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10+ New and Notable Books for September

As I’m sure you know, I like to keep on top of new Christian book releases. Most of them show up in my mailbox at one time or another, and I always try to take the big pile and sort it down to a much smaller pile. What remains are my new and notable books. Here’s a collection for September, 2019.

Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham. “Bible teacher Kelly Needham debunks our world’s constricted, small view of friendship and casts a richer, more life-giving, biblical vision for friendship as God meant it to be. As the family unit grows more unstable and the average age of marriage increases, a shift is taking place in our culture: for many people, friends now play the role of family. And just as with family relationships, our friendships often don’t turn out quite as we envisioned or hoped, and we wonder, Is there a better way to do this? In Friend-ish, Kelly Needham takes a close look at what Scripture says about friendship. She reveals the distorted view most of us have of it and recasts a glorious vision for a Christian understanding. By teaching us how to recognize symptoms of idolatry and dependency, she equips us to understand and address the problems that arise in friendship–from neediness to discord and even sexual temptation. With hard-fought wisdom, a clear view of Scripture, and been-there perspective, Needham reorients us toward the purposeful, loving relationships we all crave that ultimately bring us closer to God.” (Get it at Amazon)


The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible by New Growth Press. The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible is a new series of study guides intended primarily for small-group use. It has launched with two volumes: Jonah: Grace for Sinners and Saints by Iain Duguid and Ruth: Redemption for the Broken by Jared Wilson. The volumes “can be adapted for one-to-one discipleship, small group, or large group settings. The comprehensive leader’s guides are included in the text, making it an easy-to-follow structure to engage men and women.” I believe they are part of the wider and growing collection of “Gospel-Centered” resources produced by New Growth Press, which also includes two Gospel-Centered Life volumes for teens and young adults: Exodus and Mark. (Jonah (Amazon, WTS) and Ruth (Amazon, WTS))

The Whole Armor of God: How Christ’s Victory Strengthens Us for Spiritual Warfare by Iain Duguid. Speaking of Iain Duguid, here’s another new book with his name on the cover. “The Christian life is a battle. We are in a daily struggle against the world, sin, and Satan. But God didn’t leave us to fend for ourselves. He gave us his own armor–armor that Jesus has already worn on our behalf all the way to the cross. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is now at work inside of us. This book unpacks each of the pieces of spiritual armor Paul describes in Ephesians 6, inviting us to take up the armor each day, all while resting in the finished victory of Christ and the assurance that our strength for the battle comes from him.” (Get it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

The Rhythm of the Christian Life: Recapturing the Joy of Life Together by Brian Wright. “Most of us think that if we could simply balance our lives better, we would be happier. But what we actually need is to rediscover the rhythm. As Christians, our whole life consists of loving God and loving others, just like Jesus did. In this book, Wright invites us to find true joy as we embrace these two core realities and discover how they are meant to work in tandem. Explore The Rhythm of Christian Life and recapture the joy of life together as God always intended.” Dave and Gloria Furman provide this endorsement: “Everyone would benefit from pausing to think deeply about the rhythm (or lack thereof) of their daily life. Brian Wright’s book draws from the deep well of Bonhoeffer’s work on the rhythm of life; it’s refreshing and challenging at the same time. Read it together with someone or schedule it for the end of the year or season. We highly recommend this excellent book.” (Get it at Amazon)

J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir by Ned Stonehouse. This is a reprint of a key biography of a key Christian figure. “John Gresham Machen (1881-1937) was one of the most significant figures in the evangelical church throughout the twentieth century. He is best known through his vision for a truly evangelical presbyterian church in the USA, and as the founder of Westminster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania. Gifted with an incisive mind which was finely tuned to the highest level of scholarship, he placed above all else his concern for Christ’s gospel and the reliability of the Scriptures. For these he was prepared to suffer opposition, abuse, and even rejection. In the Philadelphia seminary, Machen gathered around him a team of men, including Cornelius Van Til, Paul Woolley, John Murray, and Ned Stonehouse, whose work took on international significance, and brought guidance to Christian scholarship and wisdom to the entire Christian church. Machen laid everything he possessed in tribute at the feet of Christ. He was, so to speak, a rich, young ruler in the church of God who sold all to follow his Master. He was deeply concerned to bring his warmhearted and accurate exposition of the gospel to the entire church. Such works of his as God Transcendent, The Christian View of Man, and An Introduction to the New Testament, have put many readers in his debt.” (Get it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Radically Different: A Student’s Guide to Community by Champ Thornton. “Radically Different by best-selling author Champ Thornton is an insightful guide for middle and high school students who want to live radically even though life and relationships are complicated. By examining life through the biblical lenses of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, readers can explore how God’s Word untangles the twists of life. There are so many areas of life to navigate when growing up, and this practical resource full of biblical wisdom helps middle and high school students find encouragement in the everyday challenges of life. God made everything, including relationships, to be good. But because of the fall, everything—including relationships with parents, friends, and siblings—are also broken. Christ came to make all things new, and because of this biblical perspective, readers of Radically Different can know with clarity they are set apart as unique. Thornton invites teenagers to consider how they are set apart—especially in a time when Christianity is more and more culturally marginalized. He guides them to embrace what it means to live Christianly in a morally murky and increasingly hostile world. Radically Different helps teenagers live in and relate to the reality of good, bad, and new, which makes us radically human, radically biblical, and radically different.” (Student Guide: Amazon, WTS; Leader Guide: Amazon, WTS)

Transformed by Truth: Why and How to Study the Bible for Yourself As a Teen by Katherine Forster. “Studying God’s Word as a teenager changed my life … And it can change yours, too. The Bible is more than just an ancient religious document. It’s a book filled with the actual words of the living God, meant to be read often and studied deeply that we might experience its life-changing power. If you’re a teen who’s tired of low expectations and weightless platitudes, this book will help you dig into the Bible and make the time you spend reading count for eternity. Katherine Forster walks you through three simple practices that changed how she reads Scripture—observation, interpretation, and application—so you too can begin to understand what God has said in his word and discover how God’s truth can literally transform you from the inside out.” (Get it at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul by Mark Chanski. “In a crisis, the body’s burst of adrenaline can boost the average person’s physical abilities, so that a man is able to lift a car off a trapped bicyclist and a mother can fight off a polar bear threatening her son. Author Mark Chanski makes the case that encouragement is able to do emotionally and psychologically for the soul what adrenaline does for the body. While Christians are sometimes reluctant to offer encouragement, we must do so in order to love our neighbors as ourselves. Building on the foundation of the gospel as the ultimate encouragement from God, the author—using quotations, historical references, illustrations, and examples—sets forth the Christian’s obligation to offer encouragement and then shows us how we can be encouraging in our families, our churches, and the world in general.” (Get it at Amazon)

ESV Scripture Journal. The ESV Scripture Journals have already been released in individual volumes and complete sets (OT and NT) in paperback. But this month the complete New Testament has also been released in a limited edition hardcover format. As a personal note, I’m using one of the journals now and very much enjoying it. That said, there’s no benefit in having hardcover over paperback except that it’s a little easier to write in if, like me, you do your devotions in a chair rather than at a table. (NT Complete Set: Amazon, WTS)

Also, the ESV Reader’s Bible, Six-Volume Set has been reprinted (with slightly darker covers) and will be available again in the next couple of weeks. “Printed on high-quality book paper with a smyth-sewn binding and packaged in an elegant slipcase, this edition features single-column text typeset like a novel, with verse and chapter numbers laid out in a subtle and unobtrusive way. Perfect for use with Bible reading plans, personal Bible reading, or family devotions, this edition invites the reader to slow down and delight in the beauty of God’s Word.” (Get it at Amazon)

10+ New and Notable Books for September

10+ New and Notable Books for September 10+ New and Notable Books for September 10+ New and Notable Books for September 10+ New and Notable Books for September

10+ New and Notable Books for September

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