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New and Notable Books (Belated) for February 2021

The time has come for another roundup of some of the new and notable books that have come my way in the past month. Unfortunately I dawdled just a little so this has fallen from the last days of February to the first days of March. Regardless, here are some of the books that caught my attention in February. For each of them I have included the publisher’s description.

Both–And: Understanding Apparent Contradictions in Christianity by Ross Cunningham. “One of the significant challenges in the Christian faith is the number of apparent contradictions the Bible presents. These paradoxes and mysteries can be difficult to understand. In Both–And Ross Cunningham takes 23 pairs of seemingly contradictory truths and concisely and clearly explains how they can co–exist. The book is divided into three main sections – apparent contradictions in the divine nature; apparent contradictions in the experience of salvation; and apparent contradiction in the characteristics of being in Christ. Ross Cunningham, who has a background in creative design, has introduced each chapter with an attractive graphic representation of the paradox in question.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World by by Brett McCracken. “We’re facing an information overload. With the quick tap of a finger we can access an endless stream of addictive information―sports scores, breaking news, political opinions, streaming TV, the latest Instagram posts, and much more. Accessing information has never been easier―but acquiring wisdom is increasingly difficult. In an effort to help us consume a more balanced, healthy diet of information, Brett McCracken has created the “Wisdom Pyramid.” Inspired by the food pyramid model, the Wisdom Pyramid challenges us to increase our intake of enduring, trustworthy sources (like the Bible) while moderating our consumption of less reliable sources (like the Internet and social media). At a time when so much of our daily media diet is toxic and making us spiritually sick, The Wisdom Pyramid suggests that we become healthy and wise when we reorient our lives around God―the foundation of truth and the eternal source of wisdom.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The End of Me: Finding Resurrection Life in the Daily Sacrifices of Motherhood by Liz Wann. “There are many books on motherhood but not many that talk about how hard it is – physically, mentally and spiritually – and what to do when you reach your limits. When Liz Wann became a mother, she was unprepared for how hard it would be. In this book, she writes honestly about these deeply challenging aspects of motherhood and how God works through them to make us more like his Son. ‘Coming to the end of who I was, and what motherhood was stripping me of, was a good thing that drove me to Christ and to the power that he supplies in every failure and weakness of motherhood.’ This short, easy-to-read book encourages mothers to depend on Christ when they reach their limits. They will find that God will supply what they need to cope with the daily sacrifices and challenges of motherhood, and that he will use these struggles to make them more like Christ.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Dying to Speak: Meditations from the Cross by Anthony J. Carter & Lee Fowler. “Everyone dies. No one died like Jesus. Unlike any other person, Jesus knew when he would die. He knew how he would die. He knew what his death would accomplish. Thus, we can be assured that Jesus’s last words on the cross were full of meaning—they hold an intentional and redemptive significance. Anthony Carter and Lee Fowler take a brief, devotional look at each of our Savior’s final seven sayings on the cross. These words reveal who Jesus is: the Son of God, Messiah, Shepherd of our souls, Savior of the world. They also tell us who we are to be because of him: forgiven, saved, loved, reconciled, refreshed, complete, and satisfied. The work and words of Christ accomplish and announce the good news of salvation by grace, and our response is the joy of living and loving in light of that good news. With pastoral care, Carter and Fowler remind us of the moving drama of our salvation and the implications of Christ’s words for our lives today.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Corporate Worship: How the Church Gathers as God’s People by Matt Merker. “What Is the Role of Corporate Worship in the Church? Christians worship God at church every week, but many don’t know exactly what worship is or why they do it. For some, it’s a warm-up for the sermon. For others, it’s a ‘me-and-Jesus’ moment. What is the biblically informed way to view corporate worship? In this book, Matt Merker shows that corporate worship is the gathering of God’s people by his grace, for his glory, for their good, and before a watching world. He offers biblical insights and practical suggestions for making worship what it truly is meant to be: a foretaste of God’s people worshiping together for eternity in the new creation.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Worshiping with the Reformers by Karin Maag. “Worship of the triune God has always stood at the center of the Christian life. That was certainly the case during the sixteenth-century Reformation as well. Yet in the midst of tremendous social and theological upheaval, the church had to renew its understanding of what it means to worship God. In this volume, which serves as a companion to IVP Academic’s Reformation Commentary on Scripture series, Reformation scholar Karin Maag takes readers inside the worshiping life of the church during this era. Drawing from sources across theological traditions, she explores several aspects of the church’s worship, including what it was like to attend church, reforms in preaching, the function of prayer, how Christians experienced the sacraments, and the roles of both visual art and music in worship. With Maag as your guide, you can go to church―with the Reformers.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Heart of Anger: How the Bible Transforms Anger in Our Understanding and Experience by Christopher Ash & Steve Midgley. “How should Christians understand anger, evaluate it, and respond for good? We all struggle with anger at times: Our plans suddenly fall through, we lose a prized possession, or our reputation is called into question. More often than not, when anger knocks at the doors of our hearts we easily allow it to take over. But what if getting to the heart of our anger also reveals the way to transform it? Christopher Ash and Steve Midgley address this question by bringing to bear what the whole Bible has to say about sinful anger―revealing that anger is the sinful response when something we value more than God is taken away or threatened. They reflect on biblical portraits of human anger, God’s righteous anger, and how only the gospel of Jesus Christ brings true freedom―transforming a heart of anger into a heart filled with the love of God.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Practicing Thankfulness: Cultivating a Grateful Heart in All Circumstances by Sam Crabtree. “Christians are called to be thankful. What we believe about God is evident in how we exhibit thankfulness for all he has done. In this book, pastor Sam Crabtree encourages us to express glad-hearted thankfulness for God’s unending provision in all circumstances. Through the daily practices of expressing gratitude—saying ‘thank you’ to a neighbor, serving others in practical ways, or simply thanking God for his many gifts—we recognize the absolute and total lordship of God and his sovereignty over all things.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Re: velation: Seeing Jesus, Seeing Self, Standing Firm by Stanley Gale. “The book of Revelation is not primarily about predicting the future or recognizing end-time signs in the morning news but instead prepares Christ’s followers for the challenges we face in light of the glories to come. Re: velation unpacks Jesus’s vivid communication to His church in the first three chapters of Revelation to remind us of our certain hope, assure us of His victorious presence, and embolden our faith to persevere. Re: velation gives us the coordinates of grace along the path of wisdom for our spiritual journey to eternity as disciples of our risen, reigning, and returning Lord.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

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