Looking at our sexuality from a biblical standpoint. . . .

Dr. Gary Foshee. Pawned: Redeeming Our God-Given Sexuality. 264p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

People walk into pawn shops every day and pawn priceless heirlooms for pennies on the dollar, and Dr. Gary Foshee claims that many people do the same with sex.

Numerous men and women report feeling shameful, dirty, and even fearful, before, during, and after sex. Others report they have no sexual desire and are repulsed by the thought of it. Although millions of people experience these same feelings, this was not and is not God’s design.

Pawned sexuality—whether the result of lack of knowledge, sexual immorality, or abuse—leaves deep physical, emotional, and spiritual scars that distort people’s view of themselves, others, and God.

Modern culture has changed especially on issues of marriage, sex, and sexuality. Immoral sexual ideologies and practices have breached biblical battle lines, clouding the hearts and minds of humanity in a fog of sexual confusion. Erroneous teachings confuse Christians, who already have trouble navigating sexual issues, making their sexual journey tempestuous and difficult, which often leaves them with deep physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual scars of shame and guilt.

The need for sound biblical teaching on sexuality remains critical. The digital age has revolutionized the way humans view, think, and act on issues pertaining to sexuality. Smartphones, social media, online dating sites, and easy access to instantly viewable and downloadable pornography all influence risky and unhealthy sexual behaviors, both physically and spiritually.

Pawned reveals preeminent and compulsory truths that God envisioned for sex and His transcendental plans to protect and purify the marriage bed all the way to the time of the new creation. This book teaches single and married couples how to redeem the gift of sex and honor God with their bodies. It provides insight and a healthy sexual compass for a variety of sexual issues and practices Christians want answered.

A powerful section on healing and restoration will enable all who have been sexually abused, molested, or raped to triumphantly redeem their sexuality. It also looks briefly at sexual addiction (SA), spiritual injury, and how to recognize signs of sexual abuse.

In this book, Dr. Foshee brings clarity and direction by addressing the tough questions. People need a definitive scriptural compass to help them establish healthy sexual parameters and perimeters—a compass keeping them holy and their marriage beds pure. Pawned is that compass.

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Galatians on F.I.R.E.

Taking a deeper dive into the book of Galatians. . . .

Dr. Ken J. Burge, Sr. Galatians on F.I.R.E. 234p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

Rather than telling you what the book of Galatians teach, this edition of the New Testament books on F.I.R.E. imparts the skills to discover its life-changing messages for yourself. Students of the Bible will journey through Galatians one paragraph at a time, applying the four F.I.R.E. principles:

Familiarity. Learn to ask probing questions and become intimately acquainted with each passage.

Interpretation. Determine the intended meaning of the text.

Relationship. Consider the paragraph within its context of the book and beyond, to the whole of Scripture.

Employment. Consider how God can employ you to do His will through your new understanding of the text.

Through this creative approach to inductive Bible study, readers will gain lifelong skills to grow in maturity as a disciple of Jesus, applying the Living Word in powerful new ways.

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Three in One

Looking at the Trinity in fresh ways. . . .

William David Spencer. Three in One: Analogies for the Trinity. 256p., $21.99, Kregel Academic.

Throughout history, Christians have pictured the relationships between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through analogies. Such illustrations–some from the West but also from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and other places–come laden with theological ramifications that the church has rejected (heresies) or embraced (doctrines). In Three in One, William David Spencer shares a lifetime of insights from teaching within the global church, bringing fresh images and analogies of the Trinity to deepen our theological vocabulary.

Drawing from his extensive teaching in geographically and culturally diverse contexts and his artist’s passion for evocative words and visuals, Spencer offers readers a rich, multifaceted, and practical exploration of the Trinity. Alongside historical and contemporary theology and biblical studies, he considers the strengths and shortcomings of various analogies used to explain the Trinity, such as:

  • Light
  • Water
  • The Celtic knot
  • The totem pole
  • Musical harmonies
  • The human body
  • The family

Readers of Three in One will gain a personal understanding of the Trinity as well as tools for teaching about the Trinity in adult and children’s ministry contexts.

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Who Told You That?

Choosing God’s truth over the lies of the world. . . .

Laurie Etta Neill. Who Told You That?: Seeking Truth in a World of Deception. 272.p., $15.99, Deep River Books.

“Who told you that?” That was God’s question for Adam and Eve, and it is his question for us. Life experiences may leave us believing we are failures, unlovable, stupid, or worthless. God asks, “Who told you that?” The answer to that question has the power to change lives—not with behavior modification but by heart transformation. Through stories, humor, and a practical tool called The Lie Detector, readers will discover:

  • How to identify misbeliefs about themselves and God
  • How to replace those misbeliefs with truth
  • How to live a life of peace, joy, and contentment
  • It is not people, circumstances, or things that determine our happiness. It is what we believe about those things that matter. Know the truth—and be set free. “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”(John 8:32).
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The subtitle says it all. . . .

Daniel Overdorf. Preaching: A Simple Approach to the Sacred Task. 240p., $20.99, Kregel Ministry.

In Preaching, experienced preacher and teacher of preachers, Daniel Overdorf, leads readers through a tested process for sermon preparation that takes proclaiming God’s Word seriously yet does not overcomplicate the task or overwhelm the preacher. Overdorf describes and demonstrates consistent, manageable steps to effective preaching, including:

  • Clarifying the convictions that drive your preaching
  • Identifying the main idea of a Scripture text
  • Forming memorable word pictures,
  • Reducing reliance on notes
  • Connecting with the congregation throughout the sermon
  • Speaking authentically
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Utilizing the unique and considerable strengths of the small church, rather than trying to emulate/keep up with the big boys. . . .

Ron Klassen. Maximize!: Leveraging the Strengths of Your Small Church. 128p., $15.99, Deep River Books.

Blending rich small-church theology with corresponding practical outcomes, Maximize! convinces small-church pastors, elders, deacons, children’s and youth workers, worship leaders, and members that small size is not a liability but a trait begging to be utilized for maximum benefit to all. Readers will see that their-size church is well-suited for fulfilling God’s mission and in fact has advantages. Maximize! does not pit small against big; it is not about what size is best but about how to be the best at any given size.

Thirty years in the making, the lessons in Maximize! have been continually refined as author Ron Klassen has taught them in classes and dozens of seminars, counseled, encouraged, overseen, and mentored hundreds of pastors, and interacted with small-church attendees from every state in the US and most provinces of Canada. Too often, those in small churches are apologetic about their church’s size, too quick to see weaknesses and limitations, too prone to compare their church with bigger churches and come away feeling inferior. Too often, those in small churches try to emulate big churches but come up short.

Rather than trying to imitate large churches, small churches do well to study themselves and their communities, and then prayerfully design ministries uniquely suited for their size, place, and time.

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A Wonder-Filled Life

Looking back on a lifetime of service to God. . . .

Joshua A. McClure. A Wonder-Filled Life: Galatians 2:20. 330p., $17.99, Deep River Books.

Because we are created in God’s image, we have a spiritual thirst. God has “planted eternity in the human heart.” This means that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. Nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy us. God has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found in his perfect rule. He has given us a glimpse of the perfection of his creation. But it is only a glimpse; we cannot see into the future or comprehend everything. So we must trust God now and do his work on earth. Thus, amid our everyday struggles, we hear the words of Scripture concerning Jesus.

In A Wonder-Filled Life, Joshua McClure shows our dependency on God and how he is the source of all things, including ourselves. He is a power that sustains and rules the world that we live in, and he alone deserves our praise. God does not want us to continue to frustrate ourselves by trying to change our own lives and crying out to him only when in trouble. He wants us to live daily in his presence, avoiding the anxiety and disappointments of the old life apart from him. He wants us to learn of him; he wants us to grow in him, and he desires intimacy that can only come from our spending time in his presence. Therefore, Jesus’s purpose in coming into a fallen world was to provide a place of happiness, joy, and peace, and eternal fellowship with God, expressed when he said, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

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In the Shadow of the Quran

Dialoguing with Islam (and a few dozen imams from around the world), while confronting Islam with Islam. . .

Edward J. Hoskins. In the Shadow of the Quran: Prophets, Messengers, Truth, and Lies. 304p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

The Qur’an is the key to understanding Islam and the geopolitics of the earth. Accordingly, it is essential for Christians and other non-Muslims to have more than a kindergarten understanding of the Qur’an. This book helps provide that understanding. Surprisingly, both the Bible and Qur’an share common prophets, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and others. The author evaluates the stories of twelve such prophets and shows that what is missing from the Qur’an versions is a striking absence of Christological atonement for sin. Focusing on stories and their contexts, this book gives Christians and other non-Muslims new insights into the Qur’an as well as practical ideas on how to relate to Muslims and share biblical truth with them.

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Five Views on the New Testament Canon

Was the selection of books in the New Testament inspired by God or shaped by the decisions of men? Five theological variations on the spectrum of “yes.” . . .

Stanley E. Porter and Benjamin Laird, eds. Five Views on the New Testament Canon. 304p., $24.99, Kregel Academic.

What historical, political, and ecclesial realities drove the canonization of the New Testament?

How are the doctrines of Early Christianity related to the formation of the New Testament?

Should the New Testament differ in authority from other early Christian texts?

As these questions demonstrate, the enduring influence of the New Testament does not lessen the dispute over the events and factors leading to its adoption. Five Views on the New Testament Canon presents five distinct ways of understanding how the New Testament came to be:

  • A Conservative Evangelical Perspective—Darian R. Lockett
  • A Progressive Evangelical Perspective—David R. Nienhuis
  • A Liberal Protestant Perspective—Jason David BeDuhn
  • A Roman Catholic Perspective—Ian Boxall
  • An Orthodox Perspective—George L. Parsenios

Each contributor addresses historical, theological, and hermeneutical questions related to the New Testament canon, such as what factors precipitated the establishment and recognition of the New Testament canon; the basis of any authority the New Testament has; and what the canon means for reading and interpreting the New Testament. Contributors also include a chapter each responding to the other views presented in the volume. The result is a lively exchange suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students seeking to grasp the best canon scholarship in biblical studies.

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Kerux: 1–2 Kings

An in-depth look at the checkered history of the kingdom of Israel, and tips on how to preach through it. . . .

David B. Schreiner and Lee Compson. 1–2 Kings: A Commentary for Biblical Preaching and Teaching. Kerux Commentaries. 272p., $31.99, Kregel Academic.

Unlike any other commentary series, each volume is written by an expert in biblical exegesis and an experienced homiletician in partnership. Inclusion of a preaching author means that the commentary is focused on biblical insights that are useful in biblical teaching, with communication strategies and illustrations for each passage that are powerful and engaging.

Each volume is divided into distinct preaching segments, in which the authors guide the reader through a well-tested sequence: exegetical analysis, theological focus, and teaching strategy. Based on the text-driven Big Idea model, Kerux enhances the reader’s ability to deliver a message that is biblical, cohesive, and dynamic.

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