Arrived on New Academic the Week of May 16, 2016

Arrived on New Academic:

9781433644399The SBC & the 21st Century: Reflections, Renewal, and Recommitments ed. Jason K. Allen (B&H Academic. Paperback. 9781433644399. $29.99)

The Southern Baptist Convention is currently facing issues that challenge its identity, heritage, and future.  In The SBC and the 21st Century, key leaders—including Jason Allen, Frank Page, Ronnie Floyd, Thom Rainer, Albert Mohler, Paige Patterson, David Platt, and Danny Akin—address critical issues such as:

·        Will the SBC grow more unified around shared convictions and mission or will it fragment over secondary concerns and tertiary doctrinal differences?
·        Will the SBC be able to maintain a distinct Baptist identity while engaging and partnering with the broader evangelical community?
·        Will the SBC be willing to reimagine its structures, programs, and efforts to effectively reach the world for Christ or will it risk being a past-tense denomination?

This volume not only promotes meaningful dialogue, it calls leaders throughout the SBC into action. Extensive thought, research, assessment, and wisdom from some of the SBC’s brightest minds have been poured into this volume with the intent of rendering a helpful contribution to SBC life that will propel forward the collective work of Southern Baptists well into the 21st century.

 

9781433643224Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches by Mark Clifton (B&H Books. Paperback. 9781433643224. $14.99)

What is there about a dying church that brings glory to God? Mark Clifton’s convicting answer is “Nothing.” Because a local church is intended to represent the work of God in a community, when that church “loses it saltiness,” not only is God’s work pictured as irrelevant in that community, but also dishonor and disrepute may well become associated with God’s name as a result. In Reclaiming Glory, Clifton draws not only upon his own burden for revitalizing dying churches but also upon years of church replanting experience to offer passionate counsel for how to breathe new life into a dying church . . . all for the glory of the God who is building his church upon the immovable rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

9781433688928Understanding Church Leadership by Mark Dever (B&H Books. Paperback. 9781433688928. $7.99)

Who leads a church? Why is this important to God? God cares about his glory, and he means to display his glory through the church. For this very end, God has established elders and deacons, members, and congregational authority. This primer on church structure connects the different offices of the church to one another and to the glory of God. In the Church Basics Series, trusted church experts write practical, trustworthy resources on issues like Church Discipline, Church Leadership, the Lord’s Supper, and Baptism that every pastor can hand every church member. 

 

9781433688911Understanding Church Discipline by Jonathan Leeman (B&H Books. Paperback. 9781433688911. $7.99)

Should we actually practice church discipline today? Is it unloving? Once an ordinary part of church life, churches gradually stopped practicing church discipline in the 20th century. But Jesus commands it. Paul practiced it. And churches benefit from it. Why practice church discipline? It shows love for the individual caught in sin, love for the whole church, love for non-Christian neighbors, and love for the glory of Christ.

 

9781433643873Who Moved My Pulpit?: Leading Change in the Church by Thom S. Rainer (B&H Books. Hardback. 9781433643873. $12.99)

Who Moved My Pulpit? may not be the exact question you’re asking. But you’re certainly asking questions about change in the church—where it’s coming from, why it’s happening, and how you’re supposed to hang on and follow God through it—even get out ahead of it so your church is faithfully meeting its timeless calling and serving the new opportunities of this age. Based on conversations with thousands of pastors, combined with on-the-ground research from more than 50,000 churches, best-selling author Thom S. Rainer shares an eight-stage roadmap to leading change in your church. Not by changing doctrine. Not by changing biblical foundations. But by changing methodologies and approaches for reaching a rapidly changing culture.

 

9781848716780J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone by Iain H. Murray (Banner of Truth. Hardback. 9781848716780. $28.00)

The life of J.C. Ryle has only to be heard once to be remembered. His 84 years (1816 1900) included remarkable contrasts the promise of a fortune, then the poverty of a bankrupt; a Suffolk country pastor, then bishop of the leading seaport of the British Empire. But there was a still greater change from the successful youth at Eton and Oxford, who did not pray or read his Bible till he was 21, to become a Christian ‘bold as a lion for the truth of God s Word and his Gospel’. Although one of the most widely read evangelical authors of the nineteenth century, Ryle’s writings lost influence after his death. The world had moved on, as was supposed. Then, fifty years later a ‘rediscovery’ began. Research on his life was accomplished by able authors, and from a new wealth of material Iain Murray has put together a compelling biography. Ryle believed in definite doctrine, in a message which does not adjust to the times, in revival, and in the living Christ. He knew that all the great turning points of church history have been attended with controversy, and that ‘there are times when controversy is not only a duty but a benefit’. J.C. Ryle’s life is convincing evidence that Christianity stands or falls depending on its relation to the word of God and to the Holy Spirit. That he is being read widely again at the present time gives hope of better days.

 

9780830851287Representing Christ: A Vision for the Priesthood of All Believers by Uche Anizor and Hank Voss (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830851287. $20.00)

The priesthood of all believers is a core Protestant belief. But what does it actually mean? Uche Anizor and Hank Voss set the record straight in this concise treatment of a doctrine that lies at the center of church life and Christian spirituality. The authors look at the priesthood of all believers in terms of the biblical witness, the contribution of Martin Luther and the doctrine of the Trinity. They place this concept in the context of the canonical description of Israel and the church as a royal priesthood that responds to God in witness and service to the world. Representing Christ is much more than a piece of Reformation history. It shows that the priesthood of all believers is interwoven with the practical, spiritual and missional life of the church.

 

9780830851225Wesley and the Anglicans: Political Divisions in Early Evangelicalism by Ryan Nicholas Danker (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830851225. $26.00)

Why did the Wesleyan Methodists and the Anglican evangelicals divide during the middle of the eighteenth century? Many would argue that the division between them was based narrowly on theological matters, especially predestination and perfection. Ryan Danker suggests, however, that politics was a major factor throughout, driving the Wesleyan Methodists and Anglican evangelicals apart. Methodism was perceived to be linked with the radical and seditious politics of the Cromwellian period. This was a charged claim in a post-Restoration England. Likewise Danker explores the political force of resurgent Tory influence under George III, which exerted more pressure on evangelicals to prove their loyalty to the Establishment. These political realities made it hard for evangelicals in the Church of England to cooperate with Wesley and meant that all their theological debates were politically inflected. Rich in detail, here is a book for all who seek deeper insight into a critical juncture in the development of evangelicalism and early Methodism.

 

9780830824557New Dictionary of Theology: Historical & Systematic eds. Various (IVP Academic. Hardback. 9780830824557. $60.00)

This classic one-volume reference work has been appreciated for decades. It is now substantially expanded and revised to focus on a variety of theological themes, thinkers and movements. From African Christian Theology to Zionism, this volume of historical and systematic theology offers a wealth of information and insight for students, pastors and all thoughtful Christians. Over half of the more than eight hundred articles are new or rewritten with hundreds more thoroughly revised. Fully one-third larger than its predecessor, this volume focusing on systematic and historical theology has added entries and material on theological writers and themes in North America and around the world. Helpful bibliographies have also been updated throughout. Over three hundred contributors form an international team of renowned scholars including Marcella Altaus-Reid, Richard Bauckham, David Bebbington, Kwame Bediako, Todd Billings, Oliver Crisp, Samuel Escobar, John Goldingay, Tremper Longman III, John McGuckin, Jennifer McNutt, Michael J. Nasir-Ali, Bradley Nassif, Mark Noll, Anthony Thiselton, John Webster and N. T. Wright. This new edition combines excellence in scholarship with a high standard of clarity and profound insight into current theological issues. Yet it avoids being unduly technical. Now an even more indispensable reference, this volume is a valuable primer and introduction to the grand spectrum of theology.

 

9780830826407God Has Spoken in His Son: A Biblical Theology of Hebrews by Peter T. O’Brien (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830826407. $25.00)

Hebrews is one of the most attractive and powerful yet challenging books of the New Testament. It begins with a magnificent presentation of Jesus as the divine Son through whom God has spoken his final word (Heb. 1:1-4). These opening lines set the trajectory for the whole discourse. The polished literary character of Hebrews and its careful exposition of the superiority of Christ, the Son of God and great high priest led earlier generations to conclude that it was mainly or simply a theological treatise. However, particularly in the last three decades, its purpose has been understood as hortatory; this is made clear by the exhortatory passages that flow from, and are grounded in, the expositions that appear throughout the discourse. Peter O’Brien’s excellent, cohesive exposition of Hebrews examines the major interlocking themes highlighted by the author as he addresses his “word of exhortation” (13:22) to the congregation. These themes include God speaking, Christology, salvation, the people of God, and warnings and encouragements. In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, O’Brien shows how Hebrews employs profoundly rich theology to serve the didactic, hortatory and pastoral goals of urging the hearers to endure in their pursuit of the promised reward, in obedience to the word of God and especially on the basis of their new covenant relationship with the Son.

 

9780830839537Christianity and Western Thought: Journey to Postmodernity in the Twentieth Century by Alan G. Padgett and Steve Wilkens (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830839537. $30.00)

Colin Brown’s Christianity & Western Thought, Volume 1: From the Ancient World to the Age of Enlightenment was widely embraced as a text in philosophy and theology courses around the world. His project was continued with the same spirit, energy and design by Steve Wilkens and Alan Padgett in Volume 2, which explores the main intellectual streams of the nineteenth century. This, the third and final volume, also by Wilkens and Padgett, examines philosophers, ideas and movements in the twentieth century and how they have influenced Christian thought. Students, pastors and thoughtful Christians will benefit from this volume which, when combined with the previous two, completes an authoritative history of Western thought since the birth of Christianity.

 

9780830851362Taking Pascal’s Wager: Faith, Evidence, and the Abundant Life by Michael Rota (IVP Academic. Paperback. 9780830851362. $20.00)

Since we can’t know with absolute certainty that God exists, each of us in a sense makes a bet. If we believe in God and are right, the benefits include eternal life. If we are wrong, the downside is limited. On the other hand, we might not believe in God. If we are right, then we will have lived in line with reality. If we are wrong, however, the consequences could be eternally disastrous. This was the challenge posed by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal over three hundred years ago. But Michael Rota contends that Pascal’s argument is still compelling today. Since there is much to gain (for ourselves as well as for others) and relatively little to lose, the wise decision is to seek a relationship with God and live a Christian life. Rota considers Pascal’s wager and the roles of uncertainty, evidence and faith in making a commitment to God. By engaging with themes such as decision theory, the fine-tuning of the universe, divine hiddenness, the problem of evil, the historicity of the resurrection and the nature of miracles, he probes the many dynamics at work in embracing the Christian faith. In addition, Rota takes a turn not found in many books of philosophy. He looks at the actual effects of such a commitment in three recent, vivid, gripping examples―Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jean Vanier and Immaculée Ilibagiza. Like Pascal, Rota leaves us with a question: What wager will we make?

 

9780199927975The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity by Darren E. Grem (Oxford University Press. Hardback. 9780199927975. $34.95)

The Book of Matthew cautions readers that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” But for at least a century conservative American Protestants have been trying to prove that adage wrong. In The Blessings of Business, Darren E. Grem argues that while preachers, activists, and politicians have all helped spread the gospel, American evangelicalism owes its enduring strength in a large part to private enterprise. Grem argues for a new history of American evangelicalism, demonstrating how its adherents strategically used corporate America–its leaders, businesses, money, ideas, and values–to advance their religious, cultural, and political movement. Beginning before the First World War, conservative evangelicals were able to use businessmen and business methods to retain and expand their public influence in a secularizing, diversifying, and liberalizing age. In the process they became beholden to pro-business stances on matters of theology, race, gender, taxation, trade, and the state, transforming evangelicalism itself into as much of an economic movement as a religious one.

 

9781594206207For the Glory: Eric Liddell’s Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr by Duncan Hamilton (Penguin. Hardback. 9781594206207. $28.00)

Many people will remember Eric Liddell as the Olympic gold medalist from the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire. Famously, Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event, the 100 meters, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was the greatest sprinter in the world at the time, and his choice not to run was ridiculed by the British Olympic committee, his fellow athletes, and most of the world press. Yet Liddell triumphed in a new event, winning the 400 meters in Paris. Liddell ran–and lived–for the glory of his God. After winning gold, he dedicated himself to missionary work. He travelled to China to work in a local school and as a missionary. He married and had children there. By the time he could see war on the horizon, Liddell put Florence, his pregnant wife, and children on a boat to Canada, while he stayed behind, his conscience compelling him to stay among the Chinese. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp.

 

k10689John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion”: A Biography by Bruce Gordon (Princeton University Press. Hardback. 9780691152127. $27.95)

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion is a defining book of the Reformation and a pillar of Protestant theology. First published in Latin in 1536 and in Calvin’s native French in 1541, theInstitutes argues for the majesty of God and for justification by faith alone. The book decisively shaped Calvinism as a major religious and intellectual force in Europe and throughout the world. Here, Bruce Gordon provides an essential biography of Calvin’s influential and enduring theological masterpiece, tracing the diverse ways it has been read and interpreted from Calvin’s time to today. Gordon explores the origins and character of the Institutes, looking closely at its theological and historical roots, and explaining how it evolved through numerous editions to become a complete summary of Reformation doctrine. He shows how the development of the book reflected the evolving thought of Calvin, who instilled in the work a restlessness that reflected his understanding of the Christian life as a journey to God. Following Calvin’s death in 1564, the Institutes continued to be reprinted, reedited, and reworked through the centuries. Gordon describes how it has been used in radically different ways, such as in South Africa, where it was invoked both to defend and attack the horror of apartheid. He examines its vexed relationship with the historical Calvin–a figure both revered and despised–and charts its robust and contentious reception history, taking readers from the Puritans and Voltaire to YouTube, the novels of Marilynne Robinson, and to China and Africa, where theInstitutes continues to find new audiences today.

Arrived on New Academic the Week of May 9, 2016

Arrived on New Academic:

9781506406756God & Cosmology: William Lane Craig and Sean Carroll in Dialogue ed. Robert B. Stewart (Fortress Press. Hardback. 9781506410777. $79.00)

The question of God and cosmology is far from abstract. In fact, the subject raises the deepest questions of human existence: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Or, to put it more personally, “Why am I here?”, Structured as a debate, the 2014 Greer-Heard Forum focused on the issue of God and cosmology and its impact on life and self-understanding. Christian philosopher William Lane Craig and atheist cosmologist Sean Carroll presented their views before a packed crowd of more than nine hundred people. Spirited, civil, and often humorous, the debate highlighted not only their positions, but the full range of possibilities. In this volume, the content of that debate is reprinted and supplemented by a range of reflections by other conference presenters. The purpose of the Greer-Heard Point-Counterpoint Forum is to provide a venue for fair-minded dialogue on subjects of importance in religion and culture. The goal is a respectful exchange of ideas, without compromise.

 

9781629951737Severe Compassion: The Gospel According to Nahum by Gregory D. Cook (P&R Publishing. Paperback. 9781629951737. $14.99)

Gregory Cook helps us to navigate the book of Nahum, a poetic masterpiece that teaches us about God’s love for his adulterous people. As the prophet Nahum shows us, God’s passionate love threatens all our other loves. When we find God boring and the world fascinating, we commit the sin of rebellion—but God, with severe compassion, refuses to abandon us when we stray into destructive paths. Ultimately, Nahum’s prophecy is fulfilled in Christ, who relentlessly pursued his people and entered history in order to redeem them for himself. Cook further aids our understanding with historical background, cultural references, literary allusions, poetic devices, and challenging application.

“Greg has done the hard work of digging into the Hebrew text; he has gleaned insights from scholars and learned about the world and time in which Nahum wrote; he has sat with and listened carefully and humbly to the text; he has seen and appreciated how it speaks about and points to Jesus; and he has then gone on to consider how its message speaks to us today as people in union with Christ.” –Elizabeth Groves

 

9781498231718Acts: A New Vision of the People of God by Gerald L. Stevens (Wipf & Stock. Paperback. 9781498231718. $70.00)

This analysis of Luke’s post-ascension story of Jesus challenges orthodoxies in the interpretation of Acts and Paul. Carefully constructed narrative arguments from within the story in Acts use the themes of Pentecost, the Hellenists, and the character development of Saul-Paul to reveal Luke’s insight that the future of the Jesus story is in the Hellenist movement realizing the promise of Pentecost in Israel. These Hellenists are at odds with the Jerusalem church on the implications of the outpoured Spirit of Pentecost. Further, the Saul-Paul of Acts is not what most readers presume from Paul’s letters. For Luke, Paul finds his narrative significance in Acts only within the Hellenist movement and Pentecost fulfillment. Paul himself becomes Luke’s premier example of the God active, God resisted theme of the speech of Stephen that drives the plot of Acts. This plot mechanism provides illuminating exegesis of Paul’s insistence on going to Jerusalem from Ephesus with its dramatic conclusion in the shipwreck of Paul. Stevens concludes by integrating the ending of Acts into Luke’s three major themes and overall narrative strategy–an impressive, compelling, and thoroughly fresh reading of Acts.

 

9780310520962.jpgA Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works (10th Edition) by John F. Evans (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310520962. $24.99)

Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works, by John F. Evans, summarizes and briefly analyzes all recent and many older commentaries on each book of the Bible, giving insightful comments on the approach of each commentary and its interpretive usefulness especially for evangelical interpreters of the Bible. A Guide to Biblical Commentaries and Reference Works is essentially an annotated bibliography of hundreds of commentators. More scholarly books receive a longer, more detailed treatment than do lay commentaries, and highly recommended commentaries have their author’s names in bold. The author keeps up on the publication of commentaries and intends to update this book every three to four years.

 

9780310518389.jpgParadox Lost: Recovering the Mystery of God by Richard P. Hansen (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310518389. $16.99)

Too often the tensions and unanswerable questions of Scripture and the Christian life are seen as barriers to faith. In Paradox Lost, pastor and author Richard Hansen shows that they are exactly the opposite—indeed, God’s mysteries are one of the places where we may encounter him most closely.

In exchange for Enlightenment-based rationalism that can stunt spiritual imagination, Hansen invites readers to:

  • Discern that there is a hiddenness to God that can be inviting rather than threatening
  • Appreciate that God is far greater than we sometimes assume, and to adjust our mental maps to make more space for awe
  • Realize that faith and reason are not enemies but rather dance partners that complement one another

Hansen examines three kinds, or “orders,” of biblical paradox, each at a deeper level than the last, demonstrating for readers that paradox is both endemic to modern life and also a natural part of the landscape of Christian faith. Paradox Lost doesn’t seek to solve or justify paradox; instead, it looks through paradox toward what it reveals—namely a holy, mysterious, and awesome God.

Arrived on New Academic the Week of May 2, 2016

Unparalleled_Covers_3Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes it Compelling by Jared C. Wilson (Baker Books. Paperback. 9780801008597. $14.99)

In Unparalleled, Wilson holds up the teachings of the Bible to the clear light of day, revealing how Christianity rises above every other religion and philosophy of the world, and how its unmatched truth answers the deepest longings of every human heart. He provides an overview of Christianity’s key claims showing how, from top to bottom, it is distinct from all other competing ideologies, religious and secular. Christians will come away with a fresh sense of the truth of their faith and nonbelievers will be compelled to consider the relevant claims of Christianity in a drastically new light.

“Like handling a diamond, Jared turns to the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith, shining light on the edges that come together to make Christianity unique.” ―Trevin Wax

 

9780801017131Rescuing the Gospel: The Story and Significance of the Reformation by Erwin Lutzer (Baker Books. Hardback. 9780801017131. $19.99)

The Reformation unfolded in the cathedrals and town squares of Europe–in Wittenberg, Worms, Rome, Geneva, and Zurich–and it is a stirring story of courage and cowardice, of betrayal and faith. The story begins with the Catholic Church and its desperate need for reform. The dramatic events that followed are traced from John Wycliffe in England, to the burning of John Hus at the stake in Prague, to the rampant sale of indulgences in the cities and towns of Germany, to Martin Luther nailing the Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in 1517, to John Calvin’s reform of Geneva. Erwin Lutzer captures the people, places, and big ideas that fueled the Reformation and explains its lasting influence on the church and Western Civilization.

“A wonderful journey through the history of the pre-Reformation and Reformation periods that will illumine what people need to know about the gospel, God’s grace, the church, and religious liberty. These are crucial topics for our day, when so many opinions about them exist. As the book shows, history has much to teach us here.” ―Darrell Bock

 

tvp_265The Vine Project by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne (Matthias Media. Paperback. 9781922206947. $19.99)

In The Vine Project, Marshall and Payne provide a road-map and resources for this sort of church-wide culture change. The book guides your ministry leadership team through a five-phase process for growth and change, with biblical input, practical ideas, resources, case studies, exercises and projects along the way. You will be helped to: clarify and sharpen your convictions; reform your own personal life to express these convictions: honestly evaluate every aspect of your current church (or ministry) culture; devise some key plans for change and put them into effect; keep the momentum going and overcome obstacles. The Trellis and the Vine proposed a ministry mind-shift that changes everything. The Vine Project shows how that mind-shift can and must shape every aspect of what you are doing as a congregation of Christ’s people to make disciples of all nations.

 

41v-GTJYhzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Living in the Light: Making the Most of Three Dangerous Opportunities by John Piper (The Good Book Company. Hardback. 9781784980511. $12.99)

RELEASES TOMORROW, MAY 2, 2016.

Whether we’re rich or poor, married or single, in a position of great influence or not—all of us face temptation in the areas of money, sex and power. They are the dangerous opportunities of our time—opportunities to destroy our own souls, or to experience the true joy of using them for God’s glory. John Piper shows us that when we have the blazing glory of Christ at the center of our spiritual solar system, the planets of money, sex and power find their true and beautiful orbits. This book is for every Christian and will help you to wake up to the all-satisfying glory of God, and discover what you were made for.

“This new book is timely and deserves careful consideration by every Christian. It is a theologically rich, biblically faithful exploration of potential stumbling blocks to enjoying God: sex, money, and power. In these pages you will discover not only the spiritual danger of setting your hope in the things of this world but how, as Christians, we can understand sex, money, and power in ways that display God’s glory.” ―R. Albert Mohler Jr. 

 

New and/or Noteworthy from Eerdmans!

New titles out now from Eerdmans:

Downs_The Offering of the Gentiles_wrk02.inddThe Offering of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem in Its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts by David J. Downs (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802873132. $35.00)

The monetary fund that the apostle Paul organized among his Gentile congregations for the Jewish-Christian community in Jerusalem was clearly an important endeavor to Paul; discussion of it occupies several prominent passages in his letters. In this book David Downs carefully investigates that offering from historical, sociocultural, and theological standpoints. Downs first pieces together a chronological account of Paul’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Jerusalem church, based primarily on information from the Pauline epistles. He then examines the sociocultural context of the collection, including gift-giving practices in the ancient Mediterranean world relating to benefaction and care for the poor. Finally, Downs explores how Paul framed this contribution rhetorically as a religious offering consecrated to God.

 

9780802872715How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World by Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802872715. $16.00)

In How to Survive the Apocalypse Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson examine a number of popular stories — from the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica to the purging of innocence in Game of Thrones to the hordes of zombies in The Walking Dead — and argue that such apocalyptic stories reveal a lot about us here and now, about how we conceive of our life together, including some of our deepest tensions and anxieties. Besides analyzing the dsytopian shift in popular culture, Joustra and Wilkinson also suggest how Christians can live faithfully and with integrity in such a cultural context.

“Dear Netflix: Hold off on sending Parks and Recreation and start me on the second season of The Walking Dead. After reading this terrific book by Alissa Wilkinson and Robert Joustra, I have decided I am ready for more apocalypse. I had been immersed in the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, but this book helped me connect their philosophical explorations to dystopian narratives. So I am now going to work at coming up with my own informed understandings of zombie plots.” —Richard Mouw

 

9780802868732Christian Practical Wisdom: What It Is, Why It Matters by Dorothy C. Bass, Kathleen A. Cahalan, Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, James R. Nieman, Christian B. Scharen (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802868732. $30.00)

In this richly collaborative work, five distinguished scholars examine the oft-neglected embodied practical wisdom that is essential for true theological understanding and faithful Christian living. After first showing what Christian practical wisdom is and does in several real-life situations, the authors tellwhy such practical wisdom matters and how it operates, exploring reasons behind its decline in both the academy and the church and setting forth constructive cases for its renewal.

 

97808028374551 Samuel as Christian Scripture: A Theological Commentary by Stephen B. Chapman (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802837455. $36.00)

This work by Stephen Chapman offers a robustly theological and explicitly Christian reading of 1 Samuel. Chapman’s commentary reveals the theological drama at the heart of that biblical book as it probes the tension between civil religion and vital religious faith through the characters of Saul and David.

“The account of David’s rise to kingship has long been a theme of contemporary biblical scholarship, but the results of recent work have been rather thin on the theological side. This work is a major course correction on that front. Chapman helps the reader ponder anew the theological and literary issues that lay at the heart of Israel’s transition to kingship in general and the reign and legacy of David in particular.” Gary A. Anderson

Arrived on New Academic the Week of April 25, 2016

9781433679087

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek: An Intermediate Study of the Grammar and Syntax of the New Testament by Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer (B&H Academic. Hardback.  9781433679087. $49.99.)

From their decades of combined teaching experience, Andreas J. Köstenberger, Benjamin L. Merkle, and Robert L. Plummer have produced an ideal resource enabling students to improve their skills so they may properly read, exegete, and apply the Greek New Testament. Designed for those with a basic knowledge of Greek, Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is a user-friendly textbook for intermediate Greek courses at the college or seminary level.

Going Deeper with New Testament Greek is certain to become a standard among intermediate Greek grammars. Not only is this grammar readable and grounded in exegesis, but it includes a number of features not normally seen in this category, such as a built-in Greek reader, vocabulary lists, exercises, summary tables, and guides for discourse analysis, textual criticism, and word studies. Informed by the latest research on topics such as verbal aspect and the middle voice, the grammar also incorporates the best of traditional grammatical approaches. Going Deeper is up to date, built for the classroom, and aimed at careful exegesis of the Greek New Testament. While I differ on some points, it is my first choice for the classroom.” ―Constantine R. Campbell  

 

9781433692161Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply by Ed Stetzer and Daniel Im (B&H Academic. Hardback.  9781433692161. $29.99)

Planting a church is one of the most exciting adventures you’ll ever embark on. It’s also one of the hardest. It requires initiative, leadership, strategy, systems, and a lot of prayer. In this second edition of Planting Missional Churches, not only will you find a completely redesigned book with new content in every single chapter, but you will also find several new chapters on topics such as church multiplication, residencies, multi-ethnic ministry, multisite, denominations and networks, and spiritual leadership. So if you’re planting a church, be prepared. Use this book as a guide to build the needed ministry areas so that you can multiply over and over again.

“Ed Stetzer’s volume on planting missional churches has been perhaps the best single volume on the subject. Now that he has updated it thoroughly, it is even more important to have if you are involved in church planting at any level, or even if you want your local church to be more outwardly focused. I recommend it.” ―Tim Keller

 

9781433552274Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God by Gloria Furman (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433552274. $14.99)

Sometimes moms see the never-ending laundry, dirty diapers, and skinned knees as relatively insignificant when compared to activities and callings that seem more important and lasting. But there is eternal value in even the most mundane moments if the Great Commission informs how we’re thinking about all of life, including what it means to be a mom. Tracing motherhood in the story of the Bible and drawing out key implications for moms today, Gloria Furman helps women live out God’s story of redemption in their daily lives as they nurture their children and joyfully share the message of the gospel with those around them.

“With Christ-centered clarity, Gloria shows that our Savior calls us to a grand, global mission to nurture his disciples for his glory. This book is for every redeemed woman whose mothering heart longs to nurture biological and spiritual children.” —Susan Hunt

 

9781433550515Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches by Megan Hill (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433550515. $12.99)

Nearly all Christians would affirm the centrality of prayer for a healthy Christian life. And yet, for many, prayer is often a challenge, requiring intense personal commitment and self-discipline. However, as Megan Hill points out in Praying Together, our normal approach to prayer leaves out a crucial component: other people. While personal prayer is important, God designed the church to be a community of believers who regularly pray together. Exploring the Bible’s rich teaching on what it means to gather at God’s throne with one voice, Hill lays a theological foundation for corporate prayer and offers practical guidance for making it a reality—in our families, churches, and communities.

“Megan Hill is a wise and godly woman, a friend, and one of my favorite authors. She writes to move us to pray together in our homes, communities, and churches. She does three things in particular to help us to pray together in this book. She offers us encouragement, experience, and counsel—all richly biblical and theological. The chapter “Praying with the Church” is by itself worth the price of admission. The book is brief enough to be read in a sitting and deep enough to be savored for a semester. If you and your brothers and sisters in Christ pray together with more hope, delight, and expectancy because of reading it, I am sure that Megan will feel her aim is realized.” —J. Ligon Duncan III

 

9781433550744Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ by Andrew David Naselli and J. D. Crowley (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433550744. $15.99)

What do you do when disagreements arise in the church? How do you determine which convictions are negotiable and which are not? How do you get along with people who have different personal standards? All of these questions have to do with the conscience. Yet there is hardly a more neglected topic among Christians than the conscience. In this much-needed book, a New Testament scholar and a cross-cultural missionary explore all thirty passages in the New Testament that deal with the conscience, showing how your conscience impacts virtually every aspect of church life and ministry. As you get to know your conscience as a gift from God and learn how to calibrate it under the lordship of Jesus Christ, you will not only experience the freedom of a clear conscience but also discover how to lovingly interact with those who hold different convictions.

“Naselli and Crowley have produced a book of deep and broad practical relevance for living the Christian life. We are often far too little aware of the role of our consciences in our day-to-day lives, while the truth is, God has given us those faculties as part of the divinely designed means to keep us on the path of righteousness. I found their discussion of the recalibration of the conscience, and of how to deal with fellow Christians who have different senses of right and wrong, to be filled with biblical wisdom and enormous insight. Here is a book that promises great reward for those who will follow not only its clear discussion but also its biblical admonition.” —Bruce A. Ware

 

978143355181950 Crucial Questions: An Overview of Central Concerns about Manhood & Womanhood by John Piper & Wayne Grudem (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433551819. $9.99)

The roles of men and women are immensely contested in both society and the church today. Christians are looking for answers from the Bible regarding how God intends for men and women to relate to one another. In this concise and accessible resource, well-known authors and Bible teachers John Piper and Wayne Grudem respond to fifty crucial questions often asked in relation to biblical manhood and womanhood. Answering objections raised against the view that God created men and women equal in value but distinct in role, Piper and Grudem winsomely present a biblical vision of gender roles that is life-giving and fulfilling for both men and women.

“From the beginning we have insisted at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that the complementarian position is firmly rooted in the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. Here you will find answers to key questions in a concise format from two of the evangelical community’s finest minds. May God use this book to encourage heartfelt obedience to his good and wise design.” —Randy Stinson

 

9781433549830None Like Him: 10 Ways God is Different From Us (and Why That’s a Good Thing) by Jen Wilkin (Crossway. Paperback. 9781433549830. $12.99)

God is self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign, infinite, and incomprehensible. We’re not. And that’s a good thing. Our limitations are by design. We were never meant to be God. But at the root of every sin is our rebellious desire to possess attributes that belong to God alone.Calling us to embrace our limits as a means of glorifying God’s limitless power, Jen Wilkin invites us to celebrate the freedom that comes when we rest in letting God be God.

“I have had the privilege of personally knowing Jen Wilkin for several years. She is a woman intoxicated by the God of the Bible and has written None Like Him by staring at his majesty. The soul is healed not by gazing at its broken pieces, but by gazing at the beauty of its creator and surrendering to the ‘I can’ts, but he cans.’ I pray you melt into the relief of belonging to the One who is unlike any other as you read this book.” —Matt Chandler

 

Downs_The Offering of the Gentiles_wrk02.inddThe Offering of the Gentiles: Paul’s Collection for Jerusalem in Its Chronological, Cultural, and Cultic Contexts by David J. Downs (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802873132. $35.00)

The monetary fund that the apostle Paul organized among his Gentile congregations for the Jewish-Christian community in Jerusalem was clearly an important endeavor to Paul; discussion of it occupies several prominent passages in his letters. In this book David Downs carefully investigates that offering from historical, sociocultural, and theological standpoints. Downs first pieces together a chronological account of Paul’s fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Jerusalem church, based primarily on information from the Pauline epistles. He then examines the sociocultural context of the collection, including gift-giving practices in the ancient Mediterranean world relating to benefaction and care for the poor. Finally, Downs explores how Paul framed this contribution rhetorically as a religious offering consecrated to God.

 

9780802872715How to Survive the Apocalypse: Zombies, Cylons, Faith, and Politics at the End of the World by Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson (Eerdmans. Paperback. 9780802872715. $16.00)

In How to Survive the Apocalypse Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson examine a number of popular stories — from the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica to the purging of innocence in Game of Thrones to the hordes of zombies in The Walking Dead — and argue that such apocalyptic stories reveal a lot about us here and now, about how we conceive of our life together, including some of our deepest tensions and anxieties. Besides analyzing the dsytopian shift in popular culture, Joustra and Wilkinson also suggest how Christians can live faithfully and with integrity in such a cultural context.

“Dear Netflix: Hold off on sending Parks and Recreation and start me on the second season of The Walking Dead. After reading this terrific book by Alissa Wilkinson and Robert Joustra, I have decided I am ready for more apocalypse. I had been immersed in the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor, but this book helped me connect their philosophical explorations to dystopian narratives. So I am now going to work at coming up with my own informed understandings of zombie plots.” —Richard Mouw

 

9780310525066.jpg_4Core Christianity: Finding Yourself in God’s Story by Michael Horton (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310525066. $14.99)

In Core Christianity, author, pastor, and theologian Mike Horton tackles the essential and basic beliefs that all Christians share. What is core to the Christian faith? In addition to unpacking these beliefs in a way that is easy to understand, Horton shows why they matter to our lives today. This introduction to the basic doctrines of Christianity is a helpful guide by a respected theologian and a popular author, and it includes discussion questions for individual or group use. Core Christianity is perfect for those who are new to the faith, as well as those who have an interest in deepening in their understanding of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

“I read straight through this solid book on the central truths of the Christian faith and was impressed. But when I searched the text for some of the standard technical terms of theology, I found that Horton had managed to deliver the whole message in simple, nontechnical language. Then I was doubly impressed. This is a very useful little book.” —Fred Sanders

 

9780310518167A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry by Heath Lambert (Zondervan. Hardback. 9780310518167. $24.99)

Since the beginning of the biblical counseling movement in 1970, biblical counselors have argued that counseling is a ministry of the Word, just like preaching or missions. As a ministry, counseling must be defined according to sound biblical theology rather than secular principles of psychology. For over four decades, biblical theology has been at the core of the biblical counseling movement. Leaders in biblical counseling have emphasized a commitment to teaching doctrine in their counseling courses out of the conviction that good theology leads to good counseling…and bad theology leads to bad counseling.

“I thank God for Heath Lambert and this book. Heath has ministered biblical counseling to me personally, to my family, and to the church I serve as a pastor. I praise God that more people than can encounter Heath face to face will have the benefit of his ministry through this book.” —Dr. James M. Hamilton, Jr.

 

y648How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth by Christopher J. H. Wright (Zondervan. Paperback. 9780310524649. $18.99)

Many preachers ignore preaching from the Old Testament because they feel it is outdated in light of the New Testament and difficult to expound. On the other hand, some preachers will preach from the Old Testament frequently but fail to handle it correctly, turning it into moralistic rules or symbolic lessons for our spiritual life. In How to Preach and Teach the Old Testament for All Its Worth, Christopher J. H. Wright proclaims that preachers must not ignore the Old Testament. It is the Word of God! The Old Testament lays the foundation for our faith and it was the Bible that Jesus read and used. Looking first at why we should preach from the Old Testament, the author moves on to show the reader how they can be preach from it. Covering the History, Law, Prophets, Psalms, and Wisdom Literature, interspersed with practical checklists, exercises, and sermons, he provides an essential guide on how to handle the Old Testament responsibly.