Archives For Books

We are just days away from the upcoming 2014 Band of Bloggers gathering. The last update I received is that we have just a few spaces left before the event is sold out. You can still register here. One of the things that I try to do with each Band of Bloggers gathering is connect publishers with this audience of bloggers, authors, and Christian leaders from around the world and give away some of their most recent or forthcoming titles. It’s a challenging task to get all of it together, and as recent as a few weeks ago, only a few books had been secured for the event. But then things just started to fall in place as many publishers and organizations responded generously to support our gathering.

This year, I am excited to share that we are giving away 29 books for every person who attends, for a total of 7,250 books. That’s the largest number we have ever given away. There are 20 physical titles and 8 e-books in all, for a total of $425 (retail price). If you do the math, we are giving away $106,250 worth of books at our event this year that costs only $15 to register. I hope that those who receive these titles below will enjoy them greatly and let the publishers know that by reading, plugging, and/or reviewing them so that others too can be directed to these great resources.

Here are the titles for this year’s book giveaways:

Physical Titles:

  1. Gospel-Centered Teaching: Showing Christ in All of Scripture by Trevin Wax (LifeWay)
  2. Growing Up: How to Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples by Robby Gallaty (Cross Books)
  3. Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confused World by Andreas Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, and Josh Chatraw (B&H)
  4. Transformational Groups: Creating a New Scorecard for Groups by Eric Geiger and Ed Stetzer (B&H)
  5. Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer (B&H)
  6. Facing Leviathan: Leadership, Influence, and Creating in a Cultural Storm by Mark Sayers (Moody)
  7. Neighborhood Mapping: How to Make Your Church Invaluable to Your Community by John Fuder (Moody)
  8. United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity by Trillia Newbell (Moody)
  9. Torn to Heal: God’s Good Purpose in Suffering by Mike Leake (Cruciform)
  10. Contend: Defending Your Faith in a Fallen World by Aaron Armstrong (Cruciform)
  11. Eternity Changes Everything: How to Live Now in Light of Your Future by Stephen Witmer Good Book Company
  12. What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done by Matt Perman (Zondervan)
  13. Visit the Sick: Ministering God’s Grace in Times of Illness by Brian Croft (Zondervan)
  14. Know The Heretics by Justin Holcomb (Zondervan)
  15. Proof: Finding Freedom Through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones (Zondervan)
  16. Magnificent Obsession: Why Jesus Is Great by David Robertson (Christian Focus)
  17. The Gospel According to Daniel: A Christ-Centered Approach by Bryan Chapell (Baker)
  18. The New Calvinism Considered: A Personal and Pastoral Assessment by Jeremy Walker (Evangelical Press)
  19. Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry by Paul Tripp (Crossway)
  20. Five Views of Inerrancy (Zondervan)

E-Book Titles:

  1. Reformed Means Missional: Following Jesus into the World by Samuel T. Logan (New Growth Press)
  2. Calvin on the Christian Life: Glorifying and Enjoying God Forever by Michael Horton (Crossway)
  3. Joy for the World: How Christianity Lost its Cultural Influence and Can Begin Rebuilding It by Greg Foster (Crossway)
  4. A Loving Life: In a World of Broken Relationships by Paul Miller (Crossway)
  5. everPresent: How the Gospel Relocates Us in the Present by Jeremy Writebol (GCD)
  6. Captive to Glory: Celebrating the Vision and Influence of Jonathan Edwards by John Piper (Desiring God)
  7. Doctrine Matters: Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching by John Piper (Desiring God)
  8. Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace by John Piper (Christian Focus)
  9. Losing Your People Without Losing Your Mind by Dustin Neeley
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Glimpses of Grace Banner

There are two major audiences in the Christian publishing world, or so I’ve been told. There’s the ministry market, and then there’s the mom market. Christians reading and buying books are either pastors/ministry leaders or women in the church. Over the past decade, we have seen a gospel renaissance of publishing when it comes to the ministry market, but gospel-centered resources for the mom market are not as plenteous. In fact, the majority of books for Christian women/moms are more like “chicken soup for the soul” rather than “gospel riches for everyday life.”

Insert Gloria Furman and her new book Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home. [Currently on Amazon, it has 27 reviews, 25 of them five stars.]

In the Introduction to her book, Furman explains:

“The biggest question I want to explore in this book are: What does the gospel have to do with your lives in the home? Hoe does this grace change the way we live?”

She has written this book because we need to discover God-glorifying answers to the following questions:

  • What does the gospel have to do with everyday life in the home?
  • Hoe does the gospel impact our dish washing, floor mopping, bill paying, friend making, guest hosting, and dinner cooking?
  • How does the fact that Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24) make a difference in my mundane life today?

Every Christian is a theologian whether we admit it or not, and to be frank, many of the resources out there for Christian moms are not providing them solid, biblical, gospel-centered theology. Some resort to moralistic therapeutic deism or other forms of man-centered self-helpism. Others resort to prosperity-style escapism from the ordinary life of the mundane. Others still seem to recommend coping mechanisms to manage life, divorcing spiritual life from the very areas mothers need it most.

What Gloria Furman does in her book is put the gospel right in the center of everyday life–the place where mothers fight the good fight of faith in the home. She challenges women not to make excuses or shift blame but rather recognize the resources available in Jesus who died and rose again on their behalf to discover fresh repentance and faith through the renewing work of the Spirit. At the end of the (mundane) day, Furman wants others to treasure the gospel in the home, propelling them to exult in the hope of God’s glory. Due to her explorations of how the “gospel is the predominant, defining reality” in her life, we too can rediscover the preciousness of Christ and power of His gospel in the midst of whatever circumstances externally or emotional turmoil internally that may want to derail us from living by faith in all that Jesus has promised to be for us.

This is not a book just for women or mom’s in the church. This is a book for husbands who want to better understand the pressures and challenges of their spouse and know how to apply the gospel. It is a faithful guide and discipleship tool grounded not in becoming a better you but becoming more like Jesus. I recommend it as one who anticipates ways of using this book to be serve my wife and grow in grace myself.

For those of you who purchase a copy of Glimpses of Grace from your favorite local or online retailer from June 3-7, you have the opportunity to receive a free copy of the ebook as well as the ESV Study Bible Online ( Web App & Ebook)! To redeem your free extras, simply scan and email your receipt to before 11:59am on Friday, June 7.

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I Am a Church MemberWe live in a day where unfortunately it is hard to find committed churchmen (and women). I am talking about disciples of Jesus who build the rhythms of their lives around the local church and her mission in the world, who see the local body as the hub of their relationships and weave their identity intricately into their covenant community, who take the term “faith family” sincerely and live out its implications in everyday life. They are church members who don’t treat life in the body as optional, participation in the mission tangential, or recognized by others as nominal. They are faithful men and women committed to loving the church for which Jesus gave His life.

Last week at TGC13, I was given a copy of a new book by Thom Rainer entitled I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude That Makes a Difference.” Normally when I receive free books, publishers are clearing out inventory of titles not many people are buying (unless of course you come to one of my Band of Bloggers :)). But in this case, I became particularly interested in this little 75 page book because of its title (a slow reader like myself can finish this book in two hours).

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Favorite Puritan Paperbacks

Tim Brister —  December 5, 2012 — 15 Comments

Several of you may recall the 2008 Puritan Reading Challenge where I challenged folks to read with me one Puritan Paperback a month. Within a short period of time, it took a life of its own, with over 25,000 people across the world getting on board. In my regular reading schedule, I hardly ever go without a Puritan paperback in my hand. Most recently, I have been reading The Heart of Christ by Thomas Goodwin.

Recently, Westminster Bookstore asked Mark Dever, Sinclair Ferguson, and Carl Trueman about their five favorite Puritan paperbacks. I was intrigued by their lists, and thought I’d pass them on to you with a list of my own.

Mark Dever

1.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
2.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
3. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
4. All Loves Excelling by John Bunyan
5. The Love of Christ by Richard Sibbes

Sinclair Ferguson

1.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
2.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
3. Letters of Samuel Rutherford
4. The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie
5. Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks

Carl Trueman

1.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
2. The Art of Prophesying by William Perkins
3. A Puritan Golden Treasury by I.D.E. Thomas
4. The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson
5. The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter

My List

1.  The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
2.  The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
3.  The Glory of Christ by John Owen
4. The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
5. The Godly Man’s Picture by Thomas Watson

Do you have any favorite Puritan paperbacks?
Do share (and why if you don’t mind either).

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At the upcoming PLNTD Conference in Nashville, we are focusing on Gospel-Driven Leadership. We want to press into how the gospel shapes the leader, and out of that flowing a gospel-centered philosophy of leadership. When I first discovered the new book by Paul Tripp, Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, I thought to myself, “I need to get this book into the hands of as many church leaders as possible.”

Thankfully, Crossway has been generous enough to give a FREE copy to everyone who attends the Gospel-Driven Leadership Conference. This book, I believe, will be one of the most significant contributions to pastoral leadership in years. Watch the video below and check out some of the blurbs from evangelical leaders across the country.

»» To sign up for the conference and get a free copy of Dangerous Calling, click here.

Dangerous Calling from Crossway on Vimeo.

“This book is ‘good’ in the same way that heart surgery is good. It’s painful and scary and as you read it you’ll be tempted to run away from the truth it contains. But it just might save your life. Pastors need this book. I know I really needed it. It challenged me and rebuked me even as it gave me hope and fresh faith in God for pastoral ministry.”
-Joshua Harris, Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

Gospel-centered and grace saturated to the core, Dangerous Calling is a must read for any pastor or pastor in training who needs to be encouraged by the reminder that Jesus came to do for us what we could never do for ourselves or others.”
-Tullian Tchividjian, Pastor, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; author, Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Dangerous Calling is a dangerous book to read. It is also a book every person in ministry should read. It will cut you to the heart and bring massive conviction if you read it with a humility and ask God to expose sins deeply hidden in your soul. It cuts, but it also provides biblical remedies for healing. I would love to put this book in the hand of every seminarian who walks on my campus.”
-Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Pastoral ministry is a dangerous calling, and this is a dangerous book. It will not leave you unchanged. Pastors need pastors, and by God’s grace, every page of this book will minister to your heart, your marriage, your family, and the people you serve—in ways you never thought you needed it. This book digs down into the inner recesses of our hearts to reveal our greatest idols and point to our greatest needs. ”
-Burk Parsons, Associate Pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; editor, Tabletalk magazine

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Look Away from Self to Jesus

Tim Brister —  September 10, 2012 — 4 Comments

I am reminded regularly in my reading of Octavius Winslow’s Morning Thoughts why this devotional is, in my opinion one of the best, Christ-centered resources available for daily intake. Today’s reading is such a reminder. If you have not picked up this book, I encourage you to do so. You can also get it on Kindle for $.99.


“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:13

GOD speaks of it as involving two evils-the evil of forsaking Him, and the evil of substituting a false object of happiness for Him. Dear reader, the true painfulness of this subject consists not in the sorrow which your heart may have felt in seeing your cisterns broken. Ah no! the true agony should be, that you have, in your wanderings and creature idolatry, sinned, deeply sinned, against the Lord your God. This, and not your loss, ought to lay you low before Him. This, and not your broken scheme of earthly happiness, ought to fill you with the bitterness of sorrow, and clothe you with the drapery of woe.  Oh! to have turned your back upon such a God, upon such a Father, upon such a Friend, and to have supposed that even a universe of creatures could have made you happy without Him, ought to bring you to His feet exclaiming, “God be merciful to me, the chief of sinners!”

Is it no sin to have said to God, as you have a thousand times over-“I prefer myself to You-my family to You-my estate to You-my pleasure to You-my honor to You”? Is it no sin to have taken the gifts with which He endowed you, or the wealth with which He entrusted you, and forming them into a golden image, to have fallen down before it, exclaiming, “This is your god, O my soul?” Oh yes, it is a sin, the guilt and the greatness of which no language can describe. And is it no sin, O believer in Jesus, to have turned away, in your unbelief and inconstancy, from the glorious redemption which the Lord has obtained for you at such a price, and to have sought the assurance and the joy of your salvation from other sources than it? What! is not the atoning work of Jesus sufficient to give your believing soul solid rest, and peace, and hope, but that you should have turned your eye from Him, and have sought it in the polluted and broken cistern of self? Oh, slight not the precious blood, the glorious righteousness, the infinite fullness, and the tender love of Jesus thus. No, you dishonor this precious Jesus Himself!

Shall He have wrought such an obedience, shall He have made such an atonement, shall He have died such a death, shall He have risen and have ascended up on high, all to secure your full salvation and certain glory, and will you derive the evidence and the comfort of your acceptance from any other than this one precious source-“looking unto Jesus!” Look away, then, from everything to Jesus. No matter what you are, look away from self-to Jesus. The more vile, the more empty, the more unworthy, the greater reason and the stronger argument why you should look entirely off yourself-to Jesus. His atoning work is finished by Him, and is sealed by the Father. It is impossible that God can reject you, entirely renouncing yourself and fleeing into Christ. Coming to Him in the name of Jesus, God cannot deny you. He has pledged Himself that whatever is asked in that name He will grant. Take Him at His word!

Ask Him for a sense of His reconciled love-ask Him for the Spirit of adoption-ask Him for a filial, loving, and obedient heart-ask Him for a meek, lowly, and submissive will. Yes, pour out your heart before Him: God waits to grant your utmost desire breathed out to Him in the name of Jesus. He has given you His beloved Son-oh largess worthy of a God!-oh gift of gifts, priceless and precious beyond all thought!-what inferior blessing will He then, withhold?

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One of the best devotional books published in recent years is Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself by my food friend Joe Thorn. His introductory chapter is easily worth the price of the book. Joe brings the balance of preaching both the law and gospel as a normal means of spiritual growth. He writes:

“It is not just gospel that we need to preach to ourselves, but law and gospel. Just as the lost cannot come to know Christ apart from an understanding of law and gospel, neither will the believer grow in grace apart from the preaching of both law and gospel.”

After concise and clear explanation of the importance of the law, he proceeds to the gospel. Below is a portion of that chapter where he explains why the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is good news to the believer.

“At its core, the gospel is Jesus as the substitute for sinners. We could summarize the whole by saying that in his life Jesus lives in perfect submission to the will of God and he fulfills his righteous standard (the law). In his death on the cross he quenches God’s wrath against sin, satisfying the sovereign demand for justice. In his resurrection he is victorious over sin and death. All of this is done on behalf of sinners in need of redemption and is offered to all who believe. This is therefore very ‘good news.’”

1. The Life of Jesus – Jesus’ life is good news, for his obedience to the Father and fulfillment of the law is for us. Where we as sinners fail to keep the law, Jesus was perfectly faithful.

“The life of Jesus offers hope to the broken, to those who recognize their inability to keep God’s law, and to those who are frustrated with their own fallings and failings. The gospel is the life of Jesus for sinners. His righteousness is our righteousness, and this gives us hope and confidence before God. Here the broken find encouragement, for in Christ we are righteous.”

2. The Death of Jesus – Jesus’ death is good news because his death was a payment for our sin, and by it we are cleansed from our guilt and released from condemnation.

“The death of Jesus offers hope to those who are overcome with guilt and conviction by offering cleansing and acceptance. Though we are sinners, God will not count our sins against us. He receives us because Jesus has died and put away our sins and reconciled us to God, who now, and forever, relates to us as a father relates to his son, and nothing can separate us from his love. Here the broken find hope, for in Christ we are cleansed.”

3. The Resurrection of Jesus – Jesus’ resurrection is good news because his victory over death is ours and through it we look forward to a resurrection of our own.

“The resurrection of Jesus offers courage and strength to persevere because his victory over sin and death is ours both in this life and in the one to come. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us, sanctifies us, and empowers us to follow Christ and serve the mission of the church. And we know that the spirit who raised Jesus from the dead will raise us as well when Jesus returns. Here the broken find hope and courage, for in Christ we have power and victory to obey, and we will, in the end, be raised in his likeness.”

If you have not picked up Joe’s book, I encourage you to do so. He is a faithful guide in learning how to preach truth to one’s own soul.

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I know that bloggers like free books. Over the past six years, I have connected hundreds of bloggers with dozens of book publishers and given away over 20,000 books through Band of Bloggers. One of the generous publishing companies has been Moody Publishers, and they have just recently announced a new Blogger Review Program. If you are blogger who likes to read and review books, I encourage you to check this program out. It’s a great way to get good books you would normally buy for free.

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For the month of October, ChristianAudio is giving away as a free download John Piper’s audiobook Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God. This is a really helpful book, and if you have a regular commute or exercise routine, this audiobook is well worth your time.

Here’s a video trailer for the book.

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I recently picked up this book on hard copy as well as on Kindle. Below is an exclusive video documentary featuring John Piper as he walks through his personal story of growing up in the racist South. His personal story boldly champions the transforming power of the gospel and the beauty of racial diversity and harmony in Christ.

Very moving. Check it.

[vimeo 28323716]
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