Hidden Christmas
by Tim Keller

In this new book, Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ, bestselling author, Timothy  Keller leads his readers through the surprising background of the Nativity story—a story that celebrates the advent of Jesus Christ, who came to save mankind and restore our humanity to how it was meant to be. In Hidden Christmas, Keller addresses the message of hope, redemption, and salvation hidden in the biblical account of Jesus’ birth so that readers may experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a meaningful and deeper way. For centuries, December marks a time of expectation, excitement, hope, joy, activity and family. It marks the season of Christmas, or, as some say, the season of Advent, of the Nativity story.

In our secular society, everyone, including Christians, gets swept up in the Christmas spirit and even people who are not professing Christians claim familiarity with the story of the Nativity. Christmas displays of Jesus resting in a manger populate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air. This is the time of the year when the secular world sings our songs.  Hidden Christmas challenges the Christian reader to think deeper about the biblical story of Christ’s birth. Keller’s words warn against becoming hemmed in and defined by the abundance of Christian references in popular culture

The Intolerance of Tolerance
by D.A. Carson

This book exposes one of the greatest cultural issues of our day—tolerance. The book focuses on a topic which is impacting every areaof society today.  In post-modernism, tolerance—the affirming and celebrating of virtually any exercise of personal autonomy- is the prime value. The unforgiveable sin is being judgmental, that is, believing that an activity or lifestyle choice that does not hurt another person is wrong, immoral or sinful. A second related unforgiveable sin is claiming that what you believe is objectively true and thus binding on another person. A person who holds these beliefs is considered to be bigoted, narrow-minded, and arrogant.

Debates about Christianity have shifted from whether it’s true to was anyone offended. The Gospel is offensive but the gospel messenger must be loving. The heart of the book is about the notion of tolerance which is changing, and with it new definitions that shape tolerance. The problem with tolerance is that it is not tolerant at all. Tolerance promises much, but at end of the day, it is another false gospel the world proclaims in order to distract men and women from the Gospel. As Paul did with the false teachers at Corinthians, so Christians must today - avoid preaching their opinions nor accommodate false teaching, but to proclaim that the Gospel is the power of God unto the salvation of mankind. A Challenging book that alerts its readers to attitude of society towards Christianity. A very profitable read that will prove very helpful in understanding the modern climate that is impacting Christianity today!

Prayer: Experiencing Awe
and Intimacy with God
by Timothy Keller

Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act. Keller looks to the past, to the deep wells of Christian history, and draws heavily from Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Owen, and Edwards.  He understands that any new insights on prayer tend to go farther from, rather than closer to biblical truth. Instead of looking for new secrets to discover or keys to unlock, Keller looks for fresh ways of saying those old things.

Keller’s book is divided into five parts: Desiring Prayer, Understanding Prayer, Learning Prayer, Deepening Prayer, Doing Prayer. Keller states, “few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful.” With thoughtful insight, Keller offers biblical guidance as well as specific prayers for certain situations; such as dealing with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness. He discusses ways to make prayers more personal and powerful, and how to establish a practice of prayer that works for each reader. In Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Keller shows and encourages his readers how to find a deeper connection with God. Prayer is a book for people who want biblical grounding in prayer, a gospel motivation to pray, and practical methods for prayer. This book is for people who are serious about maturing in their understanding and experience of prayer.

PRAYER A biblical Perspective
by Eric J. Alexander

This month treat yourself to a good and challenging book on prayer. “We shall do well to watch our habits of prayer with a holy watchfulness. Here is the pulse of our Christianity. Here is the true test of our state before God.” (J.C. Ryle) Author Eric Anderson helpfully writes in his book, Prayer: A Biblical Perspective, that prayer for the Christian matters. Indeed, the author’s chief concern in this book is to remind Christians that prayer is fundamental, not supplemental; both for the individual and in the corporate lives of God’s people. He shows that nowhere is this dependence on prayer more fully exemplified than in the life and teaching of Jesus, himself, and in the ministry of the New Testament church.

His challenge and encouragement to the reader is the practical priority and helpful insights in pursuing prayer as the Lord intends. For those who find it difficult to pray, there is much encouragement here. The author addresses the common problems believers face when coming to prayer. This is a book for all those who want to live nearer to God and to be refreshed in their communion with Him. Here is a book that should be read by every Christian who wants to enrich their prayer life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

book reviews

Touching our Community with God’s Grace

COMMUNITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

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