New Books – April 2008

New Books – April 2008

A Tale of Two Sons: The Inside Story of a Father, His Sons, and a Shocking Murder, by John MacArthur. The parable of the prodigal sons stands out as a crucial lesson about rebellion, repentance and unfathomable grace. But MacArthur says there is a part of this story that often goes untold, and which we need to hear. He invites us to hear the parable as it was originally intended.

The Hope of Glory: 100 Daily Meditations on Colossians, by Sam Storms. Thomas Schreiner says that “while many devotional books lack biblical and theological depth, Sam Storms’s work is a striking exception”.

How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity, by Thomas C. Oden. The author states that Africa played a decisive role in the formation of Christian culture from its infancy, and that some of the most decisive intellectual achievements of Christianity were explored and understood in Africa before they were in Europe. And he suggests that the pattern of development was not from North to South, and from Europe to Africa, but the other way around.

Guard Us, Guide Us: Divine Leading in Life’s Decisions, by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom. A rich study on divine guidance, beginning with an exploration of Psalm 23, showing that in His covenant role as our Good Shepherd, God both guides and guards us, His sheep. The authors take seriously the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding God’s people, neither downplaying the supernatural element nor elevating it to the level of the superstitious.

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by N.T. Wright. A magisterial defense of the literal resurrection of Jesus and how this became the cornerstone for the Christian community’s hope in the bodily resurrection of the dead at the end of the age. Wright then explores what happens to the dead until then, and what will happen with the second coming of Jesus.

Is Your Lord Large Enough? How C.S. Lewis Expands Our View of God, by Peter J. Schakel. As Aslan said to Prince Caspian: “Every year you grow, you will find me bigger”. This new book explores Lewis’s role as a spiritual mentor, drawing principles from Lewis’s nonfiction as well as Chronicles of Narnia.

God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World, by Walter Russell Mead. A blend of history, theology, economics and politics to tell the story of the rise of the English-speaking peoples and the world that they made. The author says it was the individualistic ideology of the prevailing Anglo-American religious faith that was the key to the predominance of the two countries over the last 300 years in the creation of a liberal, democratic capitalist system whose economic and social influence continues to grow, and he sees the current conflicts in the Middle East as the latest challenge to that system.

Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be, by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. D.A. Carson says: “The emerging church movement, which taught an entire generation to rebel, is now old enough to find growing numbers of people learning to rebel against the rebellion”.

Buried Hope or Risen Savior? The Search for the Jesus Tomb, edited by Charles L. Quarles. Asserts the credibility of Jesus’ resurrection, engaging the issue in relation to media reports that suggest that archaeologists recently “discovered” the bones of Jesus in an ossuary near Jerusalem. Includes articles by experts in various fields, such as Craig Evans, Richard Bauckham, William Dembski, Darrell Bock, Gary Habermas, and others.

Stories With Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus, by Klyne R. Snodgrass. Darrell Bock says this is the “culmination of Klyne Snodgrass’s lifetime of reflection on the parables…(which) shows a wealth of discernment in the clarity of its presentation, the soundness of its reasoning, the choice of citation and parallels, and the care of its argument.” Graham Stanton says that it will be “the book on the parables for the next decade and beyond.”

Pagan Christianity?: Exploring the Roots of our Church Practices, by Frank Viola and George Barna. The authors’ thesis is that most of what present-day Christians do in church each Sunday is rooted, not in the New Testament, but in pagan culture and rituals developed long after the death of the apostles.

His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage, by Walt Larimore and Barb Larimore. How the unique design of each sex, particularly the unique brain and hormones of each, results in different habits, tendencies, and nuances of thought and action.

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson, by D.A. Carson. One of evangelicalism’s greatest scholars reflects on the life and legacy of his father, who served as a Baptist pastor in French Quebec. One reviewer says that Carson reminds us “that, as servants, we were meant to live ordinarily under the gospel of grace”.

A Reader’s Guide to Caspian: A Journey Into C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, by Leland Ryken and Marjorie Lamp Mead. Helps the reader to interpret their journey through an explanation of the literary art of Lewis, along with thoughtful explanation and commentary.

The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America, by Thomas S. Kidd. A fresh understanding of the 18th century Great Awakening in America and the evangelical movement which it spawned.

How to Be Evangelical Without Being Conservative, by Roger E. Olson. Today’s culture commonly equates evangelical Christianity with conservatism in religion, politics, theology and social attitudes. But this author seeks to disentangle the idea of “evangelical” from its common association with the label “conservative”, and he analyzes a dozen issues in which there might be a third way to be evangelical without being either liberal or conservative.

Vintage Jesus: Timeless Answers to Timely Questions, by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. The subject is the deepest theological truths about Jesus Christ, and Wayne Grudem says that the authors “combine a profound understanding of modern culture with weighty Christian doctrine that is faithful to the Bible”, yet written in such an interesting style that he couldn’t put it down. J.I. Packer says it is “highly powerful, colorful and down-to-earth”, while Bruce Ware says it will “open the eyes of many who have yet to see the radical nature of Jesus’ life and teaching”. Charles Colson says it is the “old, old story told in a contemporary, exciting, and in-your-face manner” that will connect with postmoderns and young seekers, yet is both “bold and uncompromising”.

Between Two Worlds: The Spiritual Journey of an Evangelical Catholic, by Mike Timmis, Chairman of Prison Fellowship. How could an evangelical-based ministry choose a Catholic as its chairman? Timmis shows how Catholics and evangelicals can go into an alienated world together as ministers of reconciliation and witnesses to God’s salvation and love.

Exposing Darwinism’s Weakest Link: Why Evolution Can’t Explain Human Existence, by Kenneth Poppe. All aspects of humanity that make us unique among life-forms were designed and implemented by a supernatural being. This is where scientific evidence points, and the author analyzes some of the latest discoveries from science to illustrate this.

The Last Addiction: Own Your Desire, Live Beyond Recovery, Find Lasting Freedom, by Sharon A. Hersh. Everybody loves something too much. The author explores why we are prone to addiction, to make one thing in our lives more central than it should be, and how to break free of our compulsions. Not a book of “self-help” answers, but about realizing we need more than ourselves to be saved.

The Great Commission: Evangelicals and the History of World Missions, edited by Martin I. Klauber and Scott M. Manetsch. Contributors include D.A. Carson, Timothy George, Thomas Nettles, et al.

Choosing Your Faith: In a World of Spiritual Options, by Mark Mittelberg. The importance of knowing why you believe what you do.

The Crescent Through the Eyes of the Cross: Insights from an Arab Christian, by Dr. Nabeel T. Jabbour. Going beyond mere tolerance to a passion for Muslims.

The Soul of Prince Caspian: Exploring Spiritual Truth in the Land of Narnia, by Gene Veith. Prince Caspian lived in a world that had forgotten its faith. Sound familiar?

The Gospel of John and Christian Theology, edited by Richard Bauckham and Carl Mosser. The Gospel of John considered from various angles, with contributors including Richard Bauckham, Martin Hengel, Andrew Lincoln, Miroslav Volf, and others.

What’s the Big Deal About Other Religions, by John Ankerberg and Dillon Burroughs. Answering the questions about their beliefs and practices.

You Mean That Isn’t In the Bible? By David A. Rich. Examines 10 popular beliefs that simply aren’t true.

Between Two Truths: Living with Biblical Tensions, by Klyne Snodgrass. Addresses the tensions that all Christians face, such as grace versus law, faith versus works, freedom versus responsibility, in the world but not of it, etc.

Fundamentalism and American Culture, Second Edition, by George M. Marsden. A new (2006) edition of a classic book taking us through the full history of the origin and direction of one of America’s most influential religious movements. A major new chapter compares fundamentalism since the 1970s to that of the 1920s.

COMMENTARIES: Exodus, by James K. Bruckner (New International Biblical Commentary); The Letters to Philemon, the Colossians, and the Ephesians: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on the Captivity Epistles, by Ben Witherington III; Daniel, by Iain M. Duguid (Reformed Expository Commentary).

ADULT FICTION: Bachelor’s Puzzle and Sister’s Choice, by Judith Pella (Patchwork Circle #1-2); My Heart Remembers, by Kim Vogel Sawyer; Dead Heat, by Joel C. Rosenberg; Web of Destiny, by Al and Joanna Lacy; God’s Gift, by Dee Henderson.


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