New & Notable Books

I am in the unique and enjoyable position of receiving copies of most of the latest and greatest Christian books and I like to provide regular roundups of some of the best and brightest of the bunch. Of all the books I have received recently, here are the ones that appear most noteworthy. Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman. I count Gloria as a friend, having invited myself to take advantage of her (and her husband’s) hospitality when I was …

Spying Out the Land

One of the thoughts that has been bouncing around my mind over the past few weeks is this: So much of what I do in life, so many of the decisions I make, are driven primarily by considerations of my own comfort. I do what I do because it is more comfortable than the alternative; I choose to go this way instead of that way because the opposite looks like it may just bring too much discomfort. I’m kind of …

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The Essential: Sin

This is the seventh installment in a series on theological terms. See previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, man, Fall, and common grace. The word “sin” first appears in the Bible when God speaks to Cain, warning him not to give in to his anger against his brother: “If you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7). This is not the first …

The Essential: Fall

This is now the fifth installment in a series that takes a brief look at important theological terms. You can see previous posts on the terms theology, Trinity, creation, and man. Today it continues by looking to the Fall. What do Christians mean when we talk about “the Fall” (note the capital F)? “The Fall” refers to a specific, historic event which occured in the lives of the very first human beings in the Garden of Eden. It has forever …

Tell Me The Story One More Time

Reading Michael Wittmer’s excellent new book The Last Enemy, I came across a powerful little story that I wanted to share with you. I trust you will enjoy it as I did. My friend Jeff stopped by the hospital to visit one of his dearest senior saints. Charlotte was in her eighties, but she had been young enough in heart to blossom under Jeff’s ministry. She had paid close attention as Jeff proclaimed the story of God—how the world began with …

Reading the Next Classic Together

It was back in 2007 that I had an idea that genuinely changed my life. I wanted to read some of the classics of the Christian faith, but I knew that without some measure of accountability I would never have the self-discipline to make it happen. I realized that this accountability could come by reading classics together in community. I decided to launch a reading program called Reading Classics Together. In the years since this program began we’ve read some …

Life Under Capitalism

This “occupy” movement has made headlines all over the world–far more headlines than it deserves based on the actual number of people participating. A little while ago I came across an interesting little video, a piece of street theater generated by some of the participants of Occupy Wall Street. They call it simply, “Life Under Capitalism.” Here it is: Did you get that? From cradle to grave, from morning to night, capitalism demands that we work. Of course we all …

Read “The Cross of Christ” With Me

With a week left to go before we begin, I wanted to remind you of the next Reading Classics Together. One week from today I will begin reading a classic Christian book and I’d love it if you’d read along with me (and with several hundred others). The book we will be reading is The Cross of Christ by John Stott. Here is a brief description: The work of a lifetime, from one of the world’s most influential thinkers, about the …

Her Desire, His Rule

Last week I took a brief look at the first part of Genesis 3:16, a verse which describes the consequence of the woman’s role in the fall into sin. In the first part of God’s judgment on the woman he declared that bearing children would now be painful and traumatic. Her primary life function would be full of toil. Today I want to look at the second part of that judgment where God says “Your desire shall be for your …

Pain in Childbearing

It is an interesting question to ask: What does Genesis 3:16 mean when it says that, as a consequence for her sin, the woman would now have pain in childbearing? (“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”) On one level the answer is very clear, but I think we do well to see that there is more to it …