Sanctified Sexuality


Sanctified Sexuality

Sandra Glahn and C. Gary Barnes. Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World. 464p., $25.99, Kregel Academic.

Although modern culture constantly changes its views on sexuality, God’s design for sexuality remains the same.

Bringing together twenty-five expert contributors in relevant fields of study, Gary Barnes and Sandra Glahn address the most important and controversial areas of sexuality that Christians face today. From a scriptural perspective and with an irenic tone, the contributors address issues such as:

  • The theology of the human body
  • Male and female in the Genesis creation accounts
  • Abortion
  • Celibacy
  • Sexuality in marriage
  • Contraception
  • Infertility
  • Cohabitation
  • Divorce and remarriage
  • Same-sex attraction
  • Gender dysphoria

An ideal handbook for pastors, counselors, instructors, and students, Sanctified Sexuality provides solid answers and prudent advice for the many questions Christians encounter on a daily basis.

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Contact


Using interpersonal interaction for transformation. . . .

front cover of book CONTACT

Tyler White. Contact: The Shaping Power of Intentional Interaction. 176p., $14.99, Deep River Books.

Personal interaction—contact—with those different from ourselves provides us with new understandings, greater respect, and reduced prejudices toward others. We should not only be driven to come into contact with others for the purposes of understanding and reconciliation, but as Christians, we are obliged to come into contact with others not despite—but because of—who they are, where they come from, what they look like, or any perceptions we may have about them, because Jesus has come into unconditional contact with us.

Providing understanding of what contact is and how it looks, author Tyler White takes the reader through an examination of the current cultural climate—focusing on the state of communication, biblical and theological themes of contact, the relevancy and vitality of cultural competency and orientation, personal stories and case studies of people who have experienced successful contact.

The social theory that is discussed in this book, contact theory, has been thoroughly researched in academic and other scholarly settings, however very little analysis, if any, has been conducted in the sphere of Christian community. Contact examines what it would look like to apply contact theory in the lives of Christians in a practical accessible way.

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Purify My Heart


Talking with Jesus, and inviting you into the conversation. . . .

Isabelle Joye. Purify My Heart: A Dialogue with Jesus. 304p., $14.99, Deep River Books.

In her own devotional prayer journal, Isabelle Joye records not only Scripture and her prayers to the Lord, but also what she senses Jesus is saying to her in response. The result is a beautiful dialogue, as she allows the words of the Lord, rooted in the Word, to minister to the deepest recesses of her heart, soul, and mind, and purify her to become increasingly holy before him.

Isabelle Joye shares examples of her personal dialogue with Jesus to inspire her readers to establish their own dynamic and interactive relationship with the Lord. At the end of each chapter readers will discover questions and lined pages where they can journal their personal response.

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Love Has a Name


Remembering Who loves us, and coming up with out-of-the-box ways to love others. . . .

Love Has a Name by Adam WeberAdam Weber. Love Has a Name: Learning to Love the Different, the Difficult, and Everyone Else. 240p., $20.00, WaterBrook.

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Doubtless


Doubt happens. How you respond to it is what’s important. . . .

DoubtLess: When Faith is Hard

Shelby Abbott. Doubtless: Because Faith Is Hard. 128p., $15.99, New Growth Press.

Is God good? Can I trust him with my life? Is the Bible true? These are just some of the questions that can plague young adults as they stand at the crossroads of life, when new responsibilities loom large and the world around them treats God as a small or irrelevant part of life. 

In DoubtLess, author and Cru campus minister Shelby Abbott comes alongside young adults to help them honestly face their doubt and turn to God for the gift of faith. He reminds readers that Scripture recounts the stories of many men and women who have also faced deep misgivings and uncertainty in their walk of faith. Using both Scripture and personal illustrations, Abbot shows us how to “feed our faith” in seasons of doubt through authentic relationships with other Christians, hearing from God in the Bible, and practicing thankfulness. Doubt should not scare us, nor should it become our obsession. He urges readers to see the difference between doubt and unbelief, assuring us that big questions can press us deeper into the heart and character of God rather than push us away from him. 

Used for biblical reflection, group discussion, devotional reading, DoubtLess is full of gospel hope for those grappling with the mysteries of faith.

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Invitation to Biblical Theology


Taking a tough subject and making it more easily digestible. . . .

Invitation to Biblical Theology

Jeremy M. Kimble and Ched Spellman. Invitation to Biblical Theology: Exploring the Shape, Storyline, and Themes of Scripture. 528p., $44.99, Kregel Academic.

Invitation to Biblical Theology provides a thorough overview of biblical theology that is accessible for those new to the topic but substantial enough for advanced study. Defining biblical theology as the study of the whole Bible on its own terms, Jeremy Kimble and Ched Spellman begin with a brief history of the discipline followed by a survey of contemporary approaches. They then lay out their own approach, built on the framework of the canon, the covenants, and Christ.

Taking God’s plan of redemption in Christ as the uniting theme of Scripture, Kimble and Spellman survey the grand storyline of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, showing how each division of the canon moves the overarching story forward. The following ten chapters survey central and recurring themes of Scripture including kingdom, worship, Messiah and atonement, God’s glory, and mission. The authors conclude with reflections on how biblical theology can serve the church as well as the academy.

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Baptism


A primer for the primary. Read it, and then git ‘er done. . . .

Baptism

Larry E. Dyer. Baptism: The Believer’s First Obedience. 96p., $9.99, Kregel Ministry.

Dr. Larry Dyer examines Scripture to answer not only the basic questions concerning baptism but also some of the more contested issues including: infant baptism; modes of baptism; Spirit baptism; and whether baptism is a sacrament or a symbol. A helpful guidebook for those who plan to be baptized or provide a blueprint for those who simply wish to understand the subject better.

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Lay It Down: second edition


Just lettin y’all know that the second edition of Lay It Down is now available for purchase, either in paperback or Kindle, and if you haven’t already I’d be honored if you gave it a shot—because obviously I still think it’s worth your time. And for that matter, I’ve dropped the respective prices for each version, so now’s a better time than ever to pick this up.

For those of you who already own the first edition: You don’t have to buy a fresh copy (although I certainly won’t complain if you do :)). Just pass it on. Basically, this is a “tighter,” slightly less self-indulgent version of the original (although there’s plenty of personal and applicational stuff to go around).

For the unread and curious among you—first, a quick overview of the contents:

• 40 devotionals to be read over an 8-week period (i.e., 5/week) . . .
• 8 small-group sessions . . .
• and a self-guided retreat, designed to work for both individuals and small groups.

But don’t just take my word for it:

Lay It Down really is excellent and very spiritually challenging. I especially appreciated the intensity of the focus on Jesus and I love the use of such passages as those in Revelation which describe first the crowns that we are given and then the casting down of all those crowns and everything else as well at the feet of Jesus. Such passages remind me of my favorite spiritual mentor, Jonathan Edwards.

—Dr. Samuel Logan
former International Director, World Reformed Fellowship

A lot of people seem to think that Christian living is about trying really hard to be good. Carl Simmons thinks otherwise. . . . Christian living is more about laying down our lives and becoming the kind of people who want to do good, rather than people who want to do bad but try really hard to do good. Jesus promised that his yoke would be easy. Easy. There is a word we don’t use in church too often. If Christian living has become a burden to you, I’d recommend you read Lay It Down.

—Josh Hunt
author, Disciple-Making Teachers and Make Your Group Grow

I love the idea that laying down our lives for Christ’s sake is not just an idea—it’s our calling! This is a wonderful resource reminding us to avoid the “10 easy ways” syndrome and just give our lives fully to God so that His will can be done. It took me years to learn some of the principles in this book.

—David Gallagher
author, Aging Successfully

Anyone who has walked with the Lord for any amount of time would recognize that you . . . have been through some serious trials of your own. Your scripture reference/support is as good as any I’ve seen. And your transparency as a Christian human is endearing, easy to relate to. You look in the mirror, which is only doable to the extent that you present because of your faith. You know Jesus has you. And you ask your reader to join you. It’s uncomfortable, but truly at the core of our struggles.

You can blame the church. You can blame politicians. You can blame your spouse. But in the end . . . our distance from God is hampered by ourselves. . . . Again, it’s uncomfortable. But for me personally, it was a much-needed truth to hear and a good time to look in the mirror and recognize my own false gods. You accelerated my learning and I praise God for it. I highly recommend Lay It Down.

—Michael Byrne
Owner, ClickthruVT

And if you need more convincing/information, you can always go here. Thanks again, and spread the word.

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Lead Different


Learning to lead biblically. . . .

Lead Different: Insight, Clarity, and Encouragement for Engaging the Heart of Servant Leadership  -     By: Bruce Ratzlaff, Verna Ratzlaff

Bruce and Verna Ratzlaff. Lead Different: Insight, Clarity, and Encouragement for Engaging the Heart of Servant Leadership. 160p., $14.99, Deep River Books.

In Matthew 20:26 (NLT), Jesus said, “among you [leading] will be different.” How so? Different than what? Different in what ways?

Bruce and Verna Ratzlaff provide a framework of biblical servant leadership by contrasting it with what it is not.

In Lead Different, the Ratzlaffs provides readers with unusual clarity, new self-awareness, and encouragement for engaging the heart of servant leadership. Unusual clarity results as components of biblically sound Christian servant leadership are compared and contrasted to their opposites. Understanding what is and is not servant leadership enhances self-awareness, as leaders are encouraged to consider their own tendencies. A thorough exploration of the characteristics of biblical leaders offers hope and encouragement as readers gain inspiration through real-life examples of how leaders learned to course correct and become more wholeheartedly servant leaders.

Bruce and Verna Ratzlaff assert that the kingdom mission we are called to pursue is often delayed or destroyed by ineffective leadership, though well-intentioned. Their call for genuine servant leadership is the antidote.

This book is practical to the core, but piercingly direct in speaking to the foundation of leadership, our heart. When readers truly engage their hearts, their leadership becomes not just different, but more impactful for the kingdom.

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Obedient Nations


That part of the Great Commission we tend to gloss over. . . .

Stephen M. Spaulding. Obedient Nations: What’s So Great about the Great Commission? 304p., $15.99, Deep River Books.

Stephen Spaulding sees a clear line of thinking and action running from the Bible’s patriarchs and prophets through the life and teachings of the Anointed One, Christ. He continues to trace this line through the apostle Paul’s calling and career as well as his visionary writings and on to the future reality which the apostle John portrays at the end of his book of Revelation. He calls it his own, new baseline—primary sum up—of the Great Commission. It is quite simple and stark. He summarizes it as “obedient nations.” That simple phrase, according to Spaulding, encompasses most of what we as Christ’s followers have been involved within mission for the past century, but also much more.

In this comprehensive evaluation of the Great Commission in light of both biblical history and the modern age in which we are living now, as well as the potential future to come, missiologist Stephen Spaulding presents the WHAT, the WHY, and the HOW of fulfilling the great commission toward the ultimate scriptural goal of “obedient nations.”

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