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New & Notable Books

I am in the unique and enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books and I like to provide regular roundups of some of the best and brightest of the bunch. Here are some of the notable books that I’ve received in the past few weeks.

Creature of the WordCreature of the Word by Chandler, Patterson and Geiger. “The Reformers viewed the gospel as not merely one thing among many in the life of a church but rather the means by which the church exists. When the gospel is rightly declared and applied to God’s people, the church becomes ‘a creature of the Word.’ She understands, embraces, and lives out the reality of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection in more than her doctrinal statement. The gospel impacts all the church is and does. Creature of the Word lays out this concept in full, first examining the rich, scripture-based beauty of a Jesus-centered church, then clearly providing practical steps toward forming a Jesus-centered church.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Roots of the Reformation (Second Edition) by G.R. Evans. You may remember that The Roots of the Reformation was released earlier this year, but that it was very quickly pulled from store shelves when Carl Trueman’s review showed that it was replete with historical errors and inaccuracies. Intervarsity Press quickly set out to make things right, combing through the book to make corrections. This second edition includes the following note: “All dates for people and places have been conformed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation, or else the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, unless there was a good reason to depart from these. I expect that this edition maintains the strengths of the first while correcting its embarrassing weaknesses. (Learn more or buy it at Westminster Books)

On the Shoulders of HobbitsOn the Shoulders of Hobbits by Louis Markos. With the film adaption of The Hobbit nearly upon us, this is presumably just one of several Hobbit-themed books coming our way. It looks excellent. “The world of J. R. R. Tolkien is filled with strange creatures, elaborately crafted lore, ancient tongues, and magic that exists only in fantasy; yet the lessons taught by hobbits and wizards speak powerfully and practically to our real lives. Courage, valor, trust, pride, greed, and jealousy—these are not fictional virtues. This is the stuff of real life, the Christian life. Professor and author Louis Markos takes us on the road with Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, with looks at selected classic works of literature as well, to show how great stories bring us so much more than entertainment. They inspire and convict, imparting truth in unforgettable ways.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

A Mouth Full of Fire by Andrew G. Shead. This is the most recent volume in the excellent New Studies in Biblical Theology which is edited by D.A. Carson. “In this stimulating study, Andrew Shead examines Jeremiah’s use of word language; the prophet’s formation as an embodiment of the word of God; his covenant preaching and the crisis it precipitates concerning the recognition of true prophecy; and, in the ‘oracles of hope,’ how the power of the word of God is finally made manifest. Shead then brings this reading of Jeremiah to bear on some issues in contemporary theology, including the problem of divine agency and the doctrine of Scripture, and concludes by engaging Jeremiah’s doctrine of the Word of God in conversation with Karl Barth.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

The Book of RevelationThe Book of Revelation. Once upon a time there was an excellent iPad app called “The Revelation App” that offered a graphic novel adaption of the book of Revelation. The iPad was an ideal medium for reading this book and like many people I purchased the first several chapters. Somewhere along the way a new version of the app was released which was very buggy, causing it to crash a lot. Then the app just disappeared from the App Store. This was rather disappointing and quite thoughtless, considering people had been purchasing the app with the promise and expectation that the series would continue until Revelation 22. There was never an official announcement from the publisher of the app, though even today at their web site you can read a promise that the app will be fixed and will appear again on the App Store. That never happened. Fast forward a year or so and The Book of Revelation has been published in printed form by Zondervan. It is nicely illustrated and quite powerful in its own way; Chris Koelle’s illustrations are amazing. Yet having seen it first on the iPad, I can’t help but think that the tablet was a superior medium and that the book pales a little in comparison. Or maybe I just haven’t gotten over what they did to my app in the first place. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)