Erin M. Straza (InterVarsity Press)
We’re addicted to comfort, says Straza, managing editor of Christ and Pop Culture. Confronted with choices between right and wrong, easy and hard, healthy and unhealthy, we habitually take the path of least resistance. How can we reroute this destructive circuitry? Not by embracing asceticism, says Straza, but by finding comfort in Christ, who gives us power to put off the old self and put on the new. “Whether old or young, rich or poor, male or female—we are all prone to turn to substitute comforts. We all need to learn how to seek the Comforter.”
Roger E. Olson (Zondervan)
What distinguishes Christianity from other ways of seeing the world? Not only specific beliefs about the nature and purposes of God, but also specific beliefs about all of reality. In other words, not only distinct doctrines, but also a distinct philosophy or worldview. “Unfortunately,” writes Olson, “the Bible is not always as clear as we would like it to be—especially about philosophical subjects. And yet Christians living in a pluralistic society filled with competing worldviews and visions of the nature of reality need guidance about how to sort them out biblically.” Olson, who teaches at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, spells out the historic Christian consensus, across denominations and traditions, on how to answer life’s biggest questions.
Michael G. Long and Chris Lamb (Westminster John Knox Press)
Jackie Robinson displayed great courage and composure in breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier. Less appreciated, though, is the religious faith that helped him endure hatred from spectators and opponents, and drew him into civil rights activism long after his playing days. Long and Lamb, both of whom have written and edited previous books on Robinson, claim that “it is simply impossible to understand Robinson in depth without tending to his Christian belief in God. . . . [He] was a man for whom Christian faith acted as a source of inspiration and motivation, comfort and strength, wisdom and direction.”
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