I know its the fifth of the month already, but the weekend was rather busy with the Fourth of July and family celebration. Better late than never, right? Here are some of the books I read last month.
Reverberation: How God’s Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People, by Jonathan Leeman. isbn 9780802422996. This wonderful little book is truly a modern gem. In this text Leeman shows us how the Word is central to all the things a Christian does in the church and outside the church. I highly recommend this text to all believers, it is enlightening, convicting, encouraging, challenging, and much needed in the American culture. This book shows us that we cannot emphasize enough how important the Word of God is for the Word of God is the very thing that sustains the universe. You can purchase this book here.
Jesus on Trial, by James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken. isbn 9781596381544. Jesus on Trial is exactly that. These two authors walk you through the Passion Week of Jesus. Each chapter is concerned with judicial action and shows the reader just how unfair it was for Christ, even “back in the day”. The chapters cover: The Conspiracy, The Arrest, The Resistance, The Witnesses, The Verdict, The Sentence, and The Execution. You truly see what a horrendous act it really was for all of the guilty people to hang an innocent man on two bits of wood. It is a quick and sobering read that any Christian, mature or new to the faith, can glean wonderful insights into the trial that changed the world. You can purchase this book here.
The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching, by Walter C. Kaiser Jr. isbn 9780801032448. Yes this book is geared for preachers and teachers, but I am still under the conviction that all believers are teachers. If you have ever had the desire to learn about YHWH, God in the Old Testament, pick up this book and begin to feed. I recommend anything written by Walter Kaiser, he is a great Old Testament scholar and his book here is a prime example of how we can still teach the Old Testament to people. I am not sure if you are aware, but it seems most pastors teach primarily from Paul, and then the Gospels only on holidays. The Old Testament is just as important as the New Testament for without it we would have no idea what Jesus’ death truly meant. We would not know of God’s great love without the Old Testament, don’t skip it, take some time to read of the Covenant God who loves you. You can purchase this book here. If you live in Grand Rapids, MI. the book is cheaper at Baker Book House.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, by Francis Chan with Danae Yankoski. isbn 9781434768513. This book is great. At first I thought that Mr. Chan was leading the reader into the Social Gospel, that is, Christ died to free the poor and the oppressed, that the cross represents social justice. Rather, Chan begins with the salvific work of the cross, the overcoming of sin and death, and the response to such love is social action. In other words, what are you doing to show that you love God? This book is challenging because it makes you think about your situation as an American. Like my last blog post, Chan circles the idea of identity. He wants Christians who are in love with Christ to act like it, be radical for the love of Jesus. You can purchase this book here.
A Sign of Faithfulness: Covenant Baptism, By H. Westerink, translated by J. Mark Beach. This is the most powerful claim for infant baptism I have ever read. If you ever thought about why the Reformed denominations baptize infants, this book will show you using Scripture. The text seems to be overwhelmingly simple, yet at the same time it is extraordinarily profound. In 125 pages, Westerink gives the case for infant baptism that has yet to be refuted. People can claim that he errs in his teaching, but I have not come across any definitive work to prove otherwise. Westerink’s main points come straight from Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, he shows how God has established one covenant. A great read. This book is in short supply it seems. If you are ever in a used bookstore be sure to look for this text, buy it, read it, and give it to some else. You can purchase this book here.