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New & Notable Books

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I am in the unique and enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books and I like to provide regular roundups of some of the best and brightest of the bunch. Of all the books I have received recently, here are the ones that appear most noteworthy.

The Poverty of NationsThe Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution by Wayne Grudem & Barry Asmus. This one looks very, very interesting. “The whole world has a stake in the war against poverty and leaders across the globe are looking for a permanent solution. That’s why economist Barry Asmus and theologian Wayne Grudem have teamed up to outline a robust proposal for fighting poverty on a national level. These two experts believe the solution lies in a comprehensive development plan that integrates the principles of a free market system with the Bible’s teachings on social ethics. Speaking to the importance of personal freedom, the rule of law, private property, moral virtue, and education, this book offers a clear path for promoting economic prosperity and safeguarding a country’s long-term stability—a sustainable solution for a world looking for the way forward.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Despite DoubtDespite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith by Michael Wittmer. I have enjoyed a couple of Mike’s previous books and am looking forward to reading this one as well. “Many Christians struggle with the concept of walking by faith, especially in a world that says faith is all about taking risks, leaping into uncharted territory and expecting everything to be okay. In Despite Doubt, Michael E. Wittmer reexamines this popular viewpoint and encourages you to get a clear understanding of your assurance in God and salvation. You will examine the flipside of doubt that opens the door to questions, answers, and knowledge about securing your trust in God. Helping you to discover how to embrace a confident faith, Despite Doubt includes questions for reflection and discussion and is a perfect resource for small group study. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Church HistoryChurch History, Volume Two: From Pre-Reformation to the Present Day by John Woodbridge & Frank James III. “Church history is the story of the greatest community the world has known and the greatest movement in world history. Yet, just as the biblical record of the people of God is the story of a mixed people with great acts of faith and great failures in sin and unfaithfulness, so is the history of the people who have made up the church down through the ages. Church History, Volume Two is an account of the ups and downs, the triumphs and struggles, of the Christian movement. It offers a unique contextual view of how the Christian church spread and developed from the just prior to the Reformation and through the next five-hundred-plus years into the present-day. This book looks closely at the integral link between the history of the world and that of the church, detailing the times, cultures, and events that both influenced and were influenced by the church.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

BoringBoring: Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley. This appears to be in the same vein as my recent musings on the ordinary Christian life. “We all need reminding that God is not absent from the seemingly insignificant details of life. Today we live with a false separation between sacred and secular that was never meant to be. Work, paying bills, changing diapers … when Jesus enters any situation He makes even the most mundane things extraordinary. Boring enlivens this truth as author Michael Kelley uses the narrative of Saul’s rise to kingship in the Old Testament to make his fine point: we can give ourselves to ordinary life — parenting, marriage, work, etc. – because we fully believe in God’s presence and power within those situations. They are no longer boring but important. See every relationship, every act of kindness, and every moment for what it is: a part of God’s exciting plan for your life.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Playing GodPlaying God: Redeeming the Gift of Power by Andy Crouch. This book has quite an interesting premise and purpose. “Power corrupts—as we’ve seen time and time again. People too often abuse their power and play god in the lives of others. Shady politicians, corrupt executives and ego-filled media stars have made us suspicious of those who wield influence and authority. They too often breed injustice by participating in what the Bible calls idolatry. Yet power is also the means by which we bring life, create possibilities, offer hope and make human flourishing possible. This is ‘playing god’ as it is meant to be. If we are to do God’s work—fight injustice, bring peace, create beauty and allow the image of God to thrive in those around us—how are we to do these things if not by power? With his trademark clear-headed analysis, Andy Crouch unpacks the dynamics of power that either can make human flourishing possible or can destroy the image of God in people.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

And how about you? Are there some new and notable books that you’ve added to your reading list? Is there anything I’m missing?


  • Making Good Return

    Making Good Return

    I don’t think I am overstating the matter when I say that this has the potential to be one of the most important books you will read. It’s a book that may shape years of your life and transform the way you carry out one of the key roles God assigns to you…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (June 14)

    A La Carte: 3 steps to find your voice / 7 things good dads say / One day leads to another / Let’s stop hyper-spiritualizing counseling / Enjoying the many flavors of the Word / What I wish you understood about the ethnic-specific church / and more.

  • A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    A Whole Batch of New Books for Kids

    Every month I put together a roundup of new and notable books for grownup readers. But I also receive a lot of books for kids and like to put together the occasional roundup of these books as well. So today I bring you a whole big batch of new books for kids

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (June 13)

    A La Carte: Were the earliest Christians illiterate? / Our new religion isn’t enough / Why do evil and suffering exist? / The missing ingredient in too many marriages / Is Genesis literal or allegorical? / The death of fear / and more.

  • Tear Down Build Up

    It’s Easier to Tear Down than Build Up

    In my travels, I encountered a man whose work is demolition. When buildings are old and decrepit, or even when they just need to be removed to make way for others, his job is to destroy them and haul them away. New or old, big or small, plain or fancy—it makes no difference to him.…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (June 12)

    A La Carte: Does Bach’s music prove the existence of God? / Living from approval, not for approval / A surprising test of true faith / Do you have the support you need to grow? / Who was the “black Spurgeon?” / and more.