I get a lot of books in the mail and once a month or so like to sit down and tell you about some of the especially notable ones. So here they are: the new and notable books for February.
Typical Woman: Free, Whole, and Called in Christ by Abigail Dodds
Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons by John Piper
Sola: How the Five Solas Are Still Reforming the Church by Jason K. Allen
Mere Calvinism by Jim Scott Orrick
Passions of the Heart: Biblical Counsel for Stubborn Sexual Sins by John Street
Don’t Just Send a Resume: How to Find the Right Job in a Local Church by Benjamin Vrbicek
Today, we’re talking about some of the new and notable books that have come our way over the last few weeks. Let me run the intro and then I’ll tell you all about them.
Today we’re talking new and notable books and we’re going to begin with Atypical Woman by Abigail Dodds. I tried, before I started recording, to describe this one. I had trouble just finding words to express this so I’m just going to read what it says on the back and see if it’s of interest to you. In a culture that can belittle womanhood on the one hand, making it irrelevant, and glorified on the other, making it everything. It’s hard to know what it really means to be a woman. But when we understand womanhood through the lens of scripture, we see that we need a bigger category for what God has called woman. This book breathes fresh air into our womanhood reminding us what life in Christ, as a woman, looks like. I suppose that tells you who it’s for and what it’s about. You may not know this, I don’t think John Piper does a lot of book endorsements yet he did endorse this one. Here’s what he says, this is not the portrait of womanhood painted by the world. Dodds is not calling for something easy but something courageous. I hope you consider her challenge. So there you go, Atypical Woman by Abigail Dodds.
And speaking of John Piper, here’s his new book called Why I Love the Apostle Paul: 30 Reasons. What can I say about this book? Really, not much more than the title says. Honestly, John Piper loves the apostle Paul. In this book, which has 30 short chapters, he tells you why. That’s it, right. I mean, I think you know what the book is about and whether or not you’d want to read it.
Next, I’m going to kind of package up these two books together. The first is Sola: How the Five Solas are still Reforming the Church. So this is edited by Jason Allen and then has some contributors as well, Jared Wilson, Owen Strachan, others. It’s a book about the five solas. You should be familiar with the five solas. The next book is about the five points of Calvinism. This one, Sola scriptura, Sola gratia, Sola fide, Solus Christus, and Soli Dei Gloria. These are, it says, at the core of the Protestant Reformation. They’re vital to New Testament Christianity and great commission witness. They are the essence of the Gospel, find out why. Please do find out why.
We’ve had a lot of talk over the last few years about New Calvinism, about Reformed Theology and this is all wonderful things. One of my fears is that people are starting to assume this theology rather than really study it. And I’m hoping we can recover some of our enthusiasm about the doctrine that, not too long ago, really drew this movement together. You’d want to start with the five solas. The five solas are what distinguish Protestants from Roman Catholics. You’ll find this book helpful. And then maybe follow it up with this one, Mere Calvinism by Jim Orrick. If the five solas distinguish Protestant from Catholic, the five solas distinguish Calvinist from Arminian. And I’ve already read this one. Jim Orrick does a fantastic job of explaining each of the five points of Calvinism and he does it in a really fresh way. He uses lots of great illustrations and then he teaches why they really matter. So, this is, I think, one of the best introductions to Calvinism I’ve read and I’ve read a lot of them. I think you’ll find it very, very helpful.
Moving on, we’ve got Passions of the Heart by John Street. Now, this one is subtitled, Biblical Counsel for Stubborn Sexual Sin. So, we’ve had a lot of books come out over the last decade or so about sexual sin. Especially as it relates to pornography and I’m thankful for them. I wrote one myself. But I think one of the things we’re finding is that sexual sins can be especially stubborn. It can seem so easy. Why would you commit that sin? Stop committing that sin. Here are steps. Here are tools to help you and still people struggle with sin. So, listen to this: enticed by rage, sensuality or pride, anyone can become caught up in previously unimaginable acts. Experienced biblical counselor, John Street, takes a hard look at the hard idolatries that lead even Christians to commit egregious sexual sin, showing how to bring lasting change by identifying the underlying motivations of the heart. I’m definitely going to read this one thoroughly and I’m very hopeful that it helps many people battle some of those very, very stubborn sins and helps equip the rest of us to battle alongside them.
Last, but not least, Don’t Send Out a Resume by Benjamin, I’m going to go with, Vrbicek. I’m not totally sure of the pronunciation there. This is a book about being called from one church to another to fulfill a ministry position. And it’s meant to help, help make that transition, help decide whether you should accept such a position and help understand how you would think that through well, what you should look for. And so he’s written the bulk of the book. He’s also had contributions from a host of people you may know, J.A. Medders, Dave Mathis, Jared Wilson, Chris Brauns, and so on. Sam Rainer and others. So, this is a book, if you’re into ministry, you’re thinking about getting into ministry or maybe you’re thinking about changing up the church or ministry you work with. I think you’ll find this a helpful guide.
Here are just some of the books, and there are many more I could have spoken about, that have come our way in the last few weeks. We are very, very blessed. I hope there’s a book there that was of interest to you and I’