The Satanic Virtues
Milton did not err in his depiction of the Devil in Paradise Lost, and modern times show it to be thus.
Paradise Lost could be a parable for our strange days: when devilry goes hand in hand with almost god-like technological achievement, when the highest-ever standard of living accompanies skyrocketing suicide rates, and when nations stockpile unbelievable wealth while strategically eliminating the vulnerable. It is well worth our time to return to this startling epic because it... Continue Reading
A Prophet of School Choice
If the government should not oversee education, who then should oversee a child’s education? For Machen, the answer was unequivocally the child’s parents.
For Machen, the great benefit of these school choice reforms was that they would empower parents to oversee their children’s education. As he stated to the Sentinels, the hope is that “we may return to the principle of freedom for individual parents in the education of their children in accordance with their conscience.” School choice... Continue Reading
Celebrating Christmas B. B. Warfield
Christmas can be remembered conservatively and carefully.
It is increasingly difficult to think of Christmas as remembrance of Jesus’ birth amidst the gifts and other aspects. The day involves fusing the sacred and secular and such efforts immediately or eventually simply do not work out well because Scripture comes in conflict with the world. I think the world has turned Christians from... Continue Reading
A Survey of Presbyterian Mission History in Africa, Whytock, 2023
This book will be an important resource for studies of not only missions, but also Christianity in Africa. The West is in some ways as ignorant of Africa as the nineteenth century missionaries that entered its unknown regions.
A Presbyterian missionary to Africa told me several years ago that Africa is large with peoples of many cultures and languages distributed over its varied topography that provides a spectrum of climates from Cape Town to Casablanca to Cairo. Africa is a mission field that is complex with unique challenges. The nearly 800 pages of... Continue Reading
A Clarion Call for the Ages
2023 Books of the Year | In 1923, J. Gresham Machen exposed the deep chasm between true Christianity and the sham religion taking root in American churches. A century later, Christianity and Liberalism remains an essential book for believers.
The argument Machen makes powerfully in Christianity and Liberalism is that liberals in the 1920s had abandoned the Christian religion—that though liberal Protestantism tried to go by the name Christian, it was actually an entirely separate religion. He makes this case methodically throughout the book, contrasting the two religions with regard to doctrine, God and man, the Bible,... Continue Reading
The Psalms Are a Little Bible
Demonstrating the truth of Martin Luther’s claim.
The Psalms teach us about salvation. There is no salvation to be found in chariots or spears or horsemen or political power. Salvation is from the Lord. When God saves sinners, he forgives their sins. He counts righteousness to them through faith. God is the refuge and the rock of his people. He pulls them... Continue Reading
Chesterton on the Free Family
Chesterton’s love of the family always features in his writings.
In everything worth having, even in every pleasure, there is a point of pain or tedium that must be survived, so that the pleasure may revive and endure. The joy of battle comes after the first fear of death; the joy of reading Virgil comes after the bore of learning him; the glow of the... Continue Reading
Giving Up Darwin
A fond farewell to a brilliant and beautiful theory.
An intelligent designer might seem more necessary than ever now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell. Meyer doesn’t reject Darwinian evolution. He only rejects it as a sufficient theory... Continue Reading
A Work of Biblical Proportions
Review: ‘The Word: How We Translate the Bible—and Why It Matters’ by John Barton
The “formal equivalence” approach to biblical translation strives to bring the original-language source-text to the reader by effecting as close to a word-for-word translation as possible, given the constraints of moving from one language to another. By contrast, the “dynamic equivalence” approach (sometimes called “functional equivalence”) aims to bring the reader to the source-text through... Continue Reading
Ten Formative Books
All have stood the test of time.
John W. Nevin, The Mystical Presence—Published in 1846, this volume provides both a defense of Calvin’s eucharistic doctrine and a wonderful introduction to the soteriology of the Mercersburg Theology movement we associate with John Williamson Nevin and Philip Schaff. In it, Nevin called out much of the American Reformed community for its rationalistic Zwinglianism and lack... Continue Reading