Book Review: The Pastor as Public Theologian

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity1 Comment

remember getting into a theological discussion with a pastor one time, and at the end of our kerfuffle, he looked at me and asked, “If you had the choice, would you rather pastor a church or teach in a seminary?” I’ll never forget his puzzled look when I responded, “Pastor a church.” Because of my intrigue with theological discourse, he simply assumed that standing in front of a group of budding seminarians would best suit me, and couldn’t fathom why I would want to do the messy, non-glamorous work of pastoral ministry. For many today, the general assumption is that brainy, theologically-minded scholars belong in the academy, while rugged, servant-oriented pastors belong in the churches. However, this distinction is a … Read More

Book Review: The Prodigal Church by Jared C. Wilson

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity4 Comments

ared C. Wilson has written the book I’ve wanted to write for 10 years, but didn’t know where to begin. The problem is so large, so complicated, so involved, with too many emotions woven into it. For me, I’ve struggled with frustration, bitterness, sorrow, even despair over what I experienced, as well as with what I know countless other Christians have experienced—being chewed through the gears of the seeker/attractional church movement. Wilson faces this giant head-on in The Prodigal Church: A Gentle Manifesto Against the Status Quo. Frankly, the book is so honest, so direct, so revealing, that I couldn’t put it down. I found myself hunched over, highlighter in hand, repeating phrases like, “Yes!” and “Thank you” and “Spot … Read More

Book Review: On Guard – Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity4 Comments

used to be an insurance salesman. It was a tough job but it paid the bills. One of the most challenging parts to the job was convincing people that having a discussion about life insurance was worth their time. Of course, once the conversation happened, most people realized their dire need for protection in the event of death. When I was sent Deepak Reju’s On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church, my first reaction was, “I don’t want to read a book about child abuse at church!” With so many other fascinating books to consider, this was literally the last book on my list. To me, this felt like the “life insurance” book—I simply didn’t want to pick … Read More

Book Review: Ephesians (EEC) by S.M. Baugh

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity1 Comment

he Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series is fast becoming one of my favorite series in print today. Initially published through Logos, the print volumes come to us from Lexham Press. Each volume is jam-packed full with intricate textual commentary, up-to-date scholarship, and pastoral application. In a crowed Christian academic landscape, the EEC series puts forward the best of conservative evangelical scholarship. For the Ephesians entry, the editors tapped seasoned NT scholar S.M. Baugh. Right off the bat, Baugh answers the question: “Why another Ephesians commentary?” But the reader will no doubt be blessed by Baugh’s unique approach to the text. He writes, “my particular interests and areas of study are fairly broad across the range of classics, ancient history (with particular … Read More

Book Review: “The Epistle to the Romans” by Richard N. Longenecker

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews0 Comments

ot often does a Bible commentary come in the wake of so much anticipation. While many have grown to love The New International Greek Testament Commentary series, the volume on Romans has been the talk of the town for several years now. New Testament scholar Richard Longenecker has been working on this volume for many years and the wait is finally over. Generally speaking, the NIGTC volumes are written for Bible students who desire the in-depth analysis of the text, yet may shy away from a full-scale critical commentary. This volume, like the others in the series, bridges that gap and offers clear, solid exposition and application. Fully aware of the centrality of Romans in the life of the Christian … Read More

Book Review: “Making Him Known: God’s Design” by Sally Michael & Gary Steward

Landon ChapmanBook Reviews, Christianity0 Comments

“Hopefully this book can serve as a springboard for further interaction between parents and children, not just about manhood and womanhood, but about God and the gospel.” – Sally Michael & Gary Steward s fathers of young children, it’s a bit surprising that neither Pastor Nate nor I have ever reviewed a children’s book.  In fact, when I received God’s Design in the mail, I was incredibly excited because 1) I didn’t know it was coming— Thanks Roger!— and 2) I’d already been working through the Making HIM Known series with my children for a few months.  So, upon realizing there was a new offering in this series, I was very excited. On a superficial level, while technically a paperback … Read More

Book Review: “Unqualified” by Steven Furtick

Landon ChapmanBook Reviews, Christianity2 Comments

nqualified.” That was John MacArthur’s one-word assessment of Steven Furtick during a Q&A session at the 2012 Shepherds’ Conference. It’s also the title of Furtick’s latest book. Furtick credits that brief appraisal of his ministry as the inspiration for writing this: “Unqualified.” . . . Unqualified? That word started the wheels spinning in my head. . . . Yes, I struggle with my temper, with my focus, with my motives, with my eating habits, with my prayer life, with my state of mind. And that list doesn’t even scratch the surface. I know my weaknesses and faults better than anyone. I don’t need to listen to an online interview to feel disqualified. Hardly a day goes by that I’m not … Read More

Book Review: “Church Revitalization from the Inside Out” by R.D. Stuart

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity0 Comments

hen I first glanced at the title, I admit that I had no idea how the author would approach the topic. After all, there have been countless books on revival and revitalization. However, I was pleasantly surprised to open Church Revitalization from the Inside Out and find a robust treatment on the dire need for godly leaders in the church. Pastor Robert D. Stuart brings his many years of revitalization experience to the table and offers a truly valuable resource for churches in need. Stuart is straight-forward: “Weak leaders produce weak churches, and weak churches are ineffective in reaching a dying culture with the gospel of Christ.”1 He doesn’t mince words and he doesn’t try to force the book to do … Read More

Book Review: “James” (EEC) by William Varner

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity1 Comment

ogos Bible software has done something innovative, in that, they have published the first-ever electronic Bible commentary series: the Evangelical Exegetical Commentary. In the wake of this launch, the first in-print volume was released. Weighing in at a hefty 650+ pages, William Varner’s volume on James is nothing short of masterful. While the book was written for scholars (heavy interaction with the Greek text, as well as extensive discussion of grammar and syntax), it provides a wealth of knowledge for the pastor and serious Bible student. While the 68-page introduction alone is worth the price of the book, the student is blessed by Varner’s careful interaction with the text of James.

Book Review: “The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones” by Steven J. Lawson

Nate PickowiczBook Reviews, Christianity1 Comment

n an age of watered-down gospel presentations, weak 20-minute sermonettes, and squishy contextualized messages, the church has never been in greater need of true biblical preaching. Dr. Steven J. Lawson recognizes this fact and offers a solution, “We must capture the primacy and power of biblical preaching once again. There must be a decisive return to preaching that is Word-centered, God-exalting, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered.”1  In short, he claims, “we want again Lloyd-Joneses!”2 In his tenth offering to the Long Line of Godly Men profile series, Dr. Lawson presents the famous twentieth-century Welsh preaching divine, Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. As with the other volumes in the series, the book is compact and concise; it can be read over the course of … Read More