‘Heaven Is For Real’ — NOT!

To accept this story without comparing it to Scripture is foolishness and is an open door for all kinds of fanciful doctrines that the world may conjure up for the masses.

The point being, if you want to know what heaven is like, and know it for real, read the Bible. What the Bible tells us about heaven is authoritative. It is not speculation or imagination. It is what Jesus told us it would be.   I was driving home today listening to Sean Hannity and his... Continue Reading

Slaughtering Conventional History’s Sacred Cows

An excerpt from Rodney Stark’s How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity

Belief in the Dark Ages remains so persistent that it seems appropriate to begin by quickly revealing that this is a myth made up by eighteenth-century intellectuals determined to slander Christianity and to celebrate their own sagacity.   Historian Rodney Stark writes books that are models of popularly accessible scholarly writing. After reporting for the Oakland... Continue Reading

10 Facts About Biblical Diversity

Lessons from Trillia Newbell’s book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity

I’ve just finished re-reading Trillia Newbell’s book, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (only $2.99 on Kindle today!). It’s an excellent introduction to the duty and delight of building more diversity into our lives and churches. I want to recommend it to you by highlighting ten major lessons I carried away from the book. 1. Biblical diversity... Continue Reading

Hobby Lobby, George Marsden, and the Challenges of Religious Diversity in America

Review of George Marsden, The Twilight of the American Enlightenment

“Marsden examines the increasingly prickly issues of religious tolerance and diversity in America, and he argues that both the mainstream liberalism of the 1950s and the more recent Religious Right have gotten it wrong, with serious negative consequences for the nation. The focus here, however, is primarily on that earlier liberal consensus.”   Review of... Continue Reading

Old Testament Books and Ancient Near East Texts

Are Ancient Near East texts always relevant to the study of the Old Testament?

It is common now in Old Testament studies for scholars to think that they are studying the Old Testament when they are in fact studying Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) parallels. I was reading a book on an OT book this morning (which will remain anonymous) that had some really excellent essays on the theology of... Continue Reading

Review: ‘Is God Anti-Gay?’

Review: ‘Is God Anti-Gay?’

There is a difference between a gay lifestyle and same-sex attraction.  “Gay Christian” is probably not the best term to use.  For Allberry, it is an identity issue: he does not identify himself as a gay person; he identifies himself “in Christ;” he is a Christian who has to fight the sin of same-sex attraction... Continue Reading

When Parenting Gets Lost in the Details

In a wave of books for modern moms, Gloria Furman’s gospel meditations offer a simple goal.

Furman’s point is simple. Frazzled mothers don’t need more time, or better strategies, or even renewed resolve. They need more of the gospel—the good news that God sent his Son to die for sinners so that their sin might be forgiven, their guilt atoned for, and their souls reconciled to God.Treasuring Christ intentionally does not read... Continue Reading

What’s Your Worldview

A review of What’s Your Worldview: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions by James Anderson

In summary, this is a good book for the right audience: those who want a brief introduction to various worldviews and those who are open to thinking through the worldview issue(s).  It doesn’t go beyond the basics, so a person will have to do further reading on these areas if he or she wants more... Continue Reading

What Does the Phrase “All Things” Mean in Romans 8:32?

God in His providence is working “all things” together to achieve a specific goal — our glorification

“The gospel guarantees that we will be brought home to glory. It is by grace that we are saved from the consequences of our sin; the same grace of God in the gospel brings us home. Better, Jesus brings us home. Our salvation is bound up not in something intangible and impersonal, but in a... Continue Reading

On Reading ‘Church Growth’ Books

If most of these modern, cutting-edge experts are correct, I am doing practically everything wrong

“I do want to learn from these experts, even if that learning forces me to see my own weaknesses (which are many) or my church’s own weaknesses (to which I am often blind). But must every pastor be a “visionary”? Must every local church transform itself into a “movement”? Is that even possible? Where does... Continue Reading