My Recommendations: Book of the Week, December 31

What do you read as you enter into a New Year? What about reading a book about radical change? Michael J. Oard and John K. Reed give us How Noah’s Flood Shaped Our Earth, a new publication of Creation Book Publishers in 2017. The book addresses the objective evidence confirming the biblical account of the great Flood in Noah’s time. Such a Flood (global and catastrophic) impacted our earth and shaped it. The world we see now is the post-Flood world. Do you know where to look for physical evidence? how to evaluate that evidence? This is the book that will provide you with answers to those questions. As a member of the Canyon Ministries team taking people into the Grand Canyon and down the Colorado River, I appreciate the way Oard and Reed describe and deal with the physical evidence visible in the layers in the walls of that wonderful canyon. May 2018 be the year you decide that God’s description of the Flood in Genesis 6-9 fits the physical evidence.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, December 24

Josh McDowell has joined with his son Sean to revise, update, and republish this classic. No better volume fits the Christmas season better when it comes to being a gift to someone still unfamiliar with who the Jesus of Christmas really is or to someone who already loves the Savior deeply. More Than a Carpenter proved to be a great blessing one Christmas season while we served as missionaries in Bangladesh. I’ll never forget the impact it made on me and our celebration of Christmas that year. The volume is not just devotional, it is an apologetic presenting the biblical Jesus.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, December 17

No wonder that Zondervan chose to reprint Gleason L. Archer’s Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties yet again–under the title, New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Of the handful of volumes seeking to provide Bible students with reasonable, biblical solutions to difficult or hard passages in Scripture, Archer’s still holds its own as the best available. Archer takes a firm stand on biblical inerrancy and informs readers that there are solutions to be found for each Bible difficulty they find–and most of those solutions come from the Scriptures themselves through careful exegetical analysis. This is an old friend on my bookshelf and well-worn. I recommend it highly without claiming that it is an example of perfection–no one is perfect when it comes to providing solutions to hard questions from Scripture.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, December 10

No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God admirably fulfills its role as one of the volumes in the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series. John S. Feinberg fills the book with theological details about the theology of God the Father. This read will take readers into the Scriptures and they will find themselves praising the One who is like no other. Crossway published this volume eleven years ago, but I still find it a tremendous wealth of theological insight and a great pleasure to read. The whole series has much to commend it, but this volume, in my opinion, stands as one of its greatest contributions.

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My Recent Blogs External to

Over the past month I have produced some blog posts for ParkingSpace23’s blog and The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). The following listing and links will take you to those blogs on the topic of Pauline missions strategy (and methodology) and the subject of the Christian living in a time of violence (engaging in politics and/or governmental response (war, peacemaking, military service, and police).

Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 1 (Oct 9, 2017)
Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 2 (Oct 23, 2017)
Peace-Loving Believers in an Age of Violence, Part 3 (Final) (Nov 13, 2017)

Practical Pauline Missions: Paul’s Mission to Philippi (Oct 20, 2017)
Practical Pauline Missions: Paul’s Mission to Pisidian Antioch (Nov 10, 2017)
For another blog post in this series, but on a different web site, see Practical Pauline Missions: Athens (Sept 25, 2017).

My Recommendations: Book of the Week, November 12

Phil Parshall’s The Cross and the Crescent: Understanding the Muslim Heart and Mind was published fifteen years ago, but I find it still speaks with contemporary clarity. Parshall served for years as a missionary among Muslims in the country of Bangladesh–that’s where I first met him and became aware of his published works. Through the years I have continued to read his volumes and to watch his development of the picture every Christian needs in order to witness to Muslim friends and neighbors at home or abroad in a Muslim country. No one describes the phenomenon of folk Islam better than Parshall. In this volume he explores the spirituality of both Islam and Christianity — comparing, contrasting, explaining, and drawing significant conclusions. Readers will find this book filled with insight, compassion, humility, and a Gospel-driven heart to proclaim Christ.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, November 5

OK, I admit it — I have favorite authors and theologians. When it comes to the New Testament and the doctrines of grace, Schreiner never disappoints. Thomas Schreiner’s Faith Alone: The Doctrine of Justification lives up to my lofty expectations. This volume addresses the issue with thoughtfulness, clarity, biblical exegesis, and theological insight. It is part of The 5 Solas Series superbly edited by Matthew Barrett (one of the best editors I’ve ever worked with). Contrary to the disappointing disappearance of indexes from hard copy books nowadays, this volume includes both Scripture and Subject Indexes, making it handy for future reference. Schreiner covers the historical background of Sola Fide from the Early Church through to John Wesley. He comprehensively examines the biblical and theological details and implications of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He concludes with a look at the contemporary challenges to this biblical teaching.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 29

History informs the wise. Those who do not consider history’s lessons are doomed to repeat those same mistakes and failures. In the Christian church we often feel like we are the first to face certain theological issues having a significant bearing upon how we live for Christ in today’s world. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sinclair Ferguson’s The Whole Christ: Legalism, Antinomianism, and Gospel Assurance — Why the Marrow Controversy Still Matters examines and draws contemporary implications from a debate taking place in the Church of Scotland early in the 1700s. It addresses some of the issues we often encounter in our churches today: works and grace, law and grace, law and gospel, justification and sanctification, legalism, antinomianism, and biblical assurance. This volume will challenge the reader — it is not a light read. However, it will reward the diligent reader with a greater understanding of the perennial issues it addresses. Read it — learn from church history — avoid repeating the theological errors of the past.

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My Recommendations: Book of the Week, October 15

9Marks produces a lot of good books for pastors and church leaders. Jeramie Rinne’s Church Elders: How to Shepherd God’s People Like Jesus stands out as one of the best. Our board of church elders chose this book to read individually and discuss as a group chapter by chapter. We have found this little volume worth far more than its size. The “Introduction” sets the tone: “I’m an elder. Now what?” Eight chapters walk us through the answer: 1 – “Don’t Assume”; 2 – “Smell Like Sheep”; 3 – “Serve Up the Word”; 4 – “Track Down the Strays”; 5 – “Lead without Lording”; 6 – “Shepherd Together”; 7 – “Model Maturity”; and, 8 – “Plead for the Flock.” This is a must read for men wanting to prepare for church leadership and for those who already lead.

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