I recommended Alex Chediak’s Thriving at College  back in March. It would benefit older high school students, college students, parents, professors, and pastors.

Since it’s back-to-school season, Alex Chediak is giving away ten copies of Thriving at College to pastors and student ministers (with free shipping in the USA). You may enter his drawing by sending him a private note by Monday, September 12. Include “Pastor Giveaway” in the subject line and your church’s mailing address.


Andy Naselli —  September 7, 2011 — 4 Comments

Another debate-book from B&H:

David A. Croteau, ed. Perspectives on Tithing: Four Views. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2011. 193 pp.

Here are the four views:

  1. Ken Hemphill and Bobby Eklund, “The Foundations of Giving.” Argument: “Tithing [10%] is the foundational base from which believers can and must be challenged to become grace-givers” (p. 20).
  2. David A. Croteau, “The Post-Tithing View: Giving in the New Covenant.” Argument: “The Levitical tithe, the festival tithe, and the charity tithe are no longer binding on Christians because they are fulfilled” (p. 80). The NT explains how Christians should give (see below).
  3. Reggie Kidd, “Tithing in the New Covenant? ‘Yes’ as Principle, ‘No’ as Casuistry.” Argument: “I do believe, with Hemphill, Eklund, and North, and against Croteau, that the shape of redemption means the principle of tithing carries over into the new covenant era. I believe, with Croteau and against Hemphill, Eklund, and North, that the casuistry of the tithe does not” (p. 56).
  4. Gary North, “The Covenantal Tithe.” Argument: “The tithe is 10 percent of your net income—no more, no less. You should feel guilty if you do not tithe. You should not feel guilty if you do tithe” (p. 51).

Here’s a free PDF of the book’s introduction.

Croteau’s view is most persuasive. Here are two tables from the end of his essay:

Continue Reading…


Andy Naselli —  September 6, 2011 — 3 Comments

Last weekend my wife and I watched the film Courageous, which opens at 900 theaters nationwide on September 30.


About the Film


  1. This is the best of the four films that Sherwood Pictures has produced in terms of filming, acting, and storyline.
  2. It focuses on multiple aspects of fatherhood and depicts that weighty responsibility as a high calling. It makes a strong counter-cultural statement about fathers courageously leading their homes rather than selfishly abdicating their responsibility. Continue Reading…

God Wins

Andy Naselli —  September 5, 2011 — 2 Comments

One month after Rob Bell’s controversial book Love Wins came out, Mike Wittmer had already published a book-length response:

Michael E. Wittmer. Christ Alone: An Evangelical Response to Rob Bell’s Love Wins. Grand Rapids: Edenridge, 2011. 159 pp.

It’s good.

The money chapter is chapter 7, which recently became available online as a free PDF. Wittmer delves past the symptoms (hell and universalism) and explains the fundamental problem with Love Wins.

Some excerpts:

[W]hen the need is great, love isn’t love unless it actually does something . . . Jesus’ death on the cross is an act of love only if it actually accomplishes something. It’s not enough to say that it inspires us to do something. (pp. 94–95) Continue Reading…

Performer vs. Herald?

Andy Naselli —  September 2, 2011 — 1 Comment

I recently read this book:

Andy Stanley and Lane Jones. Communicating for a Change. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2006.

It’s filled with insights about public speaking in general, so it’s worth reading even if you deeply disagree with it at points along the way.

The book compares preachers to performers. In one sense there’s something to that since both preachers and performers—whether stand-up comedians or actors on a stage—must engage their audience. And to their credit, the authors qualify that “acting and preaching are a bit different” (p. 134).

But this is a good example of how a controlling metaphor can slant an argument. Why not choose the metaphor of a herald (κῆρυξ)? After all, the New Testament itself uses that metaphor in 1 Tim 2:7 and 2 Tim 1:11 (not to mention the 61 occurrences of the main verb for preaching: κηρύσσω).

Every Life Has a Story

Andy Naselli —  September 1, 2011 — 2 Comments

This is a Chick-fil-A training video for their employees.

Dan Cathy, president and Chief Operation Officer at Chick-fil-A, writes this about the video:

“Every life has a story . . . if we only bother to read it.”

A video we created to remind us that everyone we interact with is a chance to create a remarkable experience.

How much more does this way of viewing people apply to Christ-followers?


Andy Naselli —  August 31, 2011 — 2 Comments

This book comes out later this month:

Tony Reinke. Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Wheaton: Crossway, 2011. 202 pp.

You know it’s good when Leland Ryken, professor of English at Wheaton College, says this about it:

There is so much to commend about this book that it is hard to know where to start. The most obvious virtue is its scope. On the subject of reading, Reinke covers every possible topic. Each topic, in turn, is broken into all of its important subpoints. With a lesser writer, this could produce a tedious book, but the opposite is true here. Reinke says just enough, but not too much. The effect is like seeing a prism turned in the light. There is never a dull moment. Once I sensed that Reinke was going to cover all the important topics, and with unfailing good sense and Christian insight, I could hardly put it down. ‘What will Reinke say about that topic?’ I found myself asking. But to add yet another twist, he has read so widely in scholarly and religious sources that I do not hesitate to call the book a triumph of scholarship. Reinke writes with an infectious and winsome enthusiasm. It is hard to imagine a reader of this book who would not catch the spark for reading after encountering Reinke’s excitement about reading and his carefully reasoned defense of it.

Here’s the table of contents: Continue Reading…