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Recommended Reading or Meditations of a Bibliophile...Read More

Books released in conjunction with the 300th Anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Edwards...Read More

by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (New York: The Dial Press, 2004). I don't typically read novels. Fiction has never been one of my favorite genres. But in recent months I made a two-fold exception to this rule. Yes, I did read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. Yes, I did find it fascinating. No, I don't recommend that you read it. Wait for the movie version, which I hear is being directed by Ron Howard. My second adventure into fiction proved far more rewarding. This s...Read More

On The Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 336pp. By Timothy P. Weber...Read More

Sequels usually don't fare well with the American public. There are exceptions, of course. One thinks of The Godfather II and the seemingly endless installments in the Harry Potter series of books. But John Piper has produced a "sequel" of sorts that is sure to become a classic of the Christian life. I have often said that Piper's Desiring God (Multnomah) is the most influential and life-changing book I've ever read outside of Scripture itself. I still stand by that jud...Read More

I finally did it. After nearly four years, countless reviews, and over one million copies in print, I picked up and read John Eldredge’s best-selling book, Wild at Heart. I don’t know why it took me so long to do so. After all, I had read with great delight and profit the book he co-authored with the late Brent Curtis, The Sacred Romance. There is much to commend in this volume, not least of which is Eldredge’s engaging and vivid style of writing. One ...Read More

Faith, Health and Prosperity: A Report on "Word of Faith" and "Positive Confession" Theologies by ACUTE (the Evangelical Alliance Commission on Unity and Truth among Evangelicals) (Carlisle: Paternoster Press, 2003), 316 pp. Edited by Andrew Perriman...Read More

I never planned on writing a review of this book until I read an article on the web (1-2-05) indicating that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has once again emerged as a serious candidate to become the next Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. This isn’t a book that will appeal to the mainstream evangelical world. In fact, few evangelicals keep an eye on developments in the Catholic Church and even fewer read books written by or about Roman Catholics. But when I was prepar...Read More

(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002), 302pp. Edited by J. Matthew Pinson Here we find yet another installment in the Counterpoints Series from Zondervan. There are now fifteen volumes, ranging in subject matter from miraculous gifts (to which I contributed) to women in ministry, from hell to the millennium, etc. Generally speaking, these have proven to be extremely helpful, as they provide the reader with brief, but competent, summaries of the many options on a particular ...Read More

(Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004), 338 pp.  Edited by Chad Owen Brand Books articulating multiple perspectives on a particular subject have become fashionable in the evangelical world. Zondervan’s Counterpoint series is now up to seventeen volumes. Inter-Varsity Press has also joined in with a treatment of four views on divine foreknowledge. Now Broadman & Holman takes its turn with this treatment of Spirit baptism. The editor of this ...Read More

(Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster Press, 2004), 291pp. Ian Stackhouse This is an exceptionally good book. It is also exceptionally painful to read. Not because Stackhouse writes poorly. Far from it. He is a superb writer and makes his points with the utmost clarity. That’s the problem. His points are sharply pointed and will inevitably sting a lot of people who take the time to dig into his treatise. I had never heard of Ian Stackhouse until my recent visit to Englan...Read More

(Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster Press, 2004), 291pp. Ian Stackhouse This is a continuation of the first half of my review. Stackhouse summarizes his thesis in this way: “A return to classical ministry and the wider tradition is part of the overall progress of renewal spirituality: for renewal is best realised when we attend to those things – preaching, sacraments, prayer and pastoral care – that reconnect the church to the original gospel of what God h...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp.  I can’t count the number of times over the past six months that people have asked me: “When are you going to write about the Emerging Church?” That question is almost always followed by: “Have you read Brian McLaren’s books?” The answer to the second question is Yes. If I’m n...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp. Chapter three of Carson’s book consists of a rather long evaluation of how the Emerging Church analyzes contemporary culture. This is important for the simple fact that “the emerging church leaders themselves ground their call to reformation in the cultural changes taking place all around us” (57). If the...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp. Postmodernism [I decided that it might be helpful to insert this brief introductory survey of postmodernism for the sake of those who are still uncertain about precisely what it is. Those of you who are familiar with the issues may want to skip this lesson and proceed to Part Four of my summary review of Carson’s ...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp.   Carson describes the fourth chapter of his book as “a simplification and updating of a couple chapters” from his book, The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism (Zondervan, 1996). Some who read it, however, will wonder how anything so complex can be a “simplification” of anything...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp.   It is with chapter five, entitled “Emerging Church Critique of Postmodernism,” that Carson begins a more direct evaluation of the movement. I must say, however, that this chapter is less well organized than the rest of the book. At times the content of a section does not always correspond to the subtit...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp.   Here is Carson at his best, or his worst, if you are a fan of McLaren and Emergent. In chapter six he directs his attention to two representative books: (1) A Generous Orthodoxy, by McLaren, and (2) The Lost Message of Jesus, by Steve Chalke and Alan Mann. I read A Generous Orthodoxy when it first came out in late...Read More

A Review of Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church: Understanding a Movement and Its Implications (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005), 250 pp.   My extensive summation of Carson’s book will conclude with this seventh installment. We’ll look at his brief response to Steve Chalke’s book, The Lost Message of Jesus (Zondervan), together with a few comments on the significance of the many biblical texts Carson cites concerning the importance o...Read More

(Nashville: Nelson Current, 2005), 307pp. by Jack Cashill I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. At the same time, it was incredibly infuriating. Not because it was poorly written. Far from it. This is a superbly written volume. The anger is explained by the topic. In Hoodwinked, Cashill takes us for a walk through the weeds of intellectual fraud, the numerous instances in the last one-hundred years in which we in America have been vi...Read More

(Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005), 272pp. by Mark A. Noll and Carolyn Nystrom One of the highlights of having taught in the department of Bible, Theology, Archaeology and World Religions at Wheaton College was the annual Theology Conference, typically held in April. The conference was established by the late Timothy Phillips and Dennis Ockholm (now of Azusa Pacific College) and was co-sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I mention this because I will ne...Read More

(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 814 pp. by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday The twentieth century was undoubtedly the bloodiest and most lethal known to man. One need only think of the two world wars, the Holocaust, the atrocities of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, just to mention a few. I’ve heard numerous debates as to who was the most barbaric of those latter three. Hitler’s evil exploits hardly need to be rehearsed. Stalin was responsible for more than 30 ...Read More

by John Piper (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005), 190pp. John Piper’s most recent book was provoked by the realization of how quickly and pervasively this current generation has abandoned God as the “all-satisfying gift of God’s love” (11). Piper is disturbed, and rightly so, that so few Christians proclaim God himself as the greatest gift of the gospel. If you were to poll professing Christians today and ask them, “What is the greatest gif...Read More

By Lyle Dorsett (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2004), 182pp.  Few people noticed when C. S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963. Their attention was focused on the death of another, more famous figure: U. S. President, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on the same day Lewis died of kidney failure just short of his sixty-fourth birthday. Today it’s a different story. C. S. Lewis is everywhere. Just this past week, the cover stories of Christ...Read More

(Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005), 144pp. by George Barna Most Christians are familiar with George Barna and his relentless efforts to discern trends within the body of Christ and society at large. According to the dust jacket of this volume he has written more than 35 books and “has been hailed as ‘the most quoted person in the Christian Church today.’” I suspect that he will continue to be quoted extensively, but it grieves me to thin...Read More

(Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 2005), 144pp. by George Barna We’ve come to Chapter Five in Barna’s account of the Revolution he so loudly applauds. Here he identifies seven trends “that will facilitate the moral and spiritual revolution that millions of us have been praying for over the past several decades” (42). Let me be clear about one thing. If by “moral and spiritual revolution” Barna means a transformation of the way tru...Read More

I've been amazed at the response to my two-part review of George Barna's book, Revolution. It isn't the quantity of response that has surprised me (although it's been huge), but the nature of the objections that have been raised. So I thought it might be helpful to write a brief follow-up to clarify what I did and did not say about Barna's proposal. First, many mistakenly thought that in my protest to Barna's book I was advocating the necessity of a "building" or some s...Read More

(Zondervan, 2005), 267 pp. By Rick M. Nanez Can one recommend a book too highly, too enthusiastically? I suppose so, especially if the book in question is merely another in a long line of volumes that addresses a well-worn theme and does so in mediocre fashion. Rick Nanez's Full Gospel, Fractured Minds? fails to qualify on either count. This is truly a one-of-a-kind book that is superbly written and argued. No one, at least as far as I know, has written a comparable v...Read More

The past few months have witnessed a flood of new book releases, many of which are deserving of our attention. I hope to provide a more extensive review of several of these listed, but for now a brief notice will have to suffice. The following list is a mix of everything from scholarly treatise to popular biography. They aren’t listed in any particular order of preference, although I do begin with several works on eschatology, given that this is my current focus o...Read More

Christianity Today magazine just released its 50-Year Anniversary Issue. CT was founded in 1956 and has served the evangelical world as something of a spiritual counterpart to Time and Newsweek. In this issue they listed the fifty books published within the last fifty years that have exerted the greatest influence on evangelicals and evangelicalism.   Justin Taylor asked me and others to compile our own list (which he will release on his blog today), but he asked...Read More

The Israel of God: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Phillipsburg: P & R Publishing, 2000), 204 pp. Author O. Palmer Robertson I first read this book in 2000 when it was originally published and decided to give it another look. I'm glad I did. Robertson's treatment of the current identity and future of Israel in God's redemptive purposes will stir significant debate. That's assuming, of course, that people in the mainstream of evangelicalism take the time to read it....Read More

(Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 263 pp. by D. Brent Sandy Brent Sandy is professor and chair of the department of religious studies at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. He has undertaken a monumental task in this book, perhaps an impossible one according to some. He proposes to analyze the nature of prophetic language in Scripture. It is his purpose to help the reader grasp how the biblical authors used words and images and ideas to communicate God’s design for...Read More

Pierced for our Transgressions: Rediscovering the glory of penal substitution   By   Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach (Nottingham, England: IVP, 2007, 373pp.)   Part One   On my recent ministry trip to Scotland I was determined to obtain a copy of this remarkable book. It wasn’t easy, as it was sold out in the first two stores I visited. Finally, while in Edinburgh, I located a copy at the Wesley Owen bookshop. I immediately im...Read More

Pierced for our Transgressions: Rediscovering the glory of penal substitution   By   Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, Andrew Sach (Nottingham, England: IVP, 2007, 373pp.)   Part Two In Part Two of their book, the authors of Pierced go to remarkable lengths to respond to every major objection to PSA that they have encountered. Chapter Seven is devoted to “Penal Substitution and the Bible,” in which they respond to such objections as: PSA i...Read More

(London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2006; 152 pp.)   by   Mark Cartledge   This volume is the twenty-second installment in an extended series that explores the variety of ways in which people pursue and express their hunger for spirituality. Additional volumes are devoted to such themes as the Carmelite Tradition, Ignatian Spirituality, the Anabaptist Tradition, the Medieval English Mystics, the Celtic Tradition, the Orthodox Tradition, the Anglican S...Read More

(Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2007, 202pp.)   by   Mark D. Roberts   When I attended Dallas Theological Seminary in the 1970’s, the required text in defense of the reliability of the New Testament was F. F. Bruce’s widely acclaimed The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Eerdmans, 1960). In 1987, Craig Blomberg published his The Historical Reliability of the Gospels (InterVarsity Press), a more detailed treatment of the same issues. ...Read More

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck   (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008; 256 pp.)   Part One   I start to get really nervous when I hear others speak in unqualified, glowing and glorious terms about a book or speaker. Nothing can be that good, I say to myself. I’m really resistant to trendy endorsements of the next greatest thing. So I was obviously on guard when I began hearing and reading endorsements of the book, Why We’re Not Emergent (by two ...Read More

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008; 256 pp.) Part Two A consistent refrain heard among the emergent is that the Christian life is primarily about the journey and our experience along the way, and less about the destination. The result, at least for them, is that “the Christian life requires less doctrinal reflection and more personal introspection,” which “feeds on and into a preoccupation with our own stories” (34). D...Read More

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008; 256 pp.) Part Three I want to go on record that I love doctrine! When I explore the theological complexities of the Incarnation of the Son of God, my heart is strangely warmed. When I think deeply about his death and how it propitiates the Father and redeems and saves and breaks the power of the enemy, I get goose bumps up and down my spine. When I reflect on the relationship between the human and divine in...Read More

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008; 256 pp.) Part Four In Chapter Seven, DeYoung sets his aim on the emergent perspective on modernism and postmodernism. I suspect that many of you will find that a bit tedious, and I can understand why. You’ll be relieved to know that since I addressed many of these same issues in Parts 2 and 3 of my seven-part review of D. A. Carson’s book, I’m going to forego any additional comments here (...Read More

Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008; 256 pp.) Part Five In Chapter Nine, DeYoung and Kluck turn their attention to a number of emphases within emergent Christianity that they believe are deviations from biblical orthodoxy (a focus, by the way, that virtually all emergents would contend is the very reason why we need emergent Christians; there are far too many “fundamentalists” like DeYoung, Kluck, and Storms who insist on analyzing...Read More

I’m following the lead of several others who are posting their Top 10 books of 2009. I’ll start with number 10 and work down the list. Happy reading! (10) Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional, by Jim Belcher (IVP). I didn’t always agree with Belcher’s proposed “third” or “middle” way, but he is extremely helpful in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both emerging and traditional churches. (9) ...Read More