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Redeemer Church

Redeemer Church
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Review: Don't Call It a Comeback, Kevin DeYoung, ed.

I've read quite a few books in the past year with multiple contributing authors, but none of them have read with the clarity and consistency of Don't Call It a Comeback. Perhaps it is due to the shared commonality of the authors: a rising generation of evangelical and reformed thinkers (and more than a few bloggers) shaped by the likes of Piper and Carson. But what ever the cause, the result is a book that is cogent, consistent, and a joy to read.

The book is broken up into three sections:
  1. Part 1: Evangelical History: Looking Forward and Looking Back
  2. Part 2: Evangelical Theology: Thinking, Feeling, and Believing the Truths That Matter Most
  3. Part 3: Evangelical Practice: Learning to Live Life God's Way
The first section is a brief two-chapter introduction to evangelicalism, and section two has all the perennial topics you would expect (God, Scripture, the gospel, Jesus Christ). But section three really shows why this book is "The old faith for a new day". In "Part 3: Evangelical Practice" the authors (Kevin DeYoung and Justin Taylor, e.g.) address such topics as homosexuality, abortion, gender confusion, and social justice.

While the chapter on missions was as fitting an ending as any, my one complaint is that the book ended awkwardly without a summary or epilogue. Lacking such a tidy conclusion, the book seems to halt abruptly.

That one fault aside Don't Call It a Comeback has, in my humble opinion, done exactly what it set out to accomplish:
"to introduce young Christians, new Christians, and underdisciplined Christians to the most important articles of our faith and what it looks like to live out this faith in real life."
Not bad for a bunch of pastor/bloggers.

Westminster Bookstore has Don't Call It a Comeback for 33% off retail ($11.38).

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: "young Christians, new Christians, and underdisciplined Christians"

This book was a free review copy provided by Crossway.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just FYI . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review: Closing the Window by Tim Chester

Christians and pornography. Depending on who you talk to, you'll get one of three responses: 1) it's a deeper, more wide spread problem within Christianity than we know or want to admit, 2) the problem is overblown and the statistics are imbalanced, or 3) *cough* uhhhhhh, next topic.

In Closing the Window, Tim Chester cites a number of different studies and surveys that have very consistent results: one in three. One in three people in the church are struggling with pornography. While I'm not one to bicker about the numbers, I think it's fair to say that it's a growing problem for each subsequent generation within the church.

And Tim has written a gospel-saturated little book (146 pages) that will be indispensable for anyone leading men, young adults, or a whole church. As one of those leaders, I am constantly looking for books that handle tough topics in a way that is simple, clear, and relatively brief to build a "loaner library". I believe that Tim Chester's Closing the Window is the book for just that purpose.

The structure of the book revolves around "Five Keys in the Battle Against Porn":
  1. Abhorrence of porn
  2. Adoration of God
  3. Assurance of grace
  4. Avoidance of temptation
  5. Accountability to others
"We become Christians through faith and repentance. We continue and grow by ongoing faith and repentance. And this means that we counter porn through faith and repentance. Battling porn with faith means embracing the truth about God in place of the false promises of porn. Battling porn with repentance means turning from self to worship God."
Westminster Books has the best price I've seen for Closing the Window at 33% off list price ($10.05).

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: Pastors, youth workers, men's ministry leaders, porn addicts

This book was a free review copy provided by InterVarsity Press.