New in the Bookstore: Getting the Blues

There is a nasty, often unspoken law in American evangelical Christianity. It’s a kind of gnosticism – a secret knowledge that some have and others, such as I, apparently don’t have. That law is that we’re supposed to be happy all the time and the gnostic secret is the “how.” I’m thankful that God’s Word reckons much more honestly with the human condition. I think these happy gnostics haven’t read the Psalms. The truth is that this is a fallen world, we are fallen people and that, as a consequence, we sometimes rightly sing the blues. Sometimes the blues are all we can sing. Steve Nichols has a new volume out exploring the relationship between the the faith and the blues. I scanned it for a moment yesterday and it looks good. It’s going on my list of books to read.

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  1. Have you heard of the book Soul Searching by Christian Smith. He is the head of the department of religion at Notre Dame. He wrote the book hoping to find out what teenagers across America believe and why they believe. I watched a documentary on it yesterday in a class and hope to get the book one day but something I found two things very interesting. The first being that he conclunded that despite all the different religious affiliations all these different teens had they all were at the core Moralistic Theraputic Diests and that the number one group of people who could not articulate their faith was white evangelical teenagers. Throughout the whole documentary the only person who even came close to getting the Gospel right was a Mormon. I am so thankful for guys like you and Michael Horton who have the desire to get away from the MTD we have created as a Christless Christianity and get back to the Gospel. The church will be forever grateful for you guys are doing out there.
    In Christ,

  2. My pastor came out with a classic in one sermon: “The Psalms contain a much greater range and depth of emotion than the modern songs we sing.” I thought, “Well, you choose ’em, mate.” Being able to sing psalms of lament has been a great help to me personally at various times over the past few years.

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