Resources on Book Reviews

The Boys in the Boat

By Charlie Wingard · May 26, 2015 · 0 Comments
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  The pageantry of the 1936 Berlin Olympics was a triumph for Hitler’s propaganda machine. Evidences of the Reich’s virulent anti-semitism were swept from the streets. Gone for the duration of the games were the “Jews not welcome” signs in stores and shops. On display were the orderliness, architectural grandeur, and growing military muscle of Nazi Germany. Berlin would be the last Olympic contest until 1948, long after Hitler was dead and the city reduced to rubble. Among the athletes competing in Berlin were Americans who became famous for not only their athletic skill, but their unconquerable courage: Jesse Owens, Glenn Cunningham, Louis Zamperini, and the men of the United States Olympic rowing team. Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat tells the story of…

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Three Preachers to Whom I Owe Much

By Charlie Wingard · March 12, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Thirty-five years ago I finished college and began preaching full-time. For a year, I served as student pastor of  Wales Presbyterian Church in Tennessee, a congregation in the old Southern Presbyterian Church (PCUS). Almost everything I owned fit into my 1970 Chevrolet Impala and off I went to preach the gospel. In addition to a King James Bible, my preaching Bible at the time, I took three valuable books. One was was actually  a booklet, the outlines and notes from John Stott’s expositions on Romans delivered at the 1979 Urbana Missions Conference. The first-time I heard Stott preach, I determined to follow his pulpit example best I could. A model expositor – clear, persuasive, and, above all, faithful to the text – he preached Christ and him crucified. At…

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Calvin: Waiting on God with Patience and Peseverance

By Charlie Wingard · February 23, 2015 · 0 Comments
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  Yesterday I finished reading Bruce Gordon’s masterful biography of John Calvin. The highest praise I can give Calvin is that it compares positively with my two favorite biographies, Peter Brown’s Augustine of Hippo: A Biography and George Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards: A Life. Calvin was a towering figure of his age. But above all Calvin was a pastor, his heart attuned to the realities of life in God’s persecuted church.  Gordon observes that “Resignation to fate and delusions of perfection were equally abhorrent to Calvin. God’s providence is an excuse for neither inaction nor wickedness; it encourages joy among the faithful, and fortifies them to face the hardships of the world, but it is not an inoculation. The Gospel teaches God’s everlasting kindness…

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When Children are Customers of their Parents

By Charlie Wingard · February 20, 2015 · 0 Comments
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  Theodore Dalyrmple on the consequences our culture’s paedo-centrism: “Anyone who has observed a mother in a shop or supermarket solicitously and even anxiously bending over a three- or four year-old child to ask him what he would like for his next meal will understand the sovereignty over choice that is now granted to those who have neither experience nor powers of discrimination enough to exercise it on the basis of anything other than the merest whim, without regard to the consequences. By abdicating their responsibility in this fashion, in the name of not passing on their own prejudices or preconceptions to their children, and not imposing their own view of what is right upon them, they enclose their children within the…

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Extreme Pastoral Care – Mission at Nuremberg

By Charlie Wingard · January 16, 2015 · 0 Comments
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Christian ministers seek the lost, proclaim God’s gospel of faith and repentance to all who will listen, and refuse pastoral care to no one who seeks it. Their commitment leads them to minister in dark places of human depravity. The prison complex of the Palace of Justice in Nuremberg, Germany was such a place. Housed there in 1945-46 were prominent architects of the Nazi war machine and its “Final Solution,” standing trial for crimes against peace and humanity. With them was Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor and United States Army Chaplain Henry Gerecke, who provided pastoral care to the Protestants among them. At age 50 Gerecke joined the  U.S. Army Chaplain Corps. His years of leadership at City Mission in St. Louis were distinguished by care for  the poor, the sick, and…

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My Year in Books (2014)

By Charlie Wingard · January 2, 2015 · 0 Comments
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For as long as I can remember, I love to read, especially books. Below are the ones I completed during 2014. I reread favorites regularly, and a number on my list fall into that category, and particularly this year as I prepared my class syllabi at RTS. Shakespeare, Bunyan, Lloyd-Jones, Still, and Wells are among those that fall into that reread category. Some of this year’s most-liked: I enjoy no contemporary novelist more than Marilynne Robinson. In anticipation of this year’s release of Lila, I reread Gilead and Home, and enjoyed them even more the second time around. Her deep insights into human nature, the struggles of the soul, and the stresses of community and family life merit a pastor’s careful attention. Lila is the remarkable story…

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