“Motherhood was something I planned for, something I wanted, so why was living it out so drastically different from my expectations?” This was Sarah Mae’s question during another difficult, tiring day of caring for her young children. In Desperate, Mae partners with Sally Clarkson to exemplify what Paul teaches in Titus 2:3-5, that the older women are to train the younger. Mae, the young and struggling mother, pursues the wisdom of Clarkson, the seasoned mother who could serve as mentor. In a book that is gentle, hopeful, and encouraging, they share equal parts Bible-based wisdom and practical advice. Young moms will read it and be encouraged, and young husbands who read it will better understand and love their wives.
Galatians For You is the first book in a new series of study guides resulting from a partnership between Timothy Keller and The Good Book Company. Employing a devotional format, Keller leads the reader through the book of Galatians section by section, focusing on the utter centrality of the gospel not only in salvation, but in all of Christian life and doctrine. He shows the reader how Paul was addressing the Galatian church’s failure to live out the implications of the gospel—a message that contemporary Christians need to hear. Application questions that are both relevant and reflective make it a powerful study for individuals, couples, or groups.
The 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis’ death is fast approaching, and in C.S. Lewis–A Life Alister McGrath has written a fine biography of a fascinating character. Many of Lewis’ previous biographers were friends of his: That allowed them to offer personal perspectives but also to protect their friend’s reputation by withholding some information. Although McGrath admires Lewis, he deals honestly with the Oxford scholar’s weaknesses and some of his peculiar sins and temptations, especially from the days before his conversion. McGrath brings clarity to Lewis’ relationship with Mrs. Moore, his strange marriage to Joy Davidman, and the timing of his subject’s conversion to the Christian faith.
If we had a world record for “most times asking Jesus into your heart,” J.D. Greear is sure it would be his. Like so many Christians, and especially those raised in Christian families, Greear struggled for many years with how to answer this question: How can anyone know, beyond all doubt, they are saved? In this book he teaches that assurance is not only possible, but the birthright of every Christian. His answer, drawn carefully from Scripture: “Salvation does indeed happen in a moment, and once you are saved you are always saved. The mark, however, of someone who is saved is that they maintain their confession of faith until the end of their lives.”
Mary Roach has a reputation for fascinating science writing. She finds a provocative subject with a “yuck” factor, discovers weird angles to explore, and seasons her writing with vivid figures of speech. Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal (W.W. Norton, 2013) allows readers to tag along as she explores digestion. She visits a professional taster and scientists who study saliva and the physics of crunch. Scientific obsessives like William Beaumont, whose journals describe him dipping various items into the unhealed stomach fistula of a French Canadian fur-trapper, fascinate her. So do tales of snakes or slugs in the belly. Roach inserts herself into labs and describes what she sees: “Lee snips up the midline of the belly and peels back the flaps of skin as if they were stage curtains.” Roach knows how to write, entertain, and inform.—Susan Olasky