Tuesday, July 10, 2012

LHP Review: Repentance


Selvaggio, Anthony. 7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 2011. 127 Pages. Paper. $11.99. www.prpbooks.com (LHP)


Sabella, Casey. Titanic Warning: Could this disaster have been prevented? Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 1994, 1998. 175 Pages. Paper. $9.99. www.nlpg.com (LHP)



Two titles recently crossed our desk providing us (and our readers) with multiple reasons to repent.



Two conflicting worldviews, Christian and non-Christian, are in constant friction. Unfortunately, Christians are often unaware when they adopt non-Christian ideas. This book examines seven non-Christian ideas that cripple the Christian mind. (Publisher's website)

What are the seven toxic ideas?

  1. Ideas to Idolatry: Ideas Have Consequences
  2. Technopoly: The iPod Nation
  3. Neophilia: "History Is Bunk"
  4. Egalitarianism: "We're All in Charge"
  5. Individualism: "Every Man Is an Island"
  6. Materialism: All That Matters Is Matter
  7. Consumerism: "Shop Till You Drop"
  8. Relativism: "What Is Truth?"

I appreciate Selvaggio's approach to begin with the individual. Individuals can then positively impact families, congregations, communities, and nations. And it is never a bad idea for individual Christians to repent. Then we can see clearly to take the log out of the eye of another.

Yes, given the positive aspects of technopoly, 7 Toxic Ideas is available on Kindle. 

Given the temptations of neophilia, materialism, and consumerism, I still recommend that our readers read and prayerfully consider the consequences of these seven toxic ideas. 

The book, however, is non-toxic. :) (Smile)

In the year of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, New Leaf Press brought the following book to our attention.



Near midnight, the heralded and huge White Star liner Titanic, her invincibility never before in question, is a tiny speck on a vast ocean. Four days out on a much-anticipated maiden voyage, the luxury vessel has been fatally grazed by an iceberg.

Labeled unsinkable by an adoring public, Titanic will plunge beneath the cold waters of the North Atlantic in under three hours.

In Titanic Warning, author Casey Sabella blends a vivid re-telling of the disaster with commentary on the state of the modern-day Church and the lack of commitment to discipling the masses. How did three ships in the vicinity, called upon to rescue the 2500 stranded souls, reflect real personalities in the modern age? Are we prideful like the Titanic? Are we indifferent to the cries of humanity, like the Californian, or do we launch a rescue like the Carpathia? Does the burden to help urge us to escape from it all, like the Samson?

The questions are personal, the answers, crucial. Will we heed the warning to put salvation before gleaming monuments? May God help us board the right ship!

(Publisher's website)

Casey Sabella interprets the story of Titanic, Californian, Carpathia, and the previously-unknown-to-me-ship-on-the-scene Samson like a parable. I could imagine using brief portions of chapters of this book as sermon illustrations.


The author's theological language was like reading another dialect at some moments, but this Lutheran reader tracked along with what he meant. I particularly liked his use of Matthew 18 for restoring relationships in the Church. Titanic has an appeal that may get some readers to pick up this book of warning when they wouldn't normally read much Christian theology.



Titanic Warning and 7 Toxic Ideas Polluting Your Mind turned my thoughts to the Lord's work in Holy Baptism, especially as the topic is taught by Dr. Luther in his Small Catechism:


What does such baptizing with water indicate?

It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

St. Paul writes in Romans, chapter six: "We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." Romans 6:4 



The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

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