Living By Grace (Bridges)

The misunderstanding of salvation by grace alone is this: if we are saved by grace alone, then it doesn’t matter how we live.

Bridges makes some helpful comments in this book on what it means to live by grace.  For example, in one chapter he talks about how holiness is a gift of God’s grace and in another chapter he describes the sufficiency of God’s grace for living the Christian life.  He nicely steers clear of both legalism... Continue Reading

Pass it On: A Book Review

Champ Thornton’s new book, Pass It On: A Proverbs Journal for the Next Generation, is both a study guide for the book of Proverbs and a gift to give away

Pass it On is Christ-centered, showing how Christ is wisdom for us. “…true wisdom came to full bloom in the person of Christ. And because of his life and death, he stands as our ultimate Example and Source of wisdom. Jesus modeled perfect wisdom, rightly relating to God and everything else. And now he has... Continue Reading

The Hiding Place of His Righteousness (Toplady)

A wonderful section of a letter Augustus Toplady wrote in 1767 to a friend who was very ill:

“Only flee to him for refuge, fly to the hiding place of his righteousness, death and intercession; and then, the enemy can have no final advantage over you, nor the son of wickedness approach to hurt you, in your everlasting interest. Assault you he may, in your way to the kingdom of God; overcome you... Continue Reading

The (Other) Lord of Martin Luther’s Life

What we know—and what we can guess—about the reformer’s wife, Katharina von Bora.

The Reformation’s 500th anniversary has brought renewed attention to its most significant players, and “Katie” Luther is no exception. Hence, we have a new biography by Ruth Tucker, Katie Luther, First Lady of the Reformation: The Unconventional Life of Katharina von Bora.   How do you write a book about a woman whose life story is... Continue Reading

When Everything Is Missions

The old slogan “every member a missionary” is not really accurate.

The theme of the book is simple and provocative: we are not all missionaries and not everything is missions, and if we don’t get these definitions correct we will not be effective in carrying out the mission Christ gave to the church.   Pastors, mission committees, mission agencies, and church leaders would do well to... Continue Reading

Grace Knows No Human Contribution (Murray)

Grace alone means exactly that: salvation is all, only, and exclusively of grace – grace alone!

“In reality we deny the truth here asserted when we introduce at any point in the whole span and process of salvation a decisive autonomy on the part of man.  If salvation at any point is contingent upon some contribution which man himself makes, then at that point it is of ourselves, and to that... Continue Reading

Review: Irenaeus of Lyon

Simonetta Carr has written another biography in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series.

With a desire to strengthen the church in biblical truth, Irenaeus began his work Against Heresies, which is still read today. He set about refuting the claims of the gnostic sects and Marcion, a popular false teacher. The gnostics taught there was a special level of spirituality that could only be achieved by new revelation... Continue Reading

Sipping Saltwater

Idolatry is the subject of a new book by Steve Hoppe.

A shipwrecked sailor can float in an ocean filled with trillions of gallons of water but never quench his thirst because he is afloat in saltwater. In the same way, none of the pleasures in this world can ultimately satisfy us without God. Hoppe says, “In our nagging state of thirst for paradise lost, what... Continue Reading

Thinking About Mental Purity

God calls his people to discernment which requires critical thinking, not to "mental purity."

Jacobs spends a lot of time building on C.S. Lewis’ teaching about the Inner Ring, or “’moral matrix’ that becomes for a given person the narrative according to which everything and everyone else is judged,” reasoning that if we are so caught up in our own Inner Rings, we begin to look at outsiders to... Continue Reading

No Longer Talking

We dehumanise as we distance ourselves from each other, depriving them and us of voice. Is it any wonder people are lonelier than ever?

As Christians we must be different. We must be people who honour those made in the image of God, by speaking, listening and giving full attention just as our God does to us. If even having the phone on the table gives the wrong signal, let’s leave them aside. If having it buzz leaves us... Continue Reading