Arrived last week on New Academic

Crucible of Faith: The Ancient Revolution That Made Our Modern Religious World by Philip Jenkins (Basic Books. 9780465096404. Hardback. $30.00)

In The Crucible of Faith, Philip Jenkins argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was born between 250-50 BCE, during a turbulent “Crucible Era.” It was during these years that Judaism grappled with Hellenizing forces and produced new religious ideas that reflected and responded to their changing world. By the time of the fall of the Temple in 70 CE, concepts that might once have seemed bizarre became normalized-and thus passed on to Christianity and later Islam. Drawing widely on contemporary sources from outside the canonical Old and New Testaments, Jenkins reveals an era of political violence and social upheaval that ultimately gave birth to entirely new ideas about religion, the afterlife, Creation and the Fall, and the nature of God and Satan.

 

Martin Luther’s Basic Exegetical Writings edited by Carl L. Beckwith (Concordia Publishing House. 9780758657312. Paperback. $24.99)

First and foremost a doctor of Sacred Scripture, Martin Luther lectured and preached on the Bible for more than 30 years. His work as a reformer of the Christian Church is incomprehensible apart from his work as a Bible teacher. From his first lectures on the Psalms and Romans, to his monumental series on Galatians, his sermons on Matthew and John, and his final lecture series on Genesis, Luther returned the attention of God’s people to His Word and the centrality of Christ’s saving work.

The excerpts in Martin Luther’s Basic Exegetical Writings span Luther’s career. The accompanying introductions place each work in its historical context and provide an overarching narrative of Luther’s academic, pastoral, and personal life from 1515 to 1546. The chronological arrangement of the excerpts allows the reader to observe both the development and remarkable consistency of Luther the exegete, theologian, and reformer.

Martin Luther’s Basic Exegetical Writings is a user-friendly introduction to his interpretation of Scripture, theological concerns, and pastoral insights. This anthology of Luther’s lectures and sermons will serve both the classroom and the Church and will be a valued addition to any home library.

 

Plain Theology for Plain People by Charles Octavius Boothe. Introduction by Walter R. Strickland (Lexham Press. 9781683590347. Paperback. $14.99)

In this handbook first published in 1890, Charles Octavius Boothe simply and beautifully lays out the basics of theology for common people. “Before the charge ‘know thyself,’” Boothe wrote, “ought to come the far greater charge, ‘know thy God.’” He brought the heights of academic theology down to everyday language, and he helps us do the same today. Plain Theology for Plain People shows that evangelicalism needs the wisdom and experience of African American Christians.

 

Theology in Three Dimensions: A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance by John M. Frame (P & R Publishing. 9781629953229. Paperback. $12.99)

Because God created all things with coherent unity, everything can be understood from the perspective of everything else. We experience the world in the context of our own bodies, but every day we broaden our understanding through the perspectives of others. Meanwhile, our omniscient God is also omniperspectival. Through his revelation, he allows us a glimpse of his own divine perspective.

What does this mean for us? One valuable dimension of this reality is that theological issues can also be helpfully viewed from multiple perspectives without compromising their unity and truth. In this accessible introduction to his Bible study and theological method, John Frame teaches us to approach doctrine with situational, normative, and existential perspectives modeled on the Trinity.

 

Theology Made Practical: New Studies on John Calvin and His Legacy by Joel R. Beeke, David W. Hall, Michael A. G. Haykin (Reformation Heritage Books. 9781601785367. Paperback. $25.00)

In Theology Made Practical, Joel R. Beeke, David W. Hall, and Michael A. G. Haykin declare the significance of John Calvin’s life and ideas—particularly his contributions to systematic theology, pastoral theology, and political theology—as well as the influence he had on others through the centuries. With focused studies related to the Trinity, predestination, the Holy Spirit, justification, preaching, missions, principles of government, welfare, and marriage, this book demonstrates how Calvin’s thought has been, and still is, a dynamic wellspring of fruitfulness for numerous areas of the Christian life. More than 450 years since Calvin experienced the beatific vision, his thinking about God and His Word still possesses what our culture passionately longs for—true relevancy.

 

Jesus and the Future: Understanding What He Taught about the End Times by Andreas Köstenberger, Alexander Stewart, Apollo Makara (Weaver Book Company. 9781941337813. Paperback. $15.99)

“Köstenberger, Stewart, and Makara have taken up a difficult and disputed subject—Jesus and the future—and shed light on many texts that are difficult and confusing for readers today. The book is marvelously clear and has a number of pertinent applications as well. The exposition of the Olivet discourse is particularly helpful.”—Thomas R. Schreiner

Arrived on New Academic last week

Introducing Logic and Critical Thinking: The Skills of Reasoning and the Virtues of Inquiry by T. Ryan Byerly (Baker Academic. Paperback. 9780801030819. $29.99)

“This excellent textbook both introduces students to logic and invites them to lives of intellectual virtue. Even better, it exemplifies the virtues that it discusses. Byerly’s book is a real gift–one that deserves widespread appreciation and use. I won’t hesitate to use this book in my own classes, and I will continue to learn from it as well.”~Thomas H. McCall, professor of biblical and systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

 

Good Arguments by Richard A. Holland, Jr. and Benjamin K. Forrest (Baker Academic. Paperback. 9780801097799. $17.99)

“Most textbooks on argumentation cover too much or too little, aiming either too high or too low. Good Arguments is just right. Clear, compact, and complete, it’s just the text I’ve been looking for. I know it will serve my writing students well.”~Karen Swallow Prior, professor of English, Liberty University

 

The Pietist Option: Hope for the Renewal of Christianity by Christopher Gehrz and Mark Pattie III (IVP Academic. Hardback. 9780830851942. $23.00)

“Warning! The cheeky title of this book is misleading. You’ll find no snark here, no polemics. If you’re looking for a pugnacious encounter, go elsewhere. What you will find here is an immensely winsome vision, drawing on the riches of the Pietist tradition but addressed to all who seek ‘to live as if Jesus Christ has actually conquered the grave.'”~John Wilson, editor, Education & Culture

 

Portraits of a Pastor: The 9 Essential Roles of a Church Leader edited by Jason K. Allen (Moody Publishers. Paperback. 9780802416346. $13.99)

“Pastor as Shepherd” – Jared C. Wilson
“Pastor as Husband and Father” – Daniel L. Akin
“Pastor as Preacher” – Jason K. Allen
“Pastor as Theologian” – Owen D. Strachan
“Pastor as Church Historian” – Christian T. George
“Pastor as Evangelist” – John Mark Yeats
“Pastor as Missionary” – Jason G. Duesing
“Pastor as Leader” – Ronnie W. Floyd
“Pastor as Man of God” – Donald S. Whitney

Arrived on New Academic last week

Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church by Keith and Kristyn Getty (B&H Books. 9781462742660. Hardback. $12.99. SALE – $6.49)

Why do you sing at church?

It’s a question we almost never ask out loud. Yet, it is a question central to the lives of Christians who regularly gather together for worship.

Do you sing to God? Or do you “address one another in hymns and spiritual songs,” as the Scripture says? Do you close your eyes? What is your posture in worship? This book is designed with these questions in mind.

Or maybe you don’t sing at church–or if you do, not with very much enthusiasm, hoping to hide behind a wall of sound. After all, not everyone sings at the same skill level, same rhythm, or pitch.

After all, singing is one of the most commanded acts in scripture.

Authors, lyricists, and worship leaders Keith and Kristyn Getty write to church members to remind them why the Church should sing, when the Church should sing, and how the Church should sing. A congregation that gains a greater understanding of why they sing won’t dread a worship service, with arms crossed and shoulders slumped, but see singing as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel together in obedience to God.

Sing! guides individual church members together with their congregation on a campaign to declare with one voice, “This is why we Sing!.”

 

Herman Bavinck on Preaching & Preachers edited by James P. Eglinton (Hendrickson. 9781619709782. Paperback. $16.95)

“It is too rare to have a world-class theologian telling and showing us how to preach, but here we have the great Herman Bavinck doing so. His discussion in Eloquence in Herman Bavinck on Preaching & Preachers is remarkably nuanced, where he calls for a combination of theological substance with moving eloquence, as well as ‘solemnity and unction.’ What he said a century ago is no less true now: ‘Preaching is, at present, out of touch with the time and does not meet its needs.’ This volume will help us face the challenge of preaching in our own age.”—Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

 

Free Will Revisited: A Respectful Response to Luther, Calvin, and Edwards by Robert E. Picirilli (Wipf & Stock. 9781532618468. Paperback. $20.00)

“Robert Picirilli is a seasoned scholar who is one of the best-known advocates of Reformed Arminianism, speaking from his Free Will Baptist tradition. Free Will Revisited carefully articulates the objections that Luther, Calvin, and Edwards present against free will, and provides a compelling defense of free will. Calvinists, Arminians, and those who are undecided will profit from reading his discussion of this vital issue for Christian theology.”—Steve Lemke, Provost, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Recently arrived on New Academic

Missions: How the Local Church Goes Global by Andy Johnson (Crossway. 9781433555701. Hardback. $14.99)

“What a helpful book! Andy Johnson has a clear eye on the gospel as he helps us think through the basic principles a sending church needs to have in place before anyone leaves for the field. Drawing on years of experience as a missions pastor, Andy skillfully and winsomely tackles what it means to have healthy mission partnerships. He then helps us think through a number of modern missionary issues: short terms, the international church, and more. I long for every church with a shred of missions interest to read and apply this book.”J. Mack Stiles

 

Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by David Powlison (Crossway. 9781433556142. Paperback. $11.99)

“Sexual sin can seem like a trap from which one can never escape. David Powlison brings good news to those caught in sexual sin, and to those who have been sinned against. This book addresses sexual sin not with shame and moralizing but with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We all need to hear the message of this book.”Russell D. Moore, president, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

 

1-2 Thessalonians: A 12-Week Study by Matt Smethurst (Crossway. 9781433553851. Paperback. $8.99)

1–2 Thessalonians remind God’s people of the salvation he has secured for those he has called. When King Jesus returns, he will deliver his people and bring justice to the earth.

Connecting Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians to the lives of Christians today, this 12-week study encourages readers with assurance and hope—pointing them to God’s faithfulness as they pursue lives of holiness and love in anticipation of Jesus’ second coming.

Click here to read a sample from this bible study.

 

Old-Earth or Evolutionary Creation? Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and BioLogos edited by Kenneth Keathley, J. B. Stump, and Joe Aguirre (IVP Academic. 9780830852925. Paperback. $24.00)

“This Reasons to Believe and BioLogos conversation is highly commendable, and it’s important for a number of reasons. First, its tone is irenic, gracious, and humble. Second, its participants trust the Christian integrity of the other conversation partners. Third, it takes the authority of Scripture seriously as participants grapple with the implications of biblical interpretation in light of scientific discovery. Fourth, the Southern Baptist theologians serving as moderators are effective in guiding and focusing the conversation as they call for clarification and further elaboration from both sides. Finally, this conversation takes for granted the strong evidence for an ancient earth, allowing the discussion to push past the young-earth versus old-earth debate to far more pressing issues needing attention within the Christian community.”Paul Copan, professor and Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University

 

Recapturing the Wonder: Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World by Mike Cosper (IVP Books. 9780830845064. Paperback. $17.00)

“The word wonderful is a cliché these days, meaning simply ‘very good.’ This book, though, reclaims what it means to be wonder-full. Mike Cosper, one of the keenest gospel Christian analysts of culture alive today, shows us in this book why our world has become so disenchanted and charts us back to the joy of awe. This is an awe-full and wonder-full book, in the right meaning of both of those words.”Russell Moore, president, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

 

The Economics of Neighborly Love: Investing in Your Community’s Compassion and Capacity by Tom Nelson (IVP Books. 9780830843923. Paperback. $16.00)

“Tom Nelson’s new book is a great contribution to a growing and needed literature that helps churches connect to their parishes and neighborhoods and serve not only individuals, but the public good. There is an emerging awareness of the importance of this, but few volumes are as practical as this one in describing the way forward. I recommend it!”Tim Keller

 

Marry Wisely, Marry Well: A Blueprint for Personal Preparation by Ernie Baker (Shepherd Press. 9781633421189. Paperback. $14.95)

“…a wonderful distillation of biblical principles … a superbly practical, biblically-based handbook for young people and students who are seeking the wisdom of God’s Word in order to make sure their expectations, their affections, and their hearts are right before God as they contemplate the most important and far-reaching human relationship they will ever enter into.”—John MacArthur

Arrived on New Academic last week

Exalting Jesus in Isaiah by Andrew M. Davis (B & H Books. 9780805497380. Paperback. $14.99)

“Without a doubt Isaiah is one of the most important books in the Old Testament, and the New Testament use of Isaiah gives it a particular significance. Andy Davis’s commentary is a helpful addition to studies on Isaiah at several levels. He takes seriously the historical message of Isaiah so that he doesn’t simply leap to the New Testament and avoid the Old Testament context. At the same time, the fulfillment of Isaiah in the New Testament receives careful and wise attention. Finally, Davis applies the message of Isaiah to today’s world. I recommend this work enthusiastically.”–Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

No Silver Bullets by Daniel Im (B & H Books. 9781433651540. Paperback. $16.99)

“While discipling others who will then disciple others is Jesus’ master plan, defining maturity is sometimes tricky. I’m grateful that Daniel outlines a research-based, yet practical way, to understand and move people toward Christlikeness. Don’t miss this.” –Robert E. Coleman, distinguished senior professor of Evangelism and Discipleship, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

 

Encountering the History of Missions: From Early Church to Today by John Mark Terry and Robert L. Gallagher (Baker Academic. 9780801026966. Paperback. $29.99)

“Missions history is much more than the story of crossing boundaries and developing strategies; it’s the story of people. This book is thus about encountering people–men and women who devoted their lives to the spread of the good news to the nations. The authors have done what might seem to be impossible: telling the story of centuries of missions history while holding the reader’s attention through biographical portraits, relevant sidebars, and challenging case studies. I finished this book asking God to allow me to play a role, even a minor one, in the continuing story of missions history. Somehow, I think the authors would be pleased.”–Chuck Lawless, professor of evangelism and missions, dean of graduate studies, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

 

The Fear of the Lord is Wisdom: An Introduction to Wisdom in Israel by Tremper Longman III (Baker Academic. 9780801027116 Hardcover. $32.99)

Wisdom plays an important role in the Old Testament, particularly in Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. This major work from renowned scholar Tremper Longman III examines wisdom in the Old Testament and explores its theological influence on the intertestamental books, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and especially the New Testament.

Longman notes that wisdom is a practical category (the skill of living), an ethical category (a wise person is a virtuous person), and most foundationally a theological category (the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom). The author discusses Israelite wisdom in the context of the broader ancient Near East, treats the connection between wisdom in the New Testament and in the Old Testament, and deals with a number of contested issues, such as the relationship of wisdom to prophecy, history, and law.

 

Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty: A Reappraisal by Mark C. Mattes (Baker Academic. 9780801098376. Hardcover. $35.00)

“Beauty has historically been a neglected topic in much of traditional Protestant theology, a lacuna of increasing significance in an age that is more and more preoccupied with aesthetics. In this book Mark Mattes retrieves Martin Luther as a source for aesthetic reflection and, in so doing, brings both Luther’s thought and the Protestantism that stems from him into important dialogue with both earlier theologians and contemporary thinkers such as Charles Taylor and John Milbank. Martin Luther’s Theology of Beauty is rich in historical theological insight and modern philosophical potential.” –Carl R. Trueman, Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania

 

Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions by Timothy J. Wengert (Baker Academic. 9780801049699. Hardcover. $59.99)

“This comprehensive dictionary of Lutheranism will be a welcome addition to the library of anyone with interest in the Lutheran Reformation or the progress of Lutheranism to the present day. It is a gold mine of useful information on the topic, all contained conveniently between two boards.” –Tony Lane, professor of historical theology, London School of Theology”

 

Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World by Kyle David Bennett (Brazos Press. 9781587434037. Paperback. $17.99)

Spiritual disciplines are often viewed primarily as a means to draw us closer to God. While these practices do deepen and enrich our “vertical” relationship with God, Kyle David Bennett argues that they were originally designed to positively impact our “horizontal” relationships–with neighbors, strangers, enemies, friends, family, animals, and even the earth. Bennett explains that this “horizontal” dimension has often been overlooked or forgotten in contemporary discussions of the spiritual disciplines.

This book offers an alternative way of understanding the classic spiritual disciplines that makes them relevant, doable, and meaningful for everyday Christians. Bennett shows how the disciplines are remedial practices that correct the malformed ways we do everyday things, such as think, eat, talk, own, work, and rest. Through personal anecdotes, engagement with Scripture, and vivid cultural references, he invites us to practice the spiritual disciplines wholesale and shows how changing the way we do basic human activities can bring healing, renewal, and transformation to our day-to-day lives and the world around us.