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 »

Book Review

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

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Jesus in Jerusalem: Prelude to the cross
Robert Bashford

This is a most helpful and informative book in which, from all four Gospels, Robert Bashford examines the last week of Jesus’s ministry in Jerusalem. In a useful introduction, he suggests a chronological timetable and deals convincingly with the alleged…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…