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New and Notable Christian Books for November 2022

As another month draws to a close, and as the holiday shopping season picks up, I thought I’d share another collection of new and notable Christian books. Each of these titles has been released in November (or, in a couple of cases, very late October). I hope there’s something here that is of interest to you or to someone on your Christmas list.

Biblical Critical Theory: How the Bible’s Unfolding Story Makes Sense of Modern Life and Culture by Christopher Watkin. “Critical theories exist to critique what we think we know about reality and the social, political, and cultural structures in which we live. In doing so, they make visible the values and beliefs of a culture in order to scrutinize and change them. Biblical Critical Theory exposes and evaluates the often-hidden assumptions and concepts that shape late-modern society, examining them through the lens of the biblical story running from Genesis to Revelation, and asking urgent questions like: How does the Bible’s storyline help us understand our society, our culture, and ourselves? How do specific doctrines help us engage thoughtfully in the philosophical, political, and social questions of our day? How can we analyze and critique culture and its alternative critical theories through Scripture? Informed by the biblical-theological structure of Saint Augustine’s magisterial work The City of God (and with extensive diagrams and practical tools), Biblical Critical Theory shows how the patterns of the Bible’s storyline can provide incisive, fresh, and nuanced ways of intervening in today’s debates on everything from science, the arts, and politics to dignity, multiculturalism, and equality. You’ll learn the moves to make and the tools to use in analyzing and engaging with all sorts of cultural artifacts and events in a way that is both biblically faithful and culturally relevant.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Dawning of Redemption: The Story of the Pentateuch and the Hope of the Gospel by Ian J. Vaillancourt. “When starting a new Bible-reading plan, many readers begin enthusiastically in Genesis but then lose momentum when they encounter the Old Testament laws and genealogies. But the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible—has much to offer today’s Christian; it is the foundation for understanding the rest of the Bible, pointing forward to the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, in profound ways. In this accessible book, Ian J. Vaillancourt offers readers a helpful introduction to the Pentateuch as the essential first act in the Bible’s grand story of redemption. The chapters cover the whole of Genesis through Deuteronomy, examining themes such as creation, salvation, genealogies, and biblical covenants. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, making this book a useful resource for individuals or groups who are looking to dive deeper into biblical study.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God: 31 Days of Hope, Honesty, and Encouragement for the Sufferer by Colleen Chao. “The life of Colleen Chao was bright and beautiful—it was brimming with hope and possibility. She was a talented, confident, and ambitious young woman. So, Colleen never imagined that she’d swim through two decades of deep-water anxiety and depression. She didn’t guess that she’d marry late, suffer years of chronic pain and illness, and give birth to a child with health complications. And never in her life did she imagine hearing the words: ‘Cancer. Stage four. Terminal.’ In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God is born of the suffering that on its own could have crushed Colleen. Her pain, instead, opened her eyes to eternal realities and has wrought a soul of indestructible joy. How do we suffer long and well? What do we do when we feel cheated? How do we face pressing darkness? One thing Colleen has learned is that we cannot bear the suffering alone. We need lots of help. To that end, Colleen shares a precious devotional gift with the suffering soul: thirty-one days of wisdom, hope, and encouragement. Drawing upon stories from past saints, rich truths from Scripture, and habits that build joyful endurance, Colleen helps fellow sufferers to embrace one day at a time, to trust and love Jesus more, and put themselves In the Hands of a Fiercely Tender God.” (Buy it from Amazon)

Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel by A. S. Ibrahim. “Muslims are coming to Christ more than ever before, which is why having a robust, Christ-centered foundation for evangelism is essential. However, many Christians know very little about Muslims and their beliefs, which often results in misconceptions and a decreased ability to clearly and effectively proclaim the gospel. In Reaching Your Muslim Neighbor with the Gospel, A. S. Ibrahim seeks to provide readers with insight and practical tips to engage and share the gospel with Muslim friends and neighbors. Ibrahim divides the book into two sections: (1) a Christian understanding of the strands of Islam and the diversity of Muslims, and (2) practical ways for Christians to connect with Muslims and effectively communicate the gospel. This book also incorporates true stories about Muslims coming to Christ and answers common questions.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Forgive: Why Should I and How Can I? by Timothy Keller. “Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller outlines the reasons why forgiveness has to be a central part of everyone’s lives. Forgiving anyone in a meaningful way is one of the hardest things a person has to do. If you do not, resentment and vengeance begin to consume you. It is nearly impossible to move past transgression without forgiveness, but few people have the resources and the tools to forgive others fully and move on with their lives. Forgiveness is an essential skill, a moral imperative, and a religious belief that cuts right to the core of what it means to be human. In Forgive, Timothy Keller shows readers why it is so important and how to do it, explaining in detail the steps you need to take in order to move on without sacrificing justice or your humanity.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Why We’re Protestant: The Five Solas of the Reformation, and Why They Matter by Nate Pickowicz. Do you remember when Reformed Christians still talked about Reformed theology rather than current issues? This book turns back the clock by returning to some of the key Protestant distinctives. “One of the key questions the Protestant Reformation asked and answered was: how does a person get right with God? In approaching this question, the Reformers set out to rediscover and establish the bounds of essential Christianity through five declarations: sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), and sola Deo gloria (the glory of God alone). Nate Pickowicz’s guide will help us understand not only the Reformation, but the Christian faith itself.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Bright Hope for Tomorrow: How Anticipating Jesus’ Return Gives Strength for Today by Chris Davis. “Hope is fuel. For Jesus’ disciples, the hope of seeing their risen Lord again, face to face, powered their endurance through persecution, their patience in discipling new believers, and their courage to renounce injustice and sinful passions. But have we set aside that fuel because the topic of Jesus’ return is mired in confusion and controversy? Many Christians have lost or overlooked the importance of the Lord’s appearing, resulting in a sluggish, ineffective faith. What if there is a way to recapture spiritual momentum? What if we could tap into the apostles’ longing to simply be in the presence of the resurrected Christ without getting entangled in date-setting or disagreements about the Millennium? And what if this fresh hope could drive our daily responses to temptation, affliction, discouragement, and life in a broken world? In Bright Hope for Tomorrow, pastor Chris Davis points the way forward. Exploring the return of Jesus on the terms of the New Testament letters, this book looks at portraits of Jesus’ appearing, rhythms necessary to maintain expectancy (including gathering, fasting, and resting), and the practical transformation such anticipation effects. Bright Hope for Tomorrow is not the next new thing. Rather, it is a recovery of what has been lost by end-times studies that have veered into peripheral concerns. Join this return to the gospel center: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.” (Buy it from Amazon)

From the Manger to the Throne: A Theology of Luke by Benjamin L. Gladd. This is the most recent volume in the relatively new New Testament Theology series. It still wouldn’t be difficult to read all the existing volumes and catch up with the series before it expands too much! “The Gospel of Luke is a wonderfully detailed account of the ministry and miracles of Jesus Christ. What many readers don’t realize is that Luke, who was likely a Gentile, wrote his Gospel with a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament—pointing to Jesus’s life, ministry, and death as the culmination of Old Testament expectations and prophecy. In this addition to the New Testament Theology series, Benjamin L. Gladd explains the dominant biblical-theological themes in the Gospel of Luke, including the defeat of evil, peace in heaven and earth, the incorporation of the nations, and the kingdom of God. This resource is perfect for those looking to dig deeper into studying the interconnectedness of Scripture.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Power and the Glory: John Ross and the Evangelisation of Manchuria and Korea by John Stuart Ross. “Born in the northeast of Scotland, John Ross arrived in Manchuria in 1872 and spent 40 years of his life there. He left behind an amazing legacy of culturally sensitive evangelism, established presbyterian churches, innovative missionary principles, valuable publications, and a rich vein of translations, including the first version of the New Testament in Korean. John S. Ross’s riveting biography tracks not only his life, but also the social, political and spiritual influences which shaped his life and work. God is still using John Ross’s labours to grow his Kingdom in South and North Korea today.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Bully Pulpit: Confronting the Problem of Spiritual Abuse in the Church by Michael Kruger. “Are churches looking for the wrong kind of leaders? The last decade has witnessed a rising number of churches wrecked by spiritual abuse–harsh, heavy-handed, domineering behavior from those in a position of spiritual authority. And high-profile cases are only a small portion of this widespread problem. Behind the scenes are many more cases of spiritual abuse that we will never hear about. Victims suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn. Of course, most pastors and leaders are godly, wonderful people who don’t abuse their sheep. They shepherd their flocks gently and patiently. But we can’t ignore the growing number who do not. We have tolerated and even celebrated the kind of leaders Jesus warned us against. We need gentle shepherds now more than ever, and in Bully Pulpit, seminary president and biblical scholar Michael J. Kruger offers a unique perspective for both church leaders and church members on the problem of spiritual abuse, how to spot it, and how to handle it in the church.” (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Stay the Course: A Pastor’s Guide to Navigating the Restless Waters of Ministry by Mike Minter. “Pastoral ministry is hard. These days—with pandemics and cultural crises and distrust of the church higher than ever—it may be especially hard. There is a reason an increasing number of pastors are depressed, burned out, leaving the ministry, or—worst of all—imploding their lives through moral failures. Mike Minter planted a church in 1975, and after a long and faithful career in pastoral ministry, he is burdened to see so many struggling pastors. This book is born from both his experience and his concern. His heart is to help younger pastors make it through the ministry intact, and Stay the Course will do just that.” (Buy it from Amazon)


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