“I feel like God wants me to be alone for a while.”
“I’m waiting for God to open a door to the right job.”
“If I choose this school, will I be going against God’s will for my life?”
We’ve all statements like these before. Whether it’s dating and marriage, the quest for the perfect job, what college to go to or where to buy a house, many Christians get hung up on the question of God’s will: Is it God’s will that I do XYZ? What is God’s will for my life and how can I know what it is? While it’s good to be concerned about living a life that glorifies God, sometimes we spend too much time navel-gazing when we really ought to just do something!
That, in a nutshell, is the point of Kevin DeYoung’s book, Just Do Something. DeYoung is greatly concerned about the “tinkerer” generation, those of us in the 35 and under age group who try a lot of different things, but commit to very little in the end. “Too many of us have passed off our instability, inconsistency, and endless self-exploration as ‘looking for God’s will,’ as if not making up our minds and meandering through life were marks of spiritual sensitivity… We’re tinkering around with everyone and everything. Instead, when it comes to our future, we should take some responsibility, make a decision, and just do something” (p. 15)......more
When I was a kid, the only time I ever heard the word “catechism” was when a friend grumbled abouMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
When I was a kid, the only time I ever heard the word “catechism” was when a friend grumbled about how he couldn’t be wait to be done with it when he was thirteen. I had no idea what a catechism was, but sounded horrible—obviously it was some sort of hellish torture device. So imagine my surprise when I eventually learned that it was a simply a series of questions and answers about the Bible. (In all fairness, I’ve also come to realize that for someone who doesn’t believe the Bible or have a desire to know more about Jesus, it would seem rather hellish.)
Kevin DeYoung knows all about this. Growing up in the Christian Reformed Church, the Heidelberg Catechism was a part of his life. While he always appreciated it, it wasn’t seen as something terribly exciting. But it was in his seminary days, seeing the reaction of his fellow students, that he was reminded of just how meaningful the Heidelberg Catechism really is. “My classmates were seeing something many of my peers had missed. The Heidelberg Catechism is really, really good” (p. 16).
That, ultimately led DeYoung to write The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. DeYoung structures the book as a devotional commentary, sharing his insights on each of Heidelberg’s 129 questions over 52 Lord’s Days. The catechism’s questions are run opposite each of DeYoung’s essays, allowing readers like me to appreciate the Heidelberg for itself......more
There are few subjects touchier than the question of homosexuality and Christianity. In recent yeMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
There are few subjects touchier than the question of homosexuality and Christianity. In recent years, in order to shift the portrayal of Christians as vicious homophobes, many mainline denominations have fully embraced homosexual practice as compatible with Christianity, as have some in “post-evangelical” circles, such as Tony Jones. Given the enormous pressure to affirm and embrace homosexual practice, it can be really tempting to go along with it, or worse to give unsatisfying, pat answers to hard questions about Christian faithfulness and homosexuality.
So what do you do if you earnestly believe that God’s Word is true, and what it says about homosexuality is in fact the truth? What if you truly believe that homosexuality is a serious sin as outlined in Scripture? And what do you do if you believe it—and you’re gay? Wesley Hill seeks to answer that question in Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality. What qualifies him to do so? It’s his struggle......more
“Who am I?” It’s a question that every single one of us has likely asked at one time or another.My full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
“Who am I?” It’s a question that every single one of us has likely asked at one time or another. And with good reason; understanding who we are—defining our identity—completely transforms how we act, think and speak. It is no wonder then, that we so many appeals within Scripture to our identity as being “in Christ.” We are to remember that we are new creations in Christ, made free in Christ, made alive in Christ, made wise in Christ… the list is (seemingly) endless.
Yet, many of us struggle to grasp the impact of what it means to be in Christ and, as a result, burden ourselves under condemnation and guilt, failing to live in the freedom that Christ offers. That’s the heart of Who Am I?: Identity in Christ by Jerry Bridges. Over its eight chapters, Bridges offers a concise look at the meaning and implications of being “in Christ.”......more
“[W]e have a cultural crisis and a theological one,” writes Darrin Patrick in Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission. “We live in a world full of males who have prolonged their adolescence. They are neither boys nor men. They live, suspended as it were, between childhood and adulthood, between growing up and being grown-ups. . . . This kind of male is everywhere, including the church and even, frighteningly, vocational ministry.” (p. 9).
In short, we have a man crisis. Modern society shuns the traditional role of the man as the head of the home, the breadwinner and the spiritual leader of the family. Advertising and entertainment show the man as the oafish buffoon, Mom’s “other child.” Emasculated, men have abdicated their responsibilities and escaped into the fleeting pleasures of hobbies, video games and pornography.
They are neither men nor boys. They are are “Bans,” a hybrid of both a boy and man. They’re in our communities, our churches, our workplaces, and our families.
Ban needs godly men and women to show him there is more to life than he is currently experiencing. Ban needs to be more than just a male. He needs to be becoming God’s man who is being transformed by God’s gospel message and is wholeheartedly pursuing God’s mission. (p. 18)
That’s why Patrick, the pastor of The Journey Church in St. Louis and vice-president of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, wrote Church Planter. In its pages, Patrick offers sound advice and biblical wisdom as he challenges prospective church planters, longtime pastors and the average churchman alike to be God’s man armed with God’s message and on God’s mission......more
I actually had the privilege of writing one of the endorsements for this book—it sums up my feelings on it well, I trust:
Readers will be equally chall
I actually had the privilege of writing one of the endorsements for this book—it sums up my feelings on it well, I trust:
Readers will be equally challenged and blessed as they read The Two Fears and heed Chris Poblete’s call to embrace a holy fear of God—one that doesn’t cause us to cower in terror, but empowers us to move forward in Christ’s mission, entranced by the beauty and wonder of the cross of Christ.
Joshua Harris first really came on my radar about four years ago (around the same time I discoveMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
Joshua Harris first really came on my radar about four years ago (around the same time I discovered a love for sound doctrine). The first thing I ever heard was his talk, “A Humble Orthodoxy” on the Resurgence podcast, and I was blown away. I’d heard of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, but only because people I knew made fun of it (they thought at the time that not dating was just ridiculous).
What impressed me about him as a communicator and pastor was his obvious passion for the gospel, Scripture, sound doctrine and people. So when I heard about Dug Down Deep, it immediately went on my “to read list.” A couple months ago, I wrote some impressions of the first chapter, and now have had the pleasure of reading the whole thing.
Dug Down Deep is a book about theology. “We’re all theologians,” writes Harris. “The question is whether we will be good theologians or bad theologians, whether what we know about God is true or false” (p. 11). In this book, encourages us all to be good theologians, because “if we get it wrong, then our whole life will be wrong” (p. 10)......more
Some passages in the Bible are really easy to explain to your kids. Others.. not so much. Matthew 25:31-Read my full review at Blogging Theologically:
Some passages in the Bible are really easy to explain to your kids. Others.. not so much. Matthew 25:31-46, with its image of the last judgment and Jesus declaring that those who cared for one of the least of these His brothers, you did it to Him (Matt 25:40), can get really messy if not handled well. So imagine my surprise when I learned that Francis Chan decided to make it the focus of his latest kids’ book, Ronnie Wilson’s Gift.
Ronnie Wilson’s Gift tells the story of a young boy who, in response to learning why Jesus came to earth, decides to give Him his most prized possession—his baseball glove signed by his uncle (a professional baseball player). But as Ronnie tries to figure out a way to deliver his gift to heaven, he finds out that giving Jesus a present really happens by caring for those He loves in their time of need......more
I wasn’t sure what to think of Steven Furtick’s Sun Stand Still when I first received it.
I’d heard a bit about Furtick, the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Most of it had to do with numbers —Elevation has a congregation in the thousands, and its founding pastor has only just turned 30.
But I didn’t really know what he was all about. I didn’t know what he stands for and what he’s passionate about.
The back cover copy of the book didn’t make things any clearer. As I cracked it open, I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be completely ridiculous, or if it would be a lot more helpful than I anticipated.
By the time I finished the book, I had great deal more clarity regarding those questions. Furtick is deeply passionate about seeing Christians live in the fullness of their faith, and this book is his attempt to guide readers through the process of doing so.
Sun Stand Still is a call to what Furtick calls “audacious faith”—to live and pray like the God we worship and serve is actually capable of the impossible (because He is).
Furtick takes his inspiration from Joshua 10:1-15; there Joshua commands the sun to stand still so the Israelites can finish off their enemies, and God causes the sun to stand still. He wants readers to have God-sized visions; plans and prayers that are absolutely terrifyingly impossible to accomplish if God is not at work in them and through them...
World War II is unquestionably one of the most devastating events in human history. Like perhapsMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
World War II is unquestionably one of the most devastating events in human history. Like perhaps no other, it is a testimony to the evil of which man is capable. Hitler’s extraordinary rise to power and his reign led to Germany’s rising out of the shame of their defeat in the First World War, followed quickly by the nation’s devastation as its desperate people bought into the promises of their false messiah. Along the way, tens of millions of men, women and children were brutally murdered.
And, seemingly, no one could stop them.
But not all of Germany’s people were deceived. Some stood against the Nazis. Among them was Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and author whose works, including The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together, are still widely read today.
Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy is the first major biography on this important figure in forty years. Relying on past biographies, interviews and letters from Bonhoeffer written over the course of his life, Metaxas paints a captivating picture of this twentieth century martyr......more
R. C. Sproul once lamented that, “we live in what may be the most anti-intellectual perioMy full review review is available at Blogging Theologically:
R. C. Sproul once lamented that, “we live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization.” Strong words, to be sure. But there’s something to them, isn’t there?
Consider, for a moment, how we determine our agreement with ideas and experiences. More often than not, it’s based on what we feel. If it feels good, we do it; and if it feels good, it must obviously be good for us, right?
This comes into play in how we develop (or don’t as the case may be) our doctrine as well; we chafe at the hard truths of the Christian faith—the exclusivity of Christ, the atonement, the authority of Scripture, and countless others—because they don’t feel good. So we don’t wrestle. We don’t engage. We don’t search the Scriptures.
We don’t think deeply.
And because we don’t think deeply, we rob ourselves of a deeper love for God.
In his latest book, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, John Piper seeks to help readers understand how the heart and mind glorify God together and that “thinking is indispensible on the path to passion for God” (p. 27)......more
“Daddy, can you teach me how to pray?” My daughter’s asked me this question on at least one occaMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
“Daddy, can you teach me how to pray?” My daughter’s asked me this question on at least one occasion, and every time it’s a bit awkward for me. I’m not an expert in prayer by any stretch (in fact, I think I rather stink at it). And while I know that God is not impressed with the eloquence of our prayers and I have reminded her of this, nevertheless, I’d love to be able to help her learn to pray more deeply.
Thankfully, I’m not the only one. That’s why, in The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, Dr. R.C. Sproul (along with illustrator T. Lively Fluharty) shares the story of Master Peter, a barber in medieval Germany who musters up the courage to ask his famous client Martin Luther, “Dr. Luther, do you think you could help me learn to pray better”......more
In recent years Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, has become quiMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
In recent years Tim Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City, has become quite a prolific author. And his latest offering may be his most important book yet.
Counterfeit Gods explores the empty promises by the idols found in the human heart—sex, money, power, pride—and our only hope of experiencing true satisfaction and fulfillment in the gospel.
“[An idol] is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give,” writes Keller (p. xvii). It’s a broad definition, but fitting. As Keller rightly says, “Anything in life can serve as an idol, a God-alternative, a counterfeit god” (p. xvi)... ...more
I had some trepidation about even reading Erasing Hell, let alone reviewing it. Part of that stemMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
I had some trepidation about even reading Erasing Hell, let alone reviewing it. Part of that stems from a desire to not continue to tread the same ground, over and over again. The rest of my uneasiness came from another (greater) concern: Am I spending too much time thinking about hell? Worse, am I turning thinking about it into another academic exercise that doesn’t really have any impact on my life?
If you’re concerned about that tendency in your own life, you’ll be thankful to read Erasing Hell: What God said about eternity, and the things we made up. Here, Francis Chan and co-author Preston Sprinkle offer a foundational understanding of what Scripture actually says about hell while explaining why it actually matters......more
What’s the thing that’s supposed to captivate Christians, above all else? What should motivate us to greRead my full review at Blogging Theologically:
What’s the thing that’s supposed to captivate Christians, above all else? What should motivate us to greater heights of joy, to greater levels of confidence and boldness in our daily lives? The gospel. For the Christian, there’s no better news than the good news of Jesus’ perfect life, death and resurrection. Nothing comes close. So why is it that we seem kind of ambivalent to it—as it it were something that we need to hear once and then can move on to “bigger and better things”?
What’s happened to us that causes us to stop marvelling at the gospel? What’s made us fall asleep—and how do we wake up? Jared Wilson wants to help us do that in his new book, Gospel Wakefulness. In this book, Wilson seeks to help readers regain a sense of wonder as he explains what it means to be awakened anew to the gospel and it’s implications......more
What does it take to interpret Scripture correctly? Education? A seminary degree? Learning GreekMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
What does it take to interpret Scripture correctly? Education? A seminary degree? Learning Greek and Hebrew? These are great and helpful things, but argues Curtis (Voice) Allen, they’re not the secret to becoming a good interpreter of Scripture. The secret is imitating Jesus. “Interpretation of Scripture, followed by right application, is the primary way that we are to be like God,” he writes in his new book, Education or Imitation?: Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me. “This is not an issue of education. It’s an issue of imitation” (p. 21). And through the book’s five short, but powerful chapters, Allen unpacks how “the call of imitation will walk hand in hand with interpretation” (p. 18)......more
I wasn’t sure I was going to read Innocent Blood by John Ensor. It wasn’t because I had any disagMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
I wasn’t sure I was going to read Innocent Blood by John Ensor. It wasn’t because I had any disagreement with the premise of the book… it was that I didn’t really want to think about it. As I suspect the vast majority of us know, there are few subjects touchier than abortion. No one’s having casual conversations at Starbucks about whether or not it’s morally justifiable or compatible with Christian faith, nor does it make for good dinner conversation.
And I wonder if the reason I didn’t want to even have to think about it was more because I don’t like the idea of being seen as “one of them”—the (well meaning) pro-life folks who often stand outside the local hospital with signs and gruesome pictures. And as much as the idea of doing that makes me uncomfortable, you’ve got to hand it to them for doing something instead of the nothing that I’m often guilty of.
But, as Christians, are we allowed to be silently pro-life? If we’re privately opposed to something but not also publicly, what does it say about us—what does Scripture have to say to us on this matter......more
We are always on the look out for great resources to help teach our kids about the Christian faitMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
We are always on the look out for great resources to help teach our kids about the Christian faith and we’ve come across a number of great Bible storybooks, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The most recent addition to our collection is The Gospel Story Bible: Discovering Jesus in the Old and New Testaments, written by Marty Machowski. Over the course of 156 stories, The Gospel Story Bible walks families through the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—in order to help kids get a grasp on the big story of Scripture and God’s plan for salvation through Jesus Christ......more
Whenever Mark Driscoll talks about sex and marriage, ears perk up. Some listen for ammo (and canMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
Whenever Mark Driscoll talks about sex and marriage, ears perk up. Some listen for ammo (and can usually find it). Others listen for something Tweetable. Still others search for something helpful. Is it any wonder, then, that when he first announced his new book would address marriage, many asked which line he would cross this time?
With Driscoll, readers have come to expect controversy. And Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together is sure to be his most controversial book yet—but not for the reasons you might think.
As you can imagine, the Driscolls do speak very frankly about the realities of sex in this book, but they are generally careful about avoiding unnecessarily sensational language. Instead, we find transparent confessions and honest answers to honest questions and concerns about sex, love, and marriage......more
When it comes to worldviews, belief systems and religious practice, we live in an age of seemingMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
When it comes to worldviews, belief systems and religious practice, we live in an age of seemingly unparalleled and unlimited options. North Americans today enjoy meditation, practice yoga, and dabble in a variety of different religious practices as they seek to find something that brings meaning, purpose and fulfillment to their lives.
But according to Peter Jones, the choice is really much more simple: There’s the Truth and the Lie. And in One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference, Jones explains how our worldview affects our understanding of God, what we worship and our sexuality…...more
Working in marketing, I have the privilege of reading a fairly diverse set of books. It’s not all old dead guys and theology at the Armstrong house. (Working in marketing, I have the privilege of reading a fairly diverse set of books. It’s not all old dead guys and theology at the Armstrong house. (Just, y’know, mostly.)
Anyway, marketing and leadership books are strange animals. Some are great and others make you want to stab yourself in the eye with a fork. Almost all, though, usually fall into one of two categories:
How to develop a large and successful business; and Why all marketers are liars Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki is neither of these; instead, it’s a book about one thing:
“How can I influence others without moral compromise?” is the question at the heart of Enchantment. And it’s an important one. There are a number of easy cheats to convince people to follow your leadership (carrots and sticks) or to buy your product or join your cause (incentives), but eventually those things always fail.
Why? Because they’re disingenuous. They don’t tap into people’s passions. They don’t move the heart.
And without that happening, whatever impact you have is fleeting at best.
The “pillars of enchantment” Kawasaki puts forward ones you’d be hard pressed to disagree with:
Be likeable Be trustworthy Have a great cause In other words, be someone you’d actually want to spend time with and offer something that matters. These seem like concepts that should be met with a resounding, “well, I should hope so.” I mean, this seems to be common sense, doesn’t it? That’s thing about common sense, though. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, it’s not that common sense has been tried and found lacking, it’s that it’s been found difficult and left untried.
Unless you’re likeable, it’s extremely difficult to be found trustworthy. And unless you’re trustworthy, no one will rally around your cause, no matter how good it is.
Whether you’re in the for-profit or non-profit world, whether you’re in some form of vocational ministry or working for a huge conglomerate, who you are impacts everything you’re involved with. Our character can be the scent of life or the stench of death, and we would all do well to remember that.
The rest of the book tackles the implications of being enchanting, from launching your cause, overcoming resistance, using technology, how it plays out with employees and employers, how to make enchantment endure—and even how to resist it.
A key principle that resonated with me is that of endurance. Even if you have the greatest cause, it’s essential to remember that “enchantment is a process, not an event.” You’re working to build a relationship, not just get a sale or get someone to do something for you. And relationships take effort. This is something that is not easy for many in marketing and even in leadership positions to remember. The truth is, though, for many of us, it’s easier to try to squeeze whatever we can out of our market today, and not think about the long-term consequences (like having no market in the future).
This is where social media comes in handy, especially Facebook and Twitter (two resources that Kawasaki highly recommends). These two tools allow organizations and individuals to connect in ways that previously weren’t possible. And used well, they can allow you to truly enchant your customer or supporter base by engaging on their terms. Dell, among other organizations, fields support questions via Twitter (I know because an associate contacted me once after I complained about my previous laptop). This gives people a great experience with the company, even if they don’t like the product.
One of the challenges with social media, though, is finding the right mix of promotion vs. conversation. Kawasaki suggests that if around 5% of your content is promotional, you should be in good shape, but he’s also quick to point out that if people aren’t complaining, you’re probably not promoting enough (p. 115).
(Does this mean my Twitter followers will be seeing a shift in my updates? Probably, and hopefully for the better.)
Principles aside, the thing that caught my attention about this book is that it brought to mind people I know who are naturally good at this. They just seem to “get” that this is the kind of person you need to be in order to be successful. Take some time and look around your office, your school or whatever context you spend most of your day in, and I suspect you’ll see at least one or two people who are naturally “enchanting” as well.
So here’s the big question: Will this book help you to be “enchanting” in your sphere of influence?
Possibly. This isn’t a book that guarantees that if you follow these 8 easy steps, you’ll have more friends, better posture and piles of candy. What it does remind readers, though, is that the only way to really make a lasting impact on people is to act with integrity. That’s a big deal and advice we would all do well to heed.
If you have a chance, do pick up a copy of Enchantment. It’s definitely a worthwhile investment and just might challenge you in a few places where you won’t expect it.
It’s Saturday night and you’ve just enjoyed a great night out. You get ready for bed, your head hits the pillow and you realize:
“Oh man, I’m on set up tomorrow. Ugh…”
I know that there have been times that I’ve felt that way. When I’ve volunteered to serve and can remember when I used to enjoy it… but now, I wish I could call in sick. Nate Palmer understands this—he’s been there. And in Servanthood as Worship, he seeks to help readers develop a theology of service that will bring joy to others (and ourselves) and glory to God......more
When we think of missions, what do we picture? People groups in faraway lands? Perhaps major urban centers and cultural hubs like Los Angeles or New York City? If you really want to get ambitious, maybe the province of Quebec? But how many of us really think of church-folk—especially those in the Bible Belt–as a mission field?
As the pastor of The Village Church, Pastor Matt Chandler has seen firsthand that there is as great a need for the gospel in Texas as in Kathmandu. But where in many contexts the gospel has simply never gained a foothold, in churched cultures, the problem is that the gospel is assumed and supplanted by something else altogether—moralistic, therapeutic deism.
Big cars, big money, big houses… these are many of the elements of what’s considered “successMy complete review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
Big cars, big money, big houses… these are many of the elements of what’s considered “success,” both outside the Church and (depending on who you talk to) within. We chase after the next promotion and we switch jobs as soon as the old one stops satisfying. We seek happiness in the next toy when the old one isn’t nearly as sparkly and bankroll it on a piece of plastic. We’ve buried ourselves under debt in the pursuit of happiness and have nothing to show for it.
But this is not what life is to be for the Christian. We’re not to be pursuing a life of self-exaltation—we are to put our pursuit of these things to death. We are to bury ourselves in Christ. This is the point of Hayley and Michael DiMarco’s new book, Die Young. In this book, the DiMarcos take the pursuit of self head on as they examine the paradoxical world of the Kingdom of God, where death brings life, less means more, weak is strong and slavery to brings freedom......more
Powerful stories of the transformation that happens in the lives of people affected by World VisMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
Powerful stories of the transformation that happens in the lives of people affected by World Vision’s ministry are scattered throughout the book. And Stearns shares his testimony and how God called him to lead World Vision in a winsome and humble manner. He doesn’t set himself up as anything but a normal guy, which is something I greatly appreciated.
But for as much as Stearns gets right in The Hole in Our Gospel, there’s more than a few places where he misses the mark......more
“Christianity hinges not only on the empty cross but also on an empty tomb,” writes Adrian WarnocMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
“Christianity hinges not only on the empty cross but also on an empty tomb,” writes Adrian Warnock in Raised with Christ: How the Resurrection Changes Everything (p. 29). Warnock, a medical doctor, preacher and long-time staple of the Christian blogosphere, seeks to remind readers that the gospel isn’t just that Christ died, but He also rose again—and His resurrection changes everything......more
What does it mean for a church to be “for the city”? As humanity increasingly becomes more urbanMy full review is available at Blogging Theologically:
What does it mean for a church to be “for the city”? As humanity increasingly becomes more urbanized, this question grows in importance. Pastors Darrin Patrick and Matt Carter have spent the last several years of their ministries trying to figure out what that means and what it looks like for the church to serve the city to the glory of God. And in their new book, For the City: Proclaiming and Living Out the Gospel, Patrick and Carter share what they’ve learned along the way, both from their successes and their failures......more
There appears to be a marriage book renaissance going on within the Reformed-ish circles of evangMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
There appears to be a marriage book renaissance going on within the Reformed-ish circles of evangelicalism and this is a very good thing indeed. One only has to look at the divorce rates both inside and outside the church to see that marriage is in crisis. But why? Why are we so unhappy in our marriages? In Friends and Lovers: Cultivating Companionship and Intimacy in Marriage, Joel Beeke argues it’s a gospel issue—and the true hope for a God-glorifying marriage is found in Jesus......more
A year ago, David Platt’s Radical came onto the scene and took pretty much everyone by surprise bMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
A year ago, David Platt’s Radical came onto the scene and took pretty much everyone by surprise by becoming a New York Times bestseller with its urgent message for Christians to take back their lives and faith from the American Dream. Now, in Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God, Platt expands on the message of his first book as he calls Christians to unite around the mission of the church: Making disciples.
After reading Radical, I was left feeling inspired and challenged (see my review here). But the longer I sat with it, the more questions I had. I kept thinking about how Platt’s message would play out within the Church, not just in the life of the individual believer. In many ways, Radical Together answers those questions as he focuses on six ideas...
What is the mission of the Church? Depending on who you ask, you’re likely to hear answers that aMy full review can be read at Blogging Theologically:
What is the mission of the Church? Depending on who you ask, you’re likely to hear answers that address various aspects of social and personal transformation. Some will say that we as Christians are to care for the poor, to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to be salt and light in the world.
And all of these are true. But what is the mission of the Church specifically?
Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus provided the answer to this question when he said to His followers, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).
The mission of the Church is to make disciples. But is it possible that we’ve gotten a bit off-track? Are we actually making disciples—or are we doing something else? In his new book, The Gospel Commission: Recovering God’s Strategy for Making Disciples, Michael Horton offers a careful biblical and pastoral examination of the Great Commission, offering many helpful insights into how the Church can move forward in its role......more