New Books–January 2016

New Books–January 2016

                                                                  Complete New Book List

                                                                           January 2016

            God’s Glory Alone–The Majestic Heart of Christian Faith and Life: What the Reformers Taught… and Why It Still Matters, by David VanDrunen (The Five Solas series). Second in the series on the five solas of the Protestant Reformation. The author first examines how the doctrine of God’s glory developed in Reformed theology and confessions, and then turns to the beginning with the pillar of cloud revealed to Israel, and culminating in Christ’s Second Coming.

HISTORICAL NON-FICTION: Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, by S. C. Gwynne (author of Empire of the Summer Moons, a Pulitzer finalist). This is a magnificent and unforgettable biography of an authentic American legend. Reviewers have called it “the best biography of Stonewall Jackson” and a “beautifully penetrating account of the meteoric rise and tragic death” of this American legend. Another reviewer said, “the great tragedy of modern historiography is that more historians don’t write like S.C. Gwynne”. The NY Times Book Review said it is “nothing short of a revelation” which will “leave dust and blood on your jeans”. A devoted Christian, he prayed over battle plans, and even in the midst of battle, and his faith shines all through this engaging book. When he was killed by friendly fire from one of his own soldiers, both North and South grieved the loss of this remarkable American hero. This book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson That Defined a Nation, by Thomas Fleming. In the months after her husband’s death, Martha Washington told friends that the two darkest days of her life were the day when her husband died—and the day when Thomas Jefferson came to Mount Vernon to offer his condolences. The background for that comment is the animosity between these two founding fathers and former friends who later became bitter adversaries. The source of the conflict was over the nature of the presidency, foreign policy, the role of merchants and farmers in a republic, the ability of states to dissolve the union—in short over their respective visions for the new nation. The guiding polar star for Jefferson was the blood-soaked French Revolution, which he fully supported. The divergence between their visions is ultimately seen in the later dissolution of the union that resulted in the Civil War. Lincoln’s aim to preserve the union was in accordance with the vision of Washington, whereas the South’s basis for seceding followed principles of Jefferson’s vision. This is an absolutely fascinating account of the early days of our nation and the conflicts between our founding fathers. Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped, by Garry Kasparov. The author is a former number one ranked chess champion of the world, who is a consulting editor of the Wall Street Journal and has been a pro-democracy opposition leader to Putin in Russia. He now lives in self-imposed exile in New York. In this book, he warns about the totalitarian rule and growing aggression of Putin’s Russia. The book is highly recommended by Senator John McCain.

Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? A Biblical Theology of the Book of Leviticus, by L. Michael Morales (New Studies in Biblical Theology). The big question of Leviticus, as well as the rest of the Bible, is how humanity can come to dwell with God. This new book explores the narrative context, the literary structure and the theology of Leviticus, following its dramatic movement and development from the tabernacle cult and the Day of Atonement to Zion’s temple, and how the advent of Christ would open up a new and living way into the house of God, and from the earthly to the heavenly Mt. Zion in the NT.

The Hammer of God, by Bo Giertz. A classic Christian novel first published in Sweden in 1941, on the subject of regeneration and the dramatic confrontation that takes place between the authentic faith of the Church based on the free gift of righteousness Christ gained for us, versus the many beliefs (and disbeliefs) that battle for the human soul. The author has been compared to C.S. Lewis and the novel to such classics as Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.

            Reformation Readings of Paul: Explorations in History and Exegesis, edited by Michael Allen and Jonathan A. Linebaugh. Theologians of the “new perspective” on Paul questioned whether the Reformers understood Paul correctly, especially when it comes to Martin Luther’s interpretation of the Pauline doctrine of justification. However, that leads to another question: have modern interpreters understood the Reformers correctly? As Stephen Westerholm says, “this volume sets the record straight on a number of counts and raises the question of whether the concerns of the Reformers in their day may not have made them sensitive to aspects of Paul’s thought to which moderns are oblivious”. Each chapter of the book pairs a Reformer with selected Pauline material and then brings together a historical theologian and a biblical scholar to examine these Reformation-era readings of Paul, thereby seeking a better understanding of the Reformers and the true meaning of the biblical text.

The Unexpected Century: The Reversal and Transformation of Global Christianity, 1900-2000, by Scott W. Sunquist, foreword by Mark A. Noll. The 20th century began with what looked to be a century of western dominance, but ended with a radical change as the balance switched to the global south, thus becoming the most dramatic century of change since the early Christian period.

Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller. Aimed at all who communicate their Christian faith in any way, whether through preaching, blogging, teaching classes and small groups, mentoring, etc.

COMMENTARIES: 2 Samuel: Your Kingdom Come, by John Woodhouse (Preaching the Word); Judges and Ruth: God in Chaos, by Barry G. Webb (Preaching the Word); Ruth, by Daniel I. Block (Exegetical Commentary on the OT); Philippians, a Mentor Commentary, by Matthew Harmon.

ADULT FICTION: Double Cross and Deadlock, by DiAnn Mills (FBI: Houston #2 and #3); The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, by Colleen Coble (Sunset Cove #1); Vendetta, by Lisa Harris (Nikki Boyd Files #1).

CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Mark’s Marvellous Book: Learning About Jesus Through the Gospel, by Alan Mann. Explanation and application of the Gospel of Mark for young children.