Not Home Yet

If you pay attention to Christian publishing, you’ll observe that certain themes come and go, rise and fall. One author will write a book on a subject and that may ignite interest so that several others follow up to challenge that person’s view, to affirm it, or to pursue it from a different angle. A recent theme, at least in one little corner of the Christian world, has been the notion of “home.” And now Ian K. Smith has added …

God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel

It is beyond dispute that the prosperity gospel has swept over the world to such a degree that a significant portion of those who call themselves Christians—whether at home or abroad—hold to a version of Christianity that bears little resemblance to “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” It is beyond dispute that this gospel promises prosperity to the many while delivering it to only a few. And it is beyond dispute that there is a clear connection …

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Mere Calvinism

Somewhere along the way, it seems like the New Calvinism became about everything but Calvinism. Somewhere along the way, we stopped thinking and writing about the very doctrines that brought the movement together in the first place. Maybe we had already mastered them, so it was time to move on to more advanced topics. Or maybe we just began to assume them and then to subsume them to other matters. Either way, I’m delighted to see a new crop of …

New and Notable Christian Books for September

It’s that time again. I get a lot (a lot!) of books in the mail. I don’t have time to review them all, but once in a while I like to let you know about some that may be of particular interest to you. Here they are.  These are the books I introduce: Moses and the Burning Bush by RC Sproul Gender: A Conversation Guide for Parents and Pastors by Brian Seagraves and Hunter Leavine Time Out!: The gift …

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 …

New and Notable Books (Three-Minute Thursdays #16)

Welcome to another edition of Three-Minute Thursdays. Every year I get literally hundreds of books in the mail—one of the perks of being a book reviewer. From time to time I take the big stack and turn it into a little stack, so I can tell you about some of the new and notable books that I think will be interesting to people like you. And that leads to a short video like this one: The books featured in this …

New and Notable Book – Three-Minute Thursdays #15

Welcome to another edition of Three-Minute Thursdays. Every year I get literally hundreds of books in the mail. That’s one of the perks of being a book reviewer. From time to time I take the big stack, I turn it into a little stack, so I can tell you about some of the new and notable books that I think will be interesting to people like you. Transcript Welcome to another edition of 3 Minute Thursdays. No, it hasn’t gone …

The Small Increments of Change

A few years ago I read Paul Chamberlain’s Talking About Good and Bad Without Getting Ugly, a book that proposes ways that Christians can talk about difficult issues–issues like abortion, homosexual marriage, euthanasia–in a pluralistic society. The final chapter is a case study that features William Wilberforce as an example of a man who used his Christian convictions to bring about widespread cultural change. Wilberforce was a driving force behind the abolition of slavery within the British Empire. The results of his efforts …

Amazing Dad

A few days ago I received in the mail a copy of Amazing Dad by Stephanie Byrd. This is a self-published book and by far the exception among the self-published books I receive–it is really and truly good. Byrd has combed through the letters of the great statesman William Wilberforce, the letters to his children, and has found there the principles that dominated and set the course for his life. These letters are sweetly pastoral as a father encourages, exhorts …

Summer Reading

Every year, when summer approaches, we begin to hear about summer reading lists. I am uncertain if this is a throwback to days gone by or if people really do try to set aside a few books to read over the course of a summer. Or perhaps it is only students who do this as they take a brief break from their studies. Certainly I always have great plans when I head away on a vacation, but life typically gets …