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The Lion, the Wardrobe, and the Emperor’s Hangman

Continuing our short series commemorating the seventieth anniversary of C.S. Lewis’s classic C.S. Lewis is often depicted, at least in reformed circles, as a great Christian writer with an inadequate view of the atonement. He doesn’t believe in substitutionary atonement; Aslan dies as a ransom paid to the White Witch; he teaches that it’s Christ’s penitential attitude that saves us. There is some justification for these complaints. In Mere Christianity, the best he can say for penal substitution (the idea that Jesus suffers the penalty for our sins) is that it “does not seem quite so immoral and silly as...

Review: Faithful Theology by Graham Cole

It is sobering for every believer to recall that the very first work of theology recorded in the Bible—that is, the first example of someone talking about God rather than listening and responding to him directly—comes when the Serpent says “did God really say…?” Dietrich Bonhoeffer described that moment recorded in Genesis 3:1-8 in this way. …with the first religious question in the world, evil has come upon the scene…the false answer is contained within it, that within it is attacked the basic attitude of the creature towards the Creator. Man is expected to be the judge of God’s word...

Review: Awe by Paul Tripp

Has prayer and Bible reading become boring and uninspiring? Has the call to pursue Jesus become dry and exhausting? I picked up “Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do” at a time when I was feeling spiritually parched. I carried out tasks on auto pilot, doing many things for God, but struggling to derive any joy from him. On the surface, I had the Christian routine down pat, only to feel cold and lifeless on the inside. Inevitably, many months of joyless service led to exhaustion and bitterness. What’s the point of it all? Awe Amnesia According to Paul Tripp, “humans are...

Review: The Unseen Realm by Michael Heiser

Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm is simultaneously a refreshing, odd and timely book. It is refreshing because Heiser dares to do what so few evangelical scholars dare to do by taking a serious interest in the heavenly council that appears in places like Job 1:6-12; 1Kings 19:19-22; Daniel 10:12-13 and (he would insist) Deuteronomy 32:7-9 and Psalm 82. Where mainstream commentators have often attempted to downplay or explain away the parts of the Bible that speak of the “gods” (or “sons of God”) who function as God’s heavenly deputies, Heiser wants to bring them to the fore. He believes he...

Review: What Grieving People Wish You Knew by Nancy Guthrie

Many of us feel ill-equipped when a friend’s loved one has died. We don’t know what to say, we worry we’ll say the wrong thing, we might offer platitudes that aren’t helpful, or perhaps we avoid the person altogether. If we ourselves have not yet walked the road of strong, personal loss, we can be feeling our way with little knowledge or experience. If you are like me and know you still have a lot to learn in this area, Nancy Guthrie’s book What Grieving People Wish You Knew About What Really Helps (and What Really Hurts) will be of...

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