I get a lot (a lot!) of books in the mail. I don’t have time to review them all, but once in a while I like to let you know about some that may be of particular interest to you. Here they are.
I get books. I get lots and lots of books. In fact, I get so many books that most of them go to a post office box. When I go to the post office to collect my books they get really, really happy because finally, they’re going to clear out some space in that place. So, I get lots of books. Today I want to tell you about just a few of the books that have come in lately that maybe would be good picks for you to get here in August.
Today we’re talking about just some of the books that have come in in the month of August or in late July that may be of particular interest to Christians and we’re going to start with these Banner Mini Guides. This is a new series from Banner of Truth. I’m sure you’re familiar with Banner of Truth, they’ve published so many great books over the years. They’ve turned here to theology and what they’re doing is presenting these topics in short form. So, they’ve got four volumes to start. They’ve got one on The Church, one on The Bible, one on Salvation and then one on The Christian Mind. You can see the different colors there, they represent different themes. According to the back, there are going to be five different themes that will be covered in a series of books. So, these are solid introductions to important topics related to Christian faith and Christian life.
Then we’ve got Know How We Got Our Bible. This is part of the Know Series, which comes from Zondervan, it’s edited by Justin Holcomb. This one was written by Ryan Reeves and Charles Hill. I’m not so familiar with Hill, I love Ryan Reeves and a lot of the material he’s put out, especially he’s put out on YouTube. A book on how we got our Bible. Maybe we take the Bible for granted, it’s good for us to go back to understand how we got it, how it came to be the Bible that we hold in our hands today. So, this is another great series, short guides, well worth your time.
Turning from there to The Pastor’s Soul, this is by Brian Croft and Jim Savastio. Brian has written several books for pastors. This is, I believe, the completion of a little series. He’s talking about the call and care of an under-shepherd. So this is obviously for pastors to ensure that they’re caring for themselves and being cared for by their fellow elders. So, an important book. We see far too many pastors who show lack of care, lack of watch over themselves and lack of accountability from others.
Two books from Ligonier Ministries, from their publishing division, Reformation Trust. First, we’ve got The Affectionate Theology of Richard Sibbes written by Mark Dever. If you know much about Mark Dever, you know he’s a Sibbes guy. Now, at last, he’s written this short biography as part of this Long Line of Godly Men profile series, edited by Steve Lawson. I’m sure this will be a great introduction to the life of one of the key Puritan authors.
Then, we’ve also got from Reformation Trust, Strength for the Weary by Derek Thomas. This is a series of chapters, a series of reflections on the final chapters of Isaiah. So he’s covered a lot of the topics that are at the end of that book. It says here, Dr. Thomas explores the final chapters of Isaiah, laying out the remarkable promises that God makes to His people. In these pages, there’s consolation in the struggles of this life and encouragement for the road ahead. The God of comfort has promised to be with His people always. Beautiful chapters, key chapters in the unfolding of God’s plan and a great theologian and pastor to tell you all about them.
Continuing to move down our pile, we’ve got Healthy Plurality = Durable Church by Dave Harvey. Dave is the Executive Director of the Sojourn Network which does a lot of church planting and one of his concerns is for healthy churches, healthy pastors. I’m not aware of another book that deals specifically with a plurality of elders, meaning a church that is governed by or led by more than one elder. And so in this book he guides you into making sure you’ve got a plurality of elders and then having a healthy, functional plurality of elders in the local church. A very small book, very short. A lot of it is actually appendices, but very practical, very helpful.
Then we’ve got this, The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life by Albert Martin. Now, this is volume one of what will be a three-volume set that will total, I think, around 2000 pages. And if I understand correctly, it’s all based on his lectures on pastoral theology, Albert Martin’s lectures on pastoral theology. So again, geared for pastors and, I think, tremendously helpful. It’s got commendations from Joel Beeke and Jeff Thomas and Sam Waldron and several others. So, I think this would be something pastors would do well to go through. Perhaps, over a long period of time and just allow this saint, this man who’s had a long and faithful ministry to minister to them, teach them how to be better, Godlier, more effective pastors.
Last, not least, we come to this, the Scripture Journal’s new ESV Scripture Journals from Crossway. This is the New Testament set. So, it comes in this nice little slipcase. You open it up and here you’ve got journals for each one of the books of the New Testament. Some are combined, obviously. If you pull them out and look, you’ll see they’re a very simple format. You’ve got the Bible on one page, and on the facing page you’ve got just lined pieces of paper. The idea is, you read the Word and you journal about it and you do it all in this one volume, rather than having a separate Bible and journal. So, these may be of interest to you. I think this is going to be a great gift idea for many people. Just one more means through which we can go through God’s Word, learn who God is, what He demands of us and how we should respond to His revelation of Himself in the scriptures.
I hope some of these books are of interest to you. Check back again in a month or so and I’ll try and give you a round up of yet another list of new and notable books.