The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered our daily lives and the ability to worship together physically. We understand that this has challenged people in many ways, and we want to share some resources that can encourage and point you to Christ in this season. Even in these great trials and confusing circumstances, we know God is gracious, merciful, and working all things to the good of those who follow Him. Do not hesitate to reach out to Pastor Jon, Pastor Sherwin, or the elders if you would like to talk or pray.
Amidst all the uncertainty around how and when Grace & Peace ought to regather, there is opportunity for division and sin to enter. This article from The Gospel Coalition encourages churches to remain united as they make regathering plans.
Injustice & Race
The murder of George Floyd by a police officer has brought underlying issues of injustice and racism in our society to the forefront. Constructive peaceful protests and destructive looting has followed this. Many people have many ideas about how we ought to respond. The following resources will help up see what the Bible has to say about how we respond to racism and injustice.
There is an agreement that we ought to pursue justice as a society, but what is justice? And how does our worldview shape that? Tim Keller analyzes secular or worldly approaches to justice and morality and demonstrates how they all fall short of the biblical truth. This can help us discern how best to respond to worldly responses to injustice.
Christian sociologist George Yancy writes scientifically and biblically about the concept of White Fragility proposed by author Robin DiAngelo. He offers Mutual Responsibility as a better approach based on its biblical and research-based support.
Psalms prayer devotionals
Grace and Peace is using the Psalms to guide us in prayer through these chaotic and unforeseen times. Join us in using the Psalms to approach our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need!
Grace and Peace supports the Christian counseling offered by Philadelphia Renewal Network. Our church members receive a 20 percent discount on counseling at PRN.
All the below books are available to borrow from the first shelf of our church library.
by Greg Gilbert
What is the Gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the Gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.
Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul’s systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the Gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the Gospel in this valuable resource.
by C.S. Lewis
In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality, Mere Christianity provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear this powerful apologetic for the Christian faith.
by Timothy Keller
The New York Times bestselling author of the forthcoming God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life uncovers the essential message of Jesus, locked inside his most familiar parable.
Newsweek called renowned minister Timothy Keller “a C.S. Lewis for the twenty-first century” in a feature on his first book, The Reason for God. In that book, he offered a rational explanation of why we should believe in God. Now, in The Prodigal God, Keller takes his trademark intellectual approach to understanding Christianity and uses the parable of the prodigal son to reveal an unexpected message of hope and salvation.
Within that parable Jesus reveals God’s prodigal grace toward both the irreligious and the moralistic. This book will challenge both the devout and skeptics to see Christianity in a whole new way.
by J.I. Packer
Stemming from Packer’s profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two important facets of the Christian faith― knowing about God and also knowing God through the context of a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God.
Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by a those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.
by Sinclair Ferguson
‘Christian doctrine matters for Christian living.’ This is ‘one of the most important growth points of the Christian life’, writes Sinclair B. Ferguson. From this starting point, The Christian Life expounds such key biblical themes as grace, faith, repentance, new birth and assurance with clarity and contagious enthusiasm. ‘Christian doctrines are life-shaping’, explains the author, because ‘they show us the God we worship’. Widely used and appreciated since its first appearance, The Christian Life not only expounds the teaching of Scripture, but outlines its meaning for practical Christian living. It is, as J.I. Packer writes in his preface, theology that is ‘practical, applying Bible teaching with insight and wisdom to the condition of plain people. Christian beginners will get the benefit and the Lord’s older sheep, grown tough and stringy maybe, will find themselves edified and perhaps tenderised too’.
by Stephen Smallman
The Walk is a book written to those who have expressed a desire to follow Christ as his disciple. It assumes
no prior understanding of what that means, nor does it assume that the person has actually come to the point of professing faith. It uses as a starting point someone who is simply wondering, “What next?”
Stephen also addresses those who have grown up Christian and may be wondering how to step out in their own faith.
The Walk is designed to be used as much as read. It will be helpful to someone who wants to read on his
own, but also includes readings and projects that will make it useful as a workbook for that individual, in a
mentor relationship, or for use in groups.
The division into twelve chapters is ideal for a typical Sunday School quarter.
by Michael Brown and Zach Keele
Sacred Bond is an introduction to covenant theology geared to the lay reader.
“We wrote this book because we have often found ourselves at a loss when asked by congregants for a good introductory resource on covenant theology. Although there are many excellent books on the subject, most, in our opinion, are not designed for the uninitiated layperson. Given the importance of covenant theology for the Christian life, we believe a book that provides a simple and clear explanation of each of the major covenants of Scripture is needed in the church today. This book is intended to be a means to that end, although it is in no way the final word on the vast subject of covenant theology. Rather, it is an introductory volume designed to give readers a basic grasp of this essential subject matter and encourage them to pursue further study.” (From the Introduction)
by Phil and Leland Ryken
This book gives students of the Bible a quick overview of every book in the Bible. Leland Ryken’s distinctive trait is a literary approach to the Bible―understanding the Bible as literature. The three authors help shed light on understanding the Bible as the inspired Word of God and as literature by looking at the Bible’s different literary genres: poetry, narrative, wisdom literature, story, parables, and more.
by Kevin DeYoung
Can we trust the Bible completely? Is it sufficient for our complicated lives? Can we really know what it teaches?
With his characteristic wit and clarity, award-winning author Kevin DeYoung has written an accessible introduction to the Bible that answers important questions raised by Christians and non-Christians. This book will help you understand what the Bible says about itself and the key characteristics that contribute to its lasting significance.
Avoiding technical jargon, this winsome volume will encourage you to read and believe the Bible—confident that it truly is God’s word.
by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert
Social justice and mission are hot topics today: there’s a wonderful resurgence of motivated Christians passionate about spreading the Gospel and caring for the needs of others. But in our zeal to get sharing and serving, many are unclear on Gospel and mission. Yes, we are called to spend ourselves for the sake of others, but what is the church’s unique priority as it engages the world?
DeYoung and Gilbert write to help Christians “articulate and live out their views on the mission of the church in ways that are theologically faithful, exegetically careful, and personally sustainable.” Looking at the Bible’s teaching on evangelism, social justice, and shalom, they explore the what, why, and how of the church’s mission. From defining “mission”, to examining key passages on social justice and their application, to setting our efforts in the context of God’s rule, DeYoung and Gilbert bring a wise, studied perspective to the missional conversation.
Readers in all spheres of ministry will grow in their understanding of the mission of the church and gain a renewed sense of urgency for Jesus’ call to preach the Word and make disciples.
by Edmund Clowney
At a time in which the very word church sounds a tone of dull irrelevance, the doctrine of the church has suffered the studied neglect of many Christian leaders. The persistent demands to market, manage and grow the church and to meet the felt needs of churched and unchurched all threaten to quench theological reflection on the abiding nature and mission of the church. But few activities bear greater promise as a starting point for renewing and reshaping the Christian church than the work of theology. In this book Edmund Clowney takes up that task, addressing along the way a variety of contemporary concerns: worship, mission, church and culture, church and state, church order and discipline, the ministry of women, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, tongues and prophecy, signs and wonders. He draws on decades of thinking and teaching about the church as well as from his committed leadership and ministry within the church. Biblical, historical, systematic and Reformed, The Church is a timely and provocative reflection on the life, order and purpose of the household of God.
by Paul E. Miller
Prayer is so hard that unless circumstances demand it—an illness, or saying grace at a meal—most of us simply do not pray. We prize accomplishments and productivity over time in prayer. Even Christians experience this prayerlessness—a kind of practical unbelief that leaves us marked by fear, anxiety, joylessness, and spiritual lethargy.
Prayer is all about relationship. Based on the popular seminar by the same name, A Praying Life has discipled thousands of Christians to a vibrant prayer life full of joy and power. When Jesus describes the intimacy He seeks with us, He talks about joining us for dinner (Revelation 3:20). A Praying Life feels like having dinner with good friends. It is the way we experience and connect to God. In A Praying Life,author Paul Miller lays out a pattern for living in relationship with God and includes helpful habits and approaches to prayer that enable us to return to a childlike faith.
by Tim Keller
Christians are taught in their churches and schools that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God. But few receive instruction or guidance in how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act.
With his trademark insights and energy, Keller offers biblical guidance as well as specific prayers for certain situations, such as dealing with grief, loss, love, and forgiveness. He discusses ways to make prayers more personal and powerful, and how to establish a practice of prayer that works for each reader.
Dr. Keller’s previous books have sold more than one million copies. His Redeemer Presbyterian Church is not only a major presence in his home base of New York, it has also helped to launch more than two hundred fifty other churches in forty-eight cities around the world. His teachings have already helped millions, the majority of whom pray regularly. And with Prayer, he’ll show them how to find a deeper connection with God.
by Paul Tripp
Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the Gospel.
Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day.
by John Calvin
John Calvin described the Psalms as “an anatomy of all the parts of the soul.” The description is an apt one, says Sinclair B. Ferguson in the foreword to this volume, “since every experience, every emotion, all the heights and depths, all the joys and sorrows, all the mysteries of human life, are here.” These select readings from Calvin’s Commentary on the Psalms provide us with a year’s worth of rewarding daily meditations. Calvin wrote as one whose own experience is mirrored in the Psalms. Here we witness his remarkable knack for seeing the real issues, particularly how Christ is the focus of all of Scripture.
by Arthur Bennett
This compilation of prayers is intended to teach and encourage Christians to be faithful in their private and family worship. The strength of Puritan character and life lay in prayer and meditation. In this practice the spirit of prayer was regarded as of first importance and the best form of prayer, for living prayer is the characteristic of genuine spirituality. Yet prayer is also vocal and may therefore on occasions be written. Consequently in the Puritan tradition there are many written prayers and meditations which constitute an important corpus of inspiring devotional literature.
Too often ex tempore prayer lacks variety, order and definiteness. The reason for this lies partly in a neglect of due preparation. It is here that the care and scriptural thoroughness which others found necessary in their approach to God may be of help. This book is certainly not designed to take the place of your own prayers, but rather to nourish the mind with ideas from godly writers and poets of past ages.
by Nancy Guthrie
A healing book for those in the wake of life’s devastating storms. We can never plan for the unexpected turns of this life that sometimes lead to great personal suffering. Sometimes that suffering can overshadow everything and threaten to pull us under. Nancy Guthrie knows what it is to be plunged into life’s abyss. Framing her own story of staggering loss and soaring hope with the biblical story of Job, she takes you by the hand and guides you on a pathway through pain—straight to the heart of God. Holding On to Hope offers an uplifting perspective, not only for those experiencing monumental loss, but for anyone going through difficulty and failure. (Includes an 8-week study on the book of Job for readers who want to dig deeper into what the Bible says about dealing with suffering and grief.)
by David Powlison
Good and Angry, a groundbreaking new book from David Powlison, contends that anger is more than a problem to solve. Anger is our complex human response to things we perceive as wrong in a complex world, thus we must learn how to fruitfully and honestly deal with it. Powlison undertakes an in-depth exploration of the roots of anger, moral judgment, and righteous response by looking in a surprising place: God’s own anger.
Powlison reminds us that God gets angry too. He sees things in this world that aren’t right and he wants justice too. But God’s anger doesn’t devolve into manipulation or trying to control others to get his own way. Instead his anger is good and redemptive. It causes him to step into our world to make wrongs right, sending his own Son to die so that we can be reconciled. He is both our model for change and our power to change.
Good and Angry sets readers on a path toward a faithful and fruitful expression of anger, in which we return good for evil and redeem wrongs. Powlison offers practical help for people who struggle with irritation, complaining, or bitterness and gives guidance for how to respond constructively when life goes wrong. You, your family, and your friends will all be glad that you read this book.
by Ed Welch
In his new release, Running Scared, Edward T. Welch investigates the roots of fear in the human soul and the ramifications of living in the grips of anxiety, worry, and dread. Welch encourages readers to discover for themselves that the Bible is full of beautiful words of comfort for fearful people (and that every single person is afraid of something). Within the framework of thirty topical meditations, Welch offers sound biblical theology and moment-by-moment, thoughtful encouragement for life-saving rescue in the midst of the heart and mind battlefield of rampant panic-stricken responses. This comprehensive primer on the topic of fear, worry, and the rest of God will have readers retreating to scripture for invariable constancy, stalwart care, and robust comfort, instead of as Welch terms it hitting the default switch by responding with characteristic human independence, control, and self-protectiveness. Running Scared affirms that, through Scripture, God speaks directly to our fears. Welch’s lively text provides convincing evidences that humanity’s struggle against active and dormant fears are countless. The good news is that God provides both the remedy and the cure for this malady in the person of Jesus Christ, the work of the Holy Spirit, and through powerful, life-altering promises in Scripture. Far more than merely another psychology self-help guide, Running Scared serves as a biblical roadmap to a life of serenity and security.
by J.I. Packer
If God is in control of everything, can Christians sit back and not bother to evangelize? Or does active evangelism imply that God is not really sovereign at all?
J. I. Packer shows in this new edition to the popular IVP Classics how both of these attitudes are false. In a careful review of the biblical evidence, he shows how a right understanding of God’s sovereignty is not so much a barrier to evangelism as an incentive and powerful support for it.
With over 100,000 copies in print, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God is truly a classic that should be read by every Christian.
by Rico Tice
Hostility and hunger—that’s the response to the message of Jesus. The first is painful, the second is wonderful, and Rico Tice is honest about both.
Short, clear, realistic and humorous, this book will challenge you to be honest in your conversations about Jesus, help you to know how to talk about him, and thrill you that God can and will use ordinary people to change eternal destinies.
by J. Mack Stiles
Christians often struggle to know where to start when it comes to telling others about God, Jesus, sin, and salvation. In this short book, J. Mack Stiles challenges us to view evangelism as something we do together instead of something we do alone, helping churches cultivate a culture of evangelism that goes beyond simply creating new programs or adopting the latest method. The seventh volume in the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series, this book will help Christians joyfully embrace evangelism as a way of life as it equips them to share their faith with those who don’t yet know Jesus.
Part of the 9Marks: Building Healthy Churches series.
by John Piper
This new edition of a bestselling textbook (over 185,000 copies sold) draws on key biblical texts to demonstrate that worship is the ultimate goal of the church and that proper worship fuels missionary outreach. John Piper offers a biblical defense of God’s supremacy in all things, providing readers with a sound theological foundation for missions. He examines whether Jesus is the only way to salvation and issues a passionate plea for God-centeredness in the missionary enterprise, seeking to define the scope of the task and the means for reaching “all nations.” The third edition has been revised and expanded throughout and includes new material on the prosperity gospel. The book is essential reading for those involved in or preparing for missions work. It also offers enlightenment for college and seminary students, pastors, youth workers, campus ministers, and all who want to connect their labors to God’s global purposes.
by Ruth Tucker
This is history at its best. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya is readable, informative, gripping, and above all honest. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya helps readers understand the life and role of a missionary through real life examples of missionaries throughout history. We see these men and women as fallible and human in their failures as well as their successes. These great leaders of missions are presented as real people, and not super-saints. This second edition covers all 2,000 years of mission history with a special emphasis on the modern era, including chapters focused on the Muslim world, Third World missions, and a comparison of missions in Korea and Japan. It also contains both a general and an “illustration” index where readers can easily locate particular missionaries, stories, or incidents. New design graphics, photographs, and maps help make this a compelling book. From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya is as informative and intriguing as it is inspiring—an invaluable resource for missionaries, mission agencies, students, and all who are concerned about the spreading of the Gospel throughout the world.
by Jason Mandryk
Operation World, the definitive global prayer handbook, has been used by more than a million Christians to pray for the nations. Now in its 7th edition, it has been completely updated and revised by Jason Mandryk with a team of missionaries and researchers, and it covers the entire populated world.
Included in this updated and revised 7th edition:
- All the countries of the world featured
- Maps of each country
- Geographic information
- People groups within each country
- Economic information
- Political information
- Religious make-up of each country
- Daily Prayer Calendar
- Answers to prayer
- Challenges for prayer
Whether you are an intercessor praying behind the scenes for world change, a missionary abroad or simply curious about the world, Operation World will give you the information necessary to play a vital role in fulfilling the Great Commission.
by Paul Tripp
In the midst of folding laundry, coordinating carpool schedules, and breaking up fights, many parents get lost. Feeling pressure to do everything “right” and raise up “good” children, it’s easy to lose sight of our ultimate purpose as parents in the quest for practical tips and guaranteed formulas.
In this life-giving book, Paul Tripp offers parents much more than a to-do list. Instead, he presents us with a big-picture view of God’s plan for us as parents. Outlining fourteen foundational principles centered on the gospel, he shows that we need more than the latest parenting strategy or list of techniques. Rather, we need the rescuing grace of God—grace that has the power to shape how we view everything we do as parents.
Freed from the burden of trying to manufacture life-change in our children’s hearts, we can embrace a grand perspective of parenting overflowing with vision, purpose, and joy.
by Andy Crouch
Making good choices about technology in our families is more than just using internet filters and determining screen-time limits for our children. It’s about building character, wisdom, and courage rather than accepting technology’s promises of ease and instant gratification. It’s about developing our heart, mind, soul, and strength when we’re tempted to settle for entertainment and consumer satisfaction. And it’s definitely not just about the kids.
Alongside in-depth original research from Barna Group that shows how families are wrestling with technology’s new realities, Andy Crouch takes parents beyond the typical questions of what, where, and when to show us that in a world full of devices, there’s a way to choose a better life than we’ve imagined.