Featured Books I’ve Reviewed:
|Despite Doubt by Mike Wittmer: Wittmer was one of professors at GRTS so I’m a little biased. Nevertheless, this really is a great book that cuts through the mess of pop-theology around the topic of doubt. He shows how doubt can be helpful to our faith (asking questions drives the process of discovery) or harmful, if it is combined with the more sinister “unbelief.”|
|Gods at War by Kyle Idleman: Idleman tackles the issue of idolatry, showing how all sin eventually comes back to putting some other god before the one true God.|
|Clean by Douglas Weiss: Few sins are as powerful for men as the sin of lust, especially in today’s highly sexualized culture where pornography is always as close as your fingertips. Weiss, a therapist who specializes in sex addiction, gives men a plan for finding consistent victory in this area of life.|
|Where the Real Conflict Lies by Alvin Plantinga: Plantinga’s thesis says it all: “There is superficial conflict but deep concord between science and theistic religion, but superficial concord and deep conflict between science and naturalism.” If you want to know how he gets to that conclusion, read the book.|
|In Search of Deep Faith by Jim Belcher: I didn’t even intend to get this book. I got it in the mail when after failing to reject the IVP Bookclub selection. I’m glad I did get it though. Belcher does a great job of weaving together theology, history, and philosophy, into the story of a journey across Europe.|
What I look for in a book:
There are two things I look for in a book: Solidness and Freshness. I’m going to start rating books on these criteria. For each category, the book can receive a score of minutes (-), neutral (0), plus (+), or plus-plus (++).
Solidness: Is the book theologically solid?
“-“ The book holds a position that stands in opposition to Biblical orthodoxy regarding the essentials of the Christian faith.
“0” The book is a mixed bag of good and bad (wrong, unclear, sloppy) theology. I’m not going to nit-pick here and I don’t expect every book to be a theology book.
“+” The book has solid theology and all the essentials and I agree with the author on most disputable matters of the Christian faith.
“++” I can find no problems with the book theologically. It is solid and precise. It presents multiple sides of the issue where there is room for disagreement.
Freshness: Does the book present new ideas or old ideas in fresh ways?
“-“ The book presents no new ideas and presents old ideas in uninteresting ways.
“0” The book presents no new information but presents old ideas in interesting ways.
“+” The book makes fresh connections between old ideas and presents its thesis in a compelling way.
“++” The book presents new ideas or a novel way of looking at an old idea. There have been a few books in my life that have resulted in a paradigm shift in how I think. These are the books that receive a “++” rating.
The ideal books are those that are theologically solid and present me with a new way of looking at the world.
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