Eight Twenty-Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up, Ian and Larissa Murphy(B&H 2014, $15.99)


Review by RuthAnne Irvin

Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn’t Give Up is a redemptive story of God’s faithfulness, life’s sorrows intermingled with joy, and one couple’s devotion to Jesus that points people to Christ’s never-ending love.

The book is an autobiographical sketch of Ian and Larissa Murphy’s lives as they navigate marriage amidst Ian’s brain injury. After a severe car accident in 2006 in Pennsylvania, Ian suffered brain damage that left him in a coma and lifeless in a hospital bed for many months. Through the long days and hopeless news, Larissa faithfully served Ian and his family — first as his girlfriend, then as his wife.

Through many years of prayer and hard work on Ian’s part, he recovered the ability to speak, is now learning to walk, and regained his memory capacity.

Two years ago, the evangelical community learned about the couple through John Piper’s website, Desiring God. The website featured Larissa’s articles about their story, sharing her struggles and God’s grace in carrying them through the tragedy of Ian’s accident and later the death of Ian’s dad.

Now, Larissa continues to blog about Ian’s progress and their daily fight to remember Christ and God’s sustaining power above all.

Eight Twenty Eight is written with a raw honesty rare for most books in today’s prosperity culture, and is a refreshing and encouraging story of God’s work despite the effects of a sin-cursed world.

“Christ is Lord over death. Over suffering. Over all. It is why we keep on battling,” she writes.

For anyone needing a reminder about God’s faithfulness, Christ’s love that surpasses all of life, or if you want to be pointed to Jesus through two sinners who love Jesus more than good health and a perfect life, Eight Twenty Eight is a must-read.

C.S. Lewis and Mere Christianity: The Crisis that Created a Classic, Paul McCusker(Tyndale 2014, $14.99)


Review by Andrew J.W. Smith

In the midst of the Second World War, BBC’s director of religion, James Welch, searched for wartime programming that would be fresh, insightful, and relevant. Having read The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis’ 1940 theodicy of suffering, Welch tabbed Lewis to deliver a series of broadcast talks on the Christian faith.

From 1942 to 1944, Lewis delivered three series on BBC radio which were later compiled into Mere Christianity.

In C.S. Lewis and Mere Christianity, Paul McCusker explores how the classicis rooted in the Second World War, highlighting Lewis’ pastoral applications of Christian hope to a suffering and war-torn country. Himself a product of the First World War and a convert to Christianity only 10 years prior, Lewis masterfully articulated the Christian faith to a popular audience at a crucial hour.

For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship, Daniel I. Block (Baker Academic 2014, $34.99)


Review by Colton Guffey

“True worship involves reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign in response to his gracious revelation of himself and in accord with his will,” writes Daniel I. Block in For the Glory of God: Recovering a Biblical Theology of Worship.

Block expresses concern that the church has become accustomed to understanding worship only as something performed on Sunday morning. Instead, he attempts to reorient the church to a holistic biblical perspective on worship by examining various aspects of worship in the Old and New testaments and applying the biblical data to the church and its practices today.

With this approach, Block demonstrates that worship is more than a service or style of music, but involves the Christian’s entire life.

God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey, Andreas J. and Margaret E. Köstenberger (Crossway 2014, $22.99)


Review by Andrew T. Preston

With their new book, God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey, Andreas J. and Margaret E. Köstenberger enter into the important discussion of gender roles, marriage, and sexual identity by demonstrating Scripture’s consistent pattern for God’s divine design in male-female relationships.

The authors analyze the role of men and women in the Old Testament, beginning with a study of Genesis 1-3 as the foundation for God’s complementary design. Turning to the New Testament, the authors analyze how Jesus, the early church, and the Pauline epistles addressed this issue. The final chapter provides application for how we can live out God’s design in our lives today.

By tracing the theme of manhood and womanhood through the unfolding plan of redemptive history, the Köstenbergers fill a much needed gap for our theology and practice.