Category Archives: Reviews

Doing Our Own Thing

Doing Our Own Thing

Winner of “Best Book Subtitle of the Last Decade” must surely go to John McWhorter’s Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Music and Language And Why We Should, Like, Care. McWhorter is witty, disarming, and generally enjoyable (if, unfortunately, lewd in places) while arguing a serious and convincing thesis. He is no grammar-maven, writing… Continue Reading

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek and A Humane Economy by Wilhelm Röpke

The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek and A Humane Economy by Wilhelm Röpke

This entry is part 16 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Perhaps you have no interest in economics beyond the price of bread going up and your gas budget not going as far as it used to go. Could there be any value to you in reading these two books? Let me respond with a question. Could there be value to you in understanding why your… Continue Reading

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Congratulations to Ryan Martin

Ryan Martin, regular contributor to Religious Affections Ministries, has successfully defended his dissertation. His Ph.D. will be conferred officially on May 11, but (for what it’s worth) he can already claim to be Dr. Martin. As with most dissertations, Ryan’s title was long and convoluted: “‘A Soul Inflamed with High Exercises of Divine Love:’ Affections… Continue Reading

The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet

The Quest for Community by Robert Nisbet

This entry is part 15 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series of book recommendations, we have bounced around across time and across genres. We started with some classic theological works which will hopefully serve to open the door to other great theological reading from church history. We moved on to some educational, political, and historical works, books which are worthy of lifelong meditation… Continue Reading

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

This entry is part 14 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In the last installment in this series of book recommendations, I recommended good children’s literature. I now want to recommend some literature that was certainly not written for children, but which takes a child-like imagination and develops it in powerful and learned ways. These are works that perfect the story-teller’s craft. What is more, they… Continue Reading

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

This entry is part 13 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Yes, I mean it. You need to read this book. Not only that, you need to read it in a particular way, which is, out loud and to your children—or grandchildren or nieces and nephews or babysitting kids or whatever children you have within earshot. If you are so old and crotchety that you cannot… Continue Reading

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

This entry is part 12 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

What is the best book ever written on America? What is the best book ever written on democracy? Amazingly, at a well-seasoned 177 years old (the first volume was published in 1835, the second in 1840), Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America can make a strong claim to be the answer to both of those… Continue Reading

The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan O. Hatch

The Democratization of American Christianity by Nathan O. Hatch

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“Fundamentalists and Pentecostals share all the virtues and vices of popular culture,” says Nathan Hatch as he applies his analysis of the development of American Christianity. “Following the long tradition of democratic Christianity in America, Fundamentalists [which includes what are more commonly known today as Evangelicals] and Pentecostals reject modernity as it is expressed in… Continue Reading

Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged by Roger Scruton

Culture Counts: Faith and Feeling in a World Besieged by Roger Scruton

This entry is part 10 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Having first recommended books which expound the strong foundation of our faith, I have moved on to recommending books which reflect upon the milieu in which we must live our faith. Godliness is the Scripture is never merely correct doctrinal statements, signed and sealed behind glass for all to see. It is also right living… Continue Reading

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk

This entry is part 9 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“In the United States at this time Liberalism is not only the dominant but even the sole intellectual tradition,” Lionel Trilling famously declared in 1950. There was truth in what Trilling said, but not the whole truth. Three years later a young professor from Michigan State University conceded, “For a century and a half, conservatives… Continue Reading

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

This entry is part 8 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Some writers are skilled builders, and it is enjoyable just to watch them work, even if you couldn’t care less what they are building. C. S. Lewis is one of those writers, and the book under consideration is one of those books. Consider: how many books you can think of from the twentieth century from… Continue Reading

“Ideas Have Consequences” by Richard Weaver

“Ideas Have Consequences” by Richard Weaver

This entry is part 7 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In these book recommendations, we have worked our way back in time to the fourth century. We could spend much more time back there, and it would certainly be to our benefit. However, perhaps it would be best to bounce back to some twentieth century writers who had the insight to know how to apply… Continue Reading

On the Incarnation by Athanasius

On the Incarnation by Athanasius

This entry is part 6 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Getting the gospel right is near and dear to the heart of every conservative Christian. The integrity of the gospel is a non-negotiable. In this conviction, we find a true brother in our forefather in the faith, Athanasius. Hailing from Alexandria, the formative years of his youth were spent amidst the horrible persecution of Christians… Continue Reading

Confessions by Augustine

Confessions by Augustine

This entry is part 5 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Having recommended books by A. W. Tozer and John Owen, let me backtrack in time to a man that both of them would recommend reading – Augustine of Hippo (354-430). If for no other reason, one ought to read Augustine simply for the purpose of understanding Western church history. Barring the apostles themselves, it is hard to think… Continue Reading

Communion with the Triune God by John Owen

Communion with the Triune God by John Owen

This entry is part 4 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3, ESV). The knowledge of the Holy is the glorious goal of our existence, and the Holy One we worship is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet it seems that few Christians sense the gravity of that… Continue Reading

The Poetry of Ron Rash

The Poetry of Ron Rash

  In his answer to the first question in this interview, poet and editor Justin Evans advances the idea that it is a sense of place which makes American poetry distinctly American–a notion given at least anecdotal support by poets from Bradstreet and Whitman to Stevens and Bly, and perhaps most obviously by Frost. If… Continue Reading

The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer

The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer

This entry is part 3 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” “It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God current in these middle years of the twentieth century is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute… Continue Reading

Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen

This entry is part 2 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

It has been called “the second most important book you will ever read.” Whatever rank of importance it may command, there is no doubt that Christianity and Liberalism is a book conservative Christians must read repeatedly. “The purpose of this book,” Machen begins, “is not to decide the religious issue of the present day, but… Continue Reading

The Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff

The Creeds of Christendom by Philip Schaff

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series Books Every Conservative (and Liberal) Christian Should Read You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Custom, convention, continuity. Prescription over invention. Nothing seems less likely to make a difference for Christ. We need to acquire the fire, or so we are told, even if it is started by arsonists. Prudence is for prudes. Revolution is in the air! Jacobin? Never heard of it. We have to win the world for Christ, even… Continue Reading