Why Don’t People Buy Books About Jesus Anymore?

Seeing the glory and grace of God in the person and work of Jesus is the most practical thing we can do if we want to live life well.

Perhaps our neglect of Jesus is because we assume we already know about him. ‘I learnt about Jesus in Sunday school.’ Heard it; done it; move on. Or perhaps it’s because today we want our books to ‘do’ something for us. We want a book on prayer so we can ‘do’ prayer. We want a book... Continue Reading

Unexpected Counsel from Martin Luther

For the average person, “pastoral care” and “Martin Luther” are probably strange bedfellows

“Bob Kellemen brings this side of Luther to light in Counseling Under the Cross: How Martin Luther Applied The Gospel to Daily Life. Kellemen—vice president for institutional advancement and chair of the biblical counseling department at Crossroads Bible College—explores the theology and methodology of Luther’s pastoral care ministry.”   For the average person, “pastoral care” and... Continue Reading

Judge Not the Lord by Feeble Sense (Feelings and Faith)

If I think my feelings and emotions are part of the gospel, my assurance will quickly decline on days I’m not treasuring Christ above all.

“If you will make sense and feeling the judge of your state and condition, you will never have peace or comfort all your days.  Your state, O Christian, may be very good, when sense and feeling says it is very bad.  …The best of Christian men have at times lost that quickening, ravishing, and comforting... Continue Reading

How America Became Conversion Nation

When your religion is something you choose, not to choose is not an option.

The fact that there was such “variety of conversions” in the United States actually helped create a shared understanding of religion—that religion is something you choose, as opposed to something you inherit. This freedom to choose, however, implied an obligation. The book speaks of “obligatory religious choice” or the “burden to choose.” As Mullen states... Continue Reading

A Mighty Fortress Is Our God

Discovering the power of Luther’s original lyrics

Leading the way not just in word, but in song, was Martin Luther. He wrote nearly forty hymns, many of which he composed not only the words but even the music. His most famous, of course, “A Mighty Fortress,” often is called “The Battle Hymn of the Reformation.”   The Reformers didn’t just protest; they... Continue Reading

Why Critics Are Wrong to Scold Evangelicals for Historical Rootlessness

A new book demonstrates the movement has been “a perennial and recurring feature of Christian history.”

Does modern evangelicalism suffer from a lack of tradition and historical awareness? Not so fast, says Kenneth Stewart, a theologian teaching at Covenant College. His book, In Search of Ancient Roots: The Christian Past and the Evangelical Identity Crisis, tells a different story than we’re accustomed to hearing.   About 20 years ago, theologian D. H.... Continue Reading

10 Marks of a Grace-Alone Church

Grace is a vital doctrine, not simply for the church’s theological confession but also for the church’s theological practice.

To be able to point Christians to a sovereign God who has revealed himself as gracious in Christ is perhaps the single most important thing that a pastor can do. When the problems of this fallen world close in on us, as they inevitably will, there can be a tendency to see our sin or... Continue Reading

A Pastoral Approach to the Transgender Debate

The recent gender and sexuality sea change that has played out before our eyes is head-spinning

“What’s the church to do? Do we take up arms to fight a culture war, even though we have rarely waged such wars in a faithful or loving way? How do we proclaim the gospel of Christ while simultaneously affirming the lordship of Christ over human design and the nature of truth?”   The recent... Continue Reading

An Introduction to the Life of Samuel Davies

Samuel Davies was the first Presbyterian minister east of the Shenandoah and Appalachian Mountains to be lawfully licensed in Virginia.

…Third, Davies was one of the first American ministers to actively labor among the African slaves, and received many of them into membership in his Hanover congregation. Fourth, he started a mission to the Overhill Cherokees along the western borders of North Carolina and South Carolina. Fifth, his sermons were among the most popular in... Continue Reading

How America Lost Its Mind (Book Review)

Kurt Anderson’s Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire is one of the bestselling books of the year

When did America become uncoupled from reality? In Anderson’s account, we were already losing our grip when our nation was founded. Although school teachers tell the story of our founding with almost exclusive reference to the Pilgrims, America’s real founding fathers were the Puritans, members of a “nutty religious cult” who believed in “fantasies” such... Continue Reading