Friday, January 13, 2012

Does Jesus Hate Religion? Deyoung and Baucham respond.

Does Jesus Hate Religion? Kinda, Sorta, Not Really

There’s a new You Tube video going viral and it’s about Jesus and religion.

Specifically how Jesus hates religion.

The video—which in a few days has gone from hundreds of views to thousands to millions—shows Jefferson Bethke, who lives in the Seattle area, delivering a well-crafted, sharply produced, spoken word poem. The point, according to Bethke, is “to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion.” In the past few days I’ve seen this video pop up all over Facebook. I’ve had people from my church say they like it. Some has asked me what I think. Others have told me there’s something off about the poem, but they can’t quite articulate what it is. I’ll try to explain what that is in a moment. But first watch the video for yourself.
(continue reading at Deyoung's TGC Blog)

Is Christianity a Religion?

There is a common mantra that has been around for a while, but which seems to be picking up steam. It goes like this: “Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship.” We’ve all heard it before. However, how many of us have bothered to evaluate this ubiquitous saying? I believe we must do just that. We must evaluate this mantra, and the syllogism by which it is frequently accompanied:

Religion is man’s attempt to reach God
Christianity is God’s attempt to reach man
Therefore, Christianity is not a religion.

I believe this syllogism is not only invalid, but patently false. If for no other reason, this syllogism must be rejected on the grounds that it contains at least one false premise. Religion is much more than man’s attempt to reach God. And Christianity is indeed a religion. Moreover, I believe it is dangerous –even foolish— to argue otherwise. The argument that Christianity is not a religion has many inherent problems. Most importantly, this line of reasoning is at odds with the English language, the history of the church, and good old common sense.
(continue reading at

Getting Back in the Race by Joel Beeke

As in a military conflict, so in the ongoing war that is the Christian life: perseverance like that of a marathon runner is a neccessity--even, and especially, in the face of what seems to be daunting odds.--Joel Beeke, Getting Back in the Race.

Dr. Beeke, or Mr. Puritan as he is known around my living room, offers some great insight from Christian minds of the past, along with his own gems, on how the Christian is to run the good race. Specifically, in this book, he deals with the perils and the prescriptions for one who has fallen down during this race and even might be slipping backwards. To be a backslidden Christian is a terrible and dangerous place to be and Beeke does well to warn his reader.

What does Beeke mean by "backsliding"?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lit! by Tony Reinke

Lit! by Tony Reinke is a book about books, actually, it is a book about reading. And it is a good one. Reinke takes the opportunity with this book to encourage Christians to read, and then give practical advice on how to adhere to his admonition.

The first part of the book (A Theology of Books and Reading) is a defense of reading: why we should read, why we should desire to read and what deters us from reading. Some of this section for me was superfluous simply because I already agreed that reading was essential and already had a true desire to read more and to read better. While it is a great series of chapters, for me, I was more interested in the "how-to" aspects of the book than I was the "why".

Monday, January 9, 2012

The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, by Scot McKnight

I am one chapter(and a few appendixes) from finishing The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It really seems to take alot of what I have been feeling and what I believe to be biblical and puts them together, making a great argument for the Soterian, rather than Evangelical, nature of Evangelicalism.

In October, Michael Horton wrote a lengthy review on his blog highlighting much of what I enjoyed and pointing out some of the flaws of the book in a clear, concise and charitable way. I would direct you there for a great article.