April 28, 2021

Review: Jack by Marilynne Robinson


JackJack by Marilynne Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Robinson's prose is worth 5 stars. This book does take a while to get going, as it opens with a long conversation...I'm not sure if I was helped by having previous familiarity with Jack as a character, or if coming in cold would have benefited me.

Jack is the character in Robinson's novels whom I find most troubling. I have people in my life who have held to a similar trajectory of self-destruction, wrecking or at least hurting others in their wake. And the easy thing to do is mentally dehumanize them, categorize them as irredeemable screw ups, and move on. But Jack is so deeply human. He troubles me, because if a character in a novel can be this complex, how much more the people in my real life? I needed to read this book, and it makes me want to revisit Home. In more ways than one.

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April 21, 2021

Review: The Heidelberg Catechism


The Heidelberg CatechismThe Heidelberg Catechism by Zacharias Ursinus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A beautiful little catechism. Scriptural, devotional. Much warmer than other catechisms I’ve read. I’m not Reformed with the capital R, so I have some quibbles on the definition of the church and one of the questions on baptism, but I would heartily recommend this for devotional reading and study.

The Puritan paperback edition by Banner of Truth is very nicely put together, and easily slipped in and out of my cargo pocket while I was sitting in a tree stand.

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April 14, 2021

Review: The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan


The Pilgrim's ProgressThe Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had started to read this several years ago and put it down. I always had in my mind the idea that this was a simple, perhaps over-simple, book. As I listened to the audio book over the past couple of days and was struck both by Bunyan's quite complex and nuanced view of the Christian life-or pilgrimage, as it were-and by the beauty of his language. Highly recommended.

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April 12, 2021

Commonplace Monday

 "If a preacher will not--or cannot--think himself clear so that he says what he means, he has no business in the pulpit."

Haddon Robinson, Biblical Preaching, pg 39

April 07, 2021

Review: Weakness is the Way by J.I. Packer


Weakness Is the Way: Life with Christ Our StrengthWeakness Is the Way: Life with Christ Our Strength by J.I. Packer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was not what I anticipated; I was anticipating a more extended meditation upon the topic of weakness, whereas this book is actually a meditation upon Paul's second letter to the Corinthian church, with particular application to weakness. Which is probably what I needed.

Packer is always lucid, incisive, and to the point, and this book is no different.

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April 05, 2021

Commonplace Monday

 "Change a church's structure and you change the moral shape of the church."

Jonathan Leeman, One Assembly, pg 21

About Me

Follower of Jesus. Husband of one. Father of four. Pastor at Remsen Bible Fellowship (remsenbible.com).