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10 New and Notable Christian Books for July 2020

Even in the heat of summer Christian publishers continue to bring us great new books! It has actually been quite a July for Christian readers with lots of notable books coming our way. Here are a few of the ones that stood out to me.

Why Is My Teenager Feeling Like This?: A Guide for Helping Teens through Anxiety and Depression by David Murray. “Have you ever looked at your anxious or depressed teenage son or daughter and wondered, Why is my teenager feeling like this? In this companion guide to his book for teens Why Am I Feeling Like This?, pastor and counselor David Murray offers spiritual encouragement and practical direction for parents and other adults who want to help but don’t know where to start. Structured around eighteen real-life examples, Murray provides tips for having open conversations with teens about anxiety and depression, as well as discussion questions, Bible verses for memorization, and prayers. With these tools in hand, parents and teenagers alike will be equipped to experience freedom from the chains of anxiety and depression.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books; also consider the companion book Why Am I Feeling Like This?)

Biblical Theology According to the Apostles: How the Earliest Christians Told the Story of Israel (New Studies in Biblical Theology) by Chris Bruno, Jared Compton, and Kevin McFadden. “How did the apostles understand the Old Testament? Although relatively few in number, the New Testament’s explicit summaries of the Old Testament story of Israel give readers direct access into the way the earliest Christians told this story―that is to say, into the way they did biblical theology. This stimulating New Studies in Biblical Theology volume examines the passages in the Synoptic Gospels, Acts, Paul’s letters, and Hebrews which recount the characters, events, and institutions of Israel’s story in chronological order and at substantial length. The authors demonstrate just how valuable a lens these summaries provide for a clearer vision of the earliest Christians’ practice of biblical theology. In doing so, they also show how contemporary readers can and should follow the apostles’ example. Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.” (Buy it from Amazon)

God on the Brain: What Cognitive Science Does (and Does Not) Tell Us about Faith, Human Nature, and the Divine by Brad Sickler. “Advances in modern science have dramatically increased our understanding of the human brain. While this progress has helped improve many lives, it has also raised many philosophical and theological questions. Researchers are increasingly presenting the brain as comprising the totality of a person. But is this a fair assessment? Bradley Sickler offers a timely theological, scientific, and philosophical analysis of cognitive science, arguing that the brain is more complex than what can be explained by science alone. Navigating questions about the brain, religion, and science, Sickler guides readers to confidently affirm that the Christian worldview offers the most compelling vision of the true nature of humanity.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Works of William Perkins, The 10 Volume Collection by William Perkins. This massive set has finally been completed with the tenth and final volume. “The Works of William Perkins fills a major gap in Reformed and Puritan theology. Though Perkins is best known today for his writings on predestination, he also wrote prolifically on many subjects. His works filled over two thousand large pages of small print in three folio volumes and were reprinted several times in the decades after his death. However, his complete works have not been in print since the mid-seventeenth century. This modern typeset edition of the Works includes four volumes of Perkins’s expositions of Scripture, three volumes of his doctrinal and polemical treatises, and three volumes of his practical writings.” It’s worth reading J.I. Packer’s endorsement: “On the broad shoulders of William Perkins, epoch-making pioneer, stood the entire school of seventeenth-century Puritan pastors and divines, yet the Puritan reprint industry has steadily bypassed him. Now, however, he begins to reappear, admirably edited, and at last this yawning gap is being filled. Profound thanks to the publisher and heartfelt praise to God have become due.”

John Bunyan by Simonetta Carr. Simonetta Carr has written a whole series of biographies for kids in the 7-12 age range, and the latest covers the life of John Bunyan. “A Nonconformist preacher and writer of the seventeenth century, John Bunyan is well known as the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, the epic tale of Christian’s journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City-from unbelief, to repentance and faith, to the trials and victories of life, to heaven. Many people don’t realize, however, that Bunyan based the story on his own life, which was full of dangers, obstacles, disappointments, tough decisions, and great encouragements. Simonetta Carr introduces young readers to the story of John Bunyan, from his rebellious youth to preacher of the gospel and prisoner for the sake of Christ. His example of faithfulness to God will inspire readers as they learn about this important figure of church history.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Telling a Better Story: How To Talk About God in a Skeptical Age by Josh Chatraw. “The practice of offering reasons for the Christian faith, or apologetics, strikes many unbelievers today as offensive, an attempt to proselytize, while Christians themselves often view apologetics as unsophisticated or even faith-undermining. After all, shouldn’t a believer focus on presenting the gospel rather than attempting to argue people to belief? In Telling a Better Story, author Joshua Chatraw presents a new and better way to do apologetics, an inside-out approach that is attuned to our late-modern moment and respectful of unbelievers, all the while remaining focused on Jesus. With chapters on cultural understanding, dealing with the difficult issues, and presenting Jesus in a holistic, contextual manner, Telling a Better Story offers a roadmap to effective apologetics both for experienced apologists and those new to sharing their faith with others.” (Buy it from Amazon)

A Life of Alexander Campbell by Douglas A. Foster. “The first critical biography of Alexander Campbell, one of the founders of the Stone-Campbell Movement. A Life of Alexander Campbell examines the core identity of a gifted and determined reformer to whom millions of Christians around the globe today owe much of their identity—whether they know it or not. Douglas Foster assesses principal parts of Campbell’s life and thought to discover his significance for American Christianity and the worldwide movement that emerged from his work. He examines Campbell’s formation in Ireland, his creation and execution of a reform of Christianity beginning in America, and his despair at the destruction of his vision by the American Civil War. A Life of Alexander Campbell shows why this important but sometimes misunderstood and neglected figure belongs at the heart of the American religious story.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Bumps, Babies and the Gospel: Preparing Your Heart for Parenting by Sarah Dargue. “Parenting is perhaps the most all-consuming, life altering role you will ever undertake. Getting your heart ready for what is about to happen is perhaps one of the most important things you can do. In Bumps, Babies and the Gospel, Sarah Dargue will take you through the book of Colossians and help you to see that there is no better preparation for having a baby and beginning the parenting journey, than what we are offered in Christ Himself. This book is the prenatal class you need above all else a prenatal class for your heart.” This endorsement aptly summarizes the book’s value. “”Many motherhood books do one of two things, either speak to the mother only or speak to motherhood long after her pregnancy has ended. Sarah has written a helpful book that speaks to both parents as they prepare for the arrival of their child, and as they cope with the new reality of parenthood in those early days. By showing us that God s word is ‘living and active’ in every season of life, she encourages new parents in the reality of parenthood and the hope provided in Christ. I plan on giving this away at baby showers from now on!” (Courtney Reissig, author of Teach Me to Feel: Worshiping Through the Psalms in Every Season of Life). (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Running the Race: Eric Liddell – Olympic Champion and Missionary by John Keddie. This is an updated edition of a much-valued biography of Eric Liddell. “The name Eric Liddell is a familiar one to many, having gained much fame through the film Chariots of Fire. A Christian athlete and missionary, his passion for his Saviour could be seen throughout his life. From university days to internment at Weihsien POW Camp, John Keddie’s biography brings together a specialist understanding of both Liddell’s faith and sporting achievements to provide an engaging account of this normal man’s extraordinary life.” Here’s what Michael Haykin says about it: “Like many, I shall never forget the impact of my first viewing of Chariots of Fire, where a portion of the life–story of the Scottish Christian sportsman Eric Liddell was told. It was deeply inspiring and proved to be the foundation of an ongoing interest in Liddell’s life. So I am thrilled to recommend this fresh biographical study of Liddell by John Keddie: perfect to inspire a new generation, it is powerfully written and beautifully illustrated. A joy to read.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Parenting Essentials: Equipping Your Children for Life by Andreas & Margaret Köstenberger. “The world desperately needs parents who care deeply about parenting, who embrace their God–given role with humility, grace, commitment, a sense of stewardship, love, and a healthy dose of humor. This book takes a practical, biblical–theological approach to what a mom and dad can do together to parent in a realistic, relational and responsible way.” It’s always fun to read a child’s endorsement of his parents’ book, and this is what David Köstenberger says about it: “My parents wrote this parenting book. Spoiler: they’re regular parents. And while they aren’t perfect, they sure did care for and invest in me. I turned out alright if I may say so myself – so give this book a read. I think you’ll find it to be an invaluable resource for you as you cope with your crazy kids. All that said, I give this book the official child–approved stamp!” (Buy it from Amazon)

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