A Christian Understanding of What Makes You You

WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE by Klyne Snodgrass (Eerdmans Publishing Co.; 2018) covers a topic that sounds overwhelming and intimidating, but is rather an important core issue for every human – identity.  By “identity,” Snodgrass means what “makes me me;” and since we all have a divine Creator Who made us the people we are for some distinct purposes, there can be no more important question for anyone to answer, but especially Christians.  “Why did God make me like this, and does my life reflect who I really am?”  But rather than a stuffy anthropological or philosophical treatise, Snodgrass does a wonderful job of demonstrating and explaining this issue in compelling and inviting ways.

After establishing the fact that only Christians have the ability to truly understand themselves – as opposed to all non-Christians – because we know our Maker; then the meat of the book discourses on nine factors the author says comprise the total makeup of our true identities.  Quickly, those factors are:  Our body; our history; our relations (and relationships); our self-interpreting of our memories; our chosen commitments; our actions; our boundaries; our ongoing change in temperament and styles of living; and the future we see for ourselves.  The theme and goal of this timely book when “identity” is in so much confusion in the world, is that we can only truly understand ourselves by understanding the God Who not only created us, but loves us.  Highly recommended.


“The authority of Jesus” by Thomas Schreiner

Not my article, but I like it!

Tolle Lege

“Jesus’ authority pervades Mark’s Gospel. He calls disciples to follow Him (1:16-20), casts out demons with a word, declares that the paralytic is forgiven of his sins (2:1-12), identifies Himself as the end-time bridegroom (2:19-20), claims to be the Lord of the Sabbath (2:23-28), says that those who do God’s will are part of His family (3:31-35), stills a storm with His words (4:35-41), sends others out to preach the kingdom (6:7-13), feeds crowds of five thousand and four thousand (6:30-44; 8:1-10), functions as the interpreter of the law (7:1-23), demands that people follow Him (1:17; 2:14; 8:34; 10:21), warns that those who are ashamed of Him and His words will be punished (8:38), teaches that children should be received in His name (9:37), cleanses the temple (11:15-17), identifies Himself as the last and the most important of God’s messengers (12:1-12), triumphs in controversy with religious leaders (11:27-12:44), predicts the…

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The smile of God awaits you…

Very poignant words from Ravi Zacharias, speaking to Nabeel Qureshi before his recent home-going………….

Commonplacing Christian

You will be freed to the joy of life where there are no more fears, no more tears, no more hate, no more bloodshed, because you will be with the One who has already shed his blood for you, where love is supreme, grace abounds, and the consummate joy is of the soul. The smile of God awaits you: “Well done.”

“Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for them that love him,” 1 Corinthians 2:9 promises. Your eyes will now see and your hands will now touch that which is the only Real estate.

— Ravi Zacharias, written to Nabeel Qureshi prior to his death

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Recovering the Scandal of the Cross // Mark D. Baker and Joel B. Green.

The Atonement is a difficult and controversial theological topic, to say the least, but this book reviewed in this article looks to try to make the issue more accessible than just to specialists in the field…………….



In the past few decades, scholarship has cycled back and forth into discussions about the cross, crucifixion, and atonement: criticism against the cross, criticism against criticisms, and more have flooded academia’s wetlands causing both demolished lands and fertile potentials. Some say the cross is too scandalous; others say not scandalous enough. Some say the crucifixion is too problematic; others say not problematic enough. Some say the atonement is much to be blamed for; others say the atonement actually unmasks the true perps. Unlike the doctrines of the two natures of Christ and the trinity, there was never an early great ecumenical council to hammer out (pun intended) what the cross did and meantThat it happened is unquestionable. What of it begs many questions.

Thus, Baker and Green try to untangle the frayed twine not of academia, per se, but of popular level understandings of atonement. Specifically…

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Review: Every Thought Captive by Richard Pratt Jr.

A book review (but not mine)…………..

The Domain for Truth

Someone was asking me about this book and I thought I had a review of this work on the blog but somehow I haven’t posted it!

Richard Pratt. Every Thought Captive.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, August 1st 1979. 142 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

This book was written by Richard Pratt, the Old Testament professor out at Reformed Theological Seminary. Quite the well rounded professor, he wrote this work when he was much younger, for the purpose of training young Christians (high school age) in the defense of the Faith from a Van Tillian perspective. I appreciated Pratt’s effort of communicating Van Til’s school of apologetics in non-technical language. The thirteen lessons are perfect for sunday school material, and each lesson ends with several discussion questions. The book also has various drawings as visual aids, a plus for those who learn visually. The book also…

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Book Review: REVELATION by Richard D. Phillips


REVELATION by Richard D. Phillips [ Reformed Expository Commentary Series] – P & R Publishing (2017)

Richard Phillips’ commentary REVELATION is the newest volume in the “Reformed Expository Commentary” series by P & R Publishing.  The design of the series of this wonderfully helpful series is to be biblical in exposition, doctrinal (in line with the Westminster Confession of Faith, etc.), redemptive-historical in orientation, and utterly practical in application.  With that goal, pastor-theologian Richard Phillips has produced a very complete (over 700 pages), yet thoroughly accessible and practical commentary.

Of course, the book of Revelation itself is probably the most difficult book to understand and interpret out of the entire Bible — leading to several schools of interpretation and innumerable commentaries (both very good and very bad) that attempt to make sense of this vital yet challenging book for the church today.  Phillips handles this task with aplomb and an even-handed approach.  Although he comes down thoroughly in the camp of those interpreters who see the book as a message of hope to John’s immediate audience in a time of rising persecution and difficulty, but also as a symbolic description of the entire church (from Christ’s ascension to His Second Coming and the end of history).  Phillips addresses all the main schools of interpretation in a fair-minded manner, but is clear in his opinion that Revelation is symbolic of all churches and events that are present in this world between the first and second Advents of Christ, with the over-arching theme that God is completely sovereign over the entire universe, of history, and of all people and events in the earth; and His plan of redemption is assured and nonrevocable.

This book is written primarily for pastors who do not want to slog through lengthy and pithier works that spend an abundance of print on minutia of etymology and addressing critical commentaries.  Rather, it is meant to give pastors a wealth of information and illustrations that will aid in both understanding and communication truths to their congregations.  At the same time, many laymen would be strongly encouraged by me to bypass any of the more sensational works that are questionable (to put it kindly) in their exegesis and presuppositions, and to obtain a copy of this commentary for their libraries.

A Guide to Theology in Three Perspectives and Why It is Important

THEOLOGY IN THREE DIMENSIONS — A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance by John Frame (P & R Publishing — 2017)

THEOLOGY IN THREE DIMENSION by John Frame presents an interesting and unique outlook on how to do theology; and from the processes and viewpoints explained in this fairly short, but meaty book, offers a way to coherently tie together the realities of God’s makeup as a way of learning more about Him, our world, and ourselves. Frame attempts in this book to explain his intriguing theory that that the triunity of the Godhead inevitably leads to a universe that is filled with triads and three perspectives on looking at all things both spiritual and material.
The main idea posited in the book is Frame’s argument that all things theological and biblical can be perceived and evaluated in terms of three perspectives — the normative, the situational, and the existential perspective. Defining “perspective” as “a position from which a person sees something,” Frame shows that one must use more than only one simple perspective to grasp more of the reality of a thing or a topic — including and especially our Triune God. Because God has given us glimpses of His unique omniperspective in the Bible, that coupled with our human perspectives in concert should give us a more thorough an extensive method to examine the truths of God, the teachings of the Bible for systematic and biblical theologies, and a greater understanding of the human condition from a multiple perspective methodology.
While the book is written at an accessible level, and Frame is an able writer and effective communicator — still, the thoughts and implications in this book are profound and thought-provoking, and would warrant several readings over time to fully grasp the significant implications posited by this preeminent theologian and Christian thinker. Highly recommended.