C. S. Lewis Letters to Children

Jenni and I recently read this book:

C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis Letters to Children Edited by Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead. New York: Macmillan, 1985. 120 pp.

Tim and Kathy Keller mention it in The Meaning of Marriage:

As a girl of twelve, Kathy wrote to C. S. Lewis and received answers from him, which she taped to the inside covers of her copies of the Narnia Chronicles. His four letters to her (to “Kathy Kristy”) can be found in his Letters to Children and the third volume of Letters of C. S. Lewis. (p. 245, note 2)

C. S. Lewis wrote his third and fourth letters to Kathy less than a month before he died.

Lewis’s letters are fun and instructive to read. They are filled with his typical wit, and Lewis models how adults should treat children with respect.

11 excerpts: [Read more…]

The New City Catechism and 5 Related Resources

New-City-CatechismLast week Tim Keller asked “Why Catechesis Now?

This morning TGC introduced the New City Catechism, adapted by Tim Keller and Sam Shammas from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York.

TGC explains that catechisms have at least three purposes:

  1. Comprehensively explain the gospel, including the building blocks on which the gospel is based.
  2. Address and counteract the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of our time and culture.
  3. Form a distinct people, a counter-culture that reflects the likeness of Christ individually and communally.

The New City Catechism adapts three other catechisms:

  1. Calvin’s Geneva Catechism
  2. the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms
  3. the Heidelberg Catechism


  • It has 52 Q&As, one for each week of the year.
  • The answers have two levels: a simpler version and a more complex one (e.g., for children and adults).
  • Each Q&A includes commentary from a historical preacher and a short video from a TGC council member or pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
  • The catechism is available online.
  • The Q&As are available in a 7-page PDF.
  • The interactive iPad app is free.
  • You can change the settings online and in the iPad app:


5 Related Resources

Four recent books:

  1. DeYoung, Kevin. The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. Chicago: Moody, 2010. (Cf. the first ever rap song about the Heidelberg Catechism.)
  2. Johnston, Mark G. Our Creed: For Every Culture and for Every Generation. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2012.
  3. Piper, John, ed. A Baptist Catechism. Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2012. (Free 40-page PDF)
  4. Trueman, Carl R. The Creedal Imperative. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012.

Questions with Answers by Dana Dirksen

(From #3 in “Bible Memory for Young Children“)

A mother and her children sing Bible verses and Q&A taken from a digest of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Stephen Hildebrandt’s The Catechism for Young People). Some are more catchy than others (e.g., “How can you glorify God,” sample 3 here).

Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament

coverThis impeccably researched book is scheduled to release on October 23:

Murray J. Harris. Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

About Harris

Harris presently resides in New Zealand and is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Previously he was Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge.

I’ve profited significantly from his written works, especially these four books:

  1. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.
  2. Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ. New Studies in Biblical Theology 8. Downers Grove: IVP, 1999.
  3. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
  4. Colossians and Philemon. 2nd ed. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2010.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t at Trinity when I was a student there (2006–2010). But I’ve recently enjoyed working with him on a forthcoming project (more on that later), and I’ve heard Don Carson tell some fascinating stories about him. [Read more…]

3 Ways to Nourish and Cherish Your Wife: Practical Advice C. J. Mahaney Would Give You If He Met with You at Starbucks

This wise practical advice from C. J. Mahaney served me well:

Download video | audio

It’s the final message from a one-day conference that occurred on August 23, 2012 at Southern Seminary: “Strengthening Your Marriage in Ministry.”

CJ’s message is so helpful that I’ve listened to it three times and watched it once with my wife.

Here are some notes I took: [Read more…]

The Joy of Spiritual Fellowship

Thabiti M. Anyabwile, The Life of God in the Soul of the Church: The Root and Fruit of Spiritual Fellowship (9Marks; Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2012), 239–41:

When I first arrived at First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman (Cayman Islands), I found a gentle, humble, eager-to-be-taught congregation of saints. From our arrival, greeted by a couple of dozen members of the congregation, my family and I have received nothing but warmth and love from the church.

However, a few weeks into our service here, we noticed a couple of things that struck us as odd. First, everyone we invited to our home for Sunday dinner turned us down. They were polite, and perhaps a little embarrassed. But everyone we welcomed to our home met us with the same reply. ‘Thanks for the invitation. But we already have plans.’ [Read more…]

12 Maxims of Symphonic Theology

poythressChapter 7 of this book lists “Twelve Maxims of Symphonic Theology” (pp. 69–91):

Vern Sheridan Poythress. Symphonic Theology: The Validity of Multiple Perspectives in Theology Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.

  1. Language is not transparent to the world.
  2. No term in the Bible is equal to a technical term of systematic theology.
  3. Technical terms in systematic theology can almost always be defined in more than one way. Every technical term is selective in the features it includes.
  4. Boundaries are fuzzy.
  5. No category or system of categories gives us ultimate reality.
  6. Different human writers of the Bible bring differing perspectives to bear on a given doctrine or event.
  7. The differences between biblical writings by different human authors are also divine differences.
  8. Any motif of the Bible can be used as the single organizing motif.
  9. We use different motifs not to relativize truth but to gain truth.
  10. We see what our tools enable us to see.
  11. Error is parasitic on the truth.
  12. In theological debates, we should preempt the other person’s strong points.

​The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Graphic Novel

Our family loves John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed four book versions of it, and we’ve added a fifth:

John Bunyan. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Edited by Lee Tung and Johnny Wong. Illustrated by Creator Art Studio. 2 vols. Leesburg, FL: Kingstone Comics, 2011. 304 pp. [volume 1 | volume 2]

pp1 pp2

The story changes several characters from boys to girls (e.g., Help is a leggy fairy, and Hopeful is a petite young lady!), but it hits the highlights and follows Bunyan’s basic storyline. (Some of the illustrations of women seem to cross the line by being too revealing, especially for a children’s book.) [Read more…]