From the category archives:

What I’m Reading

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Moneyball

September 5, 2012

I saw the movie Moneyball first, and loved it. The book is even better. In it, Michael Lewis follows the front-office of the Oakland A’s to examine how a professional baseball team can be assembled, managed and run more rationally, more scientifically, more efficiently — and therefore more inexpensively. After building and showing the merits of [...]

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The Triumph of Christianity

August 23, 2012

The Triumph of Christianity, by Rodney Stark, is a readable, accessible and thought-provoking overview of 20 centuries of Christianity. In this volume, Stark—a well-known sociologist of religion—summarizes and distills much of his previous research and thinking. On page after page, he uses empirical data and clear-headed reasoning to challenge widely held—but regularly inaccurate or uninformed—preconceptions about [...]

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Bad Religion

August 22, 2012

Ross Douthat’s Bad Religion is a tour de force analysis of the state of Christianity in America today. In this volume, Douthat examines how political, cultural and theological dynamics—especially since World War II—have resulted in powerful and public forms of “Christianity” which are anything but Christian. Hard-hitting but reasonable, intelligent but accessible, prescriptive but appropriately [...]

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Amazing Grace

August 22, 2012

Another great volume by Eric Metaxas—a brilliant, winsome, and humorous distiller of history. In this volume—the story of William Wilberforce, who spent his life fighting for the abolition of slavery—Metaxas reminds us that the Christian convictions of an individual can change the course of history. Today, we rightly cheer Wilberforce’s success—and perhaps can even be [...]

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Evening in the Palace of Reason

August 22, 2012

On the evening of May 7, 1747, Frederick the Great issued a very focused challenge to an aging J.S. Bach: improvise, on the spot, a three-part fugue based on a 21-note theme that was written specifically to make the task all but impossible. James R. Gaines uses this famous historical challenge not simply to tell [...]

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Atheist Delusions

November 4, 2010

Here’s an extended excerpt from David Bentley Hart’s excellent book, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. It is well worth reading the entire book, but this particular section — in chapter one, which is called “The Gospel of Unbelief” — helps to remind us that a so-called purely secular world might not, in [...]

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The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith

February 4, 2010

In the decade before he wrote The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg spoke to “more than two hundred Christian groups throughout North America.” Originally invited as a historical Jesus scholar, he writes that these talks inevitably moved to “larger questions of the Christian life: God, faith, the Bible, biblical authority, atonement, resurrection, the creed, prayer, [...]

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Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith

January 28, 2010

Medical prescriptions often include warnings about repeated use: Repeated use may cause insomnia, for example. Or breathing problems. Maybe seizures. Possibly hallucinations. At least with medications we’re given fair warning. The language we use every day, on the other hand, doesn’t come with similar cautions. And it’s a pity, because the repeated use of words [...]

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