What are spiritual waves and why should we surf them? How does a pastor equate his personal vision for change in the church with God's own purposes an...moreWhat are spiritual waves and why should we surf them? How does a pastor equate his personal vision for change in the church with God's own purposes and authority? These and many other manipulative and pragmatic (some moderately helpful) ideas are to be found here.(less)
This is Pastor Mark Driscoll's debut and it's still good in my mind, there's a lot to thinking about here for traditional and emergent churches alike....moreThis is Pastor Mark Driscoll's debut and it's still good in my mind, there's a lot to thinking about here for traditional and emergent churches alike. Traditional churches tend to avoid selling out, but they don't reach out and far too many emerging/emergent/contemporary churches have reached out and sold out, losing hold of the truth about sin and salvation in order to extend their reach. Christians should be concerned with evangelizing the unbelieving people around them. The tension is the same one Jesus commended to us, to be "in the world, but not of it". Driscoll's book seeks to navigate that tension in the context of post-modern urban environments, you may not agree with him everywhere, but this book will help you think through some questions about loving your neighber and loving God that you may not have thought of before. I highly recommend this book to you.(less)
This book exposes the silliness of futurist end-times prognosticators like Hal Lindsey, Tim Lahaye, and Harold Camping, in fact having read it in the...moreThis book exposes the silliness of futurist end-times prognosticators like Hal Lindsey, Tim Lahaye, and Harold Camping, in fact having read it in the wake of Campings misguided May 21st rapture prediction and seeing the author's critique of Camping's past 1994 prediction it just seemed really timely. I also read this along with Gary DeMar's shorter book made for the public at large "End Times Fiction". What I like about the way Gary writes is that he is not overly dogmatic where Scripture is unclear, for example he provides several plausible options for the identity of "the beast" and "the man of lawlessness", admitting that while it definitely would have been clear to its original audience it is not plain to us, he provides a solid Biblical basis for each of the options put forth and leaves it open. DeMar is the good kind of biblicist in that he is willing to follow the logic of the Bible wherever it goes and he knows that to read the Bible literally means also to read it figuratively when figurative language is being used as in the prophetic books.
DeMar wants readers of the Bible to pay attention to the "time-texts" in the prophetic literature of the Bible. When the Bible says something is going to happen "quickly", "soon", "near", within a generation or that an event is "at hand", it does not mean thousands of years off. Much of the prophetic expectation in books like Revelation and in 1 and 2 Thessalonians points to a near fulfillment, namely, the day of the Lord is the coming judgment of national Israel in 70 A.D. during the siege of Jerusalem, that is what Matthew 24 speaks of and that ordeal fits within the historical context of the original audience of Scripture.
DeMar criticizes those who want to read newspaper headlines into the Scripture rather than let the Bible be its own interpreter. What I also appreciate about DeMar is that he is not one of those preterists who is simply an ancient headlines exegete, you will find a lot of Josephus' writings quoted in this book but DeMar shows from the Old Testament how the expectation of judgment on Israel and Jesus own words about the desolation and destruction of the temple are best understood as being completed in 70 A.D.
This book is packed with Scripture references and I plan to go through it again and mark up my Bible with some of those cross-references, this book has also spurred me to read through the complete works of Josephus to better understand the 1st century context that the New Testament was written in, particularly to read of Josephus account of the siege of Jerusalem, since he was actually present when it occurred. This book has also piqued my interest in understanding eschatology and the prophetic texts of Scripture and in so doing has left me with more questions than I started out with, but it also answered quite a few along the way, which makes it an all around good read.(less)
Is there a third way between the traditional way of doing church and the emerging church? Jim Belcher thinks so and he suggests that what all Christia...moreIs there a third way between the traditional way of doing church and the emerging church? Jim Belcher thinks so and he suggests that what all Christians have in common is "The Great Tradition" or what C.S. Lewis referred to as "Mere Christianity", that is, the Trinitarian life, the sinless death of Christ for sinners, belief in the historical bodily resurrection of Jesus and the hope of a new world to come. These are the essentials that tie the various traditions of orthodox Christianity together. Jim Belcher recounts his past as an emergent pastor who decided that he wanted something deeper for himself and the people he lead, something with roots in the past but that was also relevant to today. His search for this kind of church is chronicled here.(less)
Some of the essays in this book were rad, some were not bad, others were a tad bad. This is one of those inspirational books that can help get you fir...moreSome of the essays in this book were rad, some were not bad, others were a tad bad. This is one of those inspirational books that can help get you fired up to preach and give some helpful pointers along the way.(less)