Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus- How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding

Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding (Baker, 2018)

When we read the Bible, we face a huge disadvantage. In the busyness and distraction of our 21st-century Western world, we can stare straight at the words on the page but miss their meaning. Even our Christian worldview can too easily assume a narrow perspective and, once again, miss the rich background upon which the Messiah lived. 

Bridging the gap between then and now is not a new effort. However, few have spanned that gorge in a more readable (and enjoyable) way than Lois Tverberg. Reading the Bible with Rabbi Jesus: How a Jewish Perspective Can Transform Your Understanding helps us understand Christ from His Jewish roots. Because those boring “begats” have a purpose to Jesus, they also relate to our lives. This book explains why the elements that before seemed irrelevant are, in fact, significant. 

When Jesus stepped on to the world’s stage, it wasn’t an empty one. The props were Hebrew—an unnatural perspective to us. Lois gives us a better understanding of the biblical setting, and so offers us a deeper appreciation (and application) of the Bible’s story and its primary focus: Jesus Christ. 

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The Baker Compact Dictionary of Biblical Studies

Baker Compact Dictionary of Biblical Studies (Baker, 2018)

The Baker Compact Dictionary of Biblical Studies serves as a handy reference to understanding words and names, heroes and heretics, ancient and modern. Both scholars and skeptics find themselves listed in alphabetical order alongside terms from “abomination of desolation” to “Zoroastrianism.” 
 
Concise, fair, and well-written, the little volume would prove more handy with a simple index of names, words, and page numbers. As a “dictionary” it doesn’t require an index, but the reader would benefit from scanning the contents at a glance. 
 
30 Days in the Land of the Psalms

30 Days in the Land of the Psalms (Moody Publishers, 2017)

Many Christians read the Psalms every day but miss the fullness of their message. Why? The psalmists were poets, weaving images from the lands around them into the lines of Holy Scripture. Without a picture of what the Judean Wilderness looks like, or Masada, or the Mount of Olives, we read the words but miss so much of the message.

Dr. Charlie Dyer is one of the most gifted expositors of the Holy Land I’ve ever read. As you read 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms, you will picture the places of the poets.

This book will help you do more than merely read the Psalms.

You’ll see them.

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I Am

I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is (Zondervan, 2017)

I love the way Michele Cushatt writes. Her pen never dips in a shallow inkwell but plunges in the depths of the real Christian life. Raw, real, and relevant, her words reflect the insight of a woman who has gone to the edge with God and found Him still secure.

Her latest book, I Am: A 60-Day Journey to Knowing Who You Are Because of Who He Is, offers us the next step beyond her excellent, first volume, Undone.

She shows us through her life of authentic weakness that the Lord’s love is often confusing and yet always enough.

Remember and Return

Remember and Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior–A Devotional (Baker, 2016)

MacArthur’s new devotional, Remember and Return, is content pulled from his trade book, Simple Christianity. Each of these short, 31 chapters takes a thought from the book and introduces it with a Scripture verse and concludes with a “Daily Challenge,” a new, poignant paragraph that is really what transforms MacArthur’s older content into a devotional. The book has some wonderful quotes by other authors, most especially puritans like John Owen. Remember and Return really doesn’t read like a devotional, but more like a book of theological truth with a “challenge” each day to apply it.

Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional

Devotions for a Deeper Life: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

A few authors seem to be given by God for daily devotionals. Oswald Chambers’ is such a writer, and this new volume, Devotions for a Deeper Life, shows the staying power of Chambers’ pen. Although most readers (including myself) have only read My Upmost for His Highest, these new devotionals, culled from content originally published in God’s Revivalist, read as fresh as those in Chambers’ well-known devotional. 365 excerpts also come with a Scripture verse, a thought for prayer, and a suggested Bible reading to go deeper.

Most daily devotionals are simply rehash, but this one pulls from the unpublished writings of one of our most-beloved writers and encourages us with fresh, new words.

Leadership Promises for Every Day

Leadership Promises for Every Day: A Daily Devotional (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

One of the most practical of all of John C. Maxwell’s daily readings, Leadership Promises for Every Day, offers the simple wisdom we’ve come to respect and need from this gifted writer. Excerpts from many of John’s popular volumes, in addition to Bible verses that relate to leadership principles, combine to make this daily devotional a simple and inspiring way to grow in leadership skills a little each day. The placeholder ribbon and the leather-like cover are nice additions.

America at the Crossroads

America at the Crossroads: Explosive Trends Shaping America’s Future and What You Can Do about It (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)

This new book by Christian pollster George Barna gives the latest facts about what America believes and trends that shape our future. Of course, anybody but an ostrich is well aware that America is in a moral nosedive. Barna simply reveals the fact with facts.

But America at the Crossroads isn’t just a book about facts and forecasts— it also includes Barna’s nudge on what we can do about it.

What is Reformed Theology

What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics (Baker Publishing Group, 2016)

This repackaged version of Sproul’s 1997 classic What is Reformed Theology? is, in Sproul’s own words, “a shorthand introduction to the crystallized essence of Reformation Theology.”

Much of what Sproul refers to as foundations of reformed theology might better be understood as the theology of the reformers—namely that it is centered on God, based on God’s Word alone, committed to faith alone, etc. After all, these tenets are also true of other theological systems outside of Reformed Theology.

A Different Kind of Happiness

A Different Kind of Happiness: Discovering the Joy That Comes from Sacrificial Love (Baker, 2016)

Larry Crabb has written one of the best books I’ve read all year. He describes the narrow way of Jesus’ teaching to include the hard work that true love requires –with a reward that is unmeasurable. In his own words:

I’ve written this book to think through what it means to really love and to explore the truth that sets us free to relate closer to the way we wish we could, to love like Jesus. As you journey with me in the following pages, and as I share something of my path to loving more like Jesus, think about your relationships and the circumstances in which you find yourself. What would it mean for you to battle for a better love?