Michael Horton Reviews ‘Jesus Calling’

Upon its publication, the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young quickly became a bestselling sensation among professing Christians. Since its initial release and in spite of concerns raised by men such as Tim Challies, who noted that it was “a very dangerous book,” there nevertheless has grown a sort of Jesus Calling empire, with additional books, children’s books, and even a study bible.

Michael Horton of The White Horse Inn offers his own thoughts on this devotional book. He concludes:

Reading Jesus Calling, I was reminded of the confusing message of my Christian youth. Longing for “something more,” I pored over my mother’s bookshelf: Thomas a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, D. L. Moody, Bill Bright, and Andrew Murray. Only with the discovery of the Reformers and various Puritan writers was I offered a liberating alternative that drew me out of myself to cling to Christ. While looking to this Reformation stream for a cluster of doctrines, many in the history of pietism have looked for “something more” elsewhere. Luther and Calvin may be great guides on understanding salvation, but we find our spirituality in medieval and modern alternatives. Yet Reformation piety directs us to the Word, always to the Word, where Christ speaks to us every time it is preached and his sacraments are administered in his name. When we come to this Word, in public and in private, we never need something more.

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The Harbinger: A Review and Commentary

Pastor Larry DeBruyn reviews Jonathan Cahn’s bestseller The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future from a unique Scriptural perspective. Can one apply the words of judgment spoken and written to ancient Judah (circa 732 BC) by the prophet Isaiah (i.e., Isa. 9:10–11) to the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11 and its aftermath in America? View article →

Half the Truth in 'Halfway Herbert'

At the White Horse Inn blog, Brooke Mintun offers a brief review of Francis Chan’s new children’s book, Halfway Herbert. She writes:

My problem with Chan’s book isn’t that it emphasizes our obligation to live righteously; it’s that it doesn’t acknowledge in any way the fact that Christ has already lived righteously for us – the imperative is given without the indicative; there’s law, but no gospel – which is only half the truth revealed in Scripture and half the message children need to hear.

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Evangelist Reviews of Monumental

The following two reviews of Kirk Cameron’s Monumental came out today, which express disappointment in the movie from an evangelistic perspective. Each article can be read in their entirety at the respective links:

Michael Coughlin writes:

First of all, God is worthy of our praise, worship and OBEDIENCE regardless of whether we think it will achieve for us our desired effect. As well…many of the people who need the gospel will be turned off by this message. They (unregenerate, unrepentant sinners) do not desire the freedom offered by the gospel…they desire their sin. Promising a homosexual or an abortion doctor or a prostitute or a hardened criminal that a return to biblical roots will offer them freedom and help our country is asinine. They do not have any desire for the freedom offered by the gospel.

What they need is to be told of God’s righteous judgment which is imminent, that His wrath is currently abiding on them, and the escape offered by grace through faith alone in the resurrected Son of God, Jesus Christ who became sin on behalf of His people. They need to know that Jesus Christ is their Lord, whether they acknowledge it or not. Attempts to convincing them that biblical basis for laws without a regenerated heart will not only be unfruitful, but somewhat insulting. You may as well tell a leopard to change his spots or an ethiopian to change his skin color…Jeremiah 13:23. You could make the argument that the country could be made better using these principles, even if people don’t believe them. That even false converts and members of apostate christian churches and groups could embrace the morality and promote it, but who cares? I’m not trying to make the world a better place from where people can go to hell. I praise God so many unbelievers still have a conscience, but their end is the same as the most violent criminal apart from faith alone in Christ alone…

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John Chisham writes:

Maybe I had wrong expectations. Maybe I assumed since this movie was marketed in the way that it was that there would be a strong Gospel message to get back to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the teachings in the Bible, to the centrality and need of strong God-honoring marriages and family. You could draw that out, but as evidenced in my conversations with people following the movie, you could draw that out and apply that to the God of their own understanding…

…this is the problem the critics warned us about before the movie. This seems like a revival of the religion of America, manifest destiny, that we are somehow a Christian nation and that God will bless us because we are his chosen ones…

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Breaking Dawn, The Movie, Part One: Bloodier Than Ever

This movie is part one of the story based on the last book in the Twilight series. Bella, a human, and Edward, a vampire, are to be married, which means at some point she must become a vampire. This is something Bella has wanted for a long time, so she is delighted.

Early in the movie, Edward tells Bella about his past when he decided to give in to his blood lust as a young vampire. However, he killed only murderers, as Bella kindly points out. Edward tries to get Bella to consider changing her mind about becoming a vampire but she is not to be persuaded.

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So What About…Calvinism?

Are you a believer who is struggling through what is commonly called “Calvinism” but desires to grow in the knowledge of God’s grace? Maybe you have difficulty with the “problem verses” in Scripture that seem to speak against God’s absolute sovereign election, or perhaps you might be one who admittedly hates Calvinism, but you are curious as to how Calvinists deal with these “problem verses”? Even still, perhaps you already embrace Calvinism and are looking to refine your understanding of God’s sovereign grace? CRN contributor Justin Edwards has just the book for you. View article →

An in-depth Biblical review of T.D. Jakes’ sermon at the Code Orange Revival

T.D. Jakes is the leader of The Potter’s House, a 30,000 member congregation located in southern Dallas, Texas. I had never heard a T.D. Jakes sermon before, though I knew of his reputation. I was curious to see – if only via an Internet video stream – the man that Elevation Church reminded us was named ‘America’s Best Preacher’ by Time Magazine. Would I be able to uncover the secret of his mystique? And would he preach the Biblical Gospel? View article →