Bloodlines is “An exclusive video documentary featuring Pastor John Piper as he walks through his personal story of growing up in the segregated South. His personal story boldly champions the transforming power of the gospel and the beauty of racial diversity and harmony in Christ.” Watch the full vid here:
John Piper writes books quicker than I can read them. But I still try! I thoroughly enjoyed one of his recent books: Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. Here’s part of the official blurb from the publisher, Crossway: “We often pit thinking and feeling against each other, especially when it comes to the Christian experience. Glorifying God with our minds and hearts, however, is not either-or, but both-and. Focusing on the life of the mind will help you to know God better, love him more, and care for the world.”
Here’s a promo video for the book:
In Think Piper has two biblical texts that form the main point of the book. 2 Timothy 2:7 – “Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything” (ESV) and Proverbs 2:3-6 – “…if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding…” (ESV)
Crossway have recently launched the 2nd Edition of God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas J. Kostenberger. You can find out about the book here. It comprehensively deals with the Old Testament, the New Testament and current topical issues. I’m currently studying Christian Ethics at college and it’s a useful text for a theological college student, but I think it’s not beyond the average reader. I know of a number of churches that use this as required reading for couples before they get married. Marriage is currently under attack in our world… there’s no better time to be acquainted with God’s good plans for relationships than now!
Here’s a blurb from the product website:
The release of the landmark first edition of God, Marriage, and Family provided an integrated, biblical treatment of God’s purposes for the home. Since then, explain authors Andreas Köstenberger and David Jones, the crisis confronting modern households has only intensified, and yet the solution remains the same: obedience to and application of God’s Word.
In the second edition of God, Marriage, and Family, Köstenberger and Jones explore the latest controversies, cultural shifts, and teachings within both the church and society and further apply Scripture’s timeless principles to contemporary issues. This new edition includes an assessment of the family-integrated church movement; discussion of recent debates on corporal punishment, singleness, homosexuality, and divorce and remarriage; new sections on the theology of sex and the parenting of teens; and updated bibliographies. This book will prove to be a valuable resource for personal and group study, Christian counseling, and marriage and family courses.
Get your hands on a copy:
It’s wise to learn from church history, both the triumphs and the tragedies of those upon whose shoulders we stand. I’ve really liked the church history subjects at college and enjoy reading Christian biographies. Stephen J. Nichols and Ned Bustard recently published The Church ABCs. Here’s the blurb: This book follows the alphabet as it introduces parents and children to twenty-six pillars of the Christian faith. Whimsical, full-colour illustrations and engaging prose teach church history in a fun and creative way.
Each entry includes a short paragraph or two with great illustrations of the person and some of the things they’re well known for. At the end of the book there are longer paragraphs that provide some more background for each of them. The reading level is aimed at 8-12 year olds. But it would be a great book for parents to read with their children (perhaps one entry per night for a month?). Nichols does a good job of explaining some key historical figures, as well as some encouraging gospel content.
Here’s the A to Z lineup: Augustine, Anne Bradstreet, John Calvin, John Donne, Jonathan Edwards, John Foxe, Lady Jane Grey, Hippolytus, Ignatius, Absolom Jones, John Knox, Martin Luther, Monica, John Newton, John Owen, Patrick, Queen Jeanne of Navarre, Bishop Nicholas Ridley, Charles Spurgeon, Tertullian, Zacharias Ursinus, Antonio Vivaldi, John & Charles Wesley, Francis Xavier, Florence Young, Ulrich Zwingli.
There are 9 Johns in the list! That’s crazy. There are probably a disproportionate number of Americans on the list, but that is not to be unexpected from an American author.
Any suggestions for people you’d ditch and someone to replace them on the list?
Get your hands on a copy:
Protecting your marriage matters. Normally, Row and I read the bible together at night. But one of the things we’ve done in the last few of years is – for a period of time – replaced our nightly bible reading with a different book that will help us to protect our marriage. It’s been a really useful practise. The latest book we’ve been reading is brilliant! It’s called, What Did You Expect?? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.
It’s written by Paul Tripp. He’s a dude. I’ve recently started following him on Twitter and most of his tweets are retweetable (for non-twits, that’s a compliment!!). Here’s how the publishers Crossway summarise the book:
The word ‘gospel’ simply means ‘good news’. Of all the gospels in the world, there is no gospel that is more momentous or more important than the gospel of Jesus. My life was changed when I came to understand this gospel. But what is ‘the gospel’?
Greg Gilbert from 9 Marks ministries has recently written a book that answers this question with great clarity in a small and very readable book.
Here’s the description from Crossway books:
What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.
The God, man, Christ, response formula is nothing new. So the book isn’t offering a new or fresh understanding of the gospel, but rather restating the gospel as it is revealed in the Bible. I really love the way that Gilbert writes. This book is only 100 (small-sized) pages, but in those pages he packs in a lot of quality content without some of the technical clutter you might find in a more academic work. That doesn’t mean that this book lacks academic integrity, rather it’s written at a level that is accessible to a general readership.
Here’s a video of Gilbert explaining why he wrote the book: