Mike Bullmore, The Gospel and Scripture: How to Read the Bible  (The Gospel Coalition Booklets; Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 16–17 (formatting added):

The Bible is endlessly interesting because it is God’s story, and God by nature is himself endlessly interesting. . . .

There are actually many methods of reading the Bible, and because the Bible is inexhaustible, many methods can prove fruitful. However, we are not so much concerned here with what might be called “methods” as we are with what we can call “approaches.” Two main approaches to the Bible usefully unlock its treasure, which is the gospel.

  1. Reading the Bible as Continuous Narrative (or History) . . . .
  2. Reading the Bible as a Compendium of God-Inspired Perspectives (or Theology) . . . .

Whichever of these two ways the Bible is read, its message is the same. Continue Reading…

Kenneth Berding, Walking in the Spirit  (Wheaton: Crossway, 2011), 48–51:

[P]utting to death the deeds of the body is active. There is no passivity here.

I grew up in a church setting that was into “higher life” teaching. This teaching goes by many different names, including “victorious Christian living,” “the exchanged life,” and “the crucified life.” A particular stream of higher life teaching that continues to be influential is known as the Keswick Movement (pronounced KES-ik), named after an annual Bible conference that has been taking place in Keswick, England, each year since the late nineteenth century. One key aspect of higher life teaching is probably traceable even further back to a movement referred to as Quietism, which was popular in Italy, France, and Spain during the seventeenth century. If you aren’t familiar with any of these labels, it is still likely that you are familiar with a slogan that gets used in connection with various strands of this teaching: “Let Go and Let God.” Said differently, the key to the Christian life is to “let go of reliance on yourself and let God do the work in you.” Continue Reading…

This book comes out this month:

Andrew David Naselli and Collin Hansen, eds. Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism. Counterpoints. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.

Continue Reading…

Brian Hand, Upright Downtime: Making Wise Choices about Entertainment (Biblical Discernment for Difficult Issues; Greenville, SC: Bob Jones University Press, 2008), 5–6:

Entertainment is not simply an activity that rests the mind, since many forms of leisure exercise the mind to some extent. For example, in arguing the dangers of television, video games, and music, some writers exaggerate the mental atrophy that occurs. While it is true that these media tend to relax the rational and cognitive processes of the mind (the left hemisphere), they actually tend to strengthen the emotional, subjective, and reactive centers of the brain (the right hemisphere).

Hand,

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.

Post-Tithing

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…

Courageous

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.

Trailer

About the Film

Thoughts

  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…