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Archive for December, 2009

Holy Subversion: Allegiance to Christ in an Age of Rivals

9781433507021In August, Trevin Wax said, “For me, the blurbs for my book mean much more than book sales. They represent a personal stamp of approval from the people whose opinion matters to me – people whose theology or ministry has influenced me.”

And now, here is what people are saying about the upcoming release of Holy Subversion:
(*Note: Please follow links for full endorsements)

Ed Stetzer says, “Wax looks at issues of idolatry and stronghold and, one by one, show us how the gospel of the Kingdom requires a new loyalty.”

Kevin DeYoung says, “ There is pastoral wisdom, balance, and conviction in these pages. Trevin Wax helps us remember what really matters.”

Dr. Radu Gheorghita says, “The author’s creative and persuasive proposal invites the readers to ponder what they might plausibly hear if the biblical imperative against idolatry were given to us today.”

“Wax calls us to come face to face with the ‘Caesars’ in our life. Only once we have understood the dire effect of these allegiances can we then hope to subvert the kingdoms vying for our localities.” —Dr. Nicholas Perrin

“Trevin Wax issues a wide-ranging invitation for believers to rethink what it means to be a Christ-follower in a culture that offers rival ways of thinking and living at every turn.”—David Dockery

“Trevin Wax delivers a sober challenge for the church to live up to her lofty calling. By God’s grace, may Christians heed his warning and follow the narrow path prepared by Jesus.” —Collin Hansen

“Trevin Wax faithfully sounds the call for world-changing, Christ-exalting Christian practice. By unmasking contemporary ‘Caesars,’ he reveals the true dangers, and points to pitfalls of which many believers are completely unaware.” —Al Mohler

“This is a timely and prophetic book for our generation. I highly recommend it to pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Sunday-school teachers, and all believers in Jesus Christ.”—Dr. Paul Negrut

“How should God’s American people put the lordship of Jesus Christ on display in their lives? Trevin Wax’s searching answer is biblical, basic, businesslike and blunt.”— J.I. Packer

“Wax takes up the question of how to be both a rebel—against the false authorities of this time—while simultaneously being submissive—to the divine authority of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”—Russell Moore

“In an age where there are many ‘gods’ and many ‘lords’ bidding for our allegiance, Trevin Wax calls the church to throw down these idols and to order their lives according to the story, symbols, and values of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Dr. Michael F. Bird

“Trevin Wax provides good advice on how to turn away from the idols of success, money, leisure, sex and power.”—Marvin Olasky

“Trevin Wax in this incisive, convicting, and elegantly written book considers the false gods that insidiously corrupt our lives.” —Thomas R. Schreiner

“I highly recommend this for anyone seeking an authentic relationship with the God who transforms our lives, our passions, and our world.”—Christian George

“He blazes a trustworthy trail for those who yearn to make a long lasting difference in the world by showing that Christians make a difference by being different; they don’t make a difference by being the same.”—Tullian Tchividjian

“Read this fine book if you wish to live as the true Savior and Lord Jesus Christ would have you live.” —Gregg R. Allison

“Trevin Wax provides medicine for the heart in this short, powerful study. Read it and be blessed.”—Danny Akin

“Wax deftly uses Scripture and his cross-cultural experience in Romania to convict North American Christians of the subtle ways that we conform to our culture’s idols. His tough love inspires us to surrender to Jesus’ ownership of the world, and his bold plan for change shows us how.”—Michael Wittmer

December 18, 2009 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 8:49 am | 0 Comments »

Q&A with Vern Poythress—In the Beginning Was the Word

97814335017911John Starke of the Counsel of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood recently conducted an interview with Vern Poythress to discuss his new release, In the Beginning was the Word: Language—A God-Centered Approach.

Starke says, “This book deserves a great deal of attention among seminary students and pastors. Pastors should be encouraged to read this book in order to enrich their own communication in preaching and evangelization. Pastors who are training young men to be faithful, Gospel-centered preachers should place this book in their hands. It will serve them in how they effectively use language to express the ultimate redemptive story. Language, communication, and words are important and Vern Poythress relates them up – all the way up – to God.  It is a God-centered approach, indeed.”

Read Starke’s full review.

The following post appeared in two parts on Christian Book News. Read original part 1 and part 2.


1.  What is the major concern or occasion behind a book like this?

My major goal is to build a Bible-based Christian understanding of language.  I believe that goal is important because we should be admiring and praising God for the wonders of language, just as we should be for the beauty of a sunset. Unfortunately, many people just take language for granted, or when they do focus on it they treat it just as a collection of facts that are “there,” without recognizing God’s presence and his role.

The issue of the nature of language has become more important because philosophy of language and critical reflections on language have come to play a significant role in analytic philosophy, in materialist philosophy, and in postmodernism. Analytic philosophy has had to some degree a “turn toward language,” in which big questions of philosophy are now addressed through attention to language. But if language is treated as a merely human, cultural phenomenon, rather than a gift from God displaying his character and glory, the products of reflection will contain both helpful insights and corruption of the truth. Materialist philosophy typically wants to see language as a evolutionary product that eventually reduces to human genetic capabilities that have gradually developed through evolution of humanity from apes. The result is again that language is regarded as merely human, and not divine, in origin, and in fact it is in the end subhuman–it is derived from a mindless, purposeless, chance process of atoms in motion.

Some postmodernists view language as a kind of prison from which we cannot escape in order to see the world as it really is. This view generates skepticism about our access to truth. Christians need an answer that does not merely say that skepticism is mistaken, but builds a positive understanding of language as a gift of God through which God himself can speak.

2.  Why is a knowledge of God so important for understanding language?

God displays his character, his goodness, and his glory in the languages that he has given to the human race. If we corrupt the knowledge of God, we corrupt the understanding of language and of truth. The consequences may be subtle, but they are broad. We can see effects in people’s growing skepticism about knowing truth.

3.  What does language stand to lose when its divorced from its relation to God?

Without God, we become victims to counterfeit gods. For many people, the primary counterfeit gods are sources that promise fulfillment–money, sex, and power. But we can also have God-substitutes that come in when we try to think about language. The most prominent God-substitute in Western thinking is materialism, which says that language and everything else about human beings is a product of mindless evolution. This thinking involves a substitute god because it requires faith in regularities, both in science and in language. The regularities are a substitute because they are conceived of as impersonal regularities, rather than being the design of a personal God.

We can also see another kind of counterfeit god when language is treated as having mystical depth. I believe that language does have depth, but it is the depth of its testimony to God, not to an irrational mysticism.

Part 2

4.  Is this topic important for preaching and evangelism? How?

Language is an important topic as a kind of substructure for preaching and evangelism. We preach and proclaim the gospel using language. When we do this, we are presupposing that language is an adequate vehicle for our communication. God guarantees that this is so, because in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) he indicates that the gospel message concerning Christ and his work and his commandments can and will go out to the nations, with their various languages.

One of the forms of resistance to the gospel is through counterfeit ideas about language. Postmodernists may claim that language is inadequate to talk about God.

5.  What do you hope your readers take away from this work?

I hope that readers will grow in praising God for language. I hope that they will grow in appreciating the highly tuned complexities of language, and avoid simplistic accounts of language origins and the nature of meaning; that they will avoid in particular modernism, which tends to want to make human meaning infinitely precise, and postmodernism, which tends to multiply meanings without having a divine standard for judgment. I hope also that they will come away with a robust view of language capable of withstanding the assaults of postmodernist skepticism. Finally, I hope that readers will take away a robust Christian view of narrative. Narratives (stories) have an immense interest both for common people and for sophisticated intellectualist analysis in our day. I believe that God’s acts in history, in working out redemption through Jesus Christ, are the backbone in relation to narratives in general. There is much potential here, I believe, for a Christian answer to those who reduce theology to stories, as well as to those who enjoy movies but have no inkling of the fact that their interest in the stories told in movies is tied in to the human longing for redemption, which can be satisfied only in Christ.

December 14, 2009 | Posted in: AAA - BLOG UPDATE,Book News,Interview,News | Author: Crossway Staff @ 10:00 am | 0 Comments »