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New and Notable Books for July 2021

For reasons that are obvious, publishers do not release a great many books in July as summer reaches its peak. That said, while they do not release a lot of books when judged by quantity, they do release some significant works when judged by quality. With that in mind, here are some of my picks for July’s New and Notable books. In each case I’ve included the editorial description.

The Visual Word: Illustrated Outlines of the New Testament Books by Patrick Schreiner. “Every Christian wants to love the Bible. But let’s face it: we sometimes get lost in all the names, places, and doctrines that we find in its pages. Who wrote this epistle? Which book is about justification? Joy? Jesus? Aren’t they all about him? The New Testament contains complex ideas and multiple genres. Keeping it straight can be hard to do. Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody who understands the big picture would put it together for us in one place? Biblical scholar and seminary professor Patrick Schreiner draws from his years of experience as a teacher to offer a simple and memorable way of understanding Scripture. And he doesn’t do it by throwing big words at you. The contours of the New Testament and its underlying structure are depicted in visual format along with Schreiner’s clear explanations. In The Visual Word, the Bible comes alive because you can see it pictured before your eyes. By taking a graphic approach, you’ll notice connections you’ve never seen before. Gain insights you’ve missed all these years. And discover an overall pattern that makes each separate piece fall perfectly into place.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Pure in Heart: Sexual Sin and the Promises of God by Garrett Kell. “Many women and men trapped in sexual sin believe willpower is the key to overcoming temptation, but your shaky self-discipline doesn’t have to be the source of your strength. Sharing from his personal struggles, J. Garrett Kell explains that life-long transformation rests in the supernatural power of the Savior and the support of a local church. He offers profound insights into Jesus’s teachings on purity and provides you with long-term strategies for your own pathway to freedom. Written for both men and women struggling with temptation, this book is a vital resource for the church, encouraging a healthy, empathetic community to help brothers and sisters in Christ resist sin. The goal isn’t purity for purity’s sake, but delighting in God and trusting him for ultimate victory.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Work that Matters by Daniel Doriani. “The work you do is one of the main ways you serve God & show love to your neighbor—& as you devote your time to it, it reflects, shapes, & defines who you are. When we work faithfully in ways that please God, we act as his hands in the world, providing for one another and pushing back against the effects of the fall. Writing to laborers in any field, Dan Doriani gives a brief and thoughtful overview of the Bible’s teaching on the nature, challenges, & opportunities of work. What does it mean to be faithful at work? How do we know if we are called to a certain kind of work? What makes our work good work? In a format suitable for individuals or small groups, he answers these questions, shining encouraging new light on the familiar & providing insights for self-evaluation.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Praying in Public: A Guidebook for Prayer in Corporate Worship by Pat Quinn. “God commands his people to pray together and answers graciously when they do. The Bible specifically calls on church leaders to guide this essential form of corporate worship, but it can be challenging to pray boldly and confidently in front of others. This practical, step-by-step guide was created to help pastors and church leaders pray thoughtfully and biblically in public. Through seven guiding principles, Pat Quinn illustrates how to lead prayers of adoration, confession, and supplication to God, and covers the history of public prayer in Scripture. He also includes elegant, reverent, gospel-centered examples from the Latin Liturgy, John Calvin, the Puritans, John Wesley, and others, as well as many examples of his own congregational prayers. Pastors and church leaders will learn to glorify God more passionately, effectively intercede for the church and the world, and find joy—not fear—in praying publicly.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Beacon–Light: The Life of William Borden (1887–1913) by Kevin Belmonte. “Although William Borden was taken from this world at the young age of 25, the years he lived were full of dedication to serve. Kevin Belmonte draws on letters, quotations and images to paint a unique picture of William’s life of commitment to God, delving into the ways ‘vital truth,’ as William called it, was the star he reckoned by. In the telling of the life story of William Borden, there is much to learn about living a life of devotion to God. The desire to live for Christ guided and shaped William’s life, from his school days, right up until his death. With insightful extracts of letters and telling photos, the reader is taken on a journey through William’s life, from The Hill School, to Yale, to Princeton Seminary, and the beginning of his missionary training. Reading this book will give a wonderful view into Borden’s world, to know something of the voices and scenes he knew. A vital part of William’s life was his ‘Morning Watch’ (or what he also called his ‘breakfast’) – feeding on and contemplating the Word of God and growing deeper in his faith. It’s a privilege to have this unique insight into his life, and an inspiration for readers to strive to live such a life of devotion themselves.” (Buy it from Westminster Books)

Right Now Counts Forever: 4-Volume Collection by R.C. Sproul. “There is no such thing as a meaningless moment. Since we’re made in God’s image and created for His eternal glory, everything we think, say, and do today matters forever. The question is, How should this truth direct our daily lives? For more than forty years, Dr. R.C. Sproul wrote his recurring column in Tabletalk magazine, Right Now Counts Forever, to apply the teachings of the Bible and Reformed theology to everyday life. No topic was off-limits because every part of our lives bears enduring significance. Through the years, Dr. Sproul helped Christians give careful thought to topics in theology and history, politics and current events, relationships and entertainment, and more. In this four-volume collection, hundreds of Dr. Sproul’s columns have been brought together for the first time. Written to serve the church, this treasury of theological reflection can help guide believers of all ages to live with eternity in mind and devote all of life to the glory of God.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Reformed Pastor (Updated and Abridged) by Richard Baxter; Adapted by Tim Cooper. “Originally written in 1656 and endorsed by generations of leading pastors as an essential book on the work of ministry, this abridged version of The Reformed Pastor presents the best of Richard Baxter’s timeless advice in simple, modern language that’s more accessible to a new generation of church leaders. In inspiring communications to his fellow ministers, Baxter challenged them to pursue teaching and personal pastoral ministry with an exceptional degree of faithfulness. His words were grounded in the apostle Paul’s encouragement to the leaders in Ephesus to ‘take heed unto yourselves and all the flock.’ Baxter’s advice remains relevant today as Christian leaders face both new and age-old challenges in ministry. With this updated, abridged version of The Reformed Pastor, editor Tim Cooper retains Baxter’s passionate message in a modern, simplified style that speaks clearly to today’s Christian leaders.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Essential Scriptures: A Handbook of the Biblical Texts for Key Doctrines by Kevin Zuber. “All good theology is grounded in the Word of God. Yet sometimes it’s hard to keep track of which scriptures support certain doctrines. That’s where The Essential Scriptures comes in. With an easy-to-use handbook format, this reference work moves through the main headings of systematic theology, offering full quotations of the biblical verses that undergird various doctrines. No more jumping back and forth between multiple sources. The Essential Scriptures puts it all in one place, providing not only the biblical support but also a learned exposition of how those passages serve as the basis for the doctrine under discussion.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

In the Beginning: Listening to Genesis 1 and 2 by Cornelis Van Dam. “Do the opening chapters of Genesis constitute real history? Concerned with an apparent shift among conservative scholars to answer in the negative, Cornelis Van Dam argues that reading Genesis 1 and 2 as history is not only justified but necessary. Van Dam clarifies the different roles that ancient Near Eastern literature and scientific theories should play in our understanding of the Bible as he carefully deals with the exegetical details of the first two chapters of the Bible. Pastors, students, and church leaders will find In the Beginning an informed guide that will restore their confidence in the complete reliability of the Genesis creation account.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Prayers of a Parent by Kathleen Nielson. This new 4-book series from Kathleen Nielson provides parents with prayers suitable to four different stages of their children’s lives. They are available as a collection or as individual volumes. “Across this four-volume series, beautiful poetic prayers by author Kathleen Nielson address the spiritual well-being, physical needs, and character growth of a child from infancy to adulthood. Designed for parents, each book has 31 prayers, brief reflections, and Scripture selections for meditation.” (Buy them from Amazon or Westminster Books)


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