Working for Moody Publishers is great because you get exposed to many fine thinkers, orators, and writers. You get to hear what’s on their hearts and minds and then watch them turn that passion into books. And my job is to help connect that passion in the book with its intended audience. With that in mind, let me tell you about some of our new and recent releases.
The 18th century pastor-theologian Jonathan Edwards has long been a favorite source of inspiration and passion for many Christians. However, most people don’t go beyond their high school study of “Sinners in the hands of an angry God” to get to know Edwards better. After all, Edwards wrote a lot of sermons, texts, and notes, (all in often confusing old English) and he was a deep thinker. Where would one person begin to sort through it all and come to understandable conclusions?
Experts Douglas Sweeney and Owen Strachan introduce, present, and reflect on the choicest treasures of Edwards’s writings, but do so in a way that everyone can understand in The Essential Edwards Collection. Introduced by John Piper, these five slim volumes (Jonathan Edwards on Beauty, on the Good Life, on True Christianity, on Heaven and Hell, and Jonathan Edwards, Lover of God) provide a great basic understanding of the essential writings and topics of Edwards’s life and ministry. So don’t be too intimidated to get to know Edwards better and with him, the glorious God he served.
Let me ask you a question. Where is the doctrinal pendulum in the church right now? Conservative legalists had their day, and then the emergent church had its day with a “deeds not creeds” mantra. It seems to me that the pendulum on doctrine and faith statements is swinging back again as people are into social justice “deeds,” but they are motivated because of doctrine they believe in as recorded in “creeds.” People today don’t seem satisfied with easy, noncommittal answers–they want to explore the depth of doctrine. Many now see that within creeds and catechisms we can have our faith strengthened, our knowledge broadened, and our love for Jesus deepened.
If you are one of those folks, I want to recommend The Good News We Almost Forgot by Kevin DeYoung. In it, Kevin explains the Heidelberg Catechism, why he loves it and hopes more people come to love it. The result is a clear-headed, warm-hearted exploration of the faith, simple enough for young believers and deep enough for mature ones. So I invite you to see what “vintage faith” is. I believe you’ll be surprised how much you’ll enjoy this book on a 16th-century faith document. We can’t afford to forget what it teaches–We are great sinners and Christ is a greater Savior!
Sharing Christ with friends and family can be scary for many people. Now what if it’s sharing Christ with a Muslim co-worker or neighbor? Yikes!…right? It doesn’t have to be that way. Thabiti Anyabwile is a Christian pastor who converted from Islam. He has written The Gospel for Muslims- An Encouragement to Share Christ With Confidence. Written for typical Christians who want to share their faith, Thabiti emphasizes knowing the gospel and having your confidence in its claims, not in a specific evangelism technique, knowledge of Islam, or skill. It’s a handy little volume that is sure to help you effectively share Christ with any Muslim that the Lord brings you into contact with.
Finally, if you are interested in or already do missions work, please consider Reaching And Teaching by M. David Sills. Sills loves missionaries and their desire to reach people for Christ. However, his research reveals that, unfortunately, many aren’t teaching those new believers effectively enough before moving on to reach others. Where is the right balance between reaching and teaching? I’m reading it so I can be more faithful to what Christ has called and equipped me to do.
Well, I guess that’s all for now. Enjoy spring, everyone! And if you are going to the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville in April, look for me and let’s talk about these books. I’d also love to hear about what issues you’re facing in ministry and what books and resources you would like to see that could help you.
Thanks for reading!
-Keith Wiederwax, Church Life and Reference Marketing Manager-Moody Publishers