New Books – August 2006

New Books – August 2006

Free Grace and Dying Love: Morning Devotions by Susannah Spurgeon. While much is known about Susannah’s famous husband, Charles Spurgeon, comparatively little is known about the woman who supported the great preacher through the many years of his long and fruitful ministry at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. This book will help to address that situation, first through 24 daily meditations on selected texts of scripture. Second, this edition also contains The Life of Susannah Spurgeon, by Charles Ray, a biography which is an affectionate love story that also provides a surprising record of the work of Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund.

Elizabeth Prentiss, ‘More Love to Thee’, by Sharon James. A new biography of Elizabeth Prentiss, who is best known as the author of the popular novel Stepping Heavenward which was first published in 1869, and the well-loved hymn More Love to Thee. The difficult things she experienced helped her to minister to others through her letters, books and poetry.

The Missing Gospels: Unearthing the Truth Behind Alternative Christianities, by Darrell L. Bock. Perhaps you’ve heard the recent buzz in the media, in popular fiction, or even on the big screen, that a library of ancient texts found at Nag Hammadi, could cause us to radically alter traditional views of Jesus and even to rewrite Christian history. Bock corrects these fashionable but questionable hypotheses about the origin of the Gospels, the Nag Hammadi texts, and the development of Christian theology during the first two centuries A.D.

They Were Pilgrims, by Marcus L. Loane. The story of four remarkable young men who shared a common spiritual aim and ideal: David Brainerd (1718-1747) who ministered to the North American Indians; Henry Martyn (1781-1812) who along with Ion Keith-Falconer (1856-1887) ministered to the Muslim world of Persia and Arabia; and Robert Murray M’Cheyne (1813-1843) who ministered to the Jews of Palestine and Central Europe. Their average life-span was only 30 years, but they left a spiritual impact on their generation which was altogether out of the ordinary. Their lives covered the period of history from 1718-1887, and a clear line of descent can be traced from Brainerd to Martyn, from Brainerd and Martyn to M’Cheyne, and from Martyn to Keith-Falconer. They were pioneers in the missionary movement that had its birth in the great spiritual awakening of the 18th century.

A Short History of Christianity, by Stephen Tomkins. J.I. Packer says that Tomkins “who could not write a dull sentence if he tried, here capsules the global Christian story into a brilliant page-turner that keeps you reading for hours at a time”.

Getting the Gospel Right: Assessing the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul, by Cornelis P. Venema. The author critiques the “new perspectives”, which challenge some of the basic features of the traditional Protestant understanding of justification, and he says that nothing less than the evangelical church’s proclamation of the gospel is at stake.

Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? A Professor and a Punk Rocker Discuss Science, Religion, Naturalism and Christianity, edited by Preston Jones. A back-and-forth email debate on worldviews between Preston Jones, a Christian professor at John Brown University, and Greg Graffin, member of the punk band Bad Religion, who is a naturalist and holds a PhD in zoology.

A Mind for God, by James Emery White. The author says because we have not developed good intellectual habits, our minds have been captured by our culture. He urges us to break free through the spiritual and intellectual disciplines of reading, study and reflection. Includes recommended reading lists.

Surprised by Jesus: His Agenda for Changing Everything in A.D. 30 and Today, by Tim Stafford. The author aims to help us scale some of the high peaks and rare air of the Gospels, and to be genuinely “surprised” and challenged by Jesus anew.

What Ticks God Off: The Ways We Irritate God and What We Can Do About It, by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz. Through the lives and messages of the Minor Prophets, Bruce and Stan identify 12 ways we may be offending God without even realizing it. Do words like complacency, indifference, and spiritual hypocrisy make you cringe? (But the good news is that the Minor Prophets also highlight God’s grace and forgiveness).

A Concise History of Christian Thought, Revised and Expanded Edition by Tony Lane. A comprehensive view of the broad sweep of Christian theology throughout the ages. Organized around brief but solid descriptions of over 100 major thinkers, and more than two dozen church councils and confessions, with quotes to give the reader something of the “flavor” of each person’s thought.

The Eldercare Handbook: Difficult Choices, Compassionate Solutions, by Stella Mora Henry. The author is a long-term care expert who helps navigate the daunting logistics and powerful emotions of making care decisions for an elderly parent or loved one.

The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology: A Comparative Analysis, by Guy Prentiss Waters. A well documented survey and penetrating analysis of a view among writers who are intent on revising the core confessional doctrines of election, covenant, sacraments, and justification.

Grace Like a River, by Christopher Parkening. America’s preeminent classical guitarist shares his journey from mere success to true fulfillment. Foreword by John MacArthur, who is Christopher’s pastor.

Iran: The Coming Crisis, by Mark Hitchcock. With the rise of radical Islam, the oil crisis and a nuclear threat, the author says that Ezekiel 38-39 foretells Iran’s future.

God Is In the Hard Stuff ( Where to turn when the going gets tough), and God Is In the Small Stuff and It All Matters (Stop worrying and invite God into the details of your life), by Bruce and Stan (Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz).

Downpour, by James MacDonald. A call to personal and spiritual revival. (“Come, let us return to the Lord…Let us strive to know the Lord…He will come to us like the rain”, Hosea 6).

Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith, by Bill Hybels. What if you knew that by simply crossing the room and saying hello to someone, you could change that person’s life forever? Just a few steps to make an eternal difference. All you need is a heart in tune with the Holy Spirit, and a willingness to venture out of your circle of comfort.

Scimitar’s Edge, by Marvin Olasky. A modern American novel, steeped in Turkish history, with a plotline about the War on Terror and what America must do to win it. Olasky, a professor of journalism at UT Austin, historian and the editor of World Magazine, is also well known as the creator of “compassionate conservatism”.

BIBLE STUDIES: Hope in the Midst of a Hostile World: The Gospel According to Daniel, by George M. Schwab, and Salvation Through Judgment and Mercy: The Gospel According to Jonah, by Bryan D. Estelle (Gospel According to the OT series). This series on the Old Testament is designed to provide reliable exposition, biblical theology, and a focus on Christ as it relates each OT book to the New Testament.

COMMENTARIES: Exodus, by Douglas K. Stuart (New American Commentary); Job, by Manlio Simonetti and Marco Conti (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, OT VI); The Letters to Timothy and Titus, by Philip H. Towner (NICNT).

MORE ADULT FICTION: Like Dandelion Dust, by Karen Kingsbury; The Englisher, by Beverly Lewis (Annie’s People #2); Treasure, Chosen, and Firestorm, by Lisa Tawn Bergren (Full Circle #4-6); The Strength of His Hand, Among the Gods, and Faith of My Fathers, by Lynn Austin (Chronicles of the Kings #3-5); Night Light, by Terri Blackstock (Restoration Series #2); Never Again Say Good-Bye and When Dreams Cross, by Terri Blackstock (Second Chances #1-2); The Hesitant Hero, by Gilbert Morris (The House of Winslow 1940).


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