Short Answers to Big Questions

Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Baker Books, 2015)

Good questions deserve good answers. They’re even better answers if they’re short ones. Clinton E. Arnold and Jeff Arnold have given us the best of both—short and good.

Their volume, Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity, begins where it must if we are to answer questions related to God, Christianity, and the Christian life. Questions about the Bible must first find good answers. Otherwise, we have no basis of authority for answering other questions.

Each of the 50 chapters in this excellent volume uses a question as its title—and a subject as it subtitle by way of a topical overview.

Glory Days

Glory Days: Living Your Promised Land Life Now (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

True to form, Max Lucado has penned another fine devotional, this time with the book of Joshua as his springboard.

The idea behind Glory Days subtitle, Living Your Promised Land Life Now, is that God has purpose for our lives as Christians that many of us are missing. We have an inheritance we have failed to receive.


Tranquility: Cultivating a Quiet Soul in a Busy World (Baker Books, 2015)

David Henderson’s book offers a new take on the classic principles described in Hummel’s The Tyranny of the Urgent and Swenson’s Margin. Tranquility takes its title from Ecclesiastes 4:6:

Better one handful with tranquility
than two handfuls with toil
and chasing after the wind. (NIV)

In other words, we have to make choices. A limited amount of time forces us to admit we can’t do it all and to choose what we will do with life.

Your Blueprint for Life

Your Blueprint for Life: How to Align Your Passion, Gifts, and Calling with Eternity in Mind (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

It’s tough to synthesize God’s priorities for a balanced life. Trying to include every aspect of our primacies from every perspective is tough sledding. Any book that attempts it must, by necessity, skim the surface in survey rather than offer deep, abiding truths.

Your Blueprint for Life quotes liberally from God’s Word, sources, quotes, and stories to provide a general survey of how we should attempt balance—and therefore, it is suggested, satisfaction.

The Printer and the Preacher

The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

For years I loved the story of how Ben Franklin refused to take money when he listened to George Whitefield preach. So compelling was Whitefield’s appeal, Franklin would give. One day after hearing Whitefield preach, an empty-pocketed Franklin asked a bystander for a small loan so Franklin could donate.

Outside of this episode, I had never read much about the intertwining lives of these two men—until this book.

Sacred Marriage

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? (Zondervan, 2000, 2015)

I have literally read dozens of books on marriage, and Gary Thomas has written the best. Why? Because Sacred Marriage is not about marriage but about how marriage is merely the context for married people to love and serve God.

Thomas’ classic quote says it best:

We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. Most of us have discovered that these ‘simple steps’ work only on a superficial level. Why is this? Because there’s a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how we can ‘improve’ our marriage: What if God didn’t design marriage to be ‘easier’? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

Dealing with topics such as romance, learning to love, honoring one another, marriage as God’s tool of sanctification, developing perseverance, learning to forgive, each chapter focuses on God and God alone as the point of marriage (and life). Even the chapter on sex drills down to the glory of God.

After 15 years of publication, this book continues to be one I read over and over. I need this book. And if you’re married, YOU need it too. Sacred Marriage is a gift to your spiritual life. 

What Keeps You Up at Night

What Keeps You Up at Night? How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Pete Wilson rubs his finger on the bruise that causes us each to flinch: What we fear most.

Beginning with the fact that we’re not alone, What Keeps You Up at Night shows how fear is a common response of all people—including those greats in the Bible. Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, all faced fear and overcame because they chose to trust God in spite of the fear. 

reason for my hope

The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

Each chapter of Billy Graham’s book, The Reason for My Hope, leads to one conclusion: regardless of whatever you’re face, Jesus Christ provides the answer. Dr. Graham’s easygoing writing incorporates numerous stories and illustrations to support that the idea that our hope in life and after life comes by faith in Christ.