I absolutely loved this book. Bob Goff gives us tiny glimpses into a life that is all about actually doing things or more specifically doing love, insI absolutely loved this book. Bob Goff gives us tiny glimpses into a life that is all about actually doing things or more specifically doing love, instead of what so many Christians do which is talk and throw scriptures around. He does it all with boldness and a wicked sense of humour. Bob is a little crazy. Case in point: he left his phonenumber at the end of the book, in case anyone wants to call for a chat. Books like this point out that there's so much more to life than most Christian's make of it. I had a blast reading this, but in the end the point of this book is to have a blast living it. That's a challenge I'd be happy (if a little terrified) to meet. ...more
An open and honest look at Christianity and pain, through the life of Job. It takes some time to read, but in doing so it's easier to take in some ofAn open and honest look at Christianity and pain, through the life of Job. It takes some time to read, but in doing so it's easier to take in some of the valuable things that are in this book. Mike Mason doesn't skirt around some of the difficult questions and moments in life. The book doesn't have all the answers, but it isn't afraid to ask the questions. I learned a lot from reading it. ...more
I found first four chapters of the book, which deal with the parable of the sower, to be very insightful. Definitely some food for thought3.5 stars.
I found first four chapters of the book, which deal with the parable of the sower, to be very insightful. Definitely some food for thought there.
The second part of the book deals with the "fruits of the Spirit" as described in Galatians. Each chapter dealing with a specific fruit. This part was somewhat dissapointing. Part of this was because there was so much repition when describing these fruits. Too many descriptions were repeated in each new chapter, making the descriptions for Love, Joy, Humility, et al seem too similar.
Another problem I had was that when summarized you could get the idea that to be a good and fruitful christian, one should be a bland, always smily, soft, insipid, personality of acupcake type of person. Maybe I'm exaggerating,then again near the end of the book Keller describes being a fruitful and godly christian as being a gentleman. A gentleman in the way of always being punctual, well spoken and all the other stereotypes we think of with regard to the perfect gentleman. An interpretation I frankly found to be ridiculous. It helped to consider the times in which Keller wrote this, but still...
As a general description of what "fruits of the Spirit" could mean in the Christian life, this was an okay book. But merely okay, and I also felt that Keller completely avoided some of the harder and deeper questions. For example "Peace" as a fruit was interpreted as Christians always seeking peace, and trying to make peace. Basically by being quiet and nice and avoiding conflict. But sometimes conflict is necessary, and sometimes the only way to reach peace is by first going to war (in the case of injustice for example.) But Keller doesn't go that deep.
All that said, I still give the book 3.5 stars. The chapters dealing with parable of the sower really were good and I'm glad I read the book for that part alone, and even some of the later chapters (though a bit of a let down) did offer some food or should I say fruit for thought. ...more
I loved this book. Don's stories, to me, are so very recognisable. Here finally is a christian who talks about his experiences and struggles in a langI loved this book. Don's stories, to me, are so very recognisable. Here finally is a christian who talks about his experiences and struggles in a language I can understand. Without getting bogged down by the so often seeming obligatory christian theories, expressions or dogma.
The book was also laugh out loud funny at times. My pastor recommended it to me, because he said he felt I would relate, which I very much did. Not sure that's a good thing, it could just mean that I too am crazy. As it is I've chosen to take it that I'm not crazy for struggling, for wrestling and engaging in my faith without having any pat answers.
An authentic and refreshing book that I will be reading again and now stands proudly on my favourites shelf. ...more
This book in no way answers the question posed in it's title. In fact that more I read it the more I thought it veered away from it. Nevertheless I foThis book in no way answers the question posed in it's title. In fact that more I read it the more I thought it veered away from it. Nevertheless I found it be a very moving book that provided a lot of food for thought.
The book has 10 chapters and each is divided in 2 parts. The first part introduces the setting and situation. Mumbai during the 2008 terrorist attacks. An AA meeting in Chicago. China, the Middle East, and Cambridge to name a few. Yancey shares the stories of people he meets. From members of the underground church in China to professional sex-workers in the United States.
The people, their stories, like the settings are varied. But if they have something in common, initially it seems to be struggle. The risk or the experience of torture, battling addictions, witnesses of terrorist attacks, and victim's of trafficking, or people trying to find life in a confining religious environment.
What this diverse group of people also have in common is their faith. How do you believe in God, in Jesus, in the saving power of grace in the daily reality that includes poverty and abuse? It's a question many christians wrestle with, who by initial comparison, don't seem to have half the troubles these people face. Yet here are people whose faith continues to blossom in the harshest of environments.
It's inspiring stuff. It's real, gritty, beautiful and without easy answers. These stories really got to me. Had me wanting to meet the people behind them. Made me want to learn more.
The other half of each chapter is a sermon that Yancey gave, who was invited as a speaker at these places. These parts of the chapter were hit and miss for me. Some of the sermons too were moving. Others for me were bland, and made me want to go back and learn more about the people, my fellow christian brothers and sisters.
All together it's a powerful book, not so much because of the sermons but because of the people. It doesn't answer the main question, at least not for me. This books conjures an image of flowers blooming in the desert. Christianity in the 21st century isn't dead, and God isn't useless or obsolete. No matter how harsh the environment, how fierce the challenges of mondern day life, how great our unbelief, nothing can snuff out the grace that wells up springs in the desert and brings up flowers out of stone. ...more