New Books – May 2006

New Books – May 2006

Putting a Face on Grace: Living a Life Worth Passing On, by Richard Blackaby. Many Christians sing of the sweet sound of amazing grace, but fail to extend it to others—missing the point entirely. The author urges you to let God’s grace flow through you, for you will never understand it until you give it away.

Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, by N.T. Wright. J.I. Packer says that “brilliant Bishop Wright is one of God’s best gifts to our decaying Western church, and would-be learners and teachers of the faith will gain hugely from these fascinating pages”.

Jesus—Safe, Tender, Extreme, by Adrian Plass. Bringing his own quirky perspective and fool’s wisdom to the life of Christ—and to the life of an ordinary man trying to honor Christ in his own life—Plass addresses the deep issues we all face. He interweaves verbal snapshots of landmarks and events in the author’s everyday life with reflections on those Christian issues that never seem to have an easy answer, but which keep us pondering the wonder and mystery of God at work in our very human lives.

Jesus, Lover of a Woman’s Soul, by Dr. Erwin Lutzer and Rebecca Lutzer. Do women matter to God? The answers lie with Jesus himself—in His words and His real relationships with women during His life. The authors reveal the truth about Jesus and women: how He defied tradition and dared to teach that women are valuable. This book looks at the actual divine encounters between Jesus and women as recorded in the Gospels, in contrast to the false ideas propagated today in our culture by such phenomena as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.

The Gospel According to the Da Vinci Code: The Truth Behind the Writings of Dan Brown, by Kenneth Boa and John Alan Turner. Dan Brown’s novel has become the best-selling hardcover adult novel of all time, and will soon be a major Hollywood movie. Why is it so popular, and what is the worldview behind it? Authors Boa and Turner show the relation to the age-old heresy of Gnosticism, and examine Brown’s worldview that guides his work, and why that mentality is so popular today.

Darkness Is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness, by Kathryn Greene-McCreight. The words of the Psalmist rang hauntingly true for the author when she was in the depths of her mental illness. In this book, she confronts the difficult questions raised by her own affliction, bipolar disorder.

Why Good Arguments Often Fail: Making a More Persuasive Case for Christ, by James W. Sire. You made the best case you knew how, and your friend still wasn’t persuaded to follow Christ. Why is that? Sometimes the arguments themselves aren’t that good. So how can we make them better? And sometimes the problem has to do with us and not the arguments. Or, the problem lies with the hearer, as their worldview or moral blindess keep them from understanding the truth. Sire grapples with these issues and offers insight into making a more persuasive case for Christ.

The Survivor’s Guide to Theology, by M. James Sawyer. Building a framework for understanding systematic theology. The author also surveys nine major theological systems (dispensationalism, Calvinism, neoorthodoxy, etc) and gives the history, background, and theological distinctives of each.

The Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture, edited by Donna L. Huisjen, published in partnership with Gordon-Conwell Seminary. With over 8,000 bottom-of-the-page study notes, and 500 full-color photographs, this new study Bible not only gives you the complete text of the Bible, but takes you into its very world, opening your eyes to the historical, cultural, and archaeological meaning, relevance, and depth of the Scriptures. There are also over 500 in-depth articles which shed light on ancient creation narratives, cuneiform writings, Greek and Roman culture, and scores of other fascinating topics.

America: The Last Best Hope: Volume 1-From the Age of Discovery to a World at War, 1492-1914, by William J. Bennett. In this first volume of a reasoned, balanced presentation of the American story, the author cuts through the prevailing cynicism and summons us to embrace America’s cause once again as “the last best hope on earth”.

Too Small to Ignore: Why Children Are the Next Big Thing, by Dr. Wess Stafford with Dean Merrill. The leader of Compassion International, an international ministry to children, shares his inspiring boyhood adventures growing up in an African village, and challenges us all to change the world—one child at a time. Children are victimized by war, pornography, and prostitution, as well as by lack of funding, feeding, education and protection. Yet in a few short years, the world’s challenges will be theirs to manage.

Understanding Matthew: The Early Christian Worldview of the First Gospel, by Stephen Westerholm. Among those who have been deeply influenced by Matthew are the author of this book and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This is neither a commentary nor a theology of Matthew. Rather, it is an exposition of Matthew’s gospel, using Bonhoeffer’s life and writings as a guide.

Remarriage After Divorce in Today’s Church: 3 Views, by Gordon J. Wenham, William A. Heth, and Craig S. Keener (Counterpoints series). This book explores three common views on remarriage after divorce: 1) that it is never acceptable (Wenham), 2) that it is permissible for two biblical grounds (Heth), and 3) that it is potentially acceptable for a variety of reasons that can go beyond such grounds (Keener). Each author defends his view, with responses by the other two. Further, William Heth explains how he changed his opinion to the second view from the first view that he had previously championed in writings up to 1997.

Wild Child, Waiting Mom: Finding Hope in the Midst of Heartache, by Karilee Hayden and Wendi Hayden English. If you are the parent of a teen who has made bad choices and is now living them out, this book will bring you hope as you read how God worked to bring this family to wholeness and healing.

God, Do You Really Care? by Tony Evans. Finding strength when He seems distant. The author is a graduate of DTS and pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship.

Out of Control: Finding Peace for the Physically Exhausted and Spiritually Strung Out, by Ben Young and Dr. Samuel Adams. This book is for those who can’t remember the last time they felt rested and peaceful in this fast-paced, go-go-go culture. The authors point to steps to take to stop being a helpless victim, including the time-tested spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude.

Elders in Congregational Life: Rediscovering the Biblical Model for Church Leadership, by Phil A. Newton. The author, a Baptist pastor, examines the biblical model of leadership by explaining the necessity of elder plurality and how it functions in a congregational setting. He also presents the history of elder plurality in Baptist life from personal experience.

Turning Points, by David Jeremiah. Moments of decision in the presence of God: devotions for every day of the year.

Grace for the Moment, Volumes I and II, by Max Lucado. Inspirational thoughts for each day of the year.

The Word and the Spirit: Ten Sermons on the Theme of the Word of God and the Work of the Holy Spirt, by Charles Spurgeon, 1834-1892. The Prince of Preachers continues to minister to the world through the continuous publication of his writings and sermons.

COMMENTARIES: John 1-11, by John MacArthur (MacArthur New Testament Commentary); Joel, Obadiah, Malachi by David W. Baker (NIV Application Commentary).

ADULT/FAMILY DVDS: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, from Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. C.S. Lewis’ timeless and beloved adventure has been given the big-screen Hollywood treatment with outstanding results; The Da Vinci Code Deception, based on the three best-selling scholarly books by Darrell Bock (Breaking the Da Vinci Code), Erwin Lutzer (The Da Vinci Deception), and James Garlow and Peter Jones (Cracking Da Vinci’s Code); Unlocking the Mystery of Life, from Illlustra Media (the scientific case for intelligent design).

ADULT FICTION: House, by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker (a supernatural thriller); Imposter, by Davis Bunn (a suspense thriller); Divine, by Karen Kingsbury.

BOOKS ON CD: Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, by John Piper (read by Grover Gardner).

TEEN FICTION: Andrea Carter and the Long Ride Home, by Susan K. Marlow (Circle Adventures).

NEW FROM AMERICAN GIRLS: Peril at King’s Creek (A Felicity Mystery); Secrets in the Hills (A Josefina Mystery); The Stolen Sapphire (A Samantha Mystery).

CHILDREN’S BOOKS: The Little Children’s Bible Storybook, by Anne de Graaf (ages 3-7); Bible for Me: Easter, by Andy Holmes (a board book of 12 simple stories about Easter); Jesus is Risen, edited by Catherine DeVries (ages 4 and under; from The Beginners Bible); He Is Risen Indeed, with paintings by David Erickson; This Is No Fairy Tale, by Dale Tolmasoff; The Sprout Growing With God Bible, Purple Spot Sickness, and The Long Shortcut (all written and illustrated by the De Villiers Family; Sprout Growing With God Series, ages 4-7).
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