epicAdapting a book to film is tricky. Sometimes books-to-film turn out surprisingly well (e.g., The Gospel of John—my favorite “Bible” film). Often they don’t (e.g., the recent Narnia films).

The History Channel aired The Bible: The Epic Miniseries throughout March 2013. About 100 million people watched all or part of the series. (I bought the series on DVD after reading two reviews.)

On the one hand, this series will doubtless serve as a means to a good end for some viewers:

  1. Some people think that the Bible is a boring old book filled with irrelevant or misguided rules. This series may spark an interest in the Bible that will compel them to actually read it. That’s good.
  2. Some people think that the Bible is a collection of unconnected or loosely connected short stories. This series may help people view the Bible as one big story with turning points: from creation to the fall to Noah to Abraham to the exodus to Israel and then climaxing with Jesus. That’s good.
  3. Some people are relatively unaware of what the world of the Bible was like culturally. This series may help people better understand what the political scenes were like or how people typically dressed or what various places may have looked like. That’s good.

On the other hand, the series could be far better. While watching it with my wife, we became increasingly disappointed with it. I was planning to watch it with my children but not anymore. I don’t enthusiastically recommend it for at least three reasons: Continue Reading…

BrunnMy favorite all-around book on Bible translation is a general introduction to the issue.

This more focused book is now my second favorite:

Dave Brunn. One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? Downers Grove: IVP, 2013. 205 pp.

You can survey it via Google Preview.

Here’s what D. A. Carson says about it: Continue Reading…

HonestToddlerThis book releases today:

Bunmi Laditan. The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting. New York: Scribner, 2013.

I follow @HonestToddler on Twitter because it’s so entertaining, especially since my wife and I care for three little children.


The central theme in all the tweets and throughout the book is that Continue Reading…

Herbert W. Bateman IV, Charts on the Book of Hebrews (Kregel Charts of the Bible; Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2012), 126:


(This is from a helpful book of charts. It’s endorsed by George Guthrie, David Alan Black, Jon Laansma, Sam Lamerson, and David Allen.)


Short answer: No.

Longer answer: I tried to unpack this in a radio interview on 7/14/2009: Are Millennial Views Essential? I had recently highlighted (1) Tom Schreiner’s move from an amillennial to a premillennial position and (2) Mark Dever’s argument that it’s a sin to sever cooperation with other believers over certain types of eschatological issues.

Even longer answer: Peter Hubbard, teaching pastor of North Hills Community Church in Taylors, South Carolina, wisely walked his church through this issue in September 2009. Continue Reading…

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of the greatest English preachers of the twentieth century, and I esteem him highly.

But when he was 24 years old, he shared some convictions (i.e., firmly held opinions) in March 1924 in a way that I suspect he later regretted. This is instructive for the rest of us.

  • I cannot possibly understand a man who wears silk stockings or even gaudily coloured socks; rings, wrist-watches, spats, shoes instead of boots, or who carries a cane in his hand.
  • The modern method of installing a bath in each house is not only a tragedy but it has been a real curse to humanity. . . . Continue Reading…

The newest film in the Dispatches from the Front series is episode 6: The Power of His Rising .


I love these DVDs because they widen my limited perspective on how God is working right now in other places in the world.

My family watched episode 6 a few weeks ago and loved it. It focuses on how a Christian family from South Carolina is spreading the gospel in a “closed” country in South Asia, gaining access with their business skills to operate an excellent coffee shop. Ingenious. Continue Reading…