Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

12 New and Upcoming Books of Interest

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I read books in a variety of genres – theology, Christian living, biography, sports, professional and personal development, leadership, integrating faith and work, etc. Here 12 new and upcoming books of interest and a brief description of each below:

R.C. Sproul: A Life by Stephen Nichols
I’m currently reading this first biography of R.C. Sproul, my spiritual mentor, who went home to be with the Lord in late 2017.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“In this book, Stephen J. Nichols offers an in-depth look at Sproul’s life and ministry—his childhood; his formative seminary education; his marriage and partnership with his beloved wife, Vesta; his influence on broader American evangelicalism; and his many friendships with key figures such as James Montgomery Boice, John MacArthur, John Piper, J. I. Packer, and Chuck Colson. This biography details the profound impact Sproul had on the lives of many during his lifetime, and highlights the various ways his legacy continues to influence countless pastors and students worldwide.”


Hope in Times of Fear: The Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter by Tim Keller
Tim Keller’s latest book was written while he was battling pancreatic cancer.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
Hope in the Time of Fear is a book that unlocks the meaning of Jesus’s resurrection for readers. Easter is considered the most solemn and important holiday for Christians. It is a time of spiritual rebirth and a time of celebrating the physical rebirth of Jesus after three days in the tomb. For his devoted followers, nothing could prepare them for the moment they met the resurrected Jesus. Each failed to recognize him. All of them physically saw him and yet did not spiritually truly see him. It was only when Jesus reached out and invited them to see who he truly was that their eyes were open. Here the central message of the Christian faith is revealed in a way only Timothy Keller could do it–filled with unshakable belief, piercing insight, and a profound new way to look at a story you think you know. After reading this book, the true meaning of Easter will no longer be unseen.”


One Line Drive: A Life-Threatening Injury and a Faith-Fueled Comeback by Daniel Ponce de Leon
This book is written by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“​The path you take to achieving your dreams is not always easy. Daniel Ponce de Leon, an acclaimed pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, overcame many challenges to get to the Major Leagues. Drafted four times, he spent a long four years climbing his way up through the minors before finally reaching AAA, only one step away from the Major Leagues. Then, Daniel’s dream was almost shattered when he was struck in the head by a line drive. Spending weeks in the hospital and months recovering from a large epidural hematoma, skull fracture, brain swelling, and hemorrhaging, Daniel held on to his belief that he would one day realize his dream.
Fourteen months later, and fully recovered, he made his first Major League start, becoming the fifth pitcher in modern Major League history to throw seven innings of no-hit ball in his first outing. MLB.com referred to it as one of the greatest debuts in Major League Baseball history.
In One Line Drive, Daniel retells his remarkable journey, sharing how he never would have made it without his faith in God and the support of family and friends. Full of grit, determination, and faith, Daniel’s story is an inspiring reminder to keep pressing on regardless of any setback or disappointment.”


Providence by John Piper
I’m currently reading this 743-page book, which is being referred to as John Piper’s magnum opus.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“Drawing on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry, pastor and author John Piper leads us on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence―from Genesis to Revelation―to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history. Piper invites us to experience the profound effects of knowing the God of all-pervasive providence: the intensifying of true worship, the solidifying of wavering conviction, the strengthening of embattled faith, the toughening of joyful courage, and the advance of God’s mission in this world.”


Until Unity by Francis Chan
This book will be published April 1.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“In his new book Until Unity, New York Times best-selling author, Francis Chan, shows readers that the real problem is shallow or even non-existent love for each other. Do we truly understand the gospel? Do we believe in the miracle of the Holy Spirit in us? As believers, Christians are supposed to yield the fruit of supernatural love for one another. Instead, we allow jealousy and selfish ambition to prevail.
God hates this division between His children—and our indifference to it. He has provided the solution to the Church through gifting of leaders to equip His people in a way that leads to “unity of the faith”—but not at the expense of truth or holiness. Believers have done a poor job at this, but we can hear the call and be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3).
Although the Bible commands unity, some will resist these unifying efforts. We see it every day. We have to hate sin, love truth, and pursue unity for the Church. This is messy, but no matter what, Christians must give everything they have to the pursuit of a unified, restored Bride.”


Men and Women in the Church: A Short, Biblical, Practical Introduction by Kevin DeYoung
This book will be published April 6.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“There is much at stake in God making humanity male and female. Created for one another yet distinct from each other, a man and a woman are not interchangeable—they are designed to function according to a divine fittedness. But when this design is misunderstood, ignored, or abused, there are dire consequences.
Men and women—in marriage especially, but in the rest of life as well—complement one another. And this biblical truth has enduring, cosmic significance. From start to finish, the biblical storyline—and the design of creation itself—depends upon the distinction between male and female. Men and Women in the Church is about the divinely designed complementarity of men and women as it applies to life in general and especially ministry in the church.”


Marriage: 6 Gospel Commitments Every Couple Needs to Make by Paul Tripp
This updated edition (two new chapters and discussion questions) of What Did You Expect? will be published April 20.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“When two people say “I do,” they begin the journey of a lifetime―and they expect that journey to be perfect. Expectations of the perfect marriage are sure to fade away in the struggles of everyday life, but many are shocked when their marriage morphs into something they didn’t intend it to be. A long-term, gospel-centered marriage needs to be grounded in something sturdier than romance.
In this rebranded edition of What Did You Expect? popular author and pastor Paul David Tripp encourages couples to make 6 commitments to one another; commitments such as practicing forgiveness, appreciating differences, and actively working toward a relationship that is built on trust. Through each chapter, Tripp encourages readers to be motivated by grace as they strive to make Jesus Christ the center of their marriages.”


The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War by Malcolm Gladwell
This book will be published April 27.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“In The Bomber Mafia, Malcolm Gladwell weaves together the stories of a Dutch genius and his homemade computer, a band of brothers in central Alabama, a British psychopath, and pyromaniacal chemists at Harvard to examine one of the greatest moral challenges in modern American history.
Most military thinkers in the years leading up to World War II saw the airplane as an afterthought. But a small band of idealistic strategists had a different view. This “Bomber Mafia” asked: What if precision bombing could, just by taking out critical choke points—industrial or transportation hubs—cripple the enemy and make war far less lethal?
In his podcast, Revisionist History, Gladwell reexamines moments from the past and asks whether we got it right the first time. In The Bomber Mafia, he steps back from the bombing of Tokyo on the deadliest night of the war and asks, “Was it worth it?” The attack was the brainchild of General Curtis LeMay, whose brutal pragmatism and scorched-earth tactics in Japan cost tens of thousands of civilian lives, but may have spared more by averting a planned US invasion.
Things might have gone differently had LeMay’s predecessor, General Haywood Hansell, remained in charge. As a key member of the Bomber Mafia, Hansell believed in precision bombing, but his theories had been foiled by bad weather, enemy jet fighters, and human error. When he and Curtis LeMay squared off for a leadership handover in the jungles of Guam, LeMay emerged victorious, leading to the darkest night of World War II.
The Bomber Mafia is a riveting tale of persistence, innovation, and the incalculable wages of war.


Brave by Faith: God-Sized Confidence in a Post-Christian World by Alistair Begg
This book will be published May 1.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“What does it look like to live with joy in a society that does not like what Christians believe, say or do? It’s tempting to grow angry, keep our heads down, retreat or just give up altogether.
But this isn’t the first time that God’s people have had to learn how to live in a pagan world that opposes God’s rule. In this realistic yet positive book, renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg examines the first seven chapters of Daniel to show us how to live bravely, confidently and obediently in an increasingly secular society.
Readers will see that God is powerful and God is sovereign, and even in the face of circumstances that appear to be prevailing against his people, we may trust him entirely.
We can be as brave as Daniel if we have faith in Daniel’s God!”


When Prayer Is a Struggle: A Practical Guide for Overcoming Obstacles in Prayer by Kevin Halloran
This book by our friend Kevin Halloran will be published in August. (Note: the “Foreword” writer is a placeholder).
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“”I’m not sure why prayer really matters.” “I don’t know what to pray about.” “God just doesn’t seem to hear me.” “I’m too busy to pray.” “I get so distracted.” If you struggle to pray, be encouraged! The struggle reveals a desire to pray, and when you have that desire, you can address the obstacles to prayer by facing them head-on. Writing as a sympathetic and practical guide, Kevin Halloran helps you to pinpoint areas of weakness in your prayer life and take immediate steps to overcome them. We learn – how gospel truths speak into our common struggles in prayer – how we can move forward in prayer in practical ways – how believers from past and present have overcome obstacles, persevered in prayer, and grown in their love for God Examine your heart, implement practical measures, and experience the joys of faithfully drawing near to God.”


The Dawn of Redeeming Grace by Sinclair Ferguson
This book will be published October 1.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“As dawn broke on that first Christmas morning, the sun rose on a new era: God’s king had come to earth to bring about his kingdom.
Join Sinclair Ferguson as he opens up the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel in these daily devotions for Advent. Each day’s reflection is full of insight and application, and will help you to arrive at Christmas Day awed by God’s redeeming grace and refreshed by the hope of God’s promised king.”


Truth for Life by Alistair Begg
This book will be published November 1.
Here is the Amazon description of the book:
“Start with the gospel each and every day with this one-year devotional by renowned Bible teacher Alistair Begg.
We all need to be reminded of the truth that anchors our life and excites and equips us to live for Christ. Reflecting on a short passage each day, Alistair spans the Scriptures to show us the greatness and grace of God, and to thrill our hearts to live as His children. His clear, faithful exposition and thoughtful application mean that this resource will both engage your mind and stir your heart.
Each day includes prompts to apply what you’ve read, a related Bible text to enjoy, and a plan for reading through the whole of the Scriptures in a year. The hardback cover and ribbon marker make this a wonderful gift.”

I’m looking forward to these 12 new and upcoming books. What books are you looking forward to?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 40 years and a St. Louis Cardinals fan. Before retiring I served as a manager at a Fortune 50 company; I'm a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and 2 Corinthians 5:21 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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