To help you in your shopping—whether it’s for a student, pastor, or scholar—we think some of these new and popular titles will make for a great Christmas gift.
Russell Moore, Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel
Christianity Today’s 2015 Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year!
As the culture changes all around us, it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority. That may be bad news for America, but it can be good news for the church. What’s needed now, in shifting times, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, we need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind: that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel, which is what gives it it’s power in the first place.
We seek the kingdom of God, before everything else. We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches. As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents. As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let’s do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down.
The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that’s no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let’s act like it. Let’s follow him, onward to the future.
Michael S. Lawson, The Professor’s Puzzle: Teaching in Christian Academics
The Professor’s Puzzle is designed as a handbook for new and aspiring professors to help them transition from the independent research of their doctoral program to classroom teaching. Unfortunately, acquiring a Ph.D. often does not involve real preparation for teaching. One cannot assume that mastering content necessarily means one is qualified to teach it.
Drawing from years of experience training young faculty members, professor Michael S. Lawson gathers together the best of educational research and practices, leavened with the yeast of Christian theology, so that readers are equipped to put the “teaching puzzle” together. Ideal for aspiring professors in Christian higher education, as well as all who enter the teaching profession, so they may learn artful teaching and careful administration.
The Baptist Story is a narrative history of a diverse group of people spanning over four centuries, living among distinct cultures on separate continents, while finding their common identity in Christ and expressing their faith as Baptists. Baptist historians Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin highlight the Baptist transition from a despised sect to a movement of global influence. Each chapter includes stories of people who made this history so fascinating. Although the emphasis is on the English-speaking world, The Baptist Story integrates stories of non-English speaking Baptists, ethnic minorities, women, and minority theological traditions, all within the context of historic, orthodox Christianity.
This volume provides more than just the essential events and necessary names to convey the grand history. It also addresses questions that students of Baptist history frequently ask, includes prayers and hymns of those who experienced hope and heartbreak, and directs the reader’s attention to the mission of the church as a whole. Written with an irenic tone and illustrated with photographs in every chapter, The Baptist Story is ideally suited for graduate or undergraduate courses, as well as group study in the local church.
John Mark Terry, Missiology: An Introduction, Second Edition
Thoroughly updated and revised—with half of the chapters new to the second edition—Missiology equips the reader with a vast resource on contemporary missions. This graduate-level introduction is divided into five sections (Introduction to the Study of Missiology, Biblical Basis of Missions, Theology of Missions, and Applied Missiology) and offers essays on modern missions issues and methods such as contextualization, spiritual warfare, and orality, as well as chapters on major world religions and cults in North America.
A retired missionary and long-time professor of missions, editor John Mark Terry enlists a wide range of evangelical authors, most with significant experience in international or North American missions. Pastors will find helpful information on church planting in North America and on developing a missions-minded church. Students will benefit from the chapters on understanding the call to missions and the current status of world evangelization. All readers will profit from a valuable one-volume reference work on missions.
Bruce Ashford and Chris Pappalardo, One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics
Is it possible to be passionate about the gospel and care deeply about politics? Can we engage in politics responsibly, confidently, graciously—even Christianly?
When it comes to politics, Christians today seem lost and confused. Many Christians desire to relate their faith to politics but simply don’t know how. This book exists to equip the reader to apply Christianity to politics with both grace and truth, with both boldness and humility.
Politics is not an evil arena to be avoided. Neither is it our only avenue for impacting society. The reality is much more complex and, oddly enough, much more promising.
Murray J. Harris, John (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)
The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament (EGGNT) closes the gap between the Greek text and the available lexical and grammatical tools, providing all the necessary information for greater understanding of the text. The series makes interpreting any given New Testament book easier, especially for those who are hard pressed for time but want to preach or teach with accuracy and authority.
Each volume begins with a brief introduction to the particular New Testament book, a basic outline, and a list of recommended commentaries. The body is devoted to paragraph-by-paragraph exegesis of the Greek text and includes homiletical helps and suggestions for further study. A comprehensive exegetical outline of the New Testament book completes each EGGNT volume.
Joseph H. Hellerman, Philippians (Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament)
David A. Croteau, Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions
Urban Legends of the New Testament surveys forty of the most commonly misinterpreted passages in the New Testament. These “urban legends” often arise because interpreters neglect a passage’s context, misuse historical background information, or misunderstand the Greek language. For each New Testament text, professor David Croteau describes the popular, incorrect interpretation and then carefully interprets the passage within its literary and historical context. Careful attention is given to sound principles of biblical interpretation to guide readers through the process and reach a more accurate understanding of each text’s meaning. QR codes have been inserted at various points throughout this book. By scanning the code with your mobile device, you can view a video of David Croteau addressing a specific urban legend.
Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman (eds.), Baptist Foundations: Church Government for an Anti-Institutional Age
Ours is an anti-polity age, perhaps more than any other time in the history of the church. But what is a right or biblical polity? In this volume, representatives of several North American Baptist seminaries and a Baptist university make the exegetical and theological case for a Baptist polity. Right polity, they argue, is congregationalism, elder leadership, diaconal service, regenerate church membership, church discipline, and a Baptist approach to the ordinances.
Yet this book is not just for the seminary classroom. It is for the church leader. Each section explores the pastoral applications of these arguments. How do congregationalism and elder leadership work together? When should a church practice church discipline? How can one church work with another in matters of membership and discipline?
To be read sequentially or used as a reference guide, the contributions in Baptist Polity provide a contemporary treatment of Baptist church government and structures, the first of its kind in decades.
Bobby Jamieson, Going Public: Why Baptism Is Required for Church Membership
Does everyone who joins a local church need to be baptized? What should churches that practice believer baptism do about those who were “baptized” as infants? This is a live question for many churches today, and it raises a host of other crucial questions: What is the meaning and function of baptism? Does baptism have any inherent relationship to the local church? How do baptism and the Lord’s Supper fit together? What exactly is “church membership”?
To answer the question of whether baptism is required for church membership, Going Public seeks to rebuild ecclesiological foundations, digging deep into the Bible’s teaching on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and church membership. Bobby Jamieson describes how baptism and the Lord’s Supper transform a scattered group of Christians into a gathered local church. It traces the trajectory of a church’s birth, how gospel people form a gospel polity.
Baptism is where faith goes public. It is the initiating oath-sign of the new covenant. It is the passport of Christ’s kingdom and a kingdom citizen’s swearing-in. The Lord’s Supper is the renewing oath-sign of the new covenant, a corporate act of fellowship with Christ that binds the church into one body. Baptism confers church membership and the Lord’s Supper confirms it. Baptism confers membership; the Lord’s Supper renews it. So baptism is required for church membership like vows are required for marriage.
After building and summarizing this positive theological case for why baptism is required for church membership, the book answers objections, poses challenges to the open membership view, and applies this theological vision to the local church’s practice of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and church membership.
Why is baptism required for church membership? Because church membership is a public affirmation of someone’s public profession of faith in Christ, and Jesus has appointed baptism as the means by which his followers publicly profess their faith in him. Why does this question matter? Because removing baptism from membership erases the line Jesus himself has drawn between the church and the world.
Joseph Early Jr., A History of Christianity: An Introductory Survey
A History of Christianity examines the development of Christianity from its biblical foundations to modern times. While seeking to be comprehensive, historian Joseph Early Jr. centers on key events, people, theological developments, and conflicts that have shaped Christianity over its two-thousand-year history. He also presents the development of Christianity within the social, political, and economic challenges of the times. In doing so, he paints a clear, detailed, and balanced picture of the opportunities and struggles faced by the church and the contributions made by significant people, institutions, and traditions.
A History of Christianity is an ideal introductory survey for undergraduate students and any reader who desires to know more about the broad scope of Christianity.
Andrew David Naselli and Mark A. Snoeberger, eds., Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement: 3 Views
Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement presents a point-counterpoint exchange concerning God’s intention in sending Christ to die on the cross. All three contributors recognize a substitutionary element in the atoning work of Christ, but disagree over the nature and objects of that substitution.
Carl Trueman (Westminster Theological Seminary) argues that Christ’s atoning work secured the redemption of his elect alone. While infinite in value, Christ’s death was intended for and applied strictly to those whom the Father had elected unconditionally in eternity past.
John Hammett (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) argues that Christ’s atoning work had multiple intentions. Of these intentions two rise to the fore: (1) the intention to accomplish atonement for God’s elect and (2) the intention to provide atonement for all mankind.
Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) argues that Christ’s atoning work provided atonement generally for all mankind. The application of that atoning work is conditioned, however, on each person’s willingness to receive it.
Chad Brand, ed., Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views
The relationship between Israel and the church is one of the most debated issues in the history of theology. Some hold the view that there is almost seamless continuity between Israel and the church, while others believe there is very little continuity. Additional perspectives lie between these two. This debate has contributed to the formation of denominations and produced a variety of political views about the state of Israel.To advance the conversation, Perspectives on Israel and the Church brings together respected theologians representing four positions:
- Traditional covenantal view by Robert L. Reymond
- Traditional dispensational view by Robert L. Thomas
- Progressive dispensational view by Robert L. Saucy
- Progressive covenantal view by Chad Brand and Tom Pratt Jr.
There is a difference between preaching from the Bible and preaching that allows the Bible to drive the substance, structure, and spirit of the sermon. A text-driven sermon allows the structure of the text to become buoyant, to come to the surface so that the sermon can be built around that structure. In this way the word of God (the meaning of the text) is presented in a way that is influenced by the voice of God (the genre of the text).
In Recapturing the Voice of God, veteran preacher Steven W. Smith teaches how to preach genre-sensitive, text-driven sermons—to allow the structure of the text to be the structure of the sermon. To do so, one must understand the genre of the literature in which God has chosen to reveal Himself. After a brief defense of genre-sensitive preaching, Smith categorizes Scripture genres according to their structure: story, poem, or letter. From these macro-level genres, each individual genre is explored for its unique features. Smith then offers practical help in structuring a sermon like Scripture and includes sample sermons to demonstrate.