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Book Log: May 2014

  1. everPresent: How the Gospel Locates Us in the Present – Jeremy Writebol. For me, the reality of all of life being worship and God being everywhere and doing something for His purposes & glory is a familiar one; yet Writebol expresses it in a fresh and unique way. In Part 1 Writebol introduces a theology of place and then talks about the gospel from that vantage point – creation-fall-restoration as location-dislocation-relocation. Part 2 looks at this everpresent gospel in the spheres/places of life – home, work, social settings, and the city. Here, Writebol shows how God is present and what His purposes are in each of these places, and that missional living is simply being present in the everyday places we inhabit. This short book would be great for anyone who needs a deeper understanding of the gospel (which is always every one of us), and for those who might live/act as if there is a division between the sacred and secular.
  2. United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity – Trillia Newbell. Trillia paints a Christocentric, gospel-centered vision for ethnic diversity in the church. Through sharing her personal story, Trillia invites us both into the pain of being different as well as the joys of sameness in Christ; she shows through her life the great gains to be discovered in pursuing ethnic diversity. Through it all, the glory of God and the gospel of Christ are at the center. Full review here.
  3. The Vine and the Son of Man: Eschatological Interpretation of Psalm 80 in Early Judaism – Andrew Streett. This revised dissertation is a fascinating intertextual study of the eschatological and messianic interpretations of Psalm 80 from the time of its writing, through Second Temple Judaism, and in the New Testament. Full review here.
  4. Know the Creeds and Councils – Justin Holcomb. In a day and age in which “no creed but the Bible” seems to be the most popular creed, Justin Holcomb’s new book Know the Creeds and Councils provides an accessible overview to the major creeds, confessions, catechisms, and councils of Christian history in a way that illuminates their collective and individual value and importance. Holcomb demonstrates their contemporary relevance and shows that the purpose of confessions is to fuel worship. Full review here.
  5. The Lost World of Scripture: Ancient Literary Culture and Biblical Authority – John Walton and D. Brent Sandy. The light this book sheds on ancient literary culture and how the various parts of the Bible were spoken, written, passed on, and edited illuminates important implications for the Bible’s inspiration and authority. Full review here.
  6. The Wrong Jesus: Fact, Belief, Legend, Truth…Making Sense of What You’ve Heard – Greg Monette. This is an accessible introduction to the historical Jesus that presents first-rate scholarship at a level accessible toyouth and college studenst. For any believer asking the hard questions about their faith in relation to who Jesus is and whether the New Testament accounts of his life, death, and resurrection are reliable, this is a valuable resource. It would also be a great book to give to a seeking skeptic. However, I have two reservations. Full review here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the above books for free from the publishers for review. I was not obligated to to write positive reviews, and the opinions I have expressed are honest.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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