Follower of The Way


Recreated Jefferson Library

Posted in Books by sosipater on April 11, 2008

For modest bibliophiles and Jefferson admirerers, like myself, this is a very cool story. 

 

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Tragic Comic: Schultz

Posted in Books by sosipater on March 27, 2008

This article by Russell Moore is a great read and the book looks even better.

Tragic Comic. Schultz and Peanuts: A Biography.

The Elder and His Work (Con’t)

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 14, 2007

“The usefullness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge.  Quiet Christian consistency will give wieght to his words and advice and be a daily lesson to all around.  His walk and conversation, his style of living, his companions and friends, his geniality, his amusements will all have an important influence , not only on his own family, but on the people of his district and congregation.  Young people especially notice,  and get good or evil from, much that they do not speak about to others.  They should learn from us what a Christian is like, not by the frequent use of certain pious expressions, but by the clear, transparent outflow of a life “hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).  Brethren, ,”what manner of persons ought we elders to be in all holy conversation and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11).”  David Dickson, “The Elder and His Work”, Page 34. 

The Elder and His Work

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 10, 2007

Weekend before last my family and I took a weekend trip down to Orlando, Fl to visit Sea World.  On Sunday we visited with some friends, one of which is the pastor of a PCA church there.  He was gracious enough to give me a couple of books, and I have found them to be excellent.  The current one I am reading is “The Elder and His Work” by 19th century Scottish Presbyterian David Dickson.  The small book has been edited, the spelling and grammar brought up to date (thankfully!), and explanatory notes added by George MacFarland and Philip Graham Ryken.  For such a small book, I have so far found several quotes that have struck me as profound and useful.  Here is one that I thought was magnifigant and The Lord has used to work in my heart.  I hope you enjoy it.

“Elders should be men of common sense, knowing when to speak and when to hold their tongues.  Even grace does not give common sense, a little of which would settle many controversies and heresies in the church of Christ.  Men of points and pugnacity are very annoying in a session or congregation, and they may rise to be the terror of presbyteries and other church courts.  They may love the truth at heart – and we believe they often do-but they love fighting too.  For such men the grave and quite duties of the eldership have little or no charm.  A carping, censorious spirit is to be watched and prayed against in all of us:  it is often the precursor or companion of backsliding in doctrine or life.  An uneasy conscience likes to find faults in others.  Having many different characteristics  and tempers to deal with, we need as elders to be men of a meek and quiet spirit, not going from one extreme to another-men of practical wisdom and sanctified common sense, and thus able to judge matters calmly and not as partisans.” – David Dickson, “The Elder and His Work”, Page 32-33.

Stay tuned for more quotes.

Wednesday Web

Posted in Books,Christ and Culture by sosipater on October 10, 2007
  • Walking Together Blog reviews Carl F. Henry’s “The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism”.
  •  Steve McCoy links to Will Sampson’s post on living in the Suburbs intentionally.  Here is the run down: 
    • 1) Live with others from your church community. 
    • Whether you share your home with another person or family, or whether you have several families that have homes in close proximity or both, sharing life together is perhaps the most powerful (i.e., going against the grain of suburban culture) way to be the body of Christ in suburbia. If you can’t live together, at least find a way to share resources (power tools, lawn mowers, children’s clothes/toys, etc).
    •  2) Work Less!
    •  One of the major powers that enslaves suburbia is the idolization of the career. There are many ways to pay the bills that do not involve a 9-5 job, and even within a 9-5 job, there are ways to work less (turning down promotions, taking unpaid leave, etc.) Working less will free you to serve your church community, your family, your neighbors, etc. It will also spur creativity: finding a solution for working less, finding a way to “make ends meet” financially, etc.
    • 3) Throw out the television.
    • Another (and perhaps larger power) that enslaves suburbia is consumerism. You’ll be amazed at how your desire for things ebbs as you take the TV out of the picture. If you can’t bring yourself to kill the television, at least take steps to lessen its influence (get rid of cable, only use it for movies, put it on a cart that can be wheeled in and out of a closet, etc.) Throwing out the television will also stimulate your creativity.
    • 4) Drive less.
    •   Suburban culture is also enslaved to the automobile. Find ways to loosen those bonds (much more difficult in suburbia than in urban areas). Share a vehicle with others in your church community (much easier if you are doing #1 above). Invest in a good bicycle. Walk. There was a segment on “60 minutes” a few weeks ago about how much we miss when we zip around in automobiles. Walking and/or biking will help you be more attentive to your surroundings
    • 5) Have a garden / grow food. 
    •  Suburban life is often very shut off from the food cycle (Food comes from the grocery store, of course!). Homegrown food is more healthy, it gives you a good excuse to be outside (see #7 below), and it provides you with a resource to share generously with your church community and your neighbors. Phil Kenneson outlines a number of horticultural lessons for the people of God in his intro to LIFE ON THE VINE that are additional benefits of this practice.
    • 6) Get to know your neighbors / listen for their needs. 
    •  To be human is to be poor. Or in other words, everyone has needs. The challenge of suburbia is that there are many more ways to conceal that poverty, and similarly that it will take more effort to get into a position where a neighbor can reveal their needs. Be intentional about building relationships. Share meals, play poker, have block parties, whatever it takes.
    • 7) Be outside as much as possible. 
    •  Another temptation of suburbia – fueled by individualism – is that of the house as an impenetrable fortress. Dissolve this temptation by eating, playing, relaxing outside. This practice is also one avenue to interact with your neighbors.
    • 8) Do not fence in your yard. 
    • All apologies to Robert Frost, but fences do not make good neighbors, and in fact they often keep us from making good human neighbors. This is a corollary to #7, the fence is a major component of the impenetrable fortress syndrome; it protects our privacy and keeps out our “evil” neighbors. It often is a statement of distrust. If you must have a fence (to corral a dog for instance) make it as low and as permeable (i.e., not blocking off the view) as you can get away with.
    • 9) Take a stand against the greed of mega-corporations. 
    • Whenever possible, resist buying from domineering mega-corporations (e.g., Wal-mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, and others). These corporations destroy local economies and have little or no concern for the environment. Buy as much as you can from businesses that are as local as possible (family-owned businesses are preferable to local chains, local chains are preferable to regional chains, and regional chains are preferable to global corporations.)
    • 10) Utilize and support non-commercial public spaces (parks, libraries, colleges, etc.). 
    •  This point is another corollary of #7 above. We must utilize and show our support for these public spaces, lest they be conquered by the powers of individualism (by becoming private property) or by consumerism (by becoming commercial or industrial property). This is also a wonderful way to foster relationships with our neighbors.

Interesting stuff.  I would take some disagreement with number 9, but I understand his point and do think we should support the enterprises of our neighbors, not forgetting a lot of our neighbors work at Wal-Mart and Lowe’s.  And as far as the environment goes, I doubt many companies want to destroy their own property through pollution.  Anyway, I’m degressing big time.  Thoughts?

History of Christology

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on October 7, 2007

For those of you who don’t regularly check in at the Desiring God Blog, check out this post from a few days ago entitled “A Call to Christology”.  From my vantage point it seems evangelical Christianity needs a good dose of the history of the Theology of Christology.  Don’t cults and heretics seem to just reuse the same errors and completely whacked out beliefs about Jesus.  Isn’t that really the most direct and frontal assault on the Christian faith, the attempt to undermine and twist the Biblical understanding of the central figure and person with whom our faith is built on?

So the main point of the blog is to bring to our attention a new book by Stephen Nichols, “For Us and For Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church”.  Looks excellent.  You can buy it by clicking on the link for the book.  Guess I need to add it to the wish list (see at the right side of the blog).  (By the way, my birthday is coming up and and its not too late for gift giving enthusiasts to peruse my Amazon wish list and click away!)

Interview with Steve Wellum

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on September 11, 2007

A while back I recommended the Book “Believers’ Baptism:  Sign of the New Covenant in Christ”. (At least I think I did, I can’t find the post right now).  Well, Justin Taylor has an informative interview with Steven Wellum, the author of one of the best chapters in the book.  The chapter is on Baptism and the Relationships Between the Covenants and can be read here for free.

Forgotten Henry

Posted in Books,Christ and Culture,Christian Theology,Government & Politics,History by sosipater on September 6, 2007

Check out Timmy Brister’s post on Carl Henry here.

Christ is the Center of the Scriptures

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on September 2, 2007

Check out this excellent review at the Walking Together blog on Graeme Goldworthy’s book Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. 

I am excited at the very premise.  All the scriptures point to Christ.  Any Christian theology without Christ at the center isn’t any Christian theology.  And preaching should expose this Christ centeredness that every part of the Bible contains.

 Note:  You can purchase this book here.

ESV Popularity Grows

Posted in Books by sosipater on July 9, 2007

The ESV Bible Blog posts today that the ESV continues to grow in sales and readership and this has (at least partly) been responsible for a new organization structure at Crossway Books and Bibles.  You can read all about it here.  Here are a couple of quotes.

Growth of the ESV Bible continues to accelerate, as worldwide sales and distribution increased more than four-fold over the past two years and the ESV moved up to the number three position on the CBA bestseller list in June.

With more than 100 creative editions and formats in print, the ESV Bible has also experienced more than 100% annual growth in the Christian retail market for four years in a row. The newest ESV release, the ESV Literary Study Bible, is a unique edition of the ESV with numerous literary features for Bible study and devotional reading. The ESV Literary Study Bible is scheduled for release in September of this year.

Hitchens book a hit

Posted in Books,Christ and Culture by sosipater on June 22, 2007

Hitchens Book Debunking the Deity a Surprise Hit by Jeffery Trachtenberg in the WSJ online.

Any idea why?  Bunch of athiest out there?  Bunch of curious people out there?  Bunch of Christians wanting to know what Hitchens is saying?  Bunch of apologists wanting to debate him?  Mix of all the above?

I found this quote interesting,

“I’m weary of people cramming religion at me,” agrees Duane Kelly, a self-described liberal and retired teacher who lives in Independence, Mo. He says he is reading the book and finds it interesting. “Maybe others feel the same way, and the success of this book is a backlash,” he says.

Wonder why Duane feels this way?  I don’t think Christians should just blow this off as the rantings of a liberal athiest.  Have we done something that makes people react this way?  Sure, the Gospel is offensive, but do we add to it by talking to people in an offensive way.  Do you think Duane knows any Christians who have tried to get to know him in order to show the love of Christ?  Would it have mattered or changed his opinion?  Would he still have picked up Hitchen’s book?  Have Christians, ourselves, fueled the demand for books like this?

Whew…lots of questions. 

10 Great Christian Biographies

Posted in Books by sosipater on April 16, 2007

Dr. Mohler has a cool post listing what he things are 10 Great Christian Biographies.  Here is his post and here is the quick list of the 10 books.

  1. Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (Berkeley: University of California Press), 1967, revised edition 2000.
  2. G. K. Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas — “The Dumb Ox” (New York: Doubleday, 1933/1956).
  3. Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1950).
  4. David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).
  5. Alister E. McGrath, A Life of John Calvin (London: Blackwell, 1993).
  6. George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003).
  7. Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield: The Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the Eighteenth-Century Revival, 2 volumes (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1970).
  8. Robert Moats Miller, Harry Emerson Fosdick: Preacher, Pastor, Prophet (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985).
  9. D. G. Hart, Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: P&R Publishing, 1994).
  10. Iain H. Murray, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years, 1899-1939 and D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The Fight of Faith, 1939-1981 (Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Trust, 1982, 1990).

Has anyone read any of these?  Sadly, I have not.  Got to get to reading.

End of the Age for “Left Behind” Series

Posted in Books,Eschatology by sosipater on April 4, 2007

Hold on to your reading glasses, looks like it is the (less than greatly anticipated) ending to the popular Christian fiction series of Left Behind books.  I italicised the word fiction because while I agree that it is completely fiction, I don’t believe everyone does.  Do you think the Tim Lahaye Prophecy Bible’s take on end times is much different from the Prophecy that is propagated in the books?

Anyway, here is a story from the UK Times about the last book and some of the responses to the series.  Interesting is the lower demand seen for the latter books versus the earlier ones.

Kingdom Come, the last of the “Left Behind” series of Bible-inspired thrillers written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, tells the story of the final postmillennial battle between Jesus and Satan. “I’ll give you a clue,” Jenkins said, “the good guy wins.”

But the author also accepted that the brand was not as successful as it once was, with 300,000 first-edition copies of Kingdom Come being printed compared with 1.9 million for previous books. “Maybe the edge has come off as far as it being a novelty,” he said.

You can read the whole article here.

Living the Cross Centered Life

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on April 3, 2007

Check out “Living the Cross Centered Life” by C.J. Mahaney at Integrity Book Buys.

The Cross of Christ

Posted in Books,Christian Theology by sosipater on March 28, 2007