3 New October Releases!

WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO BE RELEASING THESE 3 NEW TITLES TODAY:


The Mystery of the Trinity: A Trinitarian Approach to the Attributes of God by Vern S. Poythress

728 pages | Hardcover | P&R Direct Price: $49.99 $34.50 | SAMPLE CHAPTER | Mobi: $39.99 | ePub: $39.99

About

Starting with the doctrine of the Trinity, Vern Poythress addresses six challenges concerning the compatibility of God’s independence with his activities in the world. The eternal activities among the persons of the Trinity offer a foundation for God’s activities in the world. Alternative metaphysical frameworks for explaining God’s transcendence and immanence run the danger of overriding the truths of biblical revelation.

Endorsements

“This book is a valiant and thought-provoking attempt to approach the attributes of God through the doctrine of the Trinity. . . . While broadly endorsing the classical doctrine of God, [Poythress] is suspicious of our reliance on well-defined technical terms that are required to do our work for us. He wants us to abandon our implicit reliance on Aristotelian metaphysics in favor of the shaping power of the mystery of the Trinity. . . . In the hands of Poythress, this becomes an appeal to become more robustly biblical, not less. This book is truly transforming—a capstone to all that Vern Poythress has taught us over the last two or three decades. Read it slowly and carefully.”

—D. A. Carson, Emeritus Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“Dr. Poythress applies his deep knowledge of Scripture, his well-informed knowledge of historical theology, and his brilliant mind to some of the most difficult controversies in the theology of the divine attributes.”

—Philip Graham Ryken, President, Wheaton College

“A stimulating and fascinating book. . . . Poythress raises important questions that need addressing and offers many incisive and challenging insights.”

—Robert Letham, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology, Union School of Theology

“The challenge for our speaking about who God is . . . is to speak of the sublimely majestic mysteries involved in a biblically bounded way. . . . In this volume, Dr. Poythress meets this challenge in an exemplary and most helpful way. I commend it.”

—Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary


A Painful Past: Healing and Moving Forward by Lauren Whitman

96 Pages | 31-Day Devotionals for Life series | P&R Direct Price: $7.50 | SAMPLE CHAPTER

About

Do you live with regret? Have others sinned terribly against you? If it has been hard for you to recover from events in your past, the possibility that you could live well in the present may seem far-fetched. If you feel trapped by your past, God invites you to pour out your heart to him and to find comfort in his Word. In this 31-day devotional, complete with reflection questions and practical action steps, biblical counselor Lauren Whitman shows how the gospel transforms your understanding of the past, your life in the present, and your hope for the future. 

Endorsements

“If you’ve ever experienced pain from your past, come and let these words comfort you. Come and soak up the grace given to you in this devotional.”

—Julie Lowe, Faculty and Counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation 

“This has well-known Scripture, songs, and hymns that will surprise you in the best possible way. The pace anticipates and answers questions you have. By Day 3, Lauren was anticipating questions I barely even knew I had, and each Scripture and song landed in my soul.”

Edward T. Welch, Faculty and Counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; Author, Created to Draw Near and Shame Interrupted

“With deft writing and a delicate touch, Lauren turns her years of counseling experience toward your past with thirty-one days of truth, care, reflection, and application.”

—Dave Harvey, President, Great Commission Collective

“Hurting hearts will find help here. Each day Lauren tenderly encourages you to consider how Jesus comforts the pains of your past and how he lovingly secures a new and better story for your present and future.”

—Darby A. Strickland, Counselor, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

“A daily touch point with the Bible that brings hope in bite-sized pieces. I believe you will walk away with two powerful messages: ‘You are not alone’ and ‘There is hope.’”

—Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling, The Summit Church, Durham, North Carolina


Forgiveness: Reflecting God’s Mercy by Hayley Satrom

104 Pages | 31-Day Devotionals for Life series | P&R Direct Price: $7.50 | SAMPLE CHAPTER

About

Are you struggling to forgive someone—or multiple people—who have deeply hurt you? Do you frequently feel bitter or offended? When the sin of the people around us looms large in our minds, we need to look to God. His great love is not only an encouragement amid our pain but also the foundation on which we build true forgiveness for others. In this 31-day devotional, through readings, reflection questions, and action points, biblical counselor Hayley Satrom turns us to Scripture to see the grace and mercy that God daily pours out on us despite our sins against him—then shows us how to forgive others in practical terms. 

Endorsements

“Hayley Satrom is a gifted communicator who tackles the sensitive topic of biblical forgiveness in a clear, loving, and practical way.”

—Joanne Owens, Director of Care and Counseling, Immanuel Bible Church, Springfield, Virginia 

“By helping us to experience God’s grace, Hayley encourages and empowers us to give Christ’s grace to others. Though this is a brief devotional, it is packed with theological truth applied to real life.”

—Bob Kellemen, Author, Gospel-Centered Marriage Counseling: An Equipping Guide for Pastors and Counselors

“Handles a difficult subject with grace and truth. I believe this devotional will really help those struggling with forgiveness, and I heartily endorse [it]!”

—Julie Ganschow, Author, Seeing Depression through the Eyes of Grace; Director, Reigning Grace Counseling Center

“Hayley’s devotional will help to deliver you from the rising tide of touchiness that is dragging even the church into bitterness. Let Jesus bless you through Hayley!”

—Paul Miller, Executive Director, seeJesus; Author, A Praying Life


Author Interview with Hayley Satrom

Today’s author interview is with Hayley Satrom. She is the author of the upcoming book in our 31-Day Devotionals for Life series, Forgiveness: Reflecting God’s Mercy (releasing this Wednesday, 10/7).

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in the suburbs of Washington, DC with my husband Rob, three terrific kids, and one precocious pup named Penny. Outside the home I work part-time as a biblical counselor for my church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Ten years ago I co-founded a biblical counseling ministry called Heart Song Counseling, and I continue to help direct that wonderful organization today. When I’m not counseling, I love to be outside with my family—taking walks, riding bikes, swimming in the pool, or even jumping on our family trampoline together. In addition to playing outside, we also love movie nights with popcorn and M&M’s. 

  • What inspired you to write this book, about this topic? 

Forgiveness is something I have personally wrestled with—in a major way—in my own Christian walk. I know how difficult it can be to fight anger and bitterness in my heart, especially when I’ve been grievously hurt by someone. And as a counselor, I see this struggle constantly in the lives of those I meet with. So I know there is a real need for a devotional on this topic. Thankfully, God has so much to say about forgiveness in his Word; it is really important to him. My hope is that the Scriptures and reflections in this devotional will speak to the hearts of those who struggle to forgive. 

  • What book are you reading now?

As seems to be the case with the rest of the Christian world right now, I am reading Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortland. It’s become enormously popular for a reason. Such comforting reflections on the tender heart of our Savior. A must-read.

  • Do you have a favorite author? Who is it and why?

My favorite novelists are Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. I enjoy the way they develop characters, exploring the motivations of the heart. I’m a counselor because I love knowing people; I enjoy getting to peer behind the curtain and understand why someone did this or felt that way. What happened in the past that influences that belief in the present? I suppose it goes with the territory that I prefer authors with good character development. 

D.A. Carson is probably my favorite theologian. I have learned so much from his books. My favorite of his is Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation. Chapter 9 of that book is my favorite chapter of any book anywhere. How’s that for specific? If you haven’t read Chapter 9 of Praying with Paul, you should go get your hands on that. It’s called “A Sovereign and Personal God.” So helpful that I have been known to make friends read it out loud with me just to enjoy it together.

  • Do you have a favorite movie? What is it and why?

My favorite movie is Pollyanna. I was named after Hayley Mills, so I can’t help but like her movies. Name aside, it’s a great feel-good movie and I only like feel-goods. My kids watch it with me now as if it’s newly released. I don’t think they realize how old it is. Which makes me an awesome mom!

  • Favorite sport to watch? Why? Favorite sport’s team?

Easy. College football, USC Trojans. My Alma Mater. Fight on!

  • What famous person (living or dead) would you like to meet and why?

I would really enjoy meeting the royal family of England. I just know we would hit it off and become friends! Tea time at Buckingham Palace? Yes, please!

  • If you have a favorite book of the Bible, what is it and why?

The Lord changed my heart through the book of Isaiah, so I will always feel a special awe for that book and the way it supernaturally transformed me. That said, whenever I feel spiritually flat, I usually turn to the gospel of Luke. So much to be inspired by in the person of Christ. But my favorite chapter of the Bible is 2 Corinthians 4: 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

  • How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Website: www.heartsongcounseling.org

Facebook Page: Hayley Sitton Satrom


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FIVE REASONS THE FIRST YEARS OF MARRIAGE MATTER by Sean Perron & Spencer Harmon

The first years of marriage should not be treated lightly. Why do they matter so much?

1. The first years of marriage were designed for your joy. God wants you to enjoy his good gift of marriage. He gets glory when you delight in him as the giver of the joys of marriage. The warmth of companionship, the thrill of intimacy, and even the comfort of shared burdens are designed by God to bless you. All these good things come from him, and he wants you to enjoy them properly. Although the first years of marriage hold challenges, there are countless opportunities to enjoy God through this gift.

2. The first years of marriage are a time when you form impactful habits. The patterns set in the first years of marriage often set the trajectory of decades of life together between a couple. Will you have a spiritual relationship? How will you spend money? How committed will you be to the local church? What is your strategy for handling conflict? How would you spend leisure time? These decisions are what make up our marriages. They are settled in the first years.

3. The first years of marriage matter because marriage matters. And marriage matters because the gospel matters. Marriage reflects the gospel. It is meant to be a display the relationship between Christ and the church (see Eph. 5:22–33). Couples entering marriage must sense the staggering opportunity they have to testify to God’s great love for his people in Jesus Christ. In the first years of marriage, there is an opportunity to grow in our knowledge of this gospel and our commitment to living in our in our daily relationship. 

4. The first years of marriage are when you enter a cultural battlefield. Biblical marriage is strange to the world. It celebrates God’s design for marriage between one man and one woman, while our culture rejects it. It joyfully submits to God’s roles for men and women in marriage, while society finds God’s call restrictive and outdated. When a couple committed to the Bible says “I do,” they enter a cultural battlefield over the very meaning of their marriage. It is crucial for couples to fortify their convictions about God’s design for marriage because our culture supports this design less and less.

5. The first years of marriage are a time to learn from others. Millions of marriages have preceded yours. The path of a God-glorifying marriage is well-worn by multitudes of Christian couples. To be sure, the first years will contain many sins and mistakes—but they don’t all have to be your own. Commit to identifying and avoiding the common pitfalls of this season. God’s Word is a light to our feet so that we can navigate this season with wisdom.

—Sean Perron & Spencer Harmon, Letters to a Romantic: First Years of Marriage


“Faith in What You Cannot See” by Esther Smith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb. 11:1) 

Many patients who have chronic illness wait for years to be diagnosed. This can be an immensely trying time. In addition to experiencing troublesome symptoms of unknown origin, patients are often disbelieved. Doctors are quick to doubt patient reports when blood work or imaging doesn’t show anything wrong. Often, it isn’t until years later that visible evidence of underlying disease processes begins to appear. 

In my case, I experienced concerning symptoms for over a decade before receiving a diagnosis. During this time, many doctors believed that my symptoms were real, but others did not. Most people in my life were supportive, but some thought I was just stressed. After all, I looked completely healthy. Nobody could see my symptoms or feel my pain but me. 

In those years before I received a diagnosis, I often left doctors’ appointments feeling defeated. How do you get doctors to take you seriously when the physical evidence is contrary to your experience? In frustrated moments, we wonder, “Why can’t they take me at my word? Why can’t they trust me?” 

It’s hard to believe in what you can’t see. At the same time, visible evidence is not always an accurate indication of what is happening. Yes, this is true of our experiences with doctors, family members, friends, and strangers. But then it hit me—it is also true of the way we so often relate to God. 

When chronic illness disrupts our lives, we sometimes think that because we can’t see evidence of God, he isn’t there. We think that because we can’t feel God’s presence, he’s not at work. We struggle when we read promises in Scripture that don’t seem true in our lives. God says he is good, but life is filled with suffering. God says he answers prayers, but it sure doesn’t seem that way. God says he loves us, but is life with chronic illness what love looks like? 

Hebrews 11:1 says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith gives us two things: assurance and conviction. It gives us assurance that the hopeful things we read in Scripture are true. It gives us conviction that unseen things are real. The New King James Version uses the word evidence: faith is “the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is the evidence that enables us to take the leap between what our eyes can see and what God tells us in Scripture. 

Faith is essential, because God is invisible. We can’t see God, so we have to take him at his word. Perhaps there will be times when God asks us the same questions that we ask our doctors: Will you trust me? Will you take me at my word? Just because you can’t see the things I tell you doesn’t mean they aren’t real. 

—Esther Smith, Chronic Illness: Walking by Faith


FIVE MYTHS ABOUT DOMESTIC ABUSE by Darby Strickland

Which one of us does not want to bring relief to the people we love who are suffering? Compassion and care are two ways Christians shine the light of Christ into this broken world. God seeks to protect the vulnerable, and we, when we are in Christ, are drawn to do the same. Even in our fallen state, we cannot help but notice injustices. And the more we read God’s Word, the more we long to protect the vulnerable as God’s concerns become our concerns.

To offer wise and helpful counsel, we have to understand the suffering that we encounter. I believe that if we fully knew the horrors going on inside a victim’s home, we would feel compelled to be part of God’s rescue for them. If we saw the domination and destruction taking place, we could easily name the particular sins and see dozens of places in Scripture that speak to their oppression and suffering. The problem is that we do not see domestic abuse happening. Consequently, we fail to understand it.

In my ministry to victims of domestic abuse, I spend quite a bit of time educating church leaders on how they can provide protection and care for the victims in their midst. When I ask for help and support, I typically come up against five common myths. Each wrongly held position holds the potential to lead to unhelpful—even harmful—counsel being offered. In Galatians, we learn that “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9). In other words, it only takes a tiny kernel of false teaching to spoil the outcome completely. Knowing that most of us would never set out to harm the vulnerable God has entrusted to us, I want to debunk these myths so that your care of victims is wise and compassionate.

  • MYTH 1: ABUSE IS AN ANGER PROBLEM. Many believe that people do abusive things when they are angry; they become so fed up that they lose control. But the opposite is true. Oppressive people use punishing behaviors to establish and maintain control over their victims. They are not out of control. They are using control to get their world the way they want it. Like the bad kings we regularly encounter in the Old Testament, they are plotting to establish their kingdoms, glory, and comforts without regard for those God entrusted to them. Abusers rarely show anger when frustrated in public. Abusers are very selective about who witnesses their rage. Their abuse always serves their agenda, and if we fail to understand the purposefulness at play, we fail victims when we try to help them.
  • MYTH 2: ABUSE IS A MARRIAGE PROBLEM. Yes, every marriage involves two idolatrous sinners, but it is the oppressor’s sin pattern that leads them to seek to control and dominate their spouse. The oppressed spouse is powerless to make the domination stop, and they are not responsible for their spouse’s sin (see Matt. 15:18). Now, abuse can undoubtedly cause a marriage problem, but it is not a relationally based problem. No amount of trying to improve the relationship will adequately address the idolatrous heart that seeks to oppress the other. Treating an abusive marriage as though it is a typical marriage can place a victim in danger since such counsel fails to address the imbalance of power and vulnerability of the oppressed.
  • MYTH 3: VICTIMS KNOW THAT THEY ARE BEING ABUSED. Oppressors want to obscure what they are doing, so they work to create confusion in the minds of their victims. They do this by making their victim feel sorry for them and making their victim feel responsible for the abuse. They are masters at deflecting blame. Almost everyone who is oppressed struggles with confusion, no matter how overt the abuse is. Oppressors need their victims to be off-balance and disoriented to maintain control. When you try to help, do not expect victims to be able to articulate or see the problem clearly.
  • MYTH 4: CHILDREN ARE NOT AWARE THAT ABUSE IS HAPPENING. When asked, almost all children in a home with abuse reveal that they are aware of the abuse.*1 They see it, hear it, or sense it, and they are frightened. Most children believe it is their fault. In my mind, the most profound damage caused by childhood domestic violence is the spiritual damage. When children have a father who pretends to be pious but abuses them or their mother spiritually or with Scripture, the damage done to a child’s faith can be formidable.
  • MYTH 5: SHE SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING. In most cases, abuse does not start until the honeymoon. Many women say it’s like a switch has flipped and everything has changed. Wives often keep working hard in the marriage to get things back to the way they were, not realizing that the sinister tactics of control employed by their husband reveal the person he has been all along.

Abuse ministry is complex and filled with stories of tragedy. But the more we understand about the dangers and dynamics of abuse, the better able we will be to offer Christ-centered counsel that extends true and lasting hope.

—Darby Strickland, Is It Abuse? A Biblical Guide to Identifying Domestic Abuse and Helping Victims



*1“When Children Witness Violence,” DomesticShelters.org, November 5, 2014, https://www.domesticshelters.org/articles/childhood-domestic-violence/when-children-witness-violence#.Ws4TOIjwaUk.