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New and Notable Christian Books for October 2021

As you probably know, I have quite a fascination with Christian books and like to keep up with latest releases. Just about every month I scour the catalogs and websites to see what looks most noteworthy. What follows is my list for October 2021, each title followed by its editorial description. I hope there’s something here that will interest you!

Send Out Your Light: The Illuminating Power of Scripture and Song by Sandra McCracken. “In the middle of Psalm 43, God offers us a dynamic invitation: Send out your light.Prolific singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken believes we each have the opportunity to hear and answer this invitation. This book is written in three parts: part one is the becoming, the creation, how God makes us and gives us an identity. Part two is the disorientation of loss, displacement, and the dark night of the soul. Part three is reorientation, how God brings us through the darkness and illuminates our path with Scripture, sending us out to take his light to others. This has been the shape of Sandra McCracken’s life. Through it all, songs and Scripture have been there to light the way, helping her respond to God’s call. How will you respond to God’s call to send out his light?” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Dating with Discernment: 12 Questions to Make a Lasting Marriage by Sam Andreades. “Done with dating? Don’t know where to start? Wondering if your date is the one to marry? Pastor-scholar Sam Andreades brings single Christians in that vulnerable life moment the practical, theological help to make the dangerous decision confidently. Bringing the Bible’s wisdom on relationships to bear on the dating scene, he helps you lay a foundation for a love that lasts. This book will teach you how to: Confidently say good-bye to ill-suited suitors; Deepen your relationship with God as you date; Find, and make a lifelong commitment to, a worthy, compatible mate; Understand the role of gender in developing intimacy; Form a strong foundation for marriage in your dating as you grow into what marriage is about.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Why Did Jesus Live a Perfect Life?: The Necessity of Christ’s Obedience for Our Salvation by Brandon Crowe. “How does Christ’s obedience relate to our salvation? Speaking into current conversations about the nature of salvation, New Testament scholar Brandon Crowe sets out a new, comprehensive account of the nature of the atonement, exploring how this doctrine affects our participation in the life of God and in the shared life of the Christian community. Crowe builds on key insights from other historic substitutionary views, especially those associated with penal substitution, while clearing up persistent misunderstandings regarding those models. Crowe argues that we are saved by Christ’s perfect obedience, which has implications for understanding the gospel message, Christian hope, and discipleship. Not only is Jesus the quintessential model of faithfulness in a fallen world, but his unique work frees us from the burden of perfect obedience. This book will appeal to professors and students of the New Testament, pastors, and laypeople.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School, edited by Cameron Cole & Charlotte Getz. “The pressure of being a teenager can be overwhelming. School, sports, jobs, and relationships all press in at the same time. But the hardest thing can be feeling alone, that you have no one to share your most difficult problems with. In The Jesus I Wish I Knew in High School, thirty authors from many different backgrounds come together to say, ‘We get it―and Jesus gets it too. Here’s who Jesus is and how he wants to meet you in this intense time.’ Hear from authors such as Scott Sauls, Sandra McCracken, Michelle Reyes, Jen Pollock Michel, David Zahl, and others as they share firsthand stories of bullying, eating disorders, pregnancy, addiction, racism, family conflict, expectations, and the intense pressure to achieve. See how their encounters with Jesus brought healing, rest, and purpose to their lives and hear what they wish they knew earlier: when you know Jesus, you know what it’s like to be perfectly loved and accepted, have hope for the future, and experience grace and mercy when you mess up.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Do You Believe?: 12 Historic Doctrines to Change Your Everyday Life by Paul David Tripp. “Doctrine―what Christians believe―directly influences how they live. The biblical truths about God, humanity, and the world are not merely about knowing more―they are also about loving God and making sense of this life and the life to come. But what happens when there is disparity between what believers confess and how they live? In his latest book, Do You Believe?, pastor and best-selling author Paul David Tripp takes a close look at 12 core doctrines and how they engage and transform the human heart and mind. According to Tripp, ‘true belief is always lived.’ To demonstrate, he unpacks each doctrine and presents its relevance for the Christian life. As readers explore topics such as the doctrine of God, the holiness of God, and the doctrine of Scripture, they will be fueled to fall deeper in love with and stand in awe of their Creator and Father―putting the truths of God’s word on display for all the world to see.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Unfolding Grace for Kids: A 40-Day Journey through the Bible by ESV Bibles. “In Unfolding Grace for Kids, children ages 8–12 are invited on a guided journey through 40 select Scripture readings to uncover the unifying message of God’s Word. Each of the 40 readings is tailored to help encourage consistent time in Scripture and features newly written introductions. Accompanying the readings are captivating illustrations by Peter Voth, inviting children to reflect on what they’ve read. From cover to cover, Unfolding Grace for Kids promotes a love of God’s Word to young readers as they immerse themselves in Scripture through small portions that together tell the overarching story of God’s grace. Free study questions are available for download.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

ESV Concise Study Bible by ESV Bibles. “Enjoy the robust content of a study Bible in a concise and accessible format. The ESV Concise Study Bible was created to help readers explore the essential meaning of the Bible. Inspired by the best-selling ESV Study Bible, this robust Bible offers fresh content for new believers and seasoned saints alike, explaining difficult phrases, defining key terms, identifying important people and places, and highlighting links between biblical passages. Featuring 12,000+ study notes; 150+ maps and charts; 15+ illustrations; and an introduction to each book that outlines its setting, background, and key themes, the ESV Concise Study Bible is rich in content yet approachable and easy to carry―perfect for studying God’s Word in any context.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Incomparable: Explorations in the Character of God by Andrew Wilson. “There is no greater pursuit, no greater journey, and no greater joy than discovering the extraordinary character of God. Andrew Wilson’s Incomparable explores sixty names and descriptions of our creator. Each chapter is filled with profound Biblical insights and revelations that will inspire and enrich your faith. Selah moments allow for a time of reflection and worship. And practical applications connect each truth with your daily life. Throughout, Incomparable unfolds the greatest wonder our minds and hearts will ever contemplate. Immerse yourself in His character. Delve into the depths of His presence. And experience a God that is truly beyond compare.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Acrostic of God: A Rhyming Theology for Kids by Jonathan Gibson & Timothy Brindle. “Catechism can be fun! The Acrostic of God is a joy to read and reread, and a wonderful tool to help kids absorb eternal truth about God. By giving children an alphabetical list of the titles and attributes of God written with a rhyming beat, Jonny Gibson and Timothy Brindle make The Acrostic of God fun to read and easy to memorize. Each characteristic, A to Z, weaves together a beautiful picture of God. Using the alphabet to teach about God has a rich history in the Bible, especially in the Psalms and Lamentations. Several of the psalms—notably Psalm 119—begin with letters of the Hebrew alphabet, forming an acrostic that spells out the entire alphabet. The authors make learning theology fun and effortless. Their book shows God as he is, not “just to know about him more in our brains, but to know him as the God of glory who reigns.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Fix Your Eyes: How Our Study of God Shapes Our Worship of Him by Amy Gannett. “We live in a polarized time. Christians are quick to conceive of themselves either as theologically-minded or worship-minded; either thinking Christians or feeling Christians. The results are damaging: theology without worship is muted, stifled, and cold, and worship without theology is ungrounded, unrooted, and uninformed. This is not the way it was meant to be. Theology (our study and knowledge of God) should always lead to doxology (our worship of Him). Worship should always be rooted in theology. When we study the nature and character of God as revealed in his Word, we are invited to respond in the affectionate, obedient discipleship of worship. How can we keep our theology from being mere head knowledge? How do we give our worship roots that will last? By fixing our eyes on God Himself–the object of our study and the object of our worship. Fix Your Eyes is an invitation to understand core doctrines of the Christian faith and apply them in our daily worship of God. It walks believers through key theological concepts and shows how each can be lived out in daily life.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Works of Thomas Goodwin, 12 Volumes. “Thomas Goodwin was a prolific author and editor. During the 1630s he coedited with John Ball the works of John Preston and Richard Sibbes. He began to publish his own sermons in 1636. Prior to his death, he had published at least twelve devotional works, most of which were collections of sermons. The fact that they were reissued forty-seven times indicates the high demand and wide circulation of his publications. Most of Goodwin’s major theological writings were the fruit of his riper years and were published posthumously. His unusually large corpus of treatises display a pastoral and scholarly zeal rivaled by few Puritans. Goodwin represents the best of Puritanism in addressing the intellect, will, and heart. His writings reveal the vigor of earlier Puritans such as William Perkins and Richard Sibbes as well as the mature thought of later Puritan divines, supremely represented by Owen. If you want to grow in grace and have your soul fed on the deep things of God, buy and prayerfully read Goodwin’s Works.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)


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