Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recommended for Christmas

Books are always a great Christmas gift. Not only can you show your appreciation for someone, but you also can help them grow in knowledge and grace. Here are a few books that you might consider buying for a friend, family member, or even yourself this Christmas season:

1. Holiness Day by Day, by Jerry Bridges. This is a wonderful book for the person in your life who doesn’t read whole books. It is also a great selection for those who want a daily devotional. I was a Jerry Bridges fan long before coming to Village Seven. Getting to know him has only increased my admiration. Holiness Day by Day takes selections from a number of Jerry’s previous books and puts them in a daily devotional. Preaching the gospel to yourself everyday is essential to spiritual growth. This book will help its reader do just that.

2. The Prodigal God, by Tim Keller. Keller’s sermon on the parable of the two sons (normally called the parable of the prodigal son) is his most famous sermon. In The Prodigal God, he expands on it a bit. This is a celebration of grace that will be helpful to both the legalistic “older brothers” and the libertarian “younger brothers” in your life.

3. Reason for God, by Tim Keller. Next to his sermon on the two sons, Keller is known for his sound apologetic sermons that speak to post-modern people. This takes some of those great themes and puts them all in one book. The book has had phenomenal success and would be an excellent gift for those who have questions about the Christian faith or those who simply need their faith strengthened.

4. The ESV Study Bible, published by Crossway Books. Calling this a study Bible is sort of like saying Everest is a tall mountain. This is a study Bible on steroids. It is very well done, has loads of articles and information. Even more, if you buy it, then you also get access to it all online. That way, if you have the internet, you have the ESV Study Bible. As a side note, when the ESV first came out, I greeted it with a yawn. While more literal than the NIV, it did not seem as readable. My first impression was that it was not much an improvement on the New American Standard (NAS), which is what I have always used in my personal study. However, two years ago, I switched from using the NAS in my study to using the ESV. More and more, I have grown to love it. I believe this will be the translation that all serious Bible students will use for the next generation.


Bill Petro said...

Mark, thanks for the recommendation on the ESV Study Bible. I'm receiving one for Christmas.

Having started as a Christian with the KJV "if it's good enough for Jesus and the disciples, it's good enough for me" I moved to the NAS in college as it became popular. Some complain that it's a bit "wooden" due to it's more literal translation, but as I studied Greek, I found that I appreciated it. The NIV never really grabbed me, it's dynamic translation seemed a bit imprecise, at least for study. The new ESV Study Bible has lots of articles, one by my mentor Dr. John Hannah on "Reading the Bible with the Church. I can't wait.

Xavier Pacheco said...

Mark, I am very much enjoying our ESV Study Bible. I purchased one for our family to use and I have purchased one for Zack (The children's version) for gift.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll add them to my wishlist!

- x

Tim Baker said...

Let's put the ESV in the pew racks!

Ruthie said...

So now I know where David got his christmas list from since these were all on it!