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Book Reviews Church

How to Be Mission-Oriented Elders: A Review

When I read my friend James Matichuk’s review of Eldership and the Mission of God: Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership, I wanted to get my hands on it as well. While, unlike James, I am not a pastor, I am on my church’s leadership team, and wanted to read something that would help me reflect […]

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Church Culture

ReFrame ReView: Living Out of the Christian Story

Many Christians are wondering how their faith can possibly relate to their everyday life. Often we see our faith as private—something that we do in our spare time or on the weekends, not something that shapes how we work and play every day. Even if we do bring faith into our everyday lives, it can […]

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Book Reviews Church

Evangelii Gaudium Is Not All about Economics: A Review

Around this time last year, there was a flurry of media coverage about Pope Francis’s first major writing of his pontificate, the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”). While he had previously released an encyclical, Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”), that was largely the work of his predecessor, Benedict XVI. When Evangelii Gaudium released, many saw […]

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Book Reviews Books Church

Who Are the People in Your Neighborhood? A Review

Environmentalism is part of the culture here in the Pacific Northwest. One aspect of environmentalism is the encouragement to “buy local”—many people here love local businesses, and if given a choice will prefer to patronize them over a national chain. In light of this cultural preference for the local, it is not surprising that this […]

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Book Reviews Books Church

How to Be a Saint: A Review

There are many books on Christian conversion, and how to begin life as a new follower of Christ. There are likewise many books on practices related to Christian spiritual formation. But what does it look like to be a mature Christian? What is the ultimate goal of conversion, on the one hand, and spiritual practices, […]

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Book Reviews Books Church

The War on Christians: More Important than the “War on Christmas”

John L. Allen begins his book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution by dropping this bombshell: “However counterintuitive it may seem in light of popular stereotypes of Christianity as a powerful and sometimes oppressive social force, Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet, […]

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Book Reviews Church

What the Kingdom Is and Isn’t: A Review

Everyone who has read the Gospels knows that Jesus talks a lot about the kingdom of God (“kingdom of heaven” in Matthew). What kind of kingdom was this? Was it something to be looked for in the future? Was it something to be looked for in the present? And why don’t Christians tend to talk […]

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Book Reviews Church History

Where the Reformation Came From: A Review

This history book has a history. The first edition of Roots of the Reformation: Tradition, Emergence, and Rupture was published in the spring of 2012. In May of that year, historian Carl R. Trueman wrote a review of the book that pointed out several factual errors in the portion of the book that covers the […]

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Book Reviews Church Culture Education Worship

Tell a Story that Captures Hearts: A Review

Imagining the Kingdom is the second volume of a projected trilogy by James K.A. Smith called Cultural Liturgies. In the first book, Desiring the Kingdom (which I have not read, but Smith gets the reader up to speed in the early parts of this book), Smith argued that humans are primarily shaped more by the […]

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Church Education Quotes

Rodney Stark on “The People’s Religion”

I’ve been reading Rodney Stark’s The Triumph of Christianity, and I’m struck by what he says about one of my major interests, Christian education, during the Reformation and post-Reformation:   The English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) noted that a preacher “may as well talk Arabic to a poor day-labourer as the notions” that the Anglican […]