100 Word Book Reviews: November 2020

George Hunsinger, Philippians, Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible, Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2020. 232 pages. A: A solid and pleasant entry into the Brazos series of commentaries. Hunsinger works closely with the grammar of the text of Philippians, while also showing its impact on life and doctrine. In making these theological connections, Hunsinger…

100 Word Book Reviews: September-October 2020

J. Todd Billings, The End of the Christian Life: How Embracing Our Mortality Frees Us to Truly Live. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2020. 240 pages. A+: Each of us will die. Pretending otherwise is bad for body and soul. Weaving together real-life narratives with poignant theological insight, Billings offers sober, christ-centered hope for mortal creatures…

100 Word Book Reviews: June 2020

Sanderson, Brandon. The Hero of Ages, Tor Books: New York, 2008. 760 pages. A:. In a world of mist and ash, metals grant power. After the events at the Well of Ascension, Vin has unleashed a power that may lead to the end of the world. Vin and Elend race against the falling ash to…

Review: Understanding Genesis

Nahum M. Sarna, Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel, Schoken Books (New York), 1966. I first heard about the Jewish scholar, Nahum Sarna, on our trip to Israel last year. Our guide, Ray Vander Laan, referenced his work repeatedly and recommended that we read his books. After receiving Understanding Genesis (as well as Exploring Exodus) for Christmas,…

Review: Rejoicing in Lament

J. Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer & Life in Christ. Brazos Press, 2015. It is a rare book that can hover between the academic and the personal in a way that enriches both realms. After he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 39, J. Todd Billings’ life took a surprising…

Review: A Taste of Torah

           Keren Hannah Pryor. A Taste of Torah: A Devotional Study Through the Five Books of Moses. Center for Judaic-Christan Studies, 2008. Since before the time of Jesus, it has been the practice of observant Jews to read the first five books of the Bible, the Torah, every year. This practice…

Review: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

Jerry L. Walls, Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory: A Protestant View of the Cosmic Drama. Brazos Press, 2015. Interest in heaven, hell, and the afterlife have seen a dramatic increase in recent years. Myriads of books, movies, and articles have been published reporting both sensational experiences and profound skepticism. Yet what this resurgence has often lacked…

Review – Population: 485

Michael Perry. Population: 485 – Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time. Harper Perennial, 2007. A little over a year and a half ago, my wife and I moved from a medium sized city to a small town in rural Iowa. Even before we stepped foot in the state, I received an email inviting…

Review: A Voice in the Wind

Francine Rivers. A Voice In The Wind. Tyndale House Publishers, 1993. I generally avoid any book categorized as ‘Christian fiction.’ In the past few decades, a lot of bad writing has tried to gain a market by slapping the label ‘Christian’ on the front of it. The ugly triad of boring characters, simplistic plots, and…

Review: Accompany Them With Singing

One of the inevitabilities of Christian ministry is the Christian funeral. Many ministers find presiding over funerals to be both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. However, with the ever pressing demand of Sunday services, the death of a saint does not often allow for thorough analysis of the meaning and purpose of a Christian funeral.…