‘What Is a Girl Worth?’ by Rachael Denhollander Should be Required Reading for All Christians

rachael denhollanderby John Ellis

“I want you to read this,” I told my 13-year-old daughter as I handed her What Is a Girl Worth? by Rachael Denhollander.

“Okay,” was her unenthusiastic response.

She loves to read, but she loves to read books of her own choosing. Having a book plopped her in lap by her dad who listens to old-fashioned music like Nirvana does not excite her imagination.

“Look,” I continued. “I understand that your Mom and I have talked with you about this topic before, but this book has some very important things to say about sexual assault. Mom is going to read it along with you so the two of you can discuss it.”
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My Summer Reading List

beach reading

by John Ellis

Shortly, Lord willing, my family and I will be enjoying a mini-vacation in the Florida Keys. We are looking forward to swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center, relaxing on the beautiful, tranquil beaches of the Keys, and enjoying the best seafood that can be found in this country. During our time there, of course, I will take the opportunity to read and read some more. Some of the books I will be devouring while my kids avoid jellyfish and sharks are listed below. Sadly, I won’t be able to read all twelve books listed while lounging on the beach in Key Largo, but I’ll give it my best shot.

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A Case for Church Membership as Biblically Required


by John Ellis

The topic of church membership can be quite contentious. Eschewing organized religion, some professing Christians believe that churches are unnecessary at best and promote hypocrisy and division at worst. Others accept the need for churches but deny that church membership is Biblical. For them, church membership is an extra-Biblical requirement taught by those more concerned about power than about unity and love. “After all,” they protest, “I don’t need to be a member of a church to know that I am a child of God.”

For many Christians, though, church membership is simply white noise; something they dutifully do because it’s what is done. But they do so without giving much thought as to why.

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Review: ‘Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible’

authorized 2by John Ellis

Mark Ward is nothing if not gracious, a helpful trait considering he dared write a book about the King James Bible. Thankfully, for the readers of Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible, Ward has other positive traits beyond just his graciousness. He’s a gifted writer and a thoughtful scholar, skills that come to considerable bear on his book. More importantly, Mark Ward has the desire to see a love for God’s Word grow in his brothers and sisters in Christ. That desire is evident as he graciously plunges into the debate and argues that the KJV is too difficult for most modern readers. Sadly, I’m afraid that his graciousness is going to be obscured in the minds of those most in need of this book by his promotion of translations missing the familiar “KJV” on their spine.

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Aimee Byrd Asks About Men and Women ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends?’

aimee byrdby John Ellis

While working as a bartender at a large nightclub in Pensacola, FL, one of the bouncers asked me if I wanted to join him and several of our other male coworkers the next day when they visited the campus of the local Christian fundamentalist college. Asking why in the world they would want to do that, I was stunned by his answer.

“The girls there dress incredibly sexy!” he blurted out.

Dress sexy? That made very little sense to me. Like most Christian fundamentalist colleges, the dress code was strict and allowed for very little flaunting of flesh. Sexy was a descriptor that I never thought I would hear describe the clothes of the females on that campus. Especially not from guys who worked in a place where semi-nudity was a constant and where actual nudity was not uncommon. Sex permeated our work. By way of one example, the bouncers had been instructed to not be in too big of a hurry to intervene when customers engaged in public sex. The other customers enjoyed the show, after all.

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My 2017 Reading List: May

manreadingabookby John Ellis

Ok, having read thirteen books in May, my pace has picked back up a bit. Not enough, mind you, to reach my goal of reading two-hundred books in 2017, but that’s alright, I think. As long as I read between twelve to seventeen books a month the rest of the year, I won’t be too disappointed to not reach two-hundred books this year. There’s always 2018, right? I’d also like to point out that we are in the midst of the NBA Playoffs. This means that I’ve watched more TV this past month than I normally watch.

My eleven-year old daughter, however, is on pace to read just over three-hundred books this year (our contest started in February, so the total numbers below reflect four months of reading, not five). Not only is she going to beat me, but she’s going to put my goal to shame. I keep telling her that she needs to remember who controls her allowance. I’m also considering allowing her unlimited technology time. If I do, maybe that will help me close the gap.

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My 2017 Reading List: April


by John Ellis

After the month of April, my goal of reading two hundred books in 2017 may be out of reach. Having read nine books last month, my total for the first four months of the year is fifty-one. This means that I will need to read one-hundred and forty-nine books during the remaining eight months of 2017. At an average of 18.6 books per month, it’s doable, but highly doubtful. To be fair, in April I began reading Paul: An Outline of His Theology by Herman Ridderbos. That dense tome has eaten up (in a good way) much of my reading time.

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