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Notable Books

Four books of applied theology

Notable Books
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We have all been to good weddings and bad weddings, weddings that were gloriously God-honoring and weddings that were downright embarrassing. The best weddings are the ones that deliberately shift the spotlight from the happy couple to the beautiful God who is at the center of it all. A Christ-Centered Wedding is written by a mother-daughter team and serves as a guide to Christians who want their wedding to point to Christ and to be a reflection of His great gospel message. They cover the theology of marriage, the practical side of the ceremony, and everything in between, which makes this a book that is helpful in both theory and application, and an ideal gift for that newly engaged couple.

Dispatches from the Front

Few things are more encouraging to the Christian than hearing how God is making Himself known to the earth’s farthest reaches. For many years now Tim Keesee has been going to where few of us venture—Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, even Iraq and Afghanistan—and sends back his “Dispatches from the Front.” He looks for Christians, and when he finds them he spends time with them, listens to them, teaches them—and they teach him. Wherever he goes he looks for evidence of the gospel’s power at work, and he records it all in powerful, poetic diary entries. Read this one to be blessed and encouraged by what the Lord is doing on the front lines.

D.L. Moody—A Life

Dwight Lyman Moody was one of the great men and great Christians of the late 19th century. Born into poverty, he set out as a young man to earn his fortune, and was well on his way when he was unexpectedly converted to Christ. It would not be long before he was the world’s foremost evangelist, traveling through North America and Europe, speaking to thousands or tens of thousands, and seeing a remarkable number of conversions through his ministry. Moody fares well in the hands of biographer Kevin Belmonte, who focuses on the “mere Christianity” that allowed Moody to be loved and respected across denominational boundaries. This is a vivid and compelling account of a life lived for God’s glory.

Hope Beyond Cure

It began for David McDonald as it has for so many others before him: with the two devastating words “tumor” and “incurable.” McDonald had been pastoring a church for nearly 20 years and had just decided to move across the country to begin a new work. Then all his plans were placed on hold with the terrible news. With the fatal diagnosis and with the best of modern medicine unable to offer the promise of health, he knew he had to look for hope beyond cure. This book describes what he learned and where he grounded his faith. He offers deep answers to deep questions, all the while tempered by deep wells of experience.


Some people read Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you …”) and see a promise of a future full of blessing. Laurie Short’s slender book Finding Faith in the Dark (Zondervan, 2014) considers those times when God’s face seems hidden, when life takes unexpected turns. Weaving stories from her own life with stories drawn from the Bible and from the lives of others, Short provides insight into the way God works through the wrong turns, detours, and periods of waiting: “Exile is a place God has permitted. A hopeful future is what he has planned. The challenge before us is to be here now. To live where we are, respond to what lies in front of us, and trust that every day, every choice, brings an opportunity to see the hand of God.” —S.O.

Tim Challies

Tim is a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto and a former WORLD correspondent.


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