Reading for Preaching: The Preacher in Conversation with Storytellers, Biographers, Poets, and Journalists

Cornelius Plantinga Jr. (Eerdmans)

Read good books, and you're on your way to becoming a better preacher. So argues Plantinga, president emeritus of Calvin Theological Seminary, who builds a case for how immersion in exemplary works of fiction and nonfiction can enrich Sunday sermons. Plantinga illustrates how a steady diet of good reading works to widen the pastor's sympathies, supply scenes of beauty and insights into human nature, and refine his grasp of the subtle rhythms of the English language.

Delighting in the Law of the Lord: God's Alternative to Legalism and Moralism

Jerram Barrs (Crossway)

Everyone loves hearing about God's grace, but what about his law? Isn't that a downer? Not so, says Barrs, founder of the Francis Schaeffer Institute at Covenant Theological Seminary. The law, says Barrs, should be lovely in its own right, in that it reflects God's commitment to steer us toward righteousness and away from the snares of sin.

Bonhoeffer the Assassin? Challenging the Myth, Recovering His Call to Peacemaking

Mark Thiessen Nation, Anthony G. Siegrist, and Daniel P. Umbel (Baker Academic)

When we consider the heroic deeds of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we are likely to number among them his celebrated role in the plot to kill Adolf Hitler. The scholars behind this volume argue that we are wrong, as a factual matter, in making this connection. After examining the biographical and textual evidence, they argue that Bonhoeffer was never truly on board with the plot, and indeed never abandoned his belief in nonviolent means of peacemaking.

Called to Stay: An Uncompromising Mission to Save Your Church

Caleb Breakey (Harvest House Publishers)

Over and again, we hear that so-called "millennials" have a long list of complaints about the church, and that they're departing it in droves. Breakey, a millennial and former journalist, addresses the "leavers" in his generation with a passionate call to consider the scriptural arguments for committing to the church.

A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage During an Unplanned Pregnancy

Amy Ford (B&H Books)

An unplanned pregnancy outside of marriage can be one of life's most frightening developments. Ford is the cofounder and president of Embrace Grace, an organization providing support for young women who find themselves in this situation, and feel like they have nowhere to turn, or no one to whom they can confide their deepest fears and anxieties. In A Bump in Life, she offers hope and encouragement through sharing the stories of women who, like her, have endured these trying circumstances without choosing abortion.

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