give me that old time religion

Another recent book that I was glad to read was Don’t Call It a Comeback, edited by Kevin DeYoung and with contributions from the young leaders of the Gospel Coalition. It can be strange living in Grand Rapids—the city which continues to push the boundaries of what it means to be an evangelical—and so I was refreshed to read young pastors and theologians who have not bowed to the Baal of cultural expectations.

Older Christians who wonder about the next generation should read this book simply for the encouragement it brings. Younger believers should read this book to learn the traditional, evangelical view on the disputed subjects of our day: gender issues, justification, social justice, Scripture, etc. This book is full of biblical wisdom, and best of all, it’s not trying to break new ground and say something new and provocative. It’s content merely to restate for our day what evangelical Christians have always believed. And as more and more people are discovering, that is more than enough.

There are so many good chapters here that I hesitate to highlight one for fear that I might slight the others. Russell Moore is at his usual best and Ted Kluck demonstrates his normal flair, but I most appreciated Owen Strachan’s powerful critique of the sins of our age. He deftly exposed our tendency to love and promote ourselves—exacerbated by the existence of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook; our wasteful preoccupation with sports—is it really worth neglecting your family just to see if LeBron James can ride someone else’s coattails to a championship?; and our obsession with sex—as evidenced by the prevalence of pornography and the sexual experimentation among even Christian youth.

Different chapters will resonate with different readers, and I didn’t find a bad one in the bunch (which is unusual for edited books). This book would make a terrific graduation present for high school or college students, as it’s a resource that they’ll refer to often. Plus, it will look better on their shelf than the “Congratulations, Graduate” Precious Moments figurine.

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