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Showing posts from July, 2011

Ploughing the Religious Landscape

The Jesus Connection by Roy Abraham Varghese

Varghese's book is a work of both apologetics and study of the philosophy and thought of other religions. Varghese looks at how the major religions, including Persian and Eastern thought pave the way for the coming of Jesus in their theology, in their basic assumptions about the world, and in their practices. Overall, this is a splendid resource for seeing the different religions providing fertile soil for the coming of the Lord. Yet, it was also a work of immense learning as Varghese takes us through the various lines of thought that are indicative of the ancient religions before Christ. How does he do this?

One, Varghese traces the fundamental practices and thought of the ancient religions by focusing on areas such as sacrifice, creation, atonement, and sin. These fundamental beliefs are given various meanings by the different religions but cast in a similar discussion to both the Jewish understanding of these themes and the New Tes…

The Witness of Jesus

The Deity of Christ Edited by Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson

This new volume in the Theology in Community series put out by Crossway in an excellent example of scholars, pastors, and teachers teaming up to write The Deity of Christ as it relates to the Scriptures, missions, theology, and church history. To begin, I thought the concise nature of the chapters lent itself to straightforward reading. Generally in a volume dedicated to a professor or dedicated to one specific idea, the essays tend to be solely academic in nature and are difficult to wade through. However, this volume was not difficult to dive into because of the short chapters and the various ways the authors handled their topics.

One of my absolute favorite sections in the book was the chapter by Raymond Ortlund Jr entitled "The Deity of Christ and the Old Testament." Ortlund, a PCA pastor, takes a look at the Old Testament witness in relationship to the deity of Christ and uses three categories as mar…

A Good Introduction to Theology

Date posted on blog July 16th, 2011

This new book called A "Down and Dirty" Guide to Theology by Donald McKim was a good overview of why Christians think and act seriously about theology. McKim, known for his work on John Calvin has written an insightful book for all those interested in theology. With short chapters and to the point descriptions, this book is chalk full of resources for the interested person wishing to find a concise answer to theological issues. Some of the issues McKim deals with are questions regarding who is a theologian, different denominations, and theological systems.

In his section on Who is a Theologian? McKim writes, "If theology is the study of God, then anyone who says something about God is a theologian. We can't escape it" (11). For McKim, entering into the dialogue with God about the Bible, prayer, the church is all a matter of coming face to face with God. (doing theology). …

The Blessing of God?

Carol Swain, Political Science and Law Professor at Vanberbilt University has written an alarming and insightful book on the state of America today. Her audience is mostly conservative America (including evangelicals) while trying to allow other groups to look at her finding through her research.

Positives about the book:

Swain is careful not to get into the rhetoric of America being built specifically as a Christian nation. She has done her research by stating, "However, liberal and conservatives are often reluctant to admit that the historical record provides support for both perspectives" (22). This reference is to those who want to say the Constitution and its founders specifically aimed for building a Christian nation in their documents and writings and those who want to say a secular state was the goal of the founders. Too many times we get into a dichotomy between the two sides when there is partial truth on both sides. Swain goes on in the chapter to bring out the …

Living Deeply

Veneer by Timothy Willard and Jason Locy

Timothy Willard and Jason Locy in their new book entitled Veneer have written a winsome, provocative, and radical book helping Christians to wake up from their lives that are too entwined with the culture we live in. The second chapter of the book takes us into the world of the celebrity in which fame and acclaim are touted and humility and sacrifice are deemed unimportant. At one point in the chapter the authors state, "We feel unsatisfied unless we influence over others. We feel irritated unless others approve of us. We feel discontented unless we receive recognition in our work. Influence, approval , achievement; in the celebrity world, these are idols" (45). Not only is their unhealthy imbalance but we are seeking the recognition of others far beyond the commendation from God and his calling us to work for his glory. Willard and Locy rightly relate the that the seeking of celebrity status has no place in the life of a Christian (…