A Pilgrimage to Krakow: A Review

I fell in love with Krakow when I was teaching English in central Europe from 2002–2004. Part of it was the timing of my first visit. In Prague, where I was living, the Soviet-era project of state-sponsored atheism was largely successful. In Krakow, the Catholic Church had resisted the story told by communism, insisting instead that religion … Continue reading A Pilgrimage to Krakow: A Review

Why You’ve Heard of the Vanderbilts: A Review

When I was a kid my parents once took me to the Biltmore, the enormous estate built by George W. Vanderbilt outside Asheville, NC. I didn't know it then, but Vanderbilt's fortune came primarily from railroads, and it began with his grandfather, Cornelius. I just finished reading a biography of Cornelius, The First Tycoon by T. J. … Continue reading Why You’ve Heard of the Vanderbilts: A Review

Grandpa’s Notes in a Book about World War II

Today is the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the day Germany surrendered and ended World War II in Europe. It has put me in a reflective mood, since my grandfather, who passed away last September, was in Europe that day. He was in Lippstadt, Germany, a few days away from turning 21 years old. Grandpa … Continue reading Grandpa’s Notes in a Book about World War II

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

On Loving Our Dead Neighbors: A Review

It was the author, rather than the subject matter, that drew me to Convenient Myths: The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World That Never Was. In fact, I had never heard of the "axial age" or "dark green religion" before reading this book. I was, however, familiar with Iain Provan. I studied at … Continue reading On Loving Our Dead Neighbors: A Review

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 … Continue reading Where the Reformation Came From: A Review

A Contrarian’s History of Christianity: A Review

I have been hooked on Rodney Stark's writing since I read his The Rise of Christianity in college. Stark is a sociologist by training, and that book was his first foray into writing about the history of Christianity from a sociological perspective. What I appreciated about that book, and all of his books that I … Continue reading A Contrarian’s History of Christianity: A Review

Power, Politics, and the Fragmentation of Evangelicalism: A Review

With 2012 being a presidential election year, politics is constantly in the news. One perennial question is what role evangelical Christians will play. But who are evangelicals, and how did they come to occupy the role they do in American politics? Kenneth J. Collins presents his readers with a historical survey that answers that question, … Continue reading Power, Politics, and the Fragmentation of Evangelicalism: A Review

Unbroken: A Review

Louis Zamperini is an incredible man with an incredible story: one of the world's best mile runners in the 1930s, he competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics while still a teenager. When World War II began, he went to the Pacific as a bombardier. In May 1943, his plane crashed. He floated on a life … Continue reading Unbroken: A Review

The Slavery of “Freedom”

We Americans love to talk about freedom. We call ourselves "the land of the free"; our Declaration of Independence talks about liberty as an "inalienable right"; there are still few things that can get an American riled up like the threat of a loss of freedom. But our freedom is in jeopardy, says Os Guinness … Continue reading The Slavery of “Freedom”