Our Shining City on a Hill?

A review of In Search of the City on a Hill, Richard M. Gamble, (Continuum, 2012)

Do you believe that America is the “city on a hill” that Christ was referring to in his Sermon on the Mount? Are there more than one of these cities? Was Jesus talking about a civil nation at all, or was this a metaphor of the church?

The Book of Common Prayer at three hundred and fifty.

Thomas Cranmer’s phrases echo through English literature and popular culture.

Only when Henry was succeeded by Edward VI, in 1547, could the reform that Cranmer wanted truly proceed. Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer was revised in 1552, three years after its publication, in order to intensify the Protestantism of its theology. Ecclesiastical committees had worked on the revision, and this version became the established collective liturgy of the Church of England for the next four hundred and sixty years

A Landmark Book: The First Puritan Systematic Theology

“Without a doubt, this will be an indispensable guidebook to Puritan thought and practice for years to come.” -- Sinclair Ferguson

This massive volume by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones provides the reader with a comprehensive introduction to Puritan thought. It is a notable work of historical-theological synthesis and a book to which I will be returning again and again, both for scholarly reference and personal devotion. Simply an amazing achievement.” -- Carl Trueman

Rachel Held Evans’ ‘A Year of Biblical Womanhood’: A Review

Evans works to prove that the Bible is not without error and therefore cannot be applied literally

This book is not ultimately about manhood and womanhood, headship and submission, or the complementarian and egalitarian debate. At its root this book questions the validity of the Bible. And denying the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture is a denial that will ultimately erode the gospel of our Savior.

Embracing Obscurity: Becoming Nothing in Light of God’s Everything by Anonymous

Anonymous is aiming at the pride and self-reliance which lurks just under the surface of our outwardly Christian lives.

He goes on to talk about embracing the “mystery.” Our lives and choices should seem crazy to unbelievers. “Is my life mysterious?” the author asks. “Or do I live, love and lust like the rest of the world?” He brings up the example of NFL running back Glen Coffee who walked away from football after one season, because he wanted to follow God’s call on his life. Is that mysterious or what?

First systematic political theology from an Orthodox Christian perspective

The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy by Aristotle Papanikolaou

The first comprehensive treatment from an Orthodox theological perspective of the issue of the compatibility between Orthodoxy and liberal democracy, Papanikolaou’s is an affirmation that Orthodox support for liberal forms of democracy is justified within the framework of Orthodox understandings of God and the human person

A Balanced Evangelical View of America’s Founding

It would be problematic to deny the deep Christian (or at least theistic) influence on the Founders’ intellectual world.

While not every Founding Father was a Bible believer, they all lived in a Bible-suffused milieu. And while faith was hardly their only inspiration, Christian principles heavily informed the Founders’ beliefs in equality, liberty, and the nature of the American republic.

The Gospel and Sexual Orientation; A Review

"One of the most concise and helpful statements on the various issues involved in the matter of same-sex attraction."

The book outlines the history of modern thinking about sexuality, addresses the key theological and textual arguments of those opposed to the traditional Christian approach, shows how the Westminster Standards apply to the matter, and, in a final chapter, offers very good practical pastoral advice…

“Center Church” by Tim Keller – A Review

It is the best book outlining the theological vision and philosophy of ministry prior to determining specifics church models, ministry programs, and methods of multiplication

Keller begins his discussion about the city by critiquing romanticized views of the city (p. 135). Keller even admits that the contrasts between city, suburb, and town are general and that some locations blur the distinction (p. 136). In the end, Keller commends ministry in all locales and believes Center Church is helpful to churches in non-urban contexts (p. 381).

“Fierce Women”: A review

God has given us an intimate picture of the gospel in the marriage relationship.

When a woman is destructively fierce, Wagner explains how that can affect her husband in two different ways. A normally confident man can become very intimidated by his wife, and cower in passivity. This scenario is more common in the church than we would probably like to admit.