I look forward to some extra time for reading during the summer as schedules slow down, and I get to dip into an interesting book while I sip a cool beverage. I’ve received a number of books from Christian publishers in recent weeks, and here are some that really look interesting. If you are looking for a book to deepen your faith and enlarge your sense of how believing shapes all of life, the books here might be worth a look.
Good Man, Nathan Clarkson. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2020. In a time when we wonder what it means to be a good man, Clarkson explores the qualities of character that define a man who finds his identity in Christ.
A Week in the Life of Ephesus, David A. DeSilva. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020. Ephesus played an important role in early Christianity, and this imaginative historical fiction rendering from a fine New Testament scholar promises an understanding of the context Christians facing the challenges of empire.
Why Science and Faith Need Each Other, Elaine Howard Ecklund. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2020. Ecklund explores the virtues arising from the pursuit of science and the practice of faith and how they mutually enhance each other in the pursuit of truth.
How to Read Daniel, Tremper Longman III. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2020. The book of Daniel can be confusing. The book helps us understand the context and the genres, especially apocalyptic, of the book.
Unto Us a Child is Born, Tyler D. Mayfield (Foreword by Walter Brueggemann). Grand Rapids: Wm B. Eerdmans, 2020. Christians often read and hear passages in Isaiah through the lens of Advent. Mayfield considers those readings alongside how our contemporary Jewish neighbors read and hear the same passages.
The Lost Art of Dying, L.S. Dugdale, MD. New York: Harper One, 2020. A Columbia physician who treats older patients who she has seen end their lives in over-medicalized procedures that prolong dying and strips them of their dignity. She draws on experience, faith, and a reading of Ars Moriendi (The Art of Dying) written at the height of the plague in the late Middle Ages to help us live and die well.
Wait With Me, Jason Gaboury. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2020. Without offering easy answers, Gaboury explores the common human experience of loneliness, and the possibility that this may be an invitation into a deeper relationship with God.
Uncommon Ground, Timothy Keller and John Inazu. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2020. In the midst of our highly divided culture, these two authors explore with ten others how we might find ground to engage others in the culture while remaining faithful to the gospel.
Working in the Presence of God, Denise Daniels & Shannon Vandewarker. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2020. Spiritual practices are not just for monastics but also for Christians in the workplace. This book offers a number of such practices that help people experience God’s presence in their work.
Leading Lives That Matter, 2nd edition, Edited by Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy C. Bass. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2020. A collection of texts from a wide array of writers on the theme of what is a life well-lived.
The Holy Spirit, Gregg R. Allison & Andreas J. Kostenberger. Nashville: B & H Academic, 2020. An in-depth study of the biblical theology of the Holy Spirit.
The Jesus of the Gospels, An Introduction, Andreas J. Köstenberger. Grand Rapids: Kregel Academic, 2020. An introductory survey of the four gospels by a top flight New Testament Scholar.
Several of these are long, thought-provoking works. I’ve heard the author of The Lost Art of Dying speak on this subject on several occasions. In July I get to interview the author of Wait With Me, and in August, one of the authors of Uncommon Ground, John Inazu. David A. DeSilva is an old friend, a great teacher, and I look forward to see what he does in writing historical fiction. I’ve been impressed with other works from the Theology of Work project, and Working in the Presence of God promises to be yet another one of these. Elaine Howard Ecklund’s approach to science and faith issues as a sociologist looks like an unique approach, based on shared virtues. I’m set with good reading for the summer!