Evening Prayers

Lutheran pastor Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt (1842-1919) helped found Christian Socialism in Germany. He also influenced theologians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) and Karl Barth (1886-1968). Blumhardt’s devotions were published posthumously in German. Plough Publishing’s English edition includes a short introduction by Eugen Jackh, his friend and editor. I was disappointed by Evening Prayers, For Every Day of the…

Christmas Wars

Answers in Genesis is a back-to-the-Bible ministry founded by Ken Ham and headquartered in Petersburg, Kentucky, home to the Creation Museum. Its recent book The War on Christmas: Battles in Faith, Tradition, and Religious Expression (2013) contains more than twenty articles (three by Ham) on the origin and meaning of Christmas, including modern celebrations. This…

Heaven: I Can Only Imagine

MercyMe’s “I Can Only Imagine,” from their album Almost There (2001), popped into my head this morning – unbidden and unwanted. I’ve hated this song since the moment I first heard it. Every time a DJ plays it, I switch stations or turn my radio off. “I Can Only Imagine” encapsulates everything wrong with contemporary Christian music…

Christian Journalism: Muckraking

I recently read a book on journalism history called The Muckrake Years (1974) by David Mark Chalmers, then a University of Florida professor. Part 1 summarizes America in the first decade of the twentieth century, the origin of muckraking as a journalism practice, and the social issues journalists wrote about. Part 2 reprints portions of…

Louie Giglio: Finding Purpose

Three years ago, I heard Pastor Louie Giglio speak at a college chapel service. I summarized his message below. Message Giglio considers apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias a church resource. However, he does not care about apologetics because we should not have to answer every argument. Giglio’s apologetic is “I’m in love with Jesus and you can’t stop me…

Ravi Zacharias: Defining Life

Three years ago, I heard Christian apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias speak at a college chapel service. I summarized his message and a Q&A below. Message Life rests on four pillars: eternity (existence), morality (essence), accountability (conscience), and charity or love (beneficence). Eternity Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity in our hearts. It is our true, final destiny.…

Reaching for the Invisible God

Last year I sought a book on the invisibility of God as a divine attribute. So I decided to read Reaching for the Invisible God: What Can We Expect to Find? (2000), by evangelical author and former Chicago pastor Philip Yancey. Although he lives in the real world in this book, I do not share his…