Archives for December 2012

Arrived on New Academic the week of December 24th

Mapping the Origins Debate: Six Models of the Beginning of Everything by Gerald Rau (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830839872. $18.00)

The debate over evolution and creation has raged for decades and shows no signs of letting up. Many promote one view as the only reasonable solution. But what are the main viewpoints, and just why do they disagree? In the midst of an increasingly intense dispute, Gerald Rau answers the important questions with level-headed clarity and evenhanded analysis.

Rau lays out six models of origins, ranging from naturalistic evolution to young-earth creation. He shows how each model presupposes an underlying philosophy that adherents take on faith. With the sensitivity of a seasoned educator, Rau demonstrates how each model assesses the scientific evidence in relation to four different kinds of origins: the universe, life, species and humans. In an age of specialists, Rau sees the big picture. Mapping the Origins Debate cuts through the cacophony and the complexity to provide a lucid and charitable contribution to the conversation.

Gerald A. Rau is founder and chief editor at Professional English International, Inc., a team providing high quality editing services in English academic writing, based at National Chung Cheng University in Chiayi, Taiwan. He was previously an adjunct professor teaching biology courses at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, IL.


Here are some other new releases that might be of interest. If your local LifeWay Campus Store doesn’t have a copy on the shelve, they’ll be glad to order you a copy.

The Sacredness of Human Life: Why an Ancient Biblical Vision Is Key to the World’s Future by David P. Gushee (Eerdmans. Hardback. 9780802844200. $35.00)

Should We Live Forever? The Ethical Ambiguities of Aging by Gilbert Meilaender (Eerdmans. 9780802868695. Paperback. $18.00)

Arrived on New Academic the week of December 10th

Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: James by Chris A. Vlachos (B&H Academic. 9780805448504. Paperback. $24.99)

The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament: James is the second book in a projected series of twenty volumes that seeks to bring together classroom, study, and pulpit by providing the student or pastor with information that is helpful to understand and expound the Greek text of the New Testament. Author Chris Vlachos aims to close the gap between grammatical analysis and exegesis, leading readers into an in-depth understanding of the New Testament Greek text by guiding them through an exegetical process that flows into sermon construction.

Each volume provides the following for the biblical book or books on which it is written:

  • Brief introduction on authorship, date, occasion, and purpose
  • List of recommended commentaries
  • Extensive exegetical notes
  • Comprehensive exegetical outline
    Forthcoming Volumes

  • Matthew (Charles L. Quarles)
  • Mark (Joel F. Williams)
  • Luke (Alan J. Thompson)
  • John (Murray J. Harris)
  • Acts (L. Scott Kellum)
  • Romans (John D. Harvey)
  • 1 Corinthians (Jay E. Smith)
  • 2 Corinthians (Don B. Garlington)
  • Galatians (William J. Larkin Jr.)
  • Ephesians (Benjamin L. Merkle)
  • Philippians (Joseph H. Hellerman)
  • 1–2 Thessalonians (David W. Chapman)
  • 1–2 Timothy, Titus (Ray Van Neste)
  • Hebrews (Dana M. Harris)
  • 1 Peter (Greg W. Forbes)
  • 2 Peter, Jude (Terry L. Wilder)
  • 1–3 John (Terry L. Wilder)
  • Revelation (Bruce N. Fisk)
    Chris Vlachos is Ph.D. program administrator and adjunct assistant professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.


Exploring the Religion of Ancient Israel: Prophet, Priest, Sage and People by Aaron Chalmers (Exploring Topics in Christianity Series. IVP Academic. 9780830825455. Hardback. $30.00)

Aaron Chalmers gives students a unique introduction to the religious and social world of ancient Israel. The first part explores the major religious offices mentioned in the Old Testament, including prophets, priests, sages and kings. As well as considering what these key people said and did, the author traces the process through which one became recognized as a prophet, priest or sage, and where each of these offices were located in ancient Israel. The second part of the book focuses on the beliefs and practices of the common people–the group that made up the majority of ancient Israel’s population.

"Aaron Chalmers’s book . . . helpfully enables the student to understand how the various leaders in Israel related to the world in which they worked, and brings out a number of aspects of this that are not easily found elsewhere."

—Gordon McConville, professor of OT theology, University of Gloucestershire

Aaron Chalmers is senior lecturer in biblical studies at Tabor Adelaide–a multidenominational, evangelical college located in Adelaide, Australia.


Interpreting Deuteronomy: Issues and Approaches edited by David G. Firth and Philip S. Johnston (IVP Academic. 9780830839896. Hardback. $28.00)

The book of Deuteronomy has been immensely influential, not least within the Old Testament itself. It is found among the most frequently occurring manuscripts at Qumran, and it is also one of the Old Testament books most frequently cited in the New Testament. In Matthew’s Gospel, it is Deuteronomy which Jesus cites in rejecting temptation.

As with so many other Old Testament books, study of Deuteronomy is in the midst of significant change. While for many scholars the Documentary Hypothesis has continued to provide a framework for interpretation, it no longer commands the status of an "assured result." Instead, fresh approaches have been developed, engendering their own debates. Recent as well as older study affirms that Deuteronomy represents a distinctive theological voice within the Pentateuch.

While many excellent resources are now available, these tend to be either introductory or highly specialized; there are fewer that bridge the gap between the two. This volume contributes to that need: it assumes some foundational knowledge and guides readers through current issues and approaches. Here is evangelical scholarship that will inform, stimulate and reward diligent teachers and preachers of the Old Testament.

The contributors are Paul Barker, Jenny Corcoran, David G. Firth, Greg Goswell, Christian Hofreiter, Philip S. Johnston, James Robson, Csilla Saysell, Heath Thomas, Peter T. Vogt and John H. Walton.

David G. Firth is director of research and lecturer in Old Testament at St. John’s College in Nottingham, England. Philip S. Johnston is director of studies in theology and religious studies and senior tutor at Hughes Hall, Cambridge.


Paul’s Missionary Methods: In His Time and Ours edited by Robert L. Plummer and John Mark Terry (IVP Academic. 9780830857074. Paperback. $22.00)

A century ago Roland Allen published Missionary Methods: Saint Paul’s or Ours?, a missiological classic which tackled many important issues, including what biblically rooted missions looks like in light of the apostle Paul’s evangelistic efforts. Although Allen’s work is still valuable, new understandings have been gained regarding Paul’s milieu and missionary activity, and how his practices ought to inform missions in our ever-changing world.

Using the centennial anniversary of Allen’s work as a springboard for celebration and reflection, the contributors to Paul’s Missionary Methods have revisited Paul’s first-century missionary methods and their applicability today. This book examines Paul’s missionary efforts in two parts. First Paul is examined in his first-century context: what was his environment, missions strategy and teaching on particular issues? The second part addresses the implications of Paul’s example for missions today: is Paul’s model still relevant, and if so, what would it look like in modern contexts?

Experts in New Testament studies and missiology contribute fresh, key insights from their fields, analyzing Paul’s missionary methods in his time and pointing the way forward in ours.

Part One: Paul in the New Testament
1. Paul’s Religious and Historical Milieu 
      Michael F. Bird
2. Paul the Missionary
      Eckhard J. Schnabel
3. Paul’s Gospel
      Robert L. Plummer
4. Paul’s Ecclesiology
      Benjamin L. Merkle
5. Paul’s Mission as the Mission of the Church
      Christoph W. Stenschke
6. Paul’s Theology of Suffering
      Don N. Howell, Jr.
7. Paul and Spiritual Warfare
      Craig Keener

Part Two: Paul’s Influence on Missions
8. Paul’s Missions Strategy
      David J. Hesselgrave
9. Paul’s Strategy: Determinative for Today?
      Michael Pocock
10. Paul and Indigenous Missions
      John Mark Terry
11. Paul and Church Planting
      Ed Stetzer with Lizette Beard
12. Paul and Contextualization
      M. David Sills
13. Paul and Leadership Development
      Chuck Lawless

14. Roland Allen’s Missionary Methods at One Hundred
      J. D. Payne

If you’d like more information on this book, click here to read some background information and a sample.

Robert L. Plummer is associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. John Mark Terry is professor of missions at a seminary in the Pacific Rim and visiting professor of missions at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.


Here are some other new releases that might be of interest. If your local LifeWay Campus Store doesn’t have a copy on the shelve, they’ll be glad to order you a copy.

Daily Readings: The Puritans edited by Randall Pederson (Christian Focus. 9781845509781. Imitation Leather. $19.99)

Rewiring Your Preaching: How the Brain Processes Sermons by Richard H. Cox (IVP Praxis. 9780830841011. Paperback. $16.00)

Behold Our Sovereign God: All Things from Him, Through Him & To Him by Mitchell Chase (Lucid Books. 9781935909521. Paperback. $13.99)

Arrived on New Academic the week of December 3rd

The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected by Nik Ripken with Gregg Lewis (B&H Publishing. 9781433673085)

The Insanity of God is the personal and lifelong journey of an ordinary couple from  rural Kentucky who thought they were going on just your ordinary missionary pilgrimage, but discovered it would be anything but. After spending over six hard years doing relief work in Somalia, and experiencing life where it looked like God had turned away completely and He was clueless about the tragedies of life, the couple had a crisis of faith and left Africa asking God, “Does the gospel work anywhere when it is really a hard place?  It sure didn’t work in Somalia.

Nik recalls that, “God had always been so real to me, to Ruth, and to our boys. But was He enough, for the utter weariness of soul I experienced at that time, in that place, under those circumstances?” It is a question that many have asked and one that, if answered, can lead us to a whole new world of faith.

How does faith survive, let alone flourish in a place like the Middle East? How can Good truly overcome such evil? How do you maintain hope when all is darkness around you? How can we say “greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world” when it may not be visibly true in that place at that time? How does anyone live an abundant, victorious Christian life in our world’s toughest places? Can Christianity even work outside of Western, dressed-up, ordered nations? If so, how?

The Insanity of God tells a story—a remarkable and unique story to be sure, yet at heart a very human story—of the Ripkens’ own spiritual and emotional odyssey. The gripping, narrative account of a personal pilgrimage into some of the toughest places on earth, combined with sobering and insightful stories of the remarkable people of faith Nik and Ruth encountered on their journeys, will serve as a powerful course of revelation, growth, and challenge for anyone who wants to know whether God truly is enough.

Nik Ripken is the world’s leading expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts. He is a missions veteran of 25 years, having served primarily in North Africa and the Middle East. He is the author of many articles and, along with his wife, has done extensive research on the persecuted church, and on Muslim background believers, in approximately 60 countries.


Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture: The Transforming Power of the Well-Spoken Word by Jeffrey D. Arthurs (Kregel Academic. 9780825442193)

How would your church be transformed if reading Scripture was a highlight of your services? Increasing the quantity and quality of Scripture-reading in your communal worship is a powerful way to reach the hearts of your congregation.

Grounded in both solid theology and communication theory, Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture will teach readers how to present Scripture in a compelling way. The book’s comprehensive approach includes everything from simple delivery skills to the history of public reading, how to build a culture that values public reading, group reading, and how to prepare yourself spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for public reading.

The included DVD offers instruction, demonstration of the concepts and sample readings by Dr. Arthurs.

Jeffrey D. Arthurs is associate professor of preaching and communication and dean of the chapel at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.


Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King by Herbert W. Bateman IV, Gordon H. Johnston and Darrell L. Bock (Kregel Academic. 9780825421099)

Few books have sought to exhaustively trace the theme of Messiah through all of Scripture, but this book does so with the expert analysis of three leading evangelical scholars. For the Bible student and pastor, Jesus the Messiah presents a comprehensive picture of both scriptural and cultural expectations surrounding the Messiah, from an examination of the Old Testament promises to their unique and perfect fulfillment in Jesus’ life.

Students of the life of Christ will benefit from the authors’ rich understanding of ancient biblical culture and pastors will find an indispensable help for understanding the unity and importance of the ancient promise of Messiah. This handsome volume will be a ready reference on Messiah for years to come.

Hebert W. Bateman IV is professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Darrell L. Bock is senior research professor of New Testament studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Gordon H. Johnston is professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary.


Charts on the Book of Hebrews by Herbert W. Bateman IV (Kregel Academic. 9780825424663)

The book of Hebrews presents interpretive challenges and theological comparisons unrivaled in the New Testament. Charts on the Book of Hebrews puts this demanding yet rewarding information in an accessible and useful format. The charts fall into four categories:

  1. Introductory matters (e.g., authorship of Hebrews)
  2. Influences in Hebrews (e.g. Second Temple messianic figures)
  3. Theological issues (e.g. words of exhortation)
  4. Exegetical concerns (e.g. figures of speech)
    Students will find this an invaluable companion to classes on Hebrews. Pastors and teachers will benefit from these insightful charts to quickly clarify difficult concepts while teaching. And all visual learners will find that these charts make Hebrews more comprehensible.

Hebert W. Bateman IV is professor of New Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.


The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek: Grammar, Syntax, and Diagramming by Douglas S. Huffman (Kregel Academic. 9780825427435)

Whether you’re learning biblical Greek or using it, this is the reference tool to keep on hand. In a quick visual layout, it supplements textbooks to gives you immediate access to: 1) first-year Greek grammar 2) second-year Greek syntax 3) step-by-step phrase diagramming.

Easy to carry and easy to use, The Handy Guide to New Testament Greek crystalizes the information you need to know for classes or enables you to develop a sermon or lesson outline from the Greek New Testament faster than you could from an English translation.

Douglas S. Huffman is professor and chair of the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Northwestern College in Minnesota.


Contextualization in World Missions: Mapping and Assessing Evangelical Models by A. Scott Moreau (Kregel Academic. 9780825433894)

Contextualization is the art of translating ideas into a particular situation, place or culture. It is fundamental to communication, which makes contextualization essential in missions. This textbook pulls together and maps the variety of evangelical approaches to contextualization. Introductory classes on contextualization and missionary preparation institutes will appreciate this valuable textbook.

In section one, Moreau explores foundations that make it possible to see the variety of evangelical models more clearly. He looks at the ways evangelical models have been characterized in the literature, and he highlights the main concerns of evangelicals in their contextualizing efforts. Moreau explains several guiding ideas and analytic tools that show how evangelicals “lean into” contextualization.

In section two, Moreau describes how evangelical models of contextualization can be split into six primary categories based on the role the initiator: facilitator, guide, herald, pathfinder, prophet and restorer. For each initiator role, Moreau explains the role, portrays one or more models from the category, and presents selected contextual practices that evangelicals use which fit the category. This arrangement makes categorization easier than other options and does not frame the models in ways that bias their evaluation.

Contextualization in Missions will guide mission-minded to an informed plan for spreading the gospel effectively. While written with a theoretical perspective, Contextualization in Missions also provides real-world examples to provoke both thought and action.

A. Scott Moreau currently teaches in the Missions and Intercultural Studies Department at Wheaton College.


Flourishing Faith: A Baptist Primer on Work, Economics, and Civic Stewardship by Chad Brand (Christian’s Library Press. 9781938948152)

Clash of Titans: Atlas Shrugged, John Galt & Jesus Christ by Chad Brand and Tom Pratt (Createspace. 9781480081741)

Charts on the Life, Letters, and Theology of Paul by Lars Kierspel (Kregel Academic. 9780825429361)

Answering Mormons’ Questions, Updated and Expanded Edition: Ready Responses for Inquiring Latter-day Saints by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson (Kregel. 9780825442681)

Sarah Osborn’s World: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Early America by Catherine A. Brekus (Yale University Press. 9780300182903)

Building a New Jerusalem: John Davenport, a Puritan in Three Worlds by Francis J. Bremer (Yale University Press. 9780300179132)

New devotional for 2013

As you start to think about the New Year, consider starting 2013 with this devotional from New Growth Press. The selections are excerpted from books and other materials written by the experienced counselors at The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). CCEF has been at the forefront of the biblical counseling movement for more than forty years with the mission to restore Christ to counseling and counseling to the local church. CCEF teaches people how to explore the wisdom and depth of the Bible and apply its grace-centered message to the problems of daily living through counseling, training, writing, and partnering with churches.


Change that goes deeper than the surface of our lives happens as we daily remember the truths of the gospel. Every day we need to be reminded that Jesus, God’s own Son, came to this world to save us from sin, sorrow, and death. We need to remember every day how Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension, and promised return change the way we view ourselves and others. This devotional will be a daily reminder of these life-changing truths. The 366 selections, anchored in Scripture and saturated with the gospel, will help the reader to:

  • Learn how God in his Word addresses a host of life situations;
  • Focus on how the gospel intersects with life;
  • Look beyond circumstances to God’s purposes;
  • See how God values relationship and to learn to value it too by persisting, by speaking truth in love, and by not shying away from conflict.
  • Grow in wisdom when confronted by life’s changes.
  • Learn that God works change that is effective and visible.
    Topics covered in the devotional include: love, hope, grace, redemption, faith, contentment, conflict, relationships, prayer, fear, patience, humility, and anger.

    Reading Heart of the Matter is doing Psalm 121. You read the pages and your eyes are lifted away from self toward God, seated on his throne in all of his glory. Your day is reoriented. Independence melts away as you look to the one who made the heavens and the earth; to him who stands firm and faithful, dependable, and trustworthy. It will point you to the loving Father who keeps you, both now and forevermore.

    Jack Delk, Pastor for Covenant Member Care, Bethlehem Baptist Church