K.J. Ramsey (Zondervan)
God is sometimes called the Great Physician. But the painful truth is that he doesn’t heal all our wounds, whether physical or emotional, in this lifetime. In This Too Shall Last, writer and professional counselor K.J. Ramsey draws on her own experience to reassure fellow sufferers that God’s glory can shine through our weakness. “I’m a chronically ill thirty-one-year-old,” she writes, “who in the last decade has spent more hours sick on a couch than standing in the workforce. But it’s on couches, through tears, that I’ve come to see that living with suffering that lingers can mean more fully receiving God’s presence that lasts.”
Paul Borthwick (InterVarsity Press)
Most Christians can effortlessly recite the words of John 3:16. Paul Borthwick, a missiologist and former professor of global Christianity at Gordon College, wants us to remember the verse as more than a staple of Sunday school memorization drills. In Mission 3:16, Borthwick describes it as God’s “elevator pitch” to all who would share in the Great Commission. Breaking down the verse phrase by phrase, he shows how it reveals “the missionary heart of God: the God who seeks after lost people, sacrifices to pay the penalty that we deserve, and sends us out to carry out his mission in the world.”
Don J. Payne (Baker Academic)
The doctrine of sanctification is a common source of anxiety among believers. We wonder how far along the road to holiness we ought to be or whether we’re doing enough to pursue forward progress. Denver Seminary professor Don J. Payne argues that we’re apt to neglect the past-tense dimension of sanctification—the work God has already done to guarantee our growth to Christlike maturity, however short we fall at present. This notion of “accomplished sanctification,” he writes, “does not eliminate struggle” or “provide shortcuts in the process of spiritual maturation.” But it lends confidence that “God creates everything related to holiness and makes possible everything related to transformation.”
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