You Matter to God: Discovering Your True Value and Identity in God’s Eyes by Derek Prince (Chosen/Baker)
The late Derek Prince preached a signature sermon before he died titled “Do You Realize How Valuable You Are?” This message became the basis of You Matter to God. God made us in his triune image. When God breathed his spirit into people, it was to be an unbroken communion and worship with God throughout this life and eternity.
When people sinned, God provided the remedy for this fallen condition through the gift of his only Son. God paid the price of redemption so he could once again hold what he made us to be eternally. All God has done for people is because we matter to him. At the resurrection, we will be changed for eternity. We will move from humiliation to glory. God started with dust, but one day, we will be filled with his glory.
You will be greatly blessed as you read the author’s view of these and other great biblical truths. You will rejoice when you discover anew that “you matter to God.”
Leo Smith, executive director
Texas Baptist Men
Everything You Know About Evangelicals is Wrong (Well, Almost Everything): An Insider’s Look at Myths & Realities by Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen (Baker Books)
Are evangelicals mean, dogmatic, homophobic anti-evolutionists? These are a few of the ways evangelical Christians often are characterized by many in Western society. But Wilkens and Thorsen are interested in wading through these and other caricatures and stereotypes to take a good look at reality.
What they uncover are often false or incomplete views of evangelicals formed out of emotion. Unfortunately, some of the reality they find is uncomfortable to read. Evangelicals sometimes have been less than Christ-like in engaging society. And after all, there is some brutal foundation of truth behind caricatures. Wilkens and Thorsen challenge evangelicals to pay more attention to their theology, history, practice and their relations with others—growing in their identity.
The authors are not afraid to share the bad news, but they encourage evangelicals to be much more focused on the kingdom of God and the Great Commission. If we truly represented the person of Jesus, maybe the world would end up writing a very different book about us.
Greg Bowman, minister to students
First Baptist Church. Duncanville
Jungle Sunrise by Jonathan Williams (Noble Novels, Nordskog Publishing)
Jonathan Williams keeps readers on the edge of their seats in his first novel set in the Peruvian jungle. He draws from his personal experience working in Peru as a member of the Xtreme Team—a group of Baptist missionaries who face danger and deprivation to reach people in the most remote corners of the world.
The story’s protagonist is Jonah Frost—an author who hits rock bottom. His linguist brother, Noah, receives an assignment to learn the language of a newly discovered Peruvian tribe and decides Jonah needs an adventure to learn to live again. The Frosts meet Memphis and Abigail Jones, a missionary couple. The four share a boat with a bitter anthropologist and a beautiful Spanish photographer for a long journey upriver. As Jonah meets danger, death, romance and renewal, he finally finds his redemption in the jungle.
The book could have benefited from heavier editing, but the plot is so exciting and intense, it’s easy for the reader to overlook issues of style. The author certainly has interesting stories to tell.
Communications Intern, Waco