Book Reviews: Common Sense Theology

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Common Sense Theology Addressing Ancient Errors in the Modern Church by Jim McColloch (Jimmy Mac Music Company)

In this 77-page work, Missouri Baptist pastor James McColloch addresses 15 ancient errors he perceives to still be prevalent in the modern church. He states his intent as challenging people “to think about Christian beliefs in practical, ordinary and understandable ways.”

Throughout the book, the author poses controversial questions and assertions. He then proceeds to formulate his “practical, ordinary and understandable” responses in such an abbreviated—typically two to four pages per topic—manner that the more serious reader or student of theology will, no doubt, be left feeling a little disappointed and wanting more. In addition, some of the basic hermeneutical approaches McColloch uses in interpreting the biblical text might be considered suspect in many cases. Still, as a quick-read primer dealing with some thought-provoking theological questions that certainly deserve more in-depth exploration, McColloch’s work might have its place on the bookshelf of clergy and layperson alike.

Jim Lemons

assistant professor of biblical studies

Dallas Baptist University


A Christmas Visitor (A Cape Light Novel) by Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer (Penguin)

Writing with best-selling author Katherine Spencer, artist Thomas Kinkade crafts a holiday tale set in the small town of Cape Light. Three largely separate stories wander through A Christmas Visitor, each standing on its own, intertwined only through the church and Pastor Ben.

While walking through her family’s orchard one early December evening, Miranda Potter rescues an injured man suffering from amnesia. When she and her grandmother, Sophie, allow the attractive stranger to temporarily share their home, he and Miranda discover they want to share more than that. But who is he, and what will his past allow?

Meanwhile, Molly believes she finally has put her life in order with her marriage to handsome Dr. Matt Willoughby, her daughters finally growing up, and her wildly successful catering business. But will a positive pregnancy test and her husband’s gorgeous new partner change everything?

Pastor Ben and Sexton Carl Tulley discover a beautiful statue in the church basement and move it to the sanctuary for Christmas. Carl believes his contact with the carved wooden angel heals his injured hand, and soon people from all over New England visit the church to pray to the statue. Does the angel really have healing powers?

This feel-good mystery-romance serves as a reminder of Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you … plans to give you hope and a future,” and leaves the reader hoping for the next Kinkade-Spencer Christmas novel.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas



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