‘Gay Girl, Good God’: Review

To my surprise, being a Christian delivered me from the power of sin but in no way did it remove the possibility of temptation.

“In my mind, choosing God was the same as choosing heterosexuality.… I now know what I didn’t know then. God was not calling me to be straight; he was calling me to himself. The choice to lay aside sin and take hold of holiness was not synonymous with heterosexuality.… In my becoming holy as he... Continue Reading

The Gospel Changes Everything

The reality of racial and ethnic division in our country today means that Christian parents of all ethnic backgrounds need to teach their kids about the gospel, race, racism, ethnic difference, and discrimination.

We firmly believe that God is redeeming the eyes all those who believe the glorious gospel but realize many who consider themselves “contenders for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all” have truncated the scope of the gospel message. That is to say, they primarily envision the gospel from a vertical... Continue Reading

Book Review: Disruptive Witness by Alan Noble

The American church now essentially finds itself hungover and utterly unprepared for the vastly changed world that now greets it.

The problem is not simply that the American church seems to be currently reckoning with the cost of decades of systemic failures and infidelity within the church. The surrounding world has not simply stopped to gawk at us as we stumble about like a drunk on an especially bad bender. It has, rather, continued going... Continue Reading

How One Book Changed My Life

The recently translated prolegomena volume of Petrus van Mastricht's late seventeeth-century Theoretical-Practical Theology has great power to transform the soul.

Jonathan Edwards called this book the best ever written after the Bible, and surely one reason is that it is thoroughly biblical. Consider, for example, the order of Mastricht’s chapters: each begins with an “Exegetical Part,” which carefully examines a particular text of Scripture in order to lay the foundation for the Dogmatic, Elenctic, and... Continue Reading

Read Hymns like Poems—Because They Are

There were books containing the texts of the hymns without accompanying music.

In churches where the classic hymns are still sung, church members can exert their influence to keep this great tradition alive. We can listen to these same hymns in recorded form. Ministers who know the great hymns can make effective use of them by quoting verses and lines in sermons. Mainly, though, we can practice... Continue Reading

Resisting the Irresistible

Irresistible is presenting itself as the latest in a long, and increasingly frantic and jammed together, line of books in the past two decades that promises to unlock the mystery.

So, okay. I’ll buy it.  I’ll review it.  But will this book transform my life?  It will not.  It will go on the shelf with all of the other books that breathlessly present themselves as “the answer” to “the problem” that “the church” has lost some time between 120AD and 400AD. But I’m simply not... Continue Reading

The Real Housewives of the Ancient World

History has taught us about the extreme subjugation of women in Greco-Roman patriarchal culture

“And yet one of my biggest observations about Cohick’s book is how history teaches us that some things do not change—in between the lines history, that is. While we are more aware of what the literary documents and their attached ideologies and agendas say, Cohick couples this research with some of her own, looking at... Continue Reading

Why Pastors Should Engage Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology

While a commendation from such a great luminary like Edwards will be enough to sell the set to many, others need more incentive.

I appeal to the glowing endorsement of the book from Jonathan Edwards, which is included on the back cover. Comparing Mastricht with Turretin, he noted, “they are both excellent.” Yet he added that Turretin was fuller on controversial points while Mastricht was better on the whole as a “universal system of divinity.” This led him... Continue Reading

The Barrier of Endless Distraction

Self-avoidance is probably our most advanced skill set.

It’s not just that this technology allows us to stay “plugged in” all the time, it’s that it gives us the sense that we are tapped into something greater than ourselves. The narratives of meaning that have always filled our lives with justification and wonder are multiplied endlessly and immediately for us in songs, TV... Continue Reading

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