• Book Reviews,  Politics

    A short review of Pres. Bush’s biography of his father

    President George W. Bush’s biography of his father is like no other I have ever read. It is unusual for both father and son to serve terms as President of the United States, much less that one would write a book about the other. But that is precisely what we have in 41: A Portrait of My Father. Historian David McCullough once told the younger Bush how much history would have been served if Pres. John Quincy Adams would have written about his father Pres. John Adams. Pres. Bush says that he wrote the current book in part as a result of that conversation. Pres. Bush begins by explaining that…

  • Book Reviews

    Five books I enjoyed in 2014

    It is the time of year for lists. Here are five non-theological works of non-fiction that I enjoyed in 2014. 1. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932, by William Manchester I love this book. How can you beat Manchester’s prose? To understand Churchill, you have to see that he was fundamentally a relic of a bygone era called to lead the greatest conflict of the modern era. But it was Churchill’s vision of England’s greatness that made him great and equal to the task. All of his upbringing and early political life is covered in this book. The book begins, however, with a fast forward to…

  • Book Reviews

    The Owlings: A Worldview Adventure Story

    It’s holiday season and time to think about gift ideas. I just came across this new little book written and illustrated by Dan Dewitt. It’s titled The Owlings: A Worldview Novella. The book focuses on four talking owls: Gilbert, Clive, Dorothy, and Reuel. You likely recognize the names: G.K. Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, and J.R.R. Tolkien. From the publisher’s description: The Owlings is a worldview adventure for readers young and old alike about a young boy named Josiah who discovered an important lesson from some unlikely visitors. Get ready to meet Gilbert, a talking owl, who is joined by three of his friends to explain the greatest truth in…

  • Book Reviews

    An iconoclastic approach to Daniel

    Jim Hamilton has given us an iconoclastic rendering of the theology of Daniel in his latest book With the Clouds of Heaven: The Book of Daniel in Biblical Theology (InterVarsity, 2014). This latest addition to the New Studies in Biblical Theology series takes some hard shots at the critical orthodoxies concerning a late date for Daniel. In addition, it presents Daniel’s message in line with the overall story of the Bible. It’s the kind of canonical approach that tends to irritate the myopic vision of some Old Testament scholarship. That is why D. A. Carson says, “Dr Hamilton’s work is also an implicit call to engage in similar work on…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  News

    Rob Bell’s new egalitarian book on marriage

    Rob Bell and his wife Kristen are set to release a book on marriage next month. The work is already being touted as an egalitarian alternative to Mark and Grace Driscoll’s Real Marriage. The title is The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage. Zimzum is a doctrine that comes from Kabbalah—a kind of new age Jewish mysticism. The Bells are accessing the teaching as a paradigm for understanding marriage. From the publisher’s description, In marriage, zimzum is the dynamic energy field between two partners, in which each person contracts to allow the other to flourish. Mastering this field, this give and take of energy, is the secret…

  • Book Reviews,  Theology/Bible

    5 Reasons to consider buying the “ESV Reader’s Bible”

    I have been reading my new copy of the ESV Reader’s Bible over the last week, and I have to say that I am really impressed with this work. If you are thinking about purchasing a reader’s Bible, there are at least five reasons that you really ought to consider this one. 1. Fine Translation: The most important thing about picking a Bible is the translation. There are many fine translations on the market today, and the ESV is leading the pack among the more literal versions on offer. As a revision of the RSV, the ESV does not use archaic expressions like “thee” and “thou.” Nevertheless, the ESV is…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity

    Book Notes: Piper, Quarles, and Stevens

    The Pastor’s Kid: Finding Your Own Faith and Identity, by Barnabas Piper Barnabas Piper has penned a very personal look at what it’s like to grow up as a Pastor’s kid. I don’t know any better way to describe what’s in this book than to quote from the foreward, which was penned by the author’s father John Piper. He writes, You will ask, “Was it painful for me to read this book?” The answer is yes. For at least three reasons. First, it exposes sins and weaknesses and imperfections in me. Second, it is not always clear which of its criticisms attach to me and the church I love. Third,…

  • Book Reviews,  Christianity,  Entertainment

    Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption

    Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken is easily one of the best books I’ve ever experienced. I love biographies, but this one is a stand-out. I first heard about this book years ago but only recently took the time to go through it myself. I just finished it Friday evening. If you are unfamiliar with the story, the book is about the life and times of Louie Zamperini, a 1936 Olympian and hero of World War II. His story is larger than life, painted on a global canvas, encompassing the heights of human triumph and the depths of human degradation. In short, Zamperini went from juvenile delinquent to Olympian (who met Hitler!)…

  • Book Reviews,  Theology/Bible

    Exalting Jesus in Ezra and Nehemiah

    Jim Hamilton has become quite the prolific commentator and biblical theologian, and he has a new commentary out on Ezra-Nehemiah that I highly recommend to you. It appears in Broadman & Holman’s new “Christ-Centered Exposition” series edited by Danny Akin, David Platt, and Tony Merida. Thus, the aim of the commentary is not only exegetical precision but also explaining how the message of Ezra-Nehemiah fits into the entire storyline of scripture—a story which has its culminating moment in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Hamilton argues that Ezra-Nehemiah are enormously relevant, though many pastors only preach sermons on them during church building programs. This is unfortunate. Instead, Jim encourages…

  • Book Reviews,  News

    The Rescue at Dunkirk

    Today marks the 74th anniversary of the great rescue at Dunkirk. On May 27, 1940, the British army had fallen back to the beaches of Dunkirk in the north of France. In front of them was the German army, and behind them was the sea. These British soldiers and their French allies were the last line of defense between England and Hitler, and they were about to be crushed. There were over 300,000 of them trapped on the beach. What happened next is the stuff of legend. Some say it was nothing short of a miracle. In his biography of Winston Churchill, William Manchester narrates it best: