New Books–May 2010

New Books–May 2010

Complete New Book List

May 2010

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas. A major new biography of the brilliant German theologian who was one of the first to speak out against Hitler. He became a double agent, and was later imprisoned and eventually hanged at the age of 39 for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Hitler.

Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe, by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. John Frame says there is much here to aid readers who in the past have thought that theology was too complicated, uninteresting, or irrelevant. This book is none of those things. It takes off on wings of eagles”. Just glance through the table of contents, and you will see the interesting approach.

The Trials of Theology: Becoming a “Proven Worker” in a Dangerous Business, edited by Andrew J.B. Cameron and Brian S. Rosner. The subject of this book is the trials of studying theology, and how to navigate them. Contains wisdom from the past (Augustine, Luther, Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis) and the present (D.A. Carson, John Woodhouse, etc). John Piper says: “Do we need theology? We may as well ask, ‘do we need to know God?’. Ten thousand times YES”. Piper also said that when he began his theological studies in 1968, he devoured a book by Helmut Thielicke titled A Little Exercise for Young Theologians. But he says that if he were starting today, he would devour The Trials of Theology.

Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the

Old-Fashioned Way

, by J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett. Historically, the church’s ministry of grounding new believers in the essentials of the faith has been known as catechesis—the use of catechisms for systematic instruction in faith foundations, including what we believe, how we pray and worship, and how we conduct our lives. The authors make a strong case for the recovery of this ancient practice for modern evangelicals, in order to root the next generation in the great truths of the faith.

What Is the Gospel? By Greg Gilbert, with foreword by D.A. Carson. Understanding both the theological nature and the functional necessity of the gospel.

The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist, by Craig Groeschel. Challenges us to think deeply, honestly, and fearfully about how our lives may be contradicting our message.

The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation, by Michael Reeves. An accessible introduction to the historic era of the Reformation, bringing to life the movement’s most colorful characters, such as Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin.

What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage, by Paul David Tripp. The author says more couples than he can number have been surprised that their marriage needs the regular rescue of grace. And because they didn’t take the Bible seriously, they were caught short in that moment when grace was their only hope.

To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World, by James Davison Hunter. Why have efforts to change the world so often gone awry? Hunter analyzes the most popular world-changing models among Christians today, and points out their flaws. He critiques the political theologies of both the Christian Right and Left and the Neo-Anabaptists, and takes on many respected Christian leaders from Chuck Colson to Jim Wallis. He recommends a different paradigm of Christian engagement with the world, one he calls “faithful presence”. Timothy Kellers says “no writer or thinker has taught me as much” about the complex subject of how culture is changed as James Hunter.

Atonement, edited by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer. Few components of the Christian faith are as hotly debated as the atonement, the solution to the offense toward God caused by human sin. This book features essays by some of the church’s best known pastor-theologians, such as Packer, Sproul, Boice and others.

When Life Is Hard, by James MacDonald. Some years ago, the author and his wife sailed into a series of trials that increased from gentle breezes to a category 5 hurricane. The attempt to make sense of his suffering drove him to God’s Word, not as an academic exercise, but as a desperate soul crying out for help. In this book, he set forth what he found.

Entrusted with the Gospel: Paul’s Theology in the Pastoral Epistles, edited by Andreas J. Kostenberger and Terry L. Wilder. A thorough guide to recent scholarship on the Pastoral Epistles.

Studies on Saving Faith, by Arthur W. Pink. A classic response to “easy believism”.

Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism, by Philip E. Johnson and John Mark Reynolds. J.P Moreland says this is not just another apologetic response to the new atheists. It is a cultural analysis and critique of their claims which “reads like a detective novel—I couldn’t put it down”.

Stuff Christians Like, by Jonathan Acuff. Welcome to the funny side of faith. A humorous and witty field guide to all things Christian. The author writes a popular Christian blog at

The Sword, by Bryan Litfin (Chiveis Trilogy #). Futuristic fiction set in the distant future, when nuclear war and a raging virus have devastated the earth. A new civilization has emerged, with the people living medieval-style lives, producing everything they need, including their own religion. Christianity has been forgotten. But then a young army scout discovers a strange book—a Bible. The author is a Dallas native and a theologian who teaches at Moody.

A Sincere and Pure Devotion to Christ: 100 Daily Meditations on 2 Corinthians, Vol 1: 2 Corinthians 1-6, and Vol 2: 2 Corinthians 7-13, by Sam Storms.

Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, by Christian Smith with Melinda Lundquist Denton. This 2005 book has become the gold standard for research on religion and teenagers. Also see related DVD based on the findings of this book (Soul Searching: A Movie About Teenagers and God).

Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults, by Christian Smith with Patricia Snell. Through a combination of surveys and interviews, the authors illuminate the religious beliefs of the 18-23 year old social group.

From Buddha to Jesus: An Insider’s View of Buddhism and Christianity, by Steve Cioccolanti. A popular introduction to Buddhism, showing how Christians can understand and effectively dialogue with Buddhists.

The World of the Bible, by John Drane. Spans 2,000 years to provide clear detailed insight into the cultural, religious, and social context of the Bible, with 140 illuminating photographs, maps and charts.

John Bunyan, by Kevin Belmonte (Christian Encounters). Amidst repeated imprisonments, civil war and violent persecution, Puritan preacher John Bunyan crafted The Pilgrim’s Progress, the most popular book in history next to the Bible.

New Wine: A Study of Transition in the Book of Acts, by J. Dwight Pentecost. A study of Acts as a traditional narrative from a dispensational perspective.

Test All Things: An Invitation to Examine Your Catholic Faith in the Light of Scripture, by Joe Mizzi.

BIOGRAPHIES BY PAUL JOHNSON: George Washington: The Founding Father; Napoleon: A Life; and Jesus: A Biography from a Believer.

ADULT/FAMILY DVDs: Soul Searching: A Movie About Teenagers and God, produced by Christian Smith. A documentary based on the findings of Christian Smith’s book; Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record, by Illustra Media; The Adventures of Ociee Nash, from Cinevita; Sarah’s Choice, by Pure/Flix.

YOUTH FICTION: Chosen Ones, by Alister McGrath (The Aedyn Chronicles #)1. Narnia-like fantasy fiction from a renowned theologian.

ADULT FICTION: Her Mother’s Hope, by Francine Rivers; Fields of Grace, by Kim Vogel Sawyer; The Telling, by Beverly Lewis (Seasons of Grace #3); Sing and Breathe, by Lisa T. Bergren (Homeward Trilogy #1-2); Greater Love, by Robert Whitlow (Tides of Truth #3).

CHILDRENS DVDs: Pistachie (Veggietales); Hailey & Bailey’s Silly Fight; Antonio Meets His Match and The Flo Show Creates a Buzz (Hermie and Friends).

CHILDRENS BOOKS: Just Like You, by Marla Stewart Konrad.


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