Bruce K. Waltke, Finding the Will of God: A Pagan Notion? 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016). In this book, Bruce K. Waltke asks a provocative question: “Is finding God’s will a biblical idea?” He concludes that it is not. Indeed, he claims that phrases such as “finding God’s will” and “seeking the will of God” reflect “a pagan notion” and amount to “divination,” which the Bible condemns. This is a strong claim, of course—perhaps a bit too strong. On the other hand, Waltke is right to point out at least two faulty assumptions in the notion of “finding … Continue reading Review of ‘Finding the Will of God’ by Bruce K. Waltke
Douglas Groothuis, Philosophy in Seven Sentences: A Small Introduction to a Vast Topic (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016). Philosophy in Seven Sentences is, as the subtitle puts it, “a small introduction to a vast topic.” Using seven sentences from famous philosophers, Douglas Groothuis (pronounced GROAT-hise) introduces readers to important questions in epistemology (the study of knowing) and metaphysics (the study of being). Here are the sentences he chooses: Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things.” Socrates: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Aristotle: “All men by nature desire to know.” Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, … Continue reading Review of ‘Philosophy in Seven Sentences’ by Douglas Groothuis
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s the hymn attributed to that Christian saint… I bind unto myself today The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same, The Three in One and One in Three. I bind this day to me for ever. By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation; His baptism in the Jordan river; His death on Cross for my salvation; His bursting from the spicèd tomb; His riding up the heavenly way; His coming at the day of doom;* I bind unto myself today. I bind unto myself the power Of the great love of … Continue reading Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Leith Anderson and Galen Carey, Faith in the Voting Booth: Practical Wisdom for Voting Well (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2016). Today (March 15), voters from Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries. Since I am a Missourian, I performed my civic duty and cast a ballot along with them. Voting is so routine in American life that we Americans often take it for granted. We shouldn’t, however. It is a great privilege and an awesome responsibility. It also can be hard work. Choosing a candidate or supporting a referendum requires informed … Continue reading Review of ‘Faith in the Voting Booth’ by Leith Anderson and Galen Carey
Alton Garrison, A Spirit-Empowered Church: An Acts 2 Ministry Model (Springfield, MO: Influence Resources, 2015). Pentecostals look to the Acts 2 church as the paradigmatic church—and with good reason! This was the church to whom Jesus Christ himself said, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This was the church whose miraculous beginnings (2:4) were followed by immediate growth, both quantitatively (2:41) and qualitatively (2:42ff.). This paradigmatic church is sometimes misunderstood, however. It was not a perfect church, for example, as the negative example of Ananias and Sapphira … Continue reading Review of ‘A Spirit-Empowered Church’ by Alton Garrison
Carolyn Tennant, Catch the Wind of the Spirit: How the 5 Ministry Gifts Can Transform Your Church (Springfield, MO: Vital Resources, 2016). In Ephesians 4:11–12, the apostle Paul wrote: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” These five ministries played an obvious and fundamental role in the Church, according to the apostle, yet they are the occasion of no small amount of controversy today. Do the apostolic and prophetic ministries continue to operate today? If … Continue reading Review of ‘Catch the Wind of the Spirit’ by Carolyn Tennant
David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons, Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Extreme and Irrelevant (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2016). I recently testified before a state legislative committee in favor of two religious freedom bills. Twenty-five years ago, support for religious freedom was widespread. A nearly unanimous Congress passed the federal Religious Freedom Act, for example, and a Democratic president signed it into law. Today, any religious freedom bill, whether at the state or federal level, is sure to spark heated opposition because opponents argue that religious freedom is simply a mask for discrimination against the LGBT … Continue reading Review of ‘Good Faith’ by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons