Hymnals are a great resource for both personal and family devotions. The hymns are “catholic,” songs of the universal church. They connect us to our past, showing us that our faith is a historic one. Many of the hymns are lyrically rich and able to teach us great theology. And their melodies have staying power, able to get lodged into our memories for life.Continue reading
The speed at which the recent sexual and gender identity revolutions have overtaken culture is staggering. How did we get to the point where, for instance, a statement like “I am a man trapped in a woman’s body” can now be spoken and understood, whereas even a generation ago this string of words wouldn’t have been seen as intelligible? Yet now we all know what is meant. What conditions laid the groundwork for such ideas to take hold–and not just take hold, but so quickly?
In 2020 Carl Trueman released his award-winning book, The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to the Sexual Revolution. And now he has published a shorter and more accessible treatment of this topic, Strange New World: How Thinkers and Activists Redefined Identity and Sparked the Sexual Revolution (March 2022). In these two books, Trueman guides us through both the philosophical trends and societal factors that have moved our modern culture toward this era of “expressive individualism.” He shows us that the sexual revolution and its accompanying identity politics are just the most recent symptoms of these larger shifts in how we’ve come to conceive of human nature.
Theological liberalism is an attempt to modernize the Christian faith and “bring it up to the times.” At the turn of the 20th century, this often took the shape of folks denying things like Christ’s bodily resurrection or the virgin birth. Today it might take the form of certain churches wanting to revise the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics. But in both cases, the strategy is to save Christianity by making it more acceptable to culture. In this classic from 1923, J. Gresham Machen argues that such theological liberalism is not merely a new approach to Christianity; instead, it’s not Christianity at all.
Originally published in 1947, The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism provided a manifesto for evangelical Christians who are serious about bringing their Christian faith to bear in contemporary culture. In this classic book, Carl F. H. Henry, the father of the modern evangelical movement, pioneered a path forward that avoids, on the one hand, the error of disengagement and apathy towards today’s social ills, and, on the other hand, the error that is the social gospel. In our current cultural climate, in which evangelicalism is still wrestling with how to engage social matters, this book is as relevant as ever.
Valley of Vision, compiled by Arthur Bennett, is a collection of Puritan prayers. Its aim is not simply to supply the reader with sample prayers but to prompt and encourage the Christian as he or she follows the path of others who have gone before. Draw upon the inspiration of the elegant prayers of such Puritans as John Bunyan, Isaac Watts, David Brainerd, Augustus Toplady, and Charles Spurgeon. Learn from and enter into their prayers as you foster and grow your own prayer life.