Justin’s #59 – Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, Nancy Pearcey, 384 pages

November 9, 2015 // 0 Comments

I read Nancy Pearcey’s book, Total Truth and “Finding Leonardo” last year and found them to be really compelling. Pearcey’s experience at L’Abri Fellowship with Francis Schaeffer inspired her to reclaim her Christian faith and delve into areas of Philosophy and Apologetics that are often times denigrated by evangelicals. In this follow up book to Total Truth, Pearcey wants to equip Christians with tools that combat idols. Taking a page from Romans 1, Pearcey builds her thesis on verses 16-32. Romans 1 is easily one of my most favorite chapters of scripture. She calls it a guide to apologetics. Pearcey’s utmost concern is about worldview. She argues that Christianity is the most coherent worldview among all the philosophies of the world. This is why the Apostle Paul can say, in Romans 1:16, that he is “not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” It is only through the Christian worldview that men can have a dignified and complete view of humanity. Pearcey has a 5 step guide to diminishing idols in our lives. She argues that idols don’t just have to be other gods, but an idol is defined as anything that replaces God. Therefore, philosophies can be idols because they inherently replace […]

Justin’s #55 – The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism, D.A. Carson, 640 pages

October 22, 2015 // 0 Comments

Well. It took me a couple of months to get through this book, so I’m very proud of that accomplishment. This is a THICK book, both in literal and figurative terms. It reminded me a lot of the David F. Wells series I finished (which, if you haven’t checked out, you should). It’s also one of those books that as soon as I finished, I knew I would have to read it again. There are just too many important things that I felt I missed going through it. A gag is something that prevents someone from speaking. Therefore, the gagging of God is literally man’s attempts to silence the word of God. How this is accomplished is through the re-interpretation of scripture, making what God has revealed to us worthless. The main proponents of this gagging are what are called “pluralists.” What is pluralism ? Pluralism can mean many things: on the one hand, in Evangelical theology, pluralism is synonymous with universalism: no matter what happens or what you believe, all people will eventually be “spiritual” enough to go to heaven, or whatever conception of “heaven” pluralists concoct (think Nirvana in terms of Buddhism). Other definitions of pluralism include philosophical […]

Justin’s #51 – The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World, R.C. Sproul, 224 pages

October 11, 2015 // 0 Comments

Ever since reading Total Truth, How Shall We Then Live, and Saving Leonardo, I’ve had an interest into Philosophy. “Consequences of Ideas” is a look through history at the dominant philosophical notions that have come to shape our modern world. This is similar to Francis Schaefer’s attempt in “How Then,” but Dr. Sproul does not approach philosophy through art as Schaefer does; the two are very similar and I look forward to reading more in the future. Sproul was inspired to write this book after not only majoring in Philosophy in college, but from a conversation he had with a foreign born immigrant while holding down a summer job. He recounts the conversation they had, with him asking what he was studying. Sproul came to find out that this man had his PhD in Philosophy and was born in Germany. He lived through the rise of the Nazi regime and fled for Britain before coming to the United States. Dr. Sproul tells how we in America have a tendency to look down upon Philosophy, but he rightly says that Adolf Hitler understood something about philosophy that we don’t: mainly that ideas have consequences. Hitler’s point was to crush all who […]

Justin’s #44 – Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, John Piper, 368 pages

September 6, 2015 // 1 Comment

The motto of John Piper’s ministry could be “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” This is his definition of Christian hedonism. In essence, Desiring God is about being satisfied in God; making God our treasure. I think it is easy for us, as Evangelical Christians, to recite a prayer and believe that we have come to a type of saving faith. This is antithetical to Christian Hedonism: our desire to glorify God, according to Piper, stems from the joy we find in Him. Joy is a consistent theme for the Christian Hedonist. Hedonism defined means “the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.” But to the Christian Hedonist, joy is a result of giving God glory. Dr. Piper sets up his thesis by quoting the famous Westminster Catechism phrase, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” He says that enjoying Him and giving Him glory are the same thing. Therefore, Christian Hedonism (remember: the pursuit of pleasure) is doing things simply because you have the pleasure of giving God glory. The thought here is that sometimes Christians are inundated with denial. This denial makes us sometimes begrudgingly worship and do […]

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