Editors’ note: 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.
Todd M. Sorrell
Focus Publishing, 2017
It’s surprising we’re only now seeing a book like this—parents have needed it for generations. This book provides mature guidance for parents and students thinking through the life-shaping decision of where to go to college. It’s biblical, practical, and well-planned, with a foreword by John MacArthur and Stuart Scott. Long-overdue and highly recommended.
Logos Mobile Education
Lexham Press, 2017
This course for Logos Software attempts to clarify the various perspectives represented in last summer’s online Trinity debates that centered on the question of subordination. The course features both video and written transcripts from Fred Sanders, Kevin Giles, Millard Erickson, Bruce Ware, and Wayne Grudem, each representing a leading viewpoint in the discussion.
The subject material here may seem daunting, but as you would expect from these men, the presentations are all clear, to the point, and certainly within the grasp of any who would like to get a handle on the debate. Without doubt the course succeeds in clarifying their distinctive understandings. I wish Lexham had arranged some kind of interaction between these men—some statements deserve serious challenge. Even so, the course succeeds in articulating the various perspectives in relatively brief space. The videos make for easy viewing and the transcriptions for quick reading.
John M. Frame
John Frame is well known for his “three perspectives” on everything. In his Doctrine of the Word of God I first saw how it can be helpful: I believe the Bible is God’s Word (1) because it claims and proves itself to be (the normative perspective), (2) because the evidence demands it (the situational perspective), and (3) because the Holy Spirit has taught me (the existential aspect). Now at long last Frame lays out the thinking behind his triperspectivalism in what appears to be his shortest book (less than 100 pages of text). Many have been waiting for this work!
Christian Focus, 2017
Hardly “sound bites,” but some of the chapters are brief. “This short book is a compilation of some original audio biographies contributed to and aired on Serving Today,” a radio program that airs mainly in Africa to help pastors and church leaders in their ministry. This book isn’t a comprehensive history of the Reformation, but its “sound bite” selections are good and will doubtless serve as a helpful introduction to the wonderful history of this important era. Easy and enjoyable reading well-timed for this “Reformation 500” year.
Carta Jerusalem, 2017
An introductory survey of the Maccabean period up to the time of Herod the Great. Generously illustrated with maps and pictures, both ancient and modern. A coffee-table book but remarkably comprehensive for its brevity. Probably the quickest informed introduction you can find.
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