Welcome to the online home of Tim Challies, blogger, author, and book reviewer.

Tim Challies

Challies on FacebookChallies on Twitter


June 16, 2009

Justification and RegenerationAt the very heart of the gospel, at the very heart of the Christian faith, are two great miracles, two inseparable miracles, through which a dead man is brought to life. The first miracle is justification; here a condemned sinner is made right in the eyes of a perfect judge. The second miracle is regeneration; here a hater of God and a hater of good is transformed into a lover of God and a lover of all that is good and right. Despite the importance of these two, confusion reigns, even among Christians, about what they are and what they mean. In Justification and Regeneration Charles Leiter sets forth a biblical understanding of each of these, the similarities, the differences, the misconceptions, the truth.

June 09, 2009

You Are the Treasure That I SeekI spent a few minutes yesterday reading about the new iPhone—the iPhone 3G S. It sounds spectacular. With every generation of the phone the wizards at Apple get one step closer to what people wanted the iPhone to be from the outset—an amazing, innovative, gizmo that does so many things so well. Watching the videos, reading the descriptions, I can feel my heart begin to long for that phone. I know that if I don’t watch myself, if I don’t guard my heart, I may just find myself dedicating way too much time to pursuing that phone and rationalizing all the reasons I need it. Of course the problem is not with the phone, but with my heart—a heart that longs for what it does not have. Idolatry, it seems, is alive and well.

June 05, 2009

The Disappearance of GodIt is becoming difficult to keep up with the volume of books coming from the pen of Dr. Albert Mohler. In the past eighteen months we have seen five new books and there is still one remaining for later in 2009 (an original work based on a sermon series, slated for release later this year). Atheism Remix began as the W.H. Griffith Thomas Lectures Mohler delivered at Dallas Theological Seminary early in 2008; He Is Not Silent, a book on preaching, is an original work, written as a book; Culture Shift and Desire and Deceit began as articles written over a period of years, most of which were posted at Mohler’s blog.

June 01, 2009
Any time I write a review of a book dealing with prayer I feel the need to point out that bookstore shelves are already groaning under the weight of such books. There are hundreds, thousands probably, of books on prayer. A new one is going to need to be good—very good—to supplant the excellent resources already available. Paul Miller, perhaps a bit reluctantly, takes on this challenge in his new book A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World. I was drawn to this book by David Powlison’s Foreword in which he gives it his highest recommendation and says, “A Praying Life will bring a living, vibrant reality to your prayers. Take it to heart.” And what Christian does not want to learn to pray better?
May 26, 2009

Outrageous MercyMartin Luther got it right when he said, “No theology is genuinely Christian which does not arise from and focus on the cross.” The cross of Christ is the very center point of the Christian faith; indeed, it is the very focal point of all of history. No event will or can be more significant than this. Little wonder, then, that so many books have been written that teach the cross, reflect on the cross, draw the Christian’s gaze to the cross.

May 18, 2009

This Momentary Marriage by John PiperJohn Piper waited forty years to write a book on marriage. It is only after forty years of marriage that he felt like he would have something valuable to say (or something valuable to add to a very crowded genre of book). “Romance, sex, and childbearing are temporary gifts of God. They are not part of the next life. And they are not guaranteed even for this life. They are one possible path through the narrow way to Paradise. Marriage passes through breathtaking heights and through swamps with choking vapors. It makes many things sweeter, and with it come bitter providences.” Four decades of sweetness and bitter providences stand behind this book.

May 16, 2009

Until I read this book I would not have considered God’s love as a particularly difficult doctrine. The Trinity is a difficult doctrine to understand, impossible even. The eternal nature of God—that is another difficult or impossible one. But the love of God? I wouldn’t have thought of it as such. But this book convinced me otherwise.

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God by D.A. Carson is just a short book (96 pages) that is drawn from four lectures he delivered in 1998. There was a small amount of editing performed, but the conversational nature of the speech carries through the text. It makes for an easy read, despite some deep theology.

May 11, 2009

Adopted for Life by Russell MooreIn the years since I began reviewing books, I have read titles on a wide variety of topics. But it occurred to me as I considered Russell Moore’s title Adopted for Life that I had never read a book that dealt entirely with adoption. Sure, adoption has factored into books on family and books on theology, but never had I read a full-length treatment of the subject. Having heard so much positive press surrounding Adopted for Life I thought it might be wise to give it a read. I’m glad I did.