Category Archives: Book Reviews

Jim Hamilton Interviewed by King’s Evangelical Divinity School

Check out this recent interview by Andy Cheung (King’s Evangelical Divinity School) of Dr. Jim Hamilton regarding his forthcoming book.


Thank You Kevin!!

I never win free stuff. . .until last week. Kevin De Young and WTS books gave away 40 copies of The Good News We Almost Forgot and I got one!

This is new incentive to read it for sure!

Thanks Kevin and WTS!

A New Kind of Whole Foods, by Brian McLaren, via Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton has written a very interesting parable that you must read. What would it look like if Brian McLaren were advocating for a new kind of Whole Foods Store (instead of a New Kind of Christianity)?

Here’s a snip:

Brian McLaren decided to open his own Whole Foods store. He started small, and the business grew. After a struggle through the early years, he had his own storefront with the sign in the parking lot and everything: Whole Foods.

More and more, though, people complained about the high prices, and they were a little disappointed that while the food was supposed to be healthy, it just didn’t taste as good as what they were used to eating. McLaren wrestled with the problems of price, access, taste, and image, and after much turmoil he began to move toward a solution that he was sure would address the issues.

The change didn’t happen all at once, and McLaren didn’t announce what he had decided to do. In fact, there are some indications that this was, we might say, an organic development, a slow transformation. Once it had happened, though, the results are clear for all to see.

Though the sign out front still says Whole Foods, things are very different within. Instead of all that expensive, healthy, tasteless food, inside you can buy what looks and tastes just like fast food burgers and fries. In fact, Brian’s stuff is just like McDonald’s! And now the shelves of the store are stocked with things that people really want to eat, things that people can afford, things that are easier for McLaren to acquire and market, and things that taste just like what we used to eat when we didn’t bother about health food at all. Perfect! Affordable prices and food that tastes great—healthy to boot.

Brian even lets people smoke in his Whole Foods store. Here is a new kind of Whole Foods store we can love. Can you imagine? Here is a place where you can smoke and not feel guilty about needing a nicotine fix, a place you don’t have to worry about having an expensive, destructive addiction.

Brian understands and teaches that people are born with a proclivity to addiction. Some people are hard wired to love cigarettes, and those people who are against smoking just weren’t born with the same kinds of inclinations.

Trust me, it just gets better. Read the whole thing here. Also, be sure to check out the panel discussion on McLaren’s new book at SBTS on Thursday involving Drs. Mohler, Ware, Wellum, Wills and Hamilton.

From the Tilt-a-Whirl to the Trellis–Books thus far in 2010

It’s February. I’ve been reading some and wanted to share a couple of thoughts on a couple of books…

1. Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl, N.D. Wilson–Fantastic! You know you’ve read a good book when you’re disappointed when you are finished. I wanted to read more! Wilson is a great writer. This is G.K. Chesterton meets C.S. Lewis with some of my generation’s blunt rhetoric sprinkled in for good measure. This is a fun book to read! (N.D. Wilson’s children’s books are now on my list to read with my 11 year old).

2. Leading on Empty, Wayne Cordeiro–This is a book written by a well known pastor who burned out. He found himself one day crying uncontrollably on the side of the road, due to depression and being overwhelmed by the ministry. I’m not there, but this book is a great resource for pastors, or anyone who needs to get, what Cordeiro calls the 5% of the things in your life that matter most in order. I’ve taken away from this a regular routine of silence and solitude.

3. Lots of Commentaries on Acts–It was sad to put them away…but I’m sure I’ll return to them one day 😦

Currently Reading:

The Trellis and the Vine, Marshall and Payne
100 Cupboards, N.D. Wilson
The Hermeneutical Spiral, Osborne
Lots of Commentaries on Hosea

“Do Hard Things,” Reviewed by Caraline Cardwell

August 11, 2009

I, Caraline Cardwell, have just finished a book that has changed many lives. Do Hard Things, by Brett and Alex Harris, is an amazing book. I recommend this book to all teens who feel as if they have no purpose in their life. Or, perhaps feel as if they do, but can’t figure out how, or can’t find the courage to to fulfill their purpose in life. This book is all about stepping out of your little bubble or your comfort zone. It has many good stories of just regular teenage video game freaks who, after reading this book, do incredible things that they would never have dreamed of. It has encouraged me to do hard things. Pass this book to a friend who maybe feels like the person that I have described above, lonely, and with no purpose. Maybe they will do hard things. (I also recommend their blog, ‘’)

One of my friends has just discovered some awful things that people do to weak children in orphanages and wants to help. I told her to become a missionary when she grows up, but she wants to do something now. She wants to help. I recommended this book to her, because there are a lot of similar stories of teens who want to do something but can’t figure out how. On the other hand, maybe you are just a lazy bum, who sits around watching TV all day. That’s your life. There is nothing else to it. To our culture, the things that aren’t really hard are, like making your bed, cleaning your room or putting away your clothes. Those things are “hard” to us. You need to become a, “rebelutionary.” You might not have heard the word, ‘rebelution’ before. Maybe it’s because Brett and Alex made it up! They combined “rebellion” &, “revolution.” Are you a rebelutionary?

I learned some interesting things. First of all, people expect more of babies than they do teens. WOW! They expect babies to sit up. They expect babies to crawl. They expect them to walk. They don’t expect hardly anything from teenagers. I made a decision. I have never read the whole bible. I love to read, with a capital, L. I have read books thicker than the Bible. Why don’t I have such a desire to read the Holy book, but am stuck on reading other stuff that is not as good? So every morning I’m planning to read three chapters, and every night I’ll read three chapters. So, I’ll be reading 6 chapters a day, 42 chapters a week, and 183 chapters a month. (If you are a young person, I would also recommend, Day by Day Bible. It is a kid’s version of the Bible and has an assignment each day for you, so you can read the bible in a year, if you follow the schedule.)

So if you haven’t read this book yet, then I highly recommend it! It is my favorite book, (and I have read a lot!) and hope that it will be yours. Farewell, and I hope that you consider this amazing book.

NOTE: If you attend Baptist Church of the Redeemer, you can buy or check this book out from our Book Nook. The foreward is by Chuck Norris!

Caraline Cardwell is currently 11 years old and has two brothers (Brayton and Caleb) and one baby sister (Adelyn).

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things: Blogging and Books!

This last week, I had the joy and blessing of attending the Gospel Coalition’s National Conference. On Wednesday, a friend and I attended the Band of Bloggers Fellowship and had a great time! Probably the highlight for me was the robust bag of free books that met me at the door!! So, to thank the publishers that sponsored the event, I wanted to list those books and encourage you to get them if you have not already. Here’s a peek into my bag of books:


A Great Book for Ordinary Pastors

Okay, I turned thirty last weekend. So, I’m doing a little bit of introspection…reflection…and depression (just kidding on the last!). But seriously, this is a great time for me to take stock of my life as a Christian, as a husband, as a father and as a pastor.

The first book that I read in 2009 served me well in doing just this. Last night I finished D.A. Carson’s biography of his father’s life (Tom Carson) entitled Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. This book is simply a record of Tom Carson’s ministry, as his son has put it together through experience and sifting through journal entries (both in English and French as Tom served in French Canada).

I could not be more encouraged by this little book. Tom Carson was not an acclaimed author nor was he ever invited to speak at a conference, but he exemplified godliness in the pastorate (even as the number two guy at some points in his ministry). So what’s my takeaway? Let me give you a few things:

1. I never want to gague my ministry by numbers.
2. I never want to stop praying
3. I never want to stop soaking up God’s word, for myself.
4. I never want to stop loving my wife. (One chapter is dedicated to Tom’s wife Marge and her Alzheimer years)
5. I never want to lose sight of the joy of long, slow, happy work in the field God has given me.
6. I never want to neglect my children
7. I never want to feel sorry for myself again.
8. I never want to put anything past the God who is in the heavens and does as he pleases.
9. I do want to start journaling.
10. I do want people to see God in me…as someone who knows the God of Psalm 16:11– “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy and at your right hand, pleasures forevermore!”

This is an abbreviated list. To summarize, I need God, more than I ever have. Thank you Dr. Carson for encouraging at least one ordinary pastor!

Family Driven Faith–Reviewed by Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence, the Associate Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC, has recently reviewed Voddie Baucham’s newest book Family Driven Faith.

In my opinion, Lawrence brings us a very balanced and fair review of this potentially paradigm shifting book/ideology. Baucham has spearheaded the “family integrated church” movement and Lawrence asks the question of whether or not we are creating a new problem in order to fix an old one…

Here is a taste test:

As I said at the outset, I’m no fan of age-segregated ministry and largely agree with Baucham’s critique of its ill-effects on the church. And certainly I’m no fan of parental failure in evangelizing and discipling their children. What I don’t agree with is how Baucham links these two matters and tries to fix both, namely, by redefining the church as “a family of families.”

In other words, Baucham moves from examining parents’ responsibility to prescribing a new role, and even culture, of the church. This new ministry paradigm is “family driven” in which “the family is the evangelism and discipleship arm of the family-integrated church” (p. 195). Baucham insists that if we are to be faithful to what the Scriptures teach, “churches must facilitate this commitment” (p. 190). At precisely this point it seems to me that he has ironically placed the church at the service of a newly defined set of consumers.

Read the whole thing here.

(HT: 9 Marks)

Al Mohler on The Golden Compass

As many of you know, The Golden Compass, one of three films, based on Phillip Pullman’s books “His Dark Materials,” opens today (December 7th) in theatres. These books and movies have a clear agenda in promoting atheism to children.


I encourage you to read Dr. Mohler’s blog as you consider the ways in which Christians should respond to challenges like these. My wife and I discovered that our nine year old daughter already had this book in her possession! Thankfully, I had placed it on my bookshelf and she has not had time to read it yet. I know that we cannont (and should not) isolate our children from things like this, but I’m thankful that I can now prepare her for what the author is trying to accomplish, and discourage her from being fooled!

As Dr. Mohler says, Christianity is not going to be toppled by a few fictional books. But, this is a great opportunity to show the futility of life apart from Jesus Christ, our only true Savior.

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Jesse Mercer’s Calvinism

Jim Hamilton has recently reviewed Anthony L. Chute’s, A Piety above the Common Standard: Jesse Mercer and Evangelistic Calvinism.

Here is a snipit:

Jesse Mercer’s Calvinism is presented in chapter 3. Like all who identify with Calvinism, Mercer was led to his theological position by the Bible, not by any special allegiance to John Calvin. Interestingly, Mercer identified himself more with John Gill than Andrew Fuller. Those who severed the sovereignty of God from human responsibility were doubtful of Mercer’s commitments to his theology because he was so zealous for missions, but the problem was with their refusal to embrace the tension between sovereignty and responsibility, not with any position Mercer held. This chapter is a masterpiece of historical theology. Chute ably summarizes theological positions and persons, showing how the theological contributions of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Edwards were the lifeblood of the early Baptists in America. Mercer was not one of those theologians who think that God revealed the truths of election and effectual calling for ministers to hide them. Mercer published on these doctrines and insisted repeatedly on his faithful adherence to them. As Chute puts it, “He took sides, and people noticed” (81).

You can read the entire reveiw here.