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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?


  • The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    The Glorious End without the Difficult Means

    Just as Olympic athletes cannot realistically expect to win a gold medal unless they strictly discipline themselves toward victory, Christians cannot hope to prevail in the Christian life unless they take a serious, disciplined approach to it. Yet lurking in the background is always the temptation to hope that we can have the result of…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (June 15)

    A La Carte: Learn to rest in God’s justice / 3 reasons why your small group is not a church / How can I be a godly father? / Gender in the void / Are images of Christ OK? / The getting of wisdom / and more.

  • 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.