Category Archives: Equip Book Club

Equip Book of the Month: February

Word-Filled women’s ministry – Loving and serving the Church
By Gloria Furman

Word-Filled Women's MinistryThe Bible is clear that women as well as men are created in God’s image and intended to serve him with their lives. But what does this look like for women in the church?

Helping church leaders think through what a Bible-centered women’s ministry looks like, this collection of essays by respected Bible teachers and authors such as Gloria Furman, Nancy Guthrie, and Susan Hunt addresses a variety of topics relevant to women. Whether exploring the importance of intergenerational relationships, the Bible’s teaching on sexuality, or women’s roles in the church and the home, this book of wise teaching and practical instruction will become a must-have resource for anyone interested in bolstering the health and vitality of the local church.  This book is part of The Gospel Coalition Series & is also available in e-book format.

“There is no question that the women in your churches will be discipled. The only question is whether they will be discipled by the world or the Word. That’s why I’m so excited about Word-Filled Women’s Ministry. It’s more than a book. These contributors represent a movement of teachers guiding women to find hope and freedom and salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in his Word. I couldn’t more highly esteem these writers, and I pray that you will take up their charge to take up the Word.”
Collin Hansen, Editorial Director, The Gospel Coalition; author, Blind Spots

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Equip Book of the Month: October

Nine Day Queen of England – Lady Jane Grey
Written by Faith Cook

Nine Day Queen of England (PB)“Lady Jane called out in a clear voice. “Lord, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Then with a stroke, swift, sharp and terrible, Jane’s short life was ended. Like the Apostle Paul she had fought a good fight, finished the course and kept the faith. Henceforth there was laid up for her a crown of righteousness – a crown that none could take from her.”

Lady Jane Grey has often been called the ‘Tudor Pawn’ but to see her as one whose life was simply moved around by others is totally inadequate. This is no simplistic life and death of a sixteen-year-old girl.  In order to understand the full tragedy and triumph of her life it is vital to grasp the far-reaching political and religious changes that were shaking England at that time. The Reformation touched the whole population; from palace to university; from emerging town to peasant cottage.

Like the pieces of a jigsaw, the pieces come together to give a picture of a girl with outstanding natural abilities, whose strength of character and remarkable faith shine out despite the darkness that often surrounded her. Executed at age 16, Jane paid an awful price for a throne she did not seek.

‘Faith Cook writes in a very readable manner. Here is a sympathetic but realistic treatment of Lady Jane, coupled with a helpful study of this vital period of history.’ – Mignon Goswell, Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne

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Equip Book of the Month: August

Freedom of self-forgetfulnessFreedom of Self-Forgetfulness: Timothy Keller

“What are the marks of a supernaturally changed heart?”  This is one of the questions the Apostle Paul addresses as he writes to the church in Corinth. He s not after some superficial outward tinkering, but instead a deep rooted, life altering change that takes place on the inside. In an age where pleasing people, puffing up your ego and building your résumé are seen as the methods to make it , the Apostle Paul calls us to find true rest in blessed self forgetfulness.

In this short and punchy book, best selling author Timothy Keller, shows that gospel humility means we can stop connecting every experience, every conversation with ourselves and can thus be free from self condemnation. A truly gospel humble person is not a self hating person or a self loving person, but a self forgetful person. This freedom can be yours too…

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Equip Book of the Month: July

Pure JoyPure Joy By Christopher Ash

Conscience is the Cinderella of the contemporary world. We hardly speak or think about our conscience. She is left behind while we get on with the party of life, untroubled by any serious self-examination. And yet conscience is a God-given part of being human, with tremendous potential for good – if it is cleansed and kept clean – or for harm – if it becomes hardened or calloused.

‘This book is about the joy of a clear conscience in every day of living and in the day of death,” enthuses Christopher Ash.

‘With a clear conscience, we can enjoy not just the stuff we think of as “spiritual”, but all sorts of things like sleep, sport, friendship and holidays. With a good conscience none of these things ever leaves a sour taste in our mouths.’

Christopher is eager to get all of us thinking about conscience again: ‘I want you to take your conscience out of the cupboard, dust it down, bring it back into daily life and discover its power to do you good.’

BREAKING NEWS: Don’t miss Christopher Ash’s visit to Cape Town and Johannesburg from 15th September – 3rd October 2016.  More details to follow.

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Equip Book of the Month: June

True By Sarah Bradley.  Reviewed by Di Warren

TrueCall me superficial, but I first picked up True because I liked the cover. Through I noticed recently that the Good Book Company has republished it with a slightly different cover!

It’s a great little book. Especially written for girls 10-14, it aims to help teenage girls be excited about living for Jesus in every relationship in their lives. I don’t think there’s anything like it on the market.  It’s a lovely mix of the Bible and earthy illustrations. Each chapter explores one Bible passage, and then finishes with seven practical ideas, a real-life testimony and a Bible study. 

True is a super easy read, but it deals with deep issues. You can tell that Sarah Bradley is very experienced in youth ministry as she politely gets right inside a teenage girl’s head. The material on body image, which it opens with, is insightful and grounded. I loved reading it with my daughter, as it was very easy to chat through.

 

True is perfect for Mums and daughters to read together, but it’s also a great gift for a niece or a friend’s daughter. It can be used in a girls’ bible study group or even youth group.   Written primarily for Christians, it’s also very accessible for interested unbelievers.

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Equip Book of the month: May

Ordinary: Michael Horton

Ordinary

Radical. Crazy. Transformative and restless. Every word we read these days seems to suggest there’s a “next-best-thing,” if only we would change our comfortable, compromising lives. In fact, the greatest fear most Christians have is boredom—the sense that they are missing out on the radical life Jesus promised. One thing is certain. No one wants to be “ordinary.”

Yet pastor and author Michael Horton believes that our attempts to measure our spiritual growth by our experiences, constantly seeking after the next big breakthrough, have left many Christians disillusioned and disappointed. There’s nothing wrong with an energetic faith; the danger is that we can burn ourselves out on restless anxieties and unrealistic expectations. What’s needed is not another program or a fresh approach to spiritual growth; it’s a renewed appreciation for the commonplace.

Far from a call to low expectations and passivity, Horton invites readers to recover their sense of joy in the ordinary. He provides a guide to a sustainable discipleship that happens over the long haul—not a quick fix that leaves readers empty with unfulfilled promises. Convicting and ultimately empowering, Ordinary is not a call to do less; it’s an invitation to experience the elusive joy of the ordinary Christian life.

I commend Ordinary to everyone who can afford it. Pastors, seminarians, laypeople—let everyone who can get this book and profit from it. Horton is always worth reading, and this book will help to push evangelicalism in exactly the direction it should go: a confessional one. The church needs thick faith of biblical stuff to survive—and not only this, to thrive.” Owen Strachan, Gospel Coalition 

Maybe if we discover the opportunities of the ordinary, a fondness for the familiar, and marvel again at the mundane, we will be radical after all.” Tim Challies

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Equip Book of the month: April

Purity is PossiblePurity is Possible by Helen Thorne

One in five Christian women use pornography. One in three visitors to a porn site is a woman. Many, many more women read explicit books like Fifty Shades of Grey. Even more than that write their own pornography—not on paper for publication, but in their heads for their own use. Helen Thorne knows all this because she’s done it. But no one talks about it. Our churches are silent on it. There are very few books about it. It is the unspoken struggle of thousands of Christian women—perhaps you, and probably someone you know. But no more. In this refreshingly honest, resolutely hope-filled and gospel-soaked book, Helen speaks the unspoken. In doing so, she shows how purity is better and more satisfying than fantasy—and that, whoever you are and whatever your struggles, purity is possible.

“Lust is not only an issue men struggle with. This book will help many women admit their struggle, battle their sin, and find true victory over it.”  Tim Challies, Blogger & Author

“Honest, real, realistic—all of which makes the hope that it offers truly hopeful.” Tim Chester, Director of Porterbrook Seminary; author of “Captured by a Better Vision: Living Porn Free”

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Equip Book of the Month: March

Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss

Stepping Heavenward (Purple Bnd Lthr)“How dreadfully old I am getting! Sixteen!”.  So begins ‘Stepping Heavenward’ by Elizabeth Prentiss, the journal-like account of a nineteenth century girl who learns, on the path to womanhood, that true happiness can be found in giving oneself for others.

This book was first published in 1869, and tells the story of Kate and her quest to live a better life. By watching her godly mother (with whom she becomes easily irritated at times), Kate learns about striving for excellence.  The author writes with a no-nonsense approach to Christian living and employs good humor, all the while leading the reader to ponder deeper, eternal matters. The diary of Kate reveals innocence coupled with an acute awareness of her naturally human tendencies to selfishness.  Readers will learn that small things really do matter, as Kate matures into a young woman with true depth of character. There is humor, seriousness, and some sadness as Kate progresses through the stages of life. But through it all, author Elizabeth Prentiss displays an astounding ability to put the struggles faced by all men and women who desire to live for Christ yet are confronted by their flawed humanity, into words.  Both Mothers and daughters will enjoy this book.

“This book is a treasure of both Godly and womanly wisdom told with disarming candour and humility, yet revealing a deep heart’s desire to know God,” says noted Christian speaker Elisabeth Elliot. “I do not hesitate to recommend it to men, who need to understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.”

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Equip Book of the Month: February

Holiness JC RyleHoliness by J.C. Ryle

JC Ryle wrote this timeless classic on holiness over a hundred years ago, yet how poignant his words still are for us today. Sadly, we all know how easy it is to appear godly in public, while behind closed doors to continue in our own sin.

This modern English version will challenge a new generation of readers to live a Christ–like life. Ryle’s timeless wisdom reminds us that holiness shouldn’t be cold, distant and unobtainable, but that Christ himself is the root of our godliness. Be exhorted not to simply settle for half–hearted holiness, but to strive to be holy in every area of our lives. Holiness, Ryle argued, was not simply a matter of believing and feeling, but of doing.

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Equip Book of the Month: August

Know the Creeds and CouncilsKnow the Creeds and Councils: Justin Holcomb

In every generation, the Christian church must interpret and restate its bedrock beliefs, answering the challenges and concerns of the day. This accessible overview walks readers through centuries of creeds, councils, catechisms, and confessions–not with a dry focus on dates and places, but with an emphasis on the living tradition of Christian belief and why it matters for our lives today.
As a part of the KNOW series, Know the Creeds and Councils is designed for personal study or classroom use, but also for small groups and Sunday schools wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith. Each chapter covers a key statement of faith and includes a discussion of its historical context, a simple explanation of the statement’s content and key points, reflections on contemporary and ongoing relevance, and discussion questions.

“Obviously, Christianity did not begin when we were born…Today’s Christianity is directly affected by what earlier Christians chose to do and to believe.” – Justin Holcomb, professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Reformed Theological Seminary

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Equip Book of the Month: March

Lila (a novel)

Author: Marilynne Robinson

LilaThis novel is set in the fictional Plains town of Gilead, Iowa.  Lila tells the story of a young girl, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, who steps inside a small-town church and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.

Neglected as a toddler, Lila was rescued by Doll, a canny young drifter, and brought up by her in a hardscrabble childhood. Together they crafted a life on the run, living hand to mouth with nothing but their sisterly bond and a ragged blade to protect them. Despite bouts of petty violence and moments of desperation, their shared life was laced with moments of joy and love. When Lila arrives in Gilead, she struggles to reconcile the life of her makeshift family and their days of hardship with the gentle Christian worldview of her husband.

“The value of an exceptional novel lies in its ability to embed itself in your memory long after you have finished reading it. Its value is measured in how often you find yourself thinking in the voices of the characters, or thinking through the ideas, or remembering its images. A great novel has its after-image in other books, films, people, and events. A truly great novel has a spectral presence that will follow you for days, weeks, months, even years.”              Equip Bookclub Blogspot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Home, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award, Gilead, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and Housekeeping, which was also a Finalist for the National Book Award, and four books of nonfiction, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, and Absence of Mind. She teaches at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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Equip Book of the Month: January

Good News for Anxious Christians : 10 practical things you don’t have to do…

By Phillip Cary

Good News for Anxious ChristiansLike a succession of failed diet regimens, the much-touted techniques that are supposed to bring us closer to God “in our hearts” can instead make us feel anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed.

How can we meet and know God with ongoing joy rather than experiencing the Christian life as a series of guilt-inducing disappointments? Phillip Cary explains that knowing God is a gradual, long-term process that comes through the Bible experienced in Christian community, not a to-do list designed to help us live the Christian life “right. ” This clearly written book covers ten things Christians don’t have to do to be close to God, such as:-

  • to hear God’s voice in their hearts,
  • find God’s will for their lives, and
  • believe their intuitions are the Holy Spirit.

Cary skillfully unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality, bringing the real good news to Christians of all ages.

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