The events of recent days, along with topics I’ve been studying on my own, have brought to mind the title of Richard M. Weaver’s classic book: Ideas Have Consequences.
Weaver recognized a decay in Western civilization; the culture had lost its center and desperately needed repair. As a result, In Ideas Have Consequences (1948), Weaver both diagnosed the problem and suggested a solution. He explains:
First, I present an account of that decline based not on analogy but on deduction…. Second, I go so far as to propound, if not a whole solution, at least the beginning of one, in the belief that man should not follow a scientific analysis with a plea of moral impotence. (1)
I agree with Weaver’s diagnosis. But his solution? Read the rest of this (admittedly heady) Ideas Have Consequences book review to get my perspective. Continue reading
Today marks 70 years since Deitrich Bonhoeffer was killed in a Nazi concentration camp. In his honor, I’d like to reflect on his classic work on Christian community — and one of the most life-changing books I’ve ever read — Life Together.
Oddly enough, Life Together is more relevant today than when Bonhoeffer wrote it. Continue reading
Have you ever been channel surfing and landed on a cable documentary about the Bible? You can find loads of them out there — such as “Banned from the Bible,” “Biblical Mysteries Explained,” or “Who Was Jesus?”
The majority of these documentaries present a one-sided picture, painted almost exclusively by liberal theologians. And if you take them at face value, they can really shake your faith. I mean, were stories really “banned” from the Bible? Are there natural explanations to all of Jesus’ miracles? Did Jesus simply decide one day to adopt the title Son of God?
There is another side. And Craig A. Evans’ Fabricating Jesus explains it. Continue reading
I have preached a handful of times. And though I have far from mastered the craft, I do know this: it is a weighty task. I fear preaching something other than what is taught in God’s Word.
Others are less concerned. In the concise, practical preaching primer Engaging Exposition, Daniel Akin, Bill Curtis and Stephen Rummage identify this “crisis in twenty-first-century preaching”: many ministers neglect the preaching God’s Word in favor of lesser substitutes.
In response, the authors prescribe one powerful solution: expository preaching, which they define as “Christ centered, text driven, Spirit led preaching that transforms lives.”
To equip you to preach expositionally, the authors dive into the three steps of the expository preaching process: Continue reading
Yesterday I wrote that seminary introduced me to the marvelous world of biblical counseling. And when you talk about biblical counseling, you have to talk about Paul David Tripp.
Tripp’s Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands was one of the first books I read about the subject. In this exhaustive primer, Tripp calls his readers to a “daily ministry lifestyle” rooted in Scripture, argues that God has called the church to be ambassadors, and suggests that this work “involves every member of the body of Christ.”
Tripp achieves these goals by presenting the why of biblical counseling (the scriptural and theoretical basis) and the how (via his four-step counseling model, “Love, Know, Speak, Do”). As I read the book, four key emphases stood out. Continue reading
One of the joys of seminary has been encountering theological fields that I never knew existed. Case in point: Christian counseling. One of the best introductory books on the topic is Paul David Tripp and Timothy S. Lane’s How People Change.
In it, the authors seek to help readers “grasp the implications of the good news of Jesus Christ for [their] identity and the daily trials and temptations [they] face.” The book effectively achieves this goal. Continue reading
Years before David Platt became the President of the International Mission Board, he was an ordinary pastor. Then he wrote Radical (2010) — the short yet piercing book that took the evangelical world by storm.
In it, Platt reacts to an American church that has embraced unbiblical values, fallen prey to materialism, and valued comfort above all else. He calls Christians to believe and obey all of Jesus’ teachings — even the parts that are most difficult to stomach. He takes the reader on a journey to rediscover the truth and urgency of God’s gospel, learn how to fulfill God’s global purpose in his divine power, overcome significant blind spots, and live a life of radical abandonment to Jesus.
Radical by David Platt is a small and concise book, but each page pops with challenging issues. In light of his recent appointment to serve as President of the International Mission Board, I revisited this book to discover the top four issues that stood out to me: Continue reading