I appreciate his grace toward those who disagree with his views. I also really appreciate his desire to take the Bible seriously, to live by it.
I do tI appreciate his grace toward those who disagree with his views. I also really appreciate his desire to take the Bible seriously, to live by it.
I do think his view on Luke and Paul and the idea that their views on the Spirit were "different" yet "complementary," needs to be more clearly expressed. Most of the time it seemed like this meant, in reality, that their views really were different, and not completely complementary or compatible....more
This is a very short treatment of The Roots of Evil. (The book is short too, so it works on two levels.... get it?) :P
The impetus of the book is "TheThis is a very short treatment of The Roots of Evil. (The book is short too, so it works on two levels.... get it?) :P
The impetus of the book is "The Dilemma of Evil." Especially when thinking about the presence of evil and a good, and sovereign God.
So the first reality that Geisler tackles is the "Philosophical Options Concerning Evil." And then the "Philosophical Options Concerning God." He then moves onto "The Theistic Explanation of Evil." All of these chapters were quite good and helpful. He shows the impotency of those explanations for evil that do not include both the reality of evil and the reality of the true and good and sovereign God of Christianity.
It was, however, the next chapter "Moral Options: The Worlds That Might Have Been," where he stumbled a bit.
You see, Geisler's view is similar to C.S. Lewis' in that he sees "Free Choice" as reason enough for the reality of evil to be justified. However, this is not a sound argument. It logically does away with the absolute sovereignty of God, in essence it makes for a weaker God, a God who is somewhat powerless to stop evil from occurring, because man has a kind of ultimate "Free Choice." And God was willing to give man this kind of ultimate "Free Choice," even though God knew what would happen, because this "Free Choice" is the only condition by which real love can be in operation between God's creatures (humans) and Himself.
But this is not a necessary condition. Ultimate "Free Choice" is not a necessary condition for real love to operate between God and men. What is necessary is that men have free or independent wills, personal wills, wills identifiable as theirs, as being possessed by them. Yet, this possession does not necessitate ultimate "Free Choice." A thing can be possessed, yet not be, ultimately, under one's control.
So my will is my own, and mine alone, yet it is God who has made me and given me my will and is able to so sovereignly work as too determine my will. Too work with me as with clay. It is even more apt to say He has created the clay with which He works. He created my will in eternity past.
So now it is not ultimate "Free Choice" that justifies the reality of evil. But the one thing that can and does show that the reality of evil is justified is the cross of Jesus Christ, God the Son.
God has not gone untouched by evil. He has even died to destroy it, to conquer it. He has paid the highest price, the price that no other one could ever pay (no matter how long in hell). The Infinite One became finite and died the infinite death, so that evil could be destroyed in His people.
"In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He has loved us and sent His Son."
So now it is the cross of Christ that shows God is just and true and righteous altogether even with the presence of evil. Evil happened so that God could die a cursed death, on a tree, and show His infinite worth to all of His creation and especially to His chosen people.
This is His Story, we are but the characters. But we are real characters with identifiably free wills.
Idk, this is my take on it, at this time. At any event, I know the only thing that can show God to be good and holy and true and sovereign is the cross of Christ, nothing else does it....more
I do disagree with some of the authors' conclusions (like egalitarianism et. al.), but their desire to take us deeper and tThis book was very helpful.
I do disagree with some of the authors' conclusions (like egalitarianism et. al.), but their desire to take us deeper and to be more faithful in how we go about interpreting God's word was great....more
Some of her insights into the "Prosperity Gospel" are really good, too. Still, I was expecting more. IReally good, as far as a historical survey goes.
Some of her insights into the "Prosperity Gospel" are really good, too. Still, I was expecting more. I guess I thought there would be more detail into the lives of some of the BIG-time preachers/bishops/first ladies/prophets/priests/priestesses (and etc.).
I hate the "Prosperity Gospel," though, hate it. It legitimizes greed, vanity, and self-worship. Jesus, apparently, died and rose again so we could live the American Dream... but I don't want go to heaven if God isn't there!
Nevertheless, different people have different reasons for falling under its spell. Many people just want to escape the suffering in their lives. But for the preachers and many others, I feel only anger and frustration....more
I needed this book. And I am so thankful for this book.
Helen writes about her experiences with learning how to live in holiness before God, to trust iI needed this book. And I am so thankful for this book.
Helen writes about her experiences with learning how to live in holiness before God, to trust in Him and to obey Him. Implicitly, she agrees with Christian Hedonists the world over, if we seek to obey our LORD and to follow Him we will find our peace and our joy. She does not seem to connect the two experiences explicitly, but she does reveal the connection implicitly.
This is what I really treasured about this book: her focus on holiness, on being obedient, on taking up our cross daily, on abiding in the LORD, abiding in His commands, because here we can find our peace, our joy, and we will bring delight to our Father in heaven, and His delight will overflow into us. Abiding in the LORD...
The continuous call to give up our desires, both wrong desires and inordinate desires or desires that are not necessarily bad, but that God desires to take us a different way. In all our ways we must follow Him wherever He would take us. We must be open to being "jars of clay," being moulded by the Potter into useful vessels, "effectual" vessels, vessels of honor and glory and beauty. We have this power in jars of clay. What an amazingly beautiful picture of what it means to be a child of God. God in us, God working through His little ones, being shaped by His hands, His loving and caring hands.
There was one slight issue, and that is that Helen seemed to be promoting the idea that we can achieve a sort of perfect holiness on this earth, completely blameless. However, I think this is misguided and wrong. I think that even in our most holy acts we still have a heart that resides in us with desires contrary to our main desire to be holy as He is holy. But that is the old man, the old heart in us. So we are already blameless, because we have been made new creations, but we are also not completely blameless, because the old heart is still with us. It's the already-not-yet idea and she seemed to want to say that the not-yet could be fulfilled during our lifetimes on earth rather than when we die and go to heaven (or when Jesus returns).
Anyway, I am so thankful for this book. She makes Christianity come alive, because she has lived it....more
Not as good as I was hoping it'd be. He has an open-theistic view of reality, and his view on scripture was a little too open, I thought, so these twoNot as good as I was hoping it'd be. He has an open-theistic view of reality, and his view on scripture was a little too open, I thought, so these two beliefs affect how he sees certain things. He could have gone a lot deeper too (perhaps his views also affected how deeply he saw/sees).
But I was still thankful for his attempt to see certain things about scientific knowledge (or theories) in light of God's word, especially in respect to the Trinity. ...more
I was kind of disappointed by this book. My expectations were higher (or perhaps just different).
The part of the book that really is good is the focusI was kind of disappointed by this book. My expectations were higher (or perhaps just different).
The part of the book that really is good is the focus on the natural realm, on the amazing wonders of the part of creation we can experience with our senses and/or discover via mathematics. Really cool! And it makes one want to jump up and say, "Amen!" It is true! And it is beautiful! And it is good!
But Giberson is a scientist, trained in the method, raised in the jello of secular teaching, curdled in the words of brilliant, but falsifiable (yes, the wizards themselves) wizards of knowledge.
And I don't think he has come from out of the oven untouched.
(All I'm saying here is that I think he has been led to give up on some things he need not give up on and has embraced some things he shouldn't embrace, I'm just saying it in a, well, different way).
I'm not arguing for a less-informed Christianity, but I am arguing for a more faithful Christianity, more faithful to the word of God, which is everlasting, and less faithful to scientific models, which seem to be upturned every thousand years or more often (of course, one could argue, but I think somewhat less equally, because of the nature of the revelation, that certain theological viewpoints have been upturned, and etc., but the ground is different. The revelations are different in kind).
I do believe in a kind of progressive natural revelation, a kind of progressive building-up of human knowledge, but there are limits, massive limits, and I don't think Giberson has given enough weight to the limits of what we can know and how well we can know it through human reasoning (i.e. the scientific method).
Am I making sense? Arghh!
I think Giberson's take on creation is flawed, dramatically so, because he seems not to deal with the fall.
God said it was good. But the realm we live in is not that same realm. It was good, but then the writer of Genesis, who I'll presume was originally Moses, said that something happened, and Man fell, and creation became cursed, a curse was placed upon it by its Creator. And this has effected, to some degree and another, everything in creation. Moses seems to suggest there was a time when death was not. But Giberson seems to disagree (because of what modern science is saying).
So that was a disappointment for me, because I think that science should have no qualms with God's word or vice versa. But, in truth, what many scientists are doing these days is not scientific work as much as it is detective work. Chesterton said this a hundred years ago. And I think we need to keep that in mind, because if we don't we can turn science into our primary and absolute oracle, but Christians have to maintain God's word as their primary and absolute oracle even as we attempt to learn more about God's creation through natural revelation using our God-given powers of reasoning and fact-finding.
In any event, I don't think Giberson's view of creation is complete and I think it is flawed in that it seems to disregard the fall (Giberson's account goes beyond the 6 days of creation, both explicitly and implicitly). Note: I hear he's writing a book on Adam, so maybe I'll read that when it comes out.
I think if we are to believe in the incarnation and resurrection of God in Christ, then I think there's room for us to be more flexible and more amenable to how the created, explorable realm, came into being (but not as flexible in regards to, say, the fall and the curse). Science, after all, would tell us that man cannot be resurrected. Certainly, it wouldn't be able to explain the incarnation. Nor would it give us any reason why we would need a Saviour (the scientific method has no means to suggest a need for a Saviour, its scope is more limited, but often men try to lift the scientific method into the place of a Saviour and in so doing they betray their pink-polka-dot underwear).
Lastly, right at the end, Giberson basically says that love is the reason. Love is the purpose:
"Our religious and our scientific understandings of the world have at last converged on the importance of love. Perhaps we can now affirm that this is the purpose for which God called the Creation into existence and guided it into its present reality."
But that's not what the Bible says. The Bible says Jesus is the reason. God in Christ is the purpose. And God shows in Christ that He is love! Yes! But it also shows that He is holy and pure, righteous. He is just and merciful, He is lovely. So it's not love, it's Jesus! :)
Anyway, perhaps we could sum up my review of Giberson's book by saying that he needed to have a bit more of the Pastoral-theological view and a bit less of the scientific view to have a more, I believe, truthful and reality-ringing description of creation.
Nevertheless, I appreciate his desire to see our reality as it is, even if I think he is not seeing it as clearly as he could. I desire this too and I, too, struggle to know at times how to read scripture and especially in relation to what the world is saying, in which some things the world sees pretty clearly and other things not so much, so I still think the word has to be our starting and along-the-way and ending points.
And, for all my criticisms here, I am thankful he (Giberson) has a desire to follow Jesus, and that he believes in Him,
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.
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?
Sometimes his writing wasn't very clear or easily understood, but the message comes through still. And it was a challenging read, as books of Jesus usSometimes his writing wasn't very clear or easily understood, but the message comes through still. And it was a challenging read, as books of Jesus usually are! ...more