Preaching Magazine’s "The Year’s Best Books for Preachers" by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Preaching Magazine March 2015 Cover & TOC

For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship by Daniel I. Block (Baker Academic. 9780801026980. $34.99). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

Handbook of Religion: A Christian Engagement with Traditions, Teachings, and Practices edited by Terry C. Muck, Harold A. Netland and Gerald R. McDermott (Baker Academic. 9780801037764. $44.99). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

God Has Spoken: A History of Christian Theology by Gerald Bray (Crossway Books. 9781433526947. $55.00). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung (Crossway Books. 9781433542404. $17.99). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

A Change of Heart: A Personal and Theological Memoir by Thomas C. Oden (IVP Academic. 9780830840359. $40.00). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

Preaching Magazine's Top 10 2015 Pt 1

God Dwells Among Us: Expanding Eden to the Ends of the Earth by G. K. Beale (IVP Books. 9780830844142. $17.00). Click here to see an interview with the author.

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God by Timothy Keller (Penguin. 9780525954149. $26.95). Click here to see an interview with the author.

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster. 9781476708690. $35.00). Click here to see an interview with the author.

George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father by Thomas S. Kidd (Yale University Press. 9780300181623. $38.00). Click here to read an excerpt from this book.

The Crucified King: Atonement and Kingdom in Biblical and Systematic Theology by Jeremy R. Treat (Zondervan. 9780310516743. $26.99). Click here to read an excerpt from this book. 

Preaching Magazine's Top 10 2015 Pt 2

Arrived on New Academic this week

9781587433672 Traces of the Trinity in Everyday Life by Peter Leithart (Brazos Press. Paperback. 9781587433672. $17.99)

“This is the most delightful book I have read in a long time. One of its delights is its clear, gracefully written prose, which easily engages the reader. The book presents a cogent case for a highly significant point: the whole created world images the divine Trinity. Leithart argues this thesis comprehensively, demonstrating that the divine perichoresis–the mutual indwelling of the three persons of the Trinity–is reflected in every area of human life, including perception, thought, language, sex, time, space, music, and imagination. Leithart’s argument has the potential, therefore, to bring major change to our study of all these areas of reality, and thus to all the ways we live in the world.”—John M. Frame

 

9780062334343 Simply Good News by N.T. Wright (HarperOne. Hardback. 9780062334343. $24.99)

The Gospel means good news. But if the message has been around for 2,000 years, what makes it significant today? What’s so “good” about stories involving damnation, violence, and a God who sacrifices his only son?

Noted Bible scholar N.T. Wright shows us how Christians today have lost sight of what the “good news” of the gospel really is. In Simply Good News, he takes us back in time to reveal how the people of the first-century—the gospel’s original audience—would have received Jesus’ message. He offer a clear and thoughtful analysis of what the “good news” really is, and applies it to our lives today, revealing its power to transform us.

 

9780830842865 Song of Songs by Iain Duguid (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary Series. IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830842865. $18.00)

Iain Duguid’s commentary explains how the Song is designed to show us an idealized picture of married love, in the context of a fallen and broken world. It also convicts us of how far short of this perfection we fall, both as humans and as lovers, and drives us repeatedly into the arms of our true heavenly husband, Jesus Christ.

 

9780830826353 Bound for the Promised Land by Oren Martin (New Studies in Biblical Theology Series. IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830826353. $25.00)

In this stimulating study from the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, Oren Martin demonstrates how, within the redemptive-historical framework of God’s unfolding plan, the land promise advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden. This promise also serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land, prepared for all of God’s people, that will result from the person and work of Christ and that will be enjoyed in the new creation for eternity.

 

9780830840229 Rejoicing in Christ by Michael Reeves (IVP Books. Paperback. 9780830840229. $16.00)

“Michael Reeves has written a simple and yet elegant introduction to the work of Jesus Christ. He provides a wonderful overview of Jesus in eternity, Jesus triumphing over evil and Jesus reigning forever. Reeves shows that for believers, our life is from Christ, and Christ is our life! His account of Christian doctrine about Jesus is complemented with a treasure trove of historical artwork depicting Jesus, stimulating the mind as well as the heart.”—Michael F. Bird

Arrived on New Academic the Week of February 16, 2015

9780805445268 Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views edited by Chad Brand (B&H Academic. Paperback. 9780805445268. $29.99)

The relationship between Israel and the church is one of the most debated issues in the history of theology. Some hold the view that there is almost seamless continuity between Israel and the church, while others believe there is very little continuity. Additional perspectives lie between these two.

  • Traditional covenantal view by Robert L. Reymond
  • Traditional dispensational view by Robert L. Thomas
  • Progressive dispensational view by Robert L. Saucy
  • Progressive covenantal view by Chad Brand and Tom Pratt Jr.

 

9781433686016

Cross: Unrivaled Christ, Unstoppable Gospel, Unreached Peoples, Unending Joy edited by John Piper and David Mathis (B&H Academic. Hardback. 9781433686016. $22.99)

Inspired by the inaugural Cross student missions conference, this book includes contributions from John Piper, David, Platt, Matt Chandler, Thabiti Anyabwile, Kevin DeYoung, D. A. Carson, and more.

 

9781781915523 Tough Topics 2: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions by Sam Storms (Christian Focus. Paperback. 9781781915523. $15.99)

“Tough Topics 1 was a real gift to the Body of Christ from one of our Lord’s gifted Bible teachers and theologians. Tough Topics 2 provides more of the same!”—Daniel L. Akin

 

9781433525025 Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom by Carl R. Trueman (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433525025. $17.99)

“This book illustrates again why Martin Luther remains a nearly inexhaustible resource. Trueman explains why Luther can be such a perceptive, encouraging, human, and even humorous guide to the Christian life. Especially important is Trueman’s clear communication of why the cross of Christ grounded Luther’s approach to almost everything and why a ‘theology of the cross’ might powerfully motivate believers today as well.”—Mark A. Noll

 

9781433542824 The Whole Story of the Bible in 16 Verses by Chris Bruno (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433542824. $10.99)

“This compact and insightful book is ideal for one-on-one discipleship, as well as more formal teaching contexts. All Christians, whether mature or young in the faith, will find much to meditate on and rejoice in as Bruno faithfully sketches in the story of redemption.”—Thomas R. Schreiner

 

9781433541681 Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God by Joe Thorn (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433541681. $10.99)

“All Christians believe in the Trinity, but most Christians, if we’re honest, don’t like to think about the Trinity that much. The doctrine seems abstract, dry, and distant from everyday life. This book will change that for you. Joe Thorn points us to the joy of a God who is Father, Son, and Spirit, showing us how this truth should prompt us to worship, pray, and trust. He applies this great doctrine without putting us out of its mystery. This book can better equip you to praise the God from whom all blessings flow.”—Russell D. Moore

 

9781433542022 Kept for Jesus: What the New Testament Really Teaches about Assurance of Salvation and Eternal Security by Sam Storms (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433542022. $15.99)

“I have wrestled with the issue of assurance of salvation not just as a pastor counseling timid souls but as a sinner trusting in God. What a great help is Kept for Jesus, then! Handling the relevant biblical texts with clarity and precision, Sam Storms has crafted real ministry with this book, working by the Spirit to plant the security of union with Christ in the believer’s heart.”—Jared C. Wilson

 

9781433542862 Why We Pray by William J. Philip (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433542862. $11.99)

“Prayer is a particular kind of relationship to God, not a technique. By examining the fundamentals of that relationship—who he is and who we are—with straightforward Bible exposition, William Philip helps you understand and enter into it.”—Timothy J. Keller

 

9780781412766 Found: God’s Peace: Experience True Freedom from Anxiety in Every Circumstance by John MacArthur Jr (David C. Cook. Paperback. 9780781412766. $4.99)

Based on MacArthur’s bestselling Anxious for Nothing, this small and concise book moves beyond pop psychology’s temporary cures and returns readers to the true source of comfort and victory: Scripture. As John MacArthur writes, the key to worry-free living is to develop habits of prayer, right thinking, and action. Here he draws on rich biblical truths to show readers how.

 

9780781413084 Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes by Nancy Pearcey (David C. Cook. Hardback. 9780781413084. $22.99)

In Finding Truth, Nancy Pearcey explains five powerful principles that penetrate to the core of any worldview-secular or religious-to uncover its deepest motivations and weigh its claims. A former agnostic, Pearcey demonstrates that a robust Christian worldview matches reality-that it is not only true but attractive, granting higher dignity to the human person than any alternative.

 

9780830840670 Mapping Apologetics: Comparing Contemporary Approaches by Brian K. Morley (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830840670. $25.00)

Mapping Apologetics provides the most complete and best analysis to date of my overall apologetic approach.” —John Warwick Montgomery

“Brian Morley shows mastery of the details of my approach, including the qualifications and nuances.”—John Frame

 

9780830839056 Faith, Freedom and the Spirit: The Economic Trinity in Barth, Torrance and Contemporary Theology by Paul D. Molnar (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830839056. $40.00)

“Powerfully argued and meticulously documented, this book is a magisterial interpretation of Barth and Torrance on the Trinity in relation to election and the incarnation.”—George Hunsinger

 

9780830841189 Eldership and the Mission of God: Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership by J. R. Briggs (IVP Praxis. Paperback. 9780830841189. $17.00)

“J.R. and Bob give us something that few—if any—books on church eldership have offered before: an accessible mission-directed primer on faithful leadership in localized, contextualized Jesus communities. . . . My hope is that this book will compel us to forego the prevalent version of decaffeinated Christianity and instead cultivate a missionary ethos that ignites faith communities to participate in the unrestrained and uncorked adventure of life with Jesus.”—Alan Hirsch

 

9780802412638 The Life of Billy Kim: From Houseboy to World Evangelist by Billy Kim (Moody Publishers. Paperback. 9780802412638. $15.99)

“Billy Kim’s unmistakable call to evangelism, his dynamic partnership with Billy Graham, and his gospel influence on world leaders – all these make his life a memorable and inspirational story of God’s abundant grace.”—Philip Ryken

 

9780802412409 After Acts: Exploring the Lives and Legends of the Apostles by Bryan Litfin (Moody Publishers. Paperback. 9780802412409. $14.99)

We’ve all heard it said: “According to early church tradition Peter was crucified upside down,” or “Paul went to Spain.” Did Thomas found the Indian church? Or did Mary live in Ephesus? Were the twelve disciples all eventually martyred?

Where do these ancient traditions come from, and how historically reliable are they? What is meant by the term “early church tradition?” After Acts opens up the world of the Bible-right after it was written. Follow along with New Testament scholar, Dr. Bryan Litfin as he explores the facts, myths, legends, archaeology, and questions of what happened in those most early days of Christianity.

 

9780718022013 The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World by David Murray (Thomas Nelson. Paperback. 9780718022013. $16.99)

In The Happy Christian, professor and pastor David Murray blends the best of modern science and psychology with the timeless truths of Scripture to create a solid, credible guide to positivity. The author of the acclaimed Christians Get Depressed Too, Murray exposes modern negativity’s insidious roots and presents ten perspective-changing ways to remain optimistic in a world that keeps trying to drag us down.

 

9780718031190 Passing the Leadership Baton: A Winning Transition Plan for Your Ministry by Tom Mullins (Thomas Nelson. Paperback. 9780718031190. $24.99)

In Passing the Leadership Baton, Tom Mullins provides compassionate insight and a wealth of practical advice for leading through transition, including tips on:

  • determining the best timing for transition
  • preparing yourself, as a leader, for passing the baton
  • creating an atmosphere receptive to change
  • selecting and preparing your successor for success
  • handing off the baton well and moving forward into the next season
  • handling crisis-driven transitions resulting from an unexpected death or moral failure

 

9780310259176 The Case for Grace: A Journalist Explores the Evidence of Transformed Lives by Lee Strobel (Zondervan. Hardback. 9780310259176. $22.99. Sale – $16.09 through 4/4/15)

Writing with unusual candor, Lee draws upon his own journey from atheism to Christianity to explore the depth and breadth of God’s redeeming love for spiritually wayward people. He travels thousands of miles to capture the inspiring stories of everyday people whose values have been radically changed and who have discovered the “how” and “why” behind God’s amazing grace. You’ll encounter racists, addicts, and even murderers who have found new hope and purpose. You’ll meet once-bitter people who have received God’s power to forgive those who have harmed them—and, equally amazing, people mired in guilt who have discovered that they can even forgive themselves.

Arrived on New Academic the Week of February 9, 2015 (Part 2)

9780802412560 Prepare: Living Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture by J. Paul Nyquist (Moody Publishers. Paperback. 9780802412560. $14.99)

“Luther once remarked that we should not be startled by persecution but strengthened by it. We must always remember that the Christian church was birthed in the context of persecution and that the Scriptures themselves teach that believers in Christ will be persecuted. In fact, the theme of suffering is interwoven in every book and text. A theology of persecution is enormously important for believers in the Lord Jesus if they are to walk faithfully in obedience to Him. I am thankful Paul Nyquist is addressing this topic-a topic that demands careful biblical and theological reflection.”—Albert Mohler

 

9780718030643 Brave New Discipleship: Cultivating Scripture-Driven Christians in a Culture-Driven World by Max Anders (Thomas Nelson. Paperback. 9780718030643. $16.99)

Rather than a book intended for use as a guide for discipleship, Brave New Discipleship lays out the biblical principles that must be followed, no matter what book or discipleship method the reader might choose to use. Brave New Discipleship integrates the best of modern educational research to guide the most effective discipleship strategy possible. Max explores Scripture and sheds light on what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable for modern ministry.

 

9780310519355 Gather God’s People: Understand, Plan, and Lead Worship in Your Local Church by Brian Croft (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310519355. $12.99)

“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The Bible tells us that we are to worship the Lord, that we were created for this purpose. But what is true worship? What does the Bible teach about the right—and the wrong—ways to worship God? In this book, pastors Brian Croft and Jason Adkins unpack a biblical theology of worship, discuss the practical matters of planning a worship service, and offer suggestions and insights on the best way to lead a worship service that honors the Lord.

 

9780310518433 A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible: Inside History’s Bestseller for Believers and Skeptics by John Dickson (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310518433. $15.99)

In this book, Dickson provides a readable and winsome Bible primer summarizing the main themes in scripture, and addresses tough questions such as “How can we read the creation account in Genesis in light of modern science? “ and, “how do we approach Old Testament law when it appears inconsistent and irrelevant?”

By presenting the whole of the Bible as an account of God’s promise to restore humanity to Himself, and humanity to one another and to creation, Dickson allows believers and skeptics alike to gain insight into why the Bible has been a compelling, life-changing, and magnetic force throughout the ages.

 

9780310520771 Their Rock Is Not Like Our Rock: A Theology of Religions by Daniel Strange (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310520771. $24.99)

There has been little evangelical theology offering a detailed, comprehensive, and biblically faithful analysis not only of the question of salvation but also questions of truth, the nature and history of human religiosity, and a host of other issues pertaining to Christian apologetics and contextualization amid religious pluralism. In Their Rock is Not Like Our Rock, lecturer and vice principal of Oak Hill College in London, Daniel Strange, explores these issues and offers the beginning of a theology of other religions.

 

9780310519331 Comfort the Grieving: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Loss by Paul Tautges (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310519331. $12.99)

This book is a treasure chest of pastoral theology that will equip you to reach out to those who grieve with the Christ-centered comfort of God rooted in the gospel. The theological foundation espoused here, as well as the numerous practical helps that are included, will help any servant of the Lord to point the hearts and minds of the bereaved to the ‘man of sorrows’ who is ‘acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3).

 

9780310516385 Becoming Worldly Saints: Can You Serve Jesus and Still Enjoy Your Life? by Michael E. Wittmer (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310516385. $15.99)

As “worldly saints,” created in the image of God, we are natural creatures with a supernatural purpose—to know and love God. Because we live in a world that is stained by the curse of sin, we must learn to embrace our nature as creatures created in the image of God while recognizing our desperate need for the grace that God offers to us in the gospel.

Writing in a devotional style that is theologically rich, biblically accurate, and aimed at ordinary readers, Mike Wittmer helps readers understand who they are, why they are here, and the importance of the story they tell themselves. In Becoming Worldly Saints, he gives an integrated vision that shows how we can be heavenly minded in a way that leads to earthly good, empowering believers to seize the abundant life God has for them.

Arrived on New Academic the Week of February 9, 2015 (Part 1)

9780801097102 Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson (Baker Academic. Paperback. 9780801097102. $17.99)

God doesn’t demand hectic church programs and frenetic schedules; he only wants his people to know him more intimately, says top-selling author D. A. Carson. The apostle Paul found that spiritual closeness in his own fellowship with the Father. By following Paul’s example, we can do the same. This book calls believers to reject superficiality and revolutionize their lives by embracing a God-guided approach to prayer. Previously published as A Call to Spiritual Reformation, this book has now been updated to connect more effectively with contemporary readers.

 

9781851244140 The Bay Psalm Book: A Facsimile by Diarmaid McCulloch (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Hardback. 9781851244140. $40.00)

The Bay Psalm Book was the first book to be printed in North America, twenty years after the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in Massachusetts. Now extremely rare – only eleven copies survive – it is also the most expensive book in the world, fetching over $14.2 million at auction.

Worship in the ‘mother tongue’ and congregational hymns had become key tenets of Puritanism following the Reformation. New England Puritans were unhappy with contemporary translations of the Psalms and decided that they needed their own version, which would better represent their beliefs. A team of writers in the Massachusetts Bay settlement, including John Cotton and Richard Mather, set about translating the psalms into English from the original Hebrew, and setting the lyrics to a metre so that they could easily be sung in congregation. The resulting translation, ‘The Whole Booke of Psalmes Faithfully Translated into English Metre,’ was published in 1640 on a printing press brought over from Surrey. It became known as the Bay Psalm Book after the name of the colony that was home to its translators.

 

Four new releases from Eerdmans

Eerdmans New Titles (2-16-15)

Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God by John F. Kilner (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802867643. $35.00)

The Way of the Wesleys: A Short Introduction by John R. Tyson (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802869548. $18.00)

Reclaiming Pietism: Retrieving an Evangelical Tradition by Roger E. Olson (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802869098. $18.00)

The Election of Grace: A Riddle Without a Resolution? by Stephen N. Williams (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802837806. $26.00)

 

9780745956343 The Oxford Inklings: Their Lives, Writings, Ideas, and Influence (Revised) by Colin Duriez (Kregel. Paperback. 9780745956343. $16.95)

The Inklings were an influential group of writers, centered on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, who met regularly in the pubs of Oxford to read and discuss their latest writings. Acclaimed author Colin Duriez explores their lives, writings, ideas, and the influence they had on each other.

Examining the clear purpose behind the group while celebrating its diversity and lack of formality, Duriez explains how this eclectic group of friends, without formal membership, agenda, or minutes, could have a program that shaped the publications and ideas of its leading participants.

Duriez answers important questions such as:
• Who else was involved with the Inklings?
• Why do Owen Barfield and Charles Williams matter so much?
• What difference did World War II make to the group?
• Why did they eventually stop meeting?

The Oxford Inklings explores the group’s complex and fascinating interactions and includes the women on the fringes such as Dorothy L. Sayers and Lewis’s wife, Joy Davidman. Duriez also considers the Christian faith of the defining members, which influenced them greatly.