A new way to see the Book of Revelation

From the earliest days of the church Christians have illustrated the scripture. Whether it's biblical scenes in catacomb art outside Rome or fully illuminated manuscripts like the Rabbula and Lindisfarne Gospels, Christians like to visualize holy stories and characters. Now comes The Book of Revelation, a graphic novel adaptation of John's Apocalypse executed at the highest artistic level.Enveloped in the arresting artwork is a gripping, new translation of the book, the labor of Frs. … [Read more...]

Six books for every pastor’s library

Pastors buy a ton of books, according to a new survey by the Barna Group. On average pastors purchase about forty-five titles a year, considerably more than the general population. How many books are we talking about? Protestant congregations number about 315,000 in this country, Catholic and Orthodox another 25,000. That means pastors buy about 15 million books a year, more or less.As a publishing professional, let me just pause and say thank you to all the pastors out there. My family … [Read more...]

The God who weeps

Where is God when we suffer? A new book by Frank Viola says he's there by our side, suffering with us.Viola's newest, God's Favorite Place on Earth, recounts the biblical stories of Jesus' time in Bethany, the town of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who Jesus raised from the dead in anticipation of his own resurrection.I read it leading up to Easter -- or Pascha as we call it in the Eastern Orthodox Church, which often differs several weeks from Western Easter. This year it was May 5. The … [Read more...]

Christians suffering, dying in anonymity around the world: New book exposes their plight

After gathering to protest the Muslim Brotherhood at their suburban Cairo headquarters, several of the demonstrators, mostly Coptic Christians, were dragged by Brotherhood thugs to a nearby mosque after Friday prayers and tortured.Mosque officials were apparently powerless to stop the hours-long assault, which for one man resulted in a broken skull, broken arm, bleeding in the right eye, and wounds from birdshot.I learned of the story yesterday morning, moments before attending a panel … [Read more...]

What I read about when I read Rob Bell

Any book of theology that starts with a epigraph by Tom Waits is arguably worth looking at. Such is Rob Bell's What We Talk About When We Talk About God.Since the 2011 publication of Love Wins, Bell's name has doubled as a lighting rod, the controversy having merely cooled, not diminished. I have no interest in revisiting that here. Nor do I have any interest in writing a negative review of his newest, aspects of which certainly could use the discerning squint of a jeweler's eye.Here I want … [Read more...]

3 unique resources for studying the life of King David

King David is one of the most interesting figures in all of Scripture. My friend David Teems recently summed up the fascination by focusing on the paradoxes of his namesake."Anointed as a boy, it would be years before David actually ruled anything, including himself," he writes. "If he is messy, and he is, he is also glorious. If he is a man of blood, he is also a poet of the first order. If he is untamed, if he is a bit uncivilized, he is also a man after God’s own heart."David is a h … [Read more...]

Tolkien’s son: Peter Jackson ‘eviscerated’ Lord of the Rings

After watching Peter Jackson's Hobbit, the usually soft-spoken Frank Schaeffer compared it to a botched circumcision. "[T]hey left everything they should have taken and took what they should have left," he said, quoting Surgeon General C. Everett Koop."The spirit of the book has been almost entirely lost and replaced by a movie that looks as if it was made to spin off theme park rides and videogame derivatives rather than to tell the story as written in the beloved children’s classic," said S … [Read more...]