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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
New & Notable Books
December 21, 2012
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.
Through the Eyes of C.H. Spurgeon compiled by Stephen McCaskell. Here’s what I wrote in my foreward to the book: “A prolific preacher and author, Spurgeon’s sermons alone fill some 63 volumes; his books and other writings fill many more than that. In Through the Eyes of C.H. Spurgeon Stephen McCaskell has compiled thousands of Spurgeon’s punchiest and most powerful quotes and has helpfully categorized them. Here the reader will find wisdom that extends from Acceptance to Work and everything in between. Here the reader will find quotes that merit thought, reflection, and attention. They are like hard candy—better savored than quickly chewed and swallowed. Read this book to generate thought and reflection. Read it to find the perfect quote for your book or sermon or blog post. Read it and I am certain you will be blessed.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon.)
Behold Our Sovereign God by Mitchell L. Chase. “The topic of divine sovereignty is weighty and often fraught with controversy. While thinking about its implications people may ask, If God is sovereign, how does it relate to our daily lives and what we see going on in the natural world? With all the sin and suffering around us, in what sense does God reign over it? What does the Bible teach about God’s rule over salvation and judgment? How is God sovereign over historical events, in particular the death of Jesus? Will his decrees for the future come to pass, or can they be thwarted? The Bible invites us to behold God’s meticulous reign over all things unto his glory. His lordship is not just general or abstract but particular and comprehensive. With transcendent wisdom and uncompromising righteousness God is bringing to pass his will in the world.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon.)
Understanding Biblical Theology by Edward W Klink III and Darian R. Lockett. “Understanding Biblical Theology clarifies the catch-all term ‘biblical theology,’ a movement that tries to remove the often-held dichotomy between biblical studies for the Church and as an academic pursuit. This book examines the five major schools of thought regarding biblical theology and handles each in turn, defining and giving a brief developmental history for each one, and exploring each method through the lens of one contemporary scholar who champions it. Using a spectrum between history and theology, each of five ‘types’ of biblical theology are identified as either ‘more theological’ or ‘more historical’ in concern and practice: Biblical Theology as Historical Description (James Barr) Biblical Theology as History of Redemption (D. A. Carson) Biblical Theology as Worldview-Story (N. T. Wright) Biblical Theology as Canonical Approach (Brevard Childs) Biblical Theology as Theological Construction (Francis Watson). A conclusion suggests how any student of the Bible can learn from these approaches.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books.)
Strangers Next Door by J.D. Payne. “More than ever, North America is being flooded by people from all around the world, many of them here illegally. How should the church respond to these sojourners among us? [Professor] of evangelism and church planting J. D. Payne introduces the phenomenon of migrations of peoples to Western nations and explores how the church should respond in light of the mission of God. As we understand and embrace the fact that the least-reached people groups now reside in (and continue to migrate to) Western countries, churches have unprecedented opportunites to freely share the gospel with them. This book includes practical guidelines for doing crosscultural missions and developing a global strategy of mission. It also highlights examples of churches and organizations attempting to reach, partner with, and send migrants to minister to their people. Discover how you can reach out to the strangers next door by welcoming them into God’s family.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon.)
The Quest for the Trinity by Stephen R. Holmes. “The doctrine of the Trinity was settled in the fourth century, and maintained, with only very minor disagreement or development, by all strands of the church—Western and Eastern, Protestant and Catholic—until the modern period. In the twentieth century, there arose a sense that the doctrine had been neglected and stood in need of recovery.nnIn , Holmes takes us on a remarkable journey through 2,000 years of the Christian doctrine of God. We witness the churchs discovery of the Trinity from the biblical testimony, its crucial patristic developments, and medieval and Reformation continuity. We are also confronted with the questioning of traditional dogma during the Enlightenment, and asked to consider anew the character of the modern Trinitarian revival.Holmess controversial conclusion is that the explosion of theological work in recent decades claiming to recapture the heart of Christian theology in fact deeply misunderstands and misappropriates the traditional doctrine of the Trinity. Yet his aim is constructive: to grasp the wisdom of the past and, ultimately, to bring a clearer understanding of the meaning of the present.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books.)
The Rest of Life by Ben Witherington. “When was the last time you heard a sermon on the theological importance of play? What do rest, eating, studying — and sex — have to do with the Kingdom of God? Strangely, although these activities together take up much of our time, they seldom receive much discussion from a biblical point of view. In The Rest of Life Ben Witherington explores these subjects in the light of biblical teaching about the Kingdom of God and the Christian hope for the future. He shows why and how all the normal activities of life should be done to the glory of God and for the edification of others. Focusing as it does on practical, everyday matters in an accessible style, this topical study is ideal for both individual reading and small-group discussion.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon.)
Grace Transforming by Philip G. Ryken. “For those of us who are performance-oriented or for those who have long since thrown in the towel, a word about grace is in order. Within these pages are 9 key messages on the grace of God. These are masterful lessons, built on Scripture, edifying and applicable for all who want to experience the freedom that comes from resting on the promise of God’s unmerited favor. Helping us to understand that we are not defined by what we do—but rather by who Jesus is and what he has done, this book powerfully addresses the transforming power of grace that is essential for every Christian.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books.)