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Midweek Roundup – 7/30/14

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 Keesee writes a letter to the leader of ISIS

Dear Mr. al-Baghdadi,

Recently, you publicly presented yourself as the Caliph, the leader of a new order for the Islamic world. In your inaugural sermon at the mosque in Mosul near the ruins of Nineveh, you said, “If you see me on the right path, help me. If you see me on the wrong path, advise me and halt me.” I’ve given that offer some thought and wanted to follow up with you.

2. The Gospel Coalition reviews Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully by John Piper

The Scripture recommends beautiful words as like “apples of gold” (Prov. 25:11) and illustrates such words in genres from David’s poetry to Jesus’ parables. How welcome, then, to read John Piper’s bracing Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully, in which the former pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church reintroduces the power of “poetic effort” by considering three titans of Christian rhetoric: the poet George Herbert, the evangelist George Whitefield, and the apologist and novelist C. S. Lewis. I suspect most readers will know something of Lewis, less of Whitefield, and Herbert least of all. But in Piper’s hands, the combination of these three aptly demonstrates the value of Christians’ literary labors for the glory of God and the edification of the church.

3. Michael Patton answers alternatives to the resurrection

When it comes to the resurrection of Christ, there are an infinite number of possible alternative explanations for the development of belief in a risen Christ other than opting for the most obvious (Christ actually rose from the grave). For centuries skeptics and non-believers have offered their possibilities, but, in my opinion, they are never a probability.

4. Gloria Furman encourages us to take confidence in the wake of Easter

Sometimes when we survey the landscape of missions we feel a tremor of despair in our hearts because of either the magnitude or the complexity of the task. My own feelings of boldness come and go for different reasons, and I felt the familiar tremors of discouragement as I read the news this week.

But there is a heart-lifting truth that holds us fast in the midst of the ground-shaking wars and rumors of wars. There is one piece of earth-shaking news that our forgetful hearts need to always remember. We live in the wake of Easter. Two thousand years ago the ground shook as the Son of God died on a cross, and three days later the earth trembled again as he walked out of his tomb never to die again. Our confidence is not in our earthly circumstances, but in a Person.

5. John Piper reflects on J. I. Packer’s 88th birthday

[Packer] is not naïve. He is 88! There is no romantic idealization for the final years of this life. It will be hard. “Aging,” he says, “is not for wimps.” Some may paint a rosy picture of life after seventy. Even John Wesley, Packer observes, said that at eighty-five “the only sign of deterioration that he could see in himself was that he could not run as fast as he used to.” With characteristic understatement Packer says: “With all due deference to that wonderful, seemingly tireless little man, we may reasonably suspect that he was overlooking some things.”

July 30, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

Fall 2014 Bible Study Resources

New & Notable

Planning to lead a Bible study or family devotions this fall?

Here’s a selection of new and notable resources from Crossway to help you study God’s Word personally or with your family and friends.


Women of the Word

Jen Wilkin

A popular Bible teacher offers practical guidance and helpful tips for women who want to go deeper in their study of the Bible and learn how to teach others to do the same.

“This book responds to the feelings-driven, me-centered approach that has too often dominated our study of the Scriptures. Jen encourages women to grow in knowledge of the Word in order to know our Lord. She speaks out of her own joyful and growing experience of learning to dig in.”
Kathleen B. Nielson, Director of Women’s Initiatives, The Gospel Coalition

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


What Is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns

James M. Hamilton Jr.

This concise and highly readable book orients readers to the unified story of Scripture, helping Christians grasp the perspective of the biblical writers and follow their lead in reading and interpreting God’s Word.

Theology is a word that comes with baggage. Most people, like me, find their brains shutting down a little at its mention, mainly because it stirs up the same sort of feelings as words like calculus and dentist appointment. This is a book I wish I could have read a long time ago.”
Andrew Peterson, singer/songwriter; author, The Wingfeather Saga series

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me

Kevin DeYoung

Is the Bible reliable, authoritative, and necessary? DeYoung tackles these questions and more as he builds a compelling case for trusting, using, and relying on Scripture as the Word of God for all of life.

“Above all, Warfield is an integrated thinker, so he is ideally equipped to show how that which is central to the Bible, the gospel of God, rightly shapes the Christian’s entire life. And Zaspel makes this accessible.”
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Learn More / Read an Excerpt / Download the Study Guide


ESV Concise Bible Atlas

David P. Barrett

The ESV Concise Bible Atlas is an invaluable tool for those looking to go deeper in their study of the biblical text by exploring the important geographical realities that can inform our understanding of the Bible.

This resource offers a quick overview of biblical geography in a portable and highly affordable format. Adapted from the original Crossway ESV Bible Atlas, this streamlined edition features important maps, illustrations, and pictures with concise commentary.

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


Children and Families

The Big Picture Story Bible (Paperback)

David R. Helm; Illustrations by Gail Schoonmaker

Designed for kids ages 2–7, this children’s Bible presents the remarkable true story of God’s love for the world from both the Old and New Testaments with simple words and striking illustrations. Now available in paperback.

“Christians parents looking for a Bible storybook they can trust will welcome The Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm and Gayle Schoonmaker.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


The Big Picture Family Devotional

David R. Helm, editor

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




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



Mighty Acts of God: A Family Bible Story Book

Starr Meade; Illustrations by Tim O’Connor

In Mighty Acts of God Starr Meade takes a new approach to teaching the Bible to elementary school aged children: she focuses not on characters in Scripture, but on God. Each of the ninety Bible stories included focus on a particular character trait or truth about God, emphasizing that God is the main character in every Bible story.

Each story is retold in lively, modern-day language from a Reformed perspective, and is followed by an application section with several discussion-sparking questions and prayer points.

Learn More


Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family

Jessica Thompson

In this collection of 40 gospel-centered devotionals, Thompson helps parents teach their children about the grace of God through engaging stories, key memory verses, simple reflection questions, and suggestions for prayer. Suitable for children ages 6 to 10.

“I can’t think of a better subject to walk through with my family or a better person to walk through it with than Jessica Thompson. Exploring Grace Together has a treasure trove of grace reflections and questions at the end of each lesson so that the treasure may be found.”
Trillia Newbell, author, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


Big Truths for Young Hearts: Teaching and Learning the Greatness of God

Bruce A. Ware

With its unintimidating, chapter-a-day format, theologian Bruce Ware’s new book equips parents of 6- to 14-year-olds to teach their children the big truths of Scripture in an age-appropriate way.

Big Truths for Young Hearts is a rich resource for parents, teachers, and others who care about helping the next generation know and love God and his ways. In addition to being a theology course for children and young people, it is also a great refresher course for adults.”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author; radio host, Revive Our Hearts

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


Bible Studies

Knowing the Bible

J. I. Packer (General Editor); Lane T. Dennis and Dane C. Ortlund (Series Editors)

Explaining the biblical text with clarity and passion, this series features 12-week Bible studies on individual books of the Bible and includes discussion questions, cross references, and practical application.

Volumes currently available: Genesis / Ruth & Esther / Psalms / Proverbs / Isaiah / Matthew / Mark / John / Acts / Romans / Philippians / James

“This Knowing the Bible series is a tremendous resource.”
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

Learn More


Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament

Nancy Guthrie

This series of ten-week studies leads readers through the Old Testament, helping them see Christ and the promise of the gospel regardless of what biblical book they’re studying.

Volumes available: The Promised One (Genesis) / The Lamb of God (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) / The Son of David (The Historical Books) / The Wisdom of God (Psalms and the Wisdom Books) / The Word of the Lord (The Prophets)

“Nancy Guthrie does an amazing job of helping us to fit the pieces of the biblical puzzle together, with Christ at the center.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

Learn More / Download the Leader’s Guides


A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything

Lydia Brownback

Unpacking the book of Proverbs, Lydia Brownback shows how the Bible speaks to real life issues such as money, purity, marriage, and the day-to-day grind. Writing with a familiar yet knowledgeable tone, Brownback draws in the busiest of readers and asks realistic questions for personal reflection or group study.

“It is so refreshing to read a book that handles the kinds of things that every woman will face from one single perspective; the stunning wisdom of God. Read and experience how God’s wisdom is eloquent and transcendent while being concrete and practical at the same time.”
Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries

Learn More / Read an Excerpt / Download the Study Guide



ESV Study Bible

The ESV Study Bible was created to help people understand the Bible in a deeper way. Combining the best and most recent evangelical Christian scholarship with the highly regarded ESV text, it is the most comprehensive study Bible ever published.

The ESV Study Bible features more than 2,750 pages of extensive, accessible Bible resources, including completely new notes, full-color maps, illustrations, charts, timelines, and articles created by an outstanding team of 93 evangelical Christian scholars and teachers. In addition to the 757,000 words of the ESV Bible itself, the notes and resources of the ESV Study Bible comprise an additional 1.1 million words of insightful explanation and teaching-equivalent to a 20-volume Bible resource library all contained in one volume.

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


ESV Gospel Transformation Bible

The apostle Paul summed up his whole ministry as existing “to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). That single-minded goal is the heartbeat of the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible. Produced out of the conviction that the Bible is a unified message of God’s grace culminating in Jesus, it is a significant new tool to help readers see Christ in all of Scripture, and grace for all of life.

The Gospel Transformation Bible features all-new book introductions and gospel-illuminating  notes written by a team of over 50 outstanding pastors and scholars. This specially prepared material outlines passage-by-passage God’s redemptive purposes of grace that echo all through Scripture and culminate in Christ. The notes not only explain but also apply the text in a grace-centered way. Focusing on heart transformation rather than mere behavior modification, their points of application emphasize the Hows and Whys of practical application to daily living—in short, how the gospel transforms us from the inside out.

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


ESV Reader’s Bible

The ESV Reader’s Bible was created for those who want to read Scripture precisely as it was originally written–namely, as an unbroken narrative. Verse numbers, chapter and section headings, and translation footnotes are helpful navigational and interpretive tools, but they are also relatively recent conventions. In the ESV Reader’s Bible they have been removed from the Bible text. The result is a new kind of Bible-reading experience in a volume that presents Scripture as one extended story line.

On the top of each page a verse range is included for orientation. Other features include a single-column text setting, readable type, and a book-like format. The Reader’s Bible is a simple but elegant edition, and is perfect for devotional reading, for extended Bible reading, or for focusing on the overarching narrative of the Bible.

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


ESV Women’s Devotional Bible

The ESV Women’s Devotional Bible is a valuable resource for strengthening women in their walk with God. Applicable for women in any stage of life, the Women’s Devotional Bible is theologically rich in content while remaining accessible and practical. Readers will be encouraged in daily, prayerful Bible study, and equipped to understand and apply the Bible to every aspect of life.

The Women’s Devotional Bible features materials designed especially for women. The book introductions, character sketches of key figures, all-new daily devotionals, and all-new articles have been written by both women and men contributors. These contributors include professors, musicians, authors, counselors, homemakers, and conference speakers.

Learn More / Read an Excerpt


July 24, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Bible News,Book News,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 4:00 am | 0 Comments »

Midweek Roundup – 7/23/14

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. The Gospel Coalition reviews Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin

[I]s Wilkin overstating a crisis of biblical illiteracy? If the current statistics found in the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible Report” are any indication, then the answer is a resounding no. Only 37 percent of adults reported reading their Bible at least once a week apart from Sunday services. Among other things, this dismal stat reveals that we’ve developed several unhelpful habits that keep us from biblical nourishment. Wilkin has identified and creatively labeled some of these as the “Xanex,” “Pinball,” and “Personal Shopper” approaches. While humorous, each habit seems far too familiar to my own journey with biblical study.

2. White Horse Inn interviews Justin Holcomb about how Christians should respond to sexual abuse

How should Christians respond to the growing number of sexual abuse cases? How does this issue affect the mental and spiritual lives of both victims and perpetrators of this form of assault? More importantly, how should we apply the gospel of grace in these situations? Mike Horton will be discussing these questions with Justin and Lindsey Holcomb, authors of Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault.

3. Jen Wilkin on helping your kids say ‘No’ to porn

The first time porn was served at the cafeteria lunch table, my son was 11 years old. Does that seem young to you? Research suggests that one in three children ages 11 to 14 have viewed pornography on a mobile device. Add to that the very real possibility that a child will stumble across explicit content on YouTube or in a pop-up ad during innocent computer usage, and one thing becomes clear: parents must be proactive in talking about porn with their kids.

4. Jonathan Leeman on when you should not submit to a church

All of us will, at times, be called to endure humbly a leader’s mistakes and sins. Nonetheless, should you find yourself in a church where the leadership is characteristically abusive, I would, in most cases, encourage you to flee. Flee to protect your discipleship, to protect your family, to set a good example for the members left behind, to serve non-Christian neighbors by not lending credibility to the church’s ministry.

5. James Anderson explains the difference between soft and hard determinism

Recall that compatibilism refers to the thesis that determinism is compatible with freedom (i.e., that people can make free choices, for which they can be held morally responsible, even if determinism is true). As I noted in my earlier post, there are different types of determinism and thus there can be various compatibilist theses. . . .

Given this basic understanding of compatibilism, we can define ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ determinism as follows: soft determinism is compatibilist determinism and hard determinism is incompatibilist determinism. In other words, soft and hard determinists agree that determinism is true, but they disagree about whether free choices are possible given that determinism is true. The ‘softies’ say they are; the ‘hardies’ say they aren’t.

July 23, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Midweek Roundup,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 9:30 am | 0 Comments »

July’s New & Notable Books

Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds

Jen Wilkin (Foreword by Matt Chandler)

Offering a clear and concise plan to help women go deeper in their study of Scripture, this book will equip you to engage God’s Word in a way that trains your mind and transforms your heart.

“This book has served to clear the fog in my heart and mind when it comes to studying God’s Word, and I absolutely cannot wait to purchase many more copies for the women in my life who I know will love it too!”
Bethany Dillon, singer/songwriter

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Wonder-Working God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Miracles

Jared C. Wilson

Following up where The Storytelling God left off, this book by Jared Wilson examines Jesus’s miracles as recorded in the Gospels, defending their historicity, explaining their meaning, and highlighting their significance for Christians today.

“Christianity is supernatural. We read the Bible and see God doing things that can’t be explained rationally. I love this book, because Jared Wilson helps us worship the miracle worker, and not settle for just wanting and worshiping miracles.”
Darrin Patrick, Lead Pastor, The Journey, St. Louis, Missouri; Vice President, Acts 29; Chaplain to the St. Louis Cardinals; author, The Dude’s Guide to Manhood

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


Matthew: A 12-Week Study

Drew Hunter

In this 12-week study, pastor Drew Hunter leads readers through the Gospel of Matthew, helping them come face to face with Jesus Christ, Israel’s long-awaited Messiah. Part of the Knowing the Bible series.

“Skilled authors and notable editors provide the contours of each book of the Bible as well as the grand theological themes that bind them together as one Book. Here, in a 12-week format, are carefully wrought studies that will ignite the mind and the heart.”
R. Kent HughesSenior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


Philippians: A 12-Week Study

Ryan Kelly

Designed for individuals and small groups alike, this 12-week study through the book of Acts explores the history of the early church after Christ’s ascension. Part of the Knowing the Bible series.

Knowing the Bible brings together a gifted team of Bible teachers to produce a high quality series of study guides. The coordinated focus of these materials is unique: biblical content, provocative questions, systematic theology, practical application, and the gospel story of God’s grace presented all the way through Scripture.”
Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


Proverbs: A 12-Week Study

Lydia Brownback

In this 12-week study, author Lydia Brownback leads readers through the book of Proverbs, uncovering its wisdom for godly living that both glorifies God and leads to blessing for his people. Part of the Knowing the Bible series.

“This Knowing the Bible series is a tremendous resource for those wanting to study and teach the Bible with an understanding of how the gospel is woven throughout Scripture.”
Bryan Chapell, President Emeritus, Covenant Theological Seminary; Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Big Picture Story Bible (Paperback Edition)

David R. Helm; Illustrations by Gail Schoonmaker

Designed for kids ages 2–7, this best-selling children’s Bible presents the remarkable true story of God’s love for the world from both the Old and New Testaments with simple words and striking illustrations. Now available in paperback.

“Christians parents looking for a Bible storybook they can trust will welcome The Big Picture Story Bible. Parents, grandparents, and others will see this book as a friend as they teach their children the things of God.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President and Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Learn More | Excerpt | Buy Now


The Song of the King (Redesign)

Max Lucado; Illustrations by Chuck Gillies

Freshly redesigned with a new cover, this classic children’s tale by best-selling author Max Lucado will enchant a new generation of young people. Follow along as Carlisle, Alon, and Cassidon—three heroic knights—embark on a treacherous journey to win the hand of a beautiful princess. Their only guide on their quest is the king’s song—a beacon meant to direct their steps toward the ultimate prize.

A powerful illustration of the Christian life, this beloved book will draw children in and teach them important lessons related to endurance, temptation, and the faithfulness of God.

Learn More | Buy Now


July 18, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,New Releases,News & Announcements | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:00 am | 0 Comments »

Video: Studying the Book of Matthew

In the video below, Drew Hunter introduces us to Matthew: A 12-Week Study, which is part of Crossway’s Knowing the Bible study series.

Knowing the Bible Series: Matthew
from Crossway on Vimeo.

Learn more or read a sample chapter.

Other Volumes in the Knowing the Bible Series

July 17, 2014 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News & Announcements,Video | Author: Matt Tully @ 8:30 am | 0 Comments »