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Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.
New & Notable Books (January 2016)
January 08, 2016
I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books, and every few weeks I like to provide a round-up of what is new and particularly notable. It has been a little while since my last update and I’ve got a few interesting ones to share with you.
Ruth: A Discourse Analysis of the Hebrew Bible by Daniel Block (Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament). I’m really excited that the excellent ZEC series has now expanded from the New Testament to the Old. Here’s a description of the series: “Designed for the pastor and Bible teacher, the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament brings together commentary features rarely gathered together in one volume. With careful discourse analysis and interpretation of the Hebrew text, the authors trace the flow of argument in each Old Testament book, showing that how a biblical author says something is just as important as what they say. Each volume offers a set of distinctive features, including: the main idea of the passage, its literary context, the author’s original translation and exegetical outline with Hebrew layout, its structure and literary form, an explanation of the text, and its canonical and practical significance.” The series kicks off with two volumes from Daniel Block, Ruth and Obadiah, and one from Kevin Youngblood on Jonah. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon: Ruth, Jonah, Obadiah)
Beating the College Debt Trap: Getting a Degree without Going Broke by Alex Chediak. “Beating the College Debt Trap presents students with a better way to do college. The radically counter-cultural truth is that students don’t have to be totally dependent on Mom, Dad, or Uncle Sam to get the most out of college. Graduation on a solid financial foundation is possible. But it will require intentionality, creativity, hard work, and a willingness to delay gratification. Chediak gets into the nitty-gritty of how to pay less for college, get meaningful work during college (while setting yourself up for success after college), pay off any loans quickly, spend less, save more, and stay out of debt for good. He also unpacks how to transition from college into career, honor God while achieving financial independence, and use your finances to make a positive, eternally-significant difference in the lives of others.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)
Judge Not: How a Lack of Discernment Led to Drunken Pastors, Peanut Butter Armpits, & The Fall of a Nation by Todd Friel. “While there are great, godly men who boldly and biblically shepherd their flocks, the majority of evangelical churches have become silly centers. The result? America the beautiful has become America the debauched. In Judge Not, Todd Friel dares to violate Evangelicalism’s first commandment: thou shall not judge. Friel satirically and painfully exposes some of the rot in the underbelly of the contemporary church, and points to a solution to help rescue the church, save souls, and glorify God. Prepare to potentially be shocked, offended, and inspired to do more than just complain about the state of Evangelicalism. This book will enable you to actually do something to put an end to the chicanery that pervades far too many churches.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)
Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology by Abraham Kuyper. This is a massive new set put together by Lexham Press (owned by Faithlife, the parent company of Logos). The series is being released volume by volume in Logos, hardcover, and Kindle formats. “A resurgence of interest in Kuyper, his life, and his writings is taking hold as Christians search for ways to faithfully understand and engage culture. Lexham Press is pleased to announce the publication of a major series of new translations of Kuyper’s writings in public theology. Created in partnership with the Kuyper Translation Society and the Acton Institute, the Abraham Kuyper Collected Works in Public Theology will mark a historic moment in Kuyper studies, and we hope it will deepen and enrich the church’s interest and engagement in public theology.” (Learn more or buy it at Logos or Amazon)
The Miracles of Jesus: How the Savior’s Mighty Acts Serve as Signs of Redemption by Vern Poythress. “Jesus walked on water. He healed a blind man. He turned water into wine. More than just displays of his divine power, Jesus’s miracles signify something deeper—they’re windows into God’s grand story of redemption, foreshadowing the great miracle of Christ’s death and resurrection. By explaining the meaning and significance of all 26 miracles recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, New Testament scholar Vern Poythress shows us their relevance for our lives today. Poythress unpacks for us how understanding the meaning of Christ’s miracles will help us better grasp the salvation God has brought into the world.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)
Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, Fourth Edition by John Jefferson Davis. “For three decades, Evangelical Ethics has been regarded as one of the best treatments of contemporary ethical problems facing Christians. John Jefferson Davis brings mature biblical thought to issues such as homosexuality, genetics, abortion, euthanasia, war and peace, the environment, divorce, and remarriage. This fourth edition includes a new chapter on the history and legacy of slavery in the United States. Other chapters have been revised and updated.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)