I had a good time celebrating Christmas with friends and family this past weekend. It was my first Christmas as a married man, so the amount of travel was increased exponentially. Although, it was a joy to celebrate Christmas with twice the family!
My parents, my in-laws, and my sister combined to generously provide me with the following books. All of which I’m eager to work through in the coming year! I’ve provided the publisher’s description for each of the titles to give you an overall summary of the book’s content/purpose (…if you’re interested…):
Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy J. Keller
It is commonly thought in secular society that the Bible is one of the great hinderances to doing justice. Isn’t it full of regressive views? Didn’t it condone slavery? Why look to the Bible for guidance on how to have a more just society?
But Timothy Keller, pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church sees it another way. In Generous Justice, Keller explores a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice. Here is a book for believers who find the Bible a trustworthy guide as well as those who suspect that Christianity is a regressive influence on the world.
In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Noted theologian, pastor, and educator Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson explores aspects of the person and work of Jesus in his latest book, In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel-Centered Life. This collection of articles is designed to help believers gain a better understanding of their Savior and the Christian faith, and to live out that faith in their day-to-day lives. In Christ Alone is packed full of nuggets of Scriptural truth that will spark and fan the flames of the believer’s love for the Savior who is so beautiful in His person and so faithful in His work on behalf of His beloved sheep.
Remember that your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace, nor are your best days ever so good that you are beyond the need of it.
We know we need grace. Without it we’d never come to Christ in the first place, but being a Christian is more than just coming to Christ. It’s about growing and becoming more like Jesus—it’s about pursuing holiness. The pursuit of holiness is hard work, and that’s where we turn from grace to discipline—and often make a big mistake.
Grace is every bit as important for growing as a Christian as it is for becoming a Christian. “The pursuit of holiness,” writes Jerry Bridges, “must be anchored in the grace of God; otherwise it is doomed to failure.” Grace is at the heart of the gospel, and without a clear understanding of the gospel and grace we can easily slip into a performance-based lifestyle that bears little resemblance to what the gospel offers us.
According to Bridges, many Christians don’t have a good grasp of what the gospel message is. In The Discipline of Grace, he offers a clear and thorough explanation of the gospel and what it means to the believer. Bridges discusses how the same grace that brings us to faith in Christ also disciplines us in Christ, and how we learn to discipline ourselves in the areas of commitment, conviction, choices, watchfulness, and adversity.
If you’ve ever struggled with what your role is and what role God takes in your growth as a Christian, this book will comfort and challenge you as you learn to rest in Christ while vigorously pursuing a life of holiness.
The Essence of the Reformation by Kirsten Birkett
Corruption in the church. Political turmoil and intrigue. A clash of new ideas and ancient pagan religions. Courageous and extraordinary individuals. Doctrinaldisputes that were matters of life and death.
Welcome to ‘the Reformation’, that explosive period of European history from 1517 to the turn of the century. The Reformation determined the shape of our modern world, and yet many people today, even Christians, have very little idea of even the basic events and people involved.
In this introductory book, Kirsten Birkett brings us the essence of the Reformation—the social and religious soil in which it grew, the events and people that shaped it, and the ideas and doctrines for which many of them died.
This new edition includes three classic works from the Reformation: Martin Luther on freedom, John Calvin on prayer, and Thomas Cranmer on salvation.
The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story by D.A. Carson
It can no longer be assumed that most people–or even most Christians–have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don’t know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God’s story of redemption.
In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader’s guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings.
The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology, and Worship by Robert Letham
When it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity, evangelicals have underachieved. In The Holy Trinity Robert Letham helps to redress this shortcoming. He offers a well-researched volume about “the One who is utterly transcendent and incomprehensible.” After examining the doctrine’s biblical foundations, the author traces its historical development through the twentieth century, and engages four critical issues: the Trinity and (1) the incarnation, (2) worship and prayer, (3) creation and missions, and (4) persons.
Did you get any books for Christmas?! I’d be interested to hear what was on your list this year!