Monthly Archives: January, 2013

Free E-Book Alert – Risk is Right by John Piper

Here is the latest, kind of, from John Piper – Risk is Right.  As you will see in our Helpful Book Reviews on Saturday, the book is actually taken from a chapter in Piper’s Desiring God.  However, it is still worth the read, especially if you have never read Desiring God.

Here’s the description:

A choice lies before you: Either waste your life or live with risk. Either sit on the sidelines or get in the game. After all, life was no cakewalk for Jesus, and he didn’t promise it would be any easier for his followers. We shouldn’t be surprised by resistance and persecution. Yet most of us play it safe. We pursue comfort. We spend ourselves to get more stuff. And we prefer to be entertained.

We are all tempted by the idea of security, the possibility of a cozy Christianity with no hell at the end. But what kind of life is that really? It’s a far cry from adventurous and abundant, from truly rich and really full, and it’s certainly not the heights and the depths Jesus calls us to.

Discover in these pages a foundation for fearlessness. Hear God’s promise to go with you into the unknown. And let Risk Is Right help you see the joys of a faith-filled and seriously rewarding life of Jesus-dependent abandon!

Download the free pdf here.


Win A Copy of God Redeeming His Bride

Ok, seriously, this is the day for book give aways!  I just saw this one on the Christian Focus blog though it looks like its been there all month:

God Redeeming His Bride

About the Book:

Church discipline is a term that is fraught with problems for the church today. However from the Biblical witness it is clear that it is an essential component of a healthy, God-honoring church – a church where Christians grow and mature in grace and develop solid foundations with which they can, with the help of the Spirit, withstand the storms of life.

With many years of pastoral experience, Robert K. Cheong has faced this issue many times. Additionally he interviewed over 30 pastors from different countries and a wide variety of church settings.

Click on the image above to enter.

Win A Copy of The Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall & Tony Payne


Just after I posted about the Reformation Book Give Away I saw this contest on another friend’s blog – Shaun Tabatt over at Bible Geek Gone Wild.  The Trellis and the Vine is a book that has been recommended to me many times over.  I’ve heard several pastors tell me of the huge impact it has made on their ministry.  So, go one over and win this book!  Click the image above to enter.

Reformation Book Give Away!

The Glory of Grace: the Story of the Canons of Dort by William Boekestein Inside the Reformation compiled by Mark Sengele

Each of these books is suited for children, but would make a good addition to the reading list of many parents I know, too. I enjoyed reading through each book, especially after my recent “Survey of the Reformation” series I taught for our adult SS class.

If you are interested in either of the two books above (click on the links for a description), check out my friend Bob Hayton’s blog – Fundamentally Reformed.

Free E-Book Alert – Fox’s Book of Martyrs

We Evangelicals pride ourselves in being persecuted, or at least what we think may be persecution – like not being asked to pray at an inaugural address…  Ok, so even if we are right now not facing persecution, we will be soon once the government comes looking for our guns after they kick down the doors of our church for refusing to marry same sex couples…  Ok, you get my point.

Today’s free e-book is about actual persecution faced by God’s people in years gone by.  Fox’s Book of Martyrs   is classic in Christian literature and ought to be read by God’s people today.  See not only the faith of individual men and women of God, but see how the Church of God prevailing against the gates of hell, upheld by the mighty power of God.  These men and women are not necessarily heroes of the faith but testimonies to the greatness of God and the power of His message.

Download the book here.


Redemptively Different

“We can’t engineer God’s transcendent presence; we can only fall on our faces and beg for it.  In fact, we rob this world of the opportunity to see God high and lifted up – above and beyond us – when we try to program him and fit him into contemporary categories of ‘cool.’  When the size of God grips us more than the size of our churches and leadership conferences, and when we become obsessed with surrendering our lives to God’s sovereign presence, only then we will be redemptively different and serve as God’s cosmic change agents in a world yearning for change.”

Tullian Tchividjian , Unfashionable – Page 18

Free E-Book Alert – I Have Loved You: Getting to Know the Father’s Heart

A friend of mine recommended this short devotional book today, so I pass it along to you…  Here is the book description:

From beloved author Cynthia Healed, known for her Becoming a Woman of . . . series of devotionals, comes a powerful exploration of what it really means to have an intimate relationship with God and the transforming difference it makes in our lives. Through twenty-eight short chapters, discover the richness of God’s encouraging words, His listening ear, His faithful presence, and His joyful embrace. Thought-provoking questions and journaling space will guide you on a deeply personal journey into God’s loving heart for you.

Our hearts long for intimacy with God. Join Cynthia Heald, beloved author of the Become a Woman of . . . series, on a journey into what intimacy with God really is. Cynthia’s warm writing and gentle wisdom invite you deeper into God’s heart to a place where His listening ear, loving words, faithful presence, and joyful embrace call you to draw near. There you will find that intimacy with God isn’t only about our love for Him but also about His great love for us.

Download the book here.

Free E-Book Alert – Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees

Since there’s no football today as we await the Super Bowl next week, why not take some time and read?  Today’s free e-book was written by quarterback Drew Brees and recounts his own struggles with injuries and recounts the struggles of the entire city of New Orleans as they had to battle their way through hurricane Katrina.

Here’s the book description:

When a potentially career-ending shoulder injury left quarterback Drew Brees without a team—and facing the daunting task of having to learn to throw a football all over again—coaches around the NFL wondered, Will he ever come back? After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, leaving more than 80 percent of the city underwater, many wondered,Will the city ever come back? And with their stadium transformed into a makeshift refugee camp, forcing the Saints to play their entire 2005 season on the road, people questioned,Will the Saints ever come back? It takes a special person to turn adversity into success and despair into hope—yet that is exactly what Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees has done—and with the weight of an entire city on his shoulders. Coming Back Stronger is the ultimate comeback story, not only of one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks, but also of a city and a team that many had all but given up on. Brees’s inspiring message of hope and encouragement proves that with enough faith, determination, and heart, you can overcome any obstacle life throws your way and not only come back, but come back stronger.

Download the book here.

Helpful Book Reviews – 01-26-13

The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung – My concern is that those who fear that the gospel can be overemphasized and should be balanced, maybe even limited by law will find fuel for their worry in DeYoung’s words, instead of realizing that these two realities for the Christian–that we are freely justified by faith as a gift AND that God calls believers to lives of obedience and holiness–are complementary truths and gain their meaning and power in relation to each other not in opposition to each other.

Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart by J.D. Greear – J. D. shows that faulty ways of presenting the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often gives false assurance to those who are not saved–and keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality. – Josh Harris

Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman – But my greatest concern is that Idleman describes the gospel as the gateway to the Christian life (which it is!) but not as the power and the joy of the entire Christian life (which it is as well). Without this focus on the gospel as the very center of our commitment to God, the book slips into being a call to commit to Jesus and then to commit to try harder. The fact is that we will all be fans at times, and only the gospel offers us the deepest peace, forgiveness and motivation to carry on. Unfortunately Idleman concentrates on the gospels so much, and the epistles so little, that he offers an unbalanced and incomplete view of Christian living. The reader concerned about his tendency to be a fan instead of a follower will learn to evaluate himself by his fervor rather than the finished work of Jesus Christ.  – Tim Challies

Jesus the Son of God by D.A. Carson – D. A. Carson’s latest book may have originated in a seminary lecture hall, but its subject strikes at the heart of a fiery global debate on the Christian mission frontier. How should Bible translators in predominately Muslim contexts render the term “Son of God”? Is the so-called Insider Movement an example of missiological sensitivity or overcontexualized carelessness? Organizations embroiled in the controversy include mission giants Wycliffe, SIL, and Frontiers. Such group have drawn the rebuke of entire denominations, including thePresbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Assemblies of God (AG). Jesus the Son of God comes as a timely treatment of the exegetical issues informing a broad contemporary mission challenge.  – Mark Overstreet

Straight from the Mailbox – Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart by JD Greear



The fine folks over at B&H Books sent me an advanced reviewer copy of J.D. Greear’s book Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart.  I must admit, I am really looking forward to reading this.  The advanced buzz on this is great and the title alone grabs me.  This looks like it will be a great resource to have on hand when counseling the teens I teach,

Be looking for my official review of the book coming soon.  The even better news is B&H has agreed to give a copy of this book away to one lucky Bring Me the Books blog reader!  More details to come…  Until then, here the book description:

 “If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ‘amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender,” says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. “Lack of assurance” is epidemic among evangelical Christians.

In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. shows that faulty ways of present- ing the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often gives false assurance to those who are not saved—and keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality.

Greear unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. He also answers the tough questions about assurance: What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?

Such issues are handled with respect to the theological rigors they require, but Greear never loses his pastoral sensitivity or a communication technique that makes this message teachable to a wide audience from teens to adults.

You can pre-order your copy for the incredibly low price of just over $6.  Check it out at amazon.