The Great Reversal by Tim Keller

Ministries of Mercy_outlined

Most commentaries on the gospel of Luke note that Jesus reverses the lawyer’s original question. He had asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Now Jesus tells a story and asks, “Who was the neighbor?”

What was Jesus trying to do? One of the older commentators writes,

“[Jesus is] compelling the lawyer to give a reply very different from what he would like, . . . making him commend one of a deeply-hated race. And he does so, but it is almost extorted.”

How is Jesus able to “compel” the lawyer to acknowledge the hated Samaritan as the hero of the story? Even a fictional description of a real act of mercy is by its very nature attractive and compelling. Even an unwilling bigot must bow begrudgingly in honor.

Had we confronted this lawyer, most of us would have concocted a story like this: A Jew (with whom the lawyer could identify) comes down a road and finds a man lying in the road, dying in his own blood, robbed of all his possessions. Upon closer look, he sees it is a Samaritan. Nonetheless, he alights from his animal, bandages up his wounds, and takes him to safety. “Now,” we would have said to the law expert, “there is your answer! ‘Who is my neighbor?’ you asked. Why, even an enemy like a Samaritan is your neighbor if he is in need!”

I doubt the lawyer would have been moved. He would have said, “Ha! If I came upon a dying Samaritan, I would ride over him and finish him off! What a ridiculous story! What Jew with any integrity would act in such a foolish way?”

But Jesus is a far wiser counselor than any of us. He reverses the expected roles of the characters. He puts a Jew (with whom the lawyer could identify) dying in the road. Along comes a hated Samaritan. What does the Jew want from the Samaritan? Why, help of course! And to everyone’s surprise, the Samaritan stops and shows mercy.

Now we see how Jesus deftly cornered the law expert. Of course, if the law expert had been dying in the road, he would have wanted aid from the traveler, even if he was a Samaritan. In a sense, Jesus is asking, finally, “Now friend, who was a neighbor to you?” The only answer is: “My enemy, the Samaritan!” And the final word? “Well, then, go and give as you would receive! How can you really insist on acting differently yourself?”

This article is adapted from Ministries of Mercy, Third Edition, by Tim Keller.

BOOK HIGHLIGHT – Ready to Restore by Jay E. Adams

Ready to Restore: The Layman’s Guide to Christian Counseling
by Jay E. Adams

128 pages | Direct Price: $11.99 $9.00 | Paperback | Released: 1981

Summary: Jay E. Adams is a pioneer in the field of counseling. Here he has taken the most essential elements of counseling and packaged them in a nontechnical volume. The result is neither simplistic, nor superficial, but a complete, systematic course, useful for study groups, bible colleges, church leaders, and individual study.

About the Author: 

Jay E. Adams is known for his many books on counseling and frequent appearances at conferences on Christian living and counseling issues. He served for many years on the faculties of Westminster Theological Seminary and Westminster Seminary in California. He is currently the dean of the Institute for Nouthetic Studies, a distance-learning institution that provides international training in biblical counseling.


Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.


Recap of All 2014 New Releases

This past year has been another good one for us here at P&R. We pub­lished 47 new titles in 2014. We are so grateful for all of our won­der­ful authors and their hard work and commitment. We also appreciate all of you ded­i­cated P&R read­ers out there. Thank you!

I have cat­e­go­rized the new books of 2014 by cat­e­gory. The cat­e­gories included are: Apolo­get­ics, Bible Study, Bib­li­cal Stud­ies, Christian Liv­ing, Church HistoryChurch Min­istry, Coun­sel­ing, Fic­tionThe­ol­ogy, World­view & Ethics, and Youth. I hope you have enjoyed all of the new books this year. Have a favorite? Leave a comment on this blog post and we will pass it along to the author.


1. How Did Evil Come into the World? by William Edgar (part of the CAHQ Series)

2. Did Adam Exist? by Vern S. Poythress (part of the CAHQ Series)

3. How Can I Know for Sure? by David B. Garner (part of the CAHQ Series)

4. The Pagan Heart of Today’s Culture by Peter Jones (part of the CAHQ Series)

Bible Study:

5. Loving in God’s Story of Grace by Elizabeth Reynolds Turnage (the third and final book in the Living Story Series)

6. 1 & 2 Samuel: Rise of the Lord’s Anointed by Kay Gabrysch (part of the Tapestry Series)

7. Judges & Ruth: There Is a Redeemer by Sarah Ivill (part of the Tapestry Series)

8. Time Travel to the Old Testament: An Essential Companion for the Christian Explorer by Chris Sinkinson

Biblical Studies:

9. Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes by Zack Eswine (part of the GAOT Series)

10. From Bondage to Liberty: The Gospel According to Moses by Anthony T. Selvaggio (part of the GAOT Series)

11. Sex & Violence in the Bible: A Survey of Explicit Content in the Holy Book by Joseph W. Smith III

12. John: 2 Volume Set by Richard D. Phillips (part of the REC Series)

13. Ecclesiastes by Douglas Sean O’Donnell (part of the REC Series)

14. 1 Peter by Daniel M. Doriani (part of the REC Series)

15. Inconspicuous Providence by Bryan R. Gregory (part of the GAOT Series)

Christian Living:

16. Discovering the Joy of a Clear Conscience by Christopher Ash

17. Grace Works!: (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t) by Douglas Bond

18. Sociology by Matthew S. Vos (part of the Faithful Learning Series)

19. Philosophy by James S. Spiegel (part of the Faithful Learning Series)

20. An Invitation to Academic Studies by Jay D. Green (part of the Faithful Learning Series)

21. Literature by Clifford W. Foreman (part of the Faithful Learning Series)

22. Hidden in the Gospel: Truths You Forget to Tell Yourself Every Day by William P. Farley

23. Prone to Wander: Prayers of Confession and Celebration by Wayne Duguid Houk and Barbara R. Duguid

24. The Problem of Good: When the World Seems Fine without God edited by D. Marion Clark

25. You Can Pray: Finding Grace to Pray Every Day by Tim Chester

Church History:

26. Princeton Seminary (1812–1929): Its Leaders’ Lives and Works by Gary Steward

Church Ministry:

27. Encountering God Together: Leading Worship Services That Honor God, Minister to His People, and Build His Church by David G. Peterson

28. The Heart Is the Target: Preaching Practical Application from Every Text by Murray Capill

29. On the Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor by Clay Werner


30. God’s Solutions to Life’s Problems: Radical Change by the Power of God by Wayne A. Mack and Joshua Mack

31. Courage by Wayne A. Mack and Joshua Mack

32. Romantic Conflict: Embracing Desires That Bless Not Bruise by Brad Hambrick (part of the GRL Series)

33. Self-Centered Spouse: Help for Chronically Broken Marriages by Brad Hambrick (part of the GRL Series)

34. Keeping Your Cool: A Teen’s Survival Guide by Lou Priolo


35. The Threefold Cord: The Dark Harvest, Book 3 by Jeremiah W. Montgomery (part of the DHT Series)

– The Dark Harvest Trilogy by Jeremiah W. Montgomery (Three-Volume Set)


36. The Imitation of Christ in the Gospel of Luke: Growing in Christlike Love for God and Neighbor by C. D. “Jimmy” Agan III

37. The Triune God edited by Ronald L. Kohl

38. John Frame’s Selected Shorter Writings, Volume 1 by John M. Frame

39. From Age to Age: The Unfolding of Biblical Eschatology by Keith A. Mathison

40. For the World: Essays in Honor of Richard L. Pratt Jr. edited by Justin S. Holcomb and Glenn Lucke

41. What Is Resurrection? by Joel R. Beeke (part of our BOF Series)

42. God with Us: Exploring God’s Personal Interactions with His People throughout the Bible by Glenn R. Kreider

43. Covenants Made Simple: Understanding God’s Unfolding Promises to His People by Jonty Rhodes


44. God’s Wisdom by Sally Michael (part of the MHK Series)

45. The Story: The Bible’s Grand Narrative of Redemption by Jon Nielson

46. Jesus Is Most Special by Sally Michael

47. God’s Battle by Sally Michael (part of the MHK Series)

BOOK HIGHLIGHT – Your Family, God’s Way by Wayne A. Mack

Your Family, God’s Way: Developing and Sustaining Relationships in the Home      by Wayne A. Mack

240 pages | $12.99 | Paperback | Published: 1991

Summary: Why do some families grow closer, when others fall apart?

As a husband, father of four, and family counselor, Wayne A. Mack knows what makes families tick. Here he offers biblical insight and practical wisdom into two crucial areas of family life: communication and conflict resolution. Alerting us to the pitfalls of faulty communication, such as “undertalk,” “overtalk,” poor listening, forms of falsehood, and “circuit jammers” to communication, Mack examines why families fight and explains the key to turning family discord into harmony.

Firsthand success stories and highly practical application questions give hope and clear direction to all who wish to build stronger families God’s way.

About the Author:

Wayne Mack lives in Pretoria, South Africa, where he serves as a pastor-elder with his son-in-law and teaches biblical counseling at Strengthening Ministries Training Institute to pastors and aspiring pastors in the region. He also spends about six weeks in the USA teaching at various churches. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children and numerous grandchildren.


Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.


BOOK HIGHLIGHT – Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave by Edward T. Welch

Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave: Finding Hope in the Power of the Gospel by Edward T. Welch

320 pages | $16.99 | Series: Resources for Changing Lives | Published: 2001

Summary: Scripture reveals addicts’ true condition: like guests at a banquet thrown by “the woman Folly,” they are already in the grave. (Prov. 9:13–18) Can we not escape our addictions? Following Jesus, we have “immense hope that God can give power so that we are no longer mastered by the addiction.”

About the Author:

Edward T. Welch (PhD, University of Utah) serves both the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF) and Westminster Theological Seminary. At CCEF, he is director of counseling and academic dean, as well as a counselor and faculty member. At Westminster, he is professor of practical theology. He is author of Blame It on the Brain and When People Are Big and God Is Small and has contributed to several other books and journals, including the Journal of Psychology and Christianity.

What Others Say About This Book:

“One of the most helpful books providing practical theology on addictions. Welch’s assessment of addictions as a problem that proceeds from the heart, involving issues of worship and idolatry, is central to helping people grow and change. This is vital reading for church leaders, and for friends and family desiring to help those struggling with addictions.” — John Freeman, Harvest USA

“Destroys the myth that addiction is a disease and sin is a sickness. Welch shows that the hopeless cycle of ‘sickness, recovery, and relapse’ must be replaced with the biblical view of sin, salvation, and sanctification. As a pastor, biblical counselor, and redeemed (not recovering) ex-heroin addict, I believe Welch has given every pastor, parishioner, and anyone caught in the bondage of idolatry/addiction a biblical road map to lasting freedom.” — Peter Garich, Dayspring Center for Biblical Counseling

“Biblically sound, practical, filled with Christ-like compassion. . . . This much-needed book offers real hope and the promise of victory in Jesus to those struggling with addiction.” — Robert A. Emberger, Whosoever Gospel Mission



Our mis­sion is to serve Christ and his church by pro­duc­ing clear, engag­ing, fresh, and insight­ful appli­ca­tions of Reformed theology.