Books of 2011

These are all the books I have read in 2011 and their reviews Consumer Detox by Mark Powley Before the Frost by Henning Mankell Freakonomics by Levitt & Dubner A New Perspective on Jesus by James DG Dunn Holiness & Mission by Morna Hooker and Frances Young Eyes of Integrity by Craig Gross The Genesis Enigma by Andrew Parker Love Wins by Rob Bell The Great Divorce by CS Lewis Faithworks 2: Stories of Hope by Steve Chalke Losing my religion by Gordon Lynch The Translator by Daoud Hari Holding…

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Book Review: Good Omens

Every now and then some light reading is called for and this came in the handy form of Good Omens by Pratchett and Gaiman. The basic plot is that it’s time for the end of the world and the birth of the anti-Christ, unfortunately due to a mix up at the hospital the wrong child is sent to the wrong home, yet the end of the world must come, just not where and how anyone expected. The main characters are a demon called Crowley and an angel called Azirophale, who over…

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Book review: Asylum and Immigration

For the past ten years or so I have lived in middle England. Our town had an overwhelmingly white British population, most of whom would be very happy if it stayed that way. Despite having travelled reasonably widely and had the pleasure of learning about different cultures, I never particularly faced the issue of discovering those cultures in my birth nation. The demographics were never really in my favour. Then this year, we move to a small village in south-east Sweden and the issue that has forced me to think the…

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Scotland, the church and homosexuality

Two quite different posts here but dealing with different aspects of the same issue. In this post Carl Trueman shares a speech by a minister who has left the Church of Scotland over its changing position on homosexuality. “It is, of course, not a question of whether the Church of Scotland is morally perfect in her membership or behaviour; no church ever has been and that is not the point at issue here.  It is rather a matter of whether, as an institution, she will not merely tolerate but actively encourage,…

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The giving of Christmas

The angels gave their message Mary gave her body Joseph gave his reputation Caesar gave his orders The innkeeper gave his manger The magi gave their gifts The heavenly host gave their praise And the shepherds gave their worship. Mary gave birth Joseph gave a name Heaven gave a Saviour The Father gave a Son. The darkness gives way to the light And death gives way to life.   I hope you all a Christmas filled with light and life.

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What mission, whose mission?

Not so long ago I reviewed The Road to Missional  by Michael Frost who argued that ‘mission cannot be reduced to simply spoken evangelism or acts of kindness and compassion’ and then not long afterwards Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert published What is the mission of the church? who argued that the mission should be, more or less, spoken evangelism and discipleship. That hit a nerve. Ed Stetzer reviewed it in Themelios and was less than positive as ”they plod through the biblical text in workmanlike fashion.’ Liam Thatcher read it…

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Miscellaneous: 7 links

The last set of links before Christmas and a particularly random bunch. Sorry about that. Hope the links have been a source of interesting things for you. One more for the year, but trust you’ll have a great Christmas. I use Google every day, me and billions of others. This was our 2011 (HT: Tim Challies) Expositional preachers worth listening to according to Tim Raymond Carl Trueman on the Song of Solomon and sex Talking about books about sex, check this one out by Matt Hosier. And on books, Challies has provocative…

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How do I convince my three year old that Jesus was right?

In Acts 20:35 Paul reminds the church at Ephesus these words of Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Just take a moment to think about whether you believe that or not. How are you more blessed? Do you feel more blessed when you give? It can be easy if you have children, the few moments when they see a new present and delight fills their faces, it’s easy to see why giving can be so good. Ten minutes later when they’re bored with your gift, the…

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