Category Archives: Book Review

BEAUTY, ORDER, AND MYSTERY: A CHRISTIAN VISION OF HUMAN SEXUALITY

If you are looking for a thoughtful and accessible introduction to the various issues swirling around human sexuality, I highly recommend this book.

Each chapter is done by a scholar who is intimately involved in their local church.  In other words, they are not merely addressing theoretical matters, but things they have seen up close.

As with all controversial subjects, the authors don’t agree with one another on every point, but there is much they do find common ground on.

One area that I appreciated very much is the emphasis not only on showing the truthfulness of God’s will for sexuality, but the beauty of it.  Aesthetics is an important area of doing good theology!

A terrific resource for our cultural moment!

DIGITAL MINIMALISM

Digital Minimalism is Cal Newport’s latest book.  I interviewed him on his previous book, Deep Work (see link below).  Both are absolutely terrific.  

I am gladly not on Twitter or Facebook, though some have tried to convince me otherwise.  I am on LinkedIn and obviously have some blogs.  These fit what I do. 

I’ve read several books and essays on the perils of social media.  All have been great, but Cal’s latest book and probably Neil Postman’s, Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology are now my favorites.

Newport is hardly a Luddite, but he is a wise guide in helping us to think intentionally about how we spend our time.  If you look at Newport’s prodigious output of both popular and scholarly work, you know that he is practicing what he preaches.

Highly recommended!

Cal Newport: Focused Success in a Distracted World

THE PEOPLE OF CONCORD

https://www.amazon.com/People-Concord-Paul-Brooks/dp/1555914691/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=

I have a keen interest in Ralph Waldo Emerson and those in his orbit, so it was natural to pick this book up.  I read it on a recent trip.  It is better than I imagined.  Wonderfully written and peppered throughout with fascinating details about Concord, Massachusetts during the 1840s. 

If you have any interest in Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, et al. this is a terrific read.

GREAT ANTIDOTE TO SPIRITUAL APATHY

Backhouse has written a terrific book.

This study of Soren Kierkegaard is eminently relevant to us today.  Kierkegaard wanted to reintroduce Christianity to those who thought they knew all about it already.  Our pews are full (though American pews are emptying) of folks who are bored and self-satisfied in their spiritual apathy. 

Kierkegaard is a great antidote to apathy.  Read Backhouse’s wonderful book and see why!

MARTIN LUTHER KING

Want a riveting read?  Well, this book certainly qualifies.

As a young Christian, I read a collection of King’s sermons titled Strength to Love.  In college, I took a rhetoric class where our professor regularly reminded us that King was the “greatest speaker he ever heard.”

Rosenbloom’s book chronicles the final 31 hours of King’s life.  And what a life it is.  The author does not paper over King’s adultery, but clearly thinks King was a great man.

King challenges us to live focused life with courage and compassion.

The publisher is to be thanked for making a beautiful book at a reasonable cost…a rarity in our day!

WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENCES IN THE GOSPELS?

Like other Christians, I’ve been puzzled by some of the differences in the gospels.  True, they don’t affect doctrine, but they leave one asking why the discrepancies exist.

Big books on the most common problems have been written.  Several times I have found myself frustrated by these tortuous explanations.

Enter Michael Lincona and his new book. 

Lincona offers another explanation for the varying accounts and it is found in appreciating how ancient biographers, especially Plutarch, worked.

Geared for the more serious student or the person who has unsettled doubts about the veracity of the gospel records.