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Fundamentalism and the Word of God

November 16, 2013

Fundamentalism and the Word of God , written by J.I. Packer over half a century ago, is keen knife that cuts into the ever-raging debates between conservative and liberal Christians on the nature of Scripture. This book, although written many decades ago, speaks ever clearly and directly into the same dialogues that go on today, and is thus just as valuable for the modern reader as it was back then. Read more…

Stepping Out in Faith – Former Catholics Tell Their Stories

October 31, 2013

SteppingOutInFaithIn the last 6 months or so, with the election of Pope Francis, Catholicism has been on the radar perhaps a little more than usual. In these past months Francis has been the catalyst for a lot of good conversations about Christianity, Catholicism, and the like – I know it’s helped me to think more about it. I’ve just read a book which gives insight into the experiences of former Catholics and their exposure to the gospel, and it was an eye-opening read. Read more…

Keep the Faith

October 8, 2013

ktf_265From Ben Smart. I’m envious that he writes reviews, when I don’t any more:

Whether or not we’ll admit, every Christian wrestles with doubt. We often come across questions that we don’t have immediate answers for, and this can cause us to wonder – wait, what if I was wrong about all this? Doubt is one of those things that people often like to keep on the down low, because we feel like strong Christians shouldn’t have doubts, and if we have doubts, then we’re not being faithful Christians.

This is, of course, completely wrong. Doubts are okay. All Christians have them. And since doubt is a topic that’s so often not talked about, we often have no idea how to deal with it. Thankfully, Martin Ayers has written a great book to help Christians think through the issue of doubt: Keep the Faith – Shift your Thinking on Doubt. This short, accessible book helps Christians think through how we approach doubt. It points us to what the Bible has to say about doubt, and has some practical insights on how we should respond to our doubts. Read more…

Here I Stand

July 28, 2013

Here I StandGuest reviewer Ben Smart on Roland Bainton’s short biography of Martin Luther:

Martin Luther is a man that evangelical Christians simply should not ignore. His impact on the course of Christianity was profound, and his life is one that never fails to inspire, challenge, and encourage the Christian reader. I would highly recommend Here I Stand, because this intriguing, deep, yet accessible account of Luther’s life gives as good an introduction as can be found to the astounding life of the German reformer. Read more…

One Forever

April 9, 2013

One ForeverRory Shiner (my friend and collegue) has tackled the language and imagery of being ‘in Christ’ that is pervasive in the New Testament, especially in Paul.  Ideas of being ‘in Christ’, or united to him somehow may seem mystical and unintuitive to modern believers, but Rory seeks to expound their power and practicality in this pithy and lively book in the Guidebooks for Life series by Matthias Media. Read more…

Jesus: A Very Short Introduction

March 20, 2013

Jesus VSIOxford have been publishing their popular and distinctive Very Short Introductions series since beginning with Classics in 1995. Over 300 titles have followed. Theology was 9. The Bible was 14. Augustine was 38. Christianity was 119. Various other titles relating to Christianity are interspersed with others like International Migration, Film Music, Autism, The Renaissance, Keynes, Chaos, Muhammad and Science Fiction. In 2011, coming in at number 275, we got Jesus: A Very Short Introduction. Read more…

The Deliberate Church

October 31, 2012

I’ve got an quick half hour before I have to stop work, so here is a rough and ready review of a book I’ve just finished reading; The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander.  Essentially this is a manifesto for local church ministry, a how-to guide for pastors of churches.  Paul Alexander has set out, clearly and readably, the approach and convictions of Mark Dever. Mark is the senior pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C. which is part of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is an energetic, passionate, thoughtful and opinionated pastor and I had listened to many of his interviews with prominent evangelicals through the 9marks podcast before reading his book, so I had an idea of the things close to his heart. But reading the book puts them into proper shape and proportion and fills out the whole picture.  The result is a vigorous and serious appeal for a ministry based on preaching, praying, personal discipleship and patience, that seeks to cultivate a committed and accountable church community with a shared leadership by men of Christian character. Read more…