Killing Calvinism

I am often asked to comment on Calvinistic theology and its impact on my life. I was raised in the Reformed tradition and continue to hold fast to the tenets of Calvinism, but always try to distinguish between Calvinism as a kind of theological shorthand, a means of summarizing a lot of theology under a single word, and Calvinism as a banner to rally around. I advocate the former and shy away from the latter. Greg Dutcher is a Calvinist …

Eyes Wide Open

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks I have been reviewing books that come from a little bit off the beaten path, so to speak. I have been reading, enjoying and reviewing books that have come our way from lesser-known Christian publishers. It turns out there are some fresh, excellent titles coming from some of these smaller publishers. From Credo House Publishers and author Steve DeWitt comes Eyes Wide Open, a book about learning to enjoy God in …

30 Minute Reviews

Here is another batch of 30-minute reviews. These are all books I have received over the past few weeks, but have been unable to read in full. Instead, I have given each of them at least 30 minutes and tried to get as much of a feel for the book as possible in that time. Unseen Realities by R.C. Sproul – Unseen Realities is a rarity in that it is an R.C. Sproul title published by Christian Focus instead of …

Handel’s Messiah: Comfort for God’s People

I always feel like a bit of a poser when I say this, but I absolutely love Handel’s Messiah. Though I appreciate small amounts of classical music (to use the term in a broad sense) I am largely a rock ‘n’ roll type. Yet there is something about Messiah that grips me. I find myself listening to it throughout the year, again and again, year after year. I’ve listened to recordings hundreds of times and make it a habit to …

A Taste of Heaven by R.C. Sproul

Any time I set out to write a review of a book by R.C. Sproul I feel compelled to begin by lauding his accomplishments. But surely I can dispense with that formality this time. I am confident most of my readers know of Sproul and have benefited from his ministry and from his almost unparalleled teaching ability. We talk these days about a Reformed revival and about “Young, Restless, Reformed.” No discussion on the modern revival of Reformed theology can …

Body Piercing Saved My Life

Andrew Beaujon has a strange fascination with Christian music; though he is not a Christian, he enjoys listening to this music and has spent a great deal of time seeking to trace its history and to understand the genre and the subculture it has inspired. Body Piercing Saved My Life is the result of his investigation. The book’s title is inspired by a t-shirt he saw at Cornerstone Festival, which showed a picture of Jesus’ nail-pierced hands and that same …

Family Worship

Matthew Henry once wrote regarding family worship, “Here the Reformation must begin.” If we are to experience the fullness of God’s blessings and are to be as faithful to Him as we can be, we must begin with the family, the very building block of God’s kingdom. This is something that was understood by the first and second generation Dutch-Canadian Christians among whom I grew up. Every meal was begun with prayer and every meal ended in a time of …

Book Review – Singing and Making Music

Paul Jones, organist and Music Director at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia is, by all accounts, a very talented individual. He was privileged to serve alongside James Boice (who once said “Paul is everything I ever prayed for in a music director”) and now works closely with Philip Ryken in serving one of America’s foremost Presbyterian churches. Singing and Making Music, subtitled “Issues in Church Music Today” is Jones’ attempt to distill and share some of his years of accumulated …

Gospel Worship

Only a Puritan could write a full book, 300 pages, expositing a single verse of Scripture, or more accurately, a portion of a single verse of Scripture. And only a Puritan could do it successfully. In Gospel Worship Jeremiah Burroughs (1599 – 1646) does just that. Recently reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria Publications (a division of Ligonier Ministries), Gospel Worship seeks to instruct the reader in worship that is worthy of God. Burroughs takes as his text Leviticus 10:3 which …

Book Review – Art for God’s Sake

I am the worst artist in the world. I’m sure there are some who would contest that claim, but if you were to ask me to draw something (anything!) I think you’d quickly agree that I am about as bad as a person can get. It is strange that I am such a terribly poor artist as I come from a long line of very capable artists. Yet somehow, when the various family genes were combined to form me, all …