You Are Not Your Own by Alan Noble — “You are your own, and you belong to yourself.”
This is the fundamental assumption of modern life. And if we are our own, then it’s up to us to forge our own identities and to make our lives significant. But while that may sound empowering, it turns out to be a crushing responsibility―one that never actually delivers on its promise of a free and fulfilled life, but instead leaves us burned out, depressed, anxious, and alone. This phenomenon is mapped out onto the very structures of our society, and helps explain our society’s underlying disorder.
But the Christian gospel offers a strikingly different vision. As the Heidelberg Catechism puts it, “I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” In You Are Not Your Own, Alan Noble explores how this simple truth reframes the way we understand ourselves, our families, our society, and God. Contrasting these two visions of life, he invites us past the sickness of contemporary life into a better understanding of who we are and to whom we belong.
Never Cast Out by Jasmine Holmes — Body shaming. Marriage shaming. Single shaming. Mom shaming. Lifestyle shaming. Religious shaming. It seems no matter which direction we turn, women can’t shake the shame that is constantly piled on top of us.
Author and podcaster Jasmine L. Holmes knows this struggle all too well. Though shame has been a constant companion (and even a snare) throughout her life, God has broken the chains of shame in Jasmine’s life through the power of the gospel. In this Christ-centered, empowering book, prepare to discover:
- The story of shame: where it comes from, what it is, what makes it different from guilt or conviction, and why it’s so pervasive.
- The problem with shame: why the typical methods of throwing off shame don’t actually work.
- The end of shame: how Jesus puts an end to shame by offering a better covering, a better image, and a better message than the world can.
- The way to fight shame: how to use practical and powerful ways to fight shame in daily life, breaking its chains in the power of the gospel and resting in the One who has taken all your shame away for good.
The story of shame is a powerful one. But even stronger are the arms of the One who carried your shame and will never cast you out. Are you ready to experience Him and finally be free?
Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms by Ryan Whitake Smith and Dan Wilt — Sheltering Mercy helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms–through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns–as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.
The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Whitaker Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. While each prayer corresponds to a particular psalm and touches on its themes and ideas, it is not a new translation of the Psalms or an attempt to modernize or contextualize their content or language. Rather, the prayers are responses to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.
This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and beautiful hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.
The God of the Garden by Andrew Peterson — There’s a strong biblical connection between people and trees. They both come from dirt. They’re both told to bear fruit. In fact, arboreal language is so often applied to humans that it’s easy to miss, whether we’re talking about family trees, passing along our seed, cutting someone off like a branch, being rooted to a place, or bearing the fruit of the Spirit. It’s hard to deny that trees mean something, theologically speaking.
This book is in many ways a memoir, but it’s also an attempt to wake up the reader to the glory of God shining through his creation.
One of the first commands to Adam and Eve was to “work and keep” the garden. Award-winning author and songwriter Andrew Peterson, being as honest as possible, shares a story of childhood, grief, redemption, and peace, by walking through a forest of memories: “I trust that by telling my story, you’ll encounter yours. Hopefully, like me, you’ll see that the God of the Garden is and has always been present, working and keeping what he loves.”
Sometimes he plants, sometimes he prunes, but in his goodness he intends to reap a harvest of righteousness.
Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin — Religion’s decline in the modern world turns out to be a myth.
Christianity is the most widespread global belief system, and promises to remain so well into the future. But for many educated westerners, biblical Christianity is a dangerous idea―challenging some of their deepest beliefs.
Channeling state-of-the-art research, personal stories, and careful biblical study, Confronting Christianity explores 12 questions that keep many of us from considering faith in Christ. Look more closely, McLaughlin argues, and the reality of suffering, the complexity of sexuality, the desire for diversity, the success of science, and other seeming roadblocks to faith become signposts. Jesus becomes not a relic from the ancient world, but our modern world’s best hope.