The Story of Reality

I was wrong. I read the opening words of The Story of Reality and thought, “Here we go again.” Over the past few years we’ve been inundated with books that tell the story of the world, the story of history, through what we might call a biblical-theology lens. You are probably familiar with the standard categories: creation, fall, redemption, consummation, and new creation. Through these headings we can trace and tell the story of what God is accomplishing in this …

The Vine Project

The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne was a surprise bestseller. Coming from a small Australian publisher, it made its way into Mark Dever’s hands and he declared it “the best book I’ve read on the nature of church ministry.” The rest, as they say, is history. Pastors and church leaders were introduced to its helpful illustration of the vine and the trellis: the vine representing gospel ministry that reaches and nourishes people, and the trellis …

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Humble Roots

Over the years I have read quite a few books on the subject of humility. To be frank, this is an area in which I need all the help I can get (and I am quite certain that I am not alone in this need). As I read the latest, Hannah Anderson’s Humble Roots, a thought occurred to me: All of the others have been written by men. I don’t mean to read any particular significance into this observation, but did find myself especially …

The Disciple-Making Parent

A core component of my regular reading diet is books on parenting. As long as I am a parent, and especially a parent of tweens and teens (parenting babies and toddlers is straightforward by comparison!), I want to stay sharp, to be challenged, to be equipped. A good book helps me better understand the purpose of parenting and helps me better fulfill my God-given duties. Chap Bettis’s The Disciple-Making Parent is a good book, exactly the kind that challenged me and, …

Devoted to God

Christians are called to the most difficult of all tasks. Over the course of our lives we are to be sanctified, to grow in holiness, to begin to act like and look like Jesus. We are to stop being what we once were, to put aside old dreams, desires, and habits, and to start being something new, to put on new dreams, new desires, and new habits. This work begins the moment of conversion and ends only with death. Between …

The Radical Book for Kids

I’m glad to say that this book passed the kid test. I deliberately left it lying on the table before my kids got home from school. My ten-year-old walked in, dumped her shoes and knapsack in the middle of the floor (we’re still working on that) and sauntered toward the kitchen. But she didn’t get there because she saw the book and just had to explore it. That’s a good sign. It isn’t surprising, though, because Champ Thornton’s The Radical …

Jesus Always, the Sequel to Jesus Calling

This book is going to be big. Huge, even. Its predecessor has sold well over 10 million copies and more than a decade after publication has no less than 6 editions on the list of Christian bestsellers. Today, at last, comes the long-awaited sequel, releasing to great fanfare—a million-copy first printing backed by a huge $300,000 marketing spend. One way or another you will come across this book and so will most of your friends and neighbors. You will see it on Amazon, …

Review: ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set

I like a clean desk. I like to begin my day with nothing on it other than my computer and keyboard. I don’t want to see stacks of paper, bundles of cables, piles of books, or anything else that might distract or offer an alternative to the task at hand. So I try to begin each morning with the desk neat, clean, ready to go. Over the course of the day, though, stuff just magically accumulates so that by mid-afternoon …

Discerning Your Call to Ministry

We know the concept and are well-familiar with the phrase: “called to ministry.” We know that some men are called in a special way to a special task—the task of gospel ministry. But exactly what constitutes the call, exactly how to understand it, exactly how to know we’ve experienced it—these are matters of more than a little confusion. Thankfully we have been well-served in recent years with books attempting to bring clarity. New to the field is Jason Allen’s Discerning …

The Unfinished Reformation

Is the Reformation over? This question is going to be asked over and over again as we approach 2017 and, with it, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. It is the question Gregg Allison and Chris Castaldo face in the title of their new book, The Unfinished Reformation: What Unites and Divides Catholics and Protestants After 500 Years. The book began as a search for clarity. A friend had asked Castaldo for a book that surveys the commonalities and …