Posted tagged ‘Books’

Creed by Winfield Bevins

September 1, 2011

I’m excited to see my friend Winfield Bevin’s new book Creed: Connect to the Basic Essentials of Historic Christian Faith (NavPress) releases today.  Winfield is a gifted writer and theologian who rebels against what C.S. Lewis called “chronological snobbery” with a true historical consciousness.

One of the growing trends I’m seeing today among the younger generational of evangelicals is a recognition of the importance of being confessional.  That is not to say that a document or confession is given a place of authority or primary source in Christian faith; rather, confessions are theological consensus statements by which we can agree with saints across generations the faith once for all delivered to the saints.

Winfield’s book Creed addresses three core components of Christian orthodoxy, namely the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Apostle’s Creed.  This resource will be a great discipleship tool to anchor believers new and old in the doctrinal, ethical, and spiritual foundations in the Christian faith.

Read what others are saying, preview the book, and pick up a copy » Paperback | Kindle Version

Vacation Reading

July 21, 2011

My stack of “to read” books is getting bigger and bigger.  Sadly, this year has proved to be a very difficult year for reading and self-feeding, but I’m working on that, beginning with my upcoming time off.  I wrestled with what books to take with me this year.  A lengthy theological treatise? Moving biography? Leisure reading?

I decided to go with four thin books that that I anticipate to be both personally nourishing and ministerially challenging.  I chose thin books, too, because they are easy to pack and carry to the beach. 🙂

Here they are:

1.  A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission Around the Table by Tim Chester (144 pages)

2. Church Planting Is for Wimps: How God Uses Messed Up People to Plant Ordinary Churches That Do Extraordinary Things by Mike McKinley (128 pages)

3. Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God by David Platt (196 pages)

4. Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel by J. Mack Stiles (128 pages)

2011 Band of Bloggers Book Swag

April 7, 2011

The purpose of Band of Bloggers gatherings is to forward the discussion on gospel-centered blogging and leveraging our online influence for the glory of God.  On the side, we have been able to enjoy a great relationship with publishers and various ministries who are happy to give away copies of their newest releases to our bloggers and attendees who in turn promote, excerpt, and review them in the future.

When we began Band of Bloggers in 2006, we were thrilled to donate one book per person.  Since then that number has continued to increase until last year where we were privileged to give away 12 books per person. As we started planning this year’s gathering, I was very skeptical about the possibility of increasing that number. Fortunately, we received great assistance from John Starke of TGC Reviews, and together we were able to secure a total of (wait for it) . . . 17 books ($237 value) for all everyone attending this year’s gathering!

Here’s a complete listing of the books for this year’s giveaway:


15 New and Forthcoming Books Deserving Your Attention

March 25, 2011

Lots of good books coming out this spring. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but here are 15 books that I have spotted that I find deserving your attention.  Check them out.

1.  The Gospel Commission: Recovering God’s Strategy for Making Disciples by Michael Horton (March)
2.  Counterfeit Gospels: Rediscovering the Gospel in a World of False Hope by Trevin Wax (April)
3.  Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by Joe Thorn (May)
4.  Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God by David Platt (May)
5.  Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ by Russell Moore (April)
6.  Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of Those Who Are Not God by Sam Crabtree (March)
7.  Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse Fitzpatrick (June)
8.  The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson (March)
9.  A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission Around the Table by Tim Chester (May)
10. Our Triune God: Living in the Love of the Three-In-One by Philip Graham Ryken and Michael Lefebvre
11. Preaching for God’s Glory by Alistair Begg (May)
12. The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence by Stephen Altrogge (May)
13. The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies (April)
14. The Pastor as Scholar and the Scholar as Pastor: Reflections on Life and Ministry by D.A. Carson and John Piper (May)
15. Eternal God: A Study of God without Time by Paul Helm (March)

Get These (Gospel Coalition) Booklets

March 11, 2011

Yesterday, I took advantage of the great deal by Westminster Bookstore that had all eight of the new Gospel Coalition booklets for the sale price of only $17.00 (45% off).  I encourage you to do the same.  This sale is good only for a limited time (ends March 16).

Personally, I can see how these booklets can be used for (a) personal discipleship, (b) supplementary reading for our apprenticeship program, and (c) provisional literature of the church for members in the bookstore or information center.

You can download for free Sam Storms’ booklet, The Restoration of All Things.  Check them out!

6 New Books This Month

October 11, 2010

There are dozens of books coming out this month that I have been checking out, and I thought I’d pass along six of them that I hope to get my hands on in the near future.  Check them out:

1.  Operation World (New 7th Edition!)
2.  Entrusted with the Gospel: Pastoral Expositions of 2 Timothy
3.  Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture by David VanDrunden
4.  The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the Discipleship of the Mind by Alistair McGrath
5.  40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law by Tom Schreiner
6.  Expository Listening: a Practical Guide for Hearing and Doing God’s Word by Ken Ramey

2010 Band of Bloggers Giveaways

April 1, 2010

For those of you who have been following me on Twitter, you probably saw the giveaways that I rolled out over the past couple of days.  This year is the biggest giveaway yet with 12 books being donated from numerous publishers with a total value of over $225.  It is a desire that Band of Bloggers will connect gospel-centered bloggers with evangelical book publishers to network together in providing and promoting solid literature for a wider audience.

To view the entire list of giveaways, go here.  There is still a few spots left for the event, but registration is closing this weekend.  So register now if you’d like to attendUnfortunately, we are sold out and registration for the 2010 gathering is now closed.

15 Books You Should Check Out This Fall

August 18, 2009

Long-time readers of this blog will know that I used to do “book alerts” which were basically previews of new book releases.  I don’t really have the time to do those kinds of posts these days, but I thought I’d make a list of books, perhaps on a quarterly basis, that I think you should check out.  Here are 15 books scheduled to be published between August-November 2009 worth looking into (in some kind of order):

15 New Books This Fall to Check Out

1.  Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters by Tim Keller
2.  The Gospel-Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World by Michael Horton
3. The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology by Jason Meyer
4.  Filling Up he Afflictions of Christ: The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations in the Lives of William Tyndale Adoniram Judson, and John Paton by John Piper
5. Gospel-Powered Parenting: How the Gospel Shapes and Transforms Parenting by William Farley
6. The Walk: Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus by Stephen Smallman
7. The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson
8. J.I. Packer and the Evangelical Future: The Impact of His Life and Thought by Timothy George
9. Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice by Bryan Chapell
10. Evangelicalism: What Is It and Is It Worth Keeping? by D.A. Carson
11. The Power of Words and the Wonder of God by John Piper
12. God the Peacemaker: How Atonement Brings Shalom – Graham Cole
13. Four Views of Moving Beyond the Bible to Theology by Stanley Gundry
14. Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and Not Yet by Jason Stellman
15. Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional by Jim Belcher

Any of these books pique your interest? If so, which ones and why?

Edit: Somehow I forgot two books that should be on this list, although I don’t know where to put them.  They are:

* A Habitual Sight of Him: The Christ-Centered Piety of Thomas Goodwin by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones
* The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas Kostenberger, Scott Kellum, and Charles Quarles (eds.)

20 Books to Foster Life-Change

March 18, 2009

One of the things I have focused on of late is to focus on knowing certain books really well.  There are some books that I read, and there are other books that I read, outline, analyze, and refer back to time and again.  The latter are books that are generally rich in theology but also really useful in ministry.  During the last month, Grace (Baptist) has focused much on gospel and community, and in particular our responsibility to preach and apply the gospel to ourselves and seek to bring life-change together as we all consecrate ourselves to Christ and concentrate our lives on fulfilling His mission.

Consequently, a couple of weeks ago I did an informal polling question on Twitter asking folks about which books have resulted in the greatest life-change among either themselves or those in their congregation (or are discipling).  A pretty good listed was formed, and together with my own, I wanted to pass along a list of books that are worth reading, applying, and sharing in community with others to bring about the ongoing transformation that is inherent with the call to follow Christ. If there any others you would recommend, please pass that info along in the comments.

1. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp
2. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
3. Religious Affections by Johnathan Edwards
4. Living the Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
5. Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
6. Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
7. God Is the Gospel by John Piper
8. The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
9. Holiness by Grace by Bryan Chappell
10. The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
11. The Gospel for Real Life by Jerry Bridges
12. Holiness by J.C. Ryle
13. Renewal as a Way of Life by Richard Lovelace
14. The Cross-Centered Life by C.J. Mahaney
15. The Valley of Vision by Arthur Bennett
16. The Peacemaker by Ken Sande
17. Humility by C.J. Mahaney
18. Desiring God Trilogy (Desiring God, Pleasures of God, Future Grace) by John Piper
19. When People Are Big and God Is Small by Ed Welch
20. Spiritual Depression by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

My Top 25 Christian Books of 2008

December 30, 2008

Well, here it is–my list of the top 25 Christian books of 2008.  Because of the size of the list, I will not make any annotations.  There are others, for sure, that are noteworthy, but were I to condense the best books published in 2008 to a list of 25, this is what I come up with.  Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

1.  Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church by Michael Horton
2.  Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation by Herman Bavinck
3.  Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch
4.  What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile
5.  The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
6.  New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ by Thomas Schreiner
7.  The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World by David Wells
8.  A Theological Guide to Calvin’s Institutes: Essays and Analysis by David W. Hall and Peter Lillback, eds.
9.  Total Church: A Radical Reshaping Around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
10.  Jesus Made in America: A Cultural History from the Puritans to the Passion of the Christ by Stephen Nichols
11.  Unpacking Forgiveness: Biblical Answers for Complex Questions and Deep Wounds by Chris Brauns
12.  The Prodigal God: Recovering the heart of the Christian Faith by Tim Keller
13.  John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, & Doxology by Burk Parsons (ed.)
14.  Heirs with Christ: The Puritans on Adoption by Joel Beeke
15.  Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd and Margy Tripp
16.  We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry by G.K. Beale
17.  Faith Comes by Hearing: A Response to Inclusivism by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson (eds.)
18.  Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel Beeke (ed.)
19.  Death by Love: Letters from the Cross by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears
20.  Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
21.  Young, Restless, Reformed: A Journalist’s Journey with the New Calvinists by Collin Hansen
22.  Father, Son, and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger
23.  Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy by Paul Tripp
24.  Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God by Bob Kauflin
25.  Saved by Grace: The Holy Spirit’s Work in Calling and Regeneration by Herman Bavinck

Here’s to a great year of excellent books in 2009!

Weekend Poll: Where Do You Buy Your Books?

December 21, 2008

For the weekend, I am curious to know where is (or has been) the main place you have purchased books.  Please take a moment to vote on this poll:

If you voted “other”, please specify in the comments where you buy your books.  Thanks, everyone, for voting!

“Other” votes include:

* Cumberland Valley Books (3)
* Ebay (3)
* Heritage Books (2)
* Goodwill (2)
* (2)
* (1)
* Local area used bookstores
* Seminary bookstores

Relational Reading

November 16, 2008

Since moving from the context of seminary life to the local church, there have been numerous changes, not the least of which has been my approach to reading books.  The seminary reading schedule was largely determined by the classes I was taking or the papers I was writing.  Therefore, my reading was driven by text.  Over the past six months, I have fallen into a different approach towards reading that could be explained as a move from text to context.

Whereas my reading in seminary was scheduled and structured according to the classroom, now my reading is scheduled and structured according to my relationships.  The reference point is people, not a syllabus, and that has made a big difference in viewing this discipline and its application in my life as well as the lives of others.  Let me break down for you the various arenas of relational reading:

The first development was the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge.  I originally intended for this to be a personal project because I had so many Puritan Paperbacks that I owned but never read.  But once I pitched the challenge on my blog almost a year ago, over 20,000 people have stumbled upon the challenge with several hundred reading and keeping up via P&P.  The relational aspect of this challenge has been helpful to encourage and challenge me even more to be diligent in studying the writings of the Puritans.

The second development was reading books in relation to the local church.  For instance, I am currently reading Jonathan Edward’s Religious Affections with about a dozen men from Grace each week.  For Sunday School, I am reading Life in the Body of Christ: Privileges and Responsibilities in the Local Church by Curtis Thomas, again a weekly read.  For the core group of our current church plant, I am reading two books: Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney and What Is a Healthy Church Member? by Thabiti Anyabwile which I read and write a brief response for each chapter at Sowing Grace.

The third development was reading books in relation to people in my life.  I am currently mentoring a college student and working through two books: The Mortification of Sin by John Owen and In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair Ferguson (we meet weekly on Thursday mornings).  With my wife, we have started reading together Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp.  And finally, for personal growth I am reading Father, Son, and Spirit: The Trinity in John’s Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger as well as Morning Thoughts by Octavius Winslow devotionally.

As you can see, this is a pretty demanding reading schedule, but because it has been forged in the context of investing in the lives of others (and myself), my approach is different because of the shift from text (books) to context (people) as the end in mind.  Reading the variety of books in the different arenas of life (home, church, internet, etc.) spanning from the great Christian classics of Owen, Edwards, and the Puritans to the relatively new releases such as Kostenberger, Anyabwile, and Ferguson has provided a good perspective and fresh interest in reading.  Probably the biggest issue has been scheduling the days of reading to not get too far ahead (and forget what I read) or waiting too late only and procrastinate (and not giving time to reflect and engage what I read).

I will confess that there are some aspects of text-driven reading that I do miss.  I miss reading and researching to write papers and critically engage the authors.  However, where I find myself today is a place where reading does not end when the book or chapter has been read.  In fact it is just the beginning.  If you are looking for a way to jump-start your reading regiment, I encourage you to consider reading with other people in mind.  The investment you make in the book and more importantly in the lives of others will be worth far more than you had ever imagined.  The past six months have opened my eyes to this, and I pray it will open others as well.

Meaningful Church Membership for the Members

May 8, 2008

I know that the issue of regenerate church membership has primarily been a discussion among ministers, seminarians, and the rest of academia, but I want to speak to the layperson for a moment. You. Yes, you out there who is not a minister but cares about the church and has a great desire to see churches become healthy and experiencing biblical church growth. While there are some excellent resources that are more academic and make great cases for meaningful or regenerate church membership, I want to highlight six books for your consideration as a layperson with the hope that maybe one (or more) of them worth reading yourself.

They are:

1. Life in the Body of Christ: Privileges and Responsibilities in the Local Church by Curtis C. Thomas.

2. Life in the Father’s House: A Member’s Guide to the Local Church by Wayne A. Mack and Dave Swavely.

3. Stop Dating the Church: Fall in Love with the Family of God by Joshua Harris.

4. What Is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever.

5. Spiritual Disciplines within the Church: Participating Fully in the Body of Christ by Donald Whitney.

6. Membership Matters: Insights from Effective Churches on New Member Classes and Assimilation by Chuck Lawless.

All of these books are affordable (roughly around $10 per book), and all of them would be worth your time to read, especially if you are interested in more than a discussion on meaningful church membership but want to be the kind of member who knows, understands, and practices it in your own local congregation.

Each of these books have their strengths and weakness as well as unique style and format, but they all address the single issue of what it means to be committed to your church as a faithful, devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, because membership is considered entry level in the process of discipleship, it is often overlooked or glossed over; yet, I am convinced that if we gain a better understanding of church membership and apply the covenant nature of our corporate identity as believers united to Christ and committed to one another, then the goal of developing healthy churches will have firm footing.

If there are other books, articles, or websites that you have found helpful that you would like to pass along to others, feel free to include them in the comments section. Let us work together that we might give ourselves to the health and well-being of our churches and the members who comprise them.

New Books in April

April 12, 2008

I’ve been really slacking with my “book alerts” this year, so I thought I’d point you to some posts by JT on recent releases in April that I am really jazzed about.  Here are his posts on the books:

* Christ and Culture Revisited (by D.A. Carson)

* The Courage to Be Protestant (by David Wells)

* In My Placed Condemned He Stood (by J.I. Packer and Mark Dever)

* Worship Matters (by Bob Kauflin)

* Twelve Challenges Churches Face (by Mark Dever)

* Engaging with the Holy Spirit (by Graham Cole)


April 3, 2008

No, that’s not the average number of words in each blogpost!

It is the final number of books we will be giving away at the 2008 Band of Bloggers fellowship. I am very grateful for all the publishers and ministries who have partnered with BoB by providing these books for all those attend this year’s event.  It gives me lots of joy to be able to give to others in this manner, and I pray these resources will bring greater joy in their relationship with God.

Here’s the list of what we will be giving away:

Giveaway #1: Dear Timothy (Founders Press)
Giveaway #2: The Mortification of Sin (Banner of Truth)
Giveaway #3: When I Don’t Desire God (Desiring God)
Giveaway #4: Christ Is All (Reformation Heritage Books)
Giveaway #5: reThink (InQuest Ministries)
Giveaway #6: A Tale of Two Sons (Grace to You)
Giveaway #7: Walking as He Walked (Reformation Heritage Books)
Giveaway #8: Young, Restless, Reformed (Crossway)

Registration closed yesterday, and we have 150+ people attending this year, more than double our 2006 attendance. Also, we are having one slight change with our panel speakers which I will announce later today.

Also, this Friday I hope to spend some time talking with Collin Hansen in a podcast interview which I hope to make available sometime early next week. We will, of course, be talking about his new book, as well as whatever else comes to my mind!

For those of you flying to Louisville for the conference, I would encourage you to carry an empty backpack (or something similar) to pack the books and then check as your second piece of luggage on your way back. Otherwise, I fear you will be over the weight limit with all the books you will be getting (not counting those you purchase on your own).