Open Secrets

11 June 2008

Six Secrets of the Christian Life by Zane Hodges is one of the shortest, easiest books you’ll ever read, which is a good thing, because you’re going to want to read it several times. In his inimitably brief way, Hodges takes readers on a guided tour of central truths of the Christian life: its miraculous and transformative nature, the need to be open to God’s truth and to pray for His revealed will, the importance of mindset and understanding our position in Christ.

If this sounds like the same old standard stuff, that’s because in some ways it is — but you should hear Hodges tell it. As is typical for him, Hodges does not philosophize; he doesn’t “develop doctrines” or “draw out principles” that are abstracted from the text of Scripture. Rather, he teaches through a careful reading of (relatively few) key passages. The result is that by the time you’re done, you will understand the Bible more clearly, and also understand more clearly how to walk with God.

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Solomon Among the Postmoderns

17 May 2008

Peter J. Leithart’s latest book, Solomon among the Postmoderns, is a gem.

The anti-postmodern backlash among conservative evangelicals has centered on the contradiction-ridden epistemology of postmodernism, and with good reason. That is one of the central threats of postmodernism, and the thoughtless ignorance of most postmoderns about their own basic epistemological contradictions (e.g., “Metanarratives are dead”) also constitutes one of postmodernism’s chief weaknesses.

Liethart, however, largely bypasses this issue for another, very edifying, set of considerations, to wit: modernism was and is idolatry. The central tenet of modernism is that we can understand and control our world, down to the last molecule. All we lack is sufficient research and know-how…and we’re getting closer all the time. In biblical terms: all our frantic productions are not grasping for the wind. Read the rest of this entry »