It is what it says it is. . . .
John D. Massey, Mike Morris, and W. Madison Grace II. Make Disciples of All Nations: A History of Southern Baptist International Missions. 360p., $22.99, Kregel Academic.
For more than 175 years the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has been sending missionaries around the world to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. It has also developed strategies and methods that have been adopted by numerous other missions groups. Make Disciples of All Nations tells the story of this groundbreaking organization, including its most recent developments.
Besides recounting its historical development, the contributors to this volume critically evaluate the IMB’s strategies and methods, as well as examine its controversies, regional developments, and organizational changes. The concluding chapter explores how Southern Baptist missions can best adapt to an era of global Christianity.
Students, missionaries, and those involved in supporting them will be informed and encouraged by this account of one of the oldest and largest missions organizations in the world.
The story of one man’s pilgrimage(s) . . . and maybe it’ll inspire you to take your own. . . .
Ron Williams. Lost and Found along the Way: Stories for Your Faith Walk from the Camino de Santiago. 400p., $16.99, Deep River Books.
The Camino—or The Way—to Santiago is a five-hundred-mile, thirty-three-day walk across Spain’s extreme conditions to reach the beloved Cathedral of Santiago. Ron “Willie” Williams walked The Way two and a half times, a total of twelve hundred miles. Why? It is less about what he gains, and more about what he loses along The Way—old behaviors, unforgiveness, and a tendency to play God. Journey with Willie through the chapters of Lost and Found along The Way, as he sheds these tendencies, and in doing so finds a renewed, richer, and deeper faith.
Willie also learned to share this strengthened faith with those he met who had lost their own faith, and now he is teaching others to do the same. Lost and Found along The Way offers believers faith-sharing advice using a unique approach: the hybrid of two genres—historical fiction and personal memoir.
The first few chapters are narrative historical fiction portraying James in Acts 12:2 facing his execution along with supposed reactions from his loved ones. At the end of this narrative, we transition back to nonfiction with the discovery of James’ gravesite some eight hundred years after his martyrdom. Willie then explains how the Camino pilgrimages began along the Camino, also known as The Way.
The following chapters, and the bulk of the book, follow Willie’s own Camino journeys, presented from three unique perspectives:
- “The Camino” contains vivid descriptions of the geography on the trail and historical background. These descriptions incorporate the reader with the text, almost like a firsthand experience.
- “My Camino” includes stories of the author’s gritty life experiences that surface while traveling the Camino, his personal reflective prayers, and the spiritual insights that God awakens.
- “Our Camino” provides guidance on how the reader can dig deeper into their spiritual life and get outside their comfort zone. These each end with true and dramatic faith walk stories that hook the reader and demonstrate God’s hand in people’s lives.
The final chapter of Lost and Found along The Way instructs fellow sojourners in how to follow Willie’s example to strengthen their own faith and share it with those who have lost their own faith—no hiking boots required.
Guidance for getting the truth straight. . . .
Robert L. Plummer. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible. 2nd edition. 368p., $25.99, Kregel Academic.
40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible, now in a revised second edition, probes the most pressing problems encountered by churchgoers and beginning Bible students when they try to read and understand the Bible. Using feedback received from pastors, professors, and Bible teachers, New Testament professor Robert L. Plummer includes updated information about Bible translations, biblical interpretation, and Bible study technology and streamlines previous portions to make room for a handful of new issues.
This second edition, updated regarding Bible translations, biblical interpretation trends, and Bible-related technology, will continue to serve professors, pastors, and Bible study leaders as a go-to guide or textbook. New Testament scholar Robert L. Plummer covers historical, interpretive, practical, and theological matters such as:
- Were the ancient manuscripts of the Bible transmitted accurately?
- Why can’t people agree on what the Bible means?
- How do we interpret the Psalms?
- How can I use the Bible in daily devotions?
- Does the Bible teach that God wants Christians to be healthy and wealthy?
40 Questions about Interpreting the Bible provides crucial assistance for students ready to engage with biblical scholarship and for teachers eager to lead Bible studies with confidence.
Rediscovering God in the middle of brokenness. . . .
Ralph Edward Plumb. All Who Wander: Rediscover God’s Purpose on Your Journey. 210p., $16.99, Illumify Media Global.
How will you respond when “it” happens?
Most people chart a course for their lives.
Career. Marriage. Children. Prosperity.
Then “it” happens.
Financial loss. Divorce. Death of a loved one. These unexpected twists in the road leave us disoriented, overwhelmed with unexpected doubt or uncertainty, and sometimes feeling far from God.
In All Who Wander, Ralph Plumb reflects on his extensive travels around the world, and shares how he re-discovered his God-given purpose after a period of wandering, when he ran into his own crucible events. In the process he answers questions like:
• Is what I am doing more important than who I am?
• How do I reach a place of forgiveness and healing?
• In the end, what really matters?
If you’ve lost your way or you’re unsure about the future, don’t worry. God is still by your side and you can find your way again.
A daily devotional to refocus your walk. . . .
Cherise Wiltshire: Heart’s Cry: A Daily Journey with Jesus. 124p., $14.99, Deep River Books.
It is easy to be so caught up in the trappings of church, our calling, and the dos and the don’ts, that we are at risk of completely missing the boat. Christianity is essentially about getting to know the person of Jesus Christ—His work, His character, His heart, and so much more.
Heart’s Cry is a 40-day daily devotional journey to elevate your life to a new level with God, where we no longer see Him as a far-off entity but one “who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24). Let it transform your life, so you no longer compromise His holy calling but instead are so consumed with the reality of His holiness that your lifestyle reflects it as well.
Walk along the path of His love where He longs to lavish you in His loving embrace— where fears, doubts, and worries simply melt away. Climb up the mountain of faith and stand at the top and enjoy the view with the One who will make all your cares as small as the scenery in the distance. Come aboard the flight with your Heavenly Pilot and soar to the heavenly places in your royal seat with Him.
The Nazis, the occult, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer . . . historical fiction at some of its most compelling. . . .
John Scott Gruner. The Infidel. 400p., $16.99, Deep River Books.
The Infidel is a supernatural historical thriller set inside Nazi Germany. Not a doctrinaire Nazi, SS Lieutenant Ernst Teschler discovers Himmler’s SS occult activities, then co-opts their European bank channels to impede the coming Holocaust. His mission is derailed when he discovers that his childhood mentor, Dr. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is a spy set against Hitler. The Infidel explores the historical SS occult conspiracy against the Jews and the church. The story underscores the courageous impact of the few who dared to take a stand against the Nazi regime.
The Infidel is fiction based upon facts that have been thoroughly researched by John Scott Gruner. The novel exposes the dark supernatural intrigue inside of the SS Corps. For more than two decades, Gruner’s historical research into World War II, Himmler’s SS operations, the German Church, and the plight of the Jews in the Holocaust has taken him to New York, Europe, and Jerusalem to interview Holocaust survivors and historians.
Looking at the gospel the way its original recipients did—then applying it to today’s circumstances. . . .
Karen H. Jobes. John through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary. 400p., $29.99, Kregel Academic.
Through Old Testament Eyes is a new kind of commentary series that illuminates the Old Testament backgrounds, allusions, patterns, and references saturating the New Testament. These links were second nature to the New Testament authors and their audiences, but today’s readers often cannot see them. Bible teachers, preachers, and students committed to understanding Scripture will gain insight through these rich Old Testament connections, which clarify puzzling passages and explain others in fresh ways.
In John through Old Testament Eyes, Karen Jobes reveals how the Old Testament background of the Gospel of John extends far beyond quotes of Old Testament scripture or mention of Old Testament characters. Jobes discusses the history, rituals, images, metaphors, and symbols from the Old Testament that give meaning to John’s teaching about Jesus–his nature and identity, his message and mission–and about those who believe in him.
A commentary for both the theologian and the pastor—or just the person who wants to think about Ephesians more deeply. . . .
Gregory S. MaGee and Jeffrey D. Arthurs. Ephesians: A Commentary for Biblical Preaching and Teaching. Kerux Commentaries. 288p., $29.99, Kregel Academic.
Kerux Commentaries enable pastors and teachers to understand and effectively present the main message in a biblical text
Each volume uniquely combines the insights of an experienced Bible exegete (trained in interpretation) and a homiletician (trained in preaching). These two authors work together to explain the essential message for the original listeners or readers, unpack its timeless truth, and then provide a contemporary restatement and communication insights for the key biblical concept. Every book is a resource designed and written with the real needs of the pastor and teacher always in sight, providing many ways to creatively express the principal thought in a biblical passage.
Based on the Big Idea preaching model, Kerux enhances the reader’s ability to deliver a message that is biblical, cohesive, and dynamic.
For more information on the series, please visit KeruxCommentaries.com.
One woman’s journey from intellectual faith to setting her aim by God’s compass. . . .
Natalie Dee Latzka. Navigating True North: My Journey from Blind Faith to Bold Faith. 240p., $15.99, Deep River Books.
In the uncertainty of today’s world, many feel lost, often leading to anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Attorney Natalie Dee Latzka knows this feeling well.
When life got difficult, Latzka begged God to help her. His deafening silence left her doubting the faith she had been promised would protect her and intellectually questioning everything she once believed.
As an attorney, Latzka understood the importance of evidence, yet it had become painfully apparent she had somehow accepted blind faith. Despite being raised Christian, she could barely articulate what she believed, much less provide evidence for why she believed it.
Lost and determined to find direction, she set out on a journey searching for answers to difficult questions:
- Is there evidence that God exists?
- Who is God?
- What does God want from me?
Readers are invited to along on Laztzka’s journey from blind faith to evidenced-based bold faith—to examine and weigh the evidence for themselves.
An in-depth look at the power of Jesus’ parables. . . .
Douglas D. Webster. The Parables: Jesus’s Friendly Subversive Speech. 240p., $22.99, Kregel Academic.
Jesus’s parables used familiar situations to convey deep spiritual truths in ways that are provocative and subversive of the status quo. Prayerfulness was pictured by a persistent widow. The joy of salvation in the homecoming of a lost son. Love of neighbor by a marginalized Samaritan. If we’re not careful, we can easily miss details in the parables that reveal their subtle meanings as well as their contemporary relevance.
Drawing on scholarship on the parables as well as theological, pastoral, and practical insights, Douglas Webster guides the reader through each of Jesus’s parables, pointing out the important nuances that allow us to understand them and be transformed by them. Reflection questions at the end of each chapter can be used for personal or group study, and an appendix for pastors provides guidance for preaching the parables. Pastors, Bible teachers, and serious students of Scripture will find this tour through Jesus’s parabolic teaching to be a feast for both the mind and the soul.