A City upon a Hill: Nationalism, Religion, and the Making of an American Myth

Many Americans would instantly recognize that line and regard it as a vital description of the American character.

One problem with this nationalistic reading of the text is that no single source can be demonstrated to define the American character, American identity, or America’s place in the world. Contra Tocqueville, Perry Miller, and more recently George McKenna, the Puritans did not give birth to any essential American disposition. Neither did any other intellectual source,... Continue Reading

Review: “Gay on God’s Campus”

Mobilizing for LGBT Equality at Christian Colleges and Universities

He considers activist efforts to change campus policy, campus climate, and hearts and minds. He concludes that effective activist movements on these campuses are often those that repurpose the language in a school’s theology such that it supports LGBT causes, or at least generates dialogue. In an unforgettable example, Coley describes a student group called... Continue Reading

The Eight Deadly Sins of Political Conservatism

Given that my primary allegiance is to Christ and his church, my commitments to political parties, platforms, and leaders should always be tentative.

Thus, since I land on the right side of the American political spectrum, it is especially helpful to beware the dangers found on the right. That’s why I enjoyed re-reading The Revenge of Conscience, by University of Texas (Austin) philosopher J. Budziszewski, in which the author exposes the “sins” of various political ideologies on the Left... Continue Reading

The Dying Thoughts of a Godly Man

May Baxter’s dying thoughts be my dying thoughts, and the thoughts of all Christians in all times.

When Solomon wrote that it’s better to go into the house of mourning than mirth—that funerals really are better than frat parties—he meant it as a reminder to number our days so we could appreciate how valuable life is. Meditating on death does not need to be a sorrowful endeavor. C.S. Lewis wrote, “There is a... Continue Reading

Broken Pieces and the God Who Mends Them

Though her book is tragic, it is also inspiring.

Broken Pieces is first a mother’s memoir as Carr recounts her efforts on behalf of her son. She goes to great lengths—any length, really—to attempt to find him help and healing. She aptly describes the agony of not only the one who is ill, but of those who love him and care for him. She... Continue Reading

Girl, Follow Jesus

Hollis’s message this time around is, “All that really matters is how bad you want those dreams and what you’re willing to do to make them happen.”

In her latest book, Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals, Hollis has gained momentum. She wants you to believe in yourself, to take great pride in your hard work and accomplishments, and to do so without shame and with gusto. She wants you to go hard and unapologetically after your... Continue Reading

The Value of Biography

The best way to learn about leadership is by reading good biography.

In Seven Leaders: Preachers and Pastors (Banner of Truth, 2017), his most recent volume, Murray presents shorter biographical reflections on the following Christian pastors and preachers: John Elias, Andrew Bonar, Archibald Brown, Kenneth MacRae, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, W. J. Grier, and John MacArthur. Much like his previous volume entitled Heroes, this book combines a variety of biographical sketches from... Continue Reading

10 Books That Reveal the Idolatrous Nature of Marxism

Marxism is creeping into the worldview of many Americans, including American Christians.

I will describe each book and then rank its level of difficulty on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most difficult. Level 1 is the category for a book you could give to any friend or family member. Level 5 is the category for a book that might be required in a PhD seminar.   Here are... Continue Reading

Review: “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel”

A review of “Holy Sexuality and the Gospel: Sex, Desire, and Relationships Shaped by God's Grand Story” by Christopher Yuan

Holy Sexuality expresses the correct view of biblical sexual behavior that God created, expects and blesses. This biblical sexual ethic untangles the confused web that is prevalent in our present-day discussions on human sexuality. Sin has distorted our understanding of human sexual relationships such that only a clear presentation of biblical principles will guide us... Continue Reading

“Two Kinds of Righteousness” and Vocation

Luther's Two Kinds of Righteousness is one of the clearest, most penetrating, most profound, and most beautiful expositions of the Gospel–with stunning applications of Scripture–that I have ever come across.

The “alien righteousness” we have in Christ is a real righteousness, delivering us from the “alien” sinfulness that we have in Adam.  When we are united to Christ by faith–as a result of His grace and the Holy Spirit’s work through Word and Sacrament–we are saved by His good works, which become ours, since we are... Continue Reading