New Books – May 2008

New Books – May 2008

Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists, by Collin Hansen. A voyage of discovery about how our restless youth, weary of churches that seek to entertain rather then teach, are discovering anew the doctrines of grace. The author visits BethlehemBaptistChurch in Minneapolis (John Piper), MarsHillChurch in Seattle (Mark Driscoll), Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville(Al Mohler), and other places where this movement is growing.

The Delusion of Disbelief: Why the New Atheism is a Threat to Your Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, by David Aikman. Denunciations of faith are not new, but what is notable about the recent bestsellers by the New Atheists is their contention that belief in God is not only deluded, but dangerous to society.

In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement, by J.I. Packer and Mark Dever. Philip Ryken says: “Writing with the precision of learned theologians and the passion of forgiven sinners, (the authors) explain the meaning of atonement, substitution, and propitiation, not just as words, but as saving benefits we can only receive from a crucified savior”.

Christ and Culture Revisited, by D.A. Carson. Interacting first with the classic work on the subject by H. Richard Niebuhr, Carsontakes a biblical-theological approach to the relationship between Christianity and culture.

The Courage to be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World, by David F. Wells. New from the author of No Place for Truth, or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?. A critique of “new” versions of evangelicalism—marketers and emergents—and a summons to return to the historic faith defined by the Reformation solas (grace, faith and Scripture alone) and a high regard for doctrine.

The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions, by Marcus J. Borg and N.T. Wright. A debate on the historical Jesus between leading liberal and conservative Jesus scholars.

What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace, by Richard D. Phillips. The author explains the doctrines of grace, or the five points of Calvinism, in such a way that believers feel the power of these magnificent truths and the thrill of knowing a sovereign God.

Facing Messy Stuff in the Church: Case Studies for Pastors and

Congregations, by Kenneth L. Swetland. Preparing church leaders to deal head on with the messy stuff, not merely dealing with damage control after the problems have erupted.

The Baylor Project: Taking Christian Higher Education to the Next Level, edited by Barry G. Hankins and Donald D. Schmeltekopf. Can a Protestant university be a first-class research institution and preserve its soul? This is the story of Project 2012, begun under former President Robert Sloan in 2001, with a bold vision to make Baylor a Tier-One research university while strengthening its Christian identity. The unfolding controversy became a national media story, and the program, while deeply contested, is still underway. Richard John Neuhaus said “this is the story of visions and conflicts engaged by one university’s bold aspiration to be more fully a university be being more fully Christian.”

Perspectives on the Doctrine of God: Four Views, edited by Bruce Ware. The four views presented on the nature of God and how He relates to the world He has made, are those of the classical Calvinist (Paul Helm), the modified Calvinist (Bruce Ware), the classical Arminian (Roger E. Olson), and the Open Theist (John Sanders).

Twelve Challenges Churches Face, by Mark Dever. In this exposition of 1 Corinthians, Dever gives pastoral guidance for the difficult problems addressed in a difficult book of the Bible, confronting not only the controversial issues that always face the church, but the spiritual dangers that always lurk behind them.

The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It, by Os Guinness. A challenge to both the Left and Right to respect our differences, discuss them robustly, and in the process treat each other with dignity and honor.

A Friendly Dialogue Between an Atheist and a Christian, by Luis Palau and Zhao Qizheng. A composite of recorded dialogues held in China in 2005 between American evangelist Palauand Chinese diplomat Qizheng who is an atheist. Fascinating insights between the oriental world of Chinaand how the Christian faith is being received within that context.

The Voice of Hebrews: The Mystery of Melchizedek, by Greg Garrett and DavidCapes. A comparison between Melchizedek, perhaps the most mysterious figure in Scripture, and Jesus, the Saviour found in the New Testament, which helps readers understand how Jesus completes the law and the prophets.

To the Jew First: The Case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History, edited by Darrell L. Bock and Mitch Glaser. Organized around the biblical mandate in Romans 1:16, this is a comprehensive look at the biblical, theological, historical and practical basis for Jewish evangelism.

Founding Faith: Providence , Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America, by Steven Waldman. Activists on the right claim that Americawas founded as a “Christian nation”, while many on the left claim the Founders were secular or Deists. Waldman says neither of these claims is true, and narrates an account of how the Founders forged a new approach to religious liberty which promoted faith, by leaving it alone. Mark Noll says this is a well-balanced book on a controversial subject.

Lost in Transmission? What We Can Know About the Words of Jesus, by Nicholas Perrin. A WheatonNTscholar takes on Bart Ehrman and others who claim that the words of Jesus have been corrupted beyond recovery. Perrin also tells his own story of a journey from secularism to Buddhism to orthodox Christianity.

The Genius of Luther’s Theology: A Wittenberg Way of Thinking for the Contemporary Church, by Robert Kolb and Charles P. Arand. A focus on Luther’s concept of two kinds of righteousness, the active and the passive, and on God’s powerful Word.


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