The Good News of Revelation

Larry Helyer and Ed Cyzewski (Cascade Books)

The Book of Revelation is a part of the Bible many would prefer to skip over, whether out of confusion or horror at its apocalyptic imagery. But Helyer (emeritus professor of biblical studies at Taylor University) and Cyzewski (one of Helyer's former students) have the audacity to call it "an encouraging book of good news, especially for people who are suffering," despite its "accounts of water turning to blood, evil beasts rising from the sea, and plagues wiping out most of humanity." They compare its themes and images with the Old Testament's prophetic literature to show how the final book of the Bible yields a hopeful message about justice, perseverance though suffering, and the triumph of good over evil.

If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life

Alister McGrath (Tyndale House Publishers)

We've all been asked, at one time or another, which historical figure we'd most like to meet over a meal. McGrath's latest book imagines a series of lunchtime discussions with Lewis themed around faith, friendship, and other enduring matters of life. "He is clearly someone whom many regard as helpful, informative, and reflective," writes McGrath. "So why not see him as a mentor, coach, or critical friend?" McGrath, the author of a major 2013 Lewis biography, scoured the Oxford don's writings for evidence of how he might "help us as we wrestle with questions and try to become better people."

Connecting with Muslims: A Guide to Communicating Effectively

Fouad Masri (InterVarsity Press)

Masri, founder of the Crescent Project, has devoted his life to breaking down walls of suspicion between Christians and Muslims and building new bridges of outreach. With a foreword from Josh McDowell, Connecting with Muslims addresses two difficulties Christians face in befriending and evangelizing Muslim neighbors: a lack of knowledge about Islam, and a lack of practical advice for how to share the gospel with them. The good news, says Masri, is that "you do not need a PhD in Islam to share your faith with a Muslim. Instead, you need to know Christ [and] have a heart of an ambassador and an array of effective communication tools."

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus' Divine Nature—A Response to Bart D. Ehrman

Michael F. Bird, Craig A. Evans, Simon J. Gathercole, Charles E. Hill, and Chris Tilling (Zondervan)

Ehrman, the Wheaton College graduate turned celebrity Bible skeptic, published a book called How Jesus Became God. In it he argues that neither Jesus nor his earliest disciples regarded him as a divine being. In response, five evangelical scholars joined forces to simultaneously publish How God Became Jesus, critiquing Ehrman's methods and conclusions and demonstrating that Jesus was indeed God in the flesh. As Aussie theologian Bird explains in the preface, "Not everything Ehrman says about the origins of Jesus' divinity is wrong. Some things are quite true, some things we'd agree with but say differently, some things we'd suggest need better nuance, and other things we contend are just plain out of sync with the evidence."

Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You

John Ortberg (Zondervan)

Dallas Willard's life and thought loom large over this latest book from megachurch pastor and author Ortberg. The two men shared more than two decades of close friendship before Willard, the renowned philosopher and writer on Christian spiritual formation, died last year. Ortberg delighted in every opportunity to pick the great man's brain at Willard's home in California's Box Canyon region. "Over the years," writes Ortberg in the introduction, "I sought Dallas's wisdom to help me understand the human soul, and in this book I will share what I have learned."

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