New Books – November 2006

New Books – November 2006

What Jesus Demands from the World, by John Piper. As Sinclair Ferguson notes, “scholars, popularists, and now even novelists are falling over each other today in a blind passion to discover an alternative Jesus to the One so magnificently portrayed in the Biblical Gospels”. In stark contrast, Piper offers careful reflections on the authoritative commands of Jesus, in recognition that He has authority over everyone regardless of their religion, culture, nationality, gender, race, or sexuality.

Judas and the Gospel of Jesus: Have We Missed the Truth About Christianity? by N.T. Wright. Joining other recently found and publicized “gospels”, the Gospel of Judas has found its way into the limelight. Among its claims are that Judas was doing what Jesus asked him to do when he betrayed Jesus; that Jesus came to offer secret knowledge about how to escape this earthly world, rather than to usher in God’s kingdom on earth; that Jesus felt no pain on the cross; and others. Now renowned scholar N.T. Wright responds to the Gospel of Judas, and also examines the modern longing for “new evidence” to set against classic Christianity which has become such a feature of American life in the last few decades.

What Have They Done With Jesus? Beyond Strange Theories and Bad History—Why We Can Trust the Bible, by Ben Witherington III. Strange theories about Jesus seem to ooze from our culture with increasing regularity, with the latest fad coming from the attention being paid to the Gnostic gospels. Witherington, one of our best biblical historians, will have none of it. Here he uses a fresh “personalilty profile” to highlight core Christian claims by investigating the major figures in Jesus’ inner circle of followers, and what each of them can teach us about the historical Jesus.

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God, edited by John Piper and Justin Taylor. This book tackles some of the hardest and most significant issues of Christian concern, affirming the sovereignty of God and pondering the meaning of human suffering. Within five months of the 2005 Suffering and the Sovereignty of God Conference, two of the speakers—John Piper and David Powlinson—were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and this book includes their insights from that experience.

Evil and the Justice of God, by N.T. Wright. Focuses on the problem of evil, and one reviewer said that “Wright puts evil in perspective by giving us a powerful vision of the ‘new heavens and new earth’, the ultimate reality of which we can already participate in.”

Truths We Confess: A Layman’s Guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith, Volume 1: The Triune God, by R.C. Sproul. The first of a three-volume highly readable commentary on this historic confession from the English Reformation.

God the Holy Trinity: Reflections on Christian Faith and Practice, edited by Timothy George. Though the doctrine of the Trinity is basic for all Christian life and reflection, it often remains shrouded in what Mark Noll calls “the theologians’ obfuscating mystery.” This book by contrast, with its stellar line of contributors, shows why the Trinity is important for all communities of whatever denomination, documents powerfully the practicality of the doctrine, and does so with “crystal clarity”. Articles and contributors include The Doctrine of the Trinity: An Evangelical Reflection, by Alister McGrath; A Puritan Perspective: Trinitarian Godliness According to John Owen, by J.I. Packer; The Trinity and the Challenge of Islam, by Timothy George; The Old Testament Trinity, by Frederica Mathewes-Green; and others.

Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer, by Bryan A. Follis. As J.I. Packer says, “The real Francis Schaeffer—Reformed apologist, youth evangelist, lover of God and people—is here profiled and celebrated. The best appreciation of Schaeffer and his legacy yet written.”

Bruchko and the Motilone Miracle, by Bruce Olson with James Lund. The powerful sequel to Olson’s missionary classic, Bruchko. This is the story of how despite incredible dangers and obstacles, one humble man and a nation of primitive, violent Indians, by joining together in simple obedience, are transformed forever by the sovereign will of God.

The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views, edited by James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy. Thomas Schreiner presents the penal substitutionary view, which has recently been the subject of a lively debate within evangelicalism. The other three views presented are the Christus Victor view, kaleidoscopic view, and the healing view.

Perspectives on Election: Five Views, edited by Owen Brand. How does God ordain who will spend eternity with Him? This book presents five common views of predestination that have developed over the course of church history. Bruce Ware presents Divine Election to Salvation while Clark Pinnock presents Divine Election as Corporate and Open. The other views presented are the Classical Arminian view, Consistent Supralapsarian Perspective, and Universal Reconciliation.

Letters of Faith Through the Seasons, Volume 1, edited by James M. Houston. A treasury of correspondence from some of the greatest minds in Christian history, from Augustine, John of the Cross, and Martin Luther to Soren Kierkegaard and Amy Carmichael.

Culture Shift: Transforming Your Church from the Inside Out, by Robert Lewis and Wayne Cordeiro with Warren Bird. Like snowflakes and fingerprints, every church’s culture is unique. The authors show how to transform the culture of your church until it births kingdom values in accordance with the Holy Spirit.

The Church of Irresistible Influence, by Robert Lewis with Rob Wilkins. Using bridges as a metaphor for “irresistible influence”, Lewis shows how your church can become a strong, well-traveled link between heaven and earth in your community.

Parallel Classic Commentary on the Psalms: Charles Spurgeon, John Calvin, and Matthew Henry, edited by Mark Water. Consists of edited versions of three of the greatest classic commentaries on the Psalms, laid out side by side on each double page, next to the King James text of the Psalms.

The Unusual Suspect: My Calling to the New Hardcore Movement of Faith, by Stephen Baldwin with Mark Tabb. The story of the coming to faith of Stephen Baldwin, hardcore party boy and Hollywood actor best known for his role in The Usual Suspects, and one of Hollywood’s well-known Baldwin brothers. As Ravi Zacharias says, “Stephen’s story is an amazing and passionate demonstration of the power of God in one life, and in my personal interaction with him, he comes through with genuine authenticity”.

The Jewish Study Bible, edited by Adele Berlin and Marc Zvi Brettler. The Old Testament with study notes both from contemporary Jewish biblical scholarship and the richness of Jewish tradition. Featuring the Tanakh Translation, from the Jewish Publication Society.

A Deeper Kind of Calm: Steadfast Faith in the Midst of Adversity, by Linda Dillow. A follow-up to the best-selling Calm My Anxious Heart, this book is a continuation of the journey of learning to walk boldly when our world seems to be crumbling beneath our feet, by discerning the comforting truth found in God’s Word.

Preaching the Old Testament, edited by Scott M. Gibson, with a Foreword by Haddon Robinson. An outstanding collection of insights for preaching and teaching from the two-thirds of Scripture that compose our Old Testament. Articles include Challenges to Preaching the OT, Preaching from the Historical Books, Preaching from the OT Narratives, Preaching from the Law, and others. Contributors include John Sailhamer, Duane Garrett, Douglas K. Stuart, and others.

Hard Sayings of the Bible, by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Peter H. Davids, F.F. Bruce, and Manfred T. Brauch. A handy reference book with explanations of over 500 of the most troubling verses faced by Bible readers.

Where Was God? Answers to Tough Questions About God and Natural Disasters, by Erwin W. Lutzer. If you’ve ever felt helpless and confused by the horrors of natural disaster, devastation, or loss, then this book is addressed to you.

101 Most Puzzling Bible Verses, by Tim Demy and Gary Stewart. Insight into frequently misunderstood scriptures.

The Puritan Pulpit: James Ussher (The Irish Puritans), edited by Don Kistler. Of James Ussher, 1581-1656, it is said that “raised in a Bible-believing Calvinistic environment, Dr. Ussher soaked himself in the Holy Scriptures without ceasing. He also read the Early Church Fathers—systematically, every day, for 18 years”. And thus he became a highly regarded scholar and a fearless preacher.

Humility: The Forgotten Virtue, by Wayne A. Mack with Joshua Mack. As one reviewer wrote, this book deals with “the painful problem of pride and points you to the loveliness of Christ, where you will meet humility in all of its glory”.

OTHER COMMENTARIES: The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude, by Peter H. Davids (Pillar New Testament Commentary); Genesis 11:27-50:26, by Kenneth A. Mathews (New American Commentary, Vol 1B).

ADULT FICTION: The Last Days, by Joel C. Rosenberg; The Mustang Breaker and Wish I’d Known You Tears Ago, by Stephen Bly (Horse Dreams #2 and #3); Saint, by Ted Dekker; The Brethren, by Beverly Lewis (Annie’s People #3); Before I Wake, by Dee Henderson; Finding Anna and The Longing Season, by Christine Schaub (Music of the Heart; historical fiction based on Horatio Spafford and John Newton, respectively); Family, by Karen Kingsbury (Family #4); Fifth Seal, by Bodie and Brock Thoene (A.D. Chronicles #5); The Dream, by Gilbert Morris (Singing River #2); Santa Fe Woman, by Gilbert Morris.

YOUTH BOOKS: Ten Boys Who Used Their Talents, by Irene Howat (C.S. Lewis, Paul Brand, C.T. Studd, John Bunyan, J.S. Bach, and others); Ten Girls Who Used Their Talents, by Irene Howat (Annie Lawson, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sarah Edwards, Patricia St. John, Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, and others); The Gospel of Luke and The Gospel of John: The Illustrated International Children’s Bible by Neely Publishing (the actual text of the Bible with comic-book type illustrations); Daring Rescue at Sonora Pass, Dangerous Ride Across Humboldt Flats, and Mysterious Robbery on the Utah Plains, by Stephen Bly (Adventures on the American Frontier #1-#3); Candy Bombers, Beetle Bunker, and Smuggler’s Treasure, by Robert Elmer (The Wall #1-3); Hidden Riches, Wind Chill, and Dead End, by Jerry B. Jenkins and Chris Fabry (Red Rock Mysteries #13-15).

CHILDRENS DVD’s: Silly Songs, Action Bible Songs, Bible Songs, and Toddler Tunes, from Cedarmont Kids (tunes for toddlers; includes both English and Spanish versions); Lost: A Sheep Story (On the Farm with Farmer Bob, featuring Vince Gill, Amy Grant and Randy Travis).

CHILDRENS BOOKS: One Shining Star: A Christmas Counting Book, by Anne Vittur Kennedy (a board book); The Veggie Tales Bible Storybook, by Cindy Kenney with Karen Poth.


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