METAPHYSICS AND THE GOD OF ISRAEL: Systematic Theology of the Old and New Testaments
Neil B. MacDonald

This book is trilingual: MacDonald is fluent in the languages of philosophy, systematic theology, and biblical studies. He takes up one meaty topic after another—the doctrine of Creation, God in history, the Atonement, and more—always with insight and drawing on a stunning range of interlocutors. MacDonald doesn't waste words—you'll need to read some pages several times—but the effort is worth it. May his tribe increase.

HIDDEN IRAN: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic
Ray Takeyh

"Expert" assessments of Iran vary widely. They range from those which see the current regime as so dangerous that some sort of preemptive military action is called for (even after Iraq) to those that blame the United States for isolating and demonizing Iran. Takeyh—a scholar born in Iran and educated in the United States, where he is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations—proposes a pragmatic alternative. He wants U.S. policymakers to tone down the rhetoric with a view toward long-range engagement. Is he right? I don't know, but his case is worth careful consideration.

CARING FOR MOTHER: A Daughter's Long Goodbye
Virginia Stem Owens

My wife, like Owens, experienced the pain of a long goodbye to a mother whose mind and spirit were crippled by dementia. Yet there were moments of connection as well, and blessed laughter. Whether as caregiver or cared-for or both, more and more of us will take our places in the story Owens tells: unsparing, yet resting on the hope we share in Christ. We'll be giving copies of Owens's book to friends. (Portions first appeared in CT and Books & Culture.)
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