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Timely Words for a People in a Peculiar Time (a Review of Help My Unbelief)

In the wake of our new pandemic reality, there has been no shortage of articles, videos, or memes to help guide us from a place of struggle to a meditation on hope. It is important to remember that these calls for hope in a time a trial are not uniquely the work of the church. It appears that the world at large is being quieted and called to consider life, death, and meaning. Gone are the days where societal fragility was assumed to be something we have evolved beyond. These are trying times and trying times are times of opportunity....

One of the Last Great Lights: Petrus van Mastricht

Petrus van Mastricht (1630-1706) lived during a key transition from a world with medieval sensibilities to a world of enlightenment. He studied liberal arts and theology, the latter of which he underwent at the Academy of Utrecht. Here, he learned the standard theological textbooks of the Reformed such as Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae alongside exegetical studies of Scripture (1:xxvi). Mastricht thus ministered within the mainstream of Reformed scholasticism, namely, a method of discerning truth by asking questions, listing objections, responding to objections, and stating positively the truth of the topic. In 1677, Mastricht himself took a position at the Academy...

Review of J-Curve

The J-Curve is an economic concept that has been used for years to express the relationship between currency and investment potential. In his work J-Curve, Paul Miller teaches the church about an economic exchange of a different sort. His is an economy of death to self in exchange for resurrection in Christ. Miller has produced a number of books and Bible-studies and is best known as the author of A Praying Life. That Christians work too hard to save face before God and man is a theme that carries over from A Praying Life into J-Curve. In the former, Miller...

Surprised By Paradox

The longer I remain a Christian, the more assurance I find in the mysteries of the faith. When I consider the seeming contradictions within the Incarnation, the Kingdom, Grace, and Lament, they’re almost conspiratorial. They whisper about a reality broader and brighter than either/or; the paradoxes hold out the promise of both/and. In her new book, Surprised by Paradox, Jen Pollock Michel invites readers to puzzle over the paradoxes of Christianity, and wonder at the mysteries: The saviour who is God and man. The kingdom that is here and is coming. The gift of grace and the work that follows...

Building Spiritual Habits for the Sake of Love

After practicing the habits of The Common Rule for over a year, I can confidently report that I am a failure; I have been formed by failure though, and I’m no longer the same. The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction by Justin Whitmel Earley is a book about building spiritual habits. At bottom, however, it’s a book about learning to live a life that’s loving and life-giving, one failure at a time. The Principle Humans are limited. We are not omniscient or omnipresent and trying to live as if this were untrue crushes people. By...

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