Shining Like Stars by Lindsay Brown

When I was little, my Mum would read stories to me each night before bed. I think that was probably one of my favourite times of the day. When my mum stopped each night and said, ‘It’s time for lights out now’, I would often beg her for ‘just one more chapter’. Of course when I learnt to read that changed things a bit as I could read for as long as I liked (or could stay awake for).

Shining Like Stars: The power of the gospel in the world’s universities is a book full of short stories published by IVP in 2006. It was written by Lindsay Brown, former General Secretary of IFES and currently an International Director for The Lausanne Movement.

Why should you read these stories?

Six reasons –

  1. They are stories about Christian students from all over the world, stories of young men and women stepping out and making a difference.
  2. Not just stories of what students are doing, but more importantly stories of what God is doing!
  3. Seeing the big picture. Reading about the passion for the gospel of these students and the sacrifices they have made can help us get our perspectives right.
  4. Each generation and society has its blind spots. If we don’t read about what happens in different places and in different generations other than our own, we miss the opportunity to pick up on these blind spots and learn from their mistakes.
  5. It is an easy book to read.
  6. Price. The last time I checked, you could buy a 2nd-hand copy from Amazon for £2.76 (including p&p).

Buy Shining Like Stars on Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Dec26

Have the Narnia films subverted Lewis’ vision?

Steven D. Boyer writes compellingly in Narnia Invaded: How the New Films Subvert Lewis’ Vision that the creators of the recent Narnia movies have quite literally lost the plot because they failed to understand C.S. Lewis’ worldview.

The creators of this “new improved” Narnia have taken the single element in Lewis’s tales that twenty-first-century viewers most need to be instructed in, and they have recast it so that it contributes to the error rather than correcting it.

Lewis the physician prescribed a strong medicine to treat our imaginative ailment, but the pharmacists in Hollywood have substituted a different medicine of the same name, and one that exacerbates the sickness instead of healing it. As a result, viewers encounter what they think is Narnia, and they get mere entertainment instead of the richly Christian view of the world that Lewis himself provided.

Read the rest of the article on the Theology Network website.

Dec14

Worship God Live

Worship God Live is a 2005 live recording from Sovereign Grace Music with great music and great theology.

I thank God for Christian brothers and sisters in the US who serve the church by writing and recordings songs like these, and I thank God for Christian brothers and sisters in Malaysia to sing these songs with — songs that rejoice in something worth singing about: a majestic God, a glorious gospel, amazing grace, a wonderful cross and a mighty Saviour.

If you’re looking for a good Christian album to give away as a Christmas present, look no further!

Listen to samples, view lyrics and buy the album online (MP3s $6 USD, CD $8 USD) at the Sovereign Grace Music website.

Dec13

Am I an evangelical?

Traditionally, the term evangelical referred to Christians who held to and emphasised the centrality of the gospel of Jesus in Christianity. No longer is this the case, a fact brought home for me as I was reading Evangelical Protestants: Looking for a Leader, an article in The Economist lamenting the lack of a suitable replacement for Billy Graham in representing what the author calls “evangelical protestantism”.

See how evangelical protestants are described:

[…] a movement whose focus is shifting from salvation to works. The people who brought America the Moral Majority have been replaced by a younger generation more interested in the environment, social justice and safe drinking water for developing countries.

[…] there is “Q”, an annual conference of 20-and 30-something evangelicals that focuses on soothing human suffering rather than preaching salvation. Nuclear disarmament and education reform were the hot topics at its meeting earlier this year.

If being an evangelical is about an emphasis on the gospel of grace, the need for repentance and faith in Christ and a commitment to the authority of the Bible, then I am an evangelical. If not, the label has for me reached the end of its useful life, for like the 14th century Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Bradwardine, the gospel has become “exceedingly sweet and gracious” to me and I should not wish anything to take its place.

Dec10

“It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross”

From page 30 of Scandalous by D.A. Carson:

It was not nails that held Jesus to that wretched cross; it was his unqualified resolution, out of love for his Father, to do his Father’s will—and, within that framework, it was his love for sinners like me.

Oct17