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New & Notable Books (February 2015)

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I am in the enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books, and with a new year comes a whole new batch of books that qualify as notable. Here are a few of the highlights that have shown up in my mailbox recently.

Who Is JesusWho Is Jesus? by Greg Gilbert. This is the latest volume in an ongoing series of books from 9Marks. Like many of the others, it looks like one to buy in bulk and give away. Here’s the description: “A famed historian once noted that, regardless of what you think of him personally, Jesus Christ stands as the central figure in the history of Western civilization. A man violently rejected by some and passionately worshipped by others, Jesus remains as polarizing as ever. But most people still know very little about who he really was, why he was really here, or what he really claimed. Intended as a succinct introduction to Jesus’s life, words, and enduring significance, Who Is Jesus? offers non-Christians and new Christians alike a compelling portrait of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this book encourages readers to carefully consider the history-shaping life and extraordinary teachings of the greatest man who ever lived.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Discovering RomansDiscovering Romans: Spiritual Revival for the Soul by S. Lewis Johnson (Adapted by Mike Abendroth). It is tough to overlook the strength of the endorsements for this book, as they range from Sinclair Ferguson to Steve Lawson to Danny Akin to Sam Storms. All of them agree that Johnson was a great expositor and that this volume is a worthy read. “Discovering Romans: Spiritual Revival for the Soul is a popular level guide by outstanding Bible teacher S. Lewis Johnson that opens up the motivating truths found in the apostle Paul’s powerful letter to the Romans. Anyone hungry to grow in practical understanding of Scripture will profit from Johnson’s rich teaching that stimulates both mind and emotions. This beloved pastor and professor works through the text engagingly, providing both clarifying insights and life applications along the way. Each chapter ends with reflection questions, making this volume useful not only for individual reading (or preparation for teaching) but also in small group Bible studies. John MacArthur once said, ‘Through the years I have listened to the preaching of S. Lewis Johnson far more than any other preacher.’ Reading through this volume will be a soul-reviving experience.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

BeholdBehold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Russ Ramsey. This one looks like a slightly different view of that same old story we so love. “Enter into the greatest story ever told. In this carefully researched retelling of the story of Jesus, Russ Ramsey invites us to rediscover our wonder at his sinless life, brutal death, and glorious resurrection. Featuring forty short chapters recounting key episodes from Jesus’s time on earth, this book expands on the biblical narrative in a fresh and creative way—giving us a taste of what it would have been like to walk next to Jesus and experience his earthly ministry first hand.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Mary SlessorMary Slessor: A Life on the Altar for God by Bruce McLennan. I can’t say that I had even heard of Mary Slessor until I received this book. But now I want to know more! “Mary Slessor was no ordinary woman, indeed she was no ordinary missionary. Brought up in Dundee, one of eleven children, Mary was called to mission and set sail for West Africa in 1876. Bruce McLennan examines this remarkable story of a woman who shared the gospel, stood up against inequality and impacted all areas of life in Calabar with boldness and conviction.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

ResurrectionThe Resurrection in Your Life: How the Living Christ Changes Your World by Mike McKinley. I enjoy McKinley’s writing. “Christians often spend time arguing that Jesus rose, but we forget to appreciate why it actually matters. In the follow-up to his brilliant book on the cross, Passion, US pastor and well-known author Mike McKinley considers the revolutionary consequences for each of us of Christ’s resurrection, ascension and the sending of his Spirit. Walk through Luke 24 and Acts 1-2 and discover how the reality that Jesus lives can and should change every aspect of our world. Whether you’re a new or a mature Christian, let the joy, peace, confidence and purpose of the resurrection flood into your everyday life.” (Learn more or buy it at Amazon)

The Trailblazers series from Christian Focus has a whole collection of short biographies of noteworthy Christians targetted at younger readers. It is an excellent series, and I am glad to see they have just added three new volumes: Hannah More: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Stop Writing by Sarah Allen, Lottie Moon: Changing China for Christ by Nancy Drummond, and Frances Ridley Havergal: The Girl Who Loved Mountains by Lucille Travis. You can buy them all at Amazon: Hannah More, Lottie Moon, Frances Ridley Havergal.

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