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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 (August 2018)

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Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They MatterThe cover of Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter

Thomas R. Schreiner

B&H, 2018

Tom Schreiner accomplishes several goals in this book. He provides a concise introductory overview of the biblical teaching on spiritual gifts. He provides helpful, clear definitions of particular miraculous gifts, such as prophecy and tongues. He provides a well-advised argument for a qualified cessationist position with regard to the miraculous gifts. And he models informed and ethical engagement with questions on which Christians differ. This is an excellent book from a seasoned scholar, plainly written, easily accessible for anyone looking to understand the biblical teaching on spiritual gifts. [Read TGC’s full-length review here.]

 

The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient CatechismThe cover of The Apostles' Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism

Ben Myers

Lexham Press, 2018

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth . . .” The ancient creed remains in frequent use today because it confesses succinctly the most basic tenets of faith that all Christians hold in common. Ben Myers provides a series of brief, popular-level meditations on every line—virtually every word—of the creed. The book is small, the chapters are brief, but the net result of the 21 chapters is a profitable re-acquaintance with the creed and its important content.

 

Discipling the Flock: A Call to Faithful ShepherdingThe cover of Discipling the Flock: A Call to Faithful Shepherding

Paul Tautges

Shepherd Press, 2018

Church elders need focus. Their work must be shaped in every way by the priorities and responsibilities given them by the Chief Shepherd himself. That’s what Paul Tautges writes to remind us of in his newest book. He writes briefly, and he’s right on target. An excellent little book for every church member and—most importantly—for every church leader. Elder boards would do well to work through this little book together—their churches would be well served by it.

 

Mini-Guide series from Banner of TruthThe covers of the four books in the Banner Mini-Guide series.

The Bible: God’s Inerrant Word by Derek Thomas

Salvation: Full and Free in Christ by Ian Hamilton

The Church: Glorious Body, Radiant Bride by Mark Johnston

The Christian Mind: Escaping Futility William Edgar

I love it when publishers find their way to providing books on important topics, by capable authors, in a small-size, easy-to-read, popularly accessible format. That’s the idea behind this new series from Banner of Truth—the four volumes listed above are the first to be released. This series is a wonderful idea, well-conceived and certain to be of profit to many.

 

Rewriting Gender: You, Your Family, Transgenderism, and the GospelThe cover of Rewriting Gender?

David Martin

Christian Focus, 2018

“What the book tries to do is to follow the overarching storyline of the Bible in an attempt to make it clear that transgenderism is a symptom of a far deeper problem that only Jesus can heal.” Our generation of sexual confusion has brought with it a new urgency for parents to teach their children about what it means to be a boy or a girl, and Martin seeks to help parents in this regard in this brief, engagingly written book—addressed primarily to his own young children in words they can easily understand. I might quibble about his wording in (only) a couple places, but without doubt this is a helpful model and aid for Christian parents.

 

Still Protesting: Why the Reformation Still MattersThe cover of Still Protesting: Why the Reformation Matters

D. G. Hart

Reformation Heritage Books, 2018

If you’re tempted to think the Reformation is over, or if you wonder why Roman Catholicism has attracted some Protestants, or if you fear the discussion of its leading issues may be merely another round of Catholic-bashing, then you’ll want to read this book. An engaging, well-informed, insightful, contemporary discussion of Protestant issues that still demand clarification.

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