Book Reviews

Drive-by Reviews

In going through my recent blog posts, I realized it has been a while since I have posted any book reviews. One should not derive from that fact the notion that I have not been reading. Quite to the contrary, as the following list attests.

Empires of Dirt by Douglas Wilson

After I successfully navigated around Wilson’s amillennialism, this book proved to be very helpful to me. One example: it caused me to re-think my notion of what constitutes a “theocracy”.

What this Cruel War was Over by Chandra Manning

Manning’s ponderous research and factual presentation make it very difficult to honestly maintain the position that “the Civil War was not primarily about slavery”.

The Story of Christianity (Volumes 1 and 2) by Justo Gonzalez

Gonzelez makes a heroic effort to be fair, and largely succeeds until he gets to the issues facing modern Christianity. Then his leftist, liberal tendencies begin to show through a little.

The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell

Popularized by a recent BBC series, these books make for some really good leisure reading. A great mix of history and fiction from the days of King Alfred and the epic struggle between Saxons and Vikings. Cornwell is usually quite careful to help the reader distinguish between fact and fiction. Warning! These books are full of not-nice people doing and saying not-nice things. You have been warned.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

Though fundamentally sympathetic to Ms. Clinton, the authors do not shy away from the dumpster fire that was her campaign. Reading this was like watching…well…this:

The Great Revolt by Salina Zito and Brad Todd

The first inclination I had the Trump might actually win the 2016 election was when I drove through Pennsylvania in early November, and saw firsthand the overwhelming support for his campaign in the rural areas of that swing state. I remember telling a liberal friend of mine shortly thereafter that her confidence in a Clinton victory might be a little premature. This book, which is my current read, goes into the demographics of that phenomenon. This is my current read, and I am enjoying it a lot.

The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher

A solid, but at times flawed, attempt to help Christians navigate the rough waters of our post-modern era. I would highly recommend Doug Wilson’s series evaluating the book, which begins here.

The Lost History of Christianity by Philip Jenkins

A very interesting overview of non-western Christianity.

How We Got the Bible by Dr. Timothy Paul Jones

The amazing story of the Book we hold in our hands today. A very informative, accessible book. Especially recommended for anybody who has been confused by the “versions debate”.

A History of Western Philosophy and Theology by Dr. John Frame

Another current read as I prepare a series on Christian Philosophy for our church Sunday School class. I am really enjoying it.

12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos by Dr. Jordan Peterson

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of Jordan Peterson. Perhaps you have watched one of his YouTube videos, or seen his internet-busting interview with Cathy Newman. Whatever the case, Dr. Peterson is becoming a force to reckon with on the cultural stage. I plan to dedicate a whole post to Dr. Peterson in the upcoming days. For now, suffice it to say that Christians will find much to disagree with in this book, and yet I believe it is important for Christians – especially those in positions of leadership – to read it.

So that’s what I’ve been reading over the last few months. What’s on your reading list? Leave your book recommendations in the comment section.

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