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Book Reviews Culture Theology

Strange Days (Review)

In my previous post, I reviewed Australian pastor and cultural critic Mark Sayers’s book Disappearing Church. Just after finishing Disappearing Church, I read his next book, which came out in 2017: Strange Days: Life in the Spirit in a Time of Upheaval.  As I read the book, I kept thinking of conspiracy theories. Not that Sayers is a […]

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Book Reviews Books Culture Theology

All Religion Isn’t Bad, but There Is Such a Thing as Bad Religion (Review)

You don’t often hear people called heretics anymore. In 1905, the British journalist G. K. Chesterton wrote a book called Heretics, in which he critiqued the teachings of several of his contemporaries, including H. G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw. Even then, though, writing a book calling out heresies was kind of cheeky. In the age […]

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Book Reviews Books Culture

Faithful No Matter the Cost: A Review

I have never gone to L’Abri, the Christian community and study center that Francis Schaeffer founded in Switzerland, but I was greatly influenced by it growing up. My mom had been there in the ’70s when she was sorting through what she believed, and in our house there were several of Schaeffer’s books. I went […]

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Book Reviews Books Culture Economics

Trying to Get By in Shanghai: A Review

Rob Schmitz is the China correspondent for NPR’s Marketplace, and he lives on a street in Shanghai whose name translates into English as “Street of Eternal Happiness.” In 2012–2013 he reported a series of short stories on the people he met along the street, which lies in the former French Concession. Later, he reworked and expanded that material […]

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Book Reviews Culture Theology

A Christian Missionary to Christians: A Review

The nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard was a Christian, but subsequent Christian readers have expressed divergent opinions about him. Francis Schaeffer, for example, associated Kierkegaard with the so-called “leap of faith” and condemned him for encouraging irrationality. Dave Breese, in Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave, expresses a similar view. On the other hand, […]

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Book Reviews Culture History

Christian Faith in the Future: A Review of Renaissance by Os Guinness

I have long enjoyed the writings of cultural critic Os Guinness. The first book I read of his, in college, was The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life (a good time to read such a book). Since then, I’ve read Time for Truth, The Gravedigger File, A Free People’s Suicide, and two books that he […]

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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 Culture Ethics

Power Was Made for Flourishing: A Review

The word power has the ability to make even the least squeamish among us flinch. It can call to mind images of violence, abuse, and selfishness. When we hear the word power, we think of Lord Acton’s saying, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It is bad guys who have power, we think—even though […]

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Culture

The Universe Isn’t Trying to Tell You Anything

One of my biggest pet peeves is people attributing agency to the universe. That may seem a little abstract, so let me illustrate using this bit of dialogue from “The Return,” a 2007 episode of The Office: Jim is annoyed by his new co-worker Andy, who seems even more annoying than his old co-worker Dwight. […]

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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 […]