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Episode 03 – Why Thoughtful People Should Read Comic Books


May 10, 2016 by Bookworm


That’s kid’s stuff – or for those locked in adolescence- right?

That’s a point with which these Bookworms beg to differ!

Like books?  Here’s an argument for why you should like comic books too!  Give it a listen and find out if you’ve been missing something good over in the four color world.

You can find our episodes in iTunes HERE or with your favorite podcasting service HERE. Please subscribe and, if you are feeling really generous, leave us a review on iTunes. You can also stream the episode in the player below.

We would love to hear your feedback!  You can send us a message on our CONNECT page, our Facebook Page (click Like while you are there?), orTwitter feed (perhaps give us a Follow?), or leave a comment below.

The Diet of Bookworms 02 – The Voyage of the Dawn Treader


October 21, 2015 by Bookworm

Finally, the Diet of Bookworms has come back with the long awaited (sorry!) look at C.S. Lewis’ Voyage of the Dawn Treader – this time with two guest bookworms!

Take a listen and then let us know what you think about the book and the episode!

We would love to hear your feedback!  You can send us a message on our CONNECT page, our Facebook Page (click Like while you are there?), or Twitter feed (perhaps give us a Follow?), or leave a comment below.

You can find our episodes in iTunes HERE or with your favorite podcasting service HERE.  Please subscribe and, if you are feeling really generous, leave us a review on iTunes.  You can also stream the episode in the player below.

Favorite Biographies?


July 2, 2015 by Bookworm


The following list was compiled in response to a question about good biographies for summer reading.  Additions?  Subtractions?  Other thoughts?

Let’s hear ’em!

C.S. Lewis – A Life by Alister McGrath.  This is one of my all-time favorite biographies, not just my favorite Lewis biography.  Mcgrath gets you into Lewis’ life, thought, and work really well in a way that is both honest and generous.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas.  This man is fascinating and very much worth knowing well.  I think Metaxas has been rightly accused of making Bonhoeffer out to be an evangelical more than he really was but even so it is a great read.

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Ronald Bainton.  This is the standard work on Luther and it holds up super well.  Luther’s life and context were fascinating.

Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery by Eric Metaxas.  You can tell Metaxas is good, right?  More socially conscious people should know and emulate Wilberforce.  This is deeply encouraging to those who want to see change without bloodshed.

Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosario Champagne Butterfield.  Technically an autobiography, I’m finishing this up right now and couldn’t recommend it any higher. Deeply encouraging about the power of the gospel and the depth of repentance involved in walking with the Lord.

The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter – I find the Inklings fascinating and this is the standard work. He’s a great writer and this book is like getting bios of Tolkien, Lewis, and Charles Williams all together.

Calvin by Bruce Gordon – Calvin is a bit of a boogeyman in some corners and this book humanizes him well.  Helps you appreciate his thought, impact, and helpfulness regardless of whatever degree you embrace or reject the system that bears his name.

Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend by James Robertson – If you like the civil war this is a must-read.  If not it is still well worth it.  Stonewall is presented here as the sort of man you can learn from.  He’s (obviously) quite wrong on slavery but there is still much good to be gleaned from him.

Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore – I’ve not gotten to this one yet but it comes highly recommended and I’m looking forward to reading it.

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill (Series) – William Manchester – if you’re filling like doing a deep dive here is a 3-volume set that, like the Spurgeon volume, I haven’t gotten around to reading but it sure seems like I need to soon.

The Beatles: The Biography – This is one of my all-time favorite biographies.  You get the Beatles in all their glory and all their warts.  It is massive but I couldn’t put it down.

Review: Shepherding God’s Flock


April 22, 2015 by Bookworm


Shepherding God’s Flock: Biblical Leadership in the New Testament and Beyond, edited by Benjamin L. Merkle and Thomas R. Schreiner

Shepherding God’s Flock is an ambitious book indeed.  The work, in some sense, desires to be a one stop shop for all things polity.  In its pages you will find historical (Chapters 1, 5, and 6), New Testament (Chapters 2 and 3), polemical (Chapters 7, 8, and 9) and systematic (Chapters 10 and 11) theology, all aimed at giving the reader a robust understanding of how the church should be governed.  In that sense the title might perhaps be adjusted for accuracy by adding “How Should We Go About” before the current title.

Perhaps the feature which most readers will find somewhat odd about Shepherding is that the title, which features chapters on Catholic, Presbyterian, and Anglican polity, is written exclusively by confessing Baptists.  However, this matter is presented in the introductory material in an upfront fashion, thus serving the reader through an honest presentation of presuppositions.

In an attempt to put my own biases on the table as a reviewer, I too am a confessing Baptist.  Furthermore, it was with particular delight I received the notification that this book was being brought to market as (A), I am something of a polity wonk, (B) one of the editors, Tom Schreiner, is a favorite author of mine, and (C) I have a pastoral interest in Baptist ecclesiology.

It should come as no surprise, then, that I find the arguments made in Shepherding to be entirely convincing – and even compelling.  I specifically found the chapters touching on the polity held by other Christian traditions, specifically Presbyterian (written by Nathan A. Finn) and Anglican (written by Jason Duesing), fair and irenic.

The one point I found a bit of quibble I have with Shepherding, however, comes up in this specific section – Finn seems to argue that it is a unique feature of Presbyterian polity to differentiate between “teaching” and “ruling” elders (based on 1 Timothy 5:17), asserting that Baptists have historically rejected this distinction.  While it is true, as best I am aware1, Baptists have historically found no room for an elder who cannot teach (as Finn asserts) I also think it may be too great a reduction to say this text is merely functional or about compensation (pgs. 216-217).

I believe Andrew Davis’ chapter (11: Leading the Church in Today’s World: What It Means Practically to Shepherd’s God’s Flock) would be useful and encouraging to any church leader, regardless of their final conviction on polity.

I recommend Shepherding to anyone interested in broadening their understanding of how God’s word provides care for His people through human leadership.  Furthermore, anyone thinking through or examining the Baptistic perspective on ecclesiology will come away with a developed understanding of the positive assertions and nuanced disagreements the separate Baptists from other Christian traditions. This is a strong work and I believe churches will be well served when and if their leaders give Shepherding a serious read.

1And far be it from me to challenge Finn on the subject of Baptist history.

– – – – – – – – – –
Disclosure of Material Connection: I solicited this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for an unbiased review.  I  disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Review: Collision Low Crossers


April 16, 2015 by Bookworm


One of the Bookworms (guess which) recently finished Nicholas Dawidoff’s Collision Low Crossers.  Here’s a brief review.

Collision Low Crossers by Nicholas Dawidoff is a read for the hardcore fan.

The author, who writes for about every periodical a writer would want to write for, received access to the New York Jets during the 2011-12 season.  When I say “received access” I mean “It’s hard to imagine they ever let him in that deep and I imagine no one will ever get a chance like this again.”

Yes, this is very much a football book, specifically an NFL book.  Despite Dawidoff salting his presentation with literary references the book never departs from the New York Jet office complex in Florham Park, NJ.  The title of the book itself is a a bit of inside-football terminology that Dawidoff found a particular affinity for and there is plenty of “press coverage” and running Dime Spike One Vegas on 3rd and long.

What drew me in to the narrative, and why I said this book is for the hardcore fan wasn’t actually the football.  The hardcore fan who will enjoy Collision is the fan of intriguing characters.

Antonio Cromartie, infamous publicly for his libidinous excess which resulted in his ability to remember all of his children’s names when asked on camera, is revealed to be the product of a broken home – the scars of which leave him with such deep set insecurity he cannot take full advantage of his peak human athleticism.

Brian Smith, aka Smitty, the Quality Control coach who functions in some ways as the coaching staff’s mascot and court jester, who is compelled mid-season to take on the burden of providing long term care for his fater.

Mike Pettine, the Defensive Coordinator nurtured at the knee of a legendary H.S. football coach father who develops the strongest unit on the team – and has to prevent his stellar defense from beginning to view the members of the weaker offensive unit as an enemy within their own team.

Rex Ryan, the bigger than life head coach – a born leader of men whose instinctual understanding of defensive football in unrivaled yet who cannot see the autonomy he grants to his staff prevents them from accessing his prodigious knowledge.

So who should read this?  Sports fans, for sure.  NFL fans, certainly. But most of all those who find human interest stories grounded unshakably in human interest stories compelling, the ones who gravitate to the characters that real life can produce in a way that trumps even the greatest of writers.  Those are the ones who will enjoy Collision Low Crossers the most.

New Harper Lee Novel to be Published in July!


February 3, 2015 by Bookworm


The title, Go Set a Watchman, is actually her first novel!

It is essentially a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird although it was written prior to Mockingbird!

The story centers around a grown up Scout (the main character from Mockingbird for those who don’t know)!

Honestly, I don’t know if we have enough exclamation marks available to capture the delight this news brings.  There is also a wonderful story of found treasure associated with the release:

“I hadn’t realized it (Go Set a Watchman) had survived, so was surprised and delighted when my dear friend and lawyer Tonja Carter discovered it. After much thought and hesitation, I shared it with a handful of people I trust and was pleased to hear that they considered it worthy of publication. I am humbled and amazed that this will now be published after all these years.” – Harper Lee from the AP report (click the link for more details).

Where do we sign up for an advance order?


Isn’t It About Time to Build One of These?


January 31, 2015 by Bookworm




The Bookworms have been spending some time daydreaming about Spring projects.  Who is up for chipping in on a Kickstarter project so we can get it funded? 😀

Until the ground warms enough to start your own Hobbit Hole you can read about a UK build project here (seen in the photo above):

The Homemade Hobbit Hole

The Diet of Bookworms 01 – Christmas with C.S. Lewis


December 23, 2014 by Bookworm


The first full episode of The Diet of Bookworms is here!

In this edition we take a hard look at Christmas – the religious festival, the cultural event, and the shopkeeper’s racket – with everyone’s favorite Oxford don, C.S. Lewis.

Show Notes:

Meet Herodotus, the great historian of ancient Greece: The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories

The Christian Post: Why the Orthodox Church Celebrates Christmas on Jan. 7

For Next Time:

Our next episode will cover Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – a book about a great voyage, a chivalrous mouse, talking stars, and a young man who learns the consequence of laying down thinking dragonish thoughts.  Please join us!

We would love to hear your feedback!  You can send us a message on our CONNECT page, our Facebook Page (click Like while you are there?), or Twitter feed (perhaps give us a Follow?), or leave a comment below.

You can find our episodes in iTunes HERE or with your favorite podcasting service HERE.  Please subscribe and, if you are feeling really generous, leave us a review on iTunes.  You can also stream the episode in the player below.

Reading as Intellectual Liberation


December 22, 2014 by Bookworm


I guess it is true; fine minds really do think alike!

The highest use of the great masters of literature is not literary; it is apart from their superb style and even from their emotional inspiration.  The first use of good literature is that it prevents a man from being merely modern.  To be merely modern is to condemn oneself to an ultimate narrowness; just as to spend one’s last earthly money on the newest hat is to condemn oneself to the old-fashioned.  The road of the ancient centuries is strewn with dead moderns. Literature, classic and enduring literature, does its best work in reminding us perpetually of the whole round of truth and balancing other and older ideas against the ideas to which we might for a moment be prone.

From G.K. Chesterton’s “On Reading”


The Diet of Bookworms 00 – Introduction and Invitation to Join Us


December 3, 2014 by Bookworm


Welcome!  Please allow us to introduce you to The Diet of Bookworms!

We kept this one short and sweet – in five minutes or so you’ll find out a bit more about the Bookworms, what we’re doing with this podcast and how, if you like good books too,  you can join us!


For Next Time:

We’re reading two essays from a collection of C.S. Lewis’ writings titled God in the Dock.  If you aren’t interested in picking up a copy you can find both essays for free online at the following links:

1.) “Xmas and Christmas: A Lost Chapter from Herodotus
2.) “What CHRISTMAS means to me…” (PDF; you can download a free PDF viewer HERE)

To Tim Challies for the use of the domain and title of our podcast.  Check out his work at
To our friend Daniel Lowhorn for the intro and exit music from his song “The Hopeless” found on his album Dawn.

We would love to hear your feedback!  You can send us a message on our CONNECT page, our Facebook Page (click Like while you are there?), or Twitter feed (perhaps give us a Follow?), or leave a comment below.

You can find our episodes in iTunes HERE or with your favorite podcasting service HERE.  Please subscribe and, if you are feeling really generous, leave us a review on iTunes.  You can also stream the episode in the player below.