December’s New and Notable Books

I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books. It has been a little while since I’ve sorted through the piles and to tell you which of them have risen to the top. Here are some of the new and notable books I’ve received in the past month or so.

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SeifridThe Second Letter to the Corinthians by Mark Selfrid is a new volume in the excellent Pillar New Testament Commentary series which is edited by D.A. Carson. Carson commends this volume. He says that over the past few decades modern scholarship has suggested all kinds of novel interpretations of 2 Corinthians. “Through all of these Dr. Seifrid proves to be a patient and sure-footed guide. The result is a commentary that makes 2 Corinthians come alive against as a letter that provides its own unique contribution to the Pauline corpus, to the New Testament, and to the entire Bible — and thus to the church of God in the twenty-first century.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

FeeThe First Epistle to the Corinthians by Gordon Fee is a revised edition of his commentary from the New International Commentary on the New Testament, which was first published in 1987. Fee’s commentary was already considered one of the top-two or -three commentaries on 1 Corinthians, and I trust that this new edition will only cement its place. In his commentary on the commentaries D.A. Carson says Carson says that this (or Garland’s) is the best commentary on 1 Corinthians, and most experts appear to agree and have some difficulty with selecting one over the other. Both Carson and Derek Thomas regard this as a helpful volume while pointing out some weaknesses, and especially Fee’s treatment of 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35. His argument for the continuation of all gifts is said to be helpful and well-formed, whether or not that is your position. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

ScriptureScripture and Counseling: God’s Word for Life in a Broken World, edited by Bob Kellemen. Here is what the publisher says about this one: “Part of the Biblical Counseling Coalition series, Scripture and Counseling brings you the wisdom of twenty ministry leaders who write so you can have confidence that God’s Word is sufficient, necessary, and relevant to equip God’s people to address the complex issues of life in a broken world. It blends theological wisdom with practical expertise and is accessible to pastors, church leaders, counseling practitioners, and students, equipping them to minister the truth and power of God’s word in the context of biblical counseling, soul care, spiritual direction, pastoral care, and small group facilitation.” The foreword is written by Albert Mohler who says it “is representative of the type of theologically sophisticated and pastorally sensitive counseling literature needed in evangelical churches.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

AllisonRoman Catholic Theology & Practice: An Evangelical Assessment by Gregg Allison. I read enough of this one to see that it is quite an interesting book that attempts to provide a very fair treatment of Roman Catholic theology in comparison to Evangelical theology. Here is the editorial description: “In this balanced volume, Gregg Allison—an evangelical theologian and church historian—helps readers understand the nuances of Roman Catholic teaching. Walking through the official Catechism of the Catholic Church, Allison summarizes and assesses Catholic doctrine from the perspective of both Scripture and evangelical theology. Noting prominent similarities without glossing over key differences, this book will equip Christians on both sides of the ecclesiastical divide to fruitfully engage in honest dialogue with one another.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Matt PapaLook and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ by Matt Papa. I haven’t gotten far into this one yet, but have enjoyed what I’ve read. “Matt Papa was a “professional Christian” in full-time ministry, ready and determined to change the world. All the while he was depressed, addicted to the approval of others, and enslaved to sin. But then everything changed. He encountered the glory of God. All of us live in the tension between where we are and where we ought to be. We try our best to bully our desires into submission. And we all know, this is exhausting. Are you tired? Stuck? Still fighting the same sin you’ve been fighting for years? The call in these pages is not to work or to strive, but to lift your eyes. You don’t need more willpower. You need a vision of greatness that sweeps you off your feet. You need to see glory.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Truth in a Culture of DoubtTruth in a Culture of Doubt: Engaging Skeptical Challenges to the Bible by Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw. “Truth in a Culture of Doubt takes a closer look at the key arguments skeptical scholars such as [Bart] Ehrman keep repeating in radio interviews, debates, and in his their popular writings. If you are looking for insightful responses to critical arguments from a biblical perspective, easily accessible and thoughtfully presented, this book is for you. This is the first book to provide a comprehensive response to Ehrman’s popular works. It is presented in such a way that readers can either read straight through the book or use it as a reference when particular questions arise. Responding to skeptical scholars such as Ehrman, Truth in a Culture of Doubt takes readers on a journey to explain topics such as the Bible’s origins, the copying of the Bible, alleged contradictions in Scripture, and the relationship between God and evil. Written for all serious students of Scripture, this book will enable you to know how to respond to a wide variety of critical arguments raised against the reliability of Scripture and the truthfulness of Christianity.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)