February 2015 Best Sellers

Here were my best sellers for February. The books by John Dickson (#1 and #6) were due to a book table we did with John. This was our first book table that we did at a local brewery. The event was a lot of fun and we always enjoy hosting John when he is in town. Thanks to Zondervan for their partnership with the event.

# 10 – Simply Good News by N.T. Wright (Harper Collins)

Simply Good News

# 9 – Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory by Jerry Walls (Brazos Press)

Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

# 8 – Galatians and Christian Theology edited by Mark Elliott and Scott J. Hafemann (Baker Academic)


# 7 – Wondrous Encounters by Richard Rohr (Franciscan Media)

Wondrous Encounters

# 6 – The Christ Files by John Dickson (Zondervan)

Christ Files

# 5 – Who is Jesus? by Greg Gilbert (Crossway)

Who is Jesus

# 4 – A New Heaven and a New Earth by J. Middleton (Baker Academic)

A New Heaven

# 3 – Engaging the Christian Scriptures by Andrew E. Arterbury, W.H. Bellinger Jr., and Derek S. Dodson (Baker Academic)

Engaging the Christian Scriptures

# 2 – The Whole Bible Story by William Marty (Bethany House)

Whole Bible Story

# 1 – A Doubter’s Guide to the Bible by John Dickson (Zondervan)




Fr. Robert Barron is Coming to Baker Book House!

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Fr. Robert Barron will be visiting our store. Fr. Barron will be here in the store twice on Wednesday, July 15th and once at Aquinas College the following Thursday, July 16th (10:oo am). On Wednesday we will host a private Q&A session here in the store (3:30 pm to 4:30 pm). Cost for this is $10.00. Two participants at this event will win a dinner with Fr. Barron that night. The evening event (7:00 pm) is free and open to the public but is a ticketed event. Please call the store to reserve your seat for either of these events. The Aquinas event is also free and open to the public but does not require a ticket or a RSVP. We expect a large turn out for this so call early to ensure a seat. Fr. Barron will be available to sign books at both the evening Baker event and the Aquinas event. We are delighted to partner with the Catholic Studies Speaker Series for these events. Our store phone number is 616-957-3110. For questions about the Aquinas event please contact catholicstudies@aquinas.edu.

Fr. Barron has two forthcoming titles with Baker Publishing Group this year. The first is 2 Samuel in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series. This will be released in May 2105. It will be a hardcover with 240 pages and sell for $29.99.

2 Samuel

The second book will be Exploring Catholic Theology from Baker Academic. It will be released in July 2015. It will be a paperback with 256 pages and sell for $24.99.

Exploring Catholic Theology

Fr. Barron



Coming Soon – the “NIV Zondervan Study Bible”

I am genuinely excited about the newest forthcoming study Bible from Zondervan. Edited by D.A. Carson the NIV Zondervan Study Bible is sure to be one of the finest study Bibles available. Let me just make one thing clear: this is not an updated or revised NIV Study Bible. This is an entirely new study Bible. Consider these features:

  • Over 60 scholarly contributors
  • Over 1.2 million words of new content
  • Over 3,000 pages packed with in-depth study tools
  • Nearly 20,000 all-new, comprehensive verse-by-verse study notes
  • Customized, theologically rich, illustrated book introductions
  • 6 section introductions to literary genres (‘The Pentateuch,’ ‘The Historical Books,’ etc.)
  • Full color interior with extensive use of 120 colorful charts, over 200 maps, and hundreds of photos
  • Comprehensive library of over 30 articles by award-winning scholars on topics such as “The Bible and Theology,” “The Glory of God,” “The Covenant,” “Love and Grace,” and more
  • Cross-reference system
  • Complete text of the New Intertantional Version
  • Concordance with over 35,000 Scripture references
  • Free electronic access to the study Bible

The line up of scholars is impressive. Here’s just a few.

Genesis – Richard Hess (esp. Gen. 1:1 – 11:26) (Denver Seminary) and T.D. Alexander (esp. Gen 11:27 – 50:26) (Union Theological College, Belfast)

1-2 Samuel – John D. Currid (Reformed Theological Seminary)

Esther and 1 Peter – Karen H. Jobes (Wheaton College)

Job – C. Hassell Bullock (Wheaton College)

Proverbs – Bruce K. Waltke (Knox Theological Seminary) and Christopher Ansberry (Oak Hill College)

Ecclesiastes – Craig C. Bartholomew (Redeemer University College)

Isaiah – John N. Oswalt (Asbury Theological Seminary)

Daniel – Tremper Longman III (Westmont College)

Matthew – Craig Blomberg (Denver Seminary)

Mark – Rikk E. Watts (Regent College)

John – D.A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

Romans and James – Douglas Moo (Wheaton College)

1 Corinthians – Eckhard J. Schnabel (Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary)

2 Corinthians – Murray Harris (Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)

Galatians – Stephen Westerholm (McMaster University)

Colossians and Philemon – David E. Garland (Baylor University)

1-2 Thessalonians – Jeffrey A.D. Weima (Calvin Theological Seminary)

Some of the articles and contributors include:

  • The Story of the Bible: How the Good News About Jesus is Central by Timothy Keller (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, Manhattan)
  • The Bible and Theology, by D.A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
  • The Glory of God by James M. Hamilton Jr. (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
  • Sin by Kevin DeYoung (University Reformed Church, Lansing, MI)
  • Exile and Exodus by Thomas R. Wood (Christ Fellowship Church, Deer Lodge, MT)
  • The Kingdom of God by T.D. Alexandar (Union Theological Seminary, Belfast)
  • Sonship by D.A. Carson (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School)
  • People of God by Moisés Silva (Private Scholar)
  • Love and Grace by Graham A. Cole (Beeson Divinity School)
  • The Gospel by Greg Gilbert (Third Avenue Baptist Church, Louisville)
  • Mission by Andreas J. Köstenberger (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary)
  • The Consumation by Douglas Moo (Wheaton College)

You can see a sampler here of the “Introduction to the Letters and Revelation” by Douglas Moo as well as the book of Romans. There is an embarassment of riches with the resources available here. This study Bible will be up to date, reflecting the highest quality of evangelical scholarship and loaded with material that will reward a lifetime of study.

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible will be available this September. Here’s a video featuring D.A. Carson describing the uniqueness and purpose of this new study Bible.


NIV Zondervan Study Bible


The NIV Celebrates 50 Years!

It all started with Howard Long. That name may not sound very familiar to you but it was at his promptings that the NIV eventually came to life. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the NIV. You can find a wonderful website here with plenty of information about the NIV and its history. See the video below to get a taste of what you’ll find.

Coming Soon – “Revelation” by Peter Williamson

Coming this March will be the newest entry in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series from Baker Academic. It is Revelation by Peter Williamson. The book of Revelation is interesting to many but it will be nice to have a uniquely Catholic take on the book. Here are two glowing endorsements.

“Peter Williamson has written a balanced, clear, informative, and insightful commentary on Revelation that is both Catholic and catholic. Attentive to the first-century context, the history of interpretation, and Christian liturgy and life, it offers us–like Revelation itself–guidance for the spiritual struggle between the first and second comings of the Lord.”

Michael J. Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, Baltimore. He is the author of Reading Revelation Responsibly (Wipf and Stock)

“Dr. Williamson, drawing on the best scholarship, has done an excellent job making sense out of a book that is notoriously difficult to interpret. Academically sound, pastorally useful, spiritually inspiring. Highly recommended.”

Ralph Martin, STD, director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit

Peter S. Williamson (STD, Pontifical Gregorian University) holds the Adam Cardinal Maida Chair in Sacred Scripture at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He is the author of several books, including Ephesians in the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture and Catholic Principles for Interpreting Scripture. He is also the coeditor of John Paul II and the New Evangelization.

Watch for this in March. It will be a paperback with 384 pages and sell for $22.99.




Around the Web

Today I will be at Baker Publishing Group’s sales conference. It’s always exciting to see the forthcoming titles and to catch up with some of the editors as well as meet a few authors. I’ll certainly give you a heads up on books I think you’ll be interested in. Till then here’s a few items I found on the web

Justin Taylor started a new series called “A Crash Course on Influencers of Unbelief” see the first one here on Sigmund Freud and the second one here on Karl Marx.

Bill Mounce offers clarification on Heb. 11:29. Did the Israelites Walk or Swim? He writes, “The ESV reads, ‘By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land.’ Was it dry land, or was it ‘as if’ it were dry ground? How do you hear it? I can only hear ‘as if it were.’ Several translations use ‘as’ (NIV). The NRSV and NET are even more confusing; they say ‘as if.’ As if it were dry? What does that mean? Was it really wet, and the people pretended it was dry?”

Kevin DeYoung offers a gentle push back to N.T. Wright and others who see an over emphasis on the believer going to heaven when they die. He says, “I wholeheartedly agree that salvation is about more than being beamed up into the clouds. And yet, the whole heaven thing is pretty critical to folks when they come to their last breath. Dying saints may find it encouraging to know that the whole cosmos is going to be renewed at the end of the age, but they also can’t help but wonder what the next moment will be like when they reach the end of their days.”

Mike Wittmer offers a push back to DeYoung. He enumerates two concerns. The first is this: “Is heaven a ‘better place’? This is a complex question that belies a simple yes or no answer. In the most important way heaven is better than earth, but only because Jesus is there. If heaven by itself were superior, then Jesus would not have raised Lazarus from the dead. Earth is the best place for humans, because this is where God made us to live. The problem of ‘better place’ will not be resolved until Jesus returns and unites heaven and earth. Until then, we should be careful not to unequivocally call heaven ‘a better place,’ as it isn’t better in every way and saying so promotes the Platonic idea that heaven is our final home. Who would want to leave the better place to come back here? (This is not merely a hypothetical problem, as Irenaeus makes this mistake in Against Heresies 5.31-32).”

Here’s one I found funny as a worker in a Christian bookstore. “Things You Should Never Say to a Catholic Bookstore Employee.” I could make a list of my own but couldn’t we all regarding our place of work.

Tim Gombis has an interesting post on Preachers Behaving Like Brian Williams. He says, “How should Christians regard pastors and preachers who embellish their personal narratives in sermons? This phenomenon isn’t rare. When I was in college, I heard a speaker in chapel relate a very interesting anecdote about an interchange in a pre-marital counseling session. About a month later, another preacher used the very same anecdote with reference to himself!”

Here’s a fascinating critique of Tim Keller and D.A. Carson (among others). The post cites them as Prime Examples of the Gumby Theology of Calvinism. (FYI, it is a fairly long post.) The author is appreciative of both authors but nonetheless offers some very strong criticisms. Consider this paragraph:

“Carson attempts to prop up his own Calvinistic position by drawing our attention to the death of Christ in a manner that completely subverts the historically recognized position of his Arminian brothers and sisters. He attempts to argue that only the Calvinist position can speak of God’s sovereign plan in the predetermined death of Christ, and that ‘any other alternative destroys the fabric of the Christian faith.’ He is of course speaking of Arminianism. He then goes on to define what alternatives to Calvinistic theology would have to say in the most fraudulent manner possible, declaring they must ‘conclude that the cross was a kind of after thought in the mind of God,’ and that, because ‘rebels fouled up his plan,’ God had to make the most of it and ‘did the best he could.’ Words fail to convey how utterly unfair and underhanded his mischaracterization of the alternative, Arminian position is.”