14 Nov 2014

The Drama of Scripture | Book Review

Very few books are must reads, especially for busy, sleep-deprived, tired-of-reading-books-for-class college students (or their even more taxed cousins, the grad student). Rarely does something come along that clearly and concisely explains complex issues with clarity and precision. Ten years ago, one such book came along: The Drama of Scripture, which captivated readers and shed much need lucidity on discerning the Biblical narrative. Now, ten years later, Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen have

Jacob Prahlow 1
04 Nov 2014

A People’s History of Christianity | Book Review

While much of the field of the History of Christianity (and indeed, history in general) focuses on the great people and ideas of the tradition or period being studied, the genre of “people’s history” seeks to raise awareness of the ways in which ordinary people have lived throughout time and space. Admirable as this project sounds, it is not without its problems. In my experience, many “people’s histories” tend to make significant assumptions concerning the

Jacob Prahlow 0
27 Oct 2014

Fight Church: Masculinity, Sport, and Love

“Can you love your neighbor as yourself and at the same time knee him in the face as hard as you can?”   The recently released documentary Fight Church is a fascinating narrative that seeks to understand the intriguing intersection between Christianity and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It spotlights the ministries of numerous pastors who live both as leaders of church congregations and of MMA “fight ministries,” where “feet, fist, and faith collide.” Numerous subplots

George Aldhizer 26
17 Oct 2014

Leadership Lessons | Book Review

In Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul (Thomas Nelson, 2013), Ralph K. Hawkins and Richard Leslie Parrott outline ten principles for leadership building from the life and failures of King Saul of Israel. Leadership Lessons uses the “worst practices” model of instruction, learning through the examination of the failures of others, much in the model of Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima’s classic Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership. Beginning with an explanation of

Jacob Prahlow 0
07 Oct 2014

Kierkegaardian Reflections on the Present Age

Some authors make a lasting impression on one’s mind, for good or for bad. For me, one such writer is Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55), whom I first engaged while an undergraduate at Valparaiso University. While reading Kierkegaard, one cannot help but be flummoxed by large portions of his prose—there’s simply too much there to engage in its fullness. You are like a kindergartener, who is desperately trying to make sense of a chalkboard filled with Einstein’s

Jacob Prahlow 3
03 Oct 2014

Jesus of Nazareth: Baptism to Transfiguration | Book Review

Part of a three book series on the Historical Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism to the Transfiguration (Image, 2007) begins Joseph Ratzinger’s examination of the life and teaching of the founder of Christianity.† In this book Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) engages the major moments and messages from Jesus’ ministry, combining historical, literary, and theological insights into a masterful work not only on the “Historical Jesus” of scholarship, but also on the “Living Jesus”

Jacob Prahlow 0
17 Sep 2014

Books, Film, and Christian Propaganda

Some thoughts are too big for fiction and movies. I was thinking that when I watched God is Not Dead for the first time a few weeks ago. Yes, I put it off for as long as I possibly could. As much as I like to support Christian films (I am a film script writer, after all), I find that I cringe my way through many of them. Though there were some commendable points to

Amanda Hill 12
09 Sep 2014

The Seven Heavens and Planet Narnia, Part Two

My previous post introduced Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis,1 in which he argues that the medieval conception of the Seven Heavens serves as the basis for the seven Chronicles of Narnia, with Lewis using the characteristic ethos of each planetary intelligence as the paradigm for his books. In this post, we turn to an explicit consideration of how the evidence of the Chronicles of Narnia fits

Jacob Prahlow 2
05 Sep 2014

The Seven Heavens and Planet Narnia, Part One

Some of my favorite books are the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. While Lewis’s tales of the adventures of the Pevensie children (and later Eustace and Polly) in the land of Narnia are for many little more than entertaining children’s books, I find myself returning to this series again and again. And while I cannot claim to speak on behalf of everyone who has read Chronicles, I know there are many other readers,

Jacob Prahlow 1
16 Jun 2014

Way Of The Ascetics by Tito Colliander | Book Review

Way of The Ascetics, by Tito Colliander, is a profound little book that should be a required reading for every Christian. Simple and clear, Colliander proffers the experience of the Orthodox Church together with the fathers about the inner life of the Christian. The book begins with an exhortation to rise to the challenge of living the Christian life, for “Faith comes not through pondering but through action” (Colliander, 1). The “action” he is referring

Benjamin Cabe 0
16 Jun 2014

Biblical Scholarship and the Church | Book Review

The sixteenth-century was a period of theological transformation and debate unlike any other time in the history of Western Christianity. In their work Biblical Scholarship and the Church, Allan Jenkins and Patrick Preston encounter issues of scriptural authority, translation, and interpretation within the context of sixteenth-century Christianity. In this work Jenkins and Preston examine three examples of controversy concerning the authority of scripture for Christian teaching and practice, especially scholarly concerns with the authority of

Jacob Prahlow 0
16 Jun 2014

The Pursuit of Elizabeth Millhouse | Book Review

The Pursuit of Elizabeth Millhouse is a period novel set in early twentieth century America telling the story of the title character, Elizabeth Millhouse Brown. Following Elizabeth’s path of childhood rejection, marriage, and the challenges of a life amidst change and loss, author Amanda Barber paints a superb picture of the realities of the difficulties in life during the early 20th century, difficulties that find many a parallel in our current context. In this gripping

Jacob Prahlow 0
16 Jun 2014

The Monk of Mount Athos | Book Review

The Monk of Mount Athos is a little book that packs a powerful punch. Written by Archimandrite Sophrony, the first half of the book functions as a short biography of Saint Silouan while the second half is an exposition of his spiritual practices and beliefs. As with most works I’ve read about the saints, I found this book to be a breath of fresh air. The simple lifestyle and humble countenance of Saint Silouan is

Benjamin Cabe 0