3.5 MacArthur's work is good, and the connection he draws between Creation, the Fall, and Redemption is the strongest point in the book. However, he do3.5 MacArthur's work is good, and the connection he draws between Creation, the Fall, and Redemption is the strongest point in the book. However, he does not interact sufficiently with other viewpoints (e.g., gap theory, day-age, etc.) before concluding they are incorrect and dismissing them. While I would affirm his conclusions, the book itself tries so hard to avoid becoming overly technical that it presents other viewpoints as mere straw men. In light of that, the presentation of a literal, six-day work of Creation is so-so, lacking the depth necessary to reach some of the conclusions MacArthur assumes. (This "so-so" rating was boosted, however, by the second half of the book, where he shows the importance of relating one's view of Creation to the entrance of sin and the promise of redemption).
Some of the technical depth to support this particular viewpoint can be found in "Coming To Grips With Genesis" (Terry Mortenson, ed.). ...more
This book would be so much better if the broad, sweeping claims of apostasy and problems with other viewpoinDifficult to assign a rating for this one.
This book would be so much better if the broad, sweeping claims of apostasy and problems with other viewpoints were supported with solid evidence. I know Ham is capable of expanding on his positions, and that this little volume is not intended to be a technical discussion of problems with Darwin or interpretations of Genesis 1-11 (a "recommended reading" list is provided, which is helpful). However, since many of Ham's claims are "technical" in nature -- in the sense that they dismiss other viewpoints and claims made by secular scientists generally -- he really NEEDS to address them on a technical level, or he comes across looking like he's interacting with straw men.
Nonetheless, the issues and concerns he raises are important, and if this book is recognized as a primer on the crucial distinction between observational and historical science and used as a starting point to begin further investigation of the evidence, the book is worth a read....more
As a father, I love the opportunity to introduce my kids to such a significant individual and event inHard to write a review for something like this.
As a father, I love the opportunity to introduce my kids to such a significant individual and event in the history of the church -- and in light of that, the review should be much higher. I've had conversations with my kids about the Reformation, Luther's theology, the state of the Medieval Church, etc., that I can't imagine having the opportunity to discuss otherwise. And my 9-year-old probably knows more about the Reformation having read this little historical fiction book than about 90% of American church-goers, so kudos to the Jacksons for recognizing that it is important to know something about one's heritage.
As a professor of Theology, there is so much left out and so much imported -- and in light of this, the review should be lower. (We could argue all day, however, about how much is appropriate for the target audience -- and how much of the "imported" material is innocuous in itself, and serves to capture the interest of a child. And this is precisely why this series of books is so difficult to "rate").
As a reader, the book is entertaining, but not much happens. Granted, the authors were limited by a small window to glimpse into the events surrounding the Diet of Worms (the name of which sparked yet another interesting conversation with the kids), and given these limitations, there is only so much they could do. I'd prefer the book be slightly slow-paced in spots and stick to the general flow of history than to see the authors bring in battles, goblins, and UFOs in an effort to "spice up" the story.
This is one of the times I've wished GoodReads let me add an extra half-star to the rating. I can't justify going up to 4 stars, but 3 doesn't seem quite enough. ...more
In the first third of this book, I was anticipating giving it four stars and pointing out that it could use some editing in places where the story draIn the first third of this book, I was anticipating giving it four stars and pointing out that it could use some editing in places where the story drags or appears to vanish altogether. However, the remainder of the book was so good that it made up for this and I chose to give it the 5th star. Once we finish "The Hobbit," this will likely be our next "Family Read-Aloud" book -- I suspect my kids will love it....more
Frank and lucid analysis of several aspects of the current debate on Inerrancy. Particularly helpful in locating the current discussion in the largerFrank and lucid analysis of several aspects of the current debate on Inerrancy. Particularly helpful in locating the current discussion in the larger historical setting since the end of the 19th Century. Helpful in presenting the viewpoints of a number of figures in the debate (Pinnock, Ehrman, Enns, Sparks, Vanhoozer, McGowan, Grenz, McLaren, Bock, Webb).
While the book is helpful in general, there are two specific criticisms that keep me from making it required reading for an college elective on Biblical Authority and Inerrancy.
(1) The book is repetitious to the point of being tedious. This seems very unusual, given Geisler's other works. But each chapter reads like it was prepared in isolation of all the others (which, perhaps, was the case, if each began as an independent paper or lecture). In this sense, the book cries out for editing, to make it a unified work. By the time I finished reading, I felt like I had read about Brunner's illustration about the old RCA ad describing "his master's voice" and the point about inerrant phone books a dozen times.
(2) Geisler is perfectly suited to explain the rationale behind the ICBI statement and its accompanying documents, and one of the book's strengths is the way it works through the statement, its relationship to ETS, and its presentation of an orthodox view of Scripture. In this regard, I have no criticism. However, the work frequently reads like an argument to oust Pinnock (et al) from ETS, rather than a a defense of "the accuracy of Scripture" (which is the purpose expressed in the title of the book). Granted, much of what Geisler says in this regard probably grows out of the controversies surrounding Gundry, Pinnock (et al) in regard to the ETS doctrinal statement, so this is understandable. However, for the purposes of this book, it is odd that it often seems that the primary concern is that Pinnock, Enns, and others have disagreed with the ETS doctrinal statement and the ICBI statement rather than with an orthodox view of Scripture. While Geisler does make the case that ICBI does, indeed, adequately represent orthodoxy, the frequent appeal to the specific wording of the statement itself comes across as if its authority is in itself, rather than its representation of apostolic teaching. As was the case with the previous concern, this issue would be resolved by better editing -- it's not that Geisler's logic is faulty, but the presentation could be more tidy....more
One of the very rare instances where the movie ("Home") was better than the book (thanks to a great deal of editing and a complete re-working of the eOne of the very rare instances where the movie ("Home") was better than the book (thanks to a great deal of editing and a complete re-working of the ending).
Additionally, the author's flirtation with profanity was entirely out of place in a book marketed for children. Being written entirely in the form of an essay by a child, the author acknowledges the inappropriateness of foul language -- but proceeds to use it anyway, mockingly. This typically occurs when the character narrating the story uses profanity, but immediately follows it with a parenthetical "pardon my language." The frequency with which this gag occurs in the story simply mocks the reader who would find this objectionable. (The author doesn't gain any points later in the story when he brings in a young character whose use of profanity is so frequent that the narrator simply replaces all the expletives with the word "bleep" or "bleeping"). Admittedly, I am increasingly finding myself in the minority when it comes to this concern, but I found the satirical use of profanity offensive, and it was one of the reasons I did not pass this book along to my children (the other reason being that the middle section of the book was nothing but tedious)....more
A very pleasant surprise! Up to this point, the only book I had read by Avi was "Ragweed," which was painful. I read "Charlotte Doyle" hoping to findA very pleasant surprise! Up to this point, the only book I had read by Avi was "Ragweed," which was painful. I read "Charlotte Doyle" hoping to find a book to add to my daughter's "Summer Reading Challenge" list -- and I'm happy to report that this was the kind of well-plotted historical fiction with well-developed characters that I've heard Avi is capable of producing. I've now concluded that "Charlotte Doyle" must have been written by the true Avi, while "Ragweed" seems to be the product of Bizarro-Avi. ...more