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Midweek Roundup – 8/20/14

Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.

1. Sam Storms on what it means that Jesus was “made perfect”

What does the author of Hebrews mean when he says in Hebrews 2:10 that God the Father made Jesus, the founder of our salvation, “perfect through suffering”? And what does he mean in Hebrews 5:8 when he says that “he learned obedience through what he suffered?” Again, what does it mean to say that Jesus was “made perfect” through his suffering (Heb. 5:9a).

In both cases our author is establishing the qualifications of Jesus to serve as our Great High Priest. The fact that Jesus “suffered” in this way proves that he is able to “sympathize with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15).

2. Jen Wilkin on thinking of our children as our neighbors

If you asked me the single most important insight that has shaped my parenting, it would be this: Children are people.

It seems self-evident. Clearly, they have arms, legs, ears, noses and mouths—enough to qualify. But the idea of their personhood goes far beyond possessing a human body. It goes to the core of their being and speaks to their worth. Children bear the image of God, just like adults. Well, not just like adults. It is true that they are developing physically, emotionally and spiritually at a different rate than adults, but children’s intrinsic worth and dignity does not increase or decrease depending on the rate or extent of their development. As Dr. Seuss has famously noted, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

3. Mike Patton on taking the Lord’s name in vain

If the principle in question is that we’re not to use God’s name unless we really mean it, then we’re pretty inconsistent in our outrage. Why don’t people get offended when others say “God bless you?” Do you think that every time someone says this that they really mean it? Do you think that in their mind they are talking to God, beseeching Him on your behalf?

Just about every email I get ends with the phrase, “God bless.” I seriously doubt that that person actually said a prayer for me before he or she hit send. If this is the case, why is saying, “God bless you” not just as much a violation of the third commandment as saying “God damn you?”

4. Michael Kruger on why learning the biblical languages is worth it

One of my biggest disappointments is when I go into a pastor’s office and see that there are no (or very few) books.   It is like going into a carpenter’s shop and seeing no tools.  I remind such pastors of the words of Cicero: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

If pastors recover their calling as ministers of the Word, then keeping up with the biblical languages should be a more natural part of their weekly activity.  If they work in a “study” instead of an “office” then studying might just come more easily.

5. Paul Tripp on the difference between needs and desires

You and I tend to say we need things that we don’t actually need. For example, we say we need a bigger house when we own one with running water and functioning appliances. We say we need a newer car when the one we drives functions normally on a daily basis.

We define needs relationally as well, not just physically. We say we need a more loving spouse, a more obedient child, or a more respectful boss. This might confuse and irritate you, but the Bible never promises those things.

August 20, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »

August’s New & Notable Books

The Big Picture Family Devotional

Edited by David R. Helm

This 50–week family devotional helps parents teach their children about the Bible through memory verses, short lessons, and discussion questions for the whole family. Designed as a companion volume for The Big Picture Story Bible.

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Big Picture Bible Verses: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible

David R. Helm

This simple catechism featuring 45 memory verses will help both children and adults memorize God’s Word through its easy-to-remember Q&A format. Designed as a companion volume for The Big Picture Story Bible.

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

John Piper

This book of 25 devotionals from John Piper helps readers refocus and meditate on the one thing that makes the Christmas season worth celebrating: the birth of Jesus, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah.

“No one—in speaking, writing, or living—combines mind, heart, and faith more passionately than John Piper.”
Daniel Taylor, Professor of English, Bethel University

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Stories We Tell: How TV and Movies Long for and Echo the Truth

Mike Cosper; Foreword by Tim Keller

Americans love movies and watch a lot of TV. Cosper helps readers effectively engage with and evaluate what they watch, highlighting how the stories we tell reveal humanity’s universal longing for redemption. Part of the Cultural Renewal series.

“With the amount of TV and movies our culture devours, this book is a must read.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey

Andreas J. Köstenberger and Margaret E. Köstenberger

A husband and wife team—both biblical scholars—set forth a robust biblical theology of gender, examining key texts, employing sound hermeneutical principles, and considering important historical influences related to the Bible’s teaching on manhood and womanhood.

“A refreshingly clear, well-informed, balanced, thorough, biblically faithful overview of the teachings of the entire Bible about manhood and womanhood.”
Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary

Learn More | Excerpt | Study Guide | Buy Now


Edwards on the Christian Life: Alive to the Beauty of God

Dane C. Ortlund; Foreword by George M. Marsden

Offering readers an accessible portrait of Jonathan Edwards’s life and theology, this book highlights the central role of beauty in his understanding of the Christian life. Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.

“Grateful readers will find this book highly informative on Edwards and deeply encouraging for the Christian life today.”
Mark A. Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


Churches Partnering Together: Biblical Strategies for Fellowship, Evangelism, and Compassion

Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks; Foreword by D. A. Carson

This book sets forth a compelling vision related to helping churches—big and small—develop interdependent partnerships and make a significant impact for the sake of the gospel—in their own communities and around the world.

“Many pastors and church planters will benefit enormously from the wisdom, biblical insight, and practical experience that Chris Bruno and Matt Dirks provide for us here.”
Bruce A. Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


Shakespeare’s Hamlet

Leland Ryken

A literary expert guides readers through Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Hamlet, exploring the play’s historical context, key themes, and overarching message. Part of the Christian Guides to the Classics series.

“Ryken is a warm and welcoming guide to the classics of Western literature.”
Andrew Logemann, Chair, Department of English, Gordon College

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now

The Devotional Poetry of Donne, Herbert, and Milton

Leland Ryken

A literary expert guides readers through the devotional poetry of three seventeenth-century poetic geniuses: John Donne, George Herbert, and John Milton. Part of the Christian Guides to the Classics series.

“It is hard to imagine a better guide than Leland Ryken to help readers navigate the classics.”
Bradley G. Green, Associate Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition, Union University

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now

August 15, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,New / Notable,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:45 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 8/13/14

Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.

1. Denny Burk on how gay marriage will impact your marriage

If you’ve ever been in a debate with someone about gay marriage, one of the conversation stoppers that proponents often throw out is this: “How does gay marriage hurt traditional marriage?” Or more personally, “How does my gay marriage corrupt your straight marriage?” The thinking goes like this. What two people do in the privacy of their own home ought not concern you, even if they choose to reinvent society’s most basic institution. After all, who are you to judge someone else’s pairing? If some people want to call gay unions a “marriage,” what’s that to you?

2. Jon Bloom on help for those grieving a suicide

Robin Williams’s alleged suicide has sent shock waves through the world.

Williams was a man bursting with manic energy, an out-sized personality, prodigious dramatic talent, and a completely unique comic genius. He could make us roll on the floor in laughter and he could move us deeply to tears. Many of us have memories of his performances that stretch back into our childhood.

Now, suddenly, at age 63, it appears that he has taken his own life. For this tragedy it is too early for any more words. Let us cover our mouths, weep, and pray for his family.

3. Reformed Forum interviews Marcus Johnson about his new book, One with Christ

Dr. Marcus Johnson speaks about One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation, his recent book, published by Crossway. While many books have been published recently on the topic of union with Christ, Dr. Johnson’s book stands out for its up-to-date analysis and unique approach. One with Christ charts a via media between federalist and realist approaches to the doctrine of union with Christ, a way which Johnson calls Christological realism. Listen to understand Dr. Johnson’s unique but scriptural treatment of the doctrine of union with Christ.

4. Joe Thorn on whether or not the Lord’s Supper should be open or closed

In baptist circles there are three positions regarding who are the proper communicants to receiver the Lord’s Supper: closed, close, and open communion. These positions are not addressing the spiritual readiness of the individual (see yesterday’s post), but are focusing on the stewardship of church authority and “fencing the table.” Fencing the table is the means by which we protect people from partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an “unworthy manner” (1 Cor. 11:2728).

5. Gene Veith on the political roots of atheism

Atheists are always invoking science, but notice how often their arguments and rhetoric use political language.  God allegedly “oppresses” human beings, taking away their “freedom.”  They say that God is “immoral,” that, in the words of John Lennon, if we imagine no religion, “the world would live as one.”

In fact, as Nick Spencer shows in Politico, the origins of atheism in the West had little to do with the rise of science; rather, it grew out of radical political movements.

August 13, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:15 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 8/6/14

Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.

1. Tim Challies reviews Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

So often I’ve found that the best books are the ones that appear with the least fuss, and that the ones carried in on the back of a major marketing wave prove to be disappointing. But not always.

Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word has been the beneficiary of some major marketing efforts. It was the talk of this year’s Gospel Coalition National Conference for Women and has been pushed heavily in the blogosphere. And I’m glad to say that it proved my skepticism wrong—it is an excellent little book.

2. C. Michael Patton on God’s protection of our children

After another period of silence he asked the question of the hour, “Will God protect my children?” He went on, “Will he protect them or is he going to do to me what he did to your mom? Because from where I sit it looks like if you follow the Lord too closely, he brings terrible things into your life. I love my children and I am scared to death that he might hurt them or take them from me because I follow him… to test me or something. I don’t want that.”

3. Jonathan Leeman on how biblical theology guards and guides the church

Biblical theology is a way of reading the Bible. It is a hermeneutic. It assumes that Scripture’s many authors and many books are telling one story by one divine author—about Christ.

Sound slightly academic? It is, but…

The discipline of biblical theology is essential to guarding and guiding your church. It guards churches against false stories and wrong paths. It guides the church toward better preaching, better practices, better paths.

4. Dave Harvey on caring for pastors-in-waiting

“What do I do while I wait?” It’s a question I’ve heard dozens of times.

Trained men, ready to rumble for the gospel, can sometimes find they lack immediate opportunity to fulfill their ministry dream. It feels to them like the big game has started, and they’ve been benched by God, even as a parade of friends, classmates, and seemingly less gifted players sprint on to the field.

5. White Horse Inn interviews David Wells

Why are so many Christians focused on practical Christian living rather than on understanding who God is and what he has done for us? Why are we more interested in our own subjective experience than we are with objective truth? Joining the discussion is David Wells, author of numerous books including No Place for Truth, The Courage to Be Protestant, and most recently God in the Whirlwind.

August 6, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:43 am | 0 Comments »

Video: The Picky Eater Approach to Bible Study


We all know it’s important to study God’s Word.

But sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin . . . especially when you’re feeling a bit lost in the middle of Leviticus.

Looking for some help? Check out Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin—a book written to help you develop a plan for engaging, consistent, and transformative Bible study.

For more, be sure to check out the infographic (6 Counterproductive Approaches to Studying the Bible) or download a free excerpt from the book!