New Books – January 2006

New Books – January 2006

End of the Spear, by Steve Saint. The author was only five years old when his father, Nate Saint, along with Jim Elliot and three other missionaries, was speared to death in the jungles of Ecuador by Waodani warriors, men from the most savage culture ever known. Decades after the spearing, Steve and his family made the difficult choice to leave behind a comfortable life in the United States and return to the jungle to live among the Waodani people, where he came to know—and even love—the very ones who drove the spears into his father’s body. This story is also the inspiration for a major motion picture soon to be released.

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume I: Family Letters 1905-1931, edited by Walter Hooper. Lewis was not only a great author, but also a great correspondent and in his lifetime wrote thousands of personal letters to family and friends that reveal his unique intellectual journey. This first volume contains letters from his boyhood, his army days in World War I, and his early academic life at Oxford.

The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume II: Books, Broadcasts and the War 1931-1949, edited by Walter Hooper. This second volume contains letters Lewis wrote after his conversion to Christianity, after he began a lifetime of serious writing. Included are letters to some of the 20th century’s major literary figures such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers.

Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647, by William Bradford, edited by Samuel Eliot Morison. Bradford was one of those sailing in the Mayflower, which landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. He later served as Governor of Plymouth Colony for a total term of 33 years. His history of Plymouth Colony is the story that made the Pilgrim Fathers in a sense the spiritual ancestors of all Americans and all pioneers.

The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and Western Success, by Rodney Stark. In a field long dominated by anti-Western, anticapitalist, and antireligious myth, Stark makes a compelling case that what we most admire about our world—scientific progress, democratic rule, free commerce—is largely due to Christianity with its faith in reason and rational theology. While the world’s other belief systems emphasized mystery, obedience, or introspection, Christianity alone embraced logic, deductive thinking, and belief in a rational God. According to the author, this is what made all the difference and allowed Europe to pull ahead of the rest of the world by the end of the Middle Ages.

A Year with C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works, edited by Patricia S. Klein. The perfect companion for everyone who cherishes Lewis’s timeless words.

Translating Truth: The Case for Essentially Literal Bible Translation, by C. John Collins, Wayne Grudem, Vern Poythress, Leland Ryken, and Bruce Winter. Today there is a wide choice of Bible translations available. The contributors to this book argue that there are significant differences between literal translations and the alternatives.

Credo: Believing in Something to Die For, by Ray Pritchard. Written with an eye toward helping a new generation understand the Apostles’ Creed, the creed of the early church.

The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept, by Mark Dever. J.I. Packer says “here is a vigorous, juicy, engaging, life-centered, God-honoring set of sermons, brilliantly overviewing the entire New Testament…Dr. Dever is a Puritan in twenty-first century clothing, and it shows”. These sermons cover Matthew through Revelation.

The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, by N.T. Wright. According to Ben Witherington, this a “sane and helpful study of what it means to treat the Bible as the authoritative Word of God”, while J.I. Packer says it is “masterly throughout”.

The Transformation of American Religion: How We Actually Live Our Faith, by Alan Wolfe. Although not a person of faith, the author makes interesting observations about how religion is actually practiced in America. His conclusion is that American religion has been tamed and God has become a friend rather than an authority figure, with even conservative religion becoming part of the culture of narcissism. He says that Americans still take their religion seriously, but as a group we have thoroughly domesticated what was once a matter of spiritual life and death.

Sister Freaks: Stories of Women Who Gave Up Everything for God, by Rebecca St. James. Profiles of both historical and contemporary young women from around the world who demonstrated a radical faith.

Harry Potter, Narnia, and the Lord of the Rings, by Richard Abanes. Author Leland Ryken says that this book “towers above other discussions of the Harry Potter books in relation to the fantasy stories of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis…(and is) built on four virtues: in-depth research of the subjects, fair-mindedness regarding rival viewpoints, scholarly rigor, and careful analysis of the material”.

Foolish No More: Seizing a Life Beyond Belief, by Ted Haggard. The author is president of the National Association of Evangelicals, and in this book takes a look at the revolutionary message of the book of Galatians.

MORE NARNIA AND C.S. LEWIS: Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia, by Terry Glaspey; The Heart of The Chronicles of Narnia: Knowing God Here by Finding Him There, by Thomas Williams; Further Up and Further In: Understanding C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, by Bruce Edwards; Not a Tame Lion: Unveil Narnia Through the Eyes of Lucy, Peter, and Other Characters Created by C.S. Lewis, by Bruce Edwards.

COMMENTARIES: Esther and Ruth, by Iain M. Duguid (Reformed Expository Commentary).

ADULT FICTION: Even Now, by Karen Kingsbury (a story of lost love and forgiveness).

CHILDREN’S DVDs: The Jim Elliot Story and The William Tyndale Story, (Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith); Samantha: An American Girl Holiday; A Fruitcake Christmas (Hermie and Friends).

CHILDRENS BOOKS: Kirsten’s Promise by Janet Shaw, Addy’s Summer Place by Connie Porter, and Thanks Josefina by Valerie Tripp (All American Girl Short Stories); Jesus Is Coming Back and I Love My Bible, by Debby Anderson (ages 4-7); All Safe in the Stable, by Mig Holder; Clopper the Christmas Donkey, by Emily King (ages 4-8).


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