A Wolf at the Gate by Mark Van Steenwyk (Book Review)

A Wolf at the Gate

Having previously enjoyed Mark Van Steenwyk’s The unKingdom of God (see my review), I was delighted for the opportunity to read his new children’s book, A Wolf at the Gate. I have an almost-two-year-old son, so I read it out loud to him to see what he thought of it as well.

I’d like to first note the format of this book. Based on the illustrations I saw online, I initially believed this would be a short picture-based book, but it’s quite a bit more than that. The book’s seven chapters take up 76 pages, with many full-page color illustrations scattered throughout. I’d guess that about a fourth of the pages are illustrations.

Speaking of the illustrations, they’re beautiful! Joel Hedstrom did an excellent job creating them to be distinct and attractive.

The Day I Met Jesus by Frank Viola and Mary DeMuth (Book Review)

The Day I Met Jesus

Frank Viola is one of my favorite authors. By contrast, I had never read anything by Mary DeMuth before, but I figured she must be alright if Frank chose her as a coauthor. Baker Books Bloggers sent me a free copy of The Day I Met Jesus in exchange for an honest review.

If you’ve read Frank Viola’s earlier book, God’s Favorite Place on Earth (or if you remember me reviewing that one previously), you can expect a very similar format with this one. In fact, the two books fit so well together, it makes me wonder why Frank went with a different publisher this time. (David C. Cook published God’s Favorite Place on Earth, along with a number of other books from Frank Viola.) I’m probably just too perfectionistic, but it does bug me a bit that the two books don’t match on the shelf.

Like God’s Favorite Place on Earth, The Day I Met Jesus follows the stories of certain people who interacted with Jesus in the Gospels.

Dear Tim @Challies, You Don’t Have to Deny Hell—or Anything Else

Dear Tim,

You may or may not know who I am, but you and I have actually appeared in print together. An article you wrote on hell was placed right next to an article I co-wrote on technology in the July–September 2012 issue of Answers magazine. A few months after that issue was published, I was asked to resign from my position at Answers in Genesis due to my belief in hell as annihilation.

A sampling of church history’s finest “hell deniers”

But that’s enough about me. I’d like to respond to your recent blog post, “What I Would Have To Deny To Deny Hell.” In your post, you assert that a denial of hell would also necessitate a denial of the following:

  • What Jesus taught
  • The plain sense of Scripture
  • The testimony of the church
  • The gospel

The unKingdom of God by Mark Van Steenwyk (Book Review)

The unKingdom of God

Mark Van Steenwyk’s The unKingdom of God is one of those books that makes me feel like I’m reading my own story. Of course Mark’s background is pretty different from my own, but the struggles he’s had with mainstream Christianity and the changes he’s gone through in his theology completely resonate with my own experience.

As an example, let me just share a short excerpt from Mark’s introduction:

An interesting challenge quickly emerged. … I assumed that the Bible was full of metaphors and poetry and prose and illustration. I didn’t read it literally. Except for the parts where it was, you know, obvious. I treated the life and sermons of Jesus in a much more straightforward manner than, say, the book of Revelation or Jesus’ parables.

The Invisible Man and His Shadow (An Allegory)

Shadow

There once was an invisible man. Though no one could see this man, they could see his shadow. Over the years, people tried to learn about the man by observing his shadow. They recorded their findings, carefully documenting every detail they saw in the shadow.

But they ran into some problems.

For one thing, the shadow didn’t always look the same to everyone. It would acquire the color and texture of whatever it happened to be resting on. And it seemed to change shape depending on the time of day and the angle from which people observed it. Some saw the shadow as extraordinarily tall and skinny, while others saw it as short and squat.