Cross-Contamination at the Lord’s Table

Thomas Oden wrote his book, Requiem, after a chapel service at Drew University introducing the goddess Sophia as worthy of Christian worship

I love how Oden didn’t merely focus on the seminary and the religious professionals. He wrote a book to expose them to the congregants who were affected by this poison. Discerning worshippers had already been noticing something different being preached from their pulpits. When theology is reduced to ideology, it’s the local church that is... Continue Reading

On Friendship: A Review of “The Company We Keep”

True Christian friendship has to do with Christ’s work for his people – friends are also brothers and sisters in Christ

If you’ve been thinking about friendship, desire good friendships (or if you think negatively about friendships!) I highly recommend this booklet: The Company We Keep by Jonathan Holmes.  It’s a brief (just over 100 small pages), concise (to the point), and clear (outlined and explained well) biblical discussion of Christian friendship.  The contents include 1)... Continue Reading

Divided By Reason (Book Review)

Worthen narrates a gripping tale, cohering a clunky, disparate constellation of religious groups

“Worthen finds this intellectual project of postwar evangelicalism largely to be a failure, and she explains why. It produced pseudo-intellectuals like Lindsay and Schaeffer. It fashioned a theological scheme of inerrancy that seemed primarily intended to police ecclesiastical boundaries. And, in the end, the movement’s constituents did not agree on much.”   In 1994, historian... Continue Reading

Preaching: More Than Teaching

The hard part is preaching it in such a way that God’s people see how his Word is applicable to and practical in all areas of faith and life.

“If the goal [of preaching] is solid biblical teaching, then a sermon full of the truth always comes up trumps.  But if the goal of expository preaching is that God’s Word changes lives – converting sinners and sanctifying saints – then, all of the sudden, the stakes are much higher….  If the point of preaching... Continue Reading

The Last Act Is Bloody. Always Bloody.

The denial of death, or at least of the necessary horror at death, has come to infect our world.

“I have remarked in the past that too often Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the grave without really acknowledging why he was in the grave in the first place.  We jump from Good Friday to Easter Sunday without lingering outside the tomb.  That explains not simply the Malarkey incident but also much of... Continue Reading

Modern Bible Is Too Dull, Says Philip Pullman

“Speaking of the demise of the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer, the author said: ‘I do regret that children don’t have this experience of language which is grand and stately, and above their heads if you like. Because it gave me an immense amount of pleasure to hear the cadences and... Continue Reading

‘Selma’: American History, Raw And Honest

I leave movies more discouraged and sure that our world will never truly change. But Selma is different. I left this movie hopeful.

Selma is much more than Black history. It is American history. It is our history. Within all of us we understand the fight and struggle for change in order to make a better life for those who will come after us—even if that means that we won’t live to see that change. Selma is not a movie for... Continue Reading

Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope For Those Who Suffer From Depression

Spurgeon, the famed preacher, wrestled against depression through much of his pastoral ministry

“Spurgeon’s Sorrows takes a balanced approach to the role of diet and medicine to relieve some of the symptoms of depression, in some people, some of the time. However, the author also wisely concludes, as did Charles, that dietary or medicinal relief is not a solution in and of itself and should not be pursued... Continue Reading

A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness Through Abiding In Christ (Review)

"The Vine-Ripened Life" is a much more rich and edifying alternative to a book like "Jesus Calling"

“A Vine-Ripened Life is a pastoral book. Gale writes with a gentle tone, using personal examples and practical illustrations to accompany his teaching. The focus of each chapter isn’t primarily the fruits of the Christian life, but the Vine, Jesus Christ. In his first chapter Gale asserts, “If we come away from this study without... Continue Reading

How To Write More Gooder

Here are a few simple practices which may help a great deal

“Books on writing don’t scratch where most people itch. They get into things like transitive verbs and active voice and the difference between affect and effect, useful in hedging the driveway but less relevant in knowing how to turn on the lawnmower. Most people don’t need help going from good to great. They need help... Continue Reading