All posts filed under: Reviews

Recommended Resource for sexual assault victims


About Rid of My Disgrace The statistics are jarring. One in four women and one in six men are or will be victims of sexual assault in their lifetime. But as sobering as the statistics are, they don’t begin to speak to the darkness and grief experienced by these victims. Because sexual assault causes physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual pain, victims need clear help, hope, and healing. In Rid of My Disgrace, a couple experienced in counseling victims of sexual assault explains how the grace of God can heal the broken and restore the disgraced. Justin and Lindsey Holcomb outline an approach for moving from destruction to redemption. While avoiding platitudes and shallow theology, Rid of My Disgrace combines biblical and theological depth with up-to-date research. This book is primarily written for those who have been assaulted (either as children or adults) but also equips family, friends, pastors, and others to care for victims in ways that are compassionate, practical, and informed. Part of the Re:Lit series. Endorsements “Careful research, lots of Scripture, and a demonstration …

God And The Atlantic… A Review


John G. Turner “Emerging Monstrousness”America, Europe, and the religious divide. During a semester abroad in Mainz, Germany, in the mid-1990s, I sampled lectures on the New Testament from the university’s Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät. Fifteen years later, I can only remember two things the professor said in the course of the semester. First, when discussing a gospel account of a healing, he commented that “only some people in America” believed that such miracles actually occurred. Later on, he observed that when American theologians—he at least conceded that such rarities existed—happened upon an idea, they did so unaware that German theologians had fully vetted it several decades earlier. He might have added that few American Christians wanted their ministers to stumble upon any recent theological insights, from Germany or anywhere else. Die Amerikaner: superstitious, backward, ignorant. In God and the Atlantic, Thomas Albert Howard analyzes the venerable history of European criticism and derision of American religion. “[Woodrow] Wilson talks like Jesus Christ and acts like Lloyd George,” French President Georges Clemenceau complained at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. No …

Get Off your But!


In Stephenson’s powerful and practical debut, the psychotherapist and professional speaker reveals how to banish self-doubt and insecurity in a world where they may seem omnipresent. Beginning with the source of his own struggle, a rare and painful disease that causes his bones to weaken and break under minimal pressure, Stephenson offers a structured approach to a wide array of topics, including dating, weight loss, lack of motivation, friendship, finances, and goals. While his advice is encouraging and insightful, Stephenson’s text is also notable for examples, mottos and resonant personal stories of enormous obstacles and accomplishments (his work with the Clinton administration, attaining his Ph.D., opening his own private practice). Though his unwavering optimism can be daunting (bringing one’s day-to-day gripes into sharp relief), Stephenson is empowering and uplifting throughout, and should prove helpful whether facing a lifelong challenge or a more immediate battle. (May) (PublishersWeekly.com, May 18, 2009) I just ordered my copy and I am looking forward to reading this as soon as I get it!

God is not one


Stan GuthrieTrue or Merely Useful? All religions don’t lead in the same direction. When I was a new believer seeking reasons for my faith, I inhaled the writings of Christian apologists such as C.S. Lewis and Josh McDowell. The way my unsophisticated mind summarized much of their material was something along the lines of, “Christianity is different from all other world religions because it is the only one in which we don’t have to earn our way to heaven, because salvation is by faith, not by works.” Boston University’s Stephen Prothero no doubt would have challenged my simple formula on a number of levels, such as the obvious one that Christianity includes a prominent place for works, and other religions also have faith—that is, trust—in something at least. One point we would have wholeheartedly agreed on, however, is that Christianity indeed differs from all other faiths. But Prothero would have gone further: all the world religions, in fact, differ one from another. Prothero dismisses as sentimental nonsense the theories of many other religion scholars, such as …

MachineGun Preacher


‘Machine Gun Preacher’ . . . for Christians Studio releases “secular” and “faith-based” versions of poster for film; Coming to theaters next month, Machine Gun Preacher is a movie that will appeal to some Christians because of its subject matter. It will also disgust some Christians . . . because of its subject matter. The movie, opening in limited release on September 23, is based on the true story of Sam Childers, a drug-dealing hell raiser as a teen and young man who began to turn his life around after finding Jesus. Today, he spends much of his time in Somalia and neighboring countries, allegedly fighting pockets of the LRA (Lord’s Republican Army) with his own band of gun-toting rebels while sweeping up orphans who have been left behind — and then putting them into orphanages that he has built-in the area. Some Christians will love the film for showing Childers’ path from rebellion to redemption. Others will hate it for the same reason; the first 15-20 minutes are as in-your-face and gritty as anything you’ll …

Mother Teresa, CEO


Jason Byassee Mother Teresa, CEO How NOT to write about leadership. It is not hard to make the case that Western Christians, especially mainline Protestants, have long been profoundly confused about business. We have treated church members who run or work in capitalistic endeavors as if they were doing something slightly sordid. The real work of ministry is done by those who pastor churches, teach students, run non-profits, or pursue other avenues of do-gooding. This is ironic in that one of the Reformation’s chief charisms is the priesthood of all believers—the claim that a vocation to pastoral ministry is no more essentially holy than any other work God calls one of his saints to do. It is also hypocritical in that all of our ministries depend on the funding of our sisters and brothers who make their money the only way anyone ever makes it: in business. There is a real opportunity, then, for sensitive and probing theological work integrating theology and business. Some have begun to do just such work, and I anticipate much …

Creating Community


Well I forgot to let you all know that I finished Andy Stanley’s Creating Community last week. So please allow me to share with you a few things I clipped in my Kindle: 1/.”It is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to leat broccoli alone.” I thought this was a very powerful way to emphasize that strong relationships pay huge dividends, even toward good health. because we grow when we are in loving relationships but we die slowly when we are isolated. 2/. “The kind of connections we need are more than casual. Casual connections aren’t life-giving.” Only God Spirit unleashed through His body can make that kind of difference. According to Him the only place  that kind of life changing difference is displayed – is the church in community. 3/. The goal for Andy is to: a. see people grow in their relationship with Christ b. pursue three vital relationships c. be a part of a small group… For them it’s all about relationships… that’s where people grow… that’s what their church …