The Book Table

There will be some new books on the book table this January.  I have found all of these books very helpful.   These books will be available on the book table at prices at or very close what you find at the largest online discounts, less the shipping charge that would incur to buy them online yourself.  So, you may save a bit from obtaining them from the book table.  Here's what's new on the table: A Praying Life by Paul Miller I plan to conclude the series on Daniel in mid-February and begin a new series on the Lord's Prayer.  Paul Miller's book on prayer is eye opening, encouraging and very practical.  Paul's ability to expose and how our our deep seated attitudes toward God and failure to apprehend vital truths of the gospel undermine joyful persistent prayer.  This book is full of ah-ha moments, wherein you find yourself saying, "That is what I have been thinking and feeling!   I never made that connection before."  Of all the books I have read on prayer this has been the most helpful in furthering my own prayer life.  No book is perfect or complete in itself.  (Paul does not include much material on how fixed forms of prayer like the Psalms or corporate prayers of confession are part of our Christian life.)  But, I'd be surprised if this book didn't change your prayer life and induce you to actually want to pray more.

Lit! by Tony Reinke

We live in an instant-gratification, image-saturated culture that has no patience for reflection.  But God's people are the people of a Book.  We live by a Book.  We worship by a Book.  This Book is a living and active word from our God.  It is not a dead letter.   To be people of the Book means that we must, at times, be patiently reflective people who can read, receive and respond to words.  Reading is an activity that, when pursued as God's people, builds us up in marvelous ways. Lit! encourages and equips us to read more.  Upon say that, two groups are thinking that this book is not for them: avid readers ("I read three books a week.  I don't need a book for "beginners!")  and committed non-readers ("I never liked to read and the one thing I wish our church did less was push books and reading.  You don't have to be an intellectual to be a Christian!").  To the avid reader: Reinke's book makes very important points about the role of literature and in our lives.  He offers suggestions for broadening what we read and challenges us to think through why and how we read.  Many avid readers don't think much about the purpose behind their reading and often only read one or two genres.  For the committed non-reader: There are many reasons why folks don't like to read.  Reinke addresses all them from the standpoint of a man who used to feel the same way.  He makes many practical suggestions, while never talking down to the non-reader or assuming that the non-reader is not intelligent.  Reading is not only for those who are "good students" or "fast readers."  Reading can be enjoyed by everyone and should be enriching to all.

The Bible and the Future by Anthony Hoekema

This book is a standard resource for a Reformed and Presbyterian views of eschatology, or the doctrine of the "last things."  Hoekema has extensive treatments of topics of interests to many Christians: the meaning of the millennium, signs of the times, the anti-Christ and other realities related to the the doctrine of the last things.  The second half of the book of Daniel will touch on many of these themes as well.  For further extensive engagement on these subject I recommend Hoekema as a starting point, especially if you want to know the difference between what many (though certainly not all) Reformed and Presbyterian pastors  believe as compared to popular nationally known expositors like John MacArthur and David Jeremiah.

Christ and the Future by Cornelius Venema

Venema was Hoekema's student.  I have not read this book, but anticipate that it is a more contemporary and abridged version of Hoekema's classic.  The reviews are stellar, so I am anticipating reading it myself.  One imagines that Venema will be directly engaged with the past two decades of popular preaching and writing on eschatology.

ESV Student Study Bible

Crossway has produced a student study Bible similar to the larger ESV Study Bible.  The student version also gives you access to the online version of the whole study bible, making this a very broad resource.  The student version is not simply a scaled down version of the mammoth ESV Study Bible.  It is unique content: 15 new articles; 120 new Bible character profiles and 900 "Did You Know?" pieces distributed throughout the body of the Study Bible.  Click here for a video promo of this Bible.

You, Your Family and the Internet by David Clark

At just over 100 pages, this book is a nice sized primer from a Christian perspective on the internet.  In short compass, David Clark (a career computer science engineer)  explains the internet in a way that enables users to be more discerning.  Clark frames the whole discussion along the lines of discerning usage and avoids legalism throughout the book.  Each chapter has discussion questions and scripture passages for reflection.  One strength of the book is the way in which Clark wisely applies Scripture, seeing the Web as a tool to be mastered rather than avoided altogether.  His chapters on social media, pornography, gambling and internet games had insights that I had not considered before.  A good number of his examples and illustrations come from the UK and Europe, offering a different perspective on common challenges.