Death Comes for the Deconstructionist

death comes for the deconstructionist.jpgNot too long ago, I dove into Daniel Taylor’s award-winning novel, Death Comes for the Deconstructionist. This is my first of Taylor’s books to read. As the synopsis offers, the novel is a “tragicomic mystery, a detective story that is at once suspenseful, provocative, and emotionally resonant.”

Death Comes for the Deconstructionist tells the story of one Jon Mote, an older, divorced, grad school dropout who does private investigative work on a part-time basis. Many might identify Mote as your quintessential loser: divorced, jobless, friendless, living in a houseboat. I’m actually surprised that he is not presented as having some major alcohol addiction or something of the sort. Continue reading

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Still Evangelical?

A new book hits shelves in just a few days: Still Evangelical?: Insiders Reconsider Political, Social, and Theological Meaning. I appreciate IVP sending a copy my way.

The book has multiple, respectable contributors:

  • Shane Claiborne, Red Letter Christians
  • Jim Daly, Focus on the Family
  • Mark Galli, Christianity Today
  • Lisa Sharon Harper, FreedomRoad.us
  • Tom Lin, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
  • Karen Swallow Prior, Liberty University
  • Soong-Chan Rah, North Park University
  • Robert Chao Romero, UCLA
  • Sandra Maria Van Opstal, Grace and Peace Community
  • Allen Yeh, Biola University
  • Mark Young, Denver Seminary

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The Voice of the Heart

Chip Dodd is a trained counselor who founded The Center for Professional Excellence and Sage Hill: A Social Impact Organization (the latter essentially a counseling center). As his website bio states, Dodd helps professionals in all walks of life gain recovery from addiction, depression, anxiety and other behavioral disorders.

Out of this focus, Chip Dodd has given us his most known work, The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. In it he explores what he (and others) identifies as the eight core feelings: hurt, lonely, sad, anger, fear, shame, guilt, and glad. As he states in the preface:

“These eight core feelings are the beginning of the expression of all human emotional experience. From these core feelings we can expand the expression to name conditions of the heart such as awe, grief, envy, anxiousness, depression, revenge, delight, and boredom.” (XI)

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The Light Is Winning

the light is winningI recently received a copy of Zach Hoag’s newest book, The Light Is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life. Thanks to Zondervan / HarperCollins for sending a review copy!

Hoag’s new title launches right in with his own story, mainly how his family up and moved from Florida to join a cult in Texas. That’s one great quality to the book – the transparent display of vulnerability, giving us a glimpse into his own story. Not just in becoming part of a cult, but also one of a pained relationship with his father, an inner-battle with his own identity, and a failed church plant he started in Burlington, Vermont, the least religious city in the US.

Yet, in it all, Zach also uses that story to help us understand his main thesis: that the light is winning and that light is religion itself. Continue reading