The Structure of Theological Revolutions

Review of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnBy KENDRICK KUOThomas Kuhn (1922-1996) was a specialist in the history of science and held a professorship at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions remains his most famous work, which outlined his theory of paradigm shifts. The common view of scientific progress is a gradual growth of knowledge through new discoveries. In contrast, Kuhn argues that the scientific endeavor … [Read more...]

Stop Moping and Grow Up

A Review of Lost in the Middle by Paul David TrippReviewed by PAUL D. MILLER “Life is hard, and then you die—blessed be the name of the Lord.” That, in short, is the message of Paul David Tripp’s wrenching book Lost in the Middle (2004). I hated this book because of how deeply convicted I was of sin, selfishness, and idolatry on every single page. I strongly recommend it to everyone.Tripp is a biblical counselor—that is, a counselor who starts from the Bible’s understanding of human n … [Read more...]

In Which Arius Receives a Stocking Full of Coal and a Knuckle Sandwich

Review of The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus by Adam C. EnglishBy ALEXIS NEALMy idea of Santa Claus is based on an amalgamation of Disney specials, Norman Rockwell paintings, and the famous poem by Clement Clarke Moore. I know what every kid knows—that Santa looks vaguely like Edmund Gwenn. But I didn’t know a blessed thing about who he was before he was Santa Claus. Fortunately, Adam C. English was aware of my plight (shared by many Americans), and so he wrote The Saint Who Would Be Sant … [Read more...]

The Bible x The Church = Disciples

Review of Multiply by Francis Chan and Mark BeuvingBy COYLE NEALFrancis Chan can be a bit of a, well, unique individual, and that’s why I like him. He’s unique in a way that reminds us of things that have been forgotten, but without sacrificing solid theology. His latest book Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples (co-authored with Mark Beuving) is yet another book in this line—he takes a relatively obscure term like ‘discipling’ and shows us where it fits into the Christian life and why we … [Read more...]

Dreamsnake: A Review of a Review

Review of Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre By COYLE NEALDespite winning both the Hugo (1979) and Nebula (1978) awards, despite the fact that it’s incredibly well-written with a fast-paced plot set in a deeply imaginative world, and despite the fact that it is one of the most thoughtful expositions of second-wave feminism ever turned into a novel; you’ve probably never heard of the book Dreamsnake.In part, this isn’t your fault—the book hasn’t done well in print (though there’s a cheap ele … [Read more...]

Slain in the Spirit: An Author’s Journey and a Pentecostal Promise

A reflection on Mark Richard’s House of Prayer No. 2By CHRISTIAN HAMAKERHere at Schaeffer’s Ghost, we’re all about “watching books, reading films.” Mark Richard’s House of Prayer No. 2 walks the line: It’s a book about a writer who’s authored a screenplay (2008’s war drama, Stop-Loss, which I reviewed here). But it’s much more than that.House of Prayer No. 2 is not a book about movies, nor does it focus on screenwriting, although Richard’s screenplay plays a key role late in the memoi … [Read more...]

Patience is a Virtue

Review of All Creatures Great and Small, by James HerriotBy ALEXIS NEALFirst things first: If you have never read this book, read it. I’m not kidding. You can watch the television series, if you like—it’s quite good—but please read it as well. I’m sure they have copies at your local library, and at bookstores (of course, whether they still have bookstores may be another matter entirely). You can even read it on your Kindle. Just read it. You won’t be sorry.I first stumbled across this … [Read more...]

Deconstructing Bilbo Baggins

Review of The Christian World of the Hobbit by Devin Brown By COYLE NEAL Based on my limited experience, there seem to be two kinds of Tolkien scholars. The first sort are those who truly love and delight in his works and want to know more—they want to plumb the depths of Middle Earth and relish the world he has created. The second sort are those who disdain his writings, and want to kill the joy of others in reading his books. They exist seemingly solely to remind us that we’re reading f … [Read more...]

A Dark and Stormy Night…

Review of Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln ChildBy COYLE NEALA series of murders haunts the New York Museum of Natural History’s “Superstition” exhibition before it even opens. A primeval Amazonian terror stalks the labyrinthine corridors of the ancient edifice, and it’s up to an unlikely cast of characters to find the beast and stop it before it kills again. And this is an unlikely cast, which lends a good deal of charm to what would otherwise be little more than a perfectly service … [Read more...]

Intentional Christian Community: Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing (Pt 2)

Review of The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus, by David Janzen and a Community of Friends (Part 2 of 2)By ALEXIS NEALAnd now for my biggest issue with this book. I said in Part 1 that I think Janzen’s idea of community lacks a solid gospel foundation. This is actually a twofold problem. First, Janzen veers dangerously close to a works-based understanding of salvation. Second, the communities he advocates are united not a … [Read more...]