Are We Together?: A Protestant Analyzes Roman Catholicism, R. C. Sproul, 2012, Reformation Trust, Lake Mary, Fla., ISBN 9781567692822, 129 pages, $17.00, hardcover.
R. C. Sproul has for decades been one of America's best-known theologians and one of the staunchest defenders of the principles of the Reformation, so it seems natural for him to take up his pen to address the growing forgetfulness in the American Church of just why it is that Protestants and Catholics are separate. With the intense cooperation between both groups on social values issues in recent years (which Sproul lauds) and the growing number of Protestants leaving evangelical denominations and joining the Roman Catholic Church (which he strongly laments), a book outlining the basic distinctions between Protestant and Catholic beliefs in simple language is much needed. Sproul carefully analyzes 6 key areas of dissent (the authority of Scripture, the nature of Justification, the role of the Church, the Sacraments, the Papacy, and the place of Mary) with thorough biblical exposition and makes a firm case that the Reformation is not over.
The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership that Matters, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., 2012, Bethany House, Bloomington, Minn., ISBN 9780764210044, 224 pages, $22.99, hardcover.
Mohler, best known as the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., was a driving force behind that institution's transformation from theological liberalism and fading relevance to a hotbed of solid biblical scholarship and evangelical influence. Through the principles outlined in this book, Mohler hopes to shift readers' understanding of what it takes to courageously stand for truth and motivate people to stand with you.
Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission, Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, 2012, Crossway, Wheaton, Ill., ISBN 9781433532221, 192 pages, $14.99, softcover.
Chester and Timmis, a pastor and a church planter respectively, bring to bear their experience with the Church in the United Kingdom on the problems facing the Western Church everywhere about our ministry to an increasingly post-Christian culture. Through an exposition of 1 Peter (an epistle written to encourage persecuted Christians living as "aliens and strangers" in a hostile culture), the authors encourage churches to rely on simple faithfulness to the Gospel and the testimony of their members rather than on dynamic leaders and entertaining programs in order to reach the lost in their communities.
God in Our Midst: The Tabernacle & Our Relationship with God, Daniel R. Hyde, 2012, Reformation Trust, Lake Mary, Fla., ISBN 9781567692815, 255 pages, $18.00, hardcover.
The lengthy Old Testament passages describing the construction of the Lord's Tabernacle and the rituals governing the worship of the Most High are among the more confusing and mystical sections of Scripture. Christians today often wonder about the significance of these practices and the attention to detail that seems foreign to a New Testament believer. Through this short but scholarly work, Hyde shows readers that the Tabernacle narratives have much to teach us about God, sin, our ultimate redemption in Christ, and how we are to live in light of these truths.
The Life of God in the Soul of the Church: The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship, Thabiti Anyabwile, 2012, Christian Focus Publications, Faern, Scotland, ISBN 9781845509231, 243 pages, $14.99, softcover.
Anyabwile, a respected pastor, author, and conference speaker, offers readers an opportunity to carefully consider the spiritual fellowship believers enjoy in the church. He contends that union with Christ is not simply individualistic, but is something that is discerned in the Gospel-focused fellowship of the local church. In expositing the "one anothers" of Scripture, he shows that the identity and responsibility of the church is not found in activities and programs but in our shared life in Christ and the mission He has called us to.
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