, who are counted righteous in Christ by faith alone, should nevertheless pursue righteousness, this book is his answer. In his endorsement, Justin Taylor says Piper has become clearer on the role of imputation and the function of bygone grace.

Cracking the Foundation of the New Perspective on Paul: Covenantal Nomism vs Reformed Covenantal Theology, by Robert J. Cara (Reformed Exegetical and Doctrinal Studies, series edited by J.V. Fesko and Matthew Barrett). Recommended by Thomas Schreiner, Michael Kruger and Michael Horton. The author seeks to demonstrate that the new interpretation of Judaism cannot bear the weight it needs to carry, thus undermining the entirety of the New Perspective itself.