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New and Notable Books and Commentaries for January 2021

With a new year comes lots of new books. And it’s not just new books but new commentaries as well. Lots of them have landed on my doorstep in the past few weeks and here are my picks for the new and notable books and commentaries from January 2021. In each case I’ve included the publisher’s description, just to give you a taste of what it’s about.

Rejoice and Tremble: The Surprising Good News of the Fear of the Lord by Michael Reeves. “Fear is one of the strongest human emotions, and it is one that often baffles Christians. ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.’ Fear is one of the strongest human emotions―and one that often baffles Christians. In the Bible the picture can seem equally confusing: Is fear a good thing or a bad thing? And what does it mean to ‘fear the Lord’? In Rejoice and Tremble, Michael Reeves clears the clouds of confusion and shows that the fear of the Lord is not a negative thing at all, but an intensely delighted wondering at God, our Creator and Redeemer.” (See also the companion book, What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord?) (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

A Radical, Comprehensive Call to Holiness by Joel Beeke and Michael Barrett. “A profound biblical examination of the divine work of sanctification. The mandate for holiness is based in the very character and person of God: we are to be holy because God is holy. His grace never leaves a man where it finds him. Grace always transforms the sinner into a saint―a holy man. God’s will is for His people to be holy, and the explanations of why and how we become holy are throughout the Bible. Explaining the tension between positional and progressive holiness, Joel Beeke and Michael Barrett expound the doctrine of sanctification and show that it is the application of the gospel to our daily lives. If you’ve ever considered why, if we are saved by grace alone, holiness matters, this book is for you.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Aging with Grace: Flourishing in an Anti-Aging Culture by Sharon Betters & Susan Hunt. “Whatever season of life you’re in, God has equipped you to flourish—to live in the transforming power and beauty of his grace. As we age, we can easily lose sight of this message as cultural ideals glorifying youth take center stage. In this book, Sharon W. Betters and Susan Hunt offer present-day and biblical examples of women who rediscovered gospel-rooted joy later in their lives. Equipped with a biblical view of aging, Aging with Grace will help you encounter afresh the gospel that ‘is big enough, good enough, and powerful enough to make every season of life significant and glorious.’” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Systematic Theology, Second Edition: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem. “This new edition of Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem may be the most important resource you can own for helping you understand Scripture and grow as a Christian. The most widely used resource of the last 25 years in its area, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem has been thoroughly revised and expanded (all 57 chapters) for the first time while retaining the features that have made it the standard in its field: clear explanations, an emphasis on each doctrine’s scriptural basis, and practical applications to daily life. All 57 chapters in this new edition of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology have been revised and expanded, while maintaining the features that have made it the standard in its field: clear explanations, an emphasis on each doctrine’s scriptural basis, and practical applications to daily life. If you are someone who thinks theology is hard to understand or boring, then this new edition of Systematic Theology will likely change your mind.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Cheer Up! The Life and Ministry of Jack Miller by Michael A. Graham. “Through the New Life movement, pastor and author Jack Miller became the pioneering captain of an expansive network of gospel-centered, Reformed leaders who taught in seminaries, planted new churches, revitalized existing churches, and recruited and trained missionaries who were sent around the world. His influence is felt today through their work, his writings, and ministries such as Serge (previously World Harvest Mission) and the Sonship curriculum. Drawing on extensive interviews with Jack’s friends, family, colleagues, and critics, as well as archival material, biographer Michael Graham gives us a full picture of Jack Miller—from his difficult childhood, early atheism, and conversion to his later teaching and ministries—showing how he pressed through grave challenges to bring the joy of God’s omnipotent grace to some of the most influential leaders in the church today.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Closer: A Realistic Book About Intimacy for Christian Marriages by Adrian and Celia Reynolds. “How to enjoy intimacy in Christian marriage. Sexual intimacy in marriage is a great gift from a good God that cements couples together and brings unity and happiness. Nevertheless, in our broken and messed-up world we often need help and direction to understand and enjoy what it means to give ourselves to one another, and to overcome some of the difficulties and questions that every Christian husband and wife faces. Adrian and Celia Reynolds are straightforward and compassionate as they look at Scripture to guide couples in this area. They give five clear biblical principles relating to sex and apply them to the common questions Christian couples ask about intimacy.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)


We have seen quite a number of new commentaries from very credible series. Here are some highlights:

From the Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary series:

  • Romans by David Peterson (Amazon)
  • 1-2 Timothy & Titus by Andreas Köstenberger (Amazon)
  • Hebrews by Thomas Schreiner (Amazon)

From the Christian Standard Commentary series:

  • Galatians by Timothy George (Amazon)
  • 1&2 Peter and Jude by Thomas Schreiner (Amazon)

From the Focus on the Bible series:

From the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series:

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    A La Carte (June 25)

    A La Carte: Principles for leading an effective meeting / Longing for home with C.S. Lewis and Tyler Childers / The uncategorizable suffering / How (and how not) to wait / Things too marvelous / Eat this, not that / Books on sale / and more.

  • Dirty Feet: Our Filth, His Joy

    This post is sponsored by Burke Care and is written by Cameron Woodall . Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so, he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around…

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    It was one of those little pieces of information that helped clarify so much in my mind, that described through data what I had seen with my own eyes and experienced in my own ministry. It is a piece of information we all ought to be aware of and one we all ought to consider.…

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    A La Carte (June 24)

    A La Carte: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and God’s beautiful providence / The Psalms’ quiet case for musical diversity / How to criticize your pastor / A new day / Take every thought captive / Sitting on suitcases / Kindle deals / and more.

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    The Means and the End

    There is a crucial distinction between means and ends. Ends are the goals we have set our hearts on, while means represent the habits or disciplines through which we can realistically hope to attain those goals.

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 22)

    A La Carte: Motherhood / An open letter to dads about gentle parenting / How do I navigate a painful breakup? / More wonderful than being beautiful / Three reasons to show up to the prayer meeting / and more.