Category Archives: Equip Book Club

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

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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Equip Book of the Month: December

A Life Already Started: Dr Megan Best

Finding a positive path in an unplanned pregnancy…

Life Already Started, AWhen you are faced with an unwanted pregnancy, it may feel like the walls are closing in, and you are overwhelmed with choices:

  • Should you terminate?
  • Should you keep the baby or adopt it out?
  • Should you tell the father?
  • Your parents?
  • Where will you live and how will you deal with finances?

Don’t panic, God has not left you to manage on your own. This immensely practical book looks at all the options from a Christian perspective, starting with the realization that the child in the womb is ‘already a life’ and that this should be the place to move forward from. A life already started also looks at how we, as God’s people, can genuinely love and support women who did not intend to become pregnant.

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Equip Book of the Month : August

Scriptures Testify about Me, TheScriptures Testify About Me : DA Carson

Jesus and the Gospel in the Old Testament

The Bible’s storyline is grand in its sweep, beautiful in its form, and unified in its message. However, many of us still struggle both to understand and to best communicate how the Old and New Testaments fit together, especially in relation to the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Eight prominent evangelical pastors and scholars demonstrate what it looks like to preach Christ from the Old Testament in this collection of expositions of various Old Testament texts:

Albert Mohler — Studying the Scriptures and Finding Jesus (John 5:31–47)

Tim Keller — Getting Out (Exodus 14)

Alistair Begg — From a Foreigner to King Jesus (Ruth)

James MacDonald — When You Don’t Know What to Do (Psalm 25)

Conrad Mbewe — The Righteous Branch (Jeremiah 23:1–8)

Matt Chandler — Youth (Ecclesiastes 11:9–12:8)

Mike Bullmore — God’s Great Heart of Love toward His Own (Zephaniah)

D. A. Carson — Getting Excited about Melchizedek (Psalm 110)

From the experience of the Israelites during the exodus, to the cryptic words about Melchizedek in the Psalms, here are 8 helpful examples of successful approaches to preaching the gospel from the Old Testament by some of the most skilled expositors of our day.

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Equip Book of the Month: July

The Family : Jack & Judith Balswick

Family, TheA Christian Perspective on the Contemporary Home

Two respected senior professors in the marriage and family field cover every issue that affects family life, including marriage, parenting, sexuality, communication, social dynamics, and family life in modern society. This proven resource for studying the most established of human institutions has been in print for over twenty years, with over 80,000 copies sold. The fourth edition has been updated to address current family-related issues and refined to reflect teaching practices for the contemporary classroom, including updated references to online resources.

This is an excellent resource for marriage and family studies in the church and in academia.  Few texts come close to this one in blending the biblical ideal with the Contemporary scene.

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Equip Book of the Month: June

Invest your Suffering: Paul Mallard

Unexpected Intimacy with a loving God.

Invest Your Suffering‘Let me be honest, during the last twenty years there have been times when my faith has seemed frail and fragile and almost ready to collapse. I have struggled with seeing my wife stripped of her dignity and reduced by her agony. I have doubted all kinds of things. I have exploded and lashed out. I do not like what is happening to my sweetheart one little bit.

Chronic illness never goes away. Come on, realistically, how much more can we take?’ ‘But one thing I have never doubted is that, in the darkest circumstances, we were only ever in the hands of God. That has been the ultimate source of comfort and hope.’

As Paul Mallard knows only too well, the crucible of suffering is a horrible place to be. But lessons learned there can be powerful and memorable. And it was there that Paul and Edrie experienced unexpected intimacy with a loving God who is no stranger to suffering. They feel personally challenged to use their experience and insights to help fellow sufferers too.

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Equip Book of the Month : May

Serving without Sinking : John Hindley

Shows busy Christians how to serve joyfully, not wearily.

Serving without SinkingMany of us are serving, and feel like we’re sinking. We feel joyless, weary and burdened. John Hindley shows how Jesus was telling the truth when He offered people an “easy yoke”—a way of serving Him that is joyful and liberating. He explains why serving is so often joyless—and how our identity in Christ changes everything. If you are serving, but sometimes feel as though you’re sinking… you need this book! If you know someone who has burn out, or is heading in that direction…they need this book too.

“This fresh, warm, honest, book did me good. It is richly filled with grace, informed by a gritty realism, and shot through with pastoral perceptiveness. There is something in it for every Christian man and woman at every stage of life”. – Christopher Ash, Director of the Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill Training Course and author of Pure Joy and Married for God

“Buy it! … Read it! … Pass it on! …. The open heart surgery at the start is painful but necessary. After that, the route to joyful service is focussed entirely on Jesus’ service of us, and will transform the way you think about your own service. I wish I’d read this book 20 years ago!” – Carrie Sandom, Associate Minister for Women and Pastoral Care at St John’s Church, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, and author of Different by Design

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Equip Book of the Month : April

Passion by Mike McKinley

How Christ’s final day changes your every day ….

“Passion” by Mike McKinley is a book written to better understand and cast new light on the significance of the cross. He writes “the cross of Christ is the reality that gives shape to the way Christians should think about every detail of our lives right now, from our marriages to our money, from our suffering to our success.” His book seeks to more intensely look at one specific day of Jesus’ life leading up to his crucifixion, death and briefly noting his resurrection.Passion

McKinley takes you through the chapters section by section and allows the historical picture that he casts from the biblical background to shape the understanding of the narrative. More often than not his retelling of the narrative and insightful points of the passage forces you to stop and ponder the significance of what is happening in the story.

McKinley continues look to modern day application and reflection often drawing the reader’s attention with personal story and then returning to the narrative from Luke’s gospel. This results in reading the gospel with new vigour and further highlight new truths and deepens the reader’s understanding of the gospel and the life of Jesus.  The author ends each chapter with questions to reflect on what was said and discussed with the chapter the questions drive the reader to constantly evaluate themselves in regard to what was said but also to continue to reflect on the character of Christ and what he has just been through and what is approaching, according to the narrative of course.

The book is great not only for those who are new to the gospel story and have not studied it in depth, but the it is also a great way for those who have studied the gospels more intensely to again reflect on the significance of what Christ came to accomplish with his sacrifice on the cross. I would gladly recommend reading this book to remind the theological student of the riches of the passion narrative in Luke’s gospel, I would even more so endorse this book to the lay person who has not spent much time studying the passion narrative to learn more about the Jesus and what he accomplished in his sacrifice, the historical and theological worth thereof.

Reviewed by Ryanard Sims – Intern at Tokai Community Church in Cape Town  

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Equip Book of the Month : February


Published by Good Book CompanyOne 2 One (1)One2One(2)

  •  Do you find it difficult to read the Bible regularly on your own?
  • Would you like to learn from a more experienced Christian?
  • Or maybe help a younger Christian to read the Bible?

One2One is a series of 24 studies for Bible Reading Partnerships, where two or more people agree to meet regularly to read, discuss and pray through a passage of Scripture.

Book 1 in the One2One series works through parts of the Gospel of John, Philippians and some Psalms.   Book 2 in the series works through parts of the Gospel of Matthew, 1 Thessalonians and Genesis.  Both are ideal for anyone who wants to be encouraged in their Christian Life and to encourage others.

Listen to Andrew Cornes talking about One 2 One at:

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Equip Book of the Month: January – The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Through Myshkin (the idiot of the story) Dostoyevsky depicts the complexity of the human soul, at the same time delivering a panoramic view of mid-19th-century Russian manners, morals and philosophy. The Idiot is one of the finest novels in history, perhaps the finest. In this novel, the enigma that is often referred to as ‘THE RUSSIAN SOUL’ is variously dissected through the different characters and more so by the hero of the story Prince Myshkin. In its simplest explanation, it is a soul with good intentions but faulty in executing the intentions. It is a soul in conflict, driven by the zest for life and a search of its meaning. Certainly the most Christian of Dostoyevsky’s novels, The Idiot portrays how disastrous a good life can be.

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The Idiot (Dover Thrift Editions)

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