Monthly Archives: November 2010

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Book recommendations, Day 2

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Categories: Books, Tags: , , ,

Today, three books from New York city pastor Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Each of them are worth your time.

The Reason for God was a NYT bestseller. From one review: “In this apologia for Christian faith, Keller mines material from literary classics, philosophy, anthropology and a multitude of other disciplines to make an intellectually compelling case for God. Written for skeptics and the believers who love them, the book draws on the author’s encounters as founding pastor of New York’s booming Redeemer Presbyterian Church. One of Keller’s most provocative arguments is that all doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. Drawing on sources as diverse as 19th-century author Robert Louis Stevenson and contemporary New Testament theologian N.T. Wright, Keller attempts to deconstruct everyone he finds in his way, from the evolutionary psychologist Richard Dawkins to popular author Dan Brown.”

The Prodigal God is Keller’s treatment of Jesus’s story of the prodigal son. An amazing book with tremendous insight based on Jewish culture at the time of Christ, Keller has noted that his preaching of this subject matter has encouraged more people than any other message of his. Enlightening and powerful, this book is great for yourself or as a gift.

Generous Justice is Keller’s latest. From Publisher’s Weekly: “Without ever resorting to hyperbole, Keller carefully analyzes Old and New Testament passages to make the case that God’s heart for justice on behalf of widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor is indisputable, and that an encounter with grace will inevitably lead to a desire for justice. This short manifesto goes further: Keller argues that gospel preaching that aims only to change hearts while remaining oblivious to unjust social structures will never fully succeed. Keller recommends that evangelicals partner with non-Christians in pursuit of social reform while speaking distinctively in their own religious idiom. Emergent Christians as well as others serious about their faith and eager for a balanced and authoritative voice on the subject will appreciate this book.”

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Book recommendations, Day 1

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Categories: Books, Tags: , , ,

First up on my list of book recommendations (which also make great gift suggestions) are two from a man a friend calls “the conscience of evangelicalism,” Phillip Yancey. I personally have never read a Yancey book that did not challenge and/or teach me greatly. These are two of his best.

Concerning Disappointment with God, one reviewer said, “This is, hands down, the best treatment on the subject of the problem of pain that I have ever read. Yancey uses the book of Job in a way that many of us may never have seen to present God’s case. He gives gentle answers; very important and human answers to these very human questions and hurts. He doesn’t pretend to know all the answers and he refuses to give any canned or cliched replies. But he does give his best, and his best is remarkably worthy.”

Another reviewer writes about a second Yancey award winner, The Jesus I Never Knew: “In The Jesus I Never Knew, Yancey explores the life of Jesus, as he explains, ‘”from below,” to grasp as best I can what it must have been like to observe in person the extraordinary events unfolding in Galilee and Judea’ as Jesus traveled and taught. Yancey examines three fundamental questions: who Jesus was, why he came, and what he left behind. Step by step, scene by scene, Yancey probes the culture into which Jesus was born and grew to adulthood; his character and mission; his teachings and miracles; his legacy–not just as history has told it, but as he himself intended it to be.”

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Book recommendations for Christmas

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Categories: News, Tags: , , , , , ,

Book recommendation In twenty years as a pastor I was regularly asked about books recommendations. “What can I get for my son who want to know about Bible history?” “How can I know more theology?” “Can you recommend a good devotional guide?” I heard these questions, and others like them, dozens of times.

The short answer is, “Unless you are reading and meditating on the Bible, getting other books is the wrong order of things.” The Bible alone is God’s word, and is commended for our consumption. However, there are many books that can enhance our understanding of the scriptures by expanding our own thinking with the exposure to the thinking of others, or revealing important historical contexts underlying Biblical truth. Many books can challenge staid thinking until we, like the Bereans in the book of Acts, examine the things we believe to ensure we are holding onto the truth rather than just an accumulation of traditions that have themselves veered from the simple truth of Christ.

Beginning Monday, I will be making daily book recommendations through Christmas Eve, then each day from the 26th through the 31st (so good use can be made of those gift cards!). Each book will have a simple description, but not a review. These will cover many phases of the Christian walk, so, if you don’t see anything that meets your need on a given day, be sure and check back in the days following.

Each book will be orderable through an Amazon.com link. You pay the same low Amazon price, and I get a commission for each sale.

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Black Friday special: ‘The Generous Soul,’ $11.00, free shipping

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Categories: Books, News

The Generous Soul- An Introduction to Missional Giving by Marty DurenBlack Friday lasts all weekend at martyduren.com. Get The Generous Soul: An Introduction to Missional Giving, for only $11.00, and shipping (in the US) is free! This special is valid from 12:01 AM on Black Friday through 11:59 PM on Cyber Monday.

As a bonus for purchasing through martyduren.com, you have the option to add a copy of my first book, Journeys: Transitioning Churches to Relevance for 50% off the cover price–only $7.50. That’s both books for only $18.50 with free shipping. The Journeys special is good only for the supply I have on hand.

If you would like a book autographed or inscribed in a certain way, please indicate this during the checkout process through PayPal. In the shopping cart you will have the opportunity to select either multiple copies of The Generous Soul or multiple bundles of both books if desired. Thank you, and I pray that God will bless you in the reading of these books.

This special is now over. The Generous Soul can be ordered from Amazon.com at the link to the right, or purchased at LifeWay stores nationwide.