Your BETTER life now

Review of Better: How Jesus Satisfies the Search for Meaning by Tim ChaddickEcclesiastes is a hard book. Heck, most wisdom literature in Scripture is difficult. I mean, what on earth are we supposed to do with the prurience of Song of Solomon, the seemingly contradictory proverbs, or those middle chapters of Job where all his friends give him (apparently wrong) advice? (Joseph Caryl spilled 12 wonderful volumes worth of ink trying to answer that last question...) And while all of these can … [Read more...]

Confession is Good for the Soul

Review of Fox's Sleepy Hollow, Episode 3, "For the Triumph of Evil"Week three of Sleepy Hollow, and the apocalypse is still upon us. Maybe we can blame the government shutdown for how long it's taking to stop the end of the world? This week, a demon known as "Rokaronti" (also known in better fiction as the "Sandman") has been loosed on Sleepy Hollow and is systematically eliminating those who had a hand in covering up the dark secrets of the past. This particular villain strikes while the … [Read more...]

Sleepy Hollow’s Abbie Mills: From Law-Breaker to Law-Keeper

Review of Sleepy Hollow, Season 1 Episode 2Just in case you missed the pilot: Revolutionary War hero/former Oxford Don Ichabod Crane has time-travelled to the present to save us from the devil's plan to destroy the world. This battle was being fought in the 1780s by Crane and George Washington against Death, the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse (now, thanks to quick swordplay by Crane, also known as the "Headless Horseman") and has continued into the present where Crane now works with … [Read more...]

Quoth Nathaniel Hawthorne: ‘Burn, Baby, Burn’

Review of Earth’s Holocaust by Nathaniel HawthorneYou may know Nathaniel Hawthorne from being subjected to his The Scarlet Letter in high school or—if you’re especially unlucky—his The House of the Seven Gables in college. Which means that you’ve probably avoided everything with “Hawthorne” listed as the author since then. Which further means that you have missed out on some truly wonderful short stories where he proves that he’s earned his reputation just why he’s ranked as one of America’s … [Read more...]

FOX’s Sleepy Hollow; or, George Washington and Ichabod Crane vs. Evil

Review of Sleepy Hollow (‘Pilot’), Directed by Len WisemanIf you're familiar with the wonderful Washington Irving story, or the equally wonderful Disney cartoon, you probably think of Ichabod Crane as a tall, lean schoolteacher who has a way with the ladies, a sweet tooth a mile long, and a superstitious streak that is ultimately his undoing. Surely we all know that Ichabod was "tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his slee … [Read more...]

This is the way the world ends… and starts up again

Review of The Postman by David BrinForget, if you will, the Kevin Costner abomination that ruined him in the eyes of men who had loved Robin Hood and women who had loved The Bodyguard. (Or heck, vice-versa—I'm not judging in this review. I mean, I am judging, because this is a review, but I'm not judging that.) Before there was a movie version of The Postman that was so bad that it's really mean to even joke about it, there was the original book by David Brin, which is simply ex … [Read more...]

The Spirit of Not-So-Early Christian Thought

Review of The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Louis WilkenThis is the fifth installment of Reading Patristics–a review series dedicated to books about the early church fathers. These reviews will not be exhaustive summaries, but instead are meant to pique the interest of readers to pursue reading in this area of study and a guide to good books in the field. Previous installments: Classical Christian Doctrine, Retrieving Nicaea, The Theology of Augustine, and The Christians as the … [Read more...]

Whatever happened to the Evangelical church?

Review of The Courage to Be Protestant by David WellsIt takes no courage to sign up as a Protestant. After all, millions have done so throughout the West. They are not in any peril. To live by the truth of historic Protestantism, however, is an entirely different matter. That takes courage in today's context. (1)What has happened to American Christianity in the 20th (and now 21st) century? How have we gone from thoughtful and faithful Puritans building a church in a "howling wilderness" to … [Read more...]

Edwards on Freedom

Review of Freedom of the Will by Jonathan EdwardsThis post is part of the Patheos "What Do I Really Believe?" series under the subject: Does Free Will Really Exist? Who could possibly deny the existence of free will, especially in America? After all, this is the land of choices—and if you don't believe  just walk into your local supermarket sometime and try to count how many soda, chip, or cookie options there are on the shelves. And while you're there, you should also notice that there i … [Read more...]

The Gospel through Pagan Eyes

Review of Christians as the Romans Saw Them by Robert Louis WilkenThis is the fourth installment of Reading Patristics–a review series dedicated to books about the early church fathers. These reviews will not be exhaustive summaries, but instead are meant to pique the interest of readers to pursue reading in this area of study and a guide to good books in the field. Previous installments: Classical Christian Doctrine, Retrieving Nicaea, and The Theology of Augustine.From time to time … [Read more...]