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30 Minute Reviews

Book Reviews Collection cover image

Forgive me for sharing a list of 30 Minute Reviews even though I posted another batch yesterday. I have a big backlog of books piled up on my desk, and having spent at least 30 minutes in each one of them, I am eager to provide these short reviews. Publishers are releasing plenty of good books these days and I’m glad to be able to draw your attention to a few of them.

Come to the Waters by James Montgomery Boice – Though James Montgomery Boice died over 10 years ago, his words live on. In this new book, D. Marion Clark has compiled a year’s worth of daily devotionals drawn from Boice’s sermons and unpublished writings. They are based upon texts from Genesis all the way through Revelation. In his introduction to be book Clark writes, “These devotions are not intended simply to make you a better person. They are to lead you again and again to your only hope–Jesus Christ–for glorifying God. If you ever heard Dr. Boice preach or if you have ever read one of his books, you will know roughly what to expect here: systematic, God-honoring, Christ-exalting exposition of Scripture that is not only preached but also applied.

Everyday Prayers by Scotty Smith – One morning Scotty Smith decided he would open up the Bible, turn on his laptop, and begin praying through some of his favorite verses of Scripture. In order to force himself to move at a slow pace and in order to help with his concentration, he elected to type out these prayers. A few weeks later this had become a habit and from there a discipline and a delight. He began to share select prayers with a few friends, then with a list of people and then on a blog. I have often linked to or reprinted those prayers. Baker has now taken 365 of them and compiled them in a book aptly titled Everyday Prayers. What has always appealed to me about Smith’s prayers is that, compared to some other prayer books (such as The Valley of Vision) they are just so normal; they are in the language I use every day. For that reason I find them tremendously helpful.

How the Gospel Brings Us All the Way Home by Derek Thomas – In this book Derek Thomas explores Romans 8 which he declares is the best chapter in the Bible. “Here he finds an exposition of the steps through which God leads His people in the process of their salvation, but also loving counsel on such topics as prayer and resisting the Devil, as well as exhortations and comforts for weary pilgrims. Dr. Thomas begins at Romans 8:1 with ‘the best news imaginable-—believers’ just and deserved condemnation before God has been taken away by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross. He then contrasts earthly minded and spiritually minded people, showing that only those who are spiritually minded know life.” In 11 short chapters, each a good size for personal devotions, he exposits and applies the entire chapter. Though I have not read the whole book, I intend to return to it for devotional purposes.

If You Bite & Devour One Another by Alexander Strauch – Here is the publisher’s description of this book: “Conflict in churches is a pervasive problem we know all too well. If You Bite & Devour One Another is the only book of its kind, examining all the biblical passages on conflict and outlining key scriptural principles for handling various kinds of conflicts among Christian–whether personal disputes, issues of Christian liberty in lifestyles, congregational matters, or disagreements about important doctrines. The book emphasizes Spirit-controlled attitudes and behaviors through solid Bible exposition and true-to-life stories of Christians handling real-life conflicts in a Christ-honoring way.” This is another title that I fully intend to study when time permits. I am sure it will prove useful in my role as a leader within a local church.

  • The Hands and Feet of the Bible

    The Hands and Feet of the Bible

    The Bible has life and the Bible brings life because it has been spoken by God. The Bible’s life, its voice, its feet, and hands are the life, voice, feet, and hands of God extended toward his people. For that reason among others it is always worthy of our time, our attention, and our dedication.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (July 20)

    A La Carte: The wedding of the century / Why grieving people need a theology of giving / God desires your happiness / Sincere love and hospitality in the church / Real life is a better teacher than social media / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (MBTS)

    This week Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For the Church Institute is a free online platform from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary designed to provide free and accessible theological training to equip, encourage, and edify local churches. Courses may be taken as a self-paced individual or as a group within your…

  • A Field Guide on Gender and Sexuality

    A Field Guide on Gender and Sexuality

    God’s design for gender and sexuality is fixed and unchanging. The way he created us is the way he means for us to live. The instruction he provides in the Bible is all we need to understand his purpose and live it out in a way that honors and pleases him. The wisdom he provides…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (July 19)

    A La Carte: When you can’t forgive yourself after an abortion / Ancient Corinth, Judge Judy, and litigious Christians / Trusting the giver of good / The renovation of a soul / Life after Doom (by Brian McLaren) / and more.

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (July 18)

    A La Carte: Does Christian sex need rescuing? / 15 resolves for interpersonal conflicts / How senior pastors can help associate pastors / it’s okay to be okay / Don’t be proud of what you had no say in / How sweet! / Kindle deals / and more.