Arrived on New Academic the week of March 4, 2013

The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Iain H. Murray (Banner of Truth. Paperback. $20)

This book is a re-cast, condensed and, in parts, re-written version of the author’s two volumes D. Martyn Lloyd- Jones: The First Forty Years (I982) and The Fight of Faith (I990). Since those dates, the life of Dr. Lloyd-Jones has been the subject of comment and assessment in many publications and these have been taken into account. The main purpose of this further biography, however, is to put Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ life before another generation in more accessible form. The big story is all here.

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The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield (Crown & Covenant Publications. Paperback. $12.00)

Rosaria, by the standards of many, was living a very good life. She had a tenured position at a large university in a field for which she cared deeply. She owned two homes with her partner, in which they provided hospitality to students and activists that were looking to make a difference in the world. There, her partner rehabilitated abandoned and abused dogs. In the community, Rosaria was involved in volunteer work. At the university, she was a respected advisor of students and her department’s curriculum. And then, in her late 30s, Rosaria encountered something that turned her world upside down—the idea that Christianity, a religion that she had regarded as problematic and sometimes downright damaging, might be right about who God was, an idea that flew in the face of the people and causes that she most loved. This book is the story of what she describes as a “train wreck” at the hand of the supernatural. These are her secret thoughts about those events, written as only a reflective English professor could.

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The Kind of Preaching God Blesses by Steven J. Lawson (Harvest House. Hardback. $9.99)

In recent years Steven J. Lawson has been in demand nationwide as a speaker at major conferences, particularly those for pastors. The Kind of Preaching God Blesses is a powerful must-read for every minister who desires to preach God’s Word in a way that truly exalts the Lord and nourishes His people.

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-9, the apostle Paul wrote about the keys to effective preaching. In this compact yet dynamic book, readers will learn about…

  • the priority of biblical preaching—an urgent call to every minister
  • the poverty of modern preaching—what is lacking in today’s pulpits
  • the preeminence of Christ in preaching—making Jesus the dominant theme
  • the power of the Spirit in preaching—replacing self-confidence with God-dependence

Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

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Mark by the Book: A New Multidirectional Method for Understanding the Synoptic Gospels by P. W. Smuts (P&R. Paperback. $17.99)

Peter Smuts advocates a multi-directional hermeneutic for the Synoptic Gospels–downwards (immediate context), sideways (parallel traditions), backwards (OT background), and forwards (relevant NT passages). This simple, yet effective, model helps readers to interpret the Gospels as part of the broader sweep of redemptive
history.

We are blessed with scholarly commentaries on Mark’s Gospel as well as more popular surveys.  Rarer are those that bring out the richness of the text with the research of the former and the pastoral sensitivity of the latter.  One feature distinguishing Mark by the Book is the rubric applied to each story: reading it downwards (Christ-centered focus), sideways (parallel Gospel accounts), backwards (Old Testament prophecy) and forwards (future fulfillment).  This approach exposes the meaning in each pericope with powerful effect and remarkable insight.  I highly recommend this exploration of Mark.

Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary

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Bound Together: How We Are Tied to Others in Good and Bad Choices by Chris Brauns (Zondervan. Paperback. $16.99)

We are not just isolated individuals. Instead, our lives are woven together with others. We have solidarity with other people—the choices one person makes affects the lives of others, for good and for bad.

Because much of the pain we endure in life is in the context of relationships, this truth often strikes us as unfair. Why should a child suffer because of the choices of his parents? And on a grander scale, why do we all suffer the curse of Adam’s sin? Why should anyone be judged for someone else’s sin?

In Bound Together, Chris Brauns unpacks the truth that we are bound to one another and to the whole of creation. He calls this, “the principle of the rope.” Grasping this foundational principle sheds new light on marriage, the dynamics of family relationships, and the reason why everyone lives with the consequences of the sins that others commit. Brauns shows how the principle of the rope is both bad news and good news, revealing a depth to the message of the gospel that many of us have never seen before.

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