Ellul, as alway, is thought provoking. Written a few decades ago, he talks about the condition of the church being as if God had abandoned her. This iEllul, as alway, is thought provoking. Written a few decades ago, he talks about the condition of the church being as if God had abandoned her. This is akin to the Old Testament stories of God turning his back on Israel when Israel no long need him. The church, says Ellul, is living quite on its own strength trusting its own techniques. Is there room for God in a technique driven church. Ellul thinks not. He addresses issue of politics, doctrine, and programs. He is critical of mass appeals.
If this was appropriate in the 1970s, it's all the more an issue today. Where is there room for the Holy Spirit as our churches grow based on he means and hows? Where is God when the church is a bureaucracy of business?...more
Booth and Lusk get many things right. When so many are retreating into the family as the church looses it's place in the relational center, these authBooth and Lusk get many things right. When so many are retreating into the family as the church looses it's place in the relational center, these authors ask us to reexamine this trend. The church is the institution that God designed to bring his gospel to the world. The family is intended to serve the church. I would recommend this book to church family leaders with only a couple reservations. ...more
Great principles! Pastor must move from influencing individuals to caring for the persons. I like the concept of personalism. The author does get a biGreat principles! Pastor must move from influencing individuals to caring for the persons. I like the concept of personalism. The author does get a bit repetitive in my reading. ...more
Parenting is not a formula. Too many authors try to make is seem like it is, and too often parents are looking for the formula. In The Christian ParenParenting is not a formula. Too many authors try to make is seem like it is, and too often parents are looking for the formula. In The Christian Parenting Handbook: 50 Heart-Based Strategies for All the Stages of Your Child's Life, Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller realize that it isn’t a formula, but they have succeeded at developing clear principles, organized in a manner that any parent can quickly find the help that they need. I would recommend that parents read this book together. The short chapter formate makes it a good tool to read together and discuss how you can apply the ideas in your family....more
I just finished reading Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (IVP Books (Kindle edition):I just finished reading Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (IVP Books (Kindle edition): October 17, 2012). The authors Randy Richard and Brandon O’Brien make compelling argument for considering our cultural bias as we read the Bible. I’m trying a new way of summarizing books below. I hope that you find it helpful for understanding what I read and the big takeaways.
The most powerful cultural values are those that go without being said.
Modern readers don’t know what cultural biases they read into Scripture. Modern readers miss what ancient writers assumed but did not specifically state. Highlights
The authors have an interesting discussion about the issue of mores. Mores they defined as those things that are not rules explicitly but implied in the cultural behaviors of people. The authors make the point that we confuse mores for biblical principle. For example, sexual sin is a bigger focus of our culture then am the economic sin.
The authors go on to make a point that we miss a key element of leadership. That is that the patriarch that would lead the family of God. Further, even in business relationships were more influential in the interaction. In the biblical world the business interaction a patrons and clients different than today. Their interaction were tied to relational expectations, not contractual agreement that modern western readers may expect. The patron has certain obligation to his clients while the clients at the same time had an obligation to serve the patron. These obligation were often for a lifetime rather than for a term.
Just as we don’t understand the relationships of the Bible’s world, we don’t understand some of the language. That has resulted in a missing the key New Testament understand that growing in discipleship is not just about avoiding sin, but also putting on righteousness. As a result, churches in America and the West tend to focus more on avoiding sin than on being righteous people.
I was particularly interested in the discussion about leadership. In this part the authors talk about the fact that in the Bible leadership is not a value. In fact is often seen as a vice. People who desire leadership are often arrogant. Rather the Bible focuses on being followers. There is righteousness and being willing to follow not just Jesus but also follow the right authorities and people with in this world–that includes non-Christian authorities.
Finally, the author spends time discussing the focus of the Scriptures. We can to read through an individual eye. You is often translated or read as singular, but in the Bible it’s often meant to be plural. As a result, we tend to think that God’s promises are made to individuals, so as Christians we think he’s making the promises each to each of us. Instead, we should see that he’s making them to a group whether that be Israel or the church. This can lead to a selfish reading of the Word.
“[R]emember biblical interpretation is a crosscultural experience and to help you be more aware of what you take for granted when you read. (Kindle Locations 199-200).
Unfortunately, modern Western exegetes often define patronage-a key element of first-century Roman society-using forensic language. We describe the relationship between a patron and a client as contractual, like a business, rather than as familial. (Kindle Locations 1766-1767).
Leadership. How would you rather be recognized: as a leader or a follower? For many Westerners, the term follower connotes a weakness of character, as when a person cannot resist peer pressure but “goes along with the crowd.”…As much as our culture pushes us to be leaders, the Bible urges us to become followers. (Kindle Locations 2045-2047 & 2050-2051).
With the double-edged gift of Gutenberg’s printing press, the process is often reduced merely to writing-reading. Now we read the Bible alone in our homes. This allows a communal process to become individualized. Worse, one can own the Word of God (meaning a book), rather than hear the Word of God, which is usually a communal act.(Kindle Locations 2178-2180).
This is an important book for many in the church. It might be more academic than the typical churchgoer is used to reading, but I would suggest it for most adults. It will confuse many as it turns our western thinking on its head. Many will want to debate the authors. They are addressing things from an angle that is fundamentally different that many are used to. That’s OK. I hope that readers will think about it and consider the next time they are reading our culture into the text rather than reading through the culture of the Bible’s authors....more