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New & Notable Book Reviews

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I love writing book reviews and I love reading them. Since I cannot possibly read and review all of the interesting books out there, I publish occasional round-ups of reviews written by other writers. Here are a few notable links I’ve collected over the past couple of weeks.

Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher. Reviewed by Aimee Byrd. “I think that another good title for this book would be Confessions for the Cage-Stage Calvinist. How do you destroy a perfectly good theology? Well, it is affectionately known as the “cage stage.” This is the stage when one newly discovers the glory of the doctrines of grace, and they become so obnoxiously enamored that it might be wise to cage them up for a while.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon)

Fools Rush in Where Monkeys Fear to Tread by Carl Trueman. Reviewed by Mike Wittmer. “Trueman thinks that most pastors and professors aren’t called to have international ministries but to be faithful to the church and geographical location to which they have been called. He warns us not to get caught up in tweets and blogs and the potential for worldwide outreach that we desert the family, friends, and church that actually live with us.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Real: Owning Your Christian Faith by Daniel Darling. Reviewed by Aaron Armstrong. “Emily and I are first generation Christians. We came to faith as adults and, as parents, we are raising our kids in a home where Jesus is worshipped and the Bible is read and taught. While we understand that we can’t parent our kids into being Christians, we desperately want to see them ‘own’ their faith (should they ever profess faith). Daniel Darling’s been there—not as a first generation Christian, but as the child of. As such, he understands an important truth: that faith isn’t automatic—if the second generation is going to continue a legacy of faith, they can’t be satisfied with second-hand experiences. … In this book, Darling addresses the unique challenges the second generation faces and offers great encouragement and occasionally some necessary correction to those seeking to raise their kids in the faith.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon)

Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution by Linda Hirshman. Reviewed by David Murray. “If you just saw the subtitle, ‘How a Despised Minority Pushed Back, Beat Death, Found Love, and Changed America for Everyone,’ you might think that you were about to read a book about Christianity. Sadly, Linda Hirshman’s book Victory is actually describing ‘The Gay Revolution’s Triumph’ over Christianity. No point in Christians reading about that, right? Well, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for most Christians; it’s like watching a slow-motion replay of a loved one being murdered. However, as we tend to learn more from our defeats than our successes, it’s worth using this book to conduct a post-mortem on why the Church has lost so many battles in this fight.”

Popologetics by Ted Turnau. Reviewed by Mark Meynell. “Sometimes, I do wonder if my own theological engagement with pop cultural texts is simply a way of justifying the simple pleasures of books and movies. I’ve no doubt that this is what some colleagues and (so-called) friends sometimes suspect! Motivations are always mixed of course. But Turnau manages to articulate a robust defence that is far removed from being self-serving. There are missional imperatives at stake here.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon or Westminster Books)

Godforsaken by Dinesh D’Souza. Reviewed by David Steele. “The author is obviously knowledgeable and seeks to tear down the stronghold of atheism and provide a satisfying answer for the problem of evil. His writing is engaging. He is fair-minded and congenial. He offers several fascinating insights but his reasoning, in the final analysis appears to fall short. Instead of unifying the tension-points of faith and reason that have been at odds since the days of the Enlightenment, he actually escalates the war that pits reason against faith.” (Learn more and shop at Amazon)

  • The Means and the End

    The Means and the End

    There is a crucial distinction between means and ends. Ends are the goals we have set our hearts on, while means represent the habits or disciplines through which we can realistically hope to attain those goals.

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    Weekend A La Carte (June 22)

    A La Carte: Motherhood / An open letter to dads about gentle parenting / How do I navigate a painful breakup? / More wonderful than being beautiful / Three reasons to show up to the prayer meeting / and more.

  • Free Stuff Fridays (Moody Publishers)

    This giveaway is sponsored by Moody Publishers. Attention all Bible scholars, believers in the power of faith, and lovers of the Word! Learn about God’s divine mercy and compassion with our exclusive Bible Study Giveaway. Win the ultimate bible study library including Overflowing Mercies by author and Bible teacher Craig Allen Cooper. This giveaway also…

  • Leadership

    We Need Qualified Leadership

    A few days ago I happened upon the page of an especially mega-sized megachurch. The church is about to undergo a leadership transition from an older man to a younger one and a page on the site lays out the process through which this new pastor was chosen. I read with a morbid kind of…

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    A La Carte (June 21)

    A La Carte: Making tea and holding hands for the sake of the gospel / When Christian groups subvert religious liberty of Christians / How busy should I be? / 5 ways people worship themselves / A backwards birth into heaven / A new systematic theology / and more.

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    A La Carte (June 20)

    A La Carte: How to support the caregivers in your church / What we gain in following Jesus / The way we feel is not necessarily the way it is / The power and danger of habit / The man who introduced American Evangelicals to C.S. Lewis / and more.