Review of ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet

 Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet, Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014). Paperback / Kindle On September 21, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) into law, which Congress had passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities (85–14 in the Senate, 342–67 in the House). Section 3 of that law provided a legal definition of the words marriage and spouse for federal laws and regulations: “the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only … Continue reading Review of ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ by Sean McDowell and John Stonestreet

Review of ‘The Right to Be Wrong’ by Kevin Seamus Hasson

 Kevin Seamus Hasson, The Right to Be Wrong: Ending the Culture War over Religion in America, 2nd ed. (New York: Image, 2012). Paperback The story of religious freedom in America is, as Kevin Seamus Hasson tells it, the story of the conflict of conscience against Puritans and Park Rangers. Puritans—named after the Plymouth settlers—“want to use the state to coerce the religious consciences of those with whom they disagree.” Park Rangers—hilariously named after a group of hapless San Francisco bureaucrats (read their story on pages 3–4)—“insist…that only a society that owns no truth at all can be safe for freedom.” … Continue reading Review of ‘The Right to Be Wrong’ by Kevin Seamus Hasson

Review of ‘The Radical Disciple’ by John Stott

 John Stott, The Radical Disciple: Some Neglected Aspects of Our Calling (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2010). Hardcover / Kindle John Stott died in 2011, but his legacy lives on through his writings. The Radical Disciple is his final book, which he self-consciously wrote as a “valedictory message.” In eight short chapters, simply written but spiritually deep, Stott addresses “some neglected aspects of our [Christian] calling.” They are nonconformity, Christlikeness, maturity, creation care, simplicity, balance, dependence, and death. Stott’s concern throughout the book is the discrepancy between Christians’ stated beliefs and their actual behavior. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, … Continue reading Review of ‘The Radical Disciple’ by John Stott

Review of ‘QUANTUM MORTIS: A Mind Programmed’ by Vox Day

 Vox Day, Quantum Mortis: A Mind Programmed (Kouvola, Finland: Castalia House, 2014). Kindle James Jesus Angleton famously described the eternal battle between espionage and counterintelligence as “a wilderness of mirrors.” I thought of that phrase while reading A Mind Programmed, the latest installation in the Quantum Mortis series of science fiction stories. Few people or things are what they seem in this story, and even when you see what they really are, you still have questions. Here is the plot: Humankind has spread throughout the universe. It is governed by the Ascendancy, which in turn is ruled by the House … Continue reading Review of ‘QUANTUM MORTIS: A Mind Programmed’ by Vox Day

Review of ‘Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul’ by Bill Hybels

 Bill Hybels, Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle This past summer was exhausting. Between work, chauffeuring our son to three sports on four different days, shuttling our oldest foster daughter to daycare and speech care, waking up several times a night to bottle feed our youngest foster daughter, and church and other activities, my wife and I felt tapped out. And so, when Bill Hybels mentioned the words “exhausted, overwhelmed, overscheduled, anxious, isolated, dissatisfied” on page 1 of his new book, he immediately grabbed my attention. “Simplified living is about … Continue reading Review of ‘Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul’ by Bill Hybels

Review of ‘MindWar’ by Andrew Klavan

 Andrew Klavan, MindWar: A Novel (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle Rick Dial has had a bad six months. A truck T-boned his car, resulting in back surgery, crutches, and the end of a promising future in college football before it even started. Topping it off, his college-professor father has skipped town with an old flame, leaving him, his mom, and his kid brother in emotional turmoil and straitened financial circumstances. To cope, Rick closes himself in his bedroom and plays endless hours of video games online. Which brings him to the attention of a secretive agency within the … Continue reading Review of ‘MindWar’ by Andrew Klavan

Review of ‘Personal’ by Lee Child

 Lee Child, Personal (New York: Delacorte Press, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle  Lee Child has done it again. With Personal, he has written yet another Jack Reacher novel—the 19th in the franchise!—that is unputdownable. From the first sentence to the last, Child grabs your attention and doesn’t let it go. Reacher owes a guy a favor. The guy happens to be a one-star general and the protégé of a master spy. To repay the favor, Reacher needs to track down the military-trained sniper who took a .50-caliber shot at France’s president before he tries to assassinate other G8 leaders at an … Continue reading Review of ‘Personal’ by Lee Child

Review of ‘The Next America’ by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center

 Paul Taylor, The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown (New York: PublicAffairs, 2014). Hardcover / Kindle The Next America is not a book about how to contextualize the gospel in contemporary America. At least, that was not Paul Taylor’s intention in writing it. And yet, as I read his fascinating new study, I couldn’t help but notice its missiological significance. Drawing on reams of research by the Pew Research Center, which he serves as executive vice president, Taylor describes “the demographic, economic, social, cultural, and technological changes that are remaking not just our politics but our families, livelihoods, … Continue reading Review of ‘The Next America’ by Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center