Features and Reviews


Features

Peace is Here: Christmas Reflections--New Book

Jars of Clay
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 10.49

Life as Advent - Romans 8:22 "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." "Every Christmas I'm reminded of the longing I felt growing up as I would anticipate this special day. And while I recognize that I was more excited about opening gifts than anything else, the longing is still appropriate. The days leading up to Christmas- Advent, or 'waiting'- are about anticipation, reflection, feeling the weight of the Coming of the Christ-child. And though we immerse ourselves in the spiritual practice of waiting, we know that Jesus has already come. It's this tension that we live in, the already and the not yet. This season of Advent is a reminder of the broader groaning and anticipation we experience all life-long, for the restoration of this broken world. The Christian life is an advent - a patient longing for renewal and destination, for when there is finally no curse and our souls are at rest. May the peace of Jesus bring light to the darkness that threatens to overwhelm."- Jars Of Clay Peace Is Here: Christmas Reflections is a printed collection of thoughts and reflections by three time GRAMMY award winners Jars of Clay. The essays within explore the true essence of the Advent season and what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Like postcards sent from a long journey, Peace is Here marks the path of contemporary Christian life.

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Liberal Fascism
The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

Jonah Goldberg
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 13.60

Liberal Fascism offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Publisher Comments "Fascists," "Brownshirts," "jackbooted stormtroopers"--such are the insults typically hurled at conservatives by their liberal opponents. Calling someone a fascist is the fastest way to shut them up, defining their views as beyond the political pale. But who are the real fascists in our midst? "Liberal Fascism" offers a startling new perspective on the theories and practices that define fascist politics. Replacing conveniently manufactured myths with surprising and enlightening research, Jonah Goldberg reminds us that the original fascists were really on the left, and that liberals from Woodrow Wilson to FDR to Hillary Clinton have advocated policies and principles remarkably similar to those of Hitler's National Socialism and Mussolini's Fascism. Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term "National socialism"). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities--where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist. Do these striking parallels mean that today's liberals are genocidal maniacs, intent on conquering the world and imposing a new racial order? Not at all. Yet it is hard to deny that modern progressivism and classical fascism shared the same intellectual roots. We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois was inspired by Hitler's Germany, and Irving Berlin praised Mussolini in song. Many fascist tenets were espoused by American progressives like John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson, and FDR incorporated fascist policies in the New Deal. Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a "friendlier," more liberal form. The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the" New York Times," the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore. These assertions may sound strange to modern ears, but that is because we have forgotten what fascism is. In this angry, funny, smart, contentious book, Jonah Goldberg turns our preconceptions inside out and shows us the true meaning of Liberal Fascism.

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Jesus Outside the Lines
A Way Forward for Those Who Are Tired of Taking Sides

Scott Sauls
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 11.97

Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and science, today’s media pushes each one of us into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us- against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the bickering and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts. Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Scott shows us how the words and actions of Jesus reveal a response that does not perpetuate the destructive fray. Jesus offers us a way forward—away from harshness, caricatures, and stereotypes. In Jesus Outside the Lines, you will experience a fresh perspective of Jesus, who will not (and should not) fit into the sides.

Scott Sauls is senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, TN

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The Glory of God

Edited by Christopher W. Morgan & Robert A. Peterson
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 18.97

Few topics are more crucial or central to the doctrine and daily life of a Christian than the glory of God. Despite its importance, however, few exhaustive books have been written on the subject. Andreas Köstenberger, Tremper Longman, Richard Gaffin, and other evangelical scholars and theologians have now collaborated to fill the void and help the church teach and protect this precious doctrine. The Glory of God is the second volume in the Theology in Community series, which uses sound biblical doctrine to carefully examine important theological issues. While substantial in theological content, books in this series are widely accessible and coherent. In this volume, Köstenberger, Longman, Gaffin, and others guide readers through the glory of God in the Old and New Testaments and Johannine and Pauline literature. The doctrine is traced in historical theology, applied in pastoral theology, and fully delineated in a concluding systematic theology. College seniors, pastors, seminarians, and educated laypersons will find this book enormously useful in their personal studies and ministries.

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Doctrine of the Word of God
Theology of Lordship, volume 4

John Frame
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 31.99

'The Word of God' is a multi-faceted concept. God speaks but Word is one of Jesus’s names. God’s personal communications take other forms, through prophets, apostles, and the written Word. Frame investigates them all.

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Desiring God:
Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

John Piper
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 11.97

Experience the Lifelong Pleasures of Knowing God!

Satisfaction…Happiness…Joy. According to John Piper, the pursuit of pleasure in God is not only permissible, it’s essential.

Desiring God is a paradigm-shattering work that dramatically alters common perspectives on relating to God. Piper reveals that there really is no need to choose between duty and delight in the Christian life. In fact, for the follower of Jesus, delight is the duty as Christ is most magnified in His people when they are most satisfied in Him.

Constantly drawing on Scripture to build his case, Piper shows why pursuing maximum joy is essential to glorifying God. He discusses the implications of this for conversion, worship, love, Scripture, prayer, money, marriage, missions, and suffering.

Piper beckons us to approach God with the hedonist’s abandon. Finally, we are freed to enjoy Jesus—not only as our Lord and Savior, but also as our all-surpassing, soul-satisfying Treasure.

Desiring God may turn your Christian world upside down. And that will be a good thing, for the glory of God, and for your deepest joy.

Includes a study guide for individual and small group use.

"Mind hammering and heart warming." – Os Guiness

"A must read for every Christian and a feast for the spiritually hungry." – John MacArthur

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As the Day Approaches
Mercer RUF Worship cd

Mercer RUF
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 10.00

Song List: 1. Be Thou My Vision 2. O Come and Mourn 3. We Come O Christ to You 4. If Thou Hast Drawn 5. Come All Christians Be Committed 6. Tamim (Instrumental) 7. Go to Dark Gethsemane 8. Praise the Lord Ye Heavens Adore Him 9. Abide With Me 10. Isaiah 43 11. In Evil Long I Took Delight 12. Dikiaos (Instrumental) 13. Jesus I My Cross Have Taken

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Gospel-Powered Humility

William P. Farley
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 10.39

Humility is not a popular concept in our world today. It is seen as weakness in a culture that prizes self-esteem and validation. Unfortunately, these worldly attitudes about humility have leaked into and influenced the church, as well. Far from being weakness, humility is the crucial virtue. Not only is it necessary for conversion and sanctification, but from its soil sprout the fruit of the Spirit. Yet many Christians are unaware of this crucial connection, and do not see the implications of humility in witnessing, counseling, and preaching. Gospel-Powered Humility argues that God has designed the gospel to provoke humility. In this vital book William Farley proves that humility, often the least emphasized virtue, is in reality the chief and most necessary virtue. If humility truly matters, our Christian ministry should aim to not only encourage faith, but to encourage a faith that humbles sinners. Read and learn how much humility does matter . . . and what we can begin to do about it.

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Bound Only Once:
The Failure of Open Theism

Douglas Wilson (Editor)
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 12.99

The problems with Open theism lie deeper than most critiques suggest. This book interacts not only with the truth claims of Open theism but also its distorted aesthetic and ethical assumptions that do so much work in their program.

Open theists like to picture the God of classical Christian theism as a distant, despotic, micromanaging sovereign. The god of Open theism, on the other hand, is ready to enter into new experiences and to become deeply involved in helping us cope as we, with him, face things we simply did not know would happen. They insist that God has knowledge, but not all knowledge, certainly not knowledge of the future acts of free beings. Such Open theistic inferences reveal a deep-seated devotion to Enlightenment categories and narrow unpoetic imaginations.

Ideas have destinations, and one of the consequences of our trying to read the Scriptures without any poetry in our souls will be the eventual destruction of any possibility of ministering to souls. Just imagine the hymn writer try-ing to lift up the downcast—“I know not what the future holds, but I know Who also doesn’t know much about it either.”

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The Blood Of The Moon:
Understanding The Historic Struggle Between Islam And Western Civilization

George Grant
Hardcover
Our Price: $ 11.19

“Allah has bought from the Umma—the true believers of Islam—their selves and their substance in return for Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah, killing and being killed. Their promise is written in the blood of the moon.” —From the Koran, chap. 9, v. 112

The conflict between Islam and the West existed long before the destruction of the World Trade Center and the other events that recently touched America. It goes back hundreds, even thousands, of years. Yet the struggle is upon us now as never before. In this well-reasoned, accessible book, Middle East expert George Grant answers the troubling questions on many believers’ minds. Who are the followers of Islam, and what do they believe? What could have motivated those who carried out the acts of terror on September 11? Why has there been tension between Islam and the West for centuries? What are the true meanings of terms such as Ji’had, Intifada, and Dhimma? And is there any hope for peace? The call upon believers now—as always—is to prepare and equip ourselves so that we may stand fast. The Blood of the Moon will help readers better understand the history of Islam and its struggle with the Western world, as well as how Christians can share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ with the followers of Allah.

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Reviews

Pilgrim Days (CD) Indelible Grace Vol.2
RUF: Belmont University (Nashville)
Indelible Grace

Reviewed by: (Publishers Synopsis), Indelible Grace Music
Worship is always formative. It shapes us as a people of God and thus it matters what we sing. We have found that the great hymns of the church have unparalleled power to mold us in our calling to “live our lives as strangers here in reverent fear” (1Pet 1:17.) These hymns are indelible reminders that God’s people can know the transforming power of the gospel in the midst of sin and sorrow. We can find “joy in every station, something still to do or bear” if by grace we are able to head the hymnwriter and “Think what Spirit dwells within thee, think what Father’s smiles are thine, think that Jesus died to win thee - child of heaven cans’t thou repine?”

In an age of instant gratification, we need the help of these poets of the church to help us live and think as genuine Christians, and to embrace the vital truths captured in these hymns. It is not easy to believe that the gospel of God’s grace has power to so transform our hearts that we could actually cry out “Go then earthly fame and treasure, Come disaster, scorn and pain, In thy service pain is pleasure, With thy favor loss is gain.” It is difficult in our culture of personal peace and affluence to really believe (and enjoy) the fact that “Soon shall pass thy pilgrim days, Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight and prayer to praise.” But we have found singing these hymns has helped us. We pray that you might find the same.

Soli Deo Gloria,
Rev. Kevin Twit
College Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin TN
Campus Minister, Reformed University Fellowship at Belmont University

Lectures on Calvinism

Abraham Kuyper

Reviewed by: Jim Bachmann, Pastor
One opens the pages of this classic book and expects to find a treatise on the "five points of Calvinism," or at least an in-depth study of predestination and election. Instead the topics covered are politics, science, art, the future,religion, and a life-system. The latter subject best defines the contents of this book as Kuyper masterfully shows that Calvinism is indeed a life-system and not merely an ecclesiastical or dogmatic movement.

Regarding science for instance, Kuyper maintains that "faith leads to science" and therefore no conflict exists between the two. Have we realized that "predestination is the strongest motive...for the cultivation of science?" In the field of politics we learn that Calvinism alone recognizes the derived authority and sovereignty of the state as a gift from God designed to promote justice and restrain sin, the source of all human misery. Yet the emphasis upon the glory and majesty of God and His sole authority over man rightly led to the Netherlands rebellion against Spain, to the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, and also to the American Revolution against the British.

These are but a few examples of how Calvinism, rightly understood and applied, has ennobled man and benefited believers and unbelievers alike. These lectures, delivered at Princeton in 1898, are an exciting reminder of the breadth of the faith we cherish, eloquently expressed by a man who lived his faith as a life system, serving not only as pastor, teacher, author, editor, and scholar, but also as the founder of the Free (Reformed) University of Amsterdam in 1880 and even as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 1901 to 1905.


The Attributes of God

Arthur W. Pink

Reviewed by: Ann Shearer, Campus Ministry, Assistant to the Coordinator
"A spiritual and saving knowledge of God is the greatest need of every human creature. God is only truly known in the soul as we yield ourselves to Him, submit to His authority, and regulate all the details of our lives by His holy precepts and commandments." These are Pink's introductory words to his wonderful book that summarizes the distinctive attributes of God. We must know who God is in order to appropriately give Him the glory and praise due to Him alone.

This small book succinctly analyzes 17 attributes of God. Based on fundamental scriptural truths, each chapter clearly communicates the reality of who God is in both his nature and his character. The Attributes of God presents refreshing reminders and concise explanations of God's love, holiness, foreknowledge, sovereignty, wrath, solitariness, grace, and more.

I would highly recommend The Attributes of God as a reference guide, a small group study, a gift, or simply an encouraging quick read. Pink writes, "As God alone is the Source and Fount of holiness, let us earnestly seek holiness from Him; let our daily prayer be that He may 'sanctify us wholly; and our whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ' (I Thess. 5:23). [We must] live to Him in living like Him."


A Christian Manifesto

Francis Schaeffer

Reviewed by: Jonathan Barlow, Student
In this excellent introduction to the proper interaction between Christianity and the State, Schaeffer argues that in general Christians are bound to follow the laws of the state. If these laws ask them to do things that oppose God's law, however, Christians are to handle this moral opposition by a threefold process: 1. They are to work within the political system to try and change the law; 2. Failing change, the Christian should try to find a place to live where he or she will not be asked to violate God's law; 3. If moving is impossible, the Christian is only then justified in committing civil disobedience.

Schaeffer's book is not just about Christianity and the State, however. It is a good general introduction to the notion of Worldviews and will serve to help a new Christian learn to properly recognize the problem of finding common ground between believing and unbelieving thought.


Indelible Grace (CD) Vol.1
RUF: Belmont University (Nashville)
Indelible Grace

Reviewed by: Matthew Smith, GoodTheology Music Editor
Kevin Twit, college pastor at Christ Community Church (PCA) in Franklin, Tennessee, is the producer and primary songwriter of the worship album Indelible Grace, a collection of hymns put to new music. Kevin recently sat down with goodtheology.com to talk about how the songs for Indelible Grace came to be, his view of worship, and the modern worship movement.

When and why did you start writing new music for old hymns?

After seminary, maybe around '95 or '96. "Arise, My Soul, Arise" is the first one I did, which came as a result of being at a conference…Jack Miller, the teacher, had us turn in our hymnals to "Arise." We tried to sing it, and it was horrible. It sounded like a funeral dirge. [The song] captured so well the themes of that week, the things we were learning about the Gospel, so I thought it needed new music. I wrote it that afternoon when we had some free time…[it took] about five or ten minutes. In general, for all the other songs, I would be getting ready to teach on something, so I would look in the hymnals to find songs that would go along with the topic on which I was teaching, and I would try to figure out how we were going to sing them. The new music was just a means to the end of getting people to sing those words. It's part of the idea that worship is formative.

What do you mean by worship being formative?

That's a phrase I got from Marva Dawn. How we worship shapes us, what we worship shapes us. It's the flipside of the coin of the idea of idolatry. You do worship something, and if you worship a false view of God, it enfeebles you. If you worship the true God, it transforms you, it changes you, because we become like what we're worshiping. Therefore, in the worship service, it's not just about responding to God and telling Him what we think about Him. We are also filling our minds with truth that transforms; it's the whole idea of being transformed by the renewing of our minds. And not just our minds, but our affections, as we see Jesus as beautiful and believeable, and I think the hymns do that so well. Worship forms us either way; it either gives us a shallow view of God or a richer view of God.

What do you see as the positive and negative aspects of the modern praise and worship movement?

Positives…well, people are really taking worship seriously, in one sense. They're spending a lot of energy on it, they're working at it. On the other hand, the negatives are that sometimes it can be shallow. Another negative is that we can equate worship with singing, and worship is bigger than that. But the positives--there is a lot of direct address of God in modern praise and worship songs, a real emphasis on His imminence, His closeness, maybe not as much on His transcendence, but imminence is important, so I'm glad they highlight it.





















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