Tag: book review

Not the Book I Expected: A Review of We Confess! for SpeakEasy Bloggers

We Confess!: The Civil War, the South, and the Church by Deborah Brunt WestBow Press. 266 pp. I’ve now lived in the South longer than I lived in the Midwest, and I came to terms long ago with certain realities about the region where my kids are growing up.  In the minds of “real Southerners,”…

Deconstruction on the Way to the Kingdom: A Review of The Gospel and the Mind

The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life by Bradley G. Green Crossway.  181 pp.  16.99 Sometimes folks who have recently learned about the synoptic gospels’ emphasis on the Kingdom of God (or Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew, or Kin-dom of God if you’re Tripp Fuller) succumb a certain temptation towards reductionism. …

Jesus, History, and Interpretation: A Response to Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan 272 pp. Random House. $27.00. I’ll say this up front: New Testament Studies is a hard discipline.  Its difficulty comes from the wide range of academic departments involved in doing it well.  To dig in for real, one must have some facility with ancient languages…

Review of Evolution's Purpose for SpeakEasy Bloggers

Evolution’s Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins by Steve McIntosh 260 pp. Selectbooks. $24.95. More than anything else, this book reminds me that philosophy and theology are wide-open games. As “progressive” sorts dismiss appeals to any thinkers older than Whitehead and “scientific” materialists refuse anything that smacks of “agency” or…

Pleasantly Uneven: A Review of A New Evangelical Manifesto for SpeakEasy Bloggers

A New Evangelical Manifesto: A Kingdom Vision of the Common Good Edited by David P. Gushee 240 pp. Chalice Press. $24.99. I’ll go ahead and shoot straight here: when I see “common good” in the subtitle and Brian McLaren high on the table of contents, I tend to assume I’m going to see an apologia…

No Room for Difference: A Review of Viral Jesus for SpeakEasy Bloggers

Viral Jesus: Recovering the Contagious Power of the Gospel By Ross Rochde 204 pp. Passio. $14.99. There are certain books that make me realize just how much other writers influence me.  This was one of those.  If your own background is less saturated with Walter Brueggemann, and if you’ve not recently read Phillip Cary’s Good…

Book Review: "The Road Trip That Changed the World"

The Road Trip That Changed the World By Mark Sayers 285 pp. Moody Publishers. $14.99. Mark Sayers’s The Road Trip That Changed the World is a piece of cultural criticism masquerading as a piece of literary criticism, an ostensible analysis of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road that actually attempts to diagnose the ills of the…

WWJD 2.0: A Review of The Jesus Life for Speakeasy

The Jesus Life: Eight Ways to Recover Authentic Christianity by Stephen W. Smith 231 pp.  David Cook.  $14.99. I’ve said before that, if you want to see what a writer’s really about, look at how the writer writes about the devil.  Milton’s Satan, Goethe’s Mephistopheles, and Lewis’s Screwtape, just to pick an obvious trio, let…

Definitely a Go-To Book: A Review of Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary

Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do by Phillip Cary 197 pp.  Brazos Press.  $14.99. Phillip Cary was one of the best guests ever on Homebrewed Christianity, and given the quality of the folks that Tripp and Bo bring on to that program, that’s saying something.  What I did…

Existentialism and Christianity? Existentialism Against Christianty?: A Review of Insurrection by Peter Rollins for SpeakEasy Bloggers

Insurrection: To Believe Is Human, To Doubt Divine. by Peter Rollins 185 pp.  Howard Books.  $16.00. In 2009 I started a journey into existentialism, a body of philosophy and literature that I’d heard of in my college days, largely skirted through graduate school, and only returned to because my friend Michial Farmer (you might know…

Book Review: "Why Read Moby-Dick?"

Why Read Moby-Dick? By Nathaniel Philbrick. 144 pp. Viking Adult. $25. If such a thing as the Great American Novel exists, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick is almost certainly the finest example of the species—and not just because of its high quality. Moby-Dick serves as a model for the way that American writers of “literary fiction” see…

My Kind of Theologian: A Review of Earthen Vessels by Matthew Lee Anderson

Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to Our Faith by Matthew Lee Anderson 231 pp. $14.99.  Bethany House. The preface to Matthew Anderson’s book is subtitled, “In Which I Clear my Throat.”  How could I but love this book?  Oh, and in one of the concluding chapters, he takes an “emergent” Christian author to task…

Liberal Theology Makes Me Want to Go Catholic: A Review of Kissing Fish for Speakeasy Bloggers

Kissing Fish: Christianity for People who Don’t Like Christianity by Roger Wolsey 393 pp. Xlibris.  $19.99 Certain books stand out in my mind less as conversation partners and more as moments for anthropological reflection.  Such books give me a decent picture of how people whose outlooks differ from my own see the world, but I…