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New and Notable Christians Books from October 2020

Though we are late enough in the year that we may be past prime book-release season, there are still some good titles coming our way. I sorted through the stacks that arrived at my door in October and settled on some that, for one reason or another, I consider especially noteworthy. To that end, here are October’s new and notable books for Christians. (Note: In most cases I have not thoroughly read these books and the information provided is the publisher’s description.)

God’s Design for the Church: A Guide for African Pastors and Ministry Leaders by Conrad Mbewe. “At the beginning of the twentieth century, Christians in Africa numbered approximately nine million—by the end, that number had grown to more than 380 million. As the number of Christians continues to grow, African pastors are often overwhelmed and in desperate need of guidance. Drawing from three decades of pastoral experience in Zambia, Conrad Mbewe has written a comprehensive handbook specifically for African pastors and church leaders. Structured around twenty commonly asked questions about God’s design for the church, this helpful resource covers topics ranging from the definition of church and the role of church members to the importance of doctrine. Through this book, Mbewe aims to equip pastors and leaders with biblical principles that will ‘permeate the landscape of Africa and transform its churches for generations to come.’” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Grasping God’s Word by J. Scott Duvall & J. Daniel Hays. This is now the fourth edition of this venerable book. “Grasping God’s Word has proven itself in classrooms across the country as an invaluable help to students who want to learn how to read, interpret, and apply the Bible for themselves. This book will equip you with a five-step Interpretive Journey that will help you make sense of any passage in the Bible. It will also guide you through all the different genres found in the Bible to help you learn the specifics of how to best approach each one. Filling the gap between approaches that are too simple and others that are too technical, this book starts by equipping readers with general principles of interpretation, then moves on to apply those principles to specific genres and contexts. This fourth edition includes revised chapters on word studies and Bible translations, updated illustrations, cultural references, bibliography, and assignments. This book is the ideal resource for anyone looking for a step-by-step guide that will teach them how to accurately and faithfully interpret the Bible.” (Buy it at Amazon)

Covenant Theology: Biblical, Theological, and Historical Perspectives edited by Guy Waters et. al. If you’re interested in better understanding covenant theology, I expect this will do the trick! “Just as two bookends hold together a row of books, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace hold together the storyline of Scripture. Join a host of twenty-six scholars, including O. Palmer Robertson, Michael J. Kruger, and Scott R. Swain, as they explore how the concept of covenant is clearly taught in Scripture and how it lays the foundation for other doctrines of salvation. This monumental work is Trinitarian, eschatological, historical, confessional, and practical, presenting readers with a great hope and consolation: the covenant-making God is a covenant-keeping God.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

WonderFull: Ancient Psalms Ever New by Marty Machowski. “Your children may know of the psalms, but with WonderFull by best-selling author Marty Machowski, young readers learn to use the whole book of the Psalms to pray, worship, and find help through the challenges life is certain to bring. Oliver and his grandfather spend days sitting in front of an old Oak tree, reading through the book of Psalms together. As Oliver’s curiosity about God evolves into a deep and abiding faith, his grandfather continues to read to him and pray with him, discovering together the beauty of the Psalms. Even when Oliver’s grandpa is no longer able to read with him, Oliver continues to cherish the Psalms—especially in times of trial—and he imagines what it will be like to see God face to face and his grandfather again in heaven. Ancient psalms are made ever new in this beautifully designed children’s book, and kids will grow to love and appreciate this book of the Bible. As a best-selling author to numerous books and curricula for kids, Marty Machowski draws on over thirty years of experience as a pastor to provide Scripture-based truth and hope for young readers. Machowski doesn’t just help kids become familiar with the psalms. He helps them apply what they are learning to their own lives, which is a gift that will continue to deepen their walk with Christ as they grow older. ” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Creator, Father, King: A One Year Journey with God by Joshua Cooley. To be honest, I’m not familiar with Joshua Cooley, but received the book and was impressed by the endorsements. They made me think this might be a good option for my 14-year-old “Creator, Father, King is a One Year devotional written to help teens learn more about God and see His love, His perfect character, and His eternal plan of redemption to reconcile lost sinners to Himself. Josh Cooley uses verses from all 66 books of the Bible to show how God can be found throughout Scripture. Each of the 365 devotions includes a ‘what does it mean’ section, a ‘now what’ section, and a ‘did you know’ section. It gives practical ideas for spiritual growth, additional perspectives and background for each devotion, and a summary of how each devotion describes God.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Engage 365: Beginnings and Endings by Alison Mitchell. Here’s another devotional option for younger folk. “A one-year reading plan with Engage Bible-reading notes, covering the overarching storyline of the Bible. Ideal for older teenagers. Engage365 explores the beginning of the world (Genesis 1-11), of God’s chosen people (Genesis 12-50; Exodus 1-20), of God’s song book (Psalms 1-23), of the church (Acts), and of life as a Christian (Colossians); plus the life and ministry of Jesus (Luke), and the end of everything (Revelation). A fun, engaging way for young people to dig deep into some key books of the Bible and learn how to handle, question and explore God’s word.” (Buy it at Amazon)

Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church by Diane Langberg. “Power has a God-given role in human relationships and institutions, but it can lead to abuse when used in unhealthy ways. Speaking into current #MeToo and #ChurchToo conversations, this book shows that the body of Christ desperately needs to understand the forms power takes, how it is abused, and how to respond to abuses of power. Although many Christians want to prevent abuse in their churches and organizations, they lack a deep and clear-eyed understanding of how power actually works. Internationally recognized psychologist Diane Langberg offers a clinical and theological framework for understanding how power operates, the effects of the abuse of power, and how power can be redeemed and restored to its proper God-given place in relationships and institutions. This book not only helps Christian leaders identify and resist abusive systems but also shows how they can use power to protect the vulnerable in their midst.” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Manhood Journey: Setting a Course for Godly Fatherhood by Kent Evans. “Biblical fatherhood cannot be outsourced. Fathers are the primary disciple makers in the home. Our children are following our lead, but where are we leading them? Are we leading them towards the perfect Father, encouraging them to grow in their faith and to become the adults that God made them to be? What does a godly dad look like?” (Buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)


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