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Jesus, Paul and the People of God: A Theological
Jesus, Paul and the People of God publishes the papers presented at the nineteenth annual Wheaton Theology Conference, hosted by Wheaton College on April 16-17, 2010. It doubles as a Festschrift of sorts …
Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love questions and those who love answers.      Question-lovers focus on the ambiguity and uncertainty of belief. Reality is bigger …
reviewed The Pastor: A Memoir. March 11, 2011
The Pastor: A Memoir
In The Pastor, Eugene H. Peterson tells "the story of my formation as a pastor and how the vocation of pastor formed me." Peterson is best known as author of The Message, his "translation" …
Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise of
As my wife and I raise our toddler son, we notice that he responds better to affirmation than to correction. If we affirm his behavior as good and praise him for it, he increasingly behaves in the desired …
reviewed Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense.... February 09, 2011
posted in Christian Theology
Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old
In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins writes:      "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, …
Defiant Joy: The Remarkable Life & Impact of G.K.
The life of Gilbert Keith Chesterton is, like the man himself, large--too large to be contained within a book. So, while I don't consider Kevin Belmonte's new biography of Chesterton to be a rousing …
reviewed The Legacy of the King James Bible: C.... February 07, 2011
posted in Christian Theology
The Legacy of the King James Bible: Celebrating
The Committee on Bible Translation of the New International Version (NIV) recently released a revision of that bestselling Bible. In an explanation of changes made to the NIV, the committee made the following …
reviewed Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving t.... November 29, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in
In Cross-Cultural Servanthood, Duane Elmer tells the parable of a monkey who sees a fish swimming against the current of a stream (pp. 27-28). Assuming the fish is struggling to survive, the monkey plucks …
reviewed The Passionate Intellect: Christian F.... November 23, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
The Passionate Intellect: Christian Faith and the
Recently, so-called "new atheists" have been making loud noises about how stupid and wicked religion is. Richard Dawkins thinks belief in God is a "delusion" to be replaced by scientific …
reviewed The Next Christians: The Good News Ab.... November 17, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
The Next Christians: The Good News About the End
American Christians live in a transitional age. Christian America is dead. American society is increasingly pluralistic, postmodern, and post-Christian. How should American Christians respond to this …
Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong
What is evangelical Christianity?      In Everything You Know about Evangelicals Is Wrong, Steve Wilkens and Don Thorsen set out to discover "an adequate and accurate definition" …
reviewed Think: The Life of the Mind and the L.... October 19, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God
What is the relationship between logic and love?      For some, there is no relation. "Love Is a Fallacy" by Max Shulman tells the story of a smart college freshman who pines …
Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites...and Other
A few years ago, the Barna Group polled 270 non-Christians regarding their impressions of eleven different social groups. Only 22% of respondents held a favorable impression of "Evangelicals." …
reviewed Day 30: The Crooked Timber of Humanity. September 30, 2010
Day 30: The Crooked Timber of Humanity
Reflecting on Adam and Eve’s original sin, Paul writes, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. …
reviewed Day 29: Original Sin. September 29, 2010
Day 29: Original Sin
The fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matt. 6:12). It brings us to the core problem of the human …
reviewed Day 28: Praying Day by Day. September 28, 2010
Day 28: Praying Day by Day
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matt. 6:10). Notice the time markers: “today” and “daily.” Throughout his ministry, Jesus was concerned …
reviewed Day 27: Growing Up through Prayer. September 27, 2010
Day 27: Growing Up through Prayer
God always answers our prayers. We have looked at “Yes,” “No,” and “Wait.” Now let’s look at “Grow up!” In James 4:1–3, we read: “What …
reviewed Day 26: Being Patient with God. September 27, 2010
Day 26: Being Patient with God
One of my favorite biblical books is Revelation. And one of its most curious scenes takes place in 6:9–11. John writes: “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of …
reviewed Day 25: When God Says, "No". September 27, 2010
Day 25: When God Says,
God does not always answer our prayers affirmatively.  Sometimes he says, “No!” When he does, he has our best interests at heart. Even God’s negative is positive for us. Paul’s …
reviewed Day 24: God Always Answers Our Prayers. September 24, 2010
Day 24: God Always Answers Our Prayers
God always answers our prayers, but not necessarily in the way we want him to. He has our best interests in mind. So, sometimes he says “Yes,” sometimes “No,” sometimes “Wait,” …
reviewed Day 23: Ask God for Anything. September 23, 2010
Day 23: Ask God for Anything
Jesus taught us to ask God that our needs be met, our sins forgiven, and our souls protected. Every request we make of God for ourselves falls under one of these three headings. We can ask God for anything. …
reviewed Day 22: Heavenly Concerns and Earthly.... September 22, 2010
Day 22: Heavenly Concerns and Earthly Requests
The first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer deal with God, the last three with us. The transition between them is jarring. From the heights of God’s name, kingdom, and will, we descend …
reviewed Day 21: Which Side Are You On?. September 21, 2010
Day 21: Which Side Are You On?
When we pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10), a conundrum arises. God’s kingdom will come and his will be done whether we pray for them …
The New Houlihan's on Republic Road
My family was headed to Olive Garden for a quick dinner the other night but ended up at the new Houlihan's instead. (a) OG is never worth an hour-long wait. (b) Don't laugh, foodies! You go to …
reviewed Day 20: Resident Aliens. September 20, 2010
Day 20: Resident Aliens
When we pray, we as God for his will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” This will take place instantly, totally, and irrevocably when Jesus returns. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians …
reviewed Day 19: Discerning the Details. September 20, 2010
Day 19: Discerning the Details
God’s will for our lives centers on salvation, sanctification, and service. They constitute his general will. But we want to know God’s specific will: What should we do for a living? Where …
reviewed Day 18: God Has a Will for Your Life. September 20, 2010
Day 18: God Has a Will for Your Life
We live between Jesus’ first and second comings. Our lifetime is characterized by the conflict of the kingdoms—God’s and the world’s. God is sure to emerge victorious from this …
reviewed Day 17: The Past, Present, and Future.... September 20, 2010
Day 17: The Past, Present, and Future Kingdom
God’s kingdom is the heartfelt longing of every person who desires relief from the world’s misery. Whether that misery is sin or sickness, immorality or mortality, supernatural oppression …
reviewed Day 15: God Is Our King. September 20, 2010
Day 15: God Is Our King
God is our Father. He is also our King. Both images suggest something important about God. The first suggests parental care. So, when we pray, we focus on God’s powerful love for us. But the …
reviewed Day 16: Kingdoms in Conflict. September 20, 2010
Day 16: Kingdoms in Conflict
When we pray, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10), our prayer is urgent. God does not reign on earth. His will is not done here. And it shows. …
reviewed Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific .... September 15, 2010
posted in Christian Theology
Homosexuality: The Use of Scientific Research in
How prevalent is homosexuality? What causes it? Is it a psychopathology? And can it be changed?      Social scientists have researched these questions for decades. Increasingly, individual …
reviewed Tortilleria Perches. September 14, 2010
Tortilleria Perches
   My wife and I moved to Springfield from southern California at the end of 2009. Accustomed to great Mexican food, we immediately began searching for a good Mexican restaurant in town. Our …
reviewed Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso. September 14, 2010
Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso
   Big Momma's is my go-to place for lunch. It is located at 217 E. Commercial Street in downtown Springfield and open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to …
reviewed Day 14: Focus on God's Powerful Love .... September 14, 2010
Day 14: Focus on God's Powerful Love for You
In our devotions so far, we have examined the meaning and importance of the words our heavenly Father. They describe the Divine Person we pray to and hint at his character and absolute power. We pray …
reviewed Day 12: The Father as Creator. September 13, 2010
Day 12: The Father as Creator
A third and final reason we call God Father is that he is the Creator of and Provider for the entire world. James describes him as “the Father of the heavenly lights” (James 1:17). Paul …
reviewed Day 11: The Father as Savior. September 13, 2010
Day 11: The Father as Savior
The first reason we call God Father is because he is “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:3). The second reason is that he is the Father of all believers. Jesus had a unique …
reviewed Day 10: The Father as God. September 10, 2010
Day 10: The Father as God
Why did Jesus call God Father? And what difference does it make for our prayers? The New Testament suggests three answers to the first question and one to the second. We call God Father because: as …
reviewed Day 9: Responding to an Objection. September 09, 2010
Day 9: Responding to an Objection
Many people find it difficult to pray to God as heavenly Father. Their earthly fathers were so bad that they cannot conceive of a heavenly Father in anything but negative terms. Additionally, some object …
reviewed Stuff Christians Like. September 09, 2010
Stuff Christians Like
Stuff Christians Like satirizes some of the beliefs and behaviors of American evangelicals. Jonathan Acuff admits the title pays homage to Christian Lander's Stuff White People Like. Like Lander's …
reviewed Day 8: Who You Pray To Matters. September 08, 2010
Day 8: Who You Pray To Matters
The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9–13) consists of six petitions. When we pray, we ask God that his name be hallowed, his kingdom come, his will be done, our needs be met, our sins forgiven, …
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