Archive for the 'Book Review' Category

Book Review: From Pride to Humility

Book by Stuart Scott

Review by Richard Shin

When I was handed Stuart Scott’s From Pride to Humility: A Biblical Perspective, I was taken aback by how thin the book is. Rather than a book, it resembled more a pamphlet. I soon found out that the book is a revised chapter out of The Exemplary Husband; I didn’t know this fact until I came across a reference to “husbands” (p. 24) at the end of the book. I realized that the book was preparing me to become much more than a husband; I was learning what it meant to be truly humble before my Lord. Although the book was originally intended for men, the Biblical truth that leads to rebuke and encouragement is applicable for everyone.

Scott makes a solid claim in the introduction by stating that “The question is not, ‘Do I have [pride]?’ but, ‘Where is it?’ and “How much of it do I have?'” (p. 2). We are all prideful; it is the “epidemic vice” (p. 2) that led to the Fall of Man, and will only cease to exist in Heaven. It is at the root of all of our sins. In Martin Luther’s The Large Catechism, Luther noted that if the First Commandment is observed, all others follow naturally (III, Part First, First Commandment). His statement is rooted in the idea that if you love God, you will obey His commandments, and desire to worship Him in all that you do. At the center of all our sins, we believe we are better than God (pride), and so we subconsciously decide it is better to obey our flesh, rather than God’s Word. It is a sign that we are not worshipping God; we are worshipping other idols (e.g. our desires, our possessions, our careers, etc.) above God.

I received an (at the time) unpleasant wake-up call with a list of thirty examples of the manifestation of pride. The best part of this humble pie was the Biblical references he gives with each example. They were impactful because with each example and verse, I was reminded continually of how much God knows me. He knows my deepest, darkest sins that lie in direct defiance against Him. Yet He predestined me to be saved so that I may be used for His purposes. And by reading this list and God’s Word from which the list originated, I stood naked before my Lord and Savior, stripped of any reason to see why I am better than anyone else. And oddly enough, I realized I was finding my appropriate place in His presence, not even worthy to untie the strap of His sandals (Mark 1:7).

If the book was devoid of everything but rebuke, I would have come out of it with severe depression. But the latter half of the book discusses putting off our pride, and putting on humility. Appropriately enough, the first example Scott gives is that of Christ. The humility He displayed by laying aside His majesty, coming to Earth, and dying our death is and forever will be the ultimate example of selflessness. Christ’s example is even more appropriate because “humility is the one enabling quality that will allow us to become all Christ wants us to be” (p. 1).

Scott contrasts the examples of pride with those of humility. God’s power and promise of sanctification become ever so real for the believer. It is refreshing to know we can become more like Christ in humility. And it’s also comforting to know that after we are convicted of our sins, God doesn’t just leave us to fend for ourselves; we have the ministry of the indwelling Spirit to guide us. We also know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him, for His purposes (Romans 8:28). So, it’s not a matter of identifying and eliminating each manifestation of pride, but fully and wholeheartedly trusting in God’s perfect plan of redemption, namely trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross (2 Cor. 1:9). And because Christ finished the work for us, we have no reason to worry in our struggle to attain humility. As Paul says, we “stand firm in our faith” (1 Cor. 1:24).

The book is a short read. If you think you’re not prideful, you really need to read this book. If you think you’re prideful because the Bible says you are, but you’re not sure why, read the book. And if you know you’re prideful and are trying to find ways to humble yourself, read the book. Depending on how seriously you choose to chew on Scott’s (and more importantly, God’s) words, you may find a deeper level of pride than you knew you had, yet also find yourself loving Christ more than you ever did before.

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Book Review: Missions Reading (AR09)

by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Reading John Piper’s Let the Nations Be Glad has been such a blessing and a great challenge to my own life. Though it’s not my first missions-themed book (Doran’s book was), it made me aware of a world in real need of Jesus Christ. The view of missions that was typically thought of in my mind made me separate those who were gung-ho about going out to another culture and those who were slackers. However, upon reading and reflecting upon this book, it was a very illinformed impression. It opened my eyes and, by God’s grace, my heart to have a new and great view of God who is working today in this world. Simply by looking at the table of contents, the focus of the entire book is making God seen as supreme in the work of missions. There’s structure and focus that brings us to being captured by this vision of wanting to follow all of Scripture in key issues on missions. It was a very helpful book that brought all of us to wrestle hard with how to describe to one who hasn’t read the book or who disagrees with the importance of saving faith in Jesus Christ exclusively; or what the end goal of missions is; or even what the meaning of worship is. The impact this makes, at least on my part, is that studying a vast body of deep truths forms the foundation of our going out and telling others this great news of the Gospel. Also it shows that we are to call all people to this same vision -to those who don’t believe, to our own teammates, and continually to our brothers and sisters in our church. I would caution you to read through this book, and read it slowly, because it might cause you to want you to be, as Piper one said, “All Christians fit into three categories with regard to missions: the goers, the senders, and the disobedient.”

For the supplemental readings, we read books that helped us come to grips with what great work we were all choosing to participate in. Tell the Truth (Will Metzger), The Gospel According to Jesus (John MacArthur), Finally Alive (John Piper) and The Gospel and Personal Evangelism (Mark Dever) were commended to us all to have a biblical view of conversion, evangelism, and a biblical view of the Gospel. All authors firmly believe in the sovereignty of God and the responsibility and culpability of man to respond to the Gospel, and place a firm emphasis on searching the Scriptures to establish the reality of what we are to do, what we are to say, and in whom we are to trust. Dever explains the uneasiness in evangelizing to non-believers, but he engages with the most common objections to why people shouldn’t evangelize. Metzger drives home the idea that evangelism has too often been man-centered, affecting its methodology in many evangelism programs, and guides us back to having a Godcentered way of doing evangelism, one that gives God honor in the biblical message we are to proclaim and live out daily. Piper treads familiar ground, and yet among many, an almost untouched study into the new birth that is a divine miracle by God Himself, which reawakened me to have a stronger motivation to share the Gospel with someone than not. MacArthur tackles the glorious subject of salvation, defining it in terms of the lordship of Christ to be an essential component to the Gospel for people to believe, embrace, and also deny its opposition to what many have uncritically accepted: non- Lordship salvation. All these issues helped many of us to ask deep questions to one another, solidifying our unity in Christ, and making us bolder witnesses of the grace God has shown each of us individually as ambassadors of the living God.

Book Review: Love or Die

Book by Alexander Strauch

Review by Garrett Glende

The first time I saw Alexander Strauch’s book, Love or Die, I was immediately intrigued by the title and went on to read about it on a few blogs. Its reviewers praised it tremendously and I quickly added it to the list of books I wanted to read. After Pastor John’s recent sermon bearing the same title, I was convinced that this was a mustread and after reading it now, I can whole-heartedly say that it lived up to my expectations.

In Love or Die, Strauch exposits Revelation 2:1-7, where Jesus speaks of the Ephesian church. While the church had many strong points, there was one aspect that it severely lacked in. Christ commends the Ephesians, saying, “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false.” He also extols them for their perseverance and endurance for His sake. Strauch writes that “He praises this church because it had no tolerance for those who profess the Christian faith but justify an immoral lifestyle.” They were a church that sought to uphold sound doctrine and persevere through trials.

However, Christ’s heavy rebuke to the church resounds: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Their love for Christ and for one another was not the same as it was at the beginning. Strauch puts it this way:

Their love for Christ and for one another had once motivated all they did. It brought joy, creativity, freshness, spontaneity, and energy to their life and work. But now their energy source was depleted. Their work had become mundane, mechanical, and routine, and their lives the picture of self-satisfaction.

In light of this rebuke, Strauch writes six ways that the church can cultivate love. This section composes part two of the book. Each chapter is devoted to a separate topic on the development of love. He encourages the church to study, pray for, teach, model, guard, and practice true love. I found these chapters to be very practical and helpful, specifically the ones on praying for love and practicing love. Strauch’s words are insightful, yet not overly complicated, and concise, yet not lacking in depth. He gets to the heart of the issues and does not waste time with periphery issues.

The importance of Love or Die’s message cannot be overstated. In this short book, Alexander Strauch has reminded us of the supremacy of love in our lives. It is a message that should never drift far from our hearts and minds. Love or die!

Book Review: Worldliness

Book by C.J. Mahaney

Review by Patrick Cho

I honestly didn’t think I had a problem with worldliness. And then I read this book. Worldliness, edited by C.J. Mahaney, presents a deeply challenging call to the church to repent of worldliness and walk in holiness. The book tackles issues such as how we prove our worldliness in our entertainment, possessions, and attire. Covering just about every facet of life, this book causes the reader to conduct a thorough self-examination. I have cautioned several people about this book, “Don’t read it if you don’t want your life to change.”

Take a minute to consider your own life. What shows have you watched on TV this week? What movies have you recently enjoyed? How do you determine what clothes you will buy? Do you ever consider what clothes you should not buy? These questions and more reflect the way we view the world. God calls each believer to holiness. This holiness is not compartmentalized or reserved for certain areas of life. It is absolutely comprehensive. The authors of this book do an excellent job of walking through Scripture to prove that all of life matters. God wants it all.

What I appreciated most about Worldliness is that it was not chock full of dos and don’ts. It didn’t contain a list of movies that were approved for believers. It didn’t direct believers to clothing stores that are safe. As it should have, the book addressed the heart. If a believer struggles to put away the things of the world and not love the world, the issue begins in the heart. No one forces you to dress in a particular way. No one chooses television programs for you to watch. These are choices that reflect what is going on inside. The battle really is one for the heart. Getting rid of your TV or not going to movies will not solve the problem if the problem is within. Legalistic rules will not save a person.
One must turn to Christ and depend on His work on the cross to have any chance in battling worldliness. This is why this book is so helpful. It provides answers that work and can change lives.

The book also provides a particular challenge to women in the way they dress. This is evident from the appendices that are included. One appendix is a modesty check, which was written by Carolyn Mahaney, et al. The other is an appeal to women to consider the glory of God when shopping for wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses. This is one particular area that I personally never considered before. You can actually glorify God in the wedding dress you select!

I would particularly recommend this book to anyone who doesn’t think they have a problem with worldliness. I would challenge them to read this book and see if they could come to the same conclusion afterward.All of us struggle with worldliness. This is why a book like this is so helpful and necessary for today’s church.

Book Review: Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)

Book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Review by Stephen Rodgers

Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck is a very thoughtful, well-researched, and eminently readable text on the “emergent” church (although the authors acknowledge a distinction between emergent and emerging, they relegate such distinctions as beyond the focus of the book). The book is written in a tagteam effort by a pastor from Michigan (DeYoung) and a sports magazine writer (Kluck). The two alternate writing their chapters, with DeYoung providing solid theology with an emphasis on footnotes, and Kluck providing solid theology with an emphasis on experience and sarcasm. And while you’ll probably favor one over the other, they’re both worth listening to.

It’s obvious that the authors spent years preparing for this book. The bibliography alone ranges for almost a dozen pages, and they frequently quote speeches, conferences, and classes that they attended—many offered by several of the more well-known voices in the emergent movement. This is not a one-sided polemic out to sucker-punch a straw man. While they deal with such topics as the journey/destination paradigm, the value of propositions vs. dialogue, caricatures of both emerging Christianity and Modern Christianity, orthopraxy vs. orthodoxy, disputed doctrines as penal substitution and the wrath of God, and the role of (postmodern) culture, they are just as likely to fire a salvo at the more traditional forms of Christianity as the emergent ones if they feel that either has strayed from Biblical teaching. As one author writes, we “need to know that decisions can (and should) be made based on Scripture and not just experience.”

What I found to be suspiciously timely was the final chapter, which, I admit, I read approximately two hours before this article was due. My procrastination notwithstanding, it blew my mind. Entitled “Eavesdropping on Asia Minor,” DeYoung briefly categorizes and identifies the traits present in the seven churches from Revelation, paying special attention to Pergamum and Thyatira as examples of the emergent community, and Ephesus as indicative of the more Reformed/strict orthodoxy community (sound familiar?). He then uses that as a springboard to highlight not only the weaknesses that Christ condemns, but the practices that He commends. And while those weaknesses are clearly visible in many emergent communities, so are the virtues. There is room for improvement on both sides.

In conclusion, if you’re interested in learning more about the emergent church movement, this is a must-read book. It manages to be informative without falling into academia, humorous without becoming insubstantial, and seeks not so much to attack or vilify a movement as it does to educate and promote thought. The hope, however, is clearly that all such reasoning would not be based upon experience, culture, “success” criteria, or a never-ending societal dialogue, but rather the authority of Scripture as the very Word of God.

Book Review: A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists

Myers’ book (if you believe the Amazon reviews), “bridges the gap” between Christianity (which he doesn’t define outside of some very broad strokes, but he seems to be some flavor of Protestant) and the “new atheism” of Dawkins and Dennett who have been quite vocal in their opposition to religion in general and Christianity in particular.  They’ve been throwing around words like “evil,” “worst,” “ridiculous,” and “injustice” in reference for a few years now, ever since Dawkins started garnering more mainstream attention after speaking at TED.
Apparently this is shocking to some people.  I’m not sure why, Jesus Himself said that would happen (Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 6:22, Luke 21:17).  But enough people got their feelings hurt that Myers wrote a book full of reasons why everyone should play nice.
Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m all for civility, kindness, gentleness, truth in love, and self-control when it comes to debating issues, even so-called hot-button issues (which quite frankly, need it the most).  But on matters of irreconcilable differences, let’s call a spade a spade and explore those differences, rather than attempting to reach an unsatisfactory compromise.
Myers’ basic premise seems to be that an “enlightened atheist” and a “progressive theist” are ultimately after the same goal, which is broadly defined as that being what serves the widest social good: liberty, equality, a chicken in every pot, etc.  However, the unspoken assumption (and I must stress it is an assumption, as he doesn’t make the argument explicitly, merely uses the results of the argument liberally), is that the justification for that end is irrelevant compared to the end itself.
And that boggles my mind, both from a theological standpoint, and a philosophical standpoint.
In reverse order, the idea that one can argue from a flawed premise, arrive at a correct conclusion, and be on solid epistemological ground nonetheless is simply philosophically unacceptable.  That is not the way it works.  If your premise is flawed and your conclusion is correct, you are either in error, or have stumbled upon an exception rather than a rule.  It’s fruit of the poisoned tree either way.  For a far more eloquent explanation of this, please see the sidebar by Dr. Bahnsen.
Theologically speaking, we don’t need to go any further than the most frightening passage in the Bible to refute this: Matthew 7:21-23.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”
Plainly, it not a matter purely of WHAT you do, but WHO you know.  When you stand before the Lord in judgment, there is no answer you can give in reference to your works that will save you.  There is only a name.
Myers book is filled with many humorous, interesting, and thought-provoking passages, and for that may be well-worth the evening it would take to read it.  But it seems to miss the obvious and most-critical point that the unbelieving world won’t be saved by some sort of “new ecumenism” whereby both believers and unbelievers join together to combat the ills of society.  We’re called to be in the world but not of the world.  The point is not to agree with the WHAT and ignore the WHY in the name of harmony and warm fuzzy feelings.
As Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
I have a few other issues with the book.  Myers holds to some interpretations of scripture that are far more liberal and socially-oriented than what I believe, but mostly to his credit, (with a couple glaring exceptions), he differentiates his opinions from his dogma openly and candidly.  I am far more concerned with a justification for the tenants of Christianity that manages to somehow avoid basing itself on the Word of God.
Because to my mind, that is ultimately the difference between an absolute justification and a mere excuse.
Autonomy Is No Ladder to Christ’s Supreme Authority
By Dr. Greg Bahnsen
The Christian’s final standard, the inspired word of God, teaches us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). If the apologist treats the starting point of knowledge as something other than reverence for God, then unconditional submission to the unsurpassed greatness of God’s wisdom at the end of his argumentation does not really make sense. There would always be something greater than God’s wisdom – namely, the supposed wisdom of one’s own chosen, intellectual starting point. The word of God would necessarily (logically, if not personally) remain subordinate to that autonomous, final standard.
Ludwig Wittgenstein confessed that a devastating incongruity lay at the heart of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. If he was correct in his eventual conclusion, then the premises used to reach that conclusion were actually meaningless: “anyone who understands me eventually recognizes [my propositions] as nonsensical, when he has used them – as steps – to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up by it)” (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961 [1921], section 6.54, p. 151).
In similar fashion, Evangelicals sometimes utilize an autonomous apologetic method which does not assume the authority of Christ, treating it like a ladder to climb up to acceptance of Christ’s claims, only then to “throw the ladder away” since Christ is now seen as having an ultimate authority which conflicts with that autonomous method. Their method is used to reach a conclusion which is incompatible with what their method assumed – the self-sufficient authority of man’s reasoning.
Penpoint I:1 (October, 1990) © Covenant Media Foundation, 800/553-3938

Book by David Myers

Review by Stephen Rodgers

Myers’ book (if you believe the Amazon reviews), “bridges the gap” between Christianity (which he doesn’t define outside of some very broad strokes, but he seems to be some flavor of Protestant) and the “new atheism” of Dawkins and Dennett who have been quite vocal in their opposition to religion in general and Christianity in particular.  They’ve been throwing around words like “evil,” “worst,” “ridiculous,” and “injustice” in reference for a few years now, ever since Dawkins started garnering more mainstream attention after speaking at TED.

Apparently this is shocking to some people.  I’m not sure why, Jesus Himself said that would happen (Matthew 10:22, Mark 13:13, Luke 6:22, Luke 21:17).  But enough people got their feelings hurt that Myers wrote a book full of reasons why everyone should play nice.

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m all for civility, kindness, gentleness, truth in love, and self-control when it comes to debating issues, even so-called hot-button issues (which quite frankly, need it the most).  But on matters of irreconcilable differences, let’s call a spade a spade and explore those differences, rather than attempting to reach an unsatisfactory compromise.

Myers’ basic premise seems to be that an “enlightened atheist” and a “progressive theist” are ultimately after the same goal, which is broadly defined as that being what serves the widest social good: liberty, equality, a chicken in every pot, etc.  However, the unspoken assumption (and I must stress it is an assumption, as he doesn’t make the argument explicitly, merely uses the results of the argument liberally), is that the justification for that end is irrelevant compared to the end itself.

And that boggles my mind, both from a theological standpoint, and a philosophical standpoint.

In reverse order, the idea that one can argue from a flawed premise, arrive at a correct conclusion, and be on solid epistemological ground nonetheless is simply philosophically unacceptable.  That is not the way it works.  If your premise is flawed and your conclusion is correct, you are either in error, or have stumbled upon an exception rather than a rule.  It’s fruit of the poisoned tree either way.  For a far more eloquent explanation of this, please see the sidebar by Dr. Bahnsen.

Theologically speaking, we don’t need to go any further than the most frightening passage in the Bible to refute this: Matthew 7:21-23.  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Plainly, it not a matter purely of WHAT you do, but WHO you know.  When you stand before the Lord in judgment, there is no answer you can give in reference to your works that will save you.  There is only a name.

Myers book is filled with many humorous, interesting, and thought-provoking passages, and for that may be well-worth the evening it would take to read it.  But it seems to miss the obvious and most-critical point that the unbelieving world won’t be saved by some sort of “new ecumenism” whereby both believers and unbelievers join together to combat the ills of society.  We’re called to be in the world but not of the world.  The point is not to agree with the WHAT and ignore the WHY in the name of harmony and warm fuzzy feelings.

As Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

I have a few other issues with the book.  Myers holds to some interpretations of scripture that are far more liberal and socially-oriented than what I believe, but mostly to his credit, (with a couple glaring exceptions), he differentiates his opinions from his dogma openly and candidly.  I am far more concerned with a justification for the tenants of Christianity that manages to somehow avoid basing itself on the Word of God.

Because to my mind, that is ultimately the difference between an absolute justification and a mere excuse.


Editor’s Note: The article below is included to provide a contrast, and represent a more Biblically-based approach to reason and the Christian worldview.


Autonomy Is No Ladder to Christ’s Supreme Authority

By Dr. Greg Bahnsen

The Christian’s final standard, the inspired word of God, teaches us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). If the apologist treats the starting point of knowledge as something other than reverence for God, then unconditional submission to the unsurpassed greatness of God’s wisdom at the end of his argumentation does not really make sense. There would always be something greater than God’s wisdom – namely, the supposed wisdom of one’s own chosen, intellectual starting point. The word of God would necessarily (logically, if not personally) remain subordinate to that autonomous, final standard.

Ludwig Wittgenstein confessed that a devastating incongruity lay at the heart of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. If he was correct in his eventual conclusion, then the premises used to reach that conclusion were actually meaningless: “anyone who understands me eventually recognizes [my propositions] as nonsensical, when he has used them – as steps – to climb up beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up by it)” (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961 [1921], section 6.54, p. 151).

In similar fashion, Evangelicals sometimes utilize an autonomous apologetic method which does not assume the authority of Christ, treating it like a ladder to climb up to acceptance of Christ’s claims, only then to “throw the ladder away” since Christ is now seen as having an ultimate authority which conflicts with that autonomous method. Their method is used to reach a conclusion which is incompatible with what their method assumed – the self-sufficient authority of man’s reasoning.

Penpoint I:1 (October, 1990) © Covenant Media Foundation, 800/553-3938

Book Review: Atheism Remix

Book by Al Mohler

Review by Cesar Vigil-Ruiz

Atheism typically is a topic that makes many people uncomfortable, especially upon encountering people who are apt to identify themselves as atheists. The term comes with the stigma of someone who is not afraid to battle in an intellectual argument, including those who lay claim to the name Christian. Frequent conversations that start with non-Christians and Christians can easily lead to a heated debate that never leads to clarity, and worse, never gets to the Gospel. Christians can be fearful at times to engage with an atheist who seems to be convinced in their mind that what they believe is true, and what you believe is not only false, but dumb.

Enter Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists by Albert Mohler. This book originated as a series of lectures given at Dallas Theological Seminary earlier this year to address what might be seen as a new dawn for those who call themselves atheists. Interest in the news and media have given a large platform for writers to expound their own ideas about how the world came to be and why belief in God is not only irrational, but harmful. Among those addressed by Mohler are four men conveniently labeled the “Four Horsemen of the New Atheist Apocalypse”—Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens. Each of these men has written works that address their atheistic views for the general public, to reach more people in their pursuit to convince the masses that atheism is the only rational view to take.

Mohler first describes how atheism developed in history, from the rise of Enlightenment thought to belief in human reason as capable of deriving knowledge without revelation, to the many skeptical views of Nietzsche, Marx, Darwin, and Freud to cast doubt upon religion in general and the Christian faith in particular. This has led to an independence of thought and “freedom” that spiraled now to the rejection of certainty in what is now known as postmodernism. The New Atheism differs from the atheism of old in that their tolerance of Christian theism has obliterated, calling Christians to leave their “nonsensical” way of life and to cease abusing their children by teaching them Christian dogma. There is a lack of respect for those with whom they differ on their belief about God. Expressing 8 different ways the New Atheism differs from the old, he then discusses a couple of varied responses Christians have had to these attacks on the Christian faith, notably that of Alistair McGrath and Alvin Plantinga, especially in response to Dawkins’ popular (and most recent) book, The God Delusion.

The analysis of each of these men’s works draws out many helpful observations, chief of which is this: their dogged persistence in naturalism as their starting presupposition. It is this sinful view of God and His Word that must be put on display as what it truly is: defiant rebellion against Our maker. Although the book weighs in at close to 100 pages, there is much to commend Dr. Mohler. He presents the main arguments from the leading atheists of today and also the responses that have been given by leading defenders of the faith, while calling us as Christians, believers in the One true God of Scripture, to be aware of the culture that we live in, where books about atheism head bestseller lists, and where many people are becoming more vocal about their views of Christ and everything He lived on earth to die for. Are we prepared to give a clear and defensible response to those who oppose the God who created them; to respond to their many attacks against God Himself and lovingly show them to be sinful creatures in need of a Savior? May we be prepared to truly give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that is within us, always with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).


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The Beacon is the monthly newsletter for Lighthouse Bible Church in San Diego, California. It covers a variety of subjects including LBC events, church history, current events from a Christan perspective, ministry profiles, and messages from our pastors and elders. To join the Beacon ministry, please contact Stephen Rodgers.

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