All posts from “Books”

Book Review: "The King Jesus Gospel" by Scot McKnight

November 7, 2011 12:00 AM

The what-is-the-gospel discussion continues. The latest contribution to the conversation comes from the prolific New Testament professor Scot McKnight in his new book The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited (Zondervan, 2011). In the preface, N.T. Wright suggests...

Ur Video: Skye Jethani on Treasuring God

October 11, 2011 12:00 AM

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Can Parents Make Faith Last?

August 31, 2011 12:00 AM

“My parents were very religious when I was young. We went to church (or temple or whatever) every week. My parents never, or seldom, prayed or talked about faith at home. As I got older and things got busier, we...

Skye Jethani: What is Life WITH God?

August 23, 2011 12:00 AM

To celebrate the release of my new book, WITH: Reimagining The Way You Relate To God (Nelson, 2011), I wanted to share with you a brief excerpt. In case you're not familiar with the premise of the book, and how...

Ur Video: The King Jesus Gospel

August 22, 2011 12:00 AM

It seems everyone has an answer for the exodus of young people from the church. We're too homophobic, too irrelevant, too age-segmented, too boring, or too consumerist. But Scot McKnight's explanation goes far deeper. He thinks we have fundamentally misunderstood...

Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?

August 1, 2011 12:00 AM

Prepare yourselves for the onslaught. Scot McKnight is venturing into the "What Is the Gospel?" war that's been waging between the Neo-Calvinists and...well, everyone else. McKnight's new book, due out later this month, is The King Jesus Gospel: The...

Ur Video: In Memory of John Stott

July 29, 2011 12:00 AM

"The evangelical world has lost one of its greatest spokesmen, and I have lost one of my close personal friends and advisors. I look forward to seeing him again when I go to Heaven." -Billy Graham For more on...

Ur Video: John Dickson on Humility

July 7, 2011 12:00 AM

The next Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit is around the corner (August 11-12). For those of you unfamiliar with the event, its list of speakers (or "faculty" as the WCA likes to call them) has tended to follow a tried...

Ur Video: Francis Chan on Hell

June 22, 2011 12:00 AM

It's not my habit to post videos that function as extended commercials for a product, but in this case I've made an exception. Francis Chan has a new book launching that he co-wrote with New Testament professor Preston Sprinkle (not...

Book Review: "Clouds of Witnesses"

May 25, 2011 12:00 AM

I’m seated at the front of a university lecture hall with representatives of five other religious traditions. Listening intently to the brief descriptions of our faiths are seventy undergraduate and graduate students, many hailing from other countries. Two weeks later...

Rob Bell: Does "Love Wins" Even have a Chance of Winning?

March 15, 2011 12:00 AM

Tonight I listened to Rob Bell’s interview with Lisa Miller of Newsweek discuss his new book Love Wins. Miller’s questions were pointed and focused, much like those which were asked by the crowd and online viewers, but Bell’s responses were...

Rob Bell: Universalist?

February 28, 2011 12:00 AM

Popular and controversial pastor Rob Bell has a new book launching at the end of March, Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Has Ever Lived. The topic has given new fuel to Bell's critics who...

I Read Dead People

January 27, 2011 12:00 AM

People ask me all the time, “Who do you read?” In most cases they’re looking for book recommendations. (Some people, particularly Calvinistas, are trying to determine if I’m safe--are my ideas and my theology grounded in what they see as...

Book Review: The Next Christians

October 22, 2010 12:00 AM

If you have not yet encountered Gabe Lyons, let me encourage you to do so because he is a person worth your time. As co-founder of Catalyst, founder of Q (a learning community dedicated to mobilizing Christians for the common...

Catalyst Day Two: Spectacle and Restoration

October 8, 2010 1:35 PM

Day Two of Catalyst began with the statement: “It’s impossible to love people and avoid tension at the same time.” Then, after an amazing spectacle, an audience participation exercise in percussion (think Blue Man Group with 13,000 people beating out...

Small Churches = Big Impact

August 9, 2010 1:01 AM

Brandon O'Brien, associate editor for Leadership Journal, has written a new book, The Strategically Small Church. In this work, he seeks to demonstrate how small churches are uniquely equipped for success in today's culture. Ed Stetzer interviewed O'Brien about his...

Review: Brian McLaren's 'A New Kind of Christianity'

March 18, 2010 9:00 AM

Scot McKnight, a regular contributor to Ur, has written a review of Brian McLaren's latest book for Christianity Today. McLaren and his ideas have been the subject of much debate in recent years. Does A New Kind of Christianity pacify...

The Golden Canon Leadership Book Awards

January 19, 2010 12:00 AM

Two things in short supply for nearly every church leader—time and money. Unfortunately both are necessary if we hope to buy and read the numerous books intended to help us in our work. That is why Leadership created the...

"Deadly Viper" Put to Death

December 4, 2009 12:00 AM

Last month a significant controversy arose around the book Deadly Viper Character Assassins: A Kung Fu Survival Guide for Life and Leadership by Mike Foster and Jud Wilhite. The accusation made by numerous Christian leaders in the Asian-American community was...

And the Winners Are...

September 3, 2009 12:00 AM

Last month we invited Urbanites to answer this question: What is Consumer Christianity? Your response has been surprising and creative. Some submitted definitions, others sent in pictures that made us laugh and grieve. A few even composed songs and lyrics....

What is Consumer Christianity?

August 10, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Publisher Parries

May 29, 2009 10:49 AM

Editor's Note: When we received Greg Boyd's review of The American Patriot's Bible, we sent it to the folks at Thomas Nelson Publishers and asked them if they wanted to respond. The Bible's editor, Richard G. Lee sent us this...

Ur Video: The American Patriot's Bible

May 28, 2009 12:00 AM

This video was produced by Thomas Nelson, publisher of The American Patriot's Bible. Be sure to read Greg Boyd's scathing review of the Patriot's Bible, and stay tuned for a response from the editor. A few excerpts from the video:...

Book Review: The Patriot's Bible (part 2)

May 26, 2009 12:00 AM

Read part 1 of Greg Boyd's review of The Patriot's Bible. It's perhaps not coincidental that the Patriot's Bible offers no commentary on any passages related to our instruction to love and do good to our enemies. But the Revolutionary...

Book Review: The Patriot's Bible (part 1)

May 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, The American Patriot's Bible (henceforth Patriot's Bible) consists of hundreds of commentaries on various patriotic themes, ranging in length from one sentence to four pages, inserted at various points throughout the New King James Version...

Skye Jethani: The Daisy Cutter Doctrine

April 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Today over twenty blogs are participating in a book tour for Skye Jethani's The Divine Commodity. The fact that Jethani is a card-carrying Urthling is why we felt the Ur audience should participate in the blog tour as well. Below...

Ur Video: Shane Hipps on Medium and Message

April 2, 2009 12:00 AM

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The Poetry of Pastoring

March 24, 2009 12:00 AM

"What the congregation needs is not a strategist to help them form another plan for achieving a desired image of life, but a poet who looks beneath even the desperation to recover the mystery of what it means to be...

Shane Hipps on "Virtual Community"...Again

February 27, 2009 12:00 AM

This conversation got started with a short video of Shane Hipps at the National Pastors Convention discussing whether online community was really community. Scot McKnight posted his response a few days later. Earlier this week, Anne Jackson joined the discussion...

Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church

February 23, 2009 12:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from Dave Gibbons' new book The Monkey and the Fish (Zondervan, 2009). The church is called to be a third-culture community. Third culture is about the two purposes of life for every Christ follower: loving...

Scot McKnight on "Virtual Community"

February 16, 2009 12:00 AM

Thanks for your video, Shane. Your point about not equating virtual community (grant me the term for the moment) with real community is one that needs to be heard. But, I'm not so sure it is this simple... First, as...

Video Ur: Shane Hipps at NPC

February 12, 2009 4:11 PM

We create media, and then media re-creates us. That's the message Shane Hipps, author of Flickering Pixels (Zondervan, 2009) wanted pastors at NPC to hear in his interview on the main stage last night and in his seminars this morning....

Review: The Blue Parakeet, Part 2

October 24, 2008 12:00 AM

In an earlier post, I outlined the content of Scot McKnight's new book, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking how you read the Bible. Here are a few reflections on what I consider the book's primary strengths and weaknesses. First the...

Review: The Blue Parakeet, Part 1

October 23, 2008 12:00 AM

While the majority of academics won't - or can't - write for a popular audience, Scot McKnight is willing and able. And in The Blue Parakeet (Zondervan, 2008), he opens the complex issue of biblical interpretation to the uninitiated...

Out of Context: Andy Crouch

October 16, 2008 10:31 AM

The Fall 2008 issue of Leadership contains a new feature: The Golden Canon book award. One of our finalists was Andy Crouch's Culture Making: Recovering our creative calling (IVP), the much-praised contribution to the ongoing conversation about the relationship between...

Live from Catalyst: Day 2 Color Commentary

October 9, 2008 11:18 AM

Skye is offering a terrific play by play. Let me offer a word of commentary on one entry he mentioned. One of the people I was most interested to meet at Catalyst was William Paul Young, the author of "The...

The Green-Letter Bible

September 24, 2008 10:12 AM

Late yesterday afternoon, I received a copy of The Green Bible (HarperOne), and I'm not sure what to make of it. The Bible is "green" in composition, which I appreciate. Its pages are made of 10 percent post-consumer recycled...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 3)

July 18, 2008 12:00 AM

I want to thank Chad Hall for taking the time to read the book and giving me some helpful feedback in his review. I also appreciate the opportunity to respond and will seek to do so graciously. (Read Chad Hall's...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus (Part 2)

July 17, 2008 12:00 AM

As writer, I am always thankful for reviewers who are thoughtful and evenhanded. I'm afraid that Chad Hall is neither. (Read Chad Hall's review here.) Firstly, I clearly do not write that the emergent movement is the exclusive purveyor of...

New Christians VS. Vintage Jesus

July 15, 2008 12:00 AM

If you'd asked me two years ago if I was part of the emerging church movement, I would have thought for a second and said, "Yes." When asked today, I pause for half a second before saying, "No." The New...

Formation via Fiction

July 8, 2008 12:00 AM

This is a highly unscientific observation, but I stand by it: In my scouring of bookshelves in pastor's studies and church libraries, I regularly find volumes from the corporate world about how to be an effective leader and efficient administrator;...

Taking The Shack to the Shed

June 16, 2008 4:33 PM

A graduate professor of mine liked to say that every attempt to explain the Trinity is heresy - every metaphor overemphasizes either God's one-ness or his three-ness. In his bestselling novel, The Shack, William P. Young tries to explain...

Book Review: Jesus for President (Part 3)

April 15, 2008 12:00 AM

Let's make a couple of assumptions about a church leader who reads Jesus for President. First, he or she actually finishes the book despite the occasional punch in the gut. Second, that this same church leader agrees (on some...

Book Review: Jesus for President (Part 2)

April 2, 2008 12:00 AM

A few months ago, while visiting a church out of state, I had a moment of crisis. Just before the sermon, the pastor stood to give the announcements. After wrapping up, he invited a young man in military uniform...

Book Review: Jesus for President (Part 1)

March 28, 2008 12:00 AM

We are seeing more and more that the church has fallen in love with the state and that this love affair is killing the church's imagination. The powerful benefits and temptations of running the world's largest superpower have bent...

Pagan Christianity (Part 2)

February 19, 2008 10:11 AM

Many of you have requested a more formal review of Pagan Christianity, and I feel obliged to provide one. It should be said, however, that Out of Ur is not usually a place for reviews. We offer snippets and opinions...

Is the Pastorate Pagan?

February 14, 2008 9:19 AM

I appreciate it when a writer shows all his cards at the beginning of a book so I don't have to guess at his presuppositions. Frank Viola does just that in the opening line of his newly re-released Pagan...

Al Mohler is Too Cool for School

February 5, 2008 12:00 AM

Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, has a reputation for diving fearlessly into controversial issues. A visit to his Wikipedia page reveals his history of treading into cultural minefields and not leaving until...

The God Strategy

January 30, 2008 12:00 AM

With the presidential campaign in full swing, politics has been a more frequent issue on Out of Ur, but that does not fully account for our interest in the subject. This time around religion is playing a much more prominent...

Is Video Technology in Church Manipulative?

July 10, 2007 12:00 AM

As you read this post the summer issue of Leadership is arriving in mailboxes. The issue tackles the impact of living, and ministering, in an increasingly visual culture. Many churches are eager to employ video and other new digital tools,...

The Divine Commodity Contest

July 7, 2007 4:20 PM

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The Organic Bible

June 21, 2007 12:00 AM

Previously, John Dunham from the International Bible Society wrote about the unintended impact of having scripture divided by chapters and verses. It's led to what he calls "verse jacking," taking scripture out of context and using it for a purpose...

High Fructose Scripture

June 5, 2007 12:00 AM

There are many dangers in ministry. Jesus warned about the yeast of the Pharisees. Paul warned about engaging foolish controversies. But what about enumerated chapters and verses in the Bible-are those numbers added by editors a threat to sound teaching?...

Shepherds or CEOs?

April 26, 2007 12:00 AM

Recent excerpts we've posted from An Emergent Manifesto of Hope (Baker, 2007), edited by Doug Pagitt and Tony Jones, have generated a lot of discussion. This final installment should keep the trend going. Sally Morgenthaler writes about our cultural shift...

We Aren't About Weekends

February 5, 2007 12:00 AM

One Sunday Pastor Bob Roberts asked everyone in the congregation at NorthWood Church in Keller, Texas, to invert the collar of the person in front of them, find the label, and call out the nation where the shirt was made....

Forecasting the Future

February 2, 2007 12:00 AM

I have just finished reading James Martin's The Meaning of the 21st Century. And - in my opinion anyway - every person who seeks to influence others to the Christian way ought to be conversant with this book. Don't expect...

Book Review: Reimagining Evangelism

January 2, 2007 12:00 AM

Eight centuries ago St. Francis of Assisi famously told his followers to "Preach the gospel always. And use words if necessary." Like Francis, Rick Richardson's new book Reimagining Evangelism: Inviting Friends on a Spiritual Journey (Intervarsity, 2006) challenges our...

Is Jesus the Answer or the Question?: rediscovering the role of mystery in our faith

June 6, 2006 12:00 AM

Recent posts on Ur have focused on the nature of Emergent - is it liberal Christianity recast for a new generation, or simply a forum of conversation for those looking for a better understanding of their faith? Critics have accused...

Beyond Bodies, Bucks, and Bricks: Jim Collins on how churches should measure success

June 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Dallas Willard has said that most churches are not intending to produce disciples, but increase their ABC's - attendance, buildings, and cash. Dave Terpstra, pastor of The Next Level Church in Denver and regular contribut-Ur, believes many church leaders focus...

Liking Da Vinci, Loving Jesus: confessions from a Christian fan of "The Code"

May 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Unless you've living in a cave in Tora Bora you know that The Da Vinci Code movie opens this week. Early reviews have not been kind, but that hasn't deflated Leadership editorial coordinator Elizabeth Diffin's excitement. Elizabeth believes enjoying Dan...

Kingdom Confusion 2: The danger of believing in a Christian America

March 31, 2006 12:00 AM

When Gregory Boyd, pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, preached about the danger of mingling the mission of the church with conservative politics he ignited passionate responses on both sides, and 1,000 people left the church. In...

Kingdom Confusion: Is the quest for political power destroying the church?

March 29, 2006 12:00 AM

Midterm elections are heating up across the country, and many analysts expect evangelical voters to remain a potent political force. But not everyone is encouraged by the church's ascent in recent years to political power. Gregory Boyd, senior pastor of...

Is Ministry Leadership Different? Andy Stanley and Jim Collins in an unexpected point-counterpoint

March 27, 2006 12:00 AM

How is ministry leadership different from other kinds of leadership? In the next exciting issue of Leadership, Pastor Andy Stanley and business expert and author Jim Collins (Built to Last, Good to Great) offered answers that left me scratching my...

Cutting the Cord: Are Megachurches Birthing the House Church Movement?

March 10, 2006 12:00 AM

In recent months the conversation on Out of Ur has explored why increasing numbers of Christians are opting to pursue Christ apart from a local church. The discussion began with Kevin Miller's review of George Barna's new book, Revolution. And,...

Exit Stage Left 2: How the Spiritually Mature Reengage

February 8, 2006 12:00 AM

In his earlier post, Dave Terpstra described why the spiritually mature find most churches ill-equipped to assist them in their growth. This, he says, is why the more mature often leave the church or disengage from active service. After reading...

Exit Stage Left: Why the Spiritually Mature are Leaving the Church

February 1, 2006 12:00 AM

Last month we looked at George Barna's new book, Revolution, which reveals that a growing number of people are seeking spiritual growth outside the institutional church. In this post Dave Terpstra, pastor at The Next Level Church in Denver and...

George Barna's New Book 2: Defining the Debate

January 16, 2006 12:00 AM

In my earlier post, I explained the thesis of George Barna's latest book, Revolution. I think it important, however, to offer 2 corrections to my review: The review's subtitle, "George Barna wants commitment to the local congregation to sink lower...

George Barna's New Book: Revolutionary or Revolting?

January 11, 2006 12:00 AM

The blogosphere has offered plenty o' chatter on George Barna's latest book, Revolution. For favorable comment, read my occasional-email-pal Andrew Jones (full disclosure: the Tall Skinny Kiwi once named me "Best Emerging Critic Ever"). For unfavorable comment, read Sam Storms...

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