Book Review: 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me

This volume provides a collection of wise, short, and practical chapters from a number of pastors

Now, before you think the book totally dismisses the need for the seminary, you should know that the presidents of two seminaries also contributed to this volume. Albert Mohler of Southern Seminary wrote the foreword, and Danny Akin of Southeastern Seminary has penned the chapter “How to Shepherd My Wife.”   I don’t remember much... Continue Reading

Holy Helps for a Godly Life

But godliness never flourishes unless it is planted in the fertile soil of God’s grace.

Much Evangelical teaching on devotional practices is only loosely connected to a robust understanding of the gospel of grace, or worse, leads undiscerning believers into practices more characterized by mysticism, asceticism, and legalism, than the gospel-grounded, grace-oriented piety of which Calvin spoke, namely, “that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his... Continue Reading

A Field Guide to Atheism—for Believer and Unbeliever Alike

By carefully disentangling the different ways atheism works, and the different reasons why people find it compelling, Gray has done a great service not just for atheists who want to be understood but also for Christians who want to understand.

John Gray—veteran British philosopher, intellectual historian, and book reviewer—has no intention of converting anybody. But his Seven Types of Atheism is a searching and helpful taxonomy of unbelief ancient and modern, and it has the potential to make the second of these two scenarios disappear altogether.   Imagine a conversation in which well-meaning skeptics try to deconvert... Continue Reading

The Rise of Victimhood Culture

Increasingly, modern life in the West is being shaped by victimhood culture, and this has important implications for all of us.

“People in a victimhood culture are like the honorable in having a high sensitivity to slight. They’re quite touchy, and always vigilant for offenses. Insults are serious business, and even unintentional slights might provoke a severe conflict. But, as in a dignity culture, people generally eschew violent vengeance in favor of relying on some authority... Continue Reading

Humility and Worship

The woes remind disciples to remain spiritually minded, focused on matters closest to God’s heart, rather than trivial, external things that can sometimes preoccupy them.

Believers who come humbly are still amazed by God’s grace, and that off-key singer becomes a delight to their ears. No amount of liturgical excellence or failure can add or subtract from the work of the cross. “It is finished,” is still Jesus’s effectual cry. The lengthy anecdote in the sermon without a real point... Continue Reading

Review: ‘Single, Gay, Christian’

A review of “Single, Gay, Christian: A Personal Journey of Faith and Sexual Identity” by Gregory Coles.

It also exhibits Greg’s confusion. He claims, several times in the book, that his identity is in Christ, yet he keeps coming back to finding his identity in cultural labels. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the word “gay” appears 160 times in Greg’s book. The word “Christian” appears half that... Continue Reading

The Many Surprises of 20th-Century Christianity

Brian Stanley’s global history makes connections and draws lessons that others are apt to miss.

Stanley’s book is a triumph, above all for its highly innovative structure. Indeed, that structure alone is exceptionally valuable both to readers and as a model for educators seeking to frame the ever-expanding Christian story worldwide. Of course (we are relieved to learn) Stanley is not offering any kind of exhaustive and exhausting encyclopedia of... Continue Reading

Humility and Distrusting the Heart (Hutchinson)

"Americans have a strong tradition of rugged individualism that pushes against humility."

“How often people say something like, ‘I think God is like this or that,’ without any consideration that they ought not to think anything about God unless He has first told them.  Wisdom reminds us, ‘A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion’ (Proverbs 18:2).”   I’m enjoying this book... Continue Reading

‘First Reformed’ Imagines a Stunning Dark Night of the Soul

At long last, Paul Schrader’s cinematic masterpiece.

Perhaps more than a few Christians were heartened as much by Schrader’s path to success as by the early films to which he contributed. Part of Schrader’s legend was his strict Calvinist upbringing—it is said that his parents did not allow him to watch movies until he was 18. A graduate of Calvin College, his... Continue Reading

A Royal Wedding Images THE Royal Wedding

Each human marriage is an image of the divine union between Christ and the church.

Harry and Meghan formed a covenant through the making of vows. Jesus Christ forms a covenant relationship of marriage with his bride, the church. The covenant unites not only the man and woman but also their families. Harry and Meghan made covenant vows before God and witnesses that united them in a one-flesh union. That... Continue Reading

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