Surprised by the Father’s Plan, by Charles David Kelley with Kristen Zetzsche. Chuck Kelley is a Latvian-American, the product of a short-lived marriage between a Latvian immigrant mother and an unstable American father. Raised by his grandfather, who was a Latvian Baptist pastor, he grew up in a Mexican neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles, but inspired by the stories of his grandfather, his dream was to reach his native country of Latvia with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a minister and the founder of Bridge Builders International, he lived to see that dream fulfilled, and his story is an amazing one of drama, history, and God’s protection and provision.
Ten Things I Wish Jesus Never Said, by Victor Kuligin. Plenty of books hype the benefits of belief in Jesus. This one warns, “Count the cost”. Drawing on a decade of tough service in Africa, lessons from church history, and most of all on Scripture, the author offers loving but stringent counsel to Western Christians. Kuligin is presently professor and academic dean at Namibia Evangelical Theological Seminary; he and his wife have served with Africa Inland Mission for the past 12 years.
Reinventing Jesus: What The Da Vinci Code and Other Novel Speculations Don’t Tell You, by J. Ed Komoszewski, M. James Sawyer, and Daniel B.Wallace. From the world-wide sensation The Da Vinci Code to the national best-seller Misquoting Jesus, popular culture is being bombarded with radical skepticism about the uniqueness of Jesus and the reliability of the NT. This new book cuts through the rhetoric of extreme doubt to reveal the profound credibility of historic Christianity. All three authors received degrees at DTS, where Wallace presently teaches. Sawyer attended CBC while at DTS.
The Books The Church Suppressed: Fiction and Truth in The Da Vinci Code, by D. Michael Green. Dan Brown’s blockbuster novel implies that the Bible is a late, distorted selection of documents chosen from among more reliable alternatives, by a clergy bent on selling a particular myth. Dr. Green goes back to the original sources to check these assertions, and to determine if the church did suppress the truth. In so doing, he produces a very readable response to Dan Brown’s book.
The Man of Sin: Uncovering the Truth About the Antichrist, by Kim Riddlebarger. The author says that interest in the Antichrist seems recently to have reached an all-time high, with pop culture depictions and speculation leaving many people confused or even frightened. He examines common beliefs about the Antichrist, closely examines the relevant scriptural passages, and explains how these passages have been interpreted historically by the church. The author writes as a Reformed Christian committed to an amillennial eschatology.
How On Earth Did Jesus Become a God? Historical Questions About Earliest Devotion to Jesus, by Larry W. Hurtado. The author investigates the intense devotion to Jesus that emerged with surprising speed after His death. He shows that recognition of Jesus’ divinity did not await the convening of Constantine’s Council of Nicea in 325 AD, but rather that reverence for Jesus among early Christians included both grand claims about Jesus’ significance and a pattern of devotional practices that effectively treated him as divine.
You Matter More Than You Think: What a Woman Needs to Know About the Difference She Makes, by Dr. Leslie Parrott. The author shows you how each hodgepodge piece of your life, no matter how haphazard, represents a part of what you do and who you are. While on the surface none of these may seem to make a terribly dramatic impact, she shows that when they are collected together, they make a real difference.
Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship, by N.T. Wright. The author says that the longer you look at Jesus, the more you will want to serve Him in His world. That is, of course, if it is the real Jesus that you are looking at. Plenty of people in the church and outside it have made up a “Jesus” for themselves, an invented character who makes few real demands upon them. But the Jesus of the Bible is someone who challenges us to get up and do something about the plight of this world.
Left Behind in a Megachurch World: How God Works Through Ordinary Churches, by Ruth A. Tucker. After studying various smaller churches around the country, Tucker weaves together her interests in church growth and spiritual formation to show that smaller churches bear the greatest mantle for Christlikeness, and she shatters the myth that only megachurches are leading the way for Jesus as she shines a spotlight on ordinary churches doing extraordinary deeds.
Understanding End Times Prophecy: A Comprehensive Approach (Revised and Expanded Edition), by Paul N. Benware. The author addresses the confusion and conflict surrounding the topic of prophecy, and provides a biblical framework to clarify different interpretations—including pre-, a-, and postmillennialism, including an entire chapter on preterism. He also shows how these different interpretations of Scripture have the power to shape your faith and offers tools to help you develop discernment.
Prepared to be God’s Vessel: How God Can Use an Obedient Life to Bless Others, by Henry Blackaby and Carrie Blackaby Webb (Biblical Legacy Series). Lessons for 21st century women from the life of Mary, Jesus’ mother.
Wear the Crown: Inspiring Stories and Photos of Modern-Day Martyrs, by Bill Drake and the Voice of the Martyrs. The stories of nine believers who paid the ultimate price for their faithfulness and loyalty to Jesus Christ, in places like the Phillipines, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, et al.
The Essential Bible Companion, by John H. Walton, Mark L. Strauss, and Ted Cooper, Jr. Clear insights into the Bible book by book, with maps, timelines, themes, and key people and terms. All in a highly visual format with color photographs.
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know, by Robert J. Morgan. The remarkable story behind the world’s most beloved children’s song.
The Contented Soul: The Art of Savoring Life, by Lisa Graham McMinn. An autobiographical reflection on simplifying life, which is also an invitation to hunger and thirst for righteousness.
A Legacy of Faith: Things I Learned from My Father, by Ruth Graham (daughter of Bill and Ruth Bell Graham) with Stacy Mattingly. Ruth, Billy Graham’s third daughter, presents a rich, dimensional portrait of her father, while sharing the legacy he has passed on to her—lessons in love, humility, grace, loyalty, and authenticity.
CHRISTIANITY 101 SERIES (formerly Bruce and Stan’s Guides), by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz: Knowing God 101 (a guide to theology in plain language); Bible Prophecy 101 (a guide to the end times in plain language); Creation and Evolution 101 (a guide to science and the Bible in plain language); Knowing the Bible 101 (a guide to God’s word in plain language); Growing As a Christian 101 (a guide to stronger faith in plain language); Revelation: Unlocking the Mysteries of the End Times; and World Religions and Cults 101.
COMMENTARIES: The Gospel of Matthew and The Gospel of Mark, by David L. Turner and Darrell J. Bock (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol 11).
ADULT/FAMILY DVDs: Be Still, featuring Dr. Henry Cloud, Richard Foster, Max Lucado, and Beth Moore (demonstrates the value of contemplative or “listening” prayer); Love’s Long Journey, from Janette Oke; Discussing the Da Vinci Code, by Lee Strobel and Garry Poole (includes 4 session DVD with group discussion guide); The Da Vinci Code: A DTS Dialogue, by Dr. Mark Bailey, Dr. Jeffery Bingham, and Dr. Darrell Bock.
ADULT FICTION: Daughter of Deliverance, by Gilbert Morris (Lions of Judah #6); The High Calling, by Gilbert Morris (The House of Winslow, 1940); Gods and Kings and Song of Redemption, by Lynn Austin (Chronicles of the Kings #1 and #2); Refuge, Torchlight, Pathways, and Firestorm, by Lisa Tawn Bergren (The Full Circle Series #1-3, #6); Memories of a Dirt Road Town, by Stephen Bly; Cherokee Rose: A Place to Call Home, by Al and Joanna Lacy.
YOUTH FICTION: Instant Menace, Escaping Darkness, Windy City Danger, and Hollywood Holdup, by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry (Red Rock Mysteries #9-12); Quest for Celestia, by Steven James (a reimagining of The Pilgrim’s Progress).
CHILDREN’S BOOKS: Cool Hand Cuke (on giving), Ben Hurry (on patience), Snooze Brothers (on responsibility), and West Slide Story (on making peace), by Doug Peterson and Cindy Kenney (VeggieTown Values); Veggie Tales Bible Mania, by Cindy Kenney (ages 4-10, amazing Bible facts, wonders and mysteries; VeggieTales series); The Lord Builds the House: The 127th Psalm and The Story of Mr. Pippin, by Johannah Bluedorn.