“The Case for Civility” by Os Guinness

“It would be a safe but sad bet that someone, somewhere in the world, is killing someone else at this very moment in the name of religion or ideology.” Thus begins The Case for Civility by Os Guinness. Every day the media brings us stories of death and mayhem and often religion and ideology are to blame. The bookshelves at your local bookstore are groaning under the weight of books by atheists—Hitchens, Harris, Dawkins—who blame religion for many of the …

Book Review – Meet the Puritans

Through the past few decades there has been a great resurgence of interest in the Puritans. This resurgence seems to have begun with Martin Lloyd-Jones who would often refer to their works in his sermons. People would then ask “Where can I get these books?” Banner of Truth began to reprint the books and soon other publishers began as well. Today there are so many available to us that few people could afford to buy or shelve even a fraction …

Book Review – The Reformation

I love church history. I consider it absolutely tragic that so few contemporary Christians have any real sense of their heritage. They know a little bit of New Testament history, can list hundreds of today’s best and worst teachers, but know almost nothing of the 2000 years between. The Reformation: How a Monk and a Mallet Changed the World is one of a long line of books authored by Stephen Nichols, professor at Lancaster Bible College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Nichols …

While Europe Slept

In 1998 Bruce Bawer moved from America, his homeland, to Europe. Stunned by the accepting attitudes of Europeans, and dismayed by much of what he had experienced in the United States, he moved first to Holland and then to Norway. But all was not as it had seemed. “The main reason I’d been glad to leave America was Protestant fundamentalism. But Europe, I eventually saw, was falling prey to an even more alarming fundamentalism whose leaders made their American Protestant …

Book Review – The Da Vinci Code: A Quest For Answers

The Da Vinci Code, having already sold some 40 million copies in book format, will soon be hitting the silver screen. Starring none other than Tom Hanks, the film promises to introduce the book’s claims to countless millions who have not already read the book. As we might expect, evangelicals are gearing up to defend the truth against many of the film’s spurious claims. It seems that every Christian publisher has released at least one or two books dealing with …

Book Review – Contending For Our All

Each year at the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors, hosted by Bethlehem Baptist Church of Minneapolis, John Piper delivers a biographical address dealing with a notable Christian figure from the history of the church. Every few years, several of these addresses are compiled into a book as part of “The Swans are Not Silent” series. The most recent of these titles is Contending For Our All, subtitled “Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen and J. …

Book Review – 2000 Years of Christ’s Power

I could draw up quite a list of reasons why Christians need to study and understand the history of the church. We should study the history of the church so we can understand the development of doctrine and realize that a doctrine like the Trinity was not simply understood by a brief reading of Scripture, but was a doctrine forged in the fire of counsels, battles and excommunications. We should study the history of the church because, as the old …

Book Review – Is The Reformation Over? (Part 2)

Yesterday I provided the first part of a critical review of Is The Reformation Over? by Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom (read it here. I wrote a summary of each chapter, allowing the reader to understand the author’s arguments as they reached the conclusion that the Reformation is, indeed, over. Noll and Nystrom feel that the most important differences between Catholic and Protestant theology are no longer based on issues of soteriology (how people can be saved) but now primarily …

Book Review – Is The Reformation Over? (Part 1)

“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21). Jesus’ High Priestly prayer, clearly shows the emphasis Jesus places on unity within the church. His desire is that the church show forth the …

Book Review – City on a Hill

I wonder if it has always been true that when people write about the church they write with sadness, lamenting what the church has become or is becoming. In our day we have the church growth advocates bemoaning the fact that not enough churches engage in full-scale marketing of their churches; we have the Emergent Church leaders lamenting the church’s refusal to adapt to and engage with the changing culture; and we have conservatives calling us to return to the …