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Book Review: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

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A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene H. Peterson My rating: 4 of 5 stars I always find Peterson worth reading. These chapters are presented as expositions of the Song of Ascents. Perhaps meditations upon the main subject of each song would be a better way of putting it. I often differ with Peterson on particular points of doctrine, yet he has an incredible sense for the feel of the Christian life. His familiarity with the metanarrative of Scripture, the history of Christian doctrine, and the plain practicality of living as a disciple make this book well worth picking up and musing over. View all my reviews

Book Review: On the Way Home

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On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 by Laura Ingalls Wilder My rating: 4 of 5 stars My wife read the Little House books to the kids and I this Spring and Summer, leaving me with a real hunger to learn more about the life of the Ingalls/Wilder clan. This little diary (with introduction and postscript by Rose Wilder Lane) was very enjoyable, just to see what life on the trail from South Dakota to Missouri would be like 120 years ago. View all my reviews

Books Review: The Little House Books

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The Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder My rating: 5 of 5 stars My wife read these books aloud to our family this past Summer, and these will certainly be books we return to. Some people are disappointed to find how much of the books are fictionalized material, but they are absolutely delightful stories. And while obviously not history per se, they do introduce young minds to a world of covered wagons, washboards, and hard survival which might otherwise be hard for iPad toting toddlers to imagine. View all my reviews

Book Review: Soul Survivor

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Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive the Church by Philip Yancey My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is an interesting book. I always enjoy Yancey; his probing, questioning, journalistic style is very reflective in a reflexive age. In this book he walks through the lives and writings of thirteen individuals who've helped him navigate his own life, and the narrative weaves between the various subjects of the chapters and his own story. Very enjoyable. View all my reviews

Book Review: Walden

I remember reading Walden quickly in high school because it seemed like a good thing to do. I decided to listen to the audio book via Librivox because it seemed like an enjoyable thing to do. I was very pleased with certain parts of Walden. Thoreau's descriptions of his days, of the landscape, etc, are most enjoyable. Many of his critiques of modern man still apply with equal accuracy today. But as to his positive philosophiziing, his transcendentalism just doesn't cut the mustard. And he spends far too much time on it. He also is not quite the poet he apparently finds himself to be. On the whole, I think it's a book worth reading, and I in no way regret listening to it. Gordon Mackenzie is, I believe, the fellow who read the version I listened to, and his reading style was thoroughly enjoyable.

Christianity and Transgenderism

Rod Dreher has a very worth-reading interview with Andrew T. Walker, author of the new book, God and the Transgender Debate. One especially provocative and insightful quote from Walker: Children who express gender confusion are now encouraged to explore it. Think about that for a second: We are putting decisions that have a lifetime of consequence into the hands of children unable to do algebra let alone understand the ramifications of their gender.

Book Review: Black Elk Speaks

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Black Elk Speaks by Black Elk My rating: 4 of 5 stars I started this book a long time ago. I slowly poked my way through, and thoroughly benefitted from evey step of my pokey way. The extensive footnotes and endnotes, as well as the 10 appendecies, are helpful in pulling apart Neihardt's poetry from Black Elk's actual narrative. As a Christian, I have a lot of questions about the origin of Black Elk's visions. And how reliable one man's memory of events occuring some thirty to sixty years earlier can be thought to be is, well, questionable. That said, this is a book worth reading. The penetrating criticism of modern life (circa 1930) provided in places by Neihardt and in oter by Black Elk himself, is worthy of pondering. The poetry of what Neihardt writes is simply haunting in places. And one does become more familiar with the story of the Lakota and their dealings with the U.S. Government. I plan to revisit this book in the future. View all my reviews

Book Review: Martin Luther

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Martin Luther by Martin E. Marty My rating: 4 of 5 stars Marty's short treatment of Luther is certainly a worthwhile read. Coming from a more liberal Lutheran position, Dr. Marty is never enamored by Dr. Luther, but at the same time he writes with a sympathy and understanding of the historical context which is both admirable and enjoyable. View all my reviews

Book Review: Unparalleled

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Unparalleled: How Christianity's Uniqueness Makes It Compelling by Jared C. Wilson My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is the first book I've read by Wilson, but after listening to a number of conference lectures by him I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm glad I did. If I had one problem it was the number of pop culture references that I think will date the book fairly quickly. Otherwise, I think this is a clear, useful, compelling introduction to the Christian faith. View all my reviews

Book Review: Hillbilly Elegy

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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance My rating: 5 of 5 stars This was a book I picked up after reading Rod Dreher rave about it on his blog. I'm thankful I did so. I'd encourage you to do the same. There were so many things in this book that resonated with my experiences growing up in a poor, working class white family in North Idaho. Not everything in Vance's Ohio/Kentucky hillbilly experience was familiar to me (praise God); but the descriptions of community breakdown and multi-generation despair rang true. Vance writes with a brutal honesty and keen insight into the flaws of his people, yet he manages to do so in a tone that is sympathetic and compassionate, rather than scornful or arrogant. As I read this book I felt at alternating times happiness, despair, gratitude, anger, enjoyment, and grief. Both for Vance as a person, and for his people. For myself, and for my people. Perhaps the best single word to describe this book would

Commonplace Monday

"The incarnation of God is proof that the human body is an essential component of [the image of God]." Herman Bavink Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Christ left heaven's throne--I think we can get off the Lazy Boy." Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"In giving life to Christ, God gave life to all those who are united to Christ...Christ has not just made their salvation possible; he has made it sure." Edmund Clowney Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Anyone who is indifferent to sanctification is indifferent to the glory of Christ." Kevin DeYoung Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Book Review: That Hideous Strength

I loved all three of the space trilogy books, but this one took the cake. Part of that is simply due to the longer, more complex, nature of the story. But the themes he dealt with in terms of scientism and anti-supernaturalism leading to an anti-nature philosophy seem so stinking prescient as I concurrently read news stories about transgenderism, surrogate parenting, and false wombs.  Lewis lays bare the false gods of our modern age, and reminds us that the True Lord of all will have the final say. Buy it here.

Commonplace Monday

"Students are excited when their teachers model interest and enthusiasm for the subjects they are teaching." Tom Spencer Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

In 1 Peter, "Peter is writing a travelers' guide for Christian pilgrims." Edmund Clowney Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"If we leave our self-perception to ourselves, we will live lives of self-deception." Anthony Bradley Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"All theology is practical theology." Lance Lewis Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"When we are most free, it is only with the freedom that God has given us." CS Lewis Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"[In reading the Bible] Let yourself be humbly troubled by puzzling things. The deepest insights come from trying to see the unifying root of two apparently antagonistic branches" John Piper Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Necessity may not be the opposite of freedom." CS Lewis Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Christ's kingdom does not depend upon bloody conflict, but on a bloody sacrifice." Pastor Fred Gums Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Never feel lesser for fulfilling what God has called you to be." Daren Beck Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"True love always costs the one who loves." Pastor Fred Gums Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Silence is different from the absence of noise." Roger Scruton Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Theology without proclamation is empty. Proclamation without theology is blind." DA Carson Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"God has never had to go seeking advice." Pastor Fred Gums Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"Private devotions can help us love God more, but they have nothing to do with if, or how much, He loves us." Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

'As most of us do when we’re suffering, Jeremiah was asking, “ How can I get out of this?” But he should have been asking, “ What can I get out of this?” God’s servants don’t live by explanations; they live by promises. Understanding explanations may satisfy our curiosity and make us smarter people, but laying hold of God’s promises will build our character and make us better servants.' Warren Wiersbe Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for.  

Commonplace Monday

"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing." C.S. Lewis Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for. 

Men, Love and Lead Your Wives

I taught 1 Peter 3:7 this morning. I think I wound up drawing a lot of the same conclusions that Piper does from this text, though I do wish I had seen it before I taught. Very worth the half hour or so of your time. http://www.desiringgod.org/messages/men-love-and-lead-your-wives

Commonplace Monday

"Words of reassurance, offered or withheld, are monumental in a child's growth." Douglas Wilson Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for. 

Family Worship: a Review and a Resolution

The other night I read Don Whitney's book, Family Worship . In this brief, but excellent, little work, Whitney lays out a case for, and a simple method of, leading your family before the throne of grace on a daily basis. The importance of this task, and my own failings in it, are things I have written on here  (and recommended resources here ) before. Some thoughts from and about the book, and the broader topic, are what follows: Family Worship is Biblical, Historic, and Practical In chapters one and two of his book, Whitney lays out the examples we see both from Scripture and from the history of the Christian church when it comes to family worship. He is, by virtue of necessity in a book this size, very selective, but the selections are still instructive. While there is no explicit command in the Bible to have a time set aside in each home to read the Word of God, to pray, or to sing; it seems well within reason that having such a time is one of the best ways to fulfill biblic

Commonplace Monday

"Though the world is slow to forgive, it is quick to forget." C.S. Lewis Commonplace Monday is a series of posts wherein, on Monday mornings, I share short quips, sentences -perhaps as much as a paragraph- which I have collected in my various commonplace books and files. If I wrote down or recall where it came from I will certainly give attribution. However, sometimes I write down things and not where they came from. So if you see anything like that here and recognize it, that's what comment sections are for. 

5 Books to Consider in 2017

If you've followed my blog at all over the years, you know I like to put forward some sort of book list to start the year. Here are five books which I read in 2016 that I think would be well worth the investment of your time: Father Hunger , Douglas Wilson I'm a little bit of a Wilson fanboy, but I think this is clearly his best book (at least of what I've read). Are you a father, a son, or do you have fathers and sons in your life? Then read this book. Life Under Compulsion , Anthony Esolen Esolen essentially attacks and reveals as stupid much of the modern compulsion and drive toward busyness, arguing instead that we, especially those of us raising children, ought to spend more time being human . Crunchy Cons , Rod Dreher Sick of the fact that you don't fit into the typical Liberal/Conservative paradigms and stereotypes? Does it frustrate you that simply because you identify as conservative people automatically think you are a pro-Big Business, anti-earth, uncar