An interesting story in which at times I appreciated the contrast which was made between serving hate in the Japanese and US Navy vs serving love as aAn interesting story in which at times I appreciated the contrast which was made between serving hate in the Japanese and US Navy vs serving love as a follower of Jesus. But, then at times, it seemed to stated that God was behind the war, not just working out bad situations for good to those who love Him. That is all....more
Not Pulitzer prize material. I have Stephen Greenblatt's stuff on Shakespeare. My wife read that. He should stick with poetry. As someone who has beenNot Pulitzer prize material. I have Stephen Greenblatt's stuff on Shakespeare. My wife read that. He should stick with poetry. As someone who has been exposed to the relentless efforts of scholars to stay within the texts and historical information we have about Jesus, I found Greenblatt's story about how the world became modern neither a story about how the world became modern nor a scholarly approach to just the facts. Despite the book being loaded with facts, I was turned off by his many speculations and one sided 'tellings' of Western Christianity and the pure and untouchable epicurean philosophies. Howard Zinn, I think, critiques US historians for mentioning the tragedies when that is all they do. Here, in this book, Greenblatt does more than mention the sadomasochistic tendencies of religious priests and paints it as definitive for all Christianity. And when he mentions the Epicurean followers errors, he writes of them with lightheartedness. I felt this book was both extremes with little in the middle. No doubt, and especially post-Constantine, Christianity was definitively different from and even anti-christ-like from it's earlier days. But arguing against the hypocrites of a faith by allowing their hypocrisy to become the definition of the faith is poor scholarship at best. Their hypocrites precisely because they are not doing that which their faith invites them to do. When the Popes killed and raped and sexed up their constituents, they were acting counter to what their faith upheld as right and true. of course hypocrites deserve to be critiqued, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Greenbolt, I think, did this and set it up as though he was striking at the core of anti-epicurean ideals. Only briefly does he mention the streams of Christianity that actually uphold value for human life and pleasure according to it's God given purposes. Though well written at certain points, I judged this book a little too favorably by it's cover. ...more
Though still processing, the book was very good. This is my first introduction to a lengthy study dealing with 'the NT and the people of God" throughThough still processing, the book was very good. This is my first introduction to a lengthy study dealing with 'the NT and the people of God" through the grid of History, Literature and Theology. And, having read a ton of articles and smaller books by the author, I had a grasp of much of his conclusions, but not his methodology. So, in terms of how he gets to where he is going and gone, this books is necessary for those who want to understand Wright. I recommend it for someone who wants to commit to reading more of Wright but not for just a book by itself for fun. The book as a whole serves way to much as an introduction and would be bummer to read it but go not further. So, having said that, I need to get on with "Jesus and the Victory of God"....more
Author Wayne Gordan tells a short, but luring story of urban work in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. With a holistic approach to life, Gordan engagedAuthor Wayne Gordan tells a short, but luring story of urban work in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. With a holistic approach to life, Gordan engaged people with the needed spiritual structure offered in Christ in addition to those basic necessities of life on earth. Gordan refused to deny people the invitation to know Christ just because he cared for their job opportunities too. Many ministries seem to focus only on one part of the call to being Salt and Light to our neighborhoods, and usually this means spirituality takes precedent only to become disconnected and removed from the day to day struggles of people. But God made us both physical and spiritual beings. Lawndale Community Church saw no part of the human predicament as less important, except for their own. And this allowed the poor and marginalized real hope. This was a refreshing read, for, although not so well written and despite Gordan springing out of a deeply evangelical background, he was able to articulate life in the Kingdom....more
This is one of the saddest stories ever told. And the Thief, the Thief is the Jungle and the Man. They steel from each other in a cycle of ignorance aThis is one of the saddest stories ever told. And the Thief, the Thief is the Jungle and the Man. They steel from each other in a cycle of ignorance and greed. The Jungle is knows not what it does. The man takes what he can and gives nothing back. And knowingly lets the Jungle rot his soul....more
Quite dry at parts, but but dusted with tid-bits of eccentric history. I never knew all the tiny grains of salt facts that sprinkle the history of ourQuite dry at parts, but but dusted with tid-bits of eccentric history. I never knew all the tiny grains of salt facts that sprinkle the history of our world. ...more
A good book exploring the roots of Church practice and why they hinder what the Bible calls the Church to look like. This is an excellent source regarA good book exploring the roots of Church practice and why they hinder what the Bible calls the Church to look like. This is an excellent source regarding the origins of Church gathering practices. Viola asks, "Is this the best way"? Viola leaves little room for people to continue doing church the way it's always been done, but he does leave some room. Is it a sin to purchase property and build a building? No. But would we benefit from freeing up resources, engaging in a more intimate community in which we bring our gifting in a freeing and dynamic way, etc.? You decide.
Missionally speaking, we need to be a people that understand where we come from, what our communities/churches should look like Biblically and be ready to strip down to be sustainable and reproducible in order for the Church to grow. Doing church in the way we traditionally have hinders the planting of churches in places that may be poor or persecuted. And it is often under poor and persecuted circumstances that we find the Church being the people of God in dynamic, powerful, life changing ways.
There are a good many reasons to consider and practice new ways of Church community, and not just of 'us', but for the watching world too....more