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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Wonderful Sabbath

Dan Allender in his recent book entitled Sabbath has written a thought provoking and unique book on the day of rest we commonly call Sabbath. In the opening chapter, Allender notes the obstacles to enjoying the Sabbath as being primarily pride and fear. "We are driven because our work brings us power and pride that dulls our deeper desire for delight" (26). Part of his point is that our lives are in such an orderly motion that we that we don't know what to do with delight and joy when it slaps us in the face. Allender nexts goes on to explain that God rested on the seventh day from his creation work, not because of some weariness but to delight in his work (28-29). Just as an artist steps back to see the beauty of his art, so God looked upon his creation with delight.




Allender wants his readers to learn how to delight in the Sabbath, to delight in God, and in his creation. In doing this, he proposes four areas that are beneficial to understanding the Sabbath: sensual gl…

The Lion of Princeton

The Theology of B.B. Warfield by Fred Zaspel is a monumental achievement in both its scope (a systematic summary of Warfield's thought)and its particular attention to Warfield's vast output in writing to the theological issues of his day. As Professor or Didactic and Polemical Theology at Princeton, Warfield was a stalwart of the Reformed faith.


The first section of the book builds the foundation of the history of Warfield's life and the history surrounding Princeton Seminary. Warfield's family was no stranger to the seminary, both Bejamin's grandfather and his grandfather's brother had attended the seminary (31-32). The goal of the seminary as Samuel Miller put it was a 'union of piety and learning (37). Throughout Warfield's life, his goal was the same, to lead a life of Christ-likeness while having a high regard to serious study which involved teaching and writing. Part of the center which holds the book together is Warfield's insistence that th…

Promise of Despair

Andrew Root, Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary has written a provocative and challenging work about the way of the cross as the way of the church. He begins the work by locating the death of meaning, authority, belonging and identity. Root describes in the the first chapter that meaning has become vacuous due to our placing primary importance upon the sign rather than the thing signified. Drawing on the work of Baudrillard, Roots emphasizes that we live in a hyperreal world and the sign of things outgrows the thing signfied to such an extent that we don't even recognize the signified reality when it happens (15-16). We have given into the media of "Real World" to such an extent that the medium of a product means more than the message.


The second chapter delves into the concept of authority in our world. No longer do people blindly follow authority structures but question every voice of authority. Root calls both fundamental and liberal types to a…

A Theology of James

Christopher Morgan, professor of Theology at California Baptist University has written a cogent, succinct, and faithful book on the message and theology of James. This work is unique in that it does not seek to become overly enamoured in exegetical detail that it misses the overarching thematic structure of James, nor does it just survey the broad themes of James without reference to specific texts. The series, Explorations in Biblical Theology, is designed for the purpose of taking the careful insights of exegesis and wedding it to the theological message of a particular book or idea. Morgan states this up front by way of analogy, "If we wanted to survey a large tract of land, we might do so from various points of view. We might walk through it, drive through it, or fly over it in a helicoptor...walking through it would be be like biblical exegesis...Flying over it is like systematic theology, as it orients us to the major contours of the land. Driving through it is comparable t…

"Right Reason" and the Princeton Mind

Paul Kjoss Helseth, professor of Christian Thought at Northwestern College in St. Paul has just written an insightful, combative, and well researched work about the Old Princetonian theologians and the modern assumption about their theology. The modern thesis concerning these men (Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, B.B. Wafield, J. Gresham Machen) is that their theology is basically warmed over rationalism taken from the Scottish Common Sense philosophy movement of the 19th century. Helseth argues in ch. 1 that this interpretation denies the moral nature of the Princetonian thought and also fails to see their religious epistemology with respect to the soul's affective and rational components (5).


Helseth goes on to provide the moral context in which the Princeton theologians wrote about concerning the relationship between spiritual knowledge and speculative knowledge and also the the use of "right reason." "Right reason" for Archibald Alexander "is the w…

Julian Biography

Amy Frykholm's new contemplative biography of Julian of Norwich strikes the heart of both a compelling narrative of a Julian's life (visions included) and the culture in which she grew up. Frykholm begins the narrative by telling the readers that "The parish church was the center of life, and most parishioners believed in both God and the devil" (8). Julian and her mother were not only regular attenders of the parish church but they ordered their lives through the feasts and observances, prayers and penitence. Yet, as Frykholm clearly lays forth, Julian desired something beyond the routine prayers and masses, she sought three desires. These desires, a "minde" of Christ's passion, a bodily sickness to draw close to death's door and a three "wounds" (contrition, compassion, and longing for God")(8-9). Frykholm goes onto bring out the rich details of life in Norwich, both the everyday dealings (including smells) and the orders of friars.…

Faith and Baseball

As a lifelong Cardinals fan, I was very excited to see this new book on Albert Pujols written by Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth. It is not too much to say that when Albert's baseball career winds up, he will be regarded by many as the greatest player of all-time. Yet, the greatness of talent and dedication to baseball is not really what the book is about. In Albert's own words he says, "Becoming a great baseball player is important to me, but it is not my primary focus. Because I know the Hall of Fame is not my ultimate destination. My life's goal is to bring glory to Jesus" (10). The book draws together the game of baseball and his excellence in playing alongside the unwavering faith he has in Jesus Christ. For many readers, learning about his faith will open up their eyes to a different side of him, one that is often overlooked. The book however is not just about Albert, but also about his Dee Dee and her amazing witness to Albert of her faith, her struggle in ra…

Hurt Runs Deep

This book was given to review by Waterbrook/Multnomah Press, Blogging for Books.




Noted Bible teacher and Precepts Ministries founder Kay Arthur has written a thought provoking and biblically based work entitled When the Hurt Runs Deep. This book takes a look what it means to suffer, the questions we have we enduring trials, and how the Bible offers answers to our deepest concerns. One of the great aspects of this book was the Healing Truth sections throughout the chapters. This little nuggets of truth distill some key foundational stones which every Christian can hold onto in times of distress. On p.94 the Healing Truth section says, "Wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you have done, there is hope because there is God. He is a God of hope, redemption is his business." These truths are expounded in the text throughout each chapter.



Secondly, I thought that Kay opened herself up to allow the reader understand that she has been down the road of disappointment before.…