Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Addictive Essays from Carl Trueman

Carl R. Trueman, Minority Report: Unpopular Thoughts on Everything from Ancient Christianity to Zen-Calvinism. Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-Shire, Scotland, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2004.

Reviewed by Ryan McGraw
I wonder how many people have purchased this volume as a result of its subtitle. I wonder how many more turned to the last article first in order to find out what “Zen-Calvinism” is only to be further intrigued to read the full title of the article: “Zen-Calvinism and the Art of Motorvehicle Replacement.”

This book is “a companion volume” to The Wages of Spin (see our review here). Since this first volume has been described as “a book without a theme and no obvious market” (pg. 7), yet contains valuable insights into the contemporary Church situation, it is my pleasure to help market both volumes.  

In fitting with the character of the former volume, Trueman states, “My purpose is, first and foremost, to make people sit up and think; whether they agree or disagree with me is only of secondary importance. I also hope that they demonstrate that the old orthodoxies of the Christian faith do not need to be stuffy, pompous, out-of-date, or allied to dusty, unattractive, and cadaverous piety.” It is my hope that Trueman’s readers would agree with his positions as well, since he represents a strong commitment to historic confessional Protestantism.

Proportionately, this volume contains a larger number of smaller, more accessible articles (15, versus 6 in The Wages of Spin). The titles of the articles are sufficient in themselves to generate the interest of the reader. Some stand out, however, such as a review of the book, Is the Reformation Over? bearing the title, “It Ain’t Over Till the Fat Lady Sings,” and a commentary on the popular television show, American Idol, entitled, “American Idolatry.”

It is hard to find literature today that instructs the mind and stirs up zeal for the truths of Scripture and that also is presented in such a readable and enjoyable format. Indeed, Trueman’s articles might even be called “addictive.” In my opinion, though I highly recommend both books, Minority Report is even more addictive and instructive than The Wages of Spin. It is my prayer that this is an indication that Dr. Trueman is growing continually in his gifts and graces as he uses them to the glory of the Triune God and for the benefit of the Church. May the Lord grant that he would keep sending us good books to read.