This is better than her Holding onto Hope book in a couple ways:
1. This was written a few years after that first book, so I think she learned more thrThis is better than her Holding onto Hope book in a couple ways:
1. This was written a few years after that first book, so I think she learned more through God's word and Spirit working in her heart, and that really came through and benefited my heart.
2. She addressed one of the issues, to some extent, she didn't address in the first book, which was the sovereignty of God in the middle of suffering. Well, she did address this in the first book, but she went farther in this book, which was really what I have been struggling with and she helped me to see God's goodness and His sovereignty in the same sphere. So helpful.
One short-coming was this: the book does not deal with the kind of sorrow that has no hope. So Jehu has real hope that his son is in heavenQuite good.
One short-coming was this: the book does not deal with the kind of sorrow that has no hope. So Jehu has real hope that his son is in heaven. But what about the person who dies, or commits suicide, while not believing?
This is my situation, this is where my heart is broken. Certainly, much of what Jehu had to say applies to my situation too, but there were things left over that Jehu did not really deal with directly (because it was not a part of his situation, thankfully).
So for me, I was left wanting a bit more, even though the book was very solid and helpful for me.
Ultimately, I know that I have to love Jesus as my all in all, my one treasure, my life and joy and hope....more
Helpful, but the book mainly focuses on the grief one feels over the loss of someone we knew loved Jesus. But how are we called to grieve over someoneHelpful, but the book mainly focuses on the grief one feels over the loss of someone we knew loved Jesus. But how are we called to grieve over someone who most likely didn't love Jesus?
I do have to fault her, though, because she is spreading false rumors around about the Puritans. She misconsReally awesome! (I think I'm on chapter 5)
I do have to fault her, though, because she is spreading false rumors around about the Puritans. She misconstrues Puritan beliefs. She says that Puritans believed if misfortune happened to someone this showed "divine disfavor." And that the Puritans believed that success and wealth were signs of divine favor (in this case, that you were of the elect, a true child of God). (These views are neither Puritan nor Biblical, least not of the Puritans I have read).
Her view of the Puritans has more in common with today's health and wealth gospel (or prosperity gospel) than it does with Puritan theology/belief.
(See John Owen, John Bunyan, Richard Sibbes, Jonathan Edwards, et. al.)
But I can't really fault her too bad, because I'm pretty certain she's never read anything by a Puritan, she has probably only read about Puritans.
And, anyway, the rest of the book is pretty cool. I love how she attempted/succeeded to actually perform or engage in the actual cultural practices that she witnessed. Now I'm gonna go read the rest of the book.
Update: 1/18/14, Finished
So the rest of the book was really good. I have quite a few Asian friends, and this little book helped me think about some of their cultural mores/values, so that was a nice benefit to reading this book. I think inter-generational living, for example, can be really good, although I would modify it, a bit.
I believe that when our parents are older and less able to take care of themselves, instead of putting them in a retirement home (or whatever) we should, as sons and/or daughters, take them into our homes and take care of them. I think there is much biblical support for this (beyond what Kolker was pointing out), so I really appreciated (and appreciate) aspects of inter-generational living.
The cuarentena, also, was a really cool cultural practice. And if I ever get married, well, my wife is going to get that kind of treatment, somehow, some way.
I think the social aspects of the cultural practices found in this book are what many, if not most, Americans are missing in their lives. America is a task-oriented, time-oriented, success-measuring society, and we would do well to adopt and/or adapt some of the practices narrated in this book.
Anyway, I really appreciated this book, because it helped me think more about the cultural milieu I grew up in as well as the cultural characteristics of many of my friends/co-workers.
I still would want Kolker to do some more reading up on the Puritans, specifically reading Puritans themselves, because though some of the ordinary Puritans may have behaved and thought the way Kolker says they behaved and thought, the real Puritans were much different (i.e. the ones who were the source, originators, of Puritanism)....more
Spurgeon emphasizes our need to be in communion with God by prayer and he explains why there is power in prayer.The first book I've read by Spurgeon.
Spurgeon emphasizes our need to be in communion with God by prayer and he explains why there is power in prayer. There is power in prayer not for the fulfillment of selfish desires, but only for the will of God and that is, in a nutshell, why there is power in prayer (when our desires are conformed to His will).
There is one area that I would want to quibble with Spurgeon. He says, near the end, that "grace is God." That is not quite true. God is grace, YES. But grace is most definitely NOT God. God is a personal being and whenever we allegorize God as Spurgeon did here, then we take away an essential trait/nature of God. God becomes a trait and ceases to be Jesus Christ, the Father, and the Spirit.
I do not believe, for an instant, that this was Spurgeon's intent, nevertheless it is the logical and necessary conclusion in terms of how he phrased it. It's a small point (in terms of the rest of the book), but I think it needed to be made.
Please do not focus on the one area that I would quibble with. This book was enormously encouraging to me. I love the "exclamatory prayers."...more
What a timely read, when would it not be a timely read?
Owen knew the depths of our sin, of our sinfulness, of the constant desire of our flesh to forsWhat a timely read, when would it not be a timely read?
Owen knew the depths of our sin, of our sinfulness, of the constant desire of our flesh to forsake the One who loves us, who died for us, for His Father's glory: Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Immanuel.
And he pointed to the triune God as our only hope of salvation, of overcoming sin, and of finding peace.
Owen also discusses the manifold deceptions our flesh uses to deceive us, to draw us away from Christ, and then encouraged the reader to rely on Christ and to continue in the Spirit.
If their is one flaw of this book (other than the Old School English, I like it, but others may not) it is this book's focus on the mortification of sin. In other words the book can, if the reader is not careful to read the book in its context, lead us to focus on self-denial to the extent that we forget to rely on Christ and forget that the Christian life is also about growing the spiritual fruit of love, peace, patience, joy, and etc.
Owen does talk about growing the "graces of the Spirit," but if the reader does not keep this in the back of his or her mind it can be overlooked very easily, because the focus of the book is on the mortification of sin.
I think this is what I am trying to say:
Owen discusses the direct tactics more than the indirect tactics of mortifying sin in this book.
The indirect tactics (they can also be direct) include the daily habits of reading the word of God, prayer, and building up the fruit of the Spirit: joy, peace, patience, love, and etc. The "graces of the Spirit," probably do more to protect us from sin than we can imagine or know. Owen discusses this in the book, but he focuses more, at least that is how I felt, on the direct tactics/strategy.
It may have been my own heart that created this flaw, but in any event I loved this book. I will be rereading it until I die....more
"The unity of the world of mankind is dissolved; one is distracted from another, each following their own private inclinations and inordinate affectio"The unity of the world of mankind is dissolved; one is distracted from another, each following their own private inclinations and inordinate affections, which is the poison of enmity, and seed of all discord." p. 3
"The first principles of love would have made all men's actions and courses flow into one ocean of divine glory and mutual edification ... But self-love has turned all the channels backward towards itself." p. 4
"Now, the Lord Jesus having redeemed lost man and repaired his ruins, makes up this breach, especially restoring this fundamental ordinance of our creation and uniting men again to God and to one another. Therefore He is our peace; He hath removed the seeds of discord between God and man, and between man and man." p. 4
This book was magnificent. It said nothing so difficult to understand (in our minds) and yet it said something that changes lives, brings peace, and turns our hearts to God.
In explaining the concept of Christian love Mr. Binning always maintained his focus on Jesus Christ, on who He is and what He did. The Gospel was never far from the picture because it was the picture. (Christian love flows from the Gospel because Christ is the Gospel).
Binning knew the roots of true love and he found these roots in Christ alone. I will be rereading this book for the rest of my life, especially since I am so unfaithful to love God and then to love my neighbor. It is a healthy antidote to my pride.
This will be a helpful resource in my life. Tripp knows the heart and uses God's word with skill.
I did wince a couple times when I felt Tripp was perhThis will be a helpful resource in my life. Tripp knows the heart and uses God's word with skill.
I did wince a couple times when I felt Tripp was perhaps not being as clear on certain aspects, such as how God relates to love, and some might be led to believe he was saying something he was not, but I think the rest of the book makes clear the true relation of love to God (i.e. that God is love, is from God, and must not be equated with being God). But, idk, I'm pretty sensitive to things like that, and perhaps a little too sensitive, so I'm not altogether certain how valid my criticism is.
All in all, a really useful book. A challenging book, too, to my own heart (I think, to anyone's heart), especially in relation to being humble with the use of truth....more