Stephen Nichols writes with wit, wisdom, and knowledge. You will find yourself laughing aloud and soon after shaking your head at the truth of his insStephen Nichols writes with wit, wisdom, and knowledge. You will find yourself laughing aloud and soon after shaking your head at the truth of his insight. His style is easy to follow. His information is accurate. He relates information in such a way that you can imagine yourself in the era he discusses without ever having been there. But much more importantly, he helps you understand the era… even our own.
Book thesis: This book attempts to draw attention to the explicit ways cultural forces have shaped the identity of the American evangelical Jesus.
His thesis is thoroughly supported throughout the book—eight chapters each delve into a different era, with only slight overlap between three chapters, but even so the area he addresses is always unique and offers a broad spectrum through which to view the cultural climate. Nichols provides great insight in discerning the cultural impact on Evangelical Christian understanding of the person of Jesus and calls Christians to think deeply on the person of Christ and restore him to his true position: Lord, not logo. He traces history so well that one can follow cultural trends and begin to say, “Oh… so that’s where that idea came from!” Like blonde Jesus. Or anti-establishment Jesus. The Puritans, the Founders, the Colonial frontiersmen, the Victorians, the Liberal-Conservative (theologically) era, contemporary Christian music, Jesus in the cinema, WWJD and t-shirts, and politics—Nichols covers all of these in depth, drawing undeniable connections between circumstances that occurred and prevalent mindsets of the day. There is no doubt you will walk away from this book with a firm grasp on how Jesus has been perceived throughout cultures, but more importantly you will begin to see how your culture has been affecting your perception of Jesus and you can start to evaluate what is true to Christ and what you have unwittingly tagged him with.
This book will help you understand Christ better. ...more
Tony Reinke sets out with the presupposition that Scripture is the Word of God. An obvious starting place for Evangelical Christians. Throughout the bTony Reinke sets out with the presupposition that Scripture is the Word of God. An obvious starting place for Evangelical Christians. Throughout the book, Reinke seeks to show how the light of Christ and the Bible inform our reading of all other literature.
Thesis: By the light of Scripture do we read and glean truth, goodness, and beauty from other books.
The book is broken into two sections: 1 – A Theology of Books and Reading 2 – Some Practical Advice on Book Reading The first section substantiates the claim that the Bible has a lot to say about what/why we read. God himself wrote down the law, given to Moses to be heeded by Israel. All truth and goodness and beauty can be ascribed to God the true, good, and beautiful one. These things can be found even in non-Christian literature and fictitious works. The second section really speaks for itself. It describes how to choose which books to read. It describes how to read the books you choose for all they are worth. It shows how to annotate books, engaging them with your mind for the purpose of edification, not checking it off a list. Furthermore, Reinke gives practical advice on encouraging others to read, and on beginning a book group. He concludes the section with Five Marks of a Healthy Book Reader which are extremely helpful in and of themselves as well as an effective way to close out the book.
All in all, Reinke’s thesis is supported thoroughly throughout the book. This book, about reading books, is one of the best books I have read in quite some time—and it shows me how to read other books better! I full-heartedly recommend this book to any Christian who ever plans to read another book. Make this one the next one to read because I am certain it will greatly affect every one after it. ...more
One of the most helpful books I have read regarding Christian sanctification and struggle with sin. This definitely belongs on the best books of the yOne of the most helpful books I have read regarding Christian sanctification and struggle with sin. This definitely belongs on the best books of the year list. Russell D. Moore writes with a vivid style that makes it seem as though you yourself are thinking the thoughts as he writes. If sin and sanctification were a chess match, Moore does more than show you a few possible moves; he takes every piece and explains it in such a way that you realize that for years you have been playing Mancala and calling it Chess. From the first several pages to the last paragraph, Tempted and Tried offers a paradigm shift much needed in the Believer's pursuit of holiness.
Moore delves in by essentially addressing the question: Why should I care? And if the first chapter didn't answer it to your standard, the second certainly will. He moves then to three base areas as seen in the synoptics' account of Jesus' temptation by Satan 1. Bread -- needs of the appetites 2. Temple -- seeking security in circumstances 3. Kingdom -- wanting ease and peace without war After these brilliant expositions, Moore gives hope that is all too oft forgot in the Christian life.
Throughout the entire book, Christ is exalted and Satan is exposed... and so are we.
I encourage all who claim to follow Christ to read this book as soon as your hands are free. And at that, give a copy to a friend as well. I imagine that you will want to return to the book again sometime down the road, and refresh yourself with the words with which Moore carefully uses to draw the Christian into more profound dependence upon Christ, the One who was tempted and tried on our behalf....more
"The purpose of theology is doxology." -- Scott J. Hafemann
This is one of the most helpful books I have read in a long while. Precise in meaning, broa"The purpose of theology is doxology." -- Scott J. Hafemann
This is one of the most helpful books I have read in a long while. Precise in meaning, broadening in vision, provoking in thought. How are we to view the 66 books contained in the Bible as one continuous flow of thought from the revelatory God? Sure... redemptive history seems the most obvious answer, but isn't there more to it than that? Is that the only thing that unifies the Word of God? Hafemann and House think not--they've edited this book compiling two essays of their own with essays from other leading scholars:
Hafemann on the covenant relationship Schreiner on the commands of God Thielman on the atonement Dempster on the servant of the Lord House on the day of the Lord Martens on the people of God Ciampa on the history of redemption
Readers will not agree with every assertion made in the book, but the evidence contained therein will force such a reader to substantiate their own claims. Very helpful read, and necessary for an engaging theological mind....more
A raw and rugged expression of the Christian faith. Backing away from overused cliches and euphemisms, George connects with contemporary culture in aA raw and rugged expression of the Christian faith. Backing away from overused cliches and euphemisms, George connects with contemporary culture in a way that gives God reverence and gives society relevance. An excellent writer that is able to effectively illustrate a portrait of these essentials of the faith effortlessly. Not the deepest read in the world, but one well worth anyone's time. It vividly projects Christianity in unexpected ways. Pick it up today....more
Engages with contemporary ideals of church institutional and non-institutional and provides a basis for a bDeals with the essence of the local church.
Engages with contemporary ideals of church institutional and non-institutional and provides a basis for a biblical church. Doesn't simply deal with theory, however, but portrays it in such a way that you think to yourself, "Yeah... this could actually be done."
It is not diametrically opposed to the institutional church as many emerging church persons and the emergent church movement is, but is not up in arms against those who are seeking a more fluid church style to relate to culture. It takes neither side, in fact, but handles the biblical text in such a way that makes us question: are we really doing what the Bible has taught us to do, or are we relying too much on tradition?
Probably the most substantial book in forming my questions about the local church, guiding me to ask what is the best way to be a biblically based church?...more
Fantastic book that rediscovers the meaning of following Jesus Christ. Though the author's death may seem contrary to one of his chapters at first glaFantastic book that rediscovers the meaning of following Jesus Christ. Though the author's death may seem contrary to one of his chapters at first glance, it is still a good read well worth anyone's time. Regarding the chapter in question, one should not look at the individual responsibility of submission to authorities, but of the Christian's responsibility to provide sanctuary for the captive and 'innocent'. Throughout the read, the reader may find themselves disagreeing with Bonhoeffer at the beginning of the chapter because he appears to take an extreme and the pendulum swings to the opposite extreme, but by the end, the pendulums rests comfortably in the center of the argument and they will likely find themselves understanding exactly what it is he saying. Of course... discernment is always necessary....more