In addition to posting essays, the Helwys Society also posts book reviews and book recommendations:
- To encourage its readers to engage with these texts; and
- To provide resources for its readers in their lives and ministries.
Please note that the Helwys Society’s inclusion or review of a book is not necessarily a blanket endorsement of its contents.
by Russell D. Moore
Far from being just another book on the Christian life, Russell Moore’s latest book does so much more. He offers pointed, biblical insights into temptation, and then powerfully exegetes, explains, and applies the temptation narrative of Christ for the contemporary reader. This book is biblical, accessible, and engaging. In short, it’s a must-read.
by Paul David Tripp
Paul Tripp has become a go-to writer in the Reformed/evangelical world for rich, pastoral and theological insight on any range of subjects. His latest offering is designed to assess, critique, and challenge what he calls the unhealthy “pastoral culture” that often is birthed in seminaries and sustained in local churches. He writes from the perspective of one who has seen the ugliness of such a culture firsthand. His book is indeed a helpful salvo in contending with the unique challenges of pastoral work. It is not only a must read for senior pastors, but church leaders of any stripe.
by Clifford Williams
Clifford Williams offers a unique account of how desires and emotions contribute to the way we develop and forge meaningful beliefs about God. For more on this, check back for Jared Martin’s full-length review on March 7.
by Kelly M. Kapic
In the spirit of Helmut Thielicke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians (1962), Kelly Kapic presents an introduction and overview to the study of theology. Bringing together a host of influential voices throughout the ages, Kapic surveys and explains the various skills, dispositions, and practices that are essential to meaningful theological work. This is not only the most contemporary book of this sort, but also one of the clearest.
by Jonathan Leeman
Leeman offers pastors and laymen alike a brief, practical treatment of what the Bible has to say about church membership. This will prove a helpful tool, especially for Baptist churches trying to articulate and recapture a biblical approach to church membership.
Church Discipline functions as a nice companion volume to Leeman’s Church Membership. Brief, biblical, and practical—these three words describe this valuable book.
by Mark Dever
Many will be familiar with Dever’s Nine Marks of a Healthy Church (2004), or perhaps his The Deliberate Church (2005). However, this recent title is a fresh, clear summary of Dever’s earlier chapter in A Theology for the Church, an important Baptist systematic theology text published in 2007. This book is vintage Mark Dever.
by Fred Bahnsen and Norman Wirzba
In this recent volume, Wirzba and Bahnsen offer a stirring, clear, and thoughtful account of how God’s reconciling work through Christ has implications for our engagement with creation now. They focus especially on our interaction with land and the natural resources tied to it. As noted environmentalist Bill McKibben says in the foreword, “This book reminds us of the resources—scriptural, scientific and human—that we have as we try to write a new story.” This new story is one in which Christians think carefully about how a biblical worldview and the Gospel inform our relationship with land. This volume continues a series of publications on the subject of reconciliation by InterVarsity Press. This book, as #7 in the series, leaves one feeling challenged and informed on an often-overlooked topic.
by Nick Bunker
In Making Haste from Babylon, Nick Bunker tells the story of the Pilgrims and the Plymouth Colony in breathtaking detail. While some may be tempted to think that nothing new can come from a book of this subject, Bunker proves his readers wrong with beautiful articulation and original research. Of particular interest to the Helwys Society is his original research with Thomas Helwys, to whom he gives several chapters. Click here for a full review.
by David Firth and Paul Wegner (eds.)
Many Christians have wrestled over the years with understanding the Spirit’s activity in the Old Testament. Now Firth and Wegner have offered an extremely valuable volume that traces out a number of important themes and texts that involve the Spirit of God. Their book includes contributions from such well-known biblical scholars as Daniel Block, Tremper Longman, Eugene Merrill, and John Walton. With an extensive Scripture index in the back, Presence, Power, and Promise will without question be an essential resource for preachers and teachers of the Word. See full review here.
by Mark Noll
Historian Mark Noll, nearly twenty years after the publication of his influential The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, seeks to chart a positive way forward for evangelical scholarship and thought. Noll engages with orthodoxy throughout the ages, particularly the early church, to demonstrate how Christianity reflected a vibrant engagement with intellectual questions. His work is especially oriented around how Christology can concretely shape the way that Christians approach history, science, and numerous other disciplines. In one reviewer’s words, “He has crafted a challenging, inspiring christological philosophy of Christian education for the twenty-first century.”
by James K. Beilby
In this brief volume, theologian James Beilby helps to introduce readers to the task of Christian apologetics in a balanced and foundational way. What separates this volume from so many others is the author’s ability to articulate not just clear definitions, but also the requisite parts that can make apologists effective in their work. Beilby is especially attentive to background issues, as well as the actual goal of apologetics. In this volume he also surveys apologetics throughout church history and various approaches to apologetics along with their respective proponents. He concludes by exploring philosophical, biblical, and theological objections that some have articulated against apologetics. This is a book that both students and laymen alike would benefit from.
For years researches have cautioned Internet users about the potential risks of certain types of online behavior. Of course, many of these cautious have fallen on deaf ears. Yet in Stanford psychiatrist Elias Aboujaoude’s recent work, he presents a compelling portrait worth heeding. After years of research and clinical work with troubled patients, Professor Aboujaoude presents his observations in this important work. He is careful and cautious, but by no means is he an alarmist. Recently, he privileged the Helwys Society with an interview, and we learned that his book merits the attention of Internet users of all varieties.
by Craig Bartholomew & Ryan O’Dowd
“The Wisdom literature of the Bible, which teaches us to orient our experiences to the creation and the Creator, has been prized apart from the doctrine of salvation and nudged off the Christian radar” — It is this concern out of which Craig Bartholomew and Ryan O’Dowd present their recent Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction. In scholarly, yet accessible fashion, two biblical theologians offer an excellent treatment of an oft-neglected portion of Scripture. They not only offer helpful cultural, historical, and linguistic background in this book. They probe the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes, as well as specific themes therein. Additionally, they show how OT wisdom relates to Christ and a New Testament understanding of wisdom. This is truly an excellent resource for any preacher or teacher of the Word!
by Garnett Reid
See full length review by Christopher Talbot here.
by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
Some argue that the mission of the church is to confront injustice and alleviate suffering, doing more to express God’s love for the world. Others are concerned that the church is in danger of losing its God-centeredness and thereby emphasize the proclamation of the gospel. It appears as though misunderstanding of mission persists. Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert believe there is a lot that evangelicals can agree on if only we employ the right categories and build our theology of mission from the same biblical building blocks. Explaining key concepts like kingdom, gospel, and social justice, DeYoung and Gilbert help us to get on the same page–united by a common cause–and launch us forward into the true mission of the church (from the back of the book).
by Craig G. Bartholomew
Theologian Craig Bartholomew offers a much-needed treatment of a neglected area of Christian reflection: the significance of place. His book deals extensively with the biblical and theological account of place, examines the historical record on the subject, and offers practical insights into the contemporary issues surrounding the subject. The Helwys Society interacts more extensively with Bartholomew’s latest work in this essay.
by Andrew Root and Kenda Creasy Dean
One of InterVarsity Press’s most provocative and challenging works on the subject of student ministry was released just this past August. In this book, two professors of family/youth ministry and culture present youth ministry as an opportunity for pastors to allow rich theology to address the deep questions that students ask. The end-result they aim for is “a more rigorous and meaningful youth ministry, and a more theologically grounded and engaged church.”
by David Croteau (editor)
Broadman & Holman continue to publish helpful books in their “perspectives series” on theological and ministry-related themes. In one of their latest publications, David Croteau takes on the task of editing and presenting four related, but distinct views on tithing. Check out our formal review.
by Jonathan Leeman
Reverberation is the best succinct reminder I have read of the sufficiency of the Word and Spirit for life, health, and growth of the church. Amidst myriad methods that have failed to produce sustainable, qualitative growth in congregations, church leaders across denominational lines are looking for what Leeman provides. If they become animated by the biblical principles in this book, their churches will become powerful forces for gospel transformation (M. Pinson).
edited by Nicholas Perrin and Richard Hays
At the 2010 Wheaton Theology Conference, leading New Testament scholar N. T. Wright and nine other prominent biblical scholars and theologians gathered to consider Wright’s prolific body of work. Compiled from their presentations, this volume includes Tom Wright’s two main addresses, one on the state of scholarship regarding Jesus and the other on the state of scholarship regarding the apostle Paul. The other nine essays critically interact with these two major themes of Wright’s works. Much appreciation is shown, overviews are given, perspective is provided, and some pointed questions are also raised. Together these essays represent the best of critical yet charitable dialogue among serious and rigorous scholars on theological themes vital to the Christian faith that will propel New Testament scholarship for the next decade to come. See Jeremy Craft’s recent essay (October 2011) for more insight into this intriguing and important subject.
by Joseph E. Early (author, editor)
See the full-length review by Matthew Steven Bracey, Jeremy Craft, and Phillip T. Morgan here (September 2011).
by F. Leroy Forlines
See the full-length review by Christopher Talbot here (May 2011).