ScribblePreach Awards 02.11.17

From the Pub: A Collection of Favorite Audio Quotes from Lord of the Rings

“And he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.” – GANDALF

Kindle Deal of the Week: Berkhof’s Systematic Theology

Berkhof’s classic systematic theology for…wait, no. That can’t be right. 99 CENTS. Great on kindle for looking up particular verses or topics.

Preaching: 5 Dynamics of the Preacher-Listener Connection

I always find myself resonating with Peter Mead’s thoughts on preaching. This is a 5-part series, and the other 4 are published on his site – please go through the whole list of 25.

Apologetics: The Problem with Postmodernism

This video essay articulates what secular philosopher/novelist David Foster Wallace saw as the achilles’ heel of postmodernism: cynicism veiled in irony. This video does drop an f-bomb toward the end, somewhat needlessly. But the analysis of postmodernism and its current developments is highly engaging. Maybe you can find it on VidAngel. Oops, nevermind.

Theology: Why Eugene Peterson Has Never Stopped Reading the Institutes

This should get you back going on Calvin’s institutes, but the greatest gift of the post is the attached daily schedule for reading through the Institutes in a year! You should do that!

A Glimpse of Truth: Socrates and the Fall of Democracy

I think this video is a bit overdrawn in its sensitivity to the Trump phenomenon (especially since we live in a Republic, not a Democracy), but it was the first I’d ever seen of secular media criticizing the liberal project of raising the banner of equality over everything…thus making us purposeless drones fit for the whims of a dictator. Well done, Socrates.

Books and Lit: 8 Ways to Read a Lot More Books This Year

I appreciated that this gives realistic ways to read more, not how to scan better, as is typical.

Writing: Prefer the Familiar

“Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched. Prefer the concrete word to the abstract. Prefer the single word to the circumlocution. Prefer the short word to the long. Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance.” – HENRY WATSON FOWLER

Christians and Culture: Bonhoeffer Speaks Powerfully to the Trump Age

Again, a little anti-Trump propaganda here, so be warned if you’re a fan. But if I’m going to peddle someone else’s propaganda, I suppose Bonhoeffer is my best candidate.

Micro Book Review: Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. 

5 out of 5 stars.

This book is everything.

You know I don’t give my 5 stars out lightly, I am a miser of them. But this book is well deserving. Butterfield’s story feels C.S. Lewisesque or Martin Lutherish – whatever you prefer. It seems like the sort of thing God does once a century to revive his people. It is precisely the story American evangelical Christendom needs to read right now.

Butterfield pulls no punches, but never willingly entices us with her past. Her conversion from a tenured professor of literature and lesbian lifestyle to her current mold of homeschool momming and RP wifery holds all the irony, twists and turns one could hope for. It sounds almost oppressive as I type it, which is the beautiful thing: what could be more a nightmare to a queer theory professor at Syracuse?

But it’s precisely the call God had on Dr. Butterfield’s life, and her unfiltered thoughts on life before and after conversion are priceless. Everything she says is what evangelicals need to hear. In a way, she’s reserved all her biases toward evangelicals even as she lives in our midst, which is profoundly and prophetically helpful. You’ll walk away from this book breathless, challenged, entertained, illuminated, educated, handicapped, and yearning for revival.

Get this book now, and carve out an evening or morning to devour it.

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Nicholas McDonald is a blogger, pastor, and author of the book "Faker: How to Be Real When You're Tempted to Fake it." He studied creative writing and communication at Oxford University and Olivet Nazerene University, and received his M.Div from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Lexington, NC, with his wife and two boys, Caleb and Owen.