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10 New and Notable Books for August

As you know by now, I like to keep on top of new Christian book releases. And, as it happens, most of them show up in my mailbox anyway. So I sorted through the big pile and arrived at 10 books I consider especially noteworthy for August.

The Right Kind of StrongThe Right Kind of Strong: Surprisingly Simple Habits of a Spiritually Strong Woman by Mary Kassian. “Our culture teaches us that it’s important for women to be strong. The Bible agrees. Unfortunately, culture’s idea of what makes a woman strong doesn’t always align with the Bible’s. As a result, Christians often have a skewed view of what constitutes strength. In The Right Kind of Strong, Mary Kassian delves into Paul’s exhortation in 2 Timothy about the women of the church in Ephesus and uncovers warnings and truths about seven habits that can sap women’s strength. She reveals how, by guarding against these seven pitfalls, Christian women can walk in freedom and grow to be strong God’s way.” (Buy it at Amazon)

Reading RomansReading Romans with Eastern Eyes: Honor and Shame in Paul’s Message and Mission by Jackson W. “Combining research from Asian scholars with his many years of experience living and working in East Asia, Jackson directs our attention to Paul’s letter to the Romans. He argues that some traditional East Asian cultural values are closer to those of the first-century biblical world than common Western cultural values. In addition, he adds his voice to the scholarship engaging the values of honor and shame in particular and their influence on biblical interpretation. As readers, we bring our own cultural fluencies and values to the text. Our biases and backgrounds influence what we observe―and what we overlook. This book helps us consider ways we sometimes miss valuable insights because of widespread cultural blind spots. In Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes, Jackson demonstrates how paying attention to East Asian culture provides a helpful lens for interpreting Paul’s most complex letter. When read this way, we see how honor and shame shape so much of Paul’s message and mission.” (Buy it at Amazon)

Created to CareCreated to Care: God’s Truth for Anxious Moms by Sara Wallace. “Young motherhood is a flurry of activity and endless laundry. But beyond the din of the busyness, a small, persistent voice beckons our thoughts to follow: ‘What if …’ God created moms with a heightened sense of awareness in this precious season. Our hearts are uniquely vulnerable to joy and fear at the same time. Between experiencing real trials and just-as-stressful hypothetical ones, we’re a mess. We need an anchor. We need something to tether our minds to when the waves of anxiety threaten our joy. If you struggle with anxiety as a mom, Sara Wallace wants you to know you’re not alone. What’s more, God’s Word has specific, practical comfort that will help you to embrace this season with peace and confidence. Sara shows how we can learn to have peace in ten critical areas–from our personal insecurities to the spiritual well-being of our children–and provides practical tips from other moms.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Paul vs JamesPaul vs. James: What We’ve Been Missing in the Faith and Works Debate by Chris Bruno. “Put James and Paul next to each other and some tough-to-answer questions come up. Paul says we’re saved by faith alone, not works—and James seems to say the opposite. If you’ve been around the church for a while, you probably know enough to say “the right thing” if someone asked about these verses. But would your answers hold up to scrutiny? If pressed, would you know what to say? Dive into the life stories of both apostles, learn more about the context of their letters, and discover the truth about the shared message they both proclaimed. No more canned answers or lingering questions, gain confidence and go deeper in Paul vs. James.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

PursuingPursuing a Heart of Wisdom: Counseling Teenagers Biblically by John C. Kwasny. “A healthy body. A strong mind. A good academic record. Success in every extra–curricular activity. A bright future. Out of all the qualities and successes adults desire to see in the lives of teens, a wise and understanding heart should at the top of the list. Grounded in the fear of the Lord, godly wisdom is essential to navigate the minefield of the teenage years. Far too often, it is assumed by many that adolescents are destined to be foolish―hopefully, outgrowing such foolishness by adulthood. Sadly, many teens are left to themselves during these years, dealing with the temptations and the struggles of their hearts and minds all on their own. Yet, all through the Book of Proverbs, young people are taught to gain wisdom through listening to and obeying their parents and other wise adults. If teenagers are to listen and learn wisdom, then parents and other mature adults are to speak wisdom and live wisely before them! To put it in today’s terms, all teens need Biblical counseling in order to pursue a heart of wisdom―and God calls parents and youth ministry leaders to offer them Biblical counsel.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

 MarshallThe Promise Is His Presence: Why God Is Always Enough by Glenna Marshall. “What if you didn’t have to go looking for God’s presence? What if you could enjoy it all the time? Glenna Marshall’s awakening to God’s presence began in the depths of winter. Rereading her journal, she realized that for six months she’d been cataloging all the ways God had abandoned her. What if that … wasn’t true? Interweaving her own story of faith and doubt amid suffering, Glenna traces the theme of God’s presence from Genesis to Revelation and shows what it means for us in our own daily joys and struggles. God’s presence among his people set him apart from the pagan gods of ancient times. His presence on earth as God Incarnate split history in two. And today his presence is one of the most significant means of his goodness to us.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Care of SoulsThe Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart by Harold L. Senkbeil. “Drawing on a lifetime of pastoral experience, The Care of Souls is a beautifully written treasury of proven wisdom which pastors will find themselves turning to again and again. Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice born out of his five decades as a pastor that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.” (Buy it at Amazon)

letters to my studentsLetters to My Students: Volume 1: On Preaching by Jason Allen. “Few books have more influenced those called to gospel ministry than Charles Spurgeon’s Lectures to My Students. This influence of this book, like the Prince of Preachers himself, reverberates to our present age. Carrying forward this tradition is Jason Allen’s Letters to My Students. Dr. Allen serves as president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College, the former ranking as one of the largest and fastest growing seminaries in North America. Dr. Allen has also served in multiple pastorates. His passion to serve the church by equipping a generation of pastors, missionaries, and ministers for faithful service is reflected in Letters to My Students. Letters to My Students is a biblical, accessible guide for ministers and ministers-in-training. It brings both biblical and practical wisdom to bear on the minister’s three main responsibilities: preaching, leading, and shepherding the flock of God. Martin Lloyd-Jones famously described the call to ministry as the highest, greatest, and most glorious calling to which one can be called. If this assessment resonates with you, you’ll want every available tool to strengthen your ministry. Letters to My Students is one such resource.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Walking with Jesus on CampusWalking with Jesus on Campus: How to Care for Your Soul during College by Stephen Kellough. “Our time at university is almost always a pivoting point, for better or worse. Some people go into college seemingly strong in their faith but walk away burnt out and disillusioned. Others come in with spiritual doubts and apathy toward Christ and walk away as passionate Christian leaders. What makes the difference? In Walking with Jesus on Campus, chaplain Stephen Kellough explores 10 make-or-break issues like: Doubt and Depression; Sexuality and Singleness; The Sabbath; Perfectionism. Whether you are heading off to college, ministering to college students, or are the parent of a college-aged kid, this book will help you better understand how to tackle what lies ahead.” (Buy it at Amazon)

Not Home YetNot Home Yet: How the Renewal of the Earth Fits into God’s Plan for the World by Ian K. Smith. “Beginning with the creation of the heavens and earth and ending with the New Jerusalem, the storyline of Scripture reveals God’s commitment to the physical world that he created. Our final destiny is not some disembodied, heavenly existence but rather life with God on a renewed earth. How does this understanding of our future home affect our lives today? What role should Christians play in meeting physical needs? Are spiritual realities more significant than physical? This book will help us understand God’s eternal vision for the renewal of this earth and discover purpose in all of our daily, real-world endeavors, such as work, the arts, social justice, ecology, medicine, and more.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)


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