Christianity gets a lot of bad press, and with there still being so many bigots and self-serving nasties among those who call themselves Christians, aChristianity gets a lot of bad press, and with there still being so many bigots and self-serving nasties among those who call themselves Christians, along with the dreadful fundamentalists who are full of hatred for anybody unlike themselves, it's easy to understand why so many people are either scathingly dismissive of the religion or simply put it into a box labelled 'stupid' (or some such). This book, however, reminds us of the true goodness of the man Jesus Christ, and how believers who are truly good of heart are inspired by him to help others. You don't have to have any interest in religion to acknowledge that Corrie ten Boom and her family had a faith that led them to be remarkable.
In Corrie's mind her father and sister were saints - and who's to say that they weren't. For herself, she struggled often with anger, hatred, bitterness and despair. Who can blame her? She lived through the Nazi occupation of her homeland, Holland. She and her family sheltered Jews. They were betrayed by a German they had taken into their home. She and her sister were imprisoned in a labour camp, and then taken to Ravensbruck when the Allies invaded Europe. The horrors are described in this book. But also described is the faith that led them to talk always of love and forgiveness. And after the war, Corrie (already in her fifites, and her sister having died in Ravensbruck) established a rehabilitation home for victims of concentration camps, and a home for refugees on the site of a former concentration camp. Added to this she toured the world and wrote books, and was active in this work for another 30 years.
The message is simple - give up hatred and bitterness.
This is an excellent book for religious and non-religious alike....more
To be honest, I haven't even read one page. I'm not drawn to it - historical novels rarely make it onto my reading list. The few paragraphs I've looked at are well-written however, and the dialogue is natural, so I expect it would be very readable....more
It's interesting to read the two pages in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century that describe this book and how the writers believe it changedIt's interesting to read the two pages in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century that describe this book and how the writers believe it changed the century. Perhaps it did. I can see that it may have led to great moments of Christians actually asking themselves if they were living the life that Jesus modelled. And it could well have led to some amazing changes in many churches.
It's sad that these things don't last. It's rather like the momentary great outpourings we have of compassion (and aid) for the starving, for refugees, for those affected by catastrophes, for endangered animals, etc. etc., and the often calamitous effect well-meaning 'celebrities' can have (I've just been looking up Live Aid - some readers will remember that - and ...more
Once I got this book out of the library, and began looking through it, I realised that I'd done the same thing when I was doing my Theology degree. ItOnce I got this book out of the library, and began looking through it, I realised that I'd done the same thing when I was doing my Theology degree. It left me with the same impression now. This book appears thorough and very well researched. The author has nice things to say about people, no matter how "wrong" they may be in their beliefs, so the book comes across as well-meaning. Unfortunately it feeds into the Us and Them mentality, and it fosters a continuing refusal to see the Bible as anything other than inerrant. I still can't understand what that terrible need is, nor the hoops people jump through in order to try and show that the contradictions in the Bible aren't contradictory....more
My plan is to read, or rather to peruse, all the 100 books detailed in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. When I started off this project sMy plan is to read, or rather to peruse, all the 100 books detailed in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. When I started off this project some years ago, I was reading the books cover to cover, but I am no longer. Circumstances have changed. Nevertheless, I'm still finding it interesting to follow through with this personal challenge.
This book is very interesting, and the writer is a person of deep faith and commitment. He understood himself to have been lead to take Christian ministry to youths in trouble - dangerous youths - in New York. This book takes us from his first work in the back-blocks and through his journey in New York. I can understand it would be compelling reading for somebody eager to 'see the work of the Lord'....more
I’m working my way through all the titles listed in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. I started doing this when I was training for ministrI’m working my way through all the titles listed in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. I started doing this when I was training for ministry myself (not missionary ministry) as I thought it would help with insights into the history of the church in the last century, and therefore into the lives of older folk who would become my parishioners. Despite no longer working for the church I have continued with this reading challenge, and I have just finished this book. It’s one of probably less than a dozen of them so far that I’ve read cover to cover, keeping my interest the whole way.
This book was originally published in 1956, and it was in January of that year that the five men were killed by the tribe they ‘hoped to share the gospel with’. The book details all the preparation - and it was no ham-fisted approach – as well as telling the fascinating story of the lives the missionaries and their families led in Ecuador. I know a couple who were missionaries in Papua – New Guinea around the same time, and I imagine their life would have been similar.
What I also like about this book is that it includes two extra segments, one dated Nov 1958 and the other January 1996. This saved me having to use the internet to find out what eventuate after the culmination of this particular story. Their martyrdom had a much stronger affect than their merely-successful mission would have, on the world as a whole that is. And for the Auca people these committed families were indeed assistants towards a future away from the savagery that had been their daily lot. ...more
Do people actually become nicer when they've had a spiritual conversion? Perhaps. But I do know that if they're ego-driven before, then they remain egDo people actually become nicer when they've had a spiritual conversion? Perhaps. But I do know that if they're ego-driven before, then they remain ego-driven. And this is how this author reads to me.
The next question is - does the end justify the means? Or, to put it in another way - can a broken vessel still carry life-giving water to others? Actually, that's quite a different question, isn't it?
But never mind the philosophy. I understand that this book (and the author with numerous other books) affected many, and that's probably a good thing if the effect was more than temporary. I understand why it was a best-seller - the pace is good, and people love true-life confessions. I believe it is still relevant for those reasons, despite having been originally published 60 years ago, and could give a reader seeking to read somebody's personal journey to Christ some affirmation....more
This book is very well written and covers all the areas one would expect a book that's talking about an intersection between science and religion. I wThis book is very well written and covers all the areas one would expect a book that's talking about an intersection between science and religion. I went to a conference (or was it a series of seminars? ... who knows....) a few years ago and it was more up to date with the science, which one would expect as this book was written 60 years ago.
It's a little while now since I was actively involved in the church and I'm finding it difficult to remember what the terminology for different types of Christians is. What Ramm is saying here is that evangelicals don't have to believe the world was created in 6 days, 6000 years ago, so clearly many of them do (or did a his time of writing). Nor do they have to believe literally in any of the other stuff that conflicts with the findings of science.
Ramm summarises his whole book in the epilogue, beginning with the statement that
no man of science mat withhold faith by reason of the following ...
However, he insists that one must believe in the virgin birth (see page 205+) and he appears to believe that the New Testament must be accepted as an accurate record. So, in effect, this book is written to convince Christians that science can fit with their religion, but there is nothing in it to persuade a scientist that there is truth in Christianity....more
I'm choosing this particular volume as representative of Barclay's entire commentary - The Daily Study Bible. I read this (or used it for research, raI'm choosing this particular volume as representative of Barclay's entire commentary - The Daily Study Bible. I read this (or used it for research, rather) and a good many of the set when I was first doing some Biblical study. He's thorough and inserts a great deal of interesting historical information. I don't agree with much of his theology (apparently the conservatives find him unorthodox 'on several important doctrines' (100 Christian Books That Changed the Century, p.103); I, on the other hand, find him too conservative. Ah well, you can't please everybody. And I enjoy a theological debate....more
Phillips writes quite engagingly so I enjoyed skimming through this book. We differ on the most fundamental thing however, and that is 'the infallibilPhillips writes quite engagingly so I enjoyed skimming through this book. We differ on the most fundamental thing however, and that is 'the infallibility of the Bible'. He believes in it; I don't....more
I'm disappointed, but I guess not surprised. You see, I like the way Lewis writes - the conversational tone is pleasant and he uses words nicely. I loI'm disappointed, but I guess not surprised. You see, I like the way Lewis writes - the conversational tone is pleasant and he uses words nicely. I love the Narnia series and I've enjoyed some of his sci-fi, and really liked The Screwtape Letters. However, my hope that this book would satisfy me was a thin one, and I only got it from the library because I'm still determined to read (or at the very least, look at) all the 100 titles in 100 Christian Books That Changed the Century. I'm not entirely sure why I'm still plodding through it - I began reading them when I was in training for the church - and that life has been and gone. In fact, it appears I'm not even doing any lay preaching now . . . my local parish is so penny-pinching that when the new minister persuaded the parish council to offer a koha (donation, or 'gift from the heart') to lay preachers I gratefully accepted. It seems I should have gracefully rejected it, as I haven't been asked to preach in the last half year. Either that, or my theology is too radical. But I was getting consistent and good feedback from members of the congregations, so the latter is not likely. However (and I'm returning to my reasons for reading this book that I'm trying to review), who knows what the future may hold? Life could well change drastically once again, and the understanding about conservative Christian thought that I'm getting from reading all these 100 may well prove to be useful. Thus I persevere.
So - Mere Christianity. It's a classic. It's still read and loved by countless Christians. But, oh dear, it's so set in its time - women are patronised, generalities are given as if they are truths, no acknowledgement is given of any theological studies (a good amount of which had already begun to give exciting new insights). Well, I can read a book and make allowances for the cultural setting of the author, but I got tired of him giving only 2 options - the most widely quoted is his 'either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse.' In actual fact, both options assume the Bible is quoting Jesus accurately. Unfortunately, if someone is assuming that all the words in the Bible are inerrant, then there is no room for discussion. And there was no point in my reading any further....more