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.


  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?


  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…]