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Feminine Threads

Feminine Threads

I am slowly working my way through Diana Severance’s stimulating Feminine Threads: Women in the Tapestry of Christian History. The preface traces the attempt of feminism to re-write Biblical and Christian history. Severance observes that in the process of viewing the Bible just as another myth, the feminists “found themselves back in the garden with Eve, questioning what God had said and deciding what looked best to them.”a. The author argues that there is a certain continuity of “Christian women’s experience through the ages”b and that “Christian women were integral to the life of the Church wherever Christianity spread.”c

The author relies on a traditional interpretation of women’s role in the Church in contrast to the revisionist perspective of many feminine writers. She traces significant female figures through Christian history and offers an overview of their particular theological and sociological contributions.

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New Publication from Kuyperian Press: A Case for Infant Baptism

New Publication from Kuyperian Press: A Case for Infant Baptism

Kuyperian Press was founded to provide works that are accessible to the layman in the parish. In this new work, Dr. Gregg Strawbridge provides a wonderful summary of the case for infant baptism in the Bible.

What makes this booklet different?

Strawbridge has provided various charts and biblical connections making the case that the Bible’s promise to the children of the covenant has not been forgotten in the New Testament.

“In this little book, Gregg Strawbridge provides a clear, concise and compelling case for infant baptism. He anticipates the important questions, provides succinct answers, and thereby adds a highly valuable resource to the current conversation.”

–          John G. Crawford, Author of Baptism is Not Enough

 

Tremper Longman on Rick Warren’s New Book

Tremper Longman on Rick Warren’s New Book

Longman, my former professor at RTS, wrote this on his facebook page worth re-quoting here:

I just heard Rick Warren talk about his new book, the Daniel Plan on CBS news yesterday. I applaud his efforts to help us all keep trim. However, citing Daniel’s water and vegetable diet as the model made me chuckle a bit. The look that Nebuchadnezzar was going for was not lean and mean but plump. If you check out ancient depictions of Babylonian wise men, they are bald, round faced and chubby. Daniel was giving God room to work. At the end Nebuchadnezzar thought it was his diet that made Daniel so pleasantly chubby (many cultures even today prize a little girth on people), but Daniel knew that God was in control and made him chubby in spite of his diet. The next chapter shows that it is God’s wisdom and not the Babylonian wisdom that he learned in school that made him truly wise. For more detail see my Daniel commentary (NIVAC; Zondervan).

My Sheep Hear My Voice: The Hope of the Addict

I just received a book from a man I have never met, but who sought me a few years ago. He had written a book about his journey from addiction to non-addiction. I phrase it in those words because there wasn’t much he was going to when he left his addiction, except the non-practice of that addiction.

It has been a few years, and now that same book has been revised. I intend to provide a video review for him on youtube. I wrote a short review here some years ago. The revised book has a new title: My Journey Through Addictions to Salvation: A New Beginning. This is no longer an addiction to non-addiction journey, but one from misery to grace.

The Gospel Lesson for this Lord’s Day in John 10:22-30 is a reminder of this grace. Jesus calls His sheep, and what is unique about this calling is that His sheep have a uniquely tuned ear to realize that the voice calling is of their Shepherd.

The question before us is not whether we can free ourselves from addiction; the world has perfected that art in many ways, but the question is to what are we going to after the addiction? If this is going to be a long journey, then what is waiting at the end of that journey? Is it the absence of pills and alcohol? Or is it the presence of the Shepherd who calls you by name?

The reality is that for the addict who is free from his dependence he will always be seeking something to fill that gap. Previously drugs and alcohol (or whatever it might have been) filled that need, but Jesus promises to be the ultimate protector and satisfaction for His sheep. He will be the supplier of that need and no one will snatch His sheep from finding satisfaction in Him.

Book Review: Lent

The Lenten Season is now behind us, but just this morning I finished a book I started in the beginning of Lent. The book is conspicuously titled Lent (Free PDF of Book). The book published in 1902 is composed of 30 short articles by 30 Protestant Episcopal Bishops.

These are fairly conservative Bishops, unlike what one may find in the modern Episcopal landscape.

The book deals with a variety of Lenten themes. Among them is the consistent themes of preparation and discipline. Lent is a time of testing. A testing–though not equally–like unto the testing of Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days. Lent requires a sacred desire to examine oneself in light of God’s Word.

The 40 days of Lent serve as a time of self-control. The Lenten man is purposeful about those sins that have overtaken him. It is not as if he has not considered his sins outside the season of Lent, but that the season provides greater opportunities to look deeply into one’s walk in the gospel.

The book also offered warnings. Some may treat Lent as the only period of self-examination and good works, thereby acting carelessly throughout the rest of the Church year, but as St. Paul so clearly states: “God forbid that we continue to live in sin!”

The Church also provides with its various liturgical services extra opportunities for repentance and sacred living. “Repentance,” as Luther observed in his 95 theses, “is the life of the Christian” (paraphrase).

Lent is a necessary season for the Christian. If all is feasting then feasting is mundane. But Lent teaches us that the reason feasting is such a fundamental part of Christian existence is because fasting exists. There can be no glory without cross. There can be no empty tomb without the crown of thorns. So too, there can be no rejoicing without repentance.