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New and Notable Christian Books for November 2023

New and Notable Books

November is not traditionally the greatest month of the year for book releases. This November, though, proved to be something of an exception as a number of publishers released new books just in time for the holiday shopping season. Here are my picks for this month’s new and notable books that may be of interest to Christians. In every case I’ve included the publisher’s description.

The Pilgrim’s Regress: Guarding Against Backsliding and Apostasy in the Christian Life by Mark Jones. This book has the shortest editorial description I’ve ever seen: “Mark Jones addresses the uncomfortable topic of backsliding believers-and, to a lesser extent, apostasy-in a serious, hopeful, and pastoral work informed by wise theologians of eras past.” But I wrote the foreword to it so can attest that it’s well worth a read. Here’s what I said: “Whether you are attempting to understand and guide someone who seems to be walking away, whether you are a pastor wondering whether one of your parishioners is backslidden or fallen away, or whether you have concerns for the state of your own soul, The Pilgrim’s Regress will bless and help you. Drawing from the deep wells of Christians from ages long past, and fully dependent on the Bible, Jones writes with a theologian’s precision and a pastor’s love. He writes to encourage and to comfort, to reprove and to exhort. He writes ultimately to glorify our God and serve his people.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Reforming Criminal Justice: A Christian Proposal by Matthew Martens. “Jesus told his followers that the entirety of the Old Testament’s law is encapsulated in the commands to love God and to love their neighbors as themselves. In Reforming Criminal Justice: A Christian Proposal, Matthew T. Martens argues that love of neighbor must be the animating force for true reformation of the criminal justice system, obligating us to seek the best for both the criminally victimized and the criminally accused. Using his theological training Martens reveals how Scripture provides several guideposts (accuracy, due process, accountability, impartiality, and proportionality) for loving our neighbors as it relates to criminal justice. Then, drawing on his near quarter century practicing criminal law, he examines how America’s justice system falls short of the biblical standard. By understanding how our current system operates and considering how love of neighbor relates to issues of crime and justice, we will be better equipped to seek true Christian reform of the justice system.”  (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

You Are Still a Mother: Hope for Women Grieving a Stillbirth or Miscarriage by Jackie Gibson. “When you lose your baby to stillbirth or miscarriage, it feels like the ground has fallen out from underneath you. Speaking from experience, Jackie Gibson reaches out, offering the only balm that will bring comfort to your pain. Grieving the loss of a child to stillbirth can be a lonely and agonizing experience. Sadly, this overwhelming loss is far more common than one may think, affecting around 1 in 160 births. Gibson honestly acknowledges the sorrow, the loneliness, and fears that come from suffering the loss of a child while pointing to the gospel with gentleness and understanding. You Are Still a Mother weaves Scripture and deep truths about God with Jackie’s personal experience to provide a book that is both honest and full of hope. Acknowledging that all who suffer this loss will never be the same, she reassures readers that God will be present through every moment of every day.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

He Gives More Grace: 30 Reflections for the Ups and Downs of Motherhood Through the Years by Sarah Walton & Linda Green. “Motherhood is one of life’s most joyful yet most difficult gifts. We are eager to get it ‘right’, yet parenting usually highlights our weaknesses and leaves us worried about our mistakes. These hope-filled, positive devotions recognize the realities and pressures, joys and disappointments of motherhood and will give you a precious reminder of grace from God’s word to hold onto each day. They will help you to trust that God’s grace is enough for you and your kids. As the authors say in the introduction, ‘Our children do not need a perfect mother. What they do need is a mother who recognizes her need for a perfect Savior and understands that this is the greatest need of her children as well.’ As you focus on the work of Jesus rather than your own efforts, you will feel less pressure and more freedom and joy in all the ups and downs of motherhood.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Behold and Believe: A Bible Study on the ‘I Am’ Statements of Jesus by Courtney Doctor & Joanna Kimbrel. “Seeing is believing. If we want to know who Jesus is and why he is important to our lives, we need to take a closer look at what he said about himself. Jesus describes himself as the bread of life, the light of the world, the good shepherd, and more. His bold words invite us to behold him―and then to trust him. Whether you’ve never read the Bible, have followed Jesus for years, or find yourself somewhere in between, this 7-week Bible study will help you explore the question, Who is Jesus? Using the ‘I Am’ statements in the Gospel of John, authors Courtney Doctor and Joanna Kimbrel demonstrate how to observe, interpret, apply, and reflect on key Bible verses about Jesus’s identity. Weekly prayers, memory verses, brief commentaries, and discussion questions help women to see Jesus, trust him alone for salvation, and proclaim his goodness to others.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy: Eight Truths for Pursuing Unity in Your Churchby Jamie Dunlop. “Churches are full of differences. Those differences might be rooted in culture or personality or even musical style. In recent years, differences over political and social issues have frayed the unity of many churches. Yet if a church is centered on Christ alone, then unity at church will sometimes require building genuine friendships that bridge across all those differences. How can Christians navigate those relationships? Can they really love people at church who sometimes drive them crazy? This practical guide explores 8 truths from Romans 12–15 that show us how to find God-exalting unity at church with those we struggle to love. Love the Ones Who Drive You Crazy is a roadmap to finding joy in Christ through the many differences we have with fellow believers, a joy that powerfully declares the glory of God. Because easy love rarely shows off gospel power.” (Buy it at: Amazon)

Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) by Thomas Schreiner. “In this addition to the award-winning BECNT series, leading evangelical biblical scholar Thomas Schreiner offers a substantive commentary on Revelation. Schreiner’s BECNT volume on Romans has been highly successful, with nearly 40,000 copies sold. In this volume, Schreiner presents well-informed evangelical scholarship on the book of Revelation. With extensive research and thoughtful chapter-by-chapter exegesis, he leads readers through the text of Revelation to help them better understand the meaning and relevance of this biblical book. As with all BECNT volumes, this commentary features the author’s detailed interaction with the Greek text and an acclaimed, user-friendly design. It admirably achieves the dual aims of the series–academic sophistication with pastoral sensitivity and accessibility–making it a useful tool for pastors, church leaders, students, and teachers.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Dictionary of the New Testament Use of the Old Testament edited by G.K. Beale, D.A. Carson, Benjamin Gladd, and Andrew David Naselli. “With the torrent of publications on the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, the time is ripe for a dictionary dedicated to this incredibly rich yet diverse field. This companion volume to the well-received Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (CNTUOT) brings together leading evangelical biblical scholars to explore and explain the many facets of how the New Testament writers appropriated the Old Testament. This definitive resource covers a range of interpretive topics and includes summary articles on each biblical book and numerous themes. It also unpacks concepts mentioned in the CNTUOT, demonstrates how the Old Testament uses the Old Testament, and addresses a wide range of biblical-theological, hermeneutical, and exegetical topics. This handy reference book is for all serious students of the Bible as they study how and why Old Testament texts reappear and are reappropriated throughout the Bible.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Lord Jesus Christ (New Studies in Dogmatics) by Daniel J. Treier. “Lord Jesus Christ expounds the doctrine of Christ by focusing upon theological interpretation of Scripture regarding Jesus’s identity. The book’s structure traces a Christological arc from the eternal communion of the Triune God through creation, covenants, Incarnation, passion, and exaltation all the way to the consummation of redemptive history. This arc identifies Jesus as the divine Lord who assumed human flesh for our salvation. The book expounds and defends a classically Reformed Christology in relation to contemporary contexts and challenges, engaging both philosophical and global concerns. Each chapter begins with the theological interpretation of a key Scripture text before expounding key concepts of orthodox Protestant Christology. Lord Jesus Christ is a unique example of writing dogmatic theology by way of theological exegesis. The result is a volume that engages the numerous scholarly volumes on Christology that have appeared within the last couple of decades but provides a contemporary account of a traditional view.” (Buy it at: Amazon)

Joni Eareckson Tada by Catherine MacKenzie. This is part of a new series titled “Hall of Faith” and launched alongside the volume on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. “Joni Eareckson Tada is a Christian author, speaker and artist whose life was turned upside down at the age of seventeen when a serious diving accident meant she was paralysed from the shoulders down. This short biography tells the story of what happened on that fateful day, and in the days and years that followed. Catherine MacKenzie skilfully shows how Joni’s story is a story of God’s goodness in the face of extreme suffering. Her testimony is one that has encouraged and moved people around the world. Read it here and see how the God of love is working for the good of those who love him, even in the most challenging circumstances.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

Word and Spirit: Selected Writings in Biblical and Systematic Theology by Richard Gaffin Jr. “Few Reformed theologians have exerted the influence in both the church and the academy that Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. has, shaping the theology and spiritual formation of generations of pastors and teachers. Until now, his most significant published works have been inaccessible to most theological readers, published in academic journals, denominational newsletters, and out of print festschrifts and essay collections. A decade in the making, Word & Spirit gathers Gaffin’s finest works of biblical and systematic theology and arranges them in a singular, organic whole that presents Gaffin’s thought and work as comprehensively and clearly as it ever has been. More than 40 essays, articles, and tracts have been compiled, including ‘The Usefulness of the Cross’, No Adam, No Gospel, ‘A Cessationist View,’ and ‘The Work of Christ Applied’. This collection is a must-have for any student of theology.” (Buy it at: AmazonWestminster Books)

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