By Us, About Us: Reflections On 12 Years A Slave And Literature
Literature shows us in stark relief that we’re less different than we would have imagined, and that we all possess the same basic need: Christ.
“Literature is one of the primary containers of cultural truth. As Christians who are to be serious about proclaiming Christ in every area of the society we live in, to leave literature out of the picture is to leave a dangerous stone unturned.” I remember the first time I ever realized that a story... Continue Reading
Offense to the Establishments
When the church finds herself sitting at the top table with the politicians, academics, the sportsmen and the pop-stars, it is virtually certain that she has abandoned the way of the cross.
He calls the outcasts and the strangers into his family, and makes them his bride. He doesn’t summon us to build an empire, to change the education system while convincing the world of his sovereignty, and to clean out the music industry for his glory. He calls us to worship and he calls us to... Continue Reading
A Mother’s Ordeal – One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy
A review of a book on the tragedy of China's one-child policy
This book is hard to read; it’s callous and brutal and disgusting. The horror of Chi An’s “profession” comes to life in the chapter entitled “The Little-Boy-Who-Wouldn’t-Die.” A young girl, at full term, was forced to abort her baby. One doctor, then another, plunged formaldehyde into the baby’s brain in the birth canal, but still... Continue Reading
Review: Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons
Review: Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons
I greatly appreciated was that Anyabwile did not just focus on the qualifications of elders or pastors (part 2 of the book), but also dedicated the entire third section of the book to the work that they are called to do. Again, this section would be good for pastor/elder and laity alike. We often have... Continue Reading
Is Religion Bad?
It may be shocking, trendy, and it may grab attention, but in the end stomping on the word “religion” isn’t overly helpful.
Among the many trends in the New Calvinism (or the Young Restless and Reformed movement) is the prominent dislike of the word “religion.” I’ve heard a lot of people speak and write about religion as being a moral straitjacket, rigid, and not Christian. They say religion is one thing, the gospel is another thing. Essentially... Continue Reading
Housewife Theologian and Extravagant Grace
Reviews of two recent books by Aimee Byrd and Barbara Duguid
As a pastor I am always keen to commend good books written by women. Two recent books have been brought to my attention, both by P&R Publishing: Housewife Theologian by Aimee Byrd and Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid. Aimee Byrd. Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary (P&R, 2013), $12.99. “This book is for women,” so begins Aimee Byrd.... Continue Reading
Instead of Me
A reflection I had while reading David Wells, God in the Whirlwind
In an eternal covenant the Son of God claimed that he was for me. And I do not remember the day that I turned to him in faith and repentance. In hindsight, I see his fingerprints all over the crime scenes of my life. The evidence says, “Not her, but me.” How is this so?... Continue Reading
We All Ban Books (Sort of)
Should pastors place boundaries around what books the ministry staff who report them may recommend?
Urging people away from certain books and insisting that ministry staff not recommend them is an important task of the pastor these days. This is particularly so in an age when theological nonsense is so widely distributed and easily attainable. It is the pastor’s duty to protect the purity and unity of the flock he... Continue Reading
Longman and Carson on Commentaries
A review of Longman's OT Commentary Survey, and Carson's NT Commentary Survey
The subject of bibliography has always been a favorite of mine, and that of commentaries in particular. I have my own commentary recommendations here. So, I picked up the recent editions (both published in 2013) of Longman’s Old Testament Commentary Survey and Carson’s New Testament Commentary Survey. I will start off with Carson’s survey,... Continue Reading
A Conservative Christian Declaration: Article 6: On Beauty
We strongly affirm that that beauty is transcendent and absolute for at least four reasons
In summary, we should take aesthetic pleasure only in those things that are truly beautiful–truly worthy of delight–as compared to the absolute standard of God’s beauty and glory. To do otherwise is sin, and to regularly pursue pleasure in what is ugly hinders ordinate worship and praise to God. This is a series to further explain the... Continue Reading