Subscribe now

Take Heart: Christian Courage in the Age of Unbelief

By Matt Chandler
August 2018 | Review by Paul Smith
  • Publisher: Good Book Company
  • ISBN: 978-1-78498-316-1
  • Pages: 128
  • Price: 7.99
Buy this book »

Take Heart displays the strengths and weaknesses of a popular work by a New Calvinist celebrity pastor. Positively, Chandler encourages his readers to have a ‘big view’ of God. He surveys the idea of God as a warrior, defeating Satan and defending his people.

Rather than bemoan the end of Christendom, Chandler encourages believers to embrace the opportunity to stand out, now that nominalism is unattractive. Practically, he makes thoughtful suggestions, such as encouraging hospitality: ‘giving loving welcome to those outside your normal circle of friends’ (p.96).

Sadly, there are significant weaknesses. Chandler is flippant about the Fall, suggesting Adam was bird-watching: ‘Ooh, look, a blue jay. I named that, you know. What? Fruit? Thanks, I’d love some’ (p.60).

As part of a book club, he describes reading a work laced with such profanities that he had to hide it from his children. At the book club, Chandler states that ‘every meaningful conversation that we have is surrounded by inappropriate jokes … and that’s great’ (p.107), because Christians should be ‘playing in’ such spaces. Worse, Chandler commends as ‘helpful and enlightening’ (p.33) the TV show Mad Men, which features sensual content (some of which he alludes to). Chandler appreciates the way it demonstrates that the 1960s were not as Christian as some think.

Two stylistic points are worth noting. Some might be frustrated by the American context of Chandler’s illustrations, though I didn’t feel these obscured his basic message. It is a short book, written in a pacy style and reading like a transcribed talk. Whether using so many short sentences is a good idea depends on your taste. Some might. I don’t. This book needs a corrective sequel — something along the lines of Choose holiness: Christian courage in the age of corrupt entertainment.

Paul Smith

Broadstairs

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about Life to Come
Derek Thomas

Shouldn’t every Christian feel homesick for heaven? Derek Thomas’s inquiry into the Bible’s teaching on this subject stirs up in the believer a deep longing to be with the Lord. The early chapters cover death and the intermediate state. They…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
New Covenant Theology: Weighed and Found Wanting
Kevin McGrane

To read this book was like a breath of fresh air. I could not put it down. Despite the traction that has been gained in the UK among evangelicals by the so-called ‘new covenant theology’ (NCT), it is surprising that…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Can We Trust the Gospels?
Peter J. Williams

This is almost unique as an apologetic resource. Christians usually must choose between big books which are scholarly or popular books which are simplistic. This book presents robust arguments that ordinary people can follow. In eight digestible chapters Williams serves…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Strength for the Weary
Derek W H Thomas

Are you weary, fellow pilgrims? Then let the ordained writer, Isaiah, speak to you in graphic terms through Dr Thomas, especially from chapters 40-46. Upon receipt of this book, I soon became engrossed. In keeping with its title, my own…