A Singing People
How might you tap into this reservoir of lyrical theology, encouragement, and hope?
The hymns that evangelicals have sung—songs originating with Charles Wesley, John Newton, William Cowper, Fanny Crosby, African American spirituals, Horatius Bonar, Ira Sankey, and more—come from different eras, classes, and socio-economic conditions. But these hymns, diverse as they are, still share significant commonalities. Noll sees three threads running through classic evangelical hymnody: The scandal of... Continue Reading
The Plague in Literature and Life
One common feature found in nearly all plague literature, is the “reciprocal resemblance” between the plague as a medical event, and as a metaphorical episode.
There is another, even more disturbing discovery by Girard in his survey of the plague literature. Not only did the medical aspects of the plague play a rather minor role in the background of the narrative, but they served mainly as a disguise for a far more terrible threat—a complete sociological breakdown, and a “certain... Continue Reading
Review: ‘Free to Believe: The Battle over Religious Liberty in America’
A Review of ‘Free to Believe: The Battle over Religious Liberty in America’ by Luke Goodrich
Free to Believe is organized into three sections: defining and defending religious freedom; contemporary threats to religious freedom; and where the battle goes from here. In the first section, Goodrich breaks down what religious freedom is, from a legal, historical, and scriptural/theological perspective. Specifically, he persuasively argues that Christians ought to support a strong conception... Continue Reading
Review: ‘Natural: How Faith in Nature’s Goodness Leads to Harmful Fads, Unjust Laws, and Flawed Science’
Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean it's good. It also doesn't mean it's bad.
Levinovitz’s thesis is that “natural” carries with it a theological valence that smuggles in the idea of goodness. What is natural is willed by God, even for people who don’t seem to care about God’s will. In a secular age, people will still overpay for “natural” candles with scents called “Church”…When we say something is... Continue Reading
A Review: ‘Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’
The book uses the motif of the yellow wallpaper to illustrate how certain beliefs about biblical manhood and womanhood have hidden and obscured what the Bible teaches about men and women in the church.
Byrd’s book is a welcome addition to the current conversations on the importance of women in the life of the church. We need to be aware of the yellow wallpaper in our churches, and we need to peel away these extra-biblical beliefs that obscure the beauty of the Scriptures. The world around us needs to... Continue Reading
Does Anyone Need to Recover from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood?
A review of Aimee Byrd's 'Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.'
We shouldn’t reluctantly affirm biblical manhood and womanhood, nor should we follow it while thinking it seems arbitrary or even a bit illogical. We should love and celebrate biblical manhood and womanhood as good and wise and beautiful and fitting. It’s how God himself designed men and women to flourish. Nobody needs to recover from... Continue Reading
The Rise of the Divine State in a Time of Crisis
Once the State gains power, its rulers work relentlessly to maintain power.
“The paternalism of the state is that of the bad parent who wants his children dependent on him forever. That is an evil impulse. The good parent prepares his children for independence, trains them to make responsible decisions, knows that he harms them by not helping them to break loose. The paternal state thrives on... Continue Reading
Ten Soul-Expanding Quotes From John Murray’s Behind a Frowning Providence
"The test of a person’s Christianity is what happens in the storm, when the house is battered in the winds of affliction."
“There are areas of the Word of God that we cannot comprehend until we have experienced suffering. For thirty years of my Christian life I neither understood nor was particularly drawn to the book of Job. Along with a particular time of suffering came the help to understanding it. Martin Luther had a similar testimony:... Continue Reading
A Review: Tough Issues, True Hope: A Concise Journey Through Christian Ethics
Davis gets to the heart of twenty different moral matters in this book on ethics intended for senior high students and adults.
Although “Tough Issues, True Hope” is a guide to Christian ethics, Davis wants to note it stands apart from other books like it. Along with the clear and conversational format, he was serious about it being a concise journey through these topics. “I didn’t want to bog readers down,” said Davis, “but I want them... Continue Reading
Sharp Eyes, Soft Hearts, And Sanctified Minds: Evaluating Christian Books
A few specific criteria govern the way I evaluate the overall effectiveness of Christian books, in particular.
A good Christian book should guide the reader to the Celestial City. It should lead them in a Godward direction and inspire them to live hopeful lives and holy lives. I review books – a lot of books. Some people have expressed an interest in how I evaluate them. A few specific criteria govern... Continue Reading