On average, we publish around 150 book reviews a year at The Gospel Coalition. Ecclesiastes 12:12 rings true: “Of making many books there is no end.” It’s impossible to read, let alone review, each one. But in addition to our steady line of reviews, we want to highlight other books you should know about. This is our monthly installment of brief book notices from Fred Zaspel. You can check out more book notices, reviews, author interviews, and book summaries at Books At a Glance.
Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter
Thomas R. Schreiner
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 Catechism
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 Shepherding
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 Truth
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 Gospel
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 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.