An Absentee Father’s Legacy to His Movie Critic Son

Review of Try to Tell the Story by David Thomson By CHRISTIAN HAMAKER The worldview of most well-known movie critics is anything but Christian. While that doesn’t invalidate their opinions about how art works, it raises the question about the presuppositions those critics bring to their analysis of films and filmmakers. David Thomson has written [Read More...]

Percy Jackson and the Absent Father

Review of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan by PAUL D. MILLER The Lightning Thief (2005) is a perfectly serviceable young adult fantasy novel. It is the sort of book you read without much concentration for a few hours’ or days’ pleasant diversion, one that makes few demands of you. As [Read More...]

I am what I am, is that all that I am?

Review of Who Do You Think You Are? By Mark Driscoll By COYLE NEAL Mark Driscoll may not know it (or heck, maybe he does), but when he wrote a book about searching for personal identity he stepped directly into one of the fundamental philosophical questions of the 20th century: who am I? When philosophers [Read More...]

Gilead and the Calvinist Desire for Christ

Review of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson By JUSTIN HAWKINS Marilynne Robinson’s authorship of Gilead is the most convincing argument for reincarnation that has ever entered my mind.  That is not because the book is in any way about Eastern religion; it is not.  Rather, it is entirely from the perspective of an Iowan pastor in his [Read More...]

Introverts, Extroverts, and the Gospel: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Shut My Cake Hole

Review of Quiet by Susan Cain By COYLE NEAL Do you prefer your own company to that of others? Do you prefer a quiet evening at home to a drunken kegger? Do you wish that in addition to blocking sight the walls of your office blocked sound and other evidences of human existence? If so, [Read More...]

Follow the Leader

Review of Follow Me by David Platt By COYLE NEAL David Platt will mess you up. Or at least, his books will. When they’re not convicting you of being a fat, lazy American who doesn’t have much faith but has far too much comfort and stuff, they’re challenging you to live as if you are [Read More...]

In Alexander’s Footsteps

Review of Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan by Frank L. Holt By COYLE NEAL If you are not familiar with Frank Holt, I’m not terribly surprised. In one sense he is an obscure academic working in an obscure corner of academia. Specifically, he is an expert in Central Asian numismatics—the [Read More...]

Book of the Dun Cow

Review of Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, Jr. By KENDRICK KUO Aesop’s fables, Narnia, and Animal Farm, all rolled into one, would produce something similar to Book of the Dun Cow (1978), although Dun Cow is in a league of its own. The book won the the National Book Award (1980), to [Read More...]

Slaughterhouse-Five

Review of Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut By COYLE NEAL Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time. That is, he does not live from second to second as most of us do, but instead jumps to the future, and then back to the past, and then again to the present (whatever that means—it can be hard [Read More...]

Jesus Makes You Smarter

Review of Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, by James W. Sire By PAUL D. MILLER A colleague once asked me what makes a good analyst. I thought for a while, and answered “humility, courage, and integrity.” My colleague was surprised, having expected me to answer “a masters degree, high scores [Read More...]


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