of Ben Makuh


Book Reviews


Citizenship Without Illusions [a review]

A phenomenal little book about Christian political engagement.

The Understory [a review]

Wilbert invites us to walk with her through the forest and glean insights into how to grow roots again after disruption.

Rift [a review]

A gripping, terrible memoir of one woman's escape from Christian Patriarchy.

Extinction [a review]

Just because we can bring species back from extinction, does that mean we should?

Nobody's Mother [a review]

An overview of current Artemis scholarship and how it should affect one's reading of 1 Timothy 2:15.

Critical Mass [a review]

A delightful novel about how humanity gets their foothold in space.

How to Inhabit Time [a review]

A lovely meditation on being a creature formed and bound by the flow of history.

The Race-Wise Family [a review]

A great resource for parents who want to know how to equip their kids to understand and engage in racial justice.

Robot Theology [a review]

An ambitious exploration of the intersection between theology, ethics, AI, psychology, and even slavery.

Upgrade [a review]

An extended, action-packed sci-fi meditation on deep ethical questions about human nature. Highly recommended.

Age of Ash [a review]

A dark, depressing fantasy about thievery, murder, and human sacrifice.

When Did Sin Begin? [a review]

A helpful analysis of and meditation upon the question of evolution and sin.

Project Hail Mary [a review]

An imaginative, whimsical, thrilling extra-solar escape room. A great summer sci-fi read.

The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self [a review]

Interesting historical analysis and reflection on how the self became psychological, but ultimately unpersuasive and unhelpful toward cultivating common ground.

The Making of Biblical Womanhood [a review]

A painful, searing, yet imperfect and uneven case against Complementarianism. Though not all her arguments persuade, hers is still a powerful word to the Complementarian church.

The Salvage Crew [a review]

A strange, interesting tale of first contact that starts off strong but peters out in the home stretch.

Room of Marvels [a review]

A journey through the pain of death, the hope of heaven, and the kindness of God.

Another Gospel? [a review]

Orthodox answers to progressive questions. Though not perfect, this is a helpful resource for the searching.

Weep With Me [a review]

Concise, humble direction on how to empathetically respond to racial injustice.

The Original [a review]

A short, poignant lament for the over-technologized life.

Uranus [a review]

An adventure among the outer planets that asks interesting questions but fails to deliver.

Analog Church [a review]

A thoughtful reflection on the embodied nature of the Body of Christ, and how technology can fail to deliver on the promises it makes to the church.

Gentle and Lowly [a review]

There are many, many books about the person and work of Christ, but there are not a lot out there like this excellent little volume that focus solely on Christ’s heart toward us.

ESV Bible with Creeds and Confessions [a review]

When I was a teenager I had an NIV teen study Bible that had pull quotes, notes interspersed in the text, and then a few articles in the back answering questions that teens might ask. It was very helpful for me, and it introduced me to the concept of…

Against the Darkness [a review]

A fantastic entry in Crossway's Foundations of Evangelical theology that examines the nature and roles of angels, demons, and Satan in a pastorally sensitive way.

Against God and Nature [a review]

Sin is one of those tricky words that we suppose we have a grasp of, but upon closer inspection turns out to be a bit more slippery to talk about than we first imagined. Though we might at first blush say sin is something like "doing bad things" or…

God and Galileo [a review]

Faith vs. Science: from nearly every vantage point, there is some degree of tension between the two. Like oil and water, they just don't mix. To some, the answer to this "tension" is obvious: faith is a weird hobby you do in private like designing…

ESV Illuminated Art Journaling Bible [a review]

What is the purpose of owning a personal Bible? While for some a Bible might satisfy the need to be connected to something transcendent, I'd imagine many people would purchase a Bible so as to read it. Unfortunately, a majority of English Bibles in…

Stereotypical End-of-year 'Best Books' Blog Post Title

What makes a book good? I read a decent number of books per year, and I am always quite hesitant to rate a book higher than 4 stars, mostly because I want 5 stars to mean something beyond "I enjoyed this book." To that end, my top books of the year…

ESV Archaeology Study Bible [A Review]

I have a love-hate relationship with study Bibles. On the one hand, the Bible is thousands of years old, and you'd be a fool to solely rely upon your own intuition about what it all means. That's not to say there's some mystical secret da Vinci code…

Ready Player One [A Review]

A fun adventure, but depressing in its view of the world.

Long Before Luther [A Review]

"Was the Reformation doctrine of justification by faith alone an invention or a recovery?" Though Protestants might easily dismiss that question, it would be foolish to do so. The Roman Church asserts that this doctrine that is so central to…

Humble Roots [A review]

There have been (at least) two trends in my life over the past few years: first, I have grown rather weary of the endless parade of devotional books marching forth from evangelical printing presses, and second I have felt more and more of a desire to…

Pursuing Health in an Anxious Age [A Review]

Why do greater certainty and more control only heighten our fear for what remains outside our control-especially if the possibilities are so improbable? -Bob Cutillo, MD It is a curious thing that health care, whose very existence was once solely…

Punderdome [A Review]

I consider myself something of a connoisseur of puns. A pundit, you might say. A pun at its essence is simply a play on words, but a good pun exhibits draws an intersection between two otherwise unrelated conceptual fields in one word or phrase. A…

Home Cooked [A Review]

Cooking good food is one of those things we just do not seem to have time for these days. Most folks subsist on a combination of microwaved dinners, takeout, or dine-in. When we do cook, it's usually a matter of popping open boxes from the pantry or…

The Water-Saving Garden [A Review]

When my wife and I got married, we thought we'd try our hand at gardening-the fruits of our labor that summer were pitiful, but the joy of growing our own food carried us on. It's a wonderful feeling to grow so much food for free, but the thing is…

The Imperfect Pastor [A Book Review]

Post-apocalyptic movies always begin the same way. The scene opens upon the heels of catastrophe-all of humanity's best laid plans have quite literally exploded around us, and the few survivors are left to pull together what remains and eke out some…

The River Cottage Booze Handbook [a review]

From rose hip vodka to green walnut grappa, from elder flower and gooseberry wine to blackberry cider, from puffed wheat beer to dandelion and burdock beer, it is clear that alcohol is really something of an art form for Wright. These brews are intended to stand out from the crowded shelf of normalcy.

Pure Food: Eat Clean With Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes [a review]

My wife and I have been experimenting in the kitchen for the past few years, looking through various cookbooks and trying new recipes. She's been doing the lion's share of the cooking lately, and so the following review is written by her. Two topics…

Make Some Beer [A Review]

"Craft beer is like wine these days," my brother offhandedly remarked to me "It's crazy how many options there are." I grew up on the front range of Colorado, which is basically micro brew mecca. It's weird if your town doesn't have a brewery. Call…

The Wonder-Working God [A Review]

What are we supposed to do with miracles? Sigh. We could write them off as pre-scientific descriptions of very natural phenomena or we could look at them as mythological tales designed to communicate theological truth. Both of these options allow us…

Kindling a Revolution in Reading

We bookish types are straddling two very disparate worlds right now. The old world is that of the wonderful used bookstore crammed with too many floor-to-ceiling bookshelves which are in turn crammed with too many used books, each ripe enough to give…

The Word of the Lord [A Review]

Hers is a name that I have seen more and more frequently over the past year on the blogs I frequent as well as on Facebook amongst my friends. Until recently, however, I had known very little about Nancy Guthrie, and so I decided to pick up one of…

The Martian [A Review]

"You are the only human being on Mars." A review of The Martian, a new novel by Andy Weir.

On Preaching [A Review]

Preaching is one of those things that just about everyone has a strong opinion about. Outside of Christian circles, it's a derogatory verb to describe what intolerant people do. Within Christian circles it has a more positive connotation, but still…

Dark Gethsemane Flooded with Light

About a month ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Lent to Maundy Thursday, an album by local band Page CXVI. As part of their Church Calendar project, that album set the Lenten season to music. It's a lush, reflective album that has helped Lent be a…

Lent to Maundy Thursday

Page CXVI (a reference to p. 116 in The Magician's Nephew by CS Lewis) is the name of a local Colorado band that fills a rather unusual niche: finding and repainting older hymns. They have released four albums of hymns, an album of lullabies, and are…

Worship Leaders, We are not Rock Stars (review)

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The modern church is an interesting paradox. We've become cooler, more flashy, and more attractive so that those who were bored and uninterested by the…

Bible Savvy (Book Review)

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. How hard could it be to read a book? How hard could it be to read one book in particular, namely, the Bible? Sometimes it seems crazy to think that we need…

The Sacrament of Evangelism (book review)

Evangelism. The word, as a general rule, strikes a note of distaste into everyone's hearts. Christians hate doing it and non-Christians hate when Christians do it. So whether we admit it or not, the truth is that most of us Christians figure out…

Gospel Deeps (a review)

I started following Jared Wilson a few years ago at his blog, Gospel-Driven Church, when I first got hired on with my church as a college pastor. I had felt a bit frantic, not knowing what on earth I was doing. I scavenged the internet for resources…

Making Windows 8 Suck Less

A while back I posted a very brief overview of Windows 8 after I had test-driven it for about a week. Alas, it was a pretty negative review, primarily because of the fact that Windows 8 is such a touch-centric operating system. It's both a strength…

The Road Trip that Changed the World (a Review)

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. "The unlikely theory that will change how you view culture, the church, and most importantly, yourself" is the apt subtitle for one of the most intriguing…

The Last Superhero (A Review)

The Last Superhero, courtesy of The Blazing Center. The Last Superhero truly is a novel of Danger & Supense, as the cover suggests. It's a fun little novel published on Kindle, and you can get it for $0.99! The story is the self-aware and sarcastic…

A Cross-Shaped Gospel (Book Review)

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. A few months ago I purchased my first crock pot at a yard sale for $5, and it has served me well. I've enjoyed many scrumptious soups and stews out of it…

Kingdom Man (Book review)

In this approachable book weighing in just over 200 pages, Dr. Tony Evans seeks to help men step up out of apathy and into their God-given role as leaders and, well, men. Written in the same vein as Wild at Heart by John Eldridge, Evans takes issue…

Book Review - DO HARD THINGS (Alex and Brett Harris)

I received my copy of DO HARD THINGS about two weeks ago and was able to finish it earlier this week. It reads quickly and is engaging and interesting. More important than anything, though, is the content. It's a message that many teenagers (and even…
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