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Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Justin Topp

posted by Scot McKnight

Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion Edited by Ronald L. Numbers Harvard University Press ISBN 978-0674033276 Reviewed by Justin Topp, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology North Park University Blog:http://scienceandtheology.wordpress.com/ Twitter: JustinTopp Science and religion are […]

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Books To Come … (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

As we look ahead to the summer … I have several books on my desk, and plan to post on them over the next few months. If you have particular interests you may wish to get a hold of one […]

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That Old Synoptic Problem

posted by Scot McKnight

Every serious Gospel scholar at some point has to sit down for a summer or so, underline every word in the Synoptics according a color-coded system, and come to a conclusion on the relationship of Matthew, Mark and Luke. I […]

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A Good and Beautiful Life

posted by Scot McKnight

Not that long ago I blogged through the first volume of James Bryan Smith’s The Apprentice Series. Volume two, The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ (The Apprentice Series) , is now available and I’d like […]

Saturday Afternoon Book Review: Derek Leman

posted by Scot McKnight

MAPPING MESSIANIC JEWISH THEOLOGY: A CONSTRUCTIVE APPROACH Richard Harvey, Paternoster, 2009 reviewed by Derek Leman For some Jesus Creed readers Messianic Jewish will be a term with a good connotation and for others not so good. The difference depends on […]

So You Want to Write a Book?

posted by Scot McKnight

Ten Awful Truths About Book Publishing by Steve Piersanti 6-09 Update

Only One Can Write this Book

posted by Scot McKnight

Of the handful of experts in the world in the field of hermeneutics, I can think of no one more prepared to write an introduction than Tony Thiselton. And he’s done just that in Hermeneutics: An Introduction . This is […]

A Christmas Book

posted by Scot McKnight

Verlyn Verbrugge is known to many authors as their editor, but few know of his expertise in reading and interpreting the Bible, so I’m quite happy to recommend his brief meditation on Christmas, called A Not-So-Silent Night: The Unheard Story […]

Jesus Creed Books of the Year 2009

posted by Scot McKnight

What were the best books you read this year? I’d be interested in hearing your choices. Whatever yours are, the following post lists mine. There are some books that have come across my desk this year that deserve special honor, […]

Book Comments: Levison and Casey

posted by Scot McKnight

Books on the Holy Spirit are not as plentiful as one might think, and books on the Spirit that take on the entire scope of evidence are fewer yet — but there is a new book that will become, and […]

Book Comments: Hahn and Johnson

posted by Scot McKnight

I can’t possibly discuss every book I’d even like to discuss at length on this blog, let alone books I get that deserve to be mentioned. I would need four blogs to get all this accomplished.  Yet, I’ve been frustrated […]

God Hides in Plain Sight 1

posted by Scot McKnight

Chris Armstrong finishes his book, Patron Saints for Postmoderns: Ten from the Past Who Speak to Our Future, with a chapter reflecting on how these saints — ten of them, some unknown and some unusual — can be of help […]

Ministering to and with Widows

posted by Scot McKnight

Every pastor needs this book on the shelf. Every church needs five copies of this book in store. And of course every widow could benefit from this book because it is written to help with “the new you.” That book […]

The Paradox of Freedom

posted by Scot McKnight

Michael Card, known mostly for his lyrics and music and concerts (and one of my favorite Christian musicians), has explored how it is that Christians find freedom. And what he has discovered is that freedom comes through slavery, which is […]

On Reading Memoirs

posted by Scot McKnight

Kris and I both love to read memoirs. Kris likes those memoirs that probe one’s psychological state or get into some deep story, while I like memoirs of writers and thinkers (which is not to say they don’t sometimes explore […]

CS Lewis and You

posted by Scot McKnight

It seems that most folks I run into have a CS Lewis moment or event or book they like. I first read CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia when I was in college. Kris had read them and couldn’t stop […]

When Athens and Jerusalem “Meet”: John Mark Reynolds

posted by Scot McKnight

The problem with John Mark Reynolds‘ new book, When Athens Met Jerusalem: An Introduction to Classical and Christian Thought , is that neither the title nor the subtitle is fulfilled in the book. The book is about Athens with hardly […]

Faith and the Prospect of Death

posted by Scot McKnight

I hope the title to this post didn’t scare you off because I want to address a serious topic: how we face death. But we can address this from a variety of angles — like Christian hope or the medical, […]

Dallas Willard’s Newest

posted by Scot McKnight

It is hard to estimate the significance and impact of Dallas Willard in the church today. It is also hard to describe his newest book: Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge . This is a good book, […]

Organizing a Library

posted by Scot McKnight

For more than 30 years I have bought books, entered them onto a master list of books in my library, filled out 3×5 cards (which I quit doing a few years back), read them and shelved them. But all of […]

Beginnings 3 (RJS)

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

For many Christians the creation narratives in Genesis 1-2 and the fall in Genesis 3 are key passages in conversations concerning science and faith. The significance of our knowledge of the age of the earth and the theory of evolution […]

The Inner Apologetic

posted by Scot McKnight

St. Augustine famously said, “for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You” (Confessions 1.1.1). Though I’ve never seen a full-scale discussion of the Bible’s presentation of the “inner apologetic,” how […]

iGens 10

posted by Scot McKnight

The oddity of Jean Twenge’s conclusion that we discussed Wednesday, that our youth are more anxious and depressed than before (see her book Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before), is […]

iGens 9

posted by Scot McKnight

One of the more alarming features that Jean Twenge uncovers in her new book, Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled–and More Miserable Than Ever Before concerns levels of anxiety among iGens or what she prefers […]

God in the Shack

posted by Scot McKnight

If you have questions about The Shack , and if your questions are theological, and if some have suggested that this book is full of heresy and you are wondering about the book, then you need to read Roger Olson, […]

Capital Punishment and the Trial of Jesus

posted by Scot McKnight

This last weekend in our travel to Canada and back, I read lawyer and professor of law at Baylor University, Mark William Osler‘s new book Jesus on Death Row: The Trial of Jesus and American Capital Punishment . There are […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by Scot McKnight

Friends think about, talk about, and enjoy happiness with one another. David Naugle’s new book, Reordered Love, Reordered Lives: Learning the Deep Meaning of Happiness, is a good book to read and a good book to discuss — and I […]

On Blurbing Books

posted by Scot McKnight

Blurbing is a delicate art. Publishers seek recognizable names that will raise the credibility of the book and its author; publishers also seek diverse blurbs in order to widen the readership. Blurbs, so it seems to me, are there to […]

The Best Christmas Present?

posted by Scot McKnight

I wish my family had known of these things years ago! Just got this in the e-mail today from Amazon and had to pass it on for those who still don’t know what to buy.

McKnight, Martoia and Borders.com

posted by Scot McKnight

This is what I found at Border’s. Here’s the image. As you can see, they managed to get The Blue Parakeet’s author as a certain former, pretty student of mine named Ron Martoia: This is Ron Martoia and it does […]

Jesus Creed Books of the Year 2008

posted by Scot McKnight

At Beliefnet I am participating with other bloggers in nominating my top books of the year and here are my top picks. I’ve chosen books I’ve reviewed here and ones that drew either strong affirmation and great discussions. Klyne Snodgrass’ […]

Yet (One More) Books for Christmas

posted by Scot McKnight

This selection of new biblical studies books is a bit of a grab book of “must-reads” I saw at SBL. The Jesus Creed blog is committed to speaking about and against racism, and so we want to highlight a new […]

More Books for Christmas

posted by Scot McKnight

In our last post on new books we listed some top-notch new reference books and commentaries. Today I want to mention seven new books in theology and Christian thought. I begin with what is becoming an international argument: the relationship […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by Scot McKnight

I read two wildly distinct pieces this week that somehow are joined at the hip — I read some more in Kathleen Norris’s book Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life , and I also read Barry […]

Books are the Best Presents

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

Every year at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical Literature I meander through the book stalls, make some purchases, and set myself up for another year of reading and researching. Today I want to make some book suggestions […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

The first section of chp 7 in Kathleen Norris’  Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life is relentlessly profound. Today I want to clip a few lines of hers about human nature and apathy (acedia) and ask […]

Do you Moleskine?

posted by Scot McKnight

A few years ago I discovered the ruled Moleskine:  Moleskine Ruled Notebook Large and Moleskine Ruled Notebook Pocket . They have a cool elastic string that keeps it closed and a fantastic pocket at the back for storage. For two […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

The desert monks committed huge portions of Scripture to memory, not only putting us moderns to shame but also reminding us of the potency of a simple life. One reason for putting so much Scripture to memory was to learn […]

Books on Ethics: Top 5

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

I was recently asked what my top five books on Christian ethics would be … well, without parameters I thought I’d give five that span the spectrum. A good anabaptist approach, written for an upper level college student, graduate student […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by Jesus Creed Admin

On Fridays at the Jesus Creed blog we converse about a book that helps us form friendships, and we are now reading through Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me: Marriage, Monks and the Writer’s Life. This is a book that paints […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Kathleen Norris tells her story, inAcedia & Me: Marriage, Monks and the Writer’s Life, of how she became a poet during her college days at Bennington. It was a teacher who told her she had what it takes.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

It’s easier to talk about depression and acedia than it is to live with either; and it’s a whole lot easier to talk about both than to free oneself from either. At the heart of dealing with acedia is to […]

Home and the Posture of Grace

posted by xscot mcknight

A few years back a friend of mine, Jay Phelan, told me about a book about a pastor and a small town in Iowa and so I bought the book and was about 50 pages deep before I realized it […]

Books to Come

posted by xscot mcknight

We’ve got quite the line-up of books to come. First, I want to announce a major series on racism. I, along with four other professors — Vincent Bacote (Wheaton), Soong-Cha Rah (North Park Seminary), and two of my department colleagues […]

Doubt: RJS

posted by xscot mcknight

We have been having an ongoing, sporadic conversation on the issues of conversion, apostasy, and doubt on this blog over the last several years. A recent book simply entitled Doubtingby Alister McGrath deals with this issue in a useful and […]

Chrysalis: A Reminder

posted by xscot mcknight

I want to remind the Jesus Creed blog community of an offer I made to read a book and engage in a conversation here about it. We will begin on August 11th. The offer is for these kinds of people: […]

Though Dead, Yet Speaketh

posted by xscot mcknight

Robert Webber’s books keep coming out, almost like testaments of his commitment to educate the church on worship. I thought they were done and yet, here it is, another final one: Ancient-Future Worship. If you are trying to resurrect the […]

Dictionaries, You gotta love ‘em

posted by xscot mcknight

The IVP dictionaries are one of the finest gifts to the church of this generation. Whenever a new one comes out, I like to spend the evening dipping into it here and there. The newest one is edited by Tremper […]

The Greatest American Novel

posted by xscot mcknight

Every summer, or almost every summer, I read Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea. Whether it is his prose or the subject of the chase or the struggle that blends the human and the natural world, I don’t […]

J.M. Coetzee

posted by xscot mcknight

Theo Geyser, a pastor in Stellenbosch, recommended that I read J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace. It tells a story of South Africa, as one critic put it, a story that “brutal tyranny has been replaced by brutal anarchy.” I don’t know how […]

Cry, the Beloved Country

posted by xscot mcknight

Somewhere in high school both Kris and I read Alan Paton’s famous Cry, the Beloved Country, but it was so long ago that I had to read it again in preparation for our time in South Africa. Yes, it was […]

Books to Come

posted by xscot mcknight

In the coming month we will turn to two new books, one by Darrell Cosden called The Heavenly Good of Earthly Work. I met Darrell on a flight, got his book, and think this book is a nice change of […]

Don Everts 4

posted by xscot mcknight

This series on Don Everts is by Chris Ridgeway, a friend and seminary student. His review is more of a critical interaction with the book and I want to thank him for these reviews. We’re both wondering what you think […]

Don Everts 3

posted by xscot mcknight

This series on Don Everts is by Chris Ridgeway, a friend and seminary student. His review is more of a critical interaction with the book. Everts, Don. The Dirty Beggar Living in My Head: One Guy?s Musings About Evil & […]

And the cover for the Blue Parakeet is…

posted by xscot mcknight

Many of you will remember the fun we had when we posted the three possible covers for our book with Zondervan called “The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking how you read the Bible.” Well, here’s a link to a Zondervan page where […]

Bishop Tom

posted by xscot mcknight

Just in case you didn’t see this back on the posts on Tom Wright’s book: here is Tom Wright’s letter to us.

Don Everts 2

posted by xscot mcknight

This is the second of Chris Ridgeway’s reviews of Don Everts’ new series from IVP.

Don Everts 1

posted by xscot mcknight

One of our seminary students has become a friend, Chris Ridgeway. I gave him a new four-set series from IVP by Don Everts and he’s reviewing them for us.

Christian Biographies 4

posted by xscot mcknight

I haven’t known much about the Salvation Army though as a kid my parents had some friends were Salvationists, so it was with some anticipation of learning that I read Roger J. Green (a Salvationist himself) and his new book […]

Riding on Garrison Keillor’s Pontoon

posted by xscot mcknight

My own definition of what counts as a “novel” fluctuates. You might say I fudge. If it is a classic, like Homer’s stuff, it’s not fiction. If it is theological, it’s theology. Otherwise, I don’t read novels. Unless it’s the […]

Learning our Story, Teaching our Story

posted by xscot mcknight

It is customary for many today — and I’m a big fan of this — to speak of the Bible as Story. There is another story we need to know, and it is the story of the Church. Why? I […]

Jesus Creed Books of the Year Awards

posted by xscot mcknight

I have given plenty of attention to books on this blog, and want to call special attention to some pastor-type books that have not been blogged much, but which I would judge to be some of my favorites of the […]

Fasting Book Worth Reading

posted by xscot mcknight

In my research for a book on fasting I read a shelf full of books and a stacks of journal articles, and without question the finest thing I read was by Kent Berghuis, called Christian Fasting: A Theological Approach. He […]

Out of Print

posted by xscot mcknight

A pastor who suddenly discovered 99% of the words in the Bible had mysteriously vanished, said this to his wife: “I don’t know what I’m going to do. What’s going to happen to our ministry? With no Bible to teach […]

Calling All Dispensationalists and Covenantalists!

posted by xscot mcknight

I grew up among dispensationalists and the first Bible I bought, with my newspaper money, was a KJV Scofield Bible. The singular feature of dispensationalism that has bothered more than a few of us is the graphic realization that dispensationalism […]

Is Image Everything? 6

posted by xscot mcknight

“Christians talk about hating sin and loving sinners, but the way they go about things, they might as well call it what it is. They hate the sin and the sinner” — from Jeff in unChristian.

Is Image Everything? 5

posted by xscot mcknight

In Kinnaman and Lyons, in unChristian, another issue folks have with the church is that it too political. Frankly, I see this today so much from both the right and left I am discouraged. So, let’s see what K-L find.

After the Baby Boomers

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the advantages of flying, as we did this weekend (to Seattle), is some extra time for reading and on the flight out and back I read a book I consider a must-read for all church leaders: Robert Wuthnow, […]

Is Image Everything? 4

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ve chosen to skip the chp in unChristian about Christians being antihomosexuality mostly because I’ve blogged about the issue enough of late. Instead, I’m skipping to chp 6 contends that nonChristians think Christians are sheltered.

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

We begin the month with a look at John Goldingay’s Israel’s Gospel (OT Theology), chp. 8, focusing on the period from Joshua to Solomon and the theme of God’s accomodating himself to Israel and life on planet earth.

That Special Christmas Break Book

posted by xscot mcknight

Every year I keep my eyes open for the book that I will remember as the book I read over the Christmas break. This year I’ve got mine picked out, and if you like well-written but rich history this is […]

Is Image Everything? 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In the book unChristian by Kinnaman and Lyons, the first major area they examine where Christians are unChristian concerns hypocrisy. Don’t roll your eyes this time; there are some important things in this chp that I’m not sure are known […]

Is Image Everything? 1

posted by xscot mcknight

About fifteen years ago, so I would guess, Andre Agassi was doing commercials for someone (I can’t remember) in which he said “Image is everything.” How much does the “image” others have of Christians matter? Both the seeker movement and […]

Everything Must Change 9

posted by xscot mcknight

McLaren’s 22d chp in Everything Must Change is called “Joining Warriors Anonymous.” It is about Jesus’ strategy for dealing with violence and our security crisis.

Ex-Gays? 7

posted by xscot mcknight

Our final post on the intense study of Jones and Yarhouse, called Ex-Gays?, asks if the attempt to change sexual orientation and behavior is harmful to the person?

Everything Must Change 8

posted by xscot mcknight

This week we are looking at the first of three global crises we face — security — and how Jesus’ message of the kingdom addresses such a crisis. Today we look at the two chps on the military story we […]

Ex-Gays? 6

posted by xscot mcknight

Can sexual orientation change? This is the question Jones and Yarhouse ask in chp 7 of Ex-Gays?. The consensus of the American Psychological Association (APA) is that orientation cannot change. So, J-Y are testing that claim.

UnChristian

posted by xscot mcknight

We will begin a series next Tuesday on the new book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons called unchristian. This book is about “what a new generation really thinks about Christianity.” The book reminds me of Dan Kimball’s fine book […]

Everything Must Change 7

posted by xscot mcknight

In Part 5 of Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change Brian begins to look more specifically at the Security System and how Jesus’ message of the kingdom challenges how Christians relate to power and violence and systemic injustices in the world.

What does “kingdom” mean?

posted by xscot mcknight

Our posts of late have raised a significant question: What does “kingdom of God” mean? It seems to me that many today have switched their Christian rhetoric from Paul’s word “salvation” to Jesus’ word “kingdom.” But, not as many are […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today we begin looking at Marko Ivan Rupnik, In the Fire of the Burning Bush. Rupnik is a Jesuit, is a director and teacher in Rome, and is also a visual artist. A theme of the first section of this […]

This book, Ex-Gays?, is not

posted by xscot mcknight

This book, Ex-Gays?, is not an easy read because the authors, Stan Jones and Mark Yarhouse, want this to be seen as an empirically-based study. The prose is fine but this is a serious piece and not your typical storied […]

Ex-Gays 4

posted by xscot mcknight

The subject of Jones and Yarhouse’s Ex-Gays?, whether or not there is evidence that those with homosexual orientation can change that orientation, is not an easy topic to discuss. But, I think we’ve seen that we can talk and learn […]

(First Day) is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

I try to read a new chp in John Goldingay, OT Theology: Israel’s Gospel, the last week of the month. Well, I had to much to do last week so I’m behind … and now I’ve got some eager readers […]

Reading the Letters of Others

posted by xscot mcknight

I love to read the letters and correspondence of historical figures or those in whom I have an interest. And I am a sucker for the letters of C.S. Lewis. I read the original paperback edition twice, and then HarperSanFrancisco […]

Ex-Gays 3

posted by xscot mcknight

We are committed to understanding the central ideas of Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse, Ex-Gays?, and to do this we want to work our way patiently through their book. The central thesis of this book is that same-sex orientation and […]

What was it really like?

posted by xscot mcknight

That is, what what was it really like to be a Christian — a Jewish Christian — in the first few centuries. Here’s a fact: the Church shifted from its original Jewish roots with its Jewish story when it became […]

Ex-Gays 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Stanton Jones and Mark Yarhouse’s book Ex-Gays? discusses the controversy about a very specific issue and we want today to begin our series today by looking at chp 1:

Uncomfortable Bible Passages

posted by xscot mcknight

Most of us have read enough Bible to know texts that make us uncomfortable, texts like ignoring Hagar or sacrificing Jephthah’s daughter or patriarchs behaving badly. But most of us do the same thing: ignore them and hope no one […]

Must Everything Change? 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Next week we will begin a series on Brian McLaren’s new book, Everything Must Change. If Brian’s Generous Orthodoxy muddied the waters and his Secret Message of Jesus showed the path he was traveling, this new book makes it abundantly […]

Ex-Gays 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Take a deep breath and promise to be reasonable and to converse according to the Jesus Creed because we will be doing a series, beginning next Tuesday, on the new book by Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse called […]

Next Books to Read

posted by xscot mcknight

Our next two books for Friday is for Friends will be … Marko Ivan Rupnik, In the Fire of the Burning Bush Telford Work, Ain’t Too Proud to Beg

Mother Teresa 6

posted by xscot mcknight

In this last post on Mother Teresa, I’d like to put together how I understand her “darkness.” I have been asked about this wherever I’ve been and so, after reading the new book, Come Be My Light, I’d like to […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Have you ever taken a pilgrimage or a retreat? Tracy’s Balzer’s book, Thin Places,, has a chp on how the ancient Celtic Christians took pilgrimages. She joins Tom Wrightin encouraging us to reconsider the value of retreats and pilgrimages.

Mother Teresa 5: Darkness

posted by xscot mcknight

In 1953, M. Teresa wrote to the Archbishop these words: “Please pray specially for me that I may not spoil His work and that Our Lord may show Himself — for there is such terrible darkness within me, as if […]

Mother Teresa 4: Success

posted by xscot mcknight

Mother Teresa’s launching of the apostolate called the Missionaries of Charity was an immediate success, in all the right ways. The story is found in chp 7 of Come Be My Light..

Epstein’s New Book

posted by xscot mcknight

Here is my review of Joseph Epstein, In a Cardboard Belt!, which the subtitle calls Essays Personal, Literary, and Savage (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007). Epstein is my favorite essayist and I commend this book to you as vintage Epstein.

Mother Teresa 3: Determination

posted by xscot mcknight

M. Teresa had the determination of a terrier, and chps 4-6 illustrate this over and over in the book Come Be My Light.

Mother Teresa 2: Piety

posted by xscot mcknight

We will look this week at the darkness of Mother Teresa. To do this I will be reflecting on her book Come Be My Light, and hope you will join along in reading and reflecting on this influential witness to […]

Friday is for (Celtic) Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

When the word “prayer” is said to you what comes to mind? This is a question Tracy Balzer asks in her book Thin Places. Guilt? Longing? Confusion? Consolation? Desolation? Prayer is important and her chp on prayer provides a way […]

Mother Teresa 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Yesterday’s mail included, much to my delight, the letters of Mother Teresa called Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. Last week the book stirred controversy because the depth and duration of her darkness became public. I’d like to spend some […]

Finding Faith/Losing Faith 5

posted by xscot mcknight

Some people lose their faith and then find it again. In Timothy Larsen’s new book Crisis of Doubt, we are treated to seven such figures in 19th Century England. They had a secularist crisis of (their) doubt. This way of […]

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

On the first day of each month we dip into another chapter of John Goldingay’s magnificent . We are in chapter six, “OT Theology: Israel’s Gospel.“God Sealed” is the theme and it deals with the sealing of the Covenant in […]

On My Book Recommendations

posted by xscot mcknight

As you may have guessed, I get lots of books from publishers hoping I will give them some attention on this blog. What has happened, of course, is that this blog has become media and I have become an editor […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Do you have an anamchara, the Celtic word for “soul friend” or “spiritual director”? Tracy Balzer’s second chapter, in Thin Places, is a delicate and insightful survey of the Celtic practice and how spiritual direction or soul friendship can be […]

This is John Ortberg

posted by xscot mcknight

Kris and I and our kids and their spouses have been fans of John Ortberg for a long time, and that is why I just had to find a way to read When the Game is Over it All Goes […]

Mother Teresa’s Faith

posted by xscot mcknight

This Time magazine article, with a few other variants around the world, briefly describes the struggles of Mother Teresa with her faith — for a long, long time. All we have are some excerpts, set in a little bit of […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today we begin a conversation about Tracy Balzer’s book, Thin Places. It is an invitation to Celtic spirituality. I hope you join us.

Finding Your Plot

posted by xscot mcknight

In 1986 Dan Taylor gave to the evangelical world a gift called The Myth of Certainty, a book that didn’t justify doubt so much as let many of us know that we were not alone.

A High View of Scripture?

posted by xscot mcknight

In doing some work on the doctrine of Scripture I have now read through Craig Allert, A High View of Scripture? and wish to commend it to you for your reading. Here’s why:

Culture Wars and Political Correctness

posted by xscot mcknight

In her essay, “Procrustes and the Culture War,” Anne Fadiman warns us of getting caught on the bed of Procrustes — her image of getting caught up in the ideology of political correctness, of the ideology that you must toe […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today marks the last Friday devoted to a conversation about Jon Wilson’s fine study of the church called Why Church Matters. Next Friday we begin Tracy Balzer’s Thin Places: An Evangelical Journey into Celtic Christianity.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We are at the second to last chapter in Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters and I want to ask a question that for many of my readers is (perhaps) ludicrous to ask. If not ludicrous, perhaps the question is just […]

Books in Review

posted by xscot mcknight

Every now and then I post a brief review of books that I simply can’t give a lengthy series to — and they often deserve it. But, I can only do so many books on the blog and we’ve got […]

Lark or Owl — which are you?

posted by xscot mcknight

When are you most creative? Or, should I put it more profoundly: When are you most yourself? In the early hours of the day, before most others have awakened, or after midnight, when most have gone on to the rest […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The 8th chp of Jonathan Wilson’s study, Why Church Matters, has to do with baptism, eucharist and footwashing, and in today’s post I will take issue in a way that I hope will generate a good conversation.

Finding Faith/Losing Faith 2

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the sources for my research into why and how some “lose” their orthodox faith is Edward T. Babinski, Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists. My research is not simply concerned with folks who begin as Christian and […]

How Healthy is Ice Cream?

posted by xscot mcknight

Now before I go any further to state my view on this, let it be known that my kind of doctorate is, as one pastor once introduced me before a Sunday morning sermon, “not the kind that does anybody any […]

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

The first day of each month for the next two years we will be discussing John Goldingay’s OT Theology: Israel’s Gospel, and we are now on chp 5, “God Delivered: The Exodus.” So, here goes … and I hope you […]

Finding Faith/Losing Faith 1

posted by xscot mcknight

I let the cat out of the bag Saturday in the Weekly Meanderings and the nice conversation that followed from it. I linked to the story of the reporter named Lobdell who, after a conversion to the faith and after […]

Augustine on the Protestant Sex Ethic

posted by xscot mcknight

Protestants today may be thoroughly surprised to learn that things weren’t always so permissive and open when it comes to sexuality — that is, between husbands and wives. Gilbert Meilaender, in The Way That Leads Home (chp. 4), puts Augustine […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

How have modernity and postmodernity distorted how we understand the gospel? Jon Wilson, in his Why Church Matters, asks this question in chp 7: “Discipleship as Human Flourishing.” And we start with a bang:

Are you a collector?

posted by xscot mcknight

Anne Fadiman is. In her collection of essays, At Large and At Small, she opens the door to her life of collecting butterflies and, as time moves forward, speaks of a Darwin-like obsession with finding, storing, and labeling all things […]

“Our” Book

posted by xscot mcknight

The other day I mentioned at the very end of my last post about Oase that “our” book, A Community called Atonement, was soon coming out. Tony Jones gave me the “bid-neth” for using the old-fashioned, formal, if not pretentious […]

The Fragile Brilliance of Glass

posted by xscot mcknight

In the 3d chp of Gilbert Meilaender’s exquisite volume, The Way That Leads There, we are treated to a meandering through Augustine’s City of God in quest of a Christian perception of politics. After last night’s debate and as we […]

Soul Care

posted by xscot mcknight

Mindy Caliguire, who is known in all spiritual formation circles as a result of her “soul care” ministries, public speaking, and national leadership, has just written two small books designed for concentrated retreats — whether at home over a week […]

The Best Book Ever on the Bible

posted by xscot mcknight

Is Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson. How do you read the Bible?

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

In Jon Wilson’s fine study, Why Church Matters, we turn this week from “Foundations” to “Renovations” and in his two chps on this topic he speaks first about “Witness.” And his way to put it all together is in this: […]

Wikiklesia

posted by xscot mcknight

John La Grou and Len Hjalmarson created the idea of a participatory book, and I confess that I’m not all that sure what happens but I confess that you probably do. Anyway, they asked me to write a piece and […]

Vicarious Novel Reading

posted by xscot mcknight

Regular readers of this blog know that I read novels as often as most of us visit our friendly dentist: Not very often! I’ve admitted to all of you that I try, but it’s about like some TV commentator, after […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We’re back to Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters, and chp 5 is a fascinating chp. But Jon cheats here — in his section on worship he has included a chp on the pastor. It’s the adjustment of a nice article […]

On Lying

posted by xscot mcknight

How’s that for a title to a post? Is it ever morally justifiable to lie? This is the question Gilbert Meilaender addresses in the 2d chp of his book The Way That Leads There. Augustine, his sparring partner, says “Never!” […]

House churches, mission, and the Bible

posted by xscot mcknight

The most significant book ever written on house churches in the 1st Century is by Roger Gehring and is called House Church and Mission. I don’t very often write posts on this blog about published dissertations, but that is because […]

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

This is our fourth consecutive month where the first day of the month is devoted to a post on John Goldingay’s OT Theology: Israel’s Gospel. This OT theology is unlike any OT theology I’ve seen — it is theological reflection […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We’re back with Jon Wilson’s fine book, Why Church Matters: Worship, Ministry, and Mission in Practice — and this week we look at another chp on worship and it is about the significance of the Trinity for worship. Good topic.

Leading into Organic Community

posted by xscot mcknight

Every now and then I get bogged up in my reading enough that I post some short notices about books that have crossed my desk that I think Jesus Creeders might like to know about but which I can’t blog […]

Is Christianity Mercenary?

posted by xscot mcknight

When Augustine said his heart was not at rest until it came to rest in God, was he simply saying that we are selfish and coming to God makes us happy? That we use God for our own ends? Is […]

Anne, Hang on!

posted by xscot mcknight

At one point in the history of writing this blog, I thought I’d do a series on my favorite essayists. I think the series got off the ground with my favorite essayist and then fizzled: Joseph Epstein. I suppose it […]

Hospitality: Now and Then

posted by xscot mcknight

I’m reading on table fellowship of late and today I wish to call to your attention three books on hospitality. The first is more for the general reader, the second and third for the more academic setting. Still, each is […]

Women Authors: Christine Pohl

posted by xscot mcknight

Anyone who has the cleverness to write a book on hospitality called Making Room gets my vote for a good title, and also gets my attention. And, because I’m working a bit right now on table fellowship, I read through […]

Women Authors: Pam Smith

posted by xscot mcknight

I rummaged around the books on my desk recently and discovered I had a week of posts sitting here about books written by women. I want to begin today with Pamela J. Smith, Nine Ways Women Sabotage Their Careers.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Today we look at the 3d chp in Jon Wilson’s book, Why Church Matters. This chp concerns how we know when our worship is pleasing to God. Both pastors and lay leaders, along with any Christian who wonders about “good” […]

Do you hear static?

posted by xscot mcknight

Static, that’s the title of Ron Martoia’s new book. Ron is a former student of mine and now is a “transformational architect”. I’m not quite sure what that is, but it sounds cool. As Ron’s former teacher, I must admit […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

In Jon Wilson’s Why Church Matters, which explores Christian practices that make the Church what is (supposed to be), the first major practice is worship. He’s got three interesting themes to give us a nice topic for discussion:

Contagious Holiness

posted by xscot mcknight

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’m doing some reading on table fellowship, and so I read my friend’s, Craig Blomberg’s, book called Contagious Holiness. This maybe the most complete display of what the Bible says on meals.

Prayer Practices

posted by xscot mcknight

As you know, Kris and I are practitioners of fixed-hour prayer, what I call “sacred rhythms.” And you may recall that we practice mostly with Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours. Which, owing to the weight and size of the volumes, […]

Table Talk

posted by xscot mcknight

If I were a seminary President, the first person I’d appoint as professor-pastor- sage would be John Koenig. John Koenig, built like Abe Lincoln, is a rare combination of Episcopal priest, New Testament scholar, anabaptist character, and gentle spirit — […]

The Pope’s Jesus 6

posted by xscot mcknight

A perennial issue about the teachings of Jesus is his relationship to the Law, and it comes up in ordinary church life today: What is our relationship to the Law? Some say, “God’s Word. We follow it.” But it’s not […]

The Pope’s Jesus 5

posted by xscot mcknight

In the 4th chp, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, discusses at length the Sermon on the Mount by focusing on two themes: the Beatitudes (today) and Jesus and the Law — the Torah of the Messiah. Once again, the Pope […]

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

On the first day of the month, unless it falls on a weekend, we dip into a chapter of John Goldingay’s Old Testament Theology: Israel’s Gospel. This month we look at chp 3, “God Started Over: From Eden to Babel.”

The Pope’s Jesus 4

posted by xscot mcknight

What did Jesus mean by the kingdom of God according to Pope Benedict XVI? In my judgment, the whole mission of Jesus is summed up when one clarifies what “kingdom of God” means, and there are many who talk about […]

The Pope’s Jesus 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Chp 3 in Pope Benedict XVI’s book, Jesus of Nazareth, concerns the temptations of Jesus — and this chp reveals his theological and canonical method.

The Pope’s Jesus 2

posted by xscot mcknight

In his Introduction, Pope Benedict XVI emphasizes Jesus unmediated contact with the Father, and this will emerge throughout his Jesus of Nazareth. Our concern today is his treatment of the baptism of Jesus (chp 1).

The Pope’s Jesus 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Books about Jesus attract me, but when the Pope (Benedict XVI) writes a book on Jesus, I’m doubly interested. So, I’ll do a series — and it is really nice to kick it off while we are in Italy.

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We close today the book of Darryl Tippens,Pilgrim Heart. A gentle, ruminating set of reflections on themes in discipleship that mix the individual and the community. As I have said before on this blog, a discipleship that is group-shaped is […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We’ve come to the 16th chp in Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart. The topic: Suffering: The Fire that Purifies. Suffering, he observes with could be a little bit of a warning to those who need it, “is not a good to […]

Historical Jesus Anthology

posted by xscot mcknight

Some people study the Gospels to focus on the author’s shaping of the message — so they talk about how Matthew or Mark or Luke or John “tell the story of Jesus.” For over a century scholars have contended that […]

Graduation Book Recommendation

posted by xscot mcknight

Hi Scot It’s the graduation season again and there are a couple of students in our small church that are finishing high school. Along with the usual card and money I always like to give a book (many times of […]

Evangelical, but what kind?

posted by xscot mcknight

One of the great virtues of Mark Noll’s The Rise of Evangelicalism, and this is a great book in every sense of the word for a textbook, is his sketch of the various influences that broke open and forged an […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Ah, a man after my own heart: Darryl Tippens’ 15th chp is about “Reading and Storytelling.” My father was a story teller — and still is. For years I avoided telling stories to my students because I thought I was […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Yet another topic for discussion — a topic rarely discussed in spiritual formation books and yet one that is central: feasting as memory. This is the subject of the 14th chp of Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart. I begin with a […]

The Plan of God: What is it like?

posted by xscot mcknight

From John Goldingay, Israel’s Gospel, p. 61, where he describes how he teaches his classes: first, a 40 minute lecture; then a 30 minute small group discussion; and then a 30 minute plenary/class discussion. Then he makes an observation — […]

Lauren Meets North Park 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Lauren’s second lecture at North Park was on Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, and she offers four lies or myths that Christians often tell themselves and their youth about sex. She considers each a myth (as untrue) and […]

First Day is Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

It’s May first, and the first day of the month is Golding-day — the day we examine another chapter of John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology: 1. Israel’s Gospel. We are on chp 2, “God Began: Creation,” and it is a […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

We are in our 13th installment in Pilgrim Heart by Darryl Tippens — and this chp is on “Creating: The Truth of Beauty.” Once again, I admit that I’ve not seen this topic — creating — in any study of […]

Christianity for the Rest of Us 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Diana Butler Bass’ book, Christianity for the Rest of Us, has three parts: description of the collapse of mainline liberalism and the renewal of the “village church” in America, a sketch of ten signposts of renewal, and then a section […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

When I picked up Darrly Tippens’ book, Pilgrim Heart, I knew something was different: anyone who has a chapter on singing in a book about spiritual disciplines has my interest. Why? Because, no matter how much we talk about discipleship, […]

Christianity for the Rest of Us

posted by xscot mcknight

I’m reading Diana Butler Bass’s Christianity for the Rest of Us (HarperSF, 2006), and want to devote a few posts to her ideas. Essentially, the point of this book is to show that mainline, liberal, progressive churches are showing signs […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Anyone who invites me to a table to talk about discernment and wisdom finds me a willing participant — and I think because the older I get the more significant wisdom has become in my life. Darryl Tippens devotes a […]

Soft Patriarchalists?

posted by xscot mcknight

In W. Bradford Wilcox, Soft Patriarchs, we are treated to a sociological analysis of fatherhood, and his major contention is that there are new models of family and fatherhood arising in the culture and Church today, particularly in Conservative Protestant […]

Theopolitical Imagination

posted by xscot mcknight

At times on this blog I have observed that I believe far too many Christians anchor too much of their hope in a political party and in the next election — whether local or national. My own conviction is that […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Paradoxically, one of the disciplines most needful for the community of faith is the discipline of silence — and Darryl Tippens’ 10th chp in Pilgrim Heart addresses that topic.

The Truth about Conservative Christians 7

posted by xscot mcknight

The implication of chp 7 in Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout’s book, The Truth about Conservative Christians, has an edge of irony or even humor — but statistically accurate: if the Mainline Christian couples want to have more influence in […]

Christians in the Visual Arts

posted by xscot mcknight

North Park has a nice gallery in our classroom building in which we are treated to a constant display of art — some from students, some local artists, and sometimes from the professors. Getting yourself displayed like this is as […]

The Truth about Conservatives 4

posted by xscot mcknight

In chp 6 of Greeley and Houk’s The Truth about Conservative Christians [CCs] we are given a social portrait of CCs. Here’s the stereotype: CCs are “rubes” — Southern, uneducated gun owners who live in trailer parks or far from […]

First Day, Goldingay

posted by xscot mcknight

This is the first in a monthly series on John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology, volume 1: Israel’s Gospel. We’ll look at one chp per month — on the first day of the month, unless that falls on a weekend. So, […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Any study of the disciplines that shape Christian community eventually comes face to face with forgiveness, and Darryl Tippens, Pilgrim Heart, turns to this theme in chp. 9. I remind readers that we touched on forgiveness and memory when we […]

The Truth about Conservatives 3

posted by xscot mcknight

In chp 4 of A. Greeley and M. Hout’s The Truth about Conservative Christians [CCs] the authors explore the statistics about the difference between African Americans and white Conservative Protestants (CPs). Listen to this conclusion:

The Truth about Conservatives 2

posted by xscot mcknight

A second study in Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout’s study, The Truth about Conservative Christians, is about the politics of Conservative Christians (CCs). What do they think and practice? It might surprise you.

The Truth about Conservatives 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Andrew Greeley and Michael Hout, both professors of sociology and geared up with all kinds of statistics, are convinced that the public perception of “conservative Christians” (CC) is off base in the media. So, they set about to discover what […]

New Series, or two

posted by xscot mcknight

It will be called “First Day, Goldingay.” The first day of the next twenty months will have a post on John Goldingay, Old Testament Theology — Israel’s Gospel and Israel’s Faith. There are now 2 volumes out; it is too […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

The 8th chp of Darryl Tippens’ Pilgrim Heart concerns yet another spiritual discipline that is designed for the Christian in community rather than just for the Christian alone. This chapter discusses confessing to one another and hearing the words of […]

The Big “You” and the Bible 3

posted by xscot mcknight

Mark Allan Powell’s book, What Do They Hear?, opens up for pastors and laity the differences between how they read the Bible and what they hear when they read it — especially when they are not together. Chp 4 concerns […]

Forgotten Missional Ways 8

posted by xscot mcknight

We now come to the end of Alan Hirsch, Forgotten Missional Ways, which book has continued to grow on me as a must-read for missional Christians. What happens when a growing, thriving, missional church gets captured by middle-class culture: it […]

The Big “You” and the Bible 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Pastors, this one’s for you — non-pastors, this one’s also for you. Mark Powell’s book, What Do They Hear?, assumes a significant distinction between clergy and laity and, if you are in a reasonably traditional church, the assumption is a […]

Hildegard

posted by xscot mcknight

Hildegard, one person says, “was a remarkable woman in an age of remarkable men.” And Carmen Butcher, author of a beautiful study on St. Benedict, brings Hildegard of Bingen to life in this fresh translation and study of her life.

The Big “You” and the Bible 1

posted by xscot mcknight

We Protestants teach everyone this: You must read the Bible for yourself. Of course, we don’t want those “you”s to get too clever and start saying things that aren’t there, but there is a lot in this teaching we hold […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

On Fridays we are conversing our way through Darryl Tippens’ Pilgrim Heart, a book that explores the spiritual disciplines that impinge upon our corporate life together. The topic this week is one familiar to this blog: befriending. I want to […]

Gospel Blues

posted by xscot mcknight

I just finished a deeply moving book by Edward Gilbreath, Reconciliation Blues. There is nothing in this book that makes you think Gilbreath, an editor at CT, thinks the end of racialization is imminent. Instead of repeating well-worn figures, Gilbreath […]

Rob Bell and His Sex God 2

posted by xscot mcknight

Yesterday I posted some general and positive thoughts on Rob Bell’s new book Sex God. Today I want to register my critique. I usually don’t do this, but I’ve been asked by so many to set out my views so […]

Forgotten Missional Ways 7

posted by xscot mcknight

We have been conversing on this blog for weeks about Alan Hirsch’s fine book, The Forgotten Ways. Today’s topic for conversation is his 5th element of apostolic genius or “missional DNA” (mDNA). As with previous chapters, I think this chp […]

Rob Bell and His Sex God 1

posted by xscot mcknight

It’s OK for the Church for the better part of twenty centuries to interpret the Song of Solomon as a parable of Israel’s or the Church’s or the individual’s relationship with God — with YHWH or with the Father or […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

Between 1968 and 1988, the average American added 168 hours of work to his or her annual work load — working about a month more per year! We work too much. Darryl Tippens, in chp 6 of Pilgrim Heart, adds […]

Science, Faith, and Vern Poythress 3

posted by xscot mcknight

This is the 3d and final part of RJS’s review of Vern Poythress, Redeeming Science. [SMcK adds later: Take advantage of this; you are reading a world-class scientist and Christian as you read this post today and interact with RJS.] […]

Forgotten Missional Ways 6

posted by xscot mcknight

The first three elments of apostolic genius, or missional DNA (mDNA), according to Alan Hirsch in his The Forgotten Ways, are: (1) centrality of Jesus, (2) disciple-making, and (3) a missional-incarnational impulse. Today we look at #4: an apostolic environment […]

Sex God

posted by xscot mcknight

I’ll be analyzing Rob Bell’s new book, Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality, starting sometime next week. Rob’s on tour about this book now. Any thoughts?

Are Catastrophes God’s judgments? 2

posted by xscot mcknight

According to Steven Keillor in his God’s Judgments: Interpreting History and the Christian Faith, the fundamental obstacle for Christians’ interpreting historical events is the philosophical stance called “worldview.” Mark Noll writes the foreword and admits he’s a worldview thinker and […]

Friday is for Friends

posted by xscot mcknight

A discipline central to seeing disciplines as community-shaped is “resting” or participating in Sabbath. Darryl Tippens’ 5th chp of Pilgrim Heart addresses this very topic.

Forgotten Missional Ways 5

posted by xscot mcknight

Alan Hirsch has a mission himself: to inspire Christians and churches around the globe to become missional. His book, The Forgotten Ways, traces the DNA of missional churches (mDNA). We’ve looked at two of the six ingredients — the centrality […]

Are Catastrophes God’s judgments?

posted by xscot mcknight

Here’s my simple contention: if you believe God is in control of all, then you are driven to think either (1) that catastrophes are divine judgments or (2) that God has surrendered “control” to cosmic or human forces. When 9/11 […]

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