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Every month we take a look at what books are scheduled to be published and list the most interesting books here, for your convenience.
Sometimes we even manage to get our hands on advance copies and get to review them for you, so that you get a sneak peek into the book. In that case, we’ll link our review here, too.
You’re welcome 😉
Church History and Historical Theology
The Mercenary Mediterranean: Sovereignty, Religion, and Violence in the Medieval Crown of Aragon by Hussein Fancy
Sometime in April 1285, five Muslim horsemen crossed from the Islamic kingdom of Granada into the realms of the Christian Crown of Aragon to meet with the king of Aragon, who showered them with gifts, including sumptuous cloth and decorative saddles, for agreeing to enter the Crown’s service.
They were not the first or only Muslim soldiers to do so. Over the course of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the Christian kings of Aragon recruited thousands of foreign Muslim soldiers to serve in their armies and as members of their royal courts.
Based on extensive research in Arabic, Latin, and Romance sources, The Mercenary Mediterranean explores this little-known and misunderstood history.
Far from marking the triumph of toleration, Hussein Fancy argues, the alliance of Christian kings and Muslim soldiers depended on and reproduced ideas of religious difference. Their shared history represents a unique opportunity to reconsider the relation of medieval religion to
Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn
God has always been interested in turning unlikely people into his most fervent followers. Prostitutes and pagans, tax collectors and tricksters. The more unlikely, the more it seemed to please God and to demonstrate his power, might, and mercy. America in the 1960s and 1970s was full of unlikely people–men and women who had rejected the stuffy religion of their parents’ generation, who didn’t follow the rules, didn’t fit in. The perfect setting for the greatest spiritual awakening of the 20th century.
With passion and purpose, Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn tell the amazing true story of the Jesus Movement, an extraordinary time of mass revival, renewal, and reconciliation. Setting fascinating personal stories within the context of one of the most tumultuous times in modern history, the authors draw important parallels with our own time of spiritual apathy or outright hostility, offering hope for the next generation of unlikely believers–and for the next great American revival.
Those who lived through the “>Jesus Revolution will find here an inspiring reminder of the times and people that shaped their lives and faith. Younger readers will discover a forgotten part of recent American history and, along with it, a reason to believe that God is not finished with their generation.
Release date: September 6, 2018 | Release format: paperback
While Americans still profess to be one of the most religious people in the industrialized world, many aspects of American culture have long been secular and materialistic. That is just one of the many paradoxes, contradictions, and surprises in the relationship between Christianity and American culture.
Surveying the history of religion and American culture from the days of the earliest European settlers right up through the elections of 2016, Marsden offers the kind of historically and religiously informed scholarship that has made him one of the nation’s most respected and decorated historians. Students in the classroom and history readers of all ages will benefit from engaging with the story Marsden tells.
Christianity and Catastrophe in South Sudan: Civil War, Migration, and the Rise of Dinka Anglicanism by Jesse A. Zink
Release date: October 1, 2018 | Release format: Hardcover
Amidst a catastrophic civil war that began in 1983 and ended in 2005, many Dinka people in Sudan repudiated their inherited religious beliefs and embraced a vibrant Anglican faith. Christianity and Catastrophe in South Sudan
Christianity and Catastrophe in South Sudan
Christianity and Catastrophe in South Sudan
He has examined Jesus Christ’s life, his divinity, and the prophecies that preceded him in the Old Testament. Now bestselling author David Limbaugh picks up after the Gospels in a captivating study of Jesus Christ’s legacy in the early church and the work of St. Paul.
David Scott Limbaugh is a conservative American political commentator and author. He has also worked as a professor and as a lawyer.
Release date: October 5, 2018 | Release format: Paperback
“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us,” the apostles declared at the conclusion of their council described in Acts 15. This apostolic council was the first of many councils to come as Christians sought to discern the will of God in the midst of historic challenges.
The faithful continued to struggle to express their new apostolic faith in new words, new languages, new places and new times. Many issues–the interaction of science and faith, divinity and humanity, Church and State–continue to be pertinent today.
This book tells the story of these struggles from the days of the New Testament to the fall of the city of Constantinople in AD 1453. It focuses on the Christian community in the eastern Mediterranean which eventually became known as the Byzantine Empire. Each chapter examines the personalities and theologies entwined at the heart of conflicts that shaped the medieval world as well as the modern cultures of Greece, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.
User-friendly text that presumes no previous knowledge. Each chapter includes suggestions for further reading if a reader wants to know more about certain periods or personalities.
How New Is the New Testament?: First-Century Judaism and the Emergence of Christianity by Donald A. Hagner
What is so new about the New Testament?
Senior scholar Donald Hagner tackles the issue of how distinct early Christianity was from the first-century Judaism from which it emerged. He surveys newness in the entire New Testament canon, examining the evidence for points of continuity and discontinuity between formative Judaism and early Christianity.
Hagner’s accessible analysis of the New Testament text shows that despite Christianity’s thorough Jewishness, from the beginning dramatic newness was an essential aspect of this early literature.
Release date: October 23, 2018 | Release format: Hardcover
A compelling account of Christianity’s Jewish beginnings, from one of the world’s leading scholars of ancient religion
How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God’s promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy—“The Kingdom of God is at hand!”—they were, in their own eyes, history’s last generation. But in history’s eyes, they became the first Christians.
In this electrifying social and intellectual history, Paula Fredriksen answers this question by reconstructing the life of the earliest Jerusalem community. As her account arcs from this group’s hopeful celebration of Passover with Jesus, through their bitter controversies that fragmented the movement’s midcentury missions, to the city’s fiery end in the Roman destruction of Jerusalem, she brings this vibrant apostolic community to life. Fredriksen offers a vivid portrait both of this temple-centered messianic movement and of the bedrock convictions that animated and sustained it.
How Old Is the Hebrew Bible?: A Linguistic, Textual, and Historical Study by Ronald Hendel and Jan Joosten
Release date: November 20, 2018 | Release format: Hardcover
From two expert scholars comes a comprehensive study of the dating of the Hebrew Bible
The age of the Hebrew Bible is a topic that has sparked controversy and debate in recent years. The scarcity of clear evidence allows for the possibility of many views, though these are often clouded by theological and political biases.
This impressive, broad-ranging book synthesizes recent linguistic, textual, and historical research to clarify the history of biblical literature, from its oldest texts and literary layers to its youngest. In clear, concise language, the authors provide a comprehensive overview that cuts across scholarly specialties to create a new standard for the historical study of the Bible.
This much-needed work paves the path forward to dating the Hebrew Bible and understanding crucial aspects of its historical and contemporary significance.New books coming soon for the apologetics, church history and theology geeks in your life 😉 Click To Tweet
Austin Fischer is the Teaching Pastor at Vista Community Church in Temple, TX. He is a graduate of Truett Seminary at Baylor University. His first book, Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed was published January 2014. You can follow him online at purpletheology.com
“People don’t abandon faith because they have doubts. People abandon faith because they think they’re not allowed to have doubts.“
Too often, our honest questions about faith are met with cold confidence and easy answers. But false certitude doesn’t result in strong faith―it results in disillusionment, or worse, in a dogmatic, overweening faith unable to see itself or its object clearly.
Even as a pastor, Austin Fischer has experienced the shadows of doubt and disillusionment. In Faith in the Shadows, he leans into perennial questions about Christianity with raw and fearless integrity. He addresses contemporary science, the problem of evil, hell, God’s silence, and other issues, offering not only fresh treatments of these questions but also a fresh paradigm for thinking about doubt itself.
Doubt, Fischer contends, is no reason to leave the faith. Instead, it’s an invitation to a more honest faith―a faith that’s not in control, but that trusts more fully in its Lord.
Why do we believe what we believe? The Case for Christ Daily Moment of Truth, by Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg
Each devotion is based on a scientific, historical, or biblical fact that will bolster your confidence in Christ. You will be inspired, encouraged, and equipped. A reflection at the end of each entry allows you to consider this new knowledge and how to put it into action.
In these thoughtful devotions Strobel and Mittelberg articulate the reasons why Christians believe what they believe. Combining the authors’ expertise in apologetics with scriptural application for daily living, this devotional will leave you deeply encouraged and well informed. Topics range from scientific discoveries to theological explanations, and each devotion is followed by a brief reflection, prayer, and thought to meditate on and talk about.
Rigid adherence to scientism—as opposed to a healthy respect for science—is all too prevalent in our world today. Rather than leading to a deeper understanding of our universe, this worldview actually undermines real science and marginalizes morality and religion.
In this book philosopher
Cold-Case Christianity Participant’s Guide: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels by J. Warner Wallace
This fully-illustrated, eight-session guide takes participants through ten important principles employed by detectives, applying these techniques to the New Testament Gospel accounts.
Designed to work seamlessly with the original book and DVD (also to be released October 1 and includes facilitator’s guide) this guide is accessible and engaging for participants and leaders alike. It includes questions for reflection, notes for discussion, and examples to help users investigate the claims of Christianity using the skills of a cold-case detective. Participants will grow in certainty and unite in confidence as they learn how to defend the truth through this unique investigative experience.
The Crucifixion of Jesus: A Medical Doctor Examines the Death and Resurrection of Christ by Joseph W Bergeron
This ground-breaking work offers a unique apologetical argument for the validity of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Dr. Bergeron’s medical expertise allows him to examine the medical aspects of Jesus’ death and as well as the “hallucination hypothesis” which attempts to discount Jesus’ resurrection.
This book covers the following areas:
- Jesus identified himself as the Son of God, meaning in his culture that he was God, and the Messiah of Hebrew prophetic literature.
- Evidence is explored as to why the Gospels can be trusted as reliable eyewitness testimony.
- A review of the social and political context provides insight into the events leading to Jesus’ execution.
- Roman crucifixion practices are described in detail. Jesus’ cause of death was crucifixion.
- The physiological mechanism that ultimately caused Jesus to die has been the subject of controversy. This book provides medical commentary on the biblical descriptions of Jesus’ torture and an analysis of differing opinions on the physiologic mechanism of his death.
- This is the first book to provide a medical analysis of hallucination hypotheses for the disciples’ belief in Jesus’ resurrection. Hallucination hypotheses are unable to explain away the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection.
Joseph W. Bergeron, M.D. has been a practicing physician for over 25 years. He has authored peer-reviewed journal articles on the death and resurrection of Jesus. His particular area of interest is in the medical aspects of Christ’s death and the disciples’ belief in his resurrection. He also volunteers with Ratio Christi Campus Apologetics Alliance.
For more information about the book, visit: crucifixionbook.com
David Bennett came out to his parents as gay when he was fourteen and entered Sydney’s active gay community a few years later. In A War of Loves, he shares his growing desire as a gay rights activist to see justice for LGBTQI people, his journey through new age religions and French existentialism, and his university years as a postmodernist–before Jesus Christ showed up in his life in a highly unexpected way, leading him down a path he never would have imagined or predicted.
David had believed he was disqualified from God’s love until he encountered that for himself in Jesus Christ. In A War of Loves, he recounts his dramatic story, investigates what the Bible teaches about sexuality, and above all demonstrates the profligate, unqualified grace of God.
Saving Truth Study Guide: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World by Abdu Murray
Increasingly, Western culture embraces confusion as a virtue and decries certainty as a sin. Those who are confused about sexuality and identity are viewed as heroes. Those who are confused about morality are progressive pioneers. Those who are confused about spirituality are praised as tolerant. Conversely, those who express certainty about such issues are seen as bigoted, oppressive, arrogant, or intolerant.
In eight lessons coordinated to be used alongside the Saving Truth Video Study, Abdu Murray seeks to awaken Westerners to the plight we find ourselves in, challenges Christians to consider how they have played a part in fostering a culture of confusion, and provides arguments from a Christian perspective for the foundations of truth applied to sexuality, identity, morality, and spirituality.
Ultimately, the Saving Truth Study Guide will equip readers to engage the culture of confusion with the clarity that Christ offers.
Also, see the book: Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World by Abdu Murray
Cultural Apologetics: Renewing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination in a Disenchanted World by Paul M. Gould
The post-Christian world we inhabit today presents us with a mundane and disenchanted view of reality. Under the sway of materialism and science, we have been left with a way of seeing, thinking, and living that has no place for beauty and wonder. We now live in a world bereft of magic and mystery.
Many–including many Christians–no longer perceive the world in its proper light. As a result, the Christian imagination is muted. Moreover, the church has grown anti-intellectual and sensate, out of touch with the relevancy of Jesus and how to relate the gospel to all aspects of contemporary life. As a result, the Christian voice is muted. In this age Christian wholeness remains elusive, blunting the church’s ability to present a winsome and compelling witness for faith. As a result, the Christian conscience is muted.
Cultural Apologetics addresses this malaise by setting forth a fresh model for cultural engagement, rooted in the biblical account of Paul’s speech on Mars Hill, which details practical steps for reestablishing the Christian voice, conscience, and imagination. Readers will be equipped to see, and help others see, the world as it is–deeply beautiful, mysterious, and sacred.
With creative insights, Cultural Apologetics prepares readers to share a vision of the Christian faith that is both plausible and desirable, offering clarity for those who have become disoriented in the haze of modern Western culture.
About the author:
Paul M. Gould has a Masters in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Purdue University. Follow him
Confronting Old Testament Controversies: Pressing Questions about Evolution, Sexuality, History, and Violence by Tremper III Longman
For many people, skeptics and believers alike, the Old Testament is rife with controversial passages and events that make both belief and sharing our beliefs with others difficult. Often our solutions have tended toward the extremes–ignore problem passages and pretend they don’t matter or obsess over them and treat them as though they are the only thing that matters.
Now with clarity of purpose and fidelity to the message and spirit of Scripture as a whole, Tremper Longman confronts pressing questions of concern to modern audiences, particularly young people in the church:
- the creation/evolution debate
- God-ordained violence
- the historicity of people, places, and events
- human sexuality
Pastors, leaders in the church, and thoughtful and troubled Christians in the pews will find here a well-reasoned and faithful approach to dealing with the Old Testament passages so many find challenging or disconcerting.
Reforming Apologetics: Retrieving the Classic Reformed Approach to Defending the Faith by J. V. Fesko
Challenging the dominant Van Tillian approach in Reformed apologetics, this book by a leading expert in contemporary Reformed theology sets forth the principles that undergird a classic Reformed approach.
J. V. Fesko’s detailed exegetical, theological, and historical argument takes as its starting point the classical Reformed understanding of the “two books” of God’s revelation: nature and Scripture. Believers should always rest on the authority of Scripture but also can and should appeal to the book of nature in the apologetic task.
About the author:
J. V. Fesko graduated from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK, with an earned Ph.D. in theology. Dr. Fesko’s interests include systematic theology, applied soteriology, 16th and 17th century Reformed dogmatics, as well as the integration of biblical and systematic theology.
He is now presently the Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at Westminster Seminary California. He is also an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Avoiding sensationalism and date-speculating, respected Bible teacher Amir Tsarfati uses his unique perspective as an Israeli Christian to lead you through a fascinating modern-day description of God’s plan for the end of the world.
Grounded from start to finish in Scripture, the book reveals how the Rapture, the imminent rise of the Antichrist, and the tragic horrors of the Great Tribulation will play out in our world today.
He also helps you understand the roles–and fates–of Russia, Iran, Syria, Turkey, the European Union, the United States of America, and Israel in the end times, showing just how biblical prophecies are being fulfilled in our time.
But above all, he offers hope that in the midst of chaos and horror, God is ultimately in control, and those who belong to him will be safe with him.
Release date: September 18 2018| Release format: Hardcover
This is the first book to describe and analyze, sequentially and in detail, all the persons, places, times, and events mentioned in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’s last week in Jerusalem.
Placing the events of Jesus’s last days in chronological order, he unpacks their theological significance, finding that Jesus’s passion, death, and resurrection can be understood historically as well as from a faith perspective.
What does the Bible really tell us about the heavenly host?
Everyone knows that angels have wings, usually carry harps, and that each of us has our own personal guardian angel, right? We all have some preconceptions about angels from movies, television shows, and other media, but you might be surprised to know that a lot of those notions aren’t based on anything from the Bible. If you read Luke 1:26–38 and imagine the angel Gabriel standing before Mary with neatly folded white wings, you’re not getting that picture from anything the Bible itself says.
What the Bible really says about angels is overlooked or filtered through popular myths. This book was written to help change that. It’s a book about the loyal members of God’s heavenly host, and while most people associate them with the word “angel,” that’s just one of many terms the Bible uses for supernatural beings.
Creation and Doxology: The Beginning and End of God’s Good World edited by Gerald L. Hiestand and Todd Wilson
Release date: October 23, 2018| Release format: Paperback
The doctrine of creation is crucial to the Christian faith, but it has often been maligned, misinterpreted, or ignored. Some, such as pagan philosophers and Gnostics, have tended to denigrate the goodness of the material world.
More recently, new questions have emerged regarding human origins in light of the Darwinian account of evolution. What does it mean today to both affirm the goodness of God’s creation and anticipate the new creation This volume brings together the reflections of church leaders, academic theologians, and scientists on the importance―and the many dimensions―of the doctrine of creation.
Contributors engage with Scripture and scientific theory, draw on examples from church
If God is all-powerful and entirely good and loving, why is there so much evil in the world?
Based on a close canonical reading of Scripture, this book offers a new approach to the challenge of reconciling the Christian confession of a loving God with the realities of suffering and evil.
John Peckham offers a constructive proposal for a theodicy of love that upholds the sovereignty of God and human freedom, showing that Scripture points toward a framework for thinking about God’s love in relation to the world.
Understanding Scientific Theories of Origins: Cosmology, Geology, and Biology in Christian Perspective by Robert C. Bishop and others
Release date: December 4, 2018| Release format: Hardcover
The question of origins remains a stumbling block for many. But just as the Psalmist gained insight into God’s character through the observation of nature,
Based on over two decades of teaching origins together in the classroom, the authors present a textbook exploring mainstream scientific theories of origins in astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, geology, biology, physical anthropology, and genetics.
While many authors engage origins from a Christian perspective, this is the first work offering a full-fledged discussion of the scientific narrative of origins from the Big Bang through humankind, from biblical and theological perspectives accessible to a lay audience.
- Principles of biblical interpretation
- Close readings of relevant Genesis texts
- A comprehensive Trinitarian doctrine of creation
- Cosmic origins
- The geologic history of Earth
- The origin of life on Earth
- The origin of species and diversity of life
- Human origins
- New creation and creation care
- Science education
Rather than the familiar scenario where science and faith compete, this book seeks to