Good & Angry by David Powlison

September 25, 2016 1 comment


Something that matters to you just isn’t right. First you see the problem, then you feel it. It starts with a rush of adrenaline and often a rush of words, but it ends with an overwhelming sense of irritation that impacts how we talk to those we live and work with, complaining,and maybe even a settled bitterness to a person or a group of person. We know anger affects us negatively, but we don’t know any other way to respond when life goes wrong.

Good and Angry, a groundbreaking new book from David Powlison, contends that anger is more than a problem to solve. Anger is our complex human response to things we perceive as wrong in a complex world, thus we must learn how to fruitfully and honestly deal with it. Powlison undertakes an in-depth exploration of the roots of anger, moral judgment, and righteous response by looking in a surprising place: God’s own anger.

Powlison reminds us that God gets angry too. He sees things in this world that aren’t right and he wants justice too. But God’s anger doesn’t devolve into manipulation or trying to control others to get his own way. Instead his anger is good and redemptive. It causes him to step into our world to make wrongs right, sending his own Son to die so that we can be reconciled. He is both our model for change and our power to change.

Good and Angry sets readers on a path toward a faithful and fruitful expression of anger, in which we return good for evil and redeem wrongs. Powlison offers practical help for people who struggle with irritation, complaining, or bitterness and gives guidance for how to respond constructively when life goes wrong. You, your family, and your friends will all be glad that you read this book. (From the Publisher’s Website)


This is an excellent book! Powlison lets us know that we all have an anger problem and that it is worse than we think. He shows us what it is, how it effects us, how it damages our relationships, and how to change our destructive patterns. Anger is not evil but our sin-tainted version of it often is.

Powlison talks about God’s righteous anger and how we are to conform to and reflect His anger until the day comes when sin is forever banished and anger is no longer needed. Especially helpful is the section at the end of the chapters called: Making it your own. Powlison helps us work through what he has taught us and practically apply the material to our own life.

I read this book hoping to get some general help during times when I am really angry. Instead, Powlison gives good steps to take to handle the everyday irritations that all too often lead to angry episodes. Reading this was like sitting in a series of counseling sessions. Powlison knows what he is talking about here and we should listen with as much attention as we can give him.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. I wish I had been exposed to this kind of teaching as a younger man. It would have saved me much trouble and heartache. My children will be reading this and I will recommend it to anyone who will listen.

Thank you David Powlison and New Growth Press for this valuable resource to help us all in our quest to become more Christ-like.

Book Details:


  • Author: David Powlison
  • Publisher: New Growth Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Page Count: 256
  • ISBN#: 9781942572978
  • List Price: $17.99



About the Author:

David Powlison, M.Div., Ph.D. is Executive Director of Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) as well as a CCEF faculty member and Senior Editor of the Journal of Biblical Counseling. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary.

David has been counseling for over thirty years and has written numerous articles on biblical counseling and on the relationship between faith and psychology. His books include Speaking Truth in LoveSeeing with New EyesPower Encounters: Reclaiming Spiritual Warfare; and The Biblical Counseling Movement: History and Context. His minibook titles include Facing Death with HopeHealing after AbortionRecovering from Child Abuse; and Renewing Marital Intimacy.

David has taught across the United States and in Korea, India, Brazil, Europe, and Sri Lanka. He blogs periodically at CCEF and The Gospel Coalition.  (From the Publisher’s Website)

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Disclaimer: I received this book from New Growth Press via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

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A Commentary on the Psalms Volume 3 by Allen P. Ross

September 25, 2016 Leave a comment


Final volume in acclaimed Psalms commentary by Allen P. Ross

For thousands of years, Psalms has been one of the richest resources for worship and development of the spiritual life. Pastors, teachers, and all serious students of the Bible will find this commentary invaluable for developing an understanding of Psalms and for improving one’s ability to exposit it with precision and depth. This is the third of a three-volume commentary on Psalms.

The commentary includes discussion throughout of the three primary challenges to understanding Psalms:

    • Textual issues: Every major textual difficulty is addressed in order to help the expositor understand the interpretive issues and make decisions when there are multiple available readings.


    • Poetic language: The Psalms are full of poetic imagery, devices, and structures. Ross discusses this “language” of Hebrew poetry in its context with each psalm, specifying the precise devices being used and how they work in the psalm.


  • Grammar and syntax: The Hebrew of Psalms poses a challenge to many expositors. This commentary illuminates Hebrew constructions and word meanings in a way that is helpful both to readers who are comfortable with Hebrew and those who are not.

(From the Publisher’s Website)


Perhaps no book of the Bible captures raw human emotion as much as the Psalms. This is why we turn to it at the height of bliss and the depths of despair. We identify with the psalmist to the point that we believe them to be written on our behalf. Yet there is so much more contained in this beloved collection than emotional experience. There is deep theological truth. There is a sense that something great is happening and we are a small part of it. There is a feeling of community. There is hope and comfort.

For these reasons, I was excited when I saw that Kregel was publishing this set of commentaries on the Psalms. I was even more excited when I saw the author’s name. Allen P. Ross is a respected Hebrew scholar and a perfect choice for the task. He combines a scholar’s approach with a pastor’s heart. The result is not only a brilliant commentary, but also a tool to teach others how to dig into the Psalms themselves and mine the precious ore found therein.

The introduction of each Psalm begins with the author’s own English rendering of the Hebrew text followed by a section about the composition and context of the Psalm concluding in an exegetical analysis of the Psalm. We are then treated to a commentary in expository form. The author concludes with the message and application of the Psalm.

I believe this to be the best work I have seen on the Psalms and would highly recommend it for students, teachers, and pastors. Some of the language is a bit technical as this is published under the Kregel Academic and Professional label. Some assumptions are made as to the reader’s familiarity with technical terms. But do not be put off by this. There is much here to learn. I hope that many will profit from the insights found between the covers of this book.

Book Details:


  • Author: Allen P. Ross
  • Publisher: Kregel Academic
  • Format: Hardback
  • Page Count: 1040
  • ISBN#: 9780825426667
  • List Price: $49.99



About the Author:

Allen P. Ross (PhD, University of Cambridge) is professor of divinity at Beeson Divinity School. Prior to this, he taught at Trinity Episcopal School of Ministry and Dallas Theological Seminary. His publications include Creation and Blessing: A Guide to the Study and Exposition of Genesis,Holiness to the Lord: A Guide to the Exposition of the Book of Leviticus, and Introducing Biblical Hebrew. (From the Publisher’s Website)

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Kregel in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Uncategorized

Why Bother with Church? by Sam Allberry

May 15, 2016 1 comment


The church has an image problem.

It is widely viewed in the world at large as being outdated, boring, irrelevant and filled with backbiting hypocrites.

How different that picture is to how the Bible talks about the new family that Jesus has gathered. It is a precious bride, a sparkling jewel, a lifeboat for forgiven sinners that is precious and holy; nurturing and warm; filled with truth, friendship and all embracing, forgiving love.

Sam Allberry understands the collision between these two views, and how, even as Christian believers, we can lose sight of how truly wonderful church is and should be, and what a privilege it is to be part of, and to serve.

In this brief accessible but thorough guide to church, Sam outlines what church is and why we need it. And how, when we have got it wrong, we can move closer to what a true church should be. (From the Publisher’s Website)


We all know people who say they love Jesus but not the church. We may have even said that at some point ourselves. But it is impossible to love Jesus and not love His people. It is even worse when we say we love Jesus but throw rocks at His bride. So how do we reason with those who see no need for the church or who have had bad experiences?

Sam Allberry has given us an excellent primer to start this conversation. In his book, Why Bother with Church?, he tackles the important questions to start with: What is church?, Why do I need church?, What makes a good church?, How is a church run?, How do I survive church?, and How can I be a good church member? Mr.Allberry answers these questions with grace and firmness.

This book is written from a universal standpoint meaning that you do not have to subscribe to the author’s denominational views to benefit from this book. The arguments and proofs are demonstrated by scripture. This book strengthened my views on the church. The author sets out to convince the reader that church is vital to the Christian experience and he succeeds in this well-written treatise.

I appreciate the Christ centered approach that the author takes on this touchy topic. This book is mercifully short making it a quick read and an excellent give away to someone struggling with this issue. Thank you Sam Allberry and The Good Book Company for this helpful tool.

Book Details:


  • Author: Sam Allberry
  • Publisher: The Good Book Company
  • Format: Paperback
  • Page Count: 96
  • ISBN#:9781909559141
  • List Price: 



About the Author:

Sam studied theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford and has served on staff at St Ebbe’s Church, Oxford, and St Mary’s, Maidenhead. He is now part of the team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and also works as UK Editor for The Gospel Coalition. A popular conference speaker, Sam has written several books, including James For You, Is God Anti-Gay, and Lifted. Hobbies include reading, watching The West Wing and anything to do with South-East Asia. (From the Publisher’s Website)

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Disclaimer: I received this book from the Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Uncategorized

Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement: 3 Views


Perspectives on the Extent of the Atonement presents a point-counterpoint exchange concerning God’s intention in sending Christ to die on the cross. All three contributors recognize a substitutionary element in the atoning work of Christ, but disagree over the nature and objects of that substitution.

Carl Trueman (Westminster Theological Seminary) argues that Christ’s atoning work secured the redemption of his elect alone. While infinite in value, Christ’s death was intended for and applied strictly to those whom the Father had elected unconditionally in eternity past.

John Hammett (Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) argues that Christ’s atoning work had multiple intentions. Of these intentions two rise to the fore: (1) the intention to accomplish atonement for God’s elect and (2) the intention to provide atonement for all mankind.

Grant Osborne (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) argues that Christ’s atoning work provided atonement generally for all mankind. The application of that atoning work is conditioned, however, on each person’s willingness to receive it.

(From the Publisher’s Website)


Why did I want to read this book?

I enjoy robust theological discussion. This book provides that. The atonement is an important doctrine and I wanted to better understand it. These men have helped me grasp it a little better. The three main contributors have all contributed to my study of scripture in the past and I was looking forward to how they would interact. They have argued their positions as scholars and gentlemen. B&H academic published this book and I have found their publications in recent years to be profitable for ministry. This book is no exception.

What did this book accomplish?

This book explains three different views of the atonement in the evangelical church today. Those views include the two most prevalent, definite and  general, as well as a multiple-intention view. While I respect the two authors I disagree with, I was strengthened in the view that I had before reading this book. Carl Trueman presented an overview of how definite atonement fits with Jesus’ mission to save His people and the plan that includes the harmonious work of the Trinity in redemption. Grant Osbourne presented various verses that seemed to teach a limited atonement and then moved to verses that seemed to teach a general atonement with the conclusion that he believes a general atonement is to be preferred based on the biblical evidence. John Hammett presented a view that allows him to see both a general and particular atonement as the best way to understand the biblical evidence. He also presents a cosmic view that both of his opponents pretty much agree with. After each presentation, the other two are allowed to respond. This may have actually been the most helpful in that real and not perceived arguments were dealt with.

What did I come away with from this book?

These men have shown me how to disagree on a secondary issue in a gracious way. That is to engage the argument and not vilify the person. I believe this to be a Christ honoring way to engage our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree. As I stated above, this book strengthened my viewpoint on this issue both by the biblical evidence presented and by hearing the opposition. This, I believe, is the great strength of these perspective books. I came away from this book with a deeper respect for the three main contributors. May God continue to bless His church with more men who will study as these men have to feed His sheep. Thanks you B&H for this excellent book.

Book Details:


  • Editors: Andrew David Naselli and Mark A. Snoeberger
  • Publisher: B&H Academic
  • Format: Paperback
  • Page Count: 256
  • ISBN#: 9781433669712
  • List Price: $24.99



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Disclaimer: I received this book from B&H in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Categories: Uncategorized