365 Great Bible Stories: The Good News of Jesus from Genesis to Revelation. By Carine Mackanzie. Christian Focus, 2011.
I have been noticing that more and more publishers are trying to publish good, quality children’s books and Bibles. One thing I appreciate about Carine Mackanzie’s 365 Great Bible Stories is that stories are covered that many children’s Bibles will never touch. How many children’s Bibles do you know spend time on Hagar and Ishmael, Jacob’s meeting with Esau, Achan’s sin, the cities of Refuge, Absalom, Naboth’s Vineyard, the Shunamite’s Son, Manasseh, etc. I also appreciate how the book goes to great effort to show how the story-line of Scripture points to Christ. With that said, I did feel at times that certain sections tended towards allegory. This is a problem, I think, when a children’s curriculum starts to read the tiniest details as references to Christ.
Christian Apologetics: Past & Present. By William Edgar and K. Scott Oliphint. Downers Grove, IL: Crossway, 2011.
I am always on the lookout for good primary source readers. They are especially helpful for students who simply want a taste of a variety of authors on a single subject. In their second volume, Christian Apologetics: Past & Present, William Edgar and K. Scott Oliphint pick up where they left off in volume one, starting with the Reformation and working their way to the present day. A nice feature of this volume is that at the end of each section they have a “Follow-Up” chapter where they discuss briefly those scholars they were not able to include but nevertheless may be very well-known. In this volume you will get acquainted with a variety of thinkers, from Calvin to Bellarmine, from Pascal to Schleiermacher, from Kierkegaard to Chesterton, from Machen to Newbigin, and from Plantinga to Francis Collins. Obviously, the book includes a diverse bunch, giving the reader a glimpse into traditions from Protestant conservatives to Catholics to Liberals. Both volume 1 and 2 are ideal for a class on the history of apologetics.
The Greek of the Septuagint: A Supplemental Lexicon. An Essential Addition to any Greek New Testament Lexicon. Gary Alan Chamberlain. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2011.
If you are a committed student of Greek you may want to get your hands on this one. Chamberlain wrote The Greek of the Septuagint as a supplement to BDAG (the standard NT lexicon). He wrote it as he read through the Septuagint (LXX). It is meant to “bridge the gap between NT words and the more expansive OT vocabulary.” Here students and scholars find an additional resource to go deeper into their exegesis of the LXX.
A Life of Gospel Peace: A Biography of Jeremiah Burroughs. By Phillip L. Simpson. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011.
Do you love to read the Puritans? You may be interested in this new biography of Jeremiah Burroughs. Tim Challies says of the biography, “A man whose books are known and treasured almost four centuries after his death is a man worth getting to know. Phillip Simpson has done the church a great service in penning this long-overdue account of the life and impact of Jeremiah Burroughs. I am glad to commend it to you.”
Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011.
Many know John Piper for his preaching, his many books on Christiann hedonism, but his most recent book is on racism. The book comes out of his own story of growing up in the segregated South. Well, I will let Piper himself tell his story.
The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have To Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times. Edited by Bryan Chapell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.
Being a pastor is hard. If you are a pastor then you know this. You will have to preach sermons at funerals for the death of a child, those who have died of cancer, or for those who have committed suicide. Therefore, pastors may find help from this new book from Zondervan titled The Hardest Sermons You’ll Ever Have To Preach. Here are some of the sermons that stand out:
Abortion, Bryan Chapell
Special Needs Child, Bryan Chapell
Newborn Loss, John Piper
Cancer: Long-Suffering, Bryan Chapell
Suicide of a Friend, Michael Horton
There are countless others for almost every tragedy you can think of. My guess is that pastors will find this collection of twenty-five sermons helpful in thinking through how to minister to others in the midst of tragedy.
Athanasius. By Peter J. Leithart. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011.
There are not too many other figures among the early church fathers as important as Athanasius. And Peter Leithart, senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College, has written a fascinating study of Athanasius and his thought. Kevin Vanhoozer writes of the book, “If Christian theology had superheroes, Athanasius would perhaps lead the list thanks to his sometimes single-handed struggle to maintain Trinitarian orthodoxy. Leithart’s excellent study shows Athanasius to be christocentric in his biblical interpretation and theology long before Barth made it fashionable to be so. The ‘sense of the Fathers’ is indeed being visited upon their evangelical great-grandchildren, and with mostly salutary effect. Leithart has got the Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality series off to a splendid start.” This is a book you will not want to pass by if you are a student of theology and church history.
Portraits of a Radical Disciple: Recollections of John Stott’s Life and Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011.
It is a good thing to honor those whom we have loved and learned so much from. With the recent death of John Stott one thing that has become evident is that there have been many who have benefitted from this man’s ministry and teaching. Portraits of a Radical Disciple: Recollections of John Stott’s Life and Ministry is a collection of thirty-five chapters by those who knew Stott and have stories to tell. We, as Christians, can learn much from those who have walked before us and when it comes to Stott there is much to learn from this man’s life. I doubt this will be the last book published on the life of Stott. (Funny, I did not realize he had interests in Woody Allen movies and a love for chocolate…of course, who doesn’t love chocolate!)
Ministry By His Grace And For His Glory: Essays in Honor of Thomas J. Nettles. Edited by Thomas K. Ascol and Nathan A. Finn. Cape Coral, FL: Founders Press, 2011.
It is a privilege to know Thomas Nettles. He is an outstanding scholar, historian, teacher, theologian, and pastor. His writings on the doctrines of grace, inerrancy, and Baptist history are invaluable. I am very glad to see him honored by many of his colleagues in Ministry By His Grace And For His Glory: Essays in Honor of Thomas J. Nettles. This is an outstanding volume and you can view the entire table of contents here. One of the most helpful aspects of the book is the bibliography of Nettles that Nathan Finn and Matthew Emerson have written at the end. Thanks to Founders Ministry, you can now download the entire bibliography of Thomas Nettles.
Albert Mohler writes of Nettles,
Tom Nettles was born to be a teacher, called to be a preacher, and trained to be a scholar. He has produced a library of scholarship and has shaped a generation of Baptist ministers and leaders. He has also done what few scholars ever have the opportunity or courage to do—he has reset the terms of debate for an entire denomination of churches. Thanks to Tom Nettles and his influence, there are important truths that are known and now cannot be denied.
Last, but not least, if you are looking for good Christmas music Ligonier always has some excellent cds. Here are three good ones:
The Glorious Sounds of Christmas (CD or MP3). This cd has all the classics: O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Angels We Have Heard on High, The First Nowell, O Come, All Ye Faithful, etc. There are twenty total. Music is performed by the Covenant Presbyterian Church Chior and Orchestra.
Matthew Barrett (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the executive editor of Credo Magazine. Barrett has contributed book reviews and articles to various academic journals. He is married to Elizabeth and they have two daughters, Cassandra and Georgia. He is a member of Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, KY.