Truths and Lies in The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus
We wrongly tend to attach that word liar to a specific kind of liar.
We think liars are dishonest lawyers, cheating used-car salesmen, and drug addicts. They are instead pastors, news commentators, and doctors of philosophy. Liars can also be silent. That is, what defines the liar is not just the speaking of lies but the loving of lies. God is true and every man a liar. Liars,... Continue Reading
Law, Grace and Redemption in Les Misérables
We will consider three of these twice-told vignettes to see how they develop the drama of Valjean’s redemption, of his struggle between the equally pressing demands of law and grace.
While one may easily get lost in this literary labyrinth — literally, too, as Jean Valjean, the novel ’s hero, scurries about the streets of Paris with Javert the police inspector hot in pursuit — the artistic genius is evident at every turn. Virtually every major scene, for example, is doubled, finding a poetic and... Continue Reading
Recovering Bavinck’s “The Christian Family”
Bavinck wrote "The Christian Family" in a day animated with revolutionary spirits.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck (1854–1921) found himself confronted by a society increasingly hostile to human flourishing according to divine design. Sufficiently alarmed, he busied himself with a counteroffensive, which has been passed down to the anglophone world under the title, The Christian Family. The family was in trouble, and one... Continue Reading
The Mission Field I Never Expected
I could imagine telling the breathless BBC correspondent, “but curing Ebola was worth it.” Somehow, raising children with special needs doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
And there are days, even now, when it is tempting to blow my own trumpet, whether by looking for recognition in the wrong places or by belittling the parenting trials that the people around me face. In a room full of women bemoaning the fact their children won’t try broccoli, it can be tempting to... Continue Reading
Exodus Old and New
Reading one of Morales's books on Scripture is like going on a walk with a friend down a forest path that you've travelled many times and having that friend more than once point to something and say, "Did you ever notice this?"
My friend, Michael Morales, has published a new book titledExodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption. I have been eagerly awaiting this one for some time, and I was not disappointed. The exodus event is the paradigmatic redemptive event in the Old Testament, shaping the way the biblical authors talk about redemption throughout... Continue Reading
White Fragility and Getting White People To Talk About Racism
Perhaps no author has played a more central role in this cultural conversation than Robin DiAngelo and perhaps no book has been more widely recommended than her book.
The great tension at the heart of the book is this: Why is a white woman leading the conversation about racism and racial inequality? If white people are so biased and so blinded by our whiteness (as she herself teaches), how can we trust her to properly understand the problem and prescribe the right solution?... Continue Reading
The Nature of Our Hope
The nature of our hope is our conforming to Christ.
Our lives are like grass, here one day and gone tomorrow. Our death is always imminent. And I’m looking forward, not just to the redemption of my body, but also the sinful tendencies I struggle with every single day. In his book the Triumph of the Crucified, in the chapter on the Rapture and the... Continue Reading
Book Review: Living For God, by Mark Jones
This little book covers the essential truths of the Christian faith in a way that is both thorough and accessible.
One of my favorite things about Jones’ books (not just this one) is that he has a knack for presenting complex theological doctrines in a simple (not simplistic) and accessible way. Not only that, but he consistently draws from theological sources that span nearly all of church history. The subtitle of Mark Jones’ latest... Continue Reading
“Moving Forward”: The Rhetoric of Social Intervention and the Presbyterian Church in America’s Cultural Outreach
Will churches be able to survive without being more racially inclusive? How does the local church fit into a global understanding of the church?
This study seeks to understand how a Western European based denomination talks about reaching beyond its monoculture identity to a multi-ethnic identity and move from racial indifference to racial reconciliation. The analysis uses the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) 2015 General Assembly’s three “Moving Forward” seminars that address how the PCA must reach out to... Continue Reading
Hope When Life Unravels
Adam Dooley’s book begins with the experience of suffering and then applies Scripture.
Though this is a book that began with cancer, Dooley insists it is not a book about cancer. “Yes, I will share the powerful story of our son, who battled leukemia heroically. And yes, the lessons God taught us over a strenuous three-year period will be chronicled here. But my main purpose is to comfort others with... Continue Reading