The Evangelical Giveaway 2

David Fitch, in his Great Giveaway, first studies how evangelicalism defines “success.” This is, in my estimation, a great place to start a book. Evangelicals, he contends, too often define success by numbers: attendance and baptisms. He contends this is a market-driven and capitalistic definition of success, and that what we need to be measuring [Read More...]

The Evangelical Giveaway 1

David Fitch, in his new book, The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies (Baker, 2005), weighs in in a modern genre of literature: evangelicals vs. evangelicalism. I must begin by saying that I’m both attracted to this title, for we must [Read More...]

Review: I.R. Kitzberger’s Transformative Encounters

The following is a review of Ingrid Rosa Kitzberger’s important book, Transformative Encounters, and was not published. It was written to be read at an SBL meeting, and then the session fell through and I was left with this review. Somewhere out there in cyberspace this review appeared earlier. [Read more...]

Walking the Sacred Way

I’ve gone on record at not being a big fan of envisioning the Christian life through the spiritual disciplines, though I’m all for them. I just don’t think the way to approach the Christian life is through a means but through the end: to love God and to love others. The best recent book I’ve [Read More...]

Witherington’s Problems with Evangelicalism

Ben Witherington has recently published a useful, biblical analysis of three segments of Evangelicalism: Calvinism (which neither he nor I are), Dispensationalism (the same), and Wesleyanism (which he is, I’m not). The book is called The Problem with Evangelical Theology: Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism and Wesleyanism. It pays reading, as it is [Read More...]

The Jesus of Q

James M. Robinson is perhaps the leading scholar in the world on the hypothetical source of the canonical Gospels called “Q.” He’s also a leading voice in the Jesus Seminar, which Seminar is not hypothetical but is instead the source for many news shows. The Jesus Seminar gathered for years to discuss and vote on [Read More...]

A Christmas Carol

Every Christmas I read Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol, and am in Stave 4 now. It is the story of a conversion from miserliness to generosity, from self-preoccupation to other-directedness. One assignment I give when I teach about conversion is to examine this Christmas book to determine if the student thinks Scrooge’s conversion is a [Read More...]

How about this for a book deal?

Sorry, nothing to stir the pot today. I don’t know if you buy used books, but, like a microbrew, it’s a good habit to acquire. When I was a seminary student, my professor, Murray Harris, gave us all a list of exegetical commentaries and I began looking for them. Every fall a few of us [Read More...]

Christ Plays (on Sabbath) 4

This post summarizes Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, pp. 108-118. I’m hoping a short section, focused as it is on only one issue (Sabbath), might draw more into the conversation. Peterson contends to “play with Christ” in creation we need to cultivate Sabbath and Wonder (next post). [Read more...]

Christ Plays 3

This post will summarize Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, chp. 1 pp. 85-108. This is a short section, but it is better than biting off too big of a chunk that extends to nearly 50 pages and ends with great reflections on Sabbath and Wonder (next week). Whether you’ve read the book [Read More...]