The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution

grudemThis book is scheduled to release at the end of the month:

Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus. The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013. 398 pp.

I’ve skimmed it, and it’s what I expected from Grudem: well-organized, clear, comprehensive, and compelling. It’s helpful to start by carefully reading the detailed version of the contents (pp. 11–18). [Read more…]

Diabolical Ventriloquism: A 1-Sentence Summary of Each of Screwtape’s Letters

In The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis masterfully “teaches in reverse” by wryly using demonic points of view to enforce a biblical one. He calls it “diabolical ventriloquism.” Here is a one-sentence summary of each of Screwtape’s thirty-one letters that advise Wormwood how to tempt his “patient” (who becomes a Christian between letters one and two):

  1. Make him preoccupied with ordinary, “real” life—not arguments or science.
  2. Make him disillusioned with the church by highlighting people he self-righteously thinks are strange or hypocritical.
  3. Annoy him with “daily pinpricks” from his mother. [Read more…]

Is ‘Background Information’ Ever Necessary to Understand the Bible?

I attempt to answer that question on TGC’s blog.

Outline:

  1. Dangers If You Answer Yes
  2. Dangers If You Answer No
  3. Illustration: Wayne Grudem Answers No
  4. Does that Mean that the Bible Isn’t Sufficiently Clear?

Update:

  1. Mike Bird reflects on the question.
  2. Don Carson and John Piper discuss the merits of studying hermeneutics and how much time teachers should spend investigating extrabiblical sources:

Should pastors separate the Christian wedding ceremony from the civil rite?

This question is no longer as hypothetical as it used to be for Americans.

Here are three helpful resources:

  1. D. A. Carson, “The SBJT Forum: To handle certain categories of divorce and remarriage cases within the congregation, some churches have established a kind of ‘ecclesiastical court.’ What biblical warrant, if any, exists for this practice?The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology 6, no. 1 (2002): 104–7. See point 1 on pp. 105–6.
  2. D. A. Carson, “Counsel to a Young Church Planter on Marriage” (December 5, 2009). See point 5.
  3. Collin Hansen, ed., “TGC Asks: Should pastors separate the Christian wedding ceremony from the civil rite?” (August 6, 2010). Four pastors weigh in: Steve Dewitt, Ryan Kelly, Jay Thomas, and Bob Bixby.

Tithing after the Cross

tithingDave Croteau has written another book on tithing:

David A. Croteau. Tithing after the Cross: A Refutation of the Top Arguments for Tithing and New Paradigm for Giving. Areopagus Critical Christian Issues 7. Gonzalez, FL: Energion, 2013.

Dave explains here why he wrote a third book on tithing and how this differs from the first two. (I blogged about the second one.)

Here’s my endorsement: [Read more…]