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12 New and Notable Books for June 2020 – Tim Challies

Summer is often a time when new book releases slow their pace as publishers await the busy fall season with all its conferences and other opportunities to make a splash. But this year we’ve been treated to quite a lot of noteworthy June releases. Here are a few of the books that have showed up in my mailbox in the past month. In each case I’ve included the publisher’s description. And in each case I haven’t read these books thoroughly, but only skimmed them and deemed them notable on that basis.

Growing Together: Taking Mentoring beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests by Melissa B. Kruger. We need one another. Yet we dont always know how to develop relationships that help us grow in the Christian life. Spiritual mentoring offers a way for younger believers and more mature Christians to grow together through intentional discipleship and accountability. If youre looking for a place to start, Melissa Kruger presents a guide for discipleship conversations that span a variety of topics for spiritual growth. Each lesson encourages both mentor and mentee to focus on the hope of the gospel as they learn together from the truth of Gods word. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

systematicA New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith: 2nd Edition – Revised and Updated by Robert L. Reymond. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith expresses a fully biblical Reformed faith, showing its enduring appeal, coherence, and truthfulness. This standard of Reformed theology is saturated with Scripture, performing more exegesis and quoting more Scripture than other one-volume theologies and always encouraging the reader to measure theological assertions by the ultimate standard of Scripture itself. The result is theology that is God-centered. The book captures the author’s warmth and sensitivity born of more than twenty-five years as a professor at leading Reformed seminaries. Theology students, preachers, teachers, and professional theologians alike will benefit from A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith, finding it to be a rich resource for study and reference as they seek to understand and communicate about God and his ways. (Buy it from Amazon)

UnravelsHope When Life Unravels: Finding God When It Hurts by Adam Dooley. “Why does God allow suffering? And why does God seem to go silent when we’re in pain? In Hope When Life Unravels, Dr. Adam Dooley, pastor and host of the daily radio broadcast A Better Way, searches for answers to our biggest questions about suffering as he shares his son Carson’s story of battling leukemia. Adam speaks openly about the gut-wrenching struggle his family endured for three years of life-threatening illness and how God met them in their hours of need–even when it wasn’t in the ways they wanted. And, along with his own story, Adam takes readers through the story of Job, unpacking insights about God’s character, his love, and how we can stay connected to him even during seasons of pain. Both inspiring and comforting, Hope When Life Unravels invites us to draw closer to a God who is often active in our lives in times when we have trouble seeing him the most.” (Buy it at Amazon)

DanielHow to Read Daniel (How To Read Series) by Tremper Longman III. Beyond the familiar lions’ den and fiery furnace, much of the book of Daniel seems baffling to modern readers. The first half recounts stories full of ancient Near Eastern protocol and imperial court drama; the second half features apocalyptic visions of monstrous beasts and cosmic conflict. Many Christians misunderstand or simply avoid the book. But failing to read Daniel well means missing a critical part of God’s message to us. According to Tremper Longman III, when we read Daniel on its own terms and in its original context, we’ll discover that all of the book is easier to understand than we might think. In this volume of the popular How to Read Series, Longman brings his expertise as an Old Testament scholar and teacher to orient readers to a proper engagement with Daniel. He examines the book’s genre, structure, historical background, and major theological message before diving deeper into each of the stories and visions. How to Read Daniel is the perfect starting point for anyone studying, teaching, or seeking a reliable guide to this ancient book. (Buy it from Amazon)

TimothyGreek Scripture Journal: New Testament Set. This is the Greek equivalent of the popular ESV Scripture Journals. The Greek Scripture Journal: New Testament Set contains the text of The Greek New Testament, Produced at Tyndale House, Cambridge with added space for notes in the margins and between each line, offering a unique way to interact with the New Testament in its original language. This 19-volume set features thin, portable notebooks each containing one or more books of the New Testament and is great for college or seminary students learning Greek, pastors preparing for sermons, or anyone interested in taking notes alongside passages in the original Greek. Features include: 3/8-inch space in between each line of Greek text; 1″ margins; Covers stamped with gold foil; 19 volumes; Lay-flat binding; Lined pages for notes in the back. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

EverydayEveryday Faithfulness: The Beauty of Ordinary Perseverance in a Demanding World by Glenna Marshall. What does Christian faithfulness look like when life feels unpredictable, hard, or just plain ordinary? We want to follow Jesus, but its easy to become more focused on our present situation than on a long view of faithfulness. Working through the unique challenges that come with seasons of waiting, caretaking, suffering, worry, spiritual dryness, and more, Everyday Faithfulness delves into practical ways to build habits into everyday life that will aid in spiritual growth throughout a lifetime. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Psalms 73Psalms 73-106 (Reformed Expository Commentary) by Richard Phillips. One of the best commentary series gets even better with this volume on the psalms. Even by the high standards of the Psalms, the poems contained in Books 3 and 4 (Psalms 73-106) are extraordinary and memorable. In this thoughtful, devotional commentary, pastor-theologian Richard D. Phillips shows how these psalms’ particular honesty about the trials in our human experience magnify the justice and grace of our sovereign God. He alone offers the remedy to life’s fiercest struggles. In our spiritual walk of faith, the psalmists take believers by the hand and guide us in our communion with God, pointing always to Christ. As are all Reformed Expository Commentaries, this book is accessible to both pastors and lay readers. Each volume in the series gives careful attention to the biblical text, is doctrinally Reformed, focuses on Christ through the lens of redemptive history, and applies the Bible to our contemporary setting. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Timothy2 Timothy & Titus (Reformed Expository Commentaries) by Daniel Doriani & Richard Phillips. And the series gets better still with the addition of 2 Timothy and Titus. The apostle Paul is known for his doctrinally rich writing, but we should not overlook his concern for the practical. In his letters to Timothy and Titusfaithful younger men who had followed him into ministryPaul has much to teach every one of us about godly leadership, sound teaching, and holy living. In this warm and pastoral commentary, Daniel Doriani and Richard Phillips show how the letters brim with the message of God’s grace as it is practically applied, challenging us to embrace Paul’s priorities and to remain faithful in suffering. They explore Paul’s treatment of important doctrines such as election, predestination, assurance of salvation, and more. And they point us to Christ, who empowers us by his grace as we labor for his sake. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

Gathering StormThe Gathering Storm: Secularism, Culture, and the Church by Albert Mohler. “The president of Southern Seminary reveals how secularism has infiltrated every aspect of society and how Christians, equipped with the gospel of Jesus Christ, can meet it head on with hope, confidence, and steadfast conviction. A storm is coming. Western civilization and the Christian church stand at a moment of great danger. The storm is a battle of ideas that will determine the future of Western civilization and the soul of the Christian church. The forces we must fight are ideologies, policies, and worldviews that are deeply established among intellectual elites, the political class, and our schools. More menacingly, these ideas have also invaded the Christian church. From threats to religious liberty and redefinitions of marriage and family to attacks on the sacredness and dignity of human life, the perils faced by the West and the church are unprecedented. How should Christians respond to this challenge? The Gathering Storm provides the answer, addressing each dimension of culture and showing Christians how to give an answer for the hope that is within them and how to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.” (Buy it at Amazon)

The Way of LifeThe Way of Life: Christian Belief and Experience by Charles Hodge. This is one of a few new books from Banner of Truth. The list also includes Crucified and Risen by Calvin and Grace and Glory by Vos. But as for The Way of Life, heres the description: ’It is one of the clearest principles of Divine revelation, that holiness is the fruit of truth; and it is one of the plainest inferences from that principle, that the exhibition of the truth is the best means of promoting holiness. Christians regard the word of God as the only infallible teacher of those truths which relate to the salvation of men. But are the Scriptures really a revelation from God? If they are, what doctrines do they teach? And what influence should those doctrines exert on our heart and life? The publishing committee of the American Sunday School Union have long felt the want of a book which should give a plain answer to these questions, and be suitable to place in the hands of intelligent and educated young persons, either to arouse their attention, or to guide their steps in the way of life. If this little book should be instrumental, by the simple exhibition of the truth, in pointing out the way of life to those who are anxious to know what they must believe and what they must experience in order to be saved, it will answer the design of its preparation and publication. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

CompanionsCompanions in Suffering: Comfort for Times of Loss and Loneliness by Wendy Alsup. Have you experienced an ongoing trial that left you wrung out emotionally? Do you feel alone in your pain? Though suffering often leaves us feeling isolated, God invites us into the community of the Trinity and offers us many companions in Scripture. We experience loneliness alongside the exiled Israelites. We journey with David as he pleads to God for rescue. With Asaph we confess our unbelief. With Job we learn to lament. With Mary and Martha we learn to wait. In God’s community, there is sweet fellowship, even in the hardest of circumstances. Journey in these pages with Wendy Alsup through her story of suffering, and more importantly, with the God who walks with us in the wilderness. This warm and contemplative book also includes a helpful appendix for those who companion a suffering loved one. (Buy it from Amazon or Westminster Books)

12 New and Notable Books for June 2020 - Tim ChalliesThe History of Apologetics: A Biographical and Methodological Introduction by Benjamin K. Forrest, Josh Chatraw, and Alister E. McGrath. The History of Apologetics follows the great apologists in the history of the church to understand how they approached the task of apologetics in their own cultural and theological context. Each chapter looks at the life of a well-known apologist from history, unpacks their methodology, and details how they approached the task of defending the faith. By better understanding how apologetics has been done, readers will be better able to grasp the contextualized nature of apologetics and apply those insights to today’s context. The History of Apologetics covers forty-four apologists across seven distinct eras of Christian history. (Buy it from Amazon)

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