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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.

What Is the Meaning of SexWhat Is the Meaning of Sex? by Denny Burk. This is one I have been looking forward to reading since I first learned about it. “Sex. We live in a world that loves it without understanding it. This book clearly explains the truth about sex and winsomely responds to society’s evolving views on human sexuality and gender. From marriage to birth control, homosexuality to singleness, What is the Meaning of Sex? sets forth a distinctly Christian perspective, equipping you to engage our confused culture with a God-glorifying vision of human sexuality.” This one comes with a long list of excellent endorsements. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

To Live is ChristTo Live Is Christ to Die Is Gain by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson. “Using Paul’s radical letter to the Philippians as his road map, Matt Chandler forsakes the trendy to invite readers into authentic Christian maturity. The short book of Philippians is one of the most quoted in the Bible, yet Paul wrote it not for the popular sound bites, but to paint a picture of a mature Christian faith. While many give their lives to Jesus, few then go on to live a life of truly vibrant faith. In this disruptively inspiring book, Chandler offers tangible ways to develop a faith of pursuing, chasing, knowing, and loving Jesus. Because if we clean up our lives but don’t get Jesus, we’ve lost! So let the goal be Him. To live is Christ, to die is gain—this is the message of the letter. Therefore, our lives should be lived to Him, through Him, for Him, with Him, about Him—everything should be about Jesus.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Letters to WivsLetters to Pastors’ Wives: When Seminary Ends and Ministry Begins, edited by Catherine J. Stewart. This looks like a very interesting book that will fill an important niche. “Pastors’ wives encounter special challenges as well as special joys. These letters from the seasoned wives of seasoned pastors provide empathy, wise counsel, and encouragement on a wide range of topics.” Contributors include Mary Beeke on criticism, Sarah Ascol on pastors’ kids, Margy Tripp on personal devotions and Lynn Crotts on humility. (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Death by LivingDeath by Living: Life Is Meant to Be Spent by N.D. Wilson. “In this astoundingly unique book, bestselling author N.D. Wilson reminds each of us that to truly live we must recognize that we are dying. Every second we create more of our past—more decisions, more breathing, more love and more loathing, all of it slides by into the gone as we race to grab at more moments, at more memories made and already fading. We are all authors, creators of our own pasts, of the books that will be our lives. We stare at the future or obsess about the present, but only the past has been set in stone, and we are the ones setting it. When we race across the wet concrete of time without purpose, without goals, without laughter and love and sacrifice, then we fail in our mortal moment. We race toward our inevitable ends without artistry and without beauty.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Preparing for MarragePreparing for Marriage God’s Way: A Step-by-Step Guide for Marriage Success Before and After the Wedding (2nd edition) by Wayne Mack. “Preparing for Marriage God’s Way is a marriage counseling resource that uses thoughtful self-examination to reveal the personalities, background, and expectations that you and your partner are bringing to your union. Through rigorous Bible study, you will learn about God’s expectations for marriage and be equipped with his solutions for dealing with typical marriage conflicts. Three follow-up lessons after your marriage help you to reflect on all that’s happened after you said, ‘I do’.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

Dictionary Jesus GospelsDictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (2nd edition) edited by Joel B. Green, Jeannine K. Brown & Nicholas Perrin. This looks like a very helpful reference work. “The second edition of the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels is a thoroughly reconstructed and revised version of the critically acclaimed 1992 first edition. Since that groundbreaking volume was published, a wave of Jesus and Gospel scholarship has crested and broken on the shores of a new century. Jesus has been proposed as sage, shaman, revolutionary, marginal Jew, Mediterranean peasant or a prophet of Israel’s restoration. The non-canonical Gospels have been touted, examined and reassessed. There are revised understandings of historiography, orality, form criticism, empire and more. The second edition of the DJG amply weighs and assess the gains and shortcomings of this new scholarship.” (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?


  • Like an iPhone

    Like an iPhone, Only Much More So

    Can I confess something to you? There’s one thing Aileen does that really bugs me. We will be talking together and enjoying one another’s company. But then, as we chat, I’ll hear the telltale buzz of her phone. And I can tell that I’ve lost her. I can see it in the look on her…

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    A La Carte (February 21)

    A La Carte: When cultural tailwinds become cultural headwinds / Talking with kids about gender issues / Try to be more awkward / Life is more than mountaintop experiences / Tinder / Unpacking “separation of church and state” / and more.

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    A La Carte (February 20)

    A La Carte: How hell motivates holiness / The bond of love / How to love our friends in truth, even when it stings / The distorting power of the prosperity gospel / Thinking about plagues / and more.

  • A Difference Making Ministry for Any Christian

    A Difference-Making Ministry for Any Christian

    The experience of preaching is very different from the front than from the back, when facing the congregation than when facing the preacher. The congregation faces one man who is doing his utmost to be engaging, to hold their attention, and to apply truths that will impact their hearts and transform their lives.

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    A La Carte (February 19)

    A La Carte: Courageous pastors or overbearing leaders? / Jesus didn’t diss the poor / 8 qualities of true revival / Why don’t you talk about the sermon? / The idol of competence / The danger of inhospitality / and more.

  • Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    Why Those Who Seem Most Likely to Come, Never Come At All

    It is something we have all observed at one time or another and something we have all wondered about. Why is it that those who seem most likely to come to Christ so often reject him? Why is it that those hear the boldest invitations and who have the greatest opportunities so commonly turn away?…