Peter Berger’s Many Altars

Sociologist of religion Peter Berger has a new book entitled "The Many Altars of Modernity"

“Sociology can tell us where we are, but it can only make best guesses as to where we are going. Sociological conclusions are true until they are not (think the previous theory of secularization). History is too full of remarkable and unanticipated turns of event for us not to enter into this discourse with a... Continue Reading

Book on Pastoral Succession: ‘All Pastors Are Interim Pastors’

When pastor Max Lucado greeted his successor at his San Antonio church, the two stood onstage and tried to put on each other’s shoes. They couldn’t

“Pastoral successions, especially after a long-term founding or well-established pastor, are one of the most crucial times in a congregation’s life cycle,” Granberg-Michaelson said. “When done well, the congregation’s ministry and life is re-energized and revived for the future. When done poorly, decades of successful and thriving ministry can deteriorate, heading the congregation into a... Continue Reading

8 Points: A Critique of Dispensational Premillennialism

An excerpt from Anthony Hoekema's book, The Bible and the Future

The Bible does not teach a millennial restoration of the Jews to their land.  …To understand these prophecies (about returning to the land) only in terms of a literal fulfillment for Israel in Palestine during the thousand years is to revert back to Jewish nationalism and to fail to see God’s purpose for all his... Continue Reading

New Book: The Happy Christian

There’s a serious joy deficit dragging down God’s people and undermining our message of good news for the world.

The book is partly a critique of unbiblical versions of happiness; but it’s mainly a positive presentation of the Christian life in an increasingly negative culture. I identify the causes and consequences of this widespread and demoralizing plague of negativity, and I propose ten biblical and practical methods to re-balance our attitude, outlook, words, and... Continue Reading

Not Just a Soup Kitchen

A book based on the author's fifteen years' personal diaconal experience, over twenty-five years directing Tenth Presbyterian Church's Mercy Ministry, and life's story.

Not Just a Soup Kitchen is for churches that are desperately seeking answers on how to do diaconal ministry effectively. It is also for anyone who works with people ordinarily stigmatized and not welcomed in churches. The book deals with the fears many have of coming alongside those in need, and chronicles stories about homeless... Continue Reading

Biblical Portraits of Creation

A review of a book on the biblical doctrine of creation

The book concludes with an appendix, which is essentially a reprint of Kaiser’s article “The Literary Genre of Genesis 1-11,” which initially appeared in 1969. In this article he argues for reading Genesis 1-11 as straightforward “historical narrative-prose.” I think the article is convincing. However, such self-identified evangelical scholars as Peter Enns (formerly of Westminster... Continue Reading

A Review: “Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters “

“Seriously Dangerous Religion” is a thought provoking and profitable book

This is the brilliant aspect of the book. By juxtaposing the biblical answer to these questions with the other metanarratives, it becomes clearer and clearer that the Old Testament is unique and sui generis (in a class by itself). Though there may be overlapping similarities on the surface, nevertheless, at the end of the day,... Continue Reading

Hobby Lobby Without God

Ronald Dworkin’s posthumously published ‘Religion without God’ could instead have been called ‘Law without Religion’

Finally, authority is missing completely from the book’s account of religion. That’s a big mistake. It’s not simply that religious people have deeply held commitments to value or that they have certain reactions to beautiful scenery. They think that a proper, nongovernmental authority—God or the Bible—commands unflinching obedience. Dworkin quotes the Casey decision’s “right to define one’s own concept... Continue Reading

Hipster Christianity, Revisited

Why the medium of cool isn’t a neutral vehicle for the gospel

“With Hipster I wanted to challenge this notion and show how form matters: that perhaps the way Christianity is understood and appropriated is different when packaged in Helvetica, skinny jeans, and small batch whisky than when it’s packaged in robes, pews, and pleated khakis. Not that one is necessarily preferable to the other, mind you;... Continue Reading

Trusting in Kingdoms of our Own Design

In his book On the Brink: Grace for the Burned-Out Pastor, Clay Werner writes about the Kingdom of God, and about the pseudo-kingdoms we often design and try to build as pastors.

Whether it is a kingdom of being liked and accepted by critical coworkers or family members, a kingdom of getting just the right job for your interests and training, or a kingdom of children who don’t talk back and a spouse eager to tend to your needs, these kingdoms are still pseudo-kingdoms. Even if they... Continue Reading