The Beauty of Jesus—George Elliot

A few years ago, a family member gave me a book called, The Beauty of Jesus (published in 1904).  It is a compilation of sermons preached by Reverend George Elliott in the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Detroit, Michigan.  Since receiving the book, it has sat on a bookshelf.  But I found that the title caught my…

A Testament of Devotion

About two years ago I was introduced to Christian Quakerism through the writings of its founder, George Fox.  I found Fox’s focus on the indwelling Christ spiritually rich.  I went on to read An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay.  This was the first systematic presentation of Quaker beliefs. For Christmas, I received…

Impossible People: Os Guinness

Recently, a group at church decided to read Impossible People by Os Guinness. I didn’t need a lot of convincing. Some liken him to C.S. Lewis because of his intellectual clarity on matters of faith. That sold me. Impossible People examines modernity’s challenge to Christian faith, a challenge Guinness believes is the most significant ever…

New Jerusalem, New Man

Below is the introduction to one of my booklets, The New Jerusalem. *** Revelation chapters 21 and 22 contain descriptions of God’s Holy City, the New Jerusalem. This city is called “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9). When she appears, John hears a loud voice saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with…

On Loving God–Bernard of Clairvaux

Bernard of Clairvaux was a monk in the 11th and 12th centuries. Bernard enjoys wide appeal.  After reading his classic, On Loving God, I understand why.  This book has a refreshing, simple focus on loving God.  It is not a work of dazzling theological argument but evokes 1 Corinthians 8:2-3: “If anyone thinks he knows anything,…

P.S. to “An Apology”

Recently, I posted about “An Apology for the True Christian Divinity.”  Written by Robert Barclay, this was the first orderly presentation of early Quaker beliefs.  Early Quakers were deeply Christian while many later Quakers drifted from Christ into subjectivism. One of my readers left a comment  wondering why later Quakers left their Christian roots.  I suggested that…

An Apology for the True Christian Divinity–Barclay

Last year, I became acquainted with Quakerism. I thought Quakers peddled new age, oatmeal mysticism. I was surprised to learn of their deeply Christian origins. I began to read the writings of George Fox, founder of the Quaker movement. Next, I moved on to An Apology for the True Christian Divinity by Robert Barclay (1675)….

Two Cities, One Gospel: Christ and Revolution

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” This unforgettable phrase opens Dickens’s novel A Tale of Two Cities. Set in England and Paris, A Tale of Two Cities takes place just as the French Revolution gets going. On one side are the French commoners. They are enraged by the economic…

Change or Die: A Post-Christmas Wrap Up

This past weekend, I wrote a piece for the religion column of our local paper.  The following is an excerpt with a link to the full article *** Two years ago, I introduced my daughter to Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. We read the book then watched some film versions. The 2009 animated version (with Jim…

Bah! Humbug!

It’s Christmastime again.   Besides music, colored lights, trees sprouting indoors, and avalanching sweets, there’s another cue to the season: snide comments about commercialism. Commercialism is a real problem. I don’t deny that.   Humanity’s loyalty has long been divided between God and mammon (Matt. 6:24). As they say, nothing is sacred. Consumption and material…