Renewal Coaching

Douglas B. Reeves and Elle Allison, Renewal Coaching: Sustainable Change for Individuals and Organizations (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009). $29.95, 315 pages. Every New Year, millions of people resolve to change their lives. I myself resolved (yet again) to eat right, exercise, and improve my spiritual practices. And like millions of people, my resolve failed early and often. I’m still overweight and under-exercised, and I haven’t completed other personal improvement projects I committed myself to. Organizations, like individuals, set goals and timetables to make changes—whether it’s improving sales, efficiency, or customer satisfaction. And like individuals who resolve to change, organizations lose … Continue reading Renewal Coaching

Apologetics for a New Generation

Sean McDowell, ed., Apologetics for a New Generation: A Biblical and Culturally Relevant Approach to Talking about God (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2009). $13.99, 246 pages. How should Christians do apologetics in a postmodern cultural context? Some Christians claim that we shouldn’t do apologetics at all, for postmoderns are not interested in truth claims. This book’s contributors disagree. Postmoderns are interested in truth claims. But biblical truth claims must be presented in a culturally relevant manner. In the words of Sean McDowell: “Apologetics for a new generation must be about winning people rather than winning arguments.” Apologetics for a New … Continue reading Apologetics for a New Generation

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Own Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009). Forthcoming. Donald Miller likes “slow literary movies that don’t seem to be about anything and yet are about everything at the same time”—Garden State, for example. I don’t, and that probably explains why I didn’t like Miller’s newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It didn’t seem to be about anything, and I wasn’t sure it was even about everything. Speaking of movies, A Million Miles is partly a memoir of Miller working with a screenwriter … Continue reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

The Love Revolution

Joyce Meyer, The Love Revolution (New York: Faith Words, 2009). $21.99, 272 pages. To be perfectly honest, I did not expect to like this book. Joyce Meyer is a well-known televangelist and advocate of the prosperity gospel. She has been publicly criticized for high living and for lack of financial transparency and accountability in her ministry. Both of these things—the bad theology and the questionable finances—predisposed me to dislike this book before I had even cracked it open. This predisposition reminds me of the proverb, “Never judge a book by its cover.” Or its author, for that matter. I thoroughly … Continue reading The Love Revolution

Atheist Delusions

David Bentley Hart, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies (New Haven: Yale, 2009). $28.00, 253 pages. Over the past five years, atheists—some of whom grandiosely describe themselves as “Brights”—published a number of screeds against religion that, despite being more rhetorical than rational, nevertheless managed to sell briskly and convince (or confirm the pre-existing convictions of) a few people that unbelief is the way to go when it comes to religion. Well, maybe. Eastern Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart admits, “I can honestly say that there are many forms of atheism that I find far more admirable than … Continue reading Atheist Delusions

Meeting Jimmie Rodgers

There are two kinds of biographies: introductory biographies for a popular audience and advanced biographies for aficionados. Barry Mazor’s Meeting Jimmie Rodgers falls into the latter category, in my opinion. I had never heard of Jimmie Rodgers before I read this book, and I had heard only one of his songs–“In the Jailhouse Now”–although I didn’t know it was his. Upon reading Meeting Jimmie Rodgers, however, I learned what an influential singer he had been. The subtitle of Mazor’s book gets at his thesis: “How America’s Original Roots Music Hero Changed the Pop Sounds of a Century.” Rodgers was heir … Continue reading Meeting Jimmie Rodgers