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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 (October 2018)

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Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes the ChurchCover of prayer by John Onwuchekwa

John Onwuchekwa

9Marks/Crossway

One of the best, most helpful books on prayer I’ve read. Onwuchekwa’s focus is corporate prayer, but his excellent instruction can’t help but affect individual prayer also. Not one of those books designed to shame you into praying more, but a positive, profitable guide to better prayer that actually leaves you passionate to experience it more. An excellent contribution to 9Marks’s series and a pleasure to read. Buy a case of them to distribute in your church! [Read 20 quotes from this book here.]

 

On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great BooksCover of On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior

Karen Swallow Prior

Brazos, 2018

If you have any affinity for reading “great books,” this is a book you won’t want to miss, and it’ll likely teach you to read better. Prior first shows us how to “read well,” and then through a survey of a dozen classics she helps us learn the virtues they display in the lives of their characters. An engaging read, this new book is sure to do well. [Read TGC’s full-length review and an interview with the author.]

 

That Little Voice in Your Head: Learning about Your ConscienceCover of That Little Voice in Your Head by Andrew David Naselli

Andrew David Naselli, author

Julie Carter, illustrator

Christian Focus, 2018

Parents of young children won’t want to miss this excellent new book. Naselli employs the story of a young girl who stole to help children understand the nature of conscience . . . and the gospel. A wonderful teaching tool. Highly recommended. [Read a TGC article by Naselli on this topic.]

 

Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for AdventCover of Love Came Down at Christmas by Sinclair Ferguson

Sinclair B. Ferguson

The Good Book Company, 2018

Christmas in its first instance was about lovethe saving love of God in sending his Son to save. And in 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul tells us about love at some length, describing how love ought to be evident in our own behavior. Sinclair Ferguson brings these concepts together in this marvelous exposition of Paul’s famous “love chapter.” Warm expositions, so typical of Ferguson, are challenging but with an eye to that love most eminently displayed in the Lord Jesus. Excellent. Wonderfully rich yet brief readings for 24 days. Very highly recommended!

 

Finding Favour in the Sight of God: A Theology of Wisdom Literature Cover of Finding Favour in the Sight of God by Richard P. Belcher

Richard P. Belcher Jr.

IVP Academic, 2018 (New Studies in Biblical Theology)

Don Carson has been editing this series a while now, and this latest contribution demonstrates its continued value. Belcher’s clarification of the nature of Old Testament “wisdom” itself, as well as his treatment of the wisdom of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, and (for my money) especially his closing chapter on “Jesus and Wisdom,” all make this a must-read for anyone taking up the subject.

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