Book Reviews

This is a list of books that I have enjoyed reading in the past. I hope they will be a blessing to you as they have been for me.


New Titles in Red

Challenging Darwinism

Creation Basics & Beyond: An In-Depth Look at Science, Origins, and Evolution
 (ICR, 2013) presents 10 authors questioning radioisotope methods, the speed of distant starlight, fossil forensics, and much more. They say that an old Earth would have produced more salt and sediment in the oceans, more erosion of the continents, more helium in the atmosphere in rocks, etc. Their argument is that an understanding of mutations shows humans to have been around for thousands of years rather than 2.5 million. The book contends that the universe is thousands of years old rather than billions. If we assume a uniformity of natural processes over time, some of our measurements are way off.  This in-depth look at the subject of creation clears up many incorrect assumptions and dispels those assumptions by making clear the truths taught in the Bible regarding science, origin and evolution.

 In the book The Genesis Flood: The Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications, by Henry M. Morris and John Whitcomb, (55th-year re-publication by P&R in 2011) Morris takes issue with conventional dating. Six-day creationists tell us we should not assume uniformity because the Bible itself tells us not to. For example, two of the first four rivers mentioned in the Bible no longer exist. The Bible records pre-flood humans living for hundreds of years, but the maximum over recent millennia as 120, with 70 years most common. But Noah's flood transformed the continents. This is an interesting book that has been around for nearly 60 years. It clears up the false modern-day theories that many have used to argue against creation and a young universe.

This year brings the 25th anniversary of Darwin On Trial, by Phillip Johnson (IVP, 1991). This book jump-started the intelligent design movement. Johnson, a University of California law professor, interrogated Darwinism the way a trial lawyer would a defendant and found that the theory lacked supportive evidence. A good read on the subject of evolution.

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, by Michael Behe (Free Press, 1998) shows how Darwinism cannot answer the challenges of irreducible complexity, since so many radical changes would need to occur at once for new organs and new creatures to arise. Another good read on the subject of creation vs. evolution.

Origins Of Life, by Rana and Ross (RTB, 2014) argues: "Life appeared early in Earth's history, while the planet was still in its primordial state....Life originated abruptly....Earth's first life displays complexity." That view dramatically opposes evolutionary theories that "Chemical pathways produced life's building blocks...Life appeared gradually on Earth over long periods of time...Earth's first life was simple."

In Navigating Genesis, by Hugh Ross (RTB, 2014) Ross flatly says, "multiple independent lines of evidence contradict the hypothesis of a radiometric decay-rate change during Noah's flood." He cites astronomical, core drill, tree ring, and biological evidence, and goes on to criticize global flood models because of their "implausible plate tectonics" and the evidence of bio-deposits. he says "isotope evidence indicates that marine life was present and abundant on Earth as early as 3.8 billion years ago." Ross sees this long lead time before the human drama begins as not a theological weakness but an indication of God's kindness: Over billions of years "God endowed humans with abundant biological resources...Trillions of barrels of oil, trillions of tons of coal, quadrillions of cubic feet of natural gas."

The two-volume Earth's Catastrophic Past: Geology, Creation and the Flood, by Andrew Snelling (Master books and AIG, 2014) is a comprehensive attack on uniformitarian contentions that geological and other processes proceeded in the past at the same place they now do. Snelling, a Geologist, argues that during creation week, "convective circulation in the mantle, partial melting, and magna generation would have occurred at rates many orders of magnitude faster than the rates of similar processes observed today....Within three literal 24-hour days of the Creation Week, Earth's crustal rocks would have 'aged' by billions of years, according to the radioisotope 'clocks' if measured at today's decay rates." Snelling provides details about sedimentation and fossilization and writes that fossil graveyards, including coal beds, "show convincing evidence of rapid and catastrophic deposition of sediments on an enormous scale....Coalification is a quick process that does not require long periods of time." He states that "God would have creatively used accelerated geologic and other processes to form and shape" what became dry land. He makes arguments about carbon-14 formation which make them seem older than their real-time ages.

Seven Days That Divide The World, by John Lennox (Zondervan, 2011) is written by a 72-year-old Oxford math and science professor. Lennox separates the question of the earth's age from the interpretation of the creation days' length. Lennox argues that Scripture does not demand creation in six consecutive 24-hour days. He suggests that creation may have occurred during six days of normal length, eeach with evening and morning, but separated by long periods of time. I don't expect strong advocates of competing positions to embrace Lennox's, but the debate among creationists and intelligent design adherents now may parallel the debate among pro-life leaders 27-years ago. Back then the pro-life movement suffered from infighting, with some demanding an all-or-nothing approach, and others proposing an all-or-something approach. Similarly, some creationists with a precise sense of time attack those who focus primarily on the Crator and say the length of the process is secondary--and ire goes the other way as well.

Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral counselors

Karen Mason

 

A must-have book for Pastors, Chaplains, church offices, and libraries. Karen Mason is a psychologist and counseling professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She begins the book by showing that some world views about suicide include destiny or duty. Other views show that it is a matter of honor, a rational choice, or an opportunity for political protest. She gives seemingly unrealistic (but true) statistics regarding suicide including race, gender and age.

The book offers specific advice for counselors in dealing with those contemplating it and for those who have survived it. From the Christian aspect, if we understood that suffering is part of the Christian life, we wouldn't be surprised and sometimes stunned by adversity. If we understood the Bible's teaching that we often need suffering to advance spiritually, we would welcome difficulty as part of God's grace.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who counsels those considering, or who have survived a suicide attempt. The advice is an excellent guide for battling suicide.
 

Thomas R. Schreiner

 

Professor Thomas Schreiner has written a valuable tool for anyone trying to understand the various issues related to the complex theme of the Mosaic law and its fulfillment. This is much more suited for advanced students and scholars and serves especially well for those who are just beginning to understand this subject.

 Schreiner's focus is on the Pauline literature, but many topics are covered and are by no means narrow. Schreiner states in his introduction that his purpose is to provide a fresh analysis of the "new perspective" on Paul. He does this well in chapters 2 and 4. He defends the historic Protestant view clearly and concisely.

 But then his work takes the reader beyond his initial objective. It examines controversial subjects as the present relevance of Moses, the purpose of the Mosaic law, and Paul's theology of works. He also enters the current "lordship salvation" controversy in chapter 7.

 In chapter 1 ("The Meaning of the Term Law in Paul") sorts out carefully the various nuances of nomos in its Pauline usage. Schreiner wisely avoids the confusion of "Law of Christ" with "law of Moses". He also demonstrates that "law," more often than not has the narrower focus of "commandment". He notes the redemptive-historical use of the term. These observations are very significant and often overlooked.

 In chapter 3 ("The Purpose of the Law") regarding his treatment of paidogogos, his salvation-historical reference is critical to a correct understanding of the passage and the observation avoids the difficulties that other commentary writers must face. With a subject such as his, no one will agree with him at every point, but Schreiner deals carefully with all of the primary passages involved among others. His conclusions reflect a close attention to the details of the text.

 The publishers claim the Schreiner defends the historic Protestant view of the law, which is certainly true in regards to the "new perspective." It is also true in regards to his insistence that the Mosaic Covenant was "wholly gracious" in nature. But his brief remarks concerning the sabbath places him well outside the traditional Puritan Protestantism. (He remarks that the sabbath is not a Christian obligation.) 

 In chapter 6 ("The Fulfillment of the Law by Christians"), he suggests that it is the "moral" dimension of the Mosaic Code which is still binding on New Covenant believers and that it resembles the traditional Reformed theology of law only superficially, for he never equates the moral law of Moses with the decalogue. This distinction is important and must not be missed.

 In chapter 8 ("Soundings from the Rest of the New Testament") Schreiner provides a summary of the corresponding ideas in the other New Testament writers. The agreement of these others with Paul is concisely demonstrated at each point. This chapter is not only useful in its support for Schreiner's various contentions throughout his analysis of the Pauline passages, but also in that it serves as a basic introduction for further pursuit of the study.

 One of the faults I find is that relatively little attention is given to the subject of Christ as the fulfiller of the law. There is some good treatment given to this in the section on Matthew in chapter 5 and chapter 8. But there could well be more consideration of such ideas as the relation of Christ's teaching to the Mosaic law.

 This book is particularly well-suited for beginners, but some working knowledge of Greek is necessary at some points. All in all, the book is well worth reading. It is most useful to students of the New Testament theology of law. His ideas are well organized and his arguments are well presented. He writes clearly and well and the indexes are thorough and useful.

Expository Thoughts On The Gospels
J.C. Ryle

 

Some of the true giants of the Faith have been found within the Anglican Church of England. Although I am no Anglican, besides some issues with the articles on the sacraments and a tendency toward apostolic succession in the priesthood, I am a proponent of the "39 Articles" which comprise the core of the Anglican tradition. These articles are thoroughly Reformational and they champion the authority of Scripture, the Trinity, and Christ's substitutionary death at Calvary. They support justification by faith alone, and many other necessary doctrines central to orthodox evangelical Christianity.

 Throughout the history of the Anglican Church, there were brave, noble men like Bishop Lancelot Andrewes who was the chief overseer of the King James translation of the Bible, Bishop Ussher, J. B. Lightfoot, poet and preacher John Donne, William Gurnall, John Newton who wrote "Amazing Grace", and many other historical heroes of mine. There are also great men who are from more modern times such as John R.W. Stott, J.I. Packer, J. Alec Motyer and Vaughn Roberts.

 One of my personal favorites is John Charles Ryle. He was the first Angelican Bishop of Liverpool. He was a preacher, teacher, writer and Biblical commentator. In my opinion, he is one of the most clear and most useful expositors in the Church of any age.

 Because he is one of my personal favorites, I wish to recommend to you his superlative works on the Gospels. In a set titled "Expository Thoughts on the Gospels" Ryle is at the top of his game. These are not just mere commentaqries. They are vibrant, cogent, practical expositions of the Scriptures written with warmth and a clarity seldom found in any other. I recommend three useful ways to seek these out:

 l        Devotionally. Although this may seem odd to recommend commentaries as devotional materials, I am being very deliberate in setting this use before you. Ryle takes basic units of the narrative and then gives you just three or four crucial considerations to be drawn from them. They are concise but always practical and give Christ His due exaltation. By using this process, he is able to give sound approaches to the difficult passages without seeming over the reader's head. When I use them in my own personal devotions I never come away without something useful in understanding God's Word better.

 l        Small Groups. As a leader of a small group, this is something different and make great choice picks. This is because the portions are short enough to be read aloud by one or more participants, and then the key points or observations can be truly useful to discussion topics. It is amazing at how concise the comments are and how easily they lend themselves to deeper reflections by a group. Even if you do not have a strong leader, these short pieces will keep you on a solid ground and you will move at a comfortable pace.

 l        Bible Study. These are invaluable in your own Bible study, for personal use or as preparation aid for teaching and preaching. The clarity and Christ-centered focus of the applications are very rich. This is especially true in the expanded volumes on the Gospel of John. J.C. Ryle not only keeps to the style he used in the Synoptic Gospels, but enhances each section by a collection of pertinent quotes from 20 or more other expositors. This resource is tremendous on discussions of doctrinal and interpretive controversy as well as full of practical application.

 Barnes and Noble has the complete set available for download to your Nook reader, or the free Nook app for your phone or iPad, for $.99. That's unbelievably less than one dollar.

 To download this amazing exposition, the link is Expository Thoughts On The Gospels .

Copies derived from Google's Digital copying service of early printings were no cost. http://prydain.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/ryles-expository-thoughts-on-the-gospels-now-available-as-pdfs/.

Systematic Theology

John M. Frame

 

Systematic Theology An Introduction To Christian Belief, by John M. Frame. The author is a Reformed Theological Seminary professor. The purpose of 'systematic theology books' is to unify all scriptural teaching. Previously written 'systematic theology books' (Calvin, Hodge, Berkhof, Grudem, and Reymond), are based personal biases and seem to focus more on obscure interpretations or cutting-edge scholarship much to the detriment of the plain truth. Not Frame's. He launches his major theme: "The Centrality of Divine Lordship," or the Lord Himself as the main character and driving force of history. Frame is known for his "perspectival" view of knowledge. Triangle diagrams are scattered throughout the text, providing a novel way to think about doctrinal matters like salvation, saving faith, revelation, and providence. In a time when clear expository preaching is on the decline and standards are slipping, Systematic Theology is a great addition to Christianity's library.

Darwinism

 

Atheism's scientific veneer gives it intellectual standing, and that's why discussing origins is so important. Starting with Charles Darwin himself, Paul Johnson's Darwin: Portrait of a Genius is a useful short biography and David Herbert's Charles Darwin's Religious Views: From Creationist to Evolutionist serves up fascinating detail. Nickwell John Romjue's I, Charles Darwin imagines Darwin returning to earth to be confounded by the DNA revolution and the complexity of cells. Stephen Meyer's Signature in the Cell and Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design tie together the discoveries that suggest Darwinism is scientifically outmoded. Some of the better-written alternatives to Darwinism include the following books:  Why the Universe Is the Way It Is, by Hugh Ross; The Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding Creation, by Mark Whorton and Hill Roberts; The Bible, Rocks and Time by Davis A. Young and Ralph F. Stearley; Coming to Grips With Genesis edited by Terry Mortenson and Thane Ury; The Design Inference (which mathematically destroys Darwinism) by William Dembski; How To Be An Intellectually Fulfilled Athiest (Or Not) by William Dembski and Jonathan Wells; Science and Human Origins by Ann Gauger; Did Adam Really Exist? by C. John Collins; Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science by John West; Living Constitution, Dying Faith: Progressivism and the New Science of Jurisprudence by Bradley Watson; Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview by Jerry Bergman; and Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth About Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters by Jerry Bergman.

 

    Islam

 

With Islam on the march Christians are fighting a war for souls within Islam and America. A Christian Response to Radical Islam and Fundamentalist Atheism, by Darrow Miller addresses this issue. Rick Richter's Comparing the Qur'an and the Bible accomplishes its promise, and William Kilpatrick's Christianity, Islam and Athiesm examines the reasons for Christian reticence toward criticizing Islam. Questions Muslims Ask, by Robert Scott gives good answers to common questions used by Muslims when debating Christians. The Cross in the Shadow of Crescent, by Erwin Lutzer, summarizes Islam's history and The Hidden Origins of Islam, edited by Karl-Heinz Ohlig and Gerd-R. Puin, suggests that Islam began as a Christian heresy. The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, and, Spring fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, both by Andrew McCarthy spotlight disturbing trends as does Paul Marshall and Nina Shea's Silenced: How Apostasy & Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide. Other books that deliver on their promises and the expose the Islamic world upon Christians include: Crucified Again, (subtitled: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians), by Raymond Ibrahim; The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam, by Eliza Griswold; Sharia Versus Freedom, by Andrew G. Bostom; Sookhdeo's Islam in Our Midst: The Challenge To Our Christian Heritage, by Patrick Sookhdeo; Paradise Lost, Smyrna, 1922: The Destruction of a Christian City in the Islamic World, by Giles Milton; Icon of Evil: Hitler's Mufti and the Rise of Radical Islam, by David G. Dalin and John F. Rothmann; and Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African, by Lamin Sanneh.

 

   Biographies

 

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas hit bestseller lists and Tim Townsend's Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis both raise issues about "cheap grace" and what happens when we have nothing left to offer. Edward E. Ericson Jr. and Alexis Klimoff's The Soul and Barbed Wire: An Introduction to Solzhenitsyn demystifies the greatly misunderstood 20-th century icon.

 

Swindoll's New Testament Insights

Charles Swindoll

 

Swindoll's New Testament Insights is a devotional commentary series by Charles Swindoll. This is the most recent books I have review. Chuck is the former president of the Dallas Theological Seminary. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak in times past while a student at Liberty. The commentary set is not a in depth set but Chuck is known for his devotional comments. He has many applicable stories that can be use in sermon illustrations. He has a story for most every occasion. I did enjoy reading his common sense approach to interpreting the Scriptures. I like the series. The books are not too expensive. If one is looking for this type of reference set you will find this set helpful.

Believer's Baptism

Shawn D. Wright

 

Is believer's baptism the clear teaching of the New Testament Scriptures? What are the historical and theological challenges to believer's baptism? What are the practical applications for believer's baptism today? Volume two in the New American Commentary Studies in Bible and Theology series for pastors, advanced Bible students, and other committed laypersons addresses these compelling questions. Believer's Baptism begins with the belief that believer's baptism (as opposed to infant baptism or other faith proclaiming methods) is the clear teaching of the New Testament.

Biblical and Scientific Responses

Edited by Norman C. Nevin

PR Publishing

Should Christians embrace evolution? Thirteen scientists and theologians examine the claim that Christians must either embrace evolution or be opposed to science. They set out a clear framework for relevant biblical, theological, and scientific issues and answer crucial questions that are proposed. The book is 220 pages and retails for $14.99. ISBN 978-1-59638-230-5

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary 1859-2009

Gregory A. Wills

Oxford University Press

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has been a pivotal institution in American education for he Christian ministry over a century and a half, molding and being molded by its constituency in the largest Protestant denomination in the country. Wills has written a compelling and scholarly history of this institution.

The Mystery of the Holy Spirit

R.C. Sproul

Christian Focus

Some people have noted that Trinitarian Christianity has faltered in recent years; there seems to be a land of or wrong-headed understanding of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. In this short book Sproul deepens the understanding of readers as he explores the different roles the Spirit has in our lives and deals with some of the most perplexing and frequently discussed issues with this trademark pastoral sensitivity.

Before God: The Biblical Doctrine of Prayer

Mark J. Sarkissian

Xulon

Prayer is an absolutely integral part of the Christian's daily life, and yet, it is a discipline to which we quickly grow cold and complacent. This book seeks to define, document, and defend a biblical doctrine of prayer and examine its importance for the church today. The final section considers the prayer life of Robert Murray M'Cheyne, and engages readers with the holy life of this wonderful man.

Romans: A Study Manual

Robert Rogland

P&R

Paul's epistle to the church in Rome is arguably one of the richest and most splendid of all his writings. Romans sets forth the foundational truths concerning salvation and is the key to practical Christian living. Rogland has provided this useful study manual to help readers navigate through some of Romans' more weighty truths. Written with clear biblical exposition, this book will be of immense help to any student of Scripture.

An Exposition of the Psalms, 2 Volumes

Samuel Eyles Pierce

PBP

This two-volume set on the Psalms was formerly one of the scarcest full-length Scripture expositions by this pastor. His aim in writing this book was to comfort and edify by setting forth the Lord Jesus in his essential, personal, relative, and mediatorial glories. Charles Spurgeon and Robert Hawker felt no hesitation in commending this excellent resource.

How to Care for Your Pastor

Ken Philpott

EVP

Small churches can be unique places, and as such can pose unique challenges. This is especially true in the care of small church pastors. Philpott helps questioning congregants understand how they can best minister and attend to the particular vulnerabilities, problems, pressures, and needs of those who pastor the people of God.

The New Answers Book 3

Ken Hamm (ed.)

Masters

In recent years, prominent secularists have used an "evolving" of tactics to respond to arguments from creationist scholars and researchers. This third book in the Answers series addresses such issues as global warming, cloning and stem cell research, and Noah's Ark. Ham has proven himself to be an able apologist in defense of the Christian view of Scripture, and this book demonstrates the breadth of his understanding.

Already Gone: Why Your Kids Will Quit Church and What You Can Do to Stop it

Ken Hamm & Britt Beemer

Masters

Statistically, more than two-thirds of young people sitting in church today will soon be gone. But what can be done? This book explores the alarming statistics of our day and shows families how to fight back for our churches.

The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering the Evangelical Gospel

James M. Boice & Philip Graham Ryken

Crossway

Throughout history, the Christian church's greatest periods of expansion and faith have occurred when Christ and the cross have been the centerpiece of its vision. If God's people will, once again, widely and fearlessly proclaim the doctrine of grace, great days may yet be ahead for a floundering church. Boice and Ryken explore each of these essential truths and also consider current challenges, leaving no doubt that the church suffers when the doctrines of grace are neglected.

To Have and to Hold: A Christian Minister's Affectionate Advice to a Married Couple

James Bean

SGCB

Originally published in 1820, this work was intended for both newly married couples and older couples. This small book underscores the importance, seriousness, and profitability of marriage, making it immensely relevant and helpful for our day.

What He Must Be If He Wants to Marry My Daughter

Voddie Baucham

Crossway

What will you say when that certain young man sits down in your living room, sweaty-palmed and tongue-tied, and asks permission to marry your daughter? The search for a husband should not be left to the sole discretion of the daughter; her father, who is called to protect her physically, emotionally, and spiritually, has a vital role to play. The Bible gives fathers criteria of what a biblical man looks like. This book is a must read for fathers, mothers, daughters, and young men pursuing marriage.

Calvin: Theologian and Reformer

Edited by Joel R. Beeke & Garry J. Williams

RHB

This volume grows out of a conference at The John Owen Centre for theological Study in London to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformer's birth. Topics covered include Calvin's life and reforming work, his Institutes of the Christian Religion, aspects of his theology, and his commitment to revolutionary living and powerful preaching. The contributors are Joel Beeke, Sinclair Ferguson, Ian Hamilton, Anthony Lane, Ray Pennings, and Paul Wells.

Where Wisdom is Found: Christ in Ecclesiastes

J.V. Fesko

RHB

The wisdom literature of the bible is beautiful and inspiring, yet at times it can be confusing and hard to understand. In Where Wisdom is Found, J.V. Fesko helps us think through the book of Ecclesiastes and demonstrates how it finds its fulfillment in the crucified and resurrected Messiah.

Ecclesiastes addresses many of the troubling ambiguities of life, revealing the futility of this world. But as we reflect on life under the sun, we can rejoice knowing that redemption and life in Christ bring more meaning to our existence than the vanity of things around us.

Today's Gospel

Walter J. Chantry

Banner of Truth Trust

I really appreciated this book. He deals with issues that confront the church today. The evangelistic message proclaimed does not seem to be working. He shows what went wrong. People are moved to make decisions for Christ that are without repentance. I recommend this book to add to your library.

The Disappearance of God

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Multnomah Press

Dangerous beliefs are examined. The absence of preaching on hell and sin, emerging church, liberalism, atheism, lack of church discipline and the absence of expository preaching. You will enjoy this book and I recommend that you add it to you library.

Bringing Up Girls

Dr. James Dobson

Tyndale

In his new book, Bringing Up Girls, Dr. James Dobson, evangelical Christian author, psychologist and founder of Focus on the Family, tackles many of the questions and issues parents with daughters face. He explains he wrote the book out of deep concern.

"The culture works against the best interest of girls - and they're being rushed into adolescence, and especially adolescent sexuality, far too early," he comments.

The author adds that many dads do not realize the impact they have in the life of their daughter.

"Fewer men seem to understand that girls need their fathers just as much as the boys do," he points out. "As a result, fathers frequently just look past their little girls. they don't understand their wives very well, and they certainly don't understand these giggly little girls around their feet."

ISBN 9781414301273

Bringing Up Boys

Dr. James Dobson

Tyndale

Boys should be boys, says Dr. Dobson - but in today's mixed-up culture, how can moms and dads discern what that means? In this encouraging guide, he offers parents balanced, practical advice on nurturing honesty, integrity, and true masculinity in their sons. Discover time-tested and Bible-based secrets for raising today's boys to be tomorrow's godly men!

He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World

Mohler, R. Albert Jr.

Moody Press

Preaching has fallen on hard times in the 21st Century.

A loss of confidence in the power of the Word of God, an infatuation with technology, a desire to focus on felt needs and numerous other factors have conspired to create a pronounced decline in biblical preaching, R. Albert Mohler argues in his new book.

Mohler, who serves as president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, diagnoses this illness which has ravaged the evangelical church and also sets forth the cure: a recover of God-centered, Christ-focused, expositional preaching of the Scriptures.

The Missionary Call: Find Your Place in God's Plan for the World

Sills, M. David

Moody Press

Do all Christians have the missionary call? Is the missionary call a lifelong calling? How does being single affect the ministry call? What if your spouse does not share your sense of calling to a certain unreached people group?

In this new book, David Sills provides biblical answers to those and a host of other real-world issues that surround a call to the mission field.

Sills, who serves as the A.P. and Faye Stone Professor of Christian Missions and Cultural Anthropology at Southern, seeks to help Christians who have received a clear call to the mission field and those who are struggling to know God's will.

New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ

Schreiner, Thomas R.

Baker

It should be obvious that the main theme of the New Testament is God's working out of redemption in Jesus Christ, but that central message is sometimes missing from biblical scholarship, Thomas R. Schreiner argues in his recently-released  work on New Testament theology.

The massive work encompasses nearly 1,000 pages and unpacks the redemptive work of Christ and the inbreaking of God's eternal kingdom with significant depth and detail. Schreiner's work focuses on God's redeeming work through the lens of the New Testament reality of inaugurated eschatology - the already inaugurated/not yet consummated aspects of salvation and God's kingdom.

Schreiner serves as James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation and senior associate dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hullabaloo: Discovering Glory in Everyday Life

Jones, Timothy Paul

Life Journey

No matter what life brings, believers can enjoy an awareness of God's presence at every moment, according to this new book by Southern Seminary professor Timothy Paul  Jones. Even when we don't feel it, Jones writes, we are encountering God because He promises to always be with us and guide us.

To discover God's presence requires only the Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit, he argues.

Introducing Black Theology: Three Crucial Questions for the Evangelical Church

Fields, Bruce

Baker, Academic

A professor from the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a Theologically conservative seminary outside of Chicago has developed a helpful understanding of the present face of "black theology." Dr. Fields tackles 3 questions: 1) What is black theology? 2) What can black theology teach the evangelical church? 3) What is the future of black theology? It is a bit strange that James Cone, who is the Spiritual advisor of Barack Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright writes this endorsement, "a strong affirmation and critique of black liberation theology and the white evangelical church." His endorsement at least shows the book is balanced. He attempts to shed understanding between the black and white evangelical churches.

The Weapon of Prayer

Bounds, E.M.

New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House

What is more important than ministry? What is, in fact, the one thing that "puts God to work"? Prayer! In response to His children's prayers and petitions, God has promised to answer, to do, and to give us "all things whatsoever."

E.M Bounds expounds on God's need of people who pray. He explains:

  • Why prayer moves God to act

  • How busyness in church activities can hinder prayer

  • Why Jesus could not dispense with prayer

  • How the early apostles gave themselves to prayer

  • Why effective preaching depends on effective praying

  • Why we need to intercede for others

  • Why prayer is essential in God's kingdom

Inspiring sketches of the prayer lives of dedicated Christians, such as David Brainerd, George Müller, and Jonathan Edwards are included. Learn how you, too, can prepare yourself for effective participation in the highest calling Christ has given the church,- to advance God's kingdom through prayer.

A Passion for Prayer

Elliff, Tom

Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

Of all the disciplines of the Christian life, prayer is perhaps the most neglected. A Passion for Prayer seeks to help Christians like you develop - or deepen - your discipline and practice a regular, intimate communion with God. Drawing on biblical principles and personal experience, Tom Elliff gives you a book that's sure to increase your prayer confidence, consistency, and effectiveness under all kinds of circumstances.

Can God Bless America, Experiencing Deeper Intimacy With God

MacArthur, John

Nashville, TN: Nelson

We want God's blessing but not God. Americans have systematically pushed Him out of their lives - rejecting biblical morality, ignoring His Word, and looking to the entertainment industry as the new oracle. Abortion, homosexuality, drug abuse, divorce, and pornography are rampant. Even the church often imitates the world's fashions at the expense of biblical truth.

  • Given these evidences of moral bankruptcy, can God bless America? Are we on the brink of judgment rather than blessing? Are recent catastrophes merely harbingers of something worse to come?

  • John MacArthur is convinced God can bless America, but there are several clear biblical conditions must be met. Before there can be national blessing, there must be spiritual renewal, which begins with individual Christians. Christians must become models of genuine contrition and humility, rather than merely pointing fingers at the evils of society.

  • In Can God Bless America? John challenges God's people to lead the way in pursuing His blessing for our nation. "God Bless America" must become our sincere prayer, and not just a political slogan.

The Ways of God; How God Reveals Himself Before a Watching World

Blackaby, Henry T. & Edgemon, Roy T.

Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers

Have you every wondered?:

  • How God reveals Himself so you can walk securely in His ways and His will?

  • How God works to accomplish His will?

  • How is God molding you for His purpose?

If you have thought about such things, join beloved teacher and best-selling author Henry Blackaby as he shares the ways of God, which are definitely not the ways of the world. The ways of God require faith and obedience, which lead to His fullness of life.

Why Government Can't Save You: An Alternative to Political Activism

MacArthur, John

The Lord did not come as a political deliverer or social reformer. He did not rally supporters in a grandiose attempt to "capture the culture" for morality or greater political and religious freedom. Rather, His divine calling was to rescue the lost souls of individual men and women from sin and hell.

In Why Government Can't Save You: An alternative to Political Activism, author John MacArthur illustrates through Scripture that, regardless of the numerous immoral, unjust, and ungodly failures fo secular government, believers are to pray and seek to influence the world for Christ by godly, selfless, and peaceful living under that authority, not by protests against the government or by acts of civil disobedience. Dr. MacArthur will explore these areas:

  • Christians' responsibility to authority

  • How and why we should support our leaders

  • How to live righteously in a pagan culture

  • The principle of paying taxes

  • Jesus' lessons on tax exemptions

  • The biblical purpose of government

  • The principles and reasons for civil obedience

Introducing Christian Doctrine

Erickson, Millard J.

Baker Book House, Co.

This abridgment of Erickson's classic Christian Theology gives an overview of the doctrines of revelation, God, creation, providence, humanity, sin, Jesus Christ, atonement and salvation, the church, and eschatology. Erickson's careful theological reflection is here made accessible to any serious reader.

Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce

Piper, John

Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

There seems presently to be a pervasive idea that we live in a unique time and therefore what worked in the past will no work today and we have to come up with new ideas or methods to inspire people to live for Christ. According to scripture, the things that happened in the past are meant by God to be examples for us today to teach us how we are to live a life of godliness.

I would urge present day believers to look to the examples of Scripture and read the great biographies that are recorded "as examples for us." There are may other biographies of great saints down through the ages that will be a great encouragement for us as well.

William Wilberforce is one such life I would commend to you. Born in the eighteenth century, Wilberforce lived a life of wealth, success, and aimless purpose until Christ changed his life. He became a member of the British Parliament at age 21, but has little purpose until meeting with an old pastor friend named John Newton (writer of Amazing Grace). He was considering leaving politics to go into the ministry until Newton told him, "It is hoped and believed that the Lord has raised you up for the good of His church and for the good of the nation."

The result was that he continued in Parliament and began the greatest fight of his life, the abolition of the African slave trade in the British Empire. The fight would drag on for forty-six years of his life. He saw his efforts to abolish the slave trade defeated eleven times between the years of 1787-1807 before finally passing on the twelfth attempt. Amazingly, he found time to write a tremendous book, A Practical View of Christianity, supported many charitable causes, supported missions causes, established a humane society for animals, and numerous causes. All of this was inspired by his deep faith in Christ.

I recommend you read a biography of this amazing life titled, Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce by John Piper. It will be an encouragement to endure through great obstacles and you will lean what sustained him through great persecution.

The Case for the Real Jesus

Strobel, Lee

Zondervan

Is The Case for the Real Jesus crumbling? Has the church suppressed ancient documents about the carpenter from Nazareth? Do new findings disprove the resurrection? That's what the headlines - and some prominent scholars - would have us believe. Investigative journalist Lee Strobel disagrees. Evaluating the arguments of atheists, liberal theologians, and others, he scrutinizes the evidence - and encourages you to reach your own verdict.  288 pages, hardcover.

Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Stanley, Charles

Nashville, TN: Nelson

Is the Holy Spirit a cloudy mystery to you? Or is he an energizing aspect of God who personally transforms your heart? With simple wisdom, Stanley reveals the inner workings of the Third Person of the Trinity. Discover how to receive the Spirit, maximize his potential within you, live a holy life, and more. 99 pages, hardcover.

When the Enemy Strikes

Stanley, Charles

Nashville, TN: Nelson

Reminding us of God's unlimited ability to help Christians struggling with spiritual oppression, Dr. Stanley explains how to overcome satanic attack by identifying the enemy; dressing in the full armor of God; standing firm; releasing God's divine power and protection through prayer; and sensing forewarnings concerning finances, family, relationships, or health. 224 pages, softcover.

Anxious for Nothing

MacArthur, John Jr.

Wheaton, IL: Victor Books

So many things to worry about - so little time to fret! MacArthur shows believers how to gain a "peace that passes understanding" by going to the only true source of comfort and victory - Scripture! You'll learn to cast your cares on God, deal with difficult people, live without complaining, and be content. (Previously published as Anxiety Attacked.) 224 pages, softcover.

Fools Gold?

MacArthur, John Jr.

Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

It's easy to be dazzled by new Christian books, music, and trends - but God's Word makes it clear that all that glitters isn't gold! MacArthur and others urge believers to stop and pray before jumping on the latest bandwagon. Learn to develop a sense of biblical discernment and avoid doctrinal error, using Scripture as your guide. 192 pages, softcover.

The Quest for Character

MacArthur, John Jr.

Countryman

Unearth your heaven-sent value through the treasures of Christlike character! In this reader-friendly collection of life-giving teachings, Grace to You  founder John MacArthur examines dozens of God-pleasing traits. Learn why Scripture affirms and encourages qualities including discernment, purity, courage, passion, humility, sincerity, devotion, integrity, selflessness, resiliency, generosity, and more. 128 pages, 5x7 hardcover.

Because the Time Is Near

MacArthur, John Jr.

Chicago, Il: Moody Bible Institute

Why study the mysterious writings in Revelation? Does the end of the story really matter? No book in Scripture  has been more misunderstood or misinterpreted than John's prophecy. MacArthur removes doubt and the cloud of obscurity to reveal the only New Testament text that includes a promised spiritual blessing for those who heed its message. 299 pages, softcover.

Twelve Ordinary Men

MacArthur, John Jr.

Nashville, TN: Nelson

Uneducated fishermen, political outsiders, religious outcasts, and a despised tax collector. The disciples weren't heroic trailblazers before Jesus called them. MacArthur reacquaints you with Christ's first followers, explains how they were "shaped for greatness," shows how God delights in using imperfect peopel to accomplish his perfect will, and helps you discover God's extraordinary plans for you! 224 pages, softcover.

The Truth War

MacArthur, John Jr.

Nashville, TN: Nelson

Caught in the crossfire of alternative church histories, faulty Scripture translations, and a cultural drive to define truth as fluid rather than firm, Christians today often wonder what they can believe. Reclaiming the truth with biblical clarity, MacArthur shows you how to identify and correct false teachings that lead congregations astray from the Word of God. 240 pages, hardcover.

Saved Without A Doubt

MacArthur, John Jr.

Wheaton, IL: Victor Books

Do you ever struggle with the insecure feeling of not knowing for sure if you will go to heaven?

Is there any way to overcome that doubt?

With pastoral love and concern, John MacArthur answers the second question with an authoritative yes! He carefully examines the classical  biblical texts affirming the forever quality of salvation, but dies not ignore the troubling passages that seem to indicate otherwise. From there he shows how those truths apply to you by presenting eleven biblical tests to help you determine whether you've experienced salvation once and for all. He concludes by showing how you can match up your feelings with your faith, and by taking an encouraging look at victory in the Spirit and the promise of God to help you persevere.

Shall Never Perish

Strombeck, J.F.

Eugene, Or: Harvest House Publishers

The subject of assurance is viewed from every possible standpoint and from every conceivable angle, with the result that the eternal security of the believer is thoroughly established.

Eternal Security

Stanley, Charles

Nashville, TN: Oliver-Nelson Books

Is it actually possible to know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am going to heaven?

If you say that my salvation is "eternally secure" and that I can never lose it, does that really mean I can commit any sin and still go to heaven?

If "once saved, always saved" is true, how do I interpret the Scriptures that seem to contradict this belief?

How can an understanding of the doctrine of eternal security make a difference in my Christian life?

With the wisdom and skill of a man who has personally wrestled with these questions, nationally-known preacher and best selling author Charles Stanley addresses the age-old issue of grace vs. works in this compassionate, straightforward book.

The Way of Holiness

Olford, Stephen F.

Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

There is a way that God has called each of His children to follow. It is the way of holiness. And He is so committed to our walk on this path that He has given us easily identifiable signposts to guide us. The question is whether we will choose to follow them.

When you come to the crossroads of spiritual decision, you have a choice: to either heed God's signs and continue day by day on this important way, or to ignore them and muddle through. You may be struggling with sin, wrestling with forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply, or battling with the idea of submitting yourself wholly to God. No matter where you find yourself, denying or ignoring God's directions will leave you immature and ineffective; following them will allow you to handle these situations wisely, obediently, graciously - and victoriously.

The Way of Holiness clearly illustrates that each crisis of decision in the Christian life is a turning point. An opportunity to choose God, to express your devotion to Him, and to experience His direction. There are inevitable decisions you will face in your Christian walk. Making biblical choices will free you to enjoy all that God has for you on the way of holiness.

Reckless Faith

MacArthur, John Jr.

Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books

Scripture and reason - the two together comprise the formula for true discernment. Yet in many American churches, reason has been abandoned for something more digestible: faith that feels good. It is what pastor John F. MacArthur calls "reckless faith" - and it leads people away from the one true God.

Because of it, numerous Christians have lost their way. They've given up absolute truth in favor of blind, uncritical trust. Replaced black-and-white, foundational doctrine with clouded belief systems. They've even come to view reason and doctrine with contempt - as if spiritual truth were supposed to bypass the mind altogether.

In the wake of such emotion-based "faith," the church is losing its ability to discern right from wrong. And it is leaving itself defenseless against false teaching.

But there is still time for the church to turn around. Still time for a return to discernment - if Christians will "incline their hearts to understanding" and begin to use their hearts, their minds and the unchanging Word of God to determine the truth that endures forever.

Chosen By God

Sproul, R.C.

Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers

This book is a book that deals with some issues that make some people uncomfortable. When the words predestination, election and chosen appear, what are we to do and how do we reconcile their usages? R.C. Sproul does an excellent job of answering these questions. His book paints a picture of a loving God who provides redemption for corrupt mankind.

MacArthur Bible Commentary

MacArthur, John Jr.

Nashville, TN: Nelson

A crowning achievement from one of America's leading Bible teachers! Bringing the same expositional skill and down-to-earth style to this one-volume commentary as he has to his best-selling multivolume New Testament set, John MacArthur offers a non-technical passage-by-passage examination of the whole Bible. Short introductions, cross-references, and word-study sidebars complement MacArthur's masterful analysis. 1800 pages, hardcover.

How to Pray

Scroggie, W. Graham

Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications

Explained here are the fivefold elements of prayer. as taught by Christ in the so-called Lord's Prayer: adoration, confession, petition, intercession and thanksgiving. Each is developed by exposition and exhortation.

The Power of Prayer

Lockyer, Herbert

Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Whenever the saints prayed, something happened:

Hannah prayed - and she gave birth to Samuel.

Hezekiah prayed - and 185,000 Assyrians were slain.

George Whitefield prayed - and a thousand souls were saved in one day.

George Mueller prayed - and hungry orphans were fed.

Hudson Taylor prayed - and inland China was evangelized.

"Prayers that shake heaven, confound hell, compel the world to turn to God are not the short, heartless, insipid prayers we are content with now," says Dr. Herbert Lockyer. "The early church was dynamic in her witness. Why? She lived on her knees. The church was born in prayer meetings; and living in such an atmosphere, she turned the world upside-down."

Dr. Lockyer thoroughly examines biblical injunctions for prayer and emerges with clearly defined laws for tapping and releasing the powerful divine forces available through prayer. He also includes a section on how to use this book "for all those who wish to be more effective in prayer."

The Secret of Soul Winning

Olford, Stephen F.

Chicago, Il: Moody Bible Institute

Do you really want to win others to Christ? Proverbs 11:30b says, "He that winneth souls is wise." Personal evangelism is the one form of Christian service which is open to all believers; yet in many respects it is the most difficult. It is the most talked-of ministry, and the most neglected in practice. It would seem to be the most natural method of reaching the unsaved, but it makes the greatest demands on wisdom, courage and Christian character.

In this book Stephen Olford discussed the soul-winner and his task, training, technique, target, travail, trials, temptations and triumphs. From  his own personal experience he ahs learned that success in witnessing is linked to a yielding to the direction of the Holy Spirit. From a heart warmed by God, he presents biblical principles on how to win men and women to Christ.

Twelve Extraordinary Women

MacArthur, John Jr.

Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Celebrated for their courage, vision, hospitality, and spiritual giftedness, it's no wonder women were so important to God's plan revealed in the Old and New Testaments. It wasn't their natural qualities that made these women extraordinary but the power of the one true God whom they worshipped and served.

In Twelve Extraordinary Women, you'll learn more than fascinating information about these women, you'll discover - perhaps for the first time - the unmistakable chronology of God's redemptive work in history through their lives. These women were not ancillary to His plan, they were at the very heart of it. And this book includes their amazing stories.

Some of the women you'll come to know include:

Ruth (Ruth 1-4)

Anna (Luke 2:36-38)

Martha and Mary, sisters of Lazarus (Luke 10-38-42)

Mary Magdalene (Matthew 27:56-61)

Sarah (Genesis 11-25)

Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2)

The Samaritan Woman (John 4)

Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1-2)

You will be challenged and motivated by this poignant and personal look into the lives of some of the Bible's most faithful women. their struggles and temptations are the same trials faced by all believers in all ages. And the God to whom they were so committed is the same God who continues to mold and use ordinary people today.

Holiness: The False and the True

Ironside, H.A.

Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers

While I was in Bible College I encountered a group who taught their doctrine called "Entire Sanctification." Well, I quickly learned what they were talking about. I purchased this book by H.A. Ironside. He became a great preacher and theologian. He too was raised in this doctrine. He does a great job on this topic of "Holiness" and true sanctification. He refuted the teaching that today "people are perfect with their old nature eradicated." They call it a second work of grace.

The Christian Counselor's Commentary - Proverbs

Adams, Jay E.

Eugene, Or: Harvest House Publishers

I have found that commentaries on the book of Proverbs are not in many studies or in pastor's libraries. I met the author while at Ridgecrest. He does an excellent job on this book that is also layman friendly.

In the first five volumes of The Christian Counselor's Commentary, Jay Adams studies the New Testament epistles, particularly emphasizing the implications of the text for Christian living. He continues this emphasis in looking at Proverbs, "a book that every counselor should consider his good friend...There are few books as valuable for direct use in counseling.

The Gift of Forgiveness

Stanley, Charles

Nashville, TN: Oliver-Nelson Books

Charles Stanley, one of the most influential spiritual leaders of our day, shares the key to personal and even world peace in The Gift of Forgiveness. As Stanley points our that no sin is so shockingly evil it blocks God's forgiveness nor so trivial it negates the need for God's mercy, he shares the specifics of how to go about receiving forgiveness.

Stanley emphasized how the lack of forgiveness can result in separation, bitterness, enmity, indifference, and even depression. Oftentimes, an unforgiving and unforgiven attitude can become a focused grievance and cause us to lose control.

Weaving anecdotes from his own life and from the lives of those he has counseled, Stanley shows how the peace that comes through forgiveness affects our basic responses to ourselves, other people, and God.

The Gift of Forgiveness is strongly Bible-based and reflects the heart of Stanley's teaching ministry. In this markedly helpful book, Stanley addresses such questions as how to practice a life of forgiveness in terms of one's relationships and how to make forgiveness an on-going, practical experience in one's life.