Spiritual Gifts: What they Are and Why they Matter by Thomas Schreiner, B&H, $16.99
Review by Sarah Haywood
“The true test of spiritual maturity is whether we live in love,” Tom Schreiner writes in his new book, Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter. Christians should be concerned with loving God and loving others, and spiritual gifts are God-given, specifically to make that happen.
Schreiner’s book is short and non-technical on the subject of spiritual gifts, from their definition to the understanding of the arguments for the cessation and continuation of the gifts. Each chapter includes chapter conclusions and a set of discussion questions, making the book a ready resource for individual or group study.
Schreiner describes spiritual gifts as manifestation of the Holy Spirit and gifts given by God. But these gifts are given for a purpose, he explains. There is a range of gifts represented in Scripture, and Schreiner details a few of them, including those that he, as a cessationist, believes to have ceased. The gifts listed include that of being an apostle, prophecy, teaching, miracles, healing, service, helping, administrating, leading, tongues, faith, giving.
Several chapters address gifts like prophecy and tongues more in-depth — the gifts that are more highly debated regarding whether they continue to today or not. He then provides his argument in favor of cessationism.
Aside from the controversy around sign gifts, Schreiner has one important lesson all Christians should learn about spiritual gifts: “Gifts are worthless without love,” he writes.
How the Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics in a Divided Age by Jonathan Leeman, Thomas Nelson Publishing, $22.99
Review by Caleb Shaw
American politics is perhaps more fractured now than ever before, and it seems the church is often caught in the middle of the widening divide. In this difficult position, editorial director and SBTS alumnus Jonathan Leeman provides the church with a helpful book that rethinks the relationship of faith and politics. By exploring the role of politics theologically, Leeman explains that the role of the believer in politics is to represent the kingdom of Christ. How the Nations Rage will encourage and challenge you as you navigate this unprecedented political moment.
Kiss the Wave: embracing god in your trials by Dave Furman, Crossway, $14.99
Review by Sarah Haywood
In his new book, Dave Furman reflects on what it means to embrace God in times of trial. Furman, senior pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, has a debilitating nerve disease, bringing pain every day. And with his chronic pain comes depression. But Furman says that there is a purpose to his pain. Kiss the Wave is an encouraging read, especially for those who have experienced the wave of pain of all kinds.
ESV Archeology Study Bible by John Currid and David Chapman, Crossway, $49
Review by Ben Aho
The ESV Archeology Study Bible, edited by John Currid and David Chapman, invites readers into the world of the Bible. It comes with more than 2,000 study notes, 400 full-color photos, and 200 maps and diagrams. Throughout the helps and articles, readers can also see a variety of artifacts and historical locations. The book is ideal for readers of all educational levels and will fortify their trust in the historicity of the Scriptures.
Acts 1-12 For You by R. Albert Mohler Jr., The Good Book Company 2018, $22.99
Review by Aaron Cline Hanbury
In a new popular-level book about the first half of the book of Acts, R. Albert Mohler Jr. suggests four primary emphases in the book. He proposes that the author, Luke, focuses on how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament, on the person of Jesus, on the church, and, finally, on the sovereignty of God.
These are not independent threads, writes Mohler, who is president of Southern Seminary. Instead, they’re interconnected, and even build on each other. Mohler argues that Jesus’ fulfilling the Old Testament provides the basis for believing Scripture in the first place.
“By focusing on the fact that Jesus has fulfilled the Old Testament, Luke is helping us to see that God’s Word never returns empty (see Isaiah 55:11), and that the basis of our Christian belief is found in the Scriptures.”
In Acts 1-12 For You, Mohler dedicates a chapter to each of the first 12 chapters of Acts. The writing style and format of the book make it not only accessible but equally useful for study or devotion.