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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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New Books You Should Know (November 2018)

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Running from Mercy: Jonah and the Surprising Story of God’s Unstoppable GraceCover of Running from Mercy

Anthony Carter

B&H, 2018

Carter sees with wonderful clarity how the story of Jonah reflects the big, Bible-long picture of God’s gracious pursuit of sinners, and he has a remarkable ability to expound each step of Jonah’s story with theological and practical insight. A thoroughly enjoyable read for any Christian and a stimulating and helpful aid for the preacher.

 

 

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah SpurgeonCover of Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon

Ray Rhodes Jr.

Moody, 2018

You know Spurgeon, but what do you know of his wife? Did you know, in fact, that we would not know the great British preacher as we do if it weren’t for his wife, Susie? You’ll love their love story, and you’ll love their whole story. This book fills an important gap in church history studies, and its importance is matched only by the enjoyment it gives in reading. And it’s easily accessible to all readers besides. Thoroughly delightful!

 

In the Year of Our Lord: Reflections on Twenty Centuries of Church HistoryCover of In the Year of Our Lord

Sinclair B. Ferguson

Reformation Trust, 2018

Anytime I see a new book from Sinclair Ferguson, I get it. He’s one of a handful of authors whose works I’ll read and recommend every time. This book is his survey of 20 centuries of church history in 20 brief chapters. The approach is unique and the pace is swift and broad, providing an excellent overview of the church’s past. Each chapter features a representative selection from that given century, in addition to Ferguson’s insightful survey. A great read and a great choice for anyone on your Christmas list.

 

A Jesus Christmas: Explore God’s Amazing Plan for ChristmasCover of A Jesus Christmas

Barbara Reaoch

The Good Book Company, 2018

The Bible is a story about Jesus, and to understand Jesus rightly we must understand the Bible story. This little book is designed to highlight that story for children at Christmastime. Reaoch traces the story of Jesus from Genesis and the Pentateuch through the Davidic promise and the prophetic hope to Matthew 1–2, Luke 2, John 1, and the incarnation of Christ. Each step is drawn out with engaging questions and even a place for your child to draw. This little book is a wonderful idea and a wonderful resource for parents to teach their children about Jesus and the Bible story.

 

Paul as PastorCover of Paul as Pastor

Brian Rosner, Andrew Malone, Trevor Burke (eds.)

Bloomsbury / T&T Clark, 2017

A one-of-a-kind analysis of Acts and Paul’s epistles to draw out the nature of the apostle’s pastoral heart and work. It’s a dimension of study that was needed and that’s eminently useful for the pastor’s own enrichment and for enriching his expositions of the many, many Pauline passages examined in this book. A genuine contribution to New Testament and pastoral studies.

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