The thief comes only to steal and destroy;
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:10-11

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers. Dane Ortlund: Crossway. This is a book that was widely distributed by the publisher. I’ve read it on my own, with a pastor’s group, and now with our men’s group. Time well spent! From the book’s jacket: Christians know what Jesus Christ has done — but who is he? What is his deepest heart for his people, weary and faltering on their journey toward heaven? Jesus said he is “gentle and lowly in heart.” This book reflects on these words, opening up a neglected yet central truth about who he is for sinners and sufferers today.

Contentment, Prosperity, and God’s Glory. Jeremiah Burroughs: Reformation Heritage Books. Part of the Puritan Treasures for Today series. This brief book, essentially an updated version of the appendix to his, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. I’m reading it as part of preparation for a Thanksgiving sermon. Much wisdom in a 400-year-old book!

Faultlines: The Social Justice Movement and Evangelicalism’s Looming Catastrophe. Voddie T. Baucham Jr.: Salem Books. I read this immediately after publication. Now I’m re-reading and discussing with a pastor’s group. The death of George Floyd at the hands of police in the summer of 2020 shocked the nation. As riots rocked American cities, Christians affirmed from the pulpit and in social media that ‘black lives matter’ and that racial justice ‘is a gospel issue.’ But what if there is more to the social justice movement than those Christians understand? Even worse: What if they’ve been duped into preaching ideas that actually oppose the Kingdom of God? An important book!

Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul. Richard B. Hayes: Yale University Press. Paul’s letters, the earliest writings in the New Testament, are filled with allusions, images, and quotations from the Old Testament, or, as Paul called it, Scripture. In this book, Richard B. Hays investigates Paul’s appropriation of Scripture from a perspective based on recent literary-critical studies of intertextuality. His uncovering of scriptural echoes in Paul’s language enriches our appreciation of the complex literary texture of Paul’s letters and offers new insights into his message. (From the back cover).

The Creaking on the Stairs: Finding Faith in God through Childhood Abuse. Mez McConnell: Christian Focus Publications. This is a book that has no easy answers to the problems of childhood abuse. Instead, it tries to get behind the tough questions of why God permits such horrors to occur in this world. Using his own childhood as a launchpad, Mez McConnell tells us about a God who is just, sovereign and loving. A good father who knows the pain of rejection and abuse, who hates evil and who can bring hope even in the darkest place. Our Man2Man group recently read this.