Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

Journey to the Cross: A 40-Day Lenten Devotional by Paul Tripp. Crossway. 184 pages. 2021 
****

 

I’ve enjoyed several of Paul Tripp’s devotionals over the past few years, my favorite being his New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. His latest devotional gives us 40 readings, some in poetry form, leading up to Easter. Each reading begins a short statement, which may have originally been one of the author’s tweets. He suggests using this devotional as your stimulus and guide as you stop, consider, mourn, confess, pray, and give your heart to thanksgiving.
Through these readings, and the “Reflection Questions” included at the end of each selection, we follow Jesus on his journey to the cross. The author writes that the horrible, public sacrifice of Jesus should ignite not only our celebration, but also our mourning.

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS

The Characters of Easter: The Villains, Heroes, Cowards, and Crooks Who Witnessed History’s Biggest Miracle by Daniel Darling. Moody Publishers. 208 pages. 2021
****

Daniel Darling follows up his popular The Characters of Christmas book (see my review of that book here), with a similar book about the characters of Easter. The book is easy to read and engaging, but don’t mistake that for this being a simple book that you will not learn from. Darling offers much information about the history of the period and the background of the characters that you might not have previously been aware of. Like the previous book, I read and discussed this one with a group of men I’ve been meeting with to read and discuss books for many years now. Also like the previous book, this book includes study questions at the end of each chapter, along with suggested hymns and songs related to the chapter that are helpful whether you are reading the book individually or with a group.
The author tells us that Jesus took upon Himself your sins so you could enjoy intimacy with your Father, and that Easter means those who are in Christ will be made alive, spiritually and physically. By looking at unlikely disciples, unprepared civil authorities, and unscrupulous religious leaders in this book, we can learn more about the setting in which Jesus lived and died, and we will gain a great love for God’s long and sure plan of salvation and rescue.
I highly recommend this book to you. Below, I’ve provided two takeaways from each of the chapters of the book:

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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


My Heart Cries Out: Gospel Meditations for Everyday Life by Paul Tripp. Crossway. 256 pages. 2019
****

After reading a few other devotional books by Paul Tripp (New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, Come, Let Us Adore Him: A Daily Advent Devotional, and A Shelter in the Time of Storm: Meditations on God and Trouble), I looked forward to reading his latest book of devotional readings. This book includes 120 meditations written in the form of poetry, accompanied by beautiful photography by Tim Kellner. For the book, Kellner traveled to ten countries and five continents. The photography selections are meant to reflect the content and themes contained within the poetry. After each meditation, there is a related Bible verse, questions and a Bible passage for further study and encouragement on the subject matter of the meditation.

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12 New and Upcoming Books of Interest

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: Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Just Jones: Sometimes a Thing Is Impossible . . . Until It Is Actually Done by Andy Andrews. Thomas Nelson. 272 pages. 2020
***

Just Jones is the third book in the Noticer trilogy, following 2009’s The Noticer and 2013’s The Noticer Returns. The books are partly non-fiction (Andy Andrews and his wife Polly are included, and the majority of the book takes place in Orange Beach, Alabama, where Andrews lives), and mostly fiction, revolving around a mysterious old man name Jones. Not Mr. Jones. Just Jones.
Jones is an interesting character. He shows up and disappears without notice. He can make things happen that are beyond belief. He is a noticer. He notices things that other people overlook, most of which are in plain sight. He notices things about situations and people that produce perspective, or a broader view. Throughout the book, Jones also shares his personal philosophies on a variety of subjects.
The book begins with a confusing “Prologue”, which is later made clear. We then meet 27-year-old Keely, who is in a Florida jail cell with Jones. Keely is in jail on a charge of drunk and disorderly, along with hitting a police officer. We never find out why Jones is in jail. Jones calls Andy to pick him up from jail. They haven’t seen each other for six or seven years.

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12 Upcoming Books You May Be Interested In

There are a number of books set to be published over the next few months that I think you might be interested in. Here are 12 of them, and I’ve included their description from Amazon except where otherwise noted:

Three books in R.C. Sproul’s Crucial Questions series will be published August 12. All of the books in the Crucial Questions series are free in the Kindle edition.

How Can I Live by Faith?
“Becoming a Christian doesn’t come at the cost of your intellect. In fact, the Christian faith provides the most compelling, logical explanation for life in this world. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul demonstrates that Christianity is rational because it is based on the promises of God, who has proven His trustworthiness in His Word. These promises provide an unshakable foundation for our salvation, faithful living, and hope for the future.”

 What is the Gospel?
“Many people think that since God is good, He will accept us as long as we lead good lives. But this isn’t good news, because none of us is as good as God. If left to ourselves, we will receive what our lives actually deserve: His judgment. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul explains the gospel, God’s good news for sinful people like us. While we could never save ourselves from His just condemnation, God calls us to trust in His Son, Jesus Christ, who alone can redeem us through His righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection.”

 What is Biblical Wisdom?
“Wisdom isn’t something only needed by the foolish and immature. All of us are called to grow in wisdom, for true wisdom has to do with pleasing the God who made us. In this booklet, Dr. R.C. Sproul introduces the Wisdom Literature of the Old Testament. He shows that wisdom goes hand in hand with being godly, and he demonstrates the Bible’s practical guidelines for a well-lived life that honors the Lord.”


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