Three Good Books — and the Return of Another Old Friend

Books like this are important because they actually help us to think about the Church rather than simply capitulate to the trendies or merely shout Bible verses louder at them.

While Weinandy’s Roman Catholicism is evident in his treatment of the Lord’s Supper, this is a book that Protestants will otherwise find most helpful. I for one will never be able to preach the gospel narrative in quite the same way again.     The first is Thomas Weinandy’s Jesus Becoming Jesus.  Weinandy is a Franciscantheologian who is well-known in orthodox Protestant circles for his... Continue Reading

Have You Become What You Worship?

Some think of idolatry as a thing of the past, something primitive cultures struggled with but we no longer are tempted by in our modern day. Is this true?

Idolatry ultimately is about our conception of who God is. If people have a significantly wrong conception of who God is, then they commit themselves to a false and distorted conception of God and thus a false God. This becomes tantamount to idolatry. This is why God’s people must know his word. Only by knowing... Continue Reading

The Encouragement Of Congregational Singing

One of the great gifts that God has given His church is the gift of congregational singing

“I hear these people singing and I am reminded of the victory and power of the gospel. There is no weakness, no stain of sin, no power of temptation, no spiritual darkness that can ever conquer the power of God working in the lives of His people. Their voices remind me of the freedom and... Continue Reading

Historians on the Hot Seat: David Swartz (How The Majority World Is Reshaping American Evangelicalism)

The Lausanne Covenant marked a decisive moment in neo-evangelical history.

My next project—tentatively titled From the Ends of the Earth: How the Majority World Is Reshaping American Evangelicalism—seeks to expand this narrative to other geographies and sectors of evangelicalism. It will chart how evangelicals abroad and American missionaries “spoke back” to American evangelicals on matters of race, imperialism, mission strategy, economics, sexuality, and theology.   This... Continue Reading

What We Lose When Hymnbooks Disappear

Tangible objects of faith play an essential role in binding a community of believers together.

We are formed by the hymns and songs we sing. We are (perhaps more than we realize) formed, too, by the tangible objects of our faith. We are people of the book—not just people of the Word of God, but also people who have been corporately, theologically, devotionally, and socially formed by hymnbooks.   When... Continue Reading

Spoiler Alert

Spoiler alert” is that warning to let readers know not to read the post if they want to be surprised.

The last chapter contains a story that illustrates the value of the Apostles’ Creed. In the Introduction I describe the Creed as liturgical (to profess in community), catechetical (to teach), confessional (to express alignment), and missional (as a light to life in Christ). The story at book’s end shows the missional value.   Whether it’s... Continue Reading

D’Souza and the “Death of a Nation” Documentary

Dinesh D’Souza has produced another provocative political documentary that targets the Democratic Party as the source of all evil; however the real battle in America is not political but spiritual.

As a theologian, what concerns me about the documentary is that most everything in the documentary appears to be viewed through the spectacles of pure politics. As one of my friends said to me after viewing the documentary, the real battle in America is not a political battle, but rather a spiritual battle. After seeing... Continue Reading

Great Sentences in Christian Counseling: David Powlison on Ministry vs. Theology

This series highlights sentences from my reading in evangelical Christian counseling that stood out to me and reflections on why these sentences have been so sticky.

I didn’t yet understand the key differences between “teaching counseling” and “doing counseling.” Honestly, it felt hypocritical to say there might be substantive differences between the two. When I read David Powlison’s quote in How Does Sanctification Work? I finally had words for the tension I had been learning to navigate.   This is a blog series... Continue Reading

Has Science Buried God?

A review of Dr. John C. Lennox’s book “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?” providing a response to the arguments made by dogmatic atheist scientists.

In contrast to the shrill and irrational ranting of several of the recent works written by the new atheists, Lennox deals with the subject calmly and rationally, dismantling point by point their often absurd assertions. This is one of those books that comes around every so often that you not only need to read but... Continue Reading

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” A Review of the Mr. Rogers Documentary

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” tells the dual stories of the long-lived TV show (1968-2001) and of Fred Rogers (1928-2003) himself.

Like many in the cinema where I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” I had some tears in my eyes. I was deeply moved by how beautiful and powerful a loving heart can be. As I left the cinema, I almost felt a sense of culture shock. At a time when Hollywood relies on over-the-top... Continue Reading