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Books I Didn’t Review

Book Reviews Collection cover image

It is time for another of these irregular roundups of books that I didn’t review. It’s not necessarily that these are bad books or ones I purposely chose not to read and review. It’s just that, life being what it is, I cannot read them all. So here are a few that came in this week that I wish I could have read but that I just did not have time for. And here are a couple that I wouldn’t read if you paid me.

The God Who Is There by D.A. Carson. “It can no longer be assumed that most people–or even most Christians–have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don’t know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God’s story of redemption. In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader’s guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.” It looks like a very useful book. I may well go through it with a small group at some point.

Getting the Reformation Wrong by James R. Payton Jr. “Most students of history know that Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the Wittenberg Church door and that John Calvin penned the Institutes of the Christian Religion. However, the Reformation did not unfold in the straightforward, monolithic fashion some may think. It was, in fact, quite a messy affair.” This one looks quite interesting, though I suspect it’s best left to those who have at least some background in church history in general and Reformation history in particular. So I would not recommend making this book your introduction to this period of history. I believe we’ll have a review of this at Discerning Reader before wrong (but someone else called dibs on it!).

The Faithful Parent: A Biblical Guide to Raising a Family by Martha Peace & Stuart W. Scott. “A compelling read, this book offers practical advice and biblical hope to parents of children of all ages. Most parenting books, outright or indirectly, promise a good outcome if you only follow their suggestions. The Faithful Parent contains a wealth of practical, biblically-based suggestions, but it maintains that the most important relationship in any family is vertical—between parents and God. It is the Christian parent, in being faithful, who glorifies God. Look inside to discover how the faithful parent has the biggest impact on his or her children.” It’s not like we are hurting for more books on parenting, but this one comes from two good authors and comes highly recommended by Ted Tripp, Wayne Mack, Lance Quinn and Al Mohler. I appreciate that this book’s emphasis is particularly on drawing your children into a relationship with the Lord.

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Kevin & Alex Malarkey. Don Piper’s 90 Minutes from Heaven has spawned all kinds of imitators and this is the latest and greatest. It’s another book that seems to clash with Scripture but which we are all supposed to just accept because the authors say it’s true. “In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex—and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. “I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,” a friend told the stricken dad. But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all … Of meeting and talking to Jesus. The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven is the true story of an ordinary boy’s most extraordinary journey. As you see heaven and earth through Alex’s eyes, you’ll come away with new insights on miracles, life beyond this world, and the power of a father’s love.”

A few quick hits:


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (July 13)

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  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…