Susie

If you’ve ever seen a photo of a mountain or a waterfall—something grand and majestic—you know how important it is to also capture an object in the foreground. By putting an identifiable object in front of a mountain, you provide a visual cue as to the size of what’s behind it. Based on a photo, that mountain could be large or small, near or far. But when an object is set in front, you begin to understand and marvel at …

Francis Chan’s Letters to the Church

Francis Chan has had an interesting journey. Just a few years ago he was pastoring the growing and thriving Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California. He was in demand as a speaker and received invitations to preach at the biggest churches and conferences. Then, rather suddenly, he announced he would be leaving his church. After a number of months overseas with his family, he returned to California to begin a church planting movement in San Francisco. He is currently …

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Girl, Wash Your Face

My assistant put me up to this. She does a first pass on most of the emails I receive and recently called to say, “There’s a book out there called Girl, Wash Your Face, and you’re getting multiple emails about it every day. You need to review it.” I looked it up on Amazon and noticed it has accumulated nearly 6,000 reviews averaging 5 stars. That is no small feat for a book authored by a professed Christian (Rachel Hollis), …

Sacred Feathers

I have spent the great majority of my life on the western side of the Greater Toronto Area. In grade school my family moved to Ancaster and I soon went to school in Hamilton and got a job in Burlington; when Aileen and I married we moved to Brantford, then on to Dundas. My first job took us to Oakville where we remain to this day. I studied history in grade school, high school, and university, yet until recently had …

Spiritual Gifts: What they Are and Why they Matter

The movement called the New Calvinism has been around for quite a long time now, but still hasn’t solved one of its most basic questions: Do the miraculous or revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit continue to the present time or have they ceased (positions that are generally labeled “continuationism” and “cessationism” respectively)? And is there room within the movement for people who hold to opposite positions? At the beginning of 2018 I suggested this would be one of the …

The Road to Dawn

It’s always fascinating to me which characters history doesn’t remember and which ones history cannot forget. Sometimes key players fall out of our consciousness altogether while lesser ones are raised to legendary status. Sometimes real-life characters are lost to the mists of time while fictional ones are treasured forever. This is exactly the case with Josiah Henson. Though he has largely been forgotten, the character who was based on his life lives on. Henson was a significant part of the …

Blessed: The Prosperity Gospel in (and Beyond) America

The United States has a dominant economy and is a powerhouse for exporting goods to other nations. What is America’s most significant export? Answers vary by time and criteria, but most experts point to products related to food or to petroleum. Across all categories, more than $2 trillion in goods and services are sold to foreign businesses each year. But I can’t help but wonder whether history will show that America’s most prominent export in this period of history was …

The Art of Rest

It’s hard to rest—to truly rest. It’s easy enough to be busy or to be lazy, but neither one is synonymous with rest and neither one displaces the need to rest. Rest is a necessity and a skill. You might even say it’s an art. Rest is the subject of a new book by Adam Mabry who admits his own struggles in this area: “I don’t do rest. I do do.” He, like me and so many of us, would …

Heaven on Earth

It does the Christian good to consider heaven. It does the Christian good to consider what awaits us when we at last succumb to death. It has been the subject of countless books but, interestingly, few that have remained in circulation for very long. For that reason we are served well by new works on the subject. I was glad, then, to find a copy of Derek Thomas’s Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about the Life to Come …

Kiss the Wave

None of us makes it through life without suffering. None of us escapes physical pain, emotional distress, or spiritual agony. At some times and in some ways, we all suffer. No wonder, then, that so many authors have turned to the subject. As Christians, we are well-served with books to help us suffer well and books that help us grapple with the deeper theological questions that inevitably arise in the midst of our darkness. New to the market is Dave …