Unlimited Atonement

The scholarly way of saying “Jesus came to die for all of us” . . . 🙂

Michael Bird and Scott Harrower. Unlimited Atonement: Amyraldism and Reformed Theology. 240p., $25.99, Kregel Academic.

“Hypothetical universalism,” or “unlimited atonement,” states that Christ’s death is sufficient for the guilt of all people yet is only effectively applied to those with faith. This tradition, typified by the French reformer Moise Amyraut, has continued among Anglicans and Baptists for more than four centuries, yet has been underexplored in Reformed systematic theology.

Unlimited Atonement fills a gap in resources on atonement theology that begin with the unlimited love of God. Editors Michael F. Bird and Scott Harrower draw on the specialties of each of the ten contributors, addressing themes such as:

  • the biblical and historical sources of the soteriological position known as Amyraldism
  • distinctive features of Anglican atonement theology
  • introductions to every book of the Bible to help you approach the text
  • hypothetical universalism, election, and the Baptist theological tradition
  • other prominent advocates of unlimited atonement
  • the issues of systematic theology at stake
  • atonement theology in preaching

Unlimited Atonement is the most comprehensive analysis of Amyraldism to date, providing a resource for theology and Bible students and teachers in an esoteric stream of Reformed theology. Bird and Harrower provide a starting point for anyone who wants to understand the sources and merits of Amyraldism.

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Divine Love Theory

The Trinity: where it all began and what it all should look like. . . .

Adam Lloyd Johnson. Divine Love Theory: How the Trinity Is the Source and Foundation of Morality. 336p., $22.99, Kregel Academic.

Adam Lloyd Johnson injects a fresh yet eternal reality into the thriving debate over the basis of moral absolutes. While postmodernism’s moral relativism once temporarily disrupted the footing of classic moral theories like natural law and divine command, many nontheistic philosophers assert that morality must rest on something real and objective. Divine Love Theory proposes a grounding for morality not only in the creator God but as revealed in the Christian Scriptures—Father, Son, and Spirit eternally loving one another.

Johnson contends that the Trinity provides a remarkably convincing foundation for making moral judgments. One leading atheistic proposal, godless normative realism, finds many deficiencies in theistic and Christian theories, yet Johnson shows how godless normative realism is susceptible to similar errors. He then demonstrates how the loving relationships of the Trinity as outlined in historic Christian theology resolve many of the weakest points in both theistic and atheistic moral theories.

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Attributes of God on F.I.R.E.

Instead reproducing the normal promotional blurbs for these books I’ve worked on here, I’m just gonna reproduce the introduction editor’s note I wrote for this book, and which appears in its contents. . . .

Dr. Ken J. Burge, Sr. Attributes of God on F.I.R.E.: Probing Fourteen Character Traits of God to Imitate. 168p., $18.99, Deep River Books.

Knowing God, by necessity, means taking the time to know who God is. More than sixty years ago, A. W. Tozer captured this idea in his classic little book The Knowledge of the Holy, and his words still ring true today: “Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, ‘What comes into your mind when you think about God?’ we might predict with certainty the future of that man.”

Our actions can only reflect the knowledge of God we already have—and, in turn, reflect how much we really trust Him.

The modern church has largely lost a proper perception of God. And because of that, we’ve lost our reverence for Him as well. And we won’t rediscover our reverence for God until we rediscover God Himself—until we rediscover a passion to know Him, as He desires to be known.

The things of God need to become the things of us. Until they do, we will never move forward. But once we make the effort to know God more deeply, we’ll not only learn more about Him but about ourselves—because we’ll see finally begin to see ourselves the way He sees us. And His way is never wrong.

I’ve worked on the previous eight books in Ken Burge’s F.I.R.E. series, but for all the reasons above I’m especially excited about this one. As Ken reminds us, familiarity—not complacent familiarity but intimate familiarity—is the key here. As we become more familiar with who God is, and as we grow with Him in relationship, we will be moved to respond in ways that truly reflect who He is.

So pull up a chair, an open mind, and an open heart, and spend some time with Ken learning more deeply about our God. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:29, KJV). You won’t regret the time spent.

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Mike Hatch. Manhood: Empowered by the Light of the Gospel. 112p., $14.99, Deep River Books.

Most men today are disempowered. Lost and groping in the dark, they are driven by fear and insecurity. Isolation and loneliness have defined us as a generation, and the tragic result has been dysfunctional marriage, broken families, and a society with no mooring to truth. Addictions to pornography, alcohol, drugs, and gaming have enslaved men and stolen our confidence.

As a recovering pornography addict himself, Pastor Mike Hatch is well acquainted with feelings of disempowerment and hopelessness. Whether you are battling addiction, infidelity, or a crisis of purpose or identity, you will find this book to be accessible, readable, and highly actionable, built for you to make progress quickly and intentionally.

The empowered man does not just know about God but is known by him; he understands God as the source of power for character improvement; and he transcends his own agenda to be a powerful tool in the hand of God. Manhood: Empowered by the Light of the Gospel focuses on these three principles to provide guidance, encouragement, and resources for Christian men who are struggling with fear and insecurity. You’ll learn how being Known by God, Grown by God, and Owned by God provides the contentment to accept all circumstances of life, the clarity to embrace your transcendent and redemptive purpose, and the freedom to live courageously once again.

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A Commentary on Jeremiah

Breaking down Jeremiah—even as we watch him break down over Judah. . . .

Michael B. Shepherd. A Commentary on Jeremiah. 912p., $57.99, Kregel Academic.

The book that bears the prophet Jeremiah’s name does not merely document the past but looks forward to God’s future and final work in Christ. Perhaps more than any book of the Old Testament, Jeremiah attests to the process of its own writing, transmission, and editing, and these internal clues confirm its original purpose as a book for all time and for every nation.

Michael Shepherd carefully lays out Jeremiah’s far-reaching message with passage-by-passage translation and up-to-date commentary. The themes of judgment and restoration certainly concern Israel’s historical judgment at the hands of the Babylonians and their subsequent return, but also the eschatological judgment of all worldly opposition to God and a final restoration and flourishing in the land of the covenant.

Shepherd’s second volume in the Kregel Exegetical Library series, this commentary makes a significant contribution to the academic dialogue on the book of Jeremiah and its connections to the rest of Scripture. The exploration is helpful for the scholar but accessible and useful for the pastor, examining the themes of covenant, kingship, judgement, restoration, and the nations.

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Sustaining Revival

The little-known story of the widespread revival in Nagaland, India—and its aftermath . . .

C. B. Newell. Sustaining Revival. 256p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

There are occasions in biblical history where we see a breaking-in of the spirit of God. In addition, there is a command and a promise that indicates the possibility of revival in all generations after Christ, in all places. The area inhabited by the Naga tribes (much of this area was set up as Nagaland, a state of India, on Dec. 1, 1963) experienced such a visit from God in a series of waves during the second half of the twentieth century.

God’s recent visitation in Nagaland was one of the most significant anywhere in the world. Yet little is available telling about it. This book fills that void.

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Marv Taking Charge

A tough but enlightening—and affecting—look at end-of-life matters. . . .

Lois Hoitenga Roelofs. Marv Taking Charge: A Story of Bold Love and Courage. 224p., $16.99, Deep River Books.

Lois Roelofs always knew that Marv, her husband of fifty-five years, had strong convictions. So when he was diagnosed with “very aggressive” small cell lung cancer, with a few weeks to a few months to live, she accepted that he wanted to die on his own terms―refuse chemo, choose quality of life over quantity, and die at home. She tells their story in a mix of personal notes, family and friend emails, and public blog posts written during Marv’s illness and her first months as a widow. At the time, she could find no personal accounts of refusing treatment and living with the resultant uncertainty.

Lois wrote this book to honor her husband Marv’s request to tell the story of their experience when he chose to refuse treatment for a diagnosis of small cell lung cancer. Family, friends, and readers of Lois’s blog in real time confirmed interest in the topic of refusing treatment. She wanted to show her readers that achieving patient autonomy, doing what’s right for them, is possible and, implicitly, to caution readers never to blindly follow medical advice.

Marv Taking Charge will be helpful to those facing a critical decision whether or not to treat a terminal illness. It will help answer questions such as 1) what can happen after the diagnostic visits, 2) when to sign up for hospice, 3) what can be expected from hospice, 4) how to spend the time during the uncertain period when all persons involved are waiting for the worsening of the patient’s illness, and 5) what can happen during the progression of the illness.

The main theme is patient autonomy, having the right to make decisions regarding care.

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Rethinking Rest

A different take on rest and the Sabbath. . . .

Gregory D. Hall. Rethinking Rest: Why Our Approach to Sabbath Isn’t Working. 240p., $15.99, Deep River Books.

Today’s concept of biblical rest . . . isn’t working. Our numerous discussions about “which day” and “how” the seventh-day sabbath should be observed have distracted, confused, and caused apathy within an entire generation of believers. But biblical rest is dramatically different than most suppose. Dr. Gregory D. Hall explains how we went off course and offers fresh insight into the original intent of sabbath rest.

Have you abandoned the sabbath? Do you feel disenfranchised with the practices of the modern church? Are you willing to rethink what you thought you already knew? This book will challenge you to expand your scope and reengage the topic in new ways. Its simple practicality is a breath of fresh air for what has become a stagnant discussion along party lines.

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40 Questions About Women in Ministry

It is what it says it is. . . . 🙂

Sue Edwards and Kelley Matthews. 40 Questions About Women in Ministry. 336p., $24.99, Kregel Ministry.

40 Questions About Women in Ministry charts a course for understanding differing views on the topic regarding the ministries of women. The accessible question-and-answer format guides readers to specific areas of confusion, and authors helpfully zero in on the foundations of varied beliefs and practices. Edwards and Mathews cover interpretive, theological, historical, and practical matters such as:

  • What did God mean by the woman as man’s “helper”?
  • How is it that Christians reach different conclusions about 1 Timothy 2:11-15?
  • How did Western culture influence the role of women in society and the church?

Combining a strong adherence to Scripture, vast academic and ministry experiences, and a commitment to Christ-honoring dialogue, 40 Questions About Women in Ministry is a valuable guide to pastors, ministry leaders, church groups, and seminarians.

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Clarifying Christianity

Jacquelyn Guinn and Allan Guinn. Clarifying Christianity: A 12-Week Study for Confused Churchgoers. $16.99, Deep River Books.

Why should we trust the Bible? Why would a good God allow pain and suffering? How can Hell be just? These questions and more have been largely ignored by churches today, but it is time for them to be brought to light—and this twelve-week study is the way forward for anyone looking for their answers.

Despite attending church every Sunday, many Christians still lack a deep understanding of the gospel. Most services are planned to attract crowds and entertain, not to build disciples. Clarifying Christianity moves past the generic spirituality that is so prevalent in America today to instead examine foundational biblical concepts. Through twelve weeks of study, you will learn the answers to important questions about the Bible, sin, God, and more. Each of the weeks of study is designed for simple access and education, featuring historical background, discussion of key Scripture passages, prompts for Bible reading and Scripture memory, and questions for reflection and discussion.

This engaging study presents a detailed picture of Christianity to believers and nonbelievers both. Built on clear research and presented with passion, the twelve topics of study will help anyone asking the important questions to develop a thorough understanding of the Bible and to solidify and defend their own faith. Clarifying Christianity is essential to living as a Christian in America today.

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