OK, in what has now become an irregular series, with an admittedly odd number of titles, here is another list of some recent books on theology and related topics which I have been reading of late. Some of these titles you might find of interest.
Once again they span a wide range of topics: found here are books on biblical studies, church history, apologetics, ethics, Christian biography, and of course theology. Listing these volumes does not mean I necessarily agree with everything said in each one, but they are all worth being aware of.
Here then are my newest 23, simply presented in alphabetical order of the author:
Beeke, Joel, Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God’s Word From the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People. Crossway, 2018.
I am not a preacher, and perhaps most of you are not either. But if you like those of the Puritan and Reformed traditions, and appreciate their godly ministries, this is a terrific book indeed. It examines some of the great saints such as Calvin, Perkins, Sibbes, Bunyan, Edwards, Ryle, and Lloyd-Jones. Here we have 500 pages of inspiring and learned reading.
Boice, James Montgomery, The Life of Moses. P&R, 2018.
It is always great to find books by Boice. However, the great expository preacher passed away in 2000, so we should not expect too many new works from him! But this is a collection of sermons he preached on the last four books of the Pentateuch. Three volumes of sermons on Genesis have been out for a while, dealing with a verse by verse exposition. Here the sermons are more broad-brush expositions of key themes and events found in Exodus through Deuteronomy.
Chan, Francis, Letters to the Church. David C. Cook, 2018.
The American megachurch pastor left it all some years ago, concerned that what Christ really wanted was not happening. He has now turned to small house churches, and shares his deeper insights into just what the New Testament church should look like. A passionate and prophetic volume. See here for more on this book: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/11/04/christians-denying-christ/
Chatraw, Joshua and Mark Allen, Apologetics at the Cross. Zondervan, 2018.
There is no end to new books on apologetics, and there are always plenty to choose from. This recent work emphasises the importance of apologetics in the life of the Christian, and shows how it is no mere intellectual exercise. Instead, it has a vital role to play in the local church as it assists us in our Christian witness. A helpful and practical work.
Crowe, Brandon, The Last Adam. Baker, 2017.
As the Apostle Paul makes clear, Jesus was the last Adam, the fully obedient Son that the first Adam was meant to be. In this quite detailed look at the life and ministry of Jesus, the New Testament professor examines how the obedience of the earthly Jesus was so very fundamental to his saving work. An important, in-depth study.
deSilva, David, Galatians (NICNT). Eerdmans, 2018.
The New International Commentary on the New Testament series is among the best there is for solid, conservative and evangelical commentaries. And deSilva is an important NT scholar, so his new 500+ page treatment of Paul’s important epistle is a worthy addition to the series. See my full review of this commentary here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/11/16/a-review-of-the-letter-to-the-galatians-by-david-desilva/
Dever, Mark, Richard Sibbes. Reformation Trust, 2018.
The American pastor and theologian has done us a favour by offering us this brief but very helpful look at the life and ministry of Sibbes (1577-1635). The thought and teachings of the great English Puritan theologian, preacher and writer are here capably covered. This is part of the Long Line of Godly Men series that I discuss here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/10/01/some-of-my-favourite-sets-of-theological-books/
Fabarez, Mike, 10 Mistakes People Make About Heaven, Hell and the Afterlife. Harvest house, 2018.
In a popular and easy-to-read style some key questions about what happens after death and in the next life are carefully treated. What happens when we die? Is purgatory a biblical concept? Is hell just a myth? What will heaven be like? These and other questions are helpfully dealt with in this brief volume.
Fee, Gordon, Jesus the Lord According to Paul the Apostle: A Concise Introduction. Baker, 2018.
Fee is one of our most important New Testament scholars and anything he writes is always worth getting. This is in fact a shorter retelling and summary of his massive 700-page Pauline Christology which he penned back in 2007. That larger volume is essential reading, but if you prefer a concise 200-page version of that work, this is well worth getting.
Ferguson, Sinclair, Some Pastors and Teachers. Banner of Truth, 2017.
All pastors should be theologians, and all theologians should have a pastor’s heart. This collection of essays is a wonderful treasure trove of wisdom and learning, reflecting the Puritan and Reformed look at Christian ministry. It is also massive, with the 39 essays coming to some 800 pages. There are some similarities between this book and the volume by Beeke mentioned above. But it goes beyond just preaching. As the subtitle puts it, “Reflecting a Biblical Vision of What Every Minister is called To be”.
Grudem, Wayne, Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning. Crossway, 2018.
Grudem seems to like writing big books! His 1994 systematic theology was 1300 pages long. His 2010 volume on politics was 600 pages. And his brand new book on ethics is 1300 pages. And it is a terrific volume covering every aspect of ethics in a comprehensive and biblical fashion. If you want a one-volume collection of some of the best biblical material on ethical theory and various ethical issues, this is it. See my full review here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/09/19/a-review-of-christian-ethics-an-introduction-to-biblical-moral-reasoning-by-wayne-grudem/
Hall, Matthew and Owen Strachan, eds., Essential Evangelicalism. Crossway, 2015.
Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003) was one of America’s premier evangelical theologians and Christian thinkers of last century. Here a number of experts such as D. A. Carson, Al Mohler, Paul House, John Woodbridge and Russell Moore look at the life, thought and legacy of this first-class Christian thinker. The importance of his life and work is clearly brought out in this useful volume.
Hansen, Colin and Jeff Robinson, eds., 12 Faithful Men. Baker, 2018.
Reading Christian biographies and autobiographies is always highly recommended. Here we learn about a dozen champions of the faith, including Newton, Bunyan, Edwards, Ryle and Spurgeon. The 12 portraits presented here all highlight the need for faithful persistence and courageous endurance in the face of trials, tribulations and suffering in pastoral ministry. A great read.
Horton, Michael, Rediscovering the Holy Spirit. Zondervan, 2017.
The Holy Spirit is often the forgotten person in the divine Trinity. Horton seeks to remedy this with this detailed 300+ page study. It covers all the bases of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Coming from the Reformed camp he differs with some on how we are to understand things like the miraculous sign gifts and their role today. But a helpful primer on a vital topic.
Jones, David, An Introduction to Biblical Ethics. B&H, 2013. OK, so this is not really recent. And the title is somewhat misleading. Overwhelmingly this book is about biblical law. And it does an excellent job of discussing at what is a rather complex issue. A very helpful look at how Christians are to understand the law and how it applies to us today, including a useful examination of the Ten Commandments.
Myers, Jeff, The Secret Battle of Ideas About God. David C. Cook, 2017.
American apologist Jeff Myers has already penned a number of large and important works on apologetics in association with Summit Ministries. Here he offers us a much shorter and easier to understand volume, looking at some of life’s big questions, such as the meaning of life, the question of suffering and evil, and the difference the life and work of Jesus makes to us today. A helpful volume.
Rhodes, Ray, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Wife of Charles H. Spurgeon. Moody, 2018.
Behind every great man… We all know about the great Charles Spurgeon, but we need to learn much more about his devoted and godly wife Susie. Here we learn so much about this wonderful woman and her terrific ministry. More detail is found here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/12/01/a-review-of-susie-the-life-and-legacy-of-susannah-spurgeon-wife-of-charles-h-spurgeon-by-ray-rhodes/
Rigney, Joe, Lewis on the Christian Life. Crossway, 2018.
One of the great Christian thinkers, writers and apologists of last century was the great C. S. Lewis. Here we look at what he had to say about living the Christian life. Rigney offers us 300 pages on this important topic as found in the writings of this important Christian. See more about this terrific series of books here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/10/01/some-of-my-favourite-sets-of-theological-books/
Salinas, J. Daniel, Prosperity Theology and the Gospel. Hendrickson, 2017.
A number of works have appeared over the decades to critically assess the prosperity gospel. This, one of the newest, is based on a consultation put together by the Lausanne Movement. Some 40 pastors and theologians were brought together in 2014 to discuss and assess the issue. This collection of essays is the result. A useful look at a divisive and questionable theology.
Schreiner, Thomas, 1 Corinthians (TNTC). IVP, 2018.
The Tyndale New Testament commentary series has always been a reliable, solidly evangelical, and affordable paperback set. Many of the older volumes are now being replaced. Thus the 1958 commentary on this book by Leon Morris has now been capably redone by Schreiner. In 340 pages he does a terrific job of giving us the sense and meaning of Paul’s important epistle.
Thielman, Frank, Romans (ZECNT). Zondervan, 2018.
A new commentary on Romans is always worth checking out, and this one does not disappoint. The American New Testament scholar has written extensively on Paul, the law, and related topics in the past. This new commentary of 800 pages does a great job of exegesis and interpretation, and is well worth adding to your collection.
Tinker, Melvin, That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost. EP Books, 2018.
The English pastor and apologist has penned a number of short but powerful works looking at the Christian faith, modern culture, and various worldviews. In his newest he makes use of the book by C. S. Lewis to assess where contemporary culture is at. To understand the current round of culture wars we need to reflect on the worldviews behind the competing sides.
Yarbrough, Robert, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (PNTC). Eerdmans, 2018.
The latest edition in the Pillar series is – like the other volumes in this important set – a welcome addition. 600 informative and incisive pages are devoted to the Pastoral Epistles. Yarbrough, a noted New Testament scholar, is well placed to write this. See my fuller review of this commentary here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2018/11/12/a-review-of-the-letters-to-timothy-and-titus-by-robert-yarbrough/
While not all of these books may be for you, many of these volumes should appeal to quite a few of you. And bear in mind, you still have a few days left if you want to get these as Christmas presents – for yourself or others! Happy reading.
(Australians can find most of these volumes at Koorong Books: https://www.koorong.com )