This is quite a challenging book for any traditional pastor. In fact, I think the material presented within would be quite challenging even for pastor...moreThis is quite a challenging book for any traditional pastor. In fact, I think the material presented within would be quite challenging even for pastors of more modern churches. But challenging in a good way. I would encourage every pastor to read this and work through the material within, but maybe read a book like Stott's Cross of Christ or Noel Due's Created for Worship first to get your priorities straight.
The need for having a firm Biblical foundation before reading this book is great because though the ideas and concepts are quite engaging and exciting, some of them can be easily carried out in excess and without the proper motivation, setting, and emphasis.
Kimball also has a habit of generalizing and stereotyping which sound convincing but aren't necessarily true. In addition to that, his criticism of the Seeker movement is rather passionate, but in the end his model is very similar, for it is also focused (on one level) at attracting people to church, though since this attraction is played out in a postmodern setting it looks, feels and behaves quite differently than the modern Seeker movement.
What I think is good about this book (as I thought the same about his corresponding Emerging Worship) is that Kimball raises issues and difficulties facing the church at present. These issues must be dealt with, but not necessarily the way Kimball demands they be. The primary problem with his solutions is that not every church is in California, and nor are all the high school and college age church members completely up to their heads in postmodern thought. Pastors and ministry leaders should read this book not because it has all the answers, but they need to see if the issues are relevant to their body of believers as well as if any of the solutions proffered by Kimbal might be able to minister to their people in their respective settings.
It's a great book, but not to be read lightly or overly passionately. It must be taken with a grain of salt - but it can be great for every pastor to tackle these issues.(less)
This is a great book - but, let me warn you, his vocabulary is quite extensive. I think he either really likes the thesaurus function on his word proc...moreThis is a great book - but, let me warn you, his vocabulary is quite extensive. I think he either really likes the thesaurus function on his word processor, or he's just a nerd. But a smart one - which is cool in my book. I would recommend having a pretty deep dictionary at hand when reading this, and I would definitely suggest making sure you've read some other less deep theology and philosphy before undertaking this deep (albeit very well written) work.
That said, this is a great book. If you've ever wondered about how to deal with the conflicting realities of an omnipotent and benevolent God and the problem of evil, I highly recommend this book. What I loved the most was the fact that Hart actually gave credit where credit is due to those atheists, agnostics, and others who have used the reality of evil as an argument against God. He really does pick apart the truth and misconceptions of their arguments beautifully.
For the quality of the book, I would have given it five out of five stars, but it is a definitely more difficult read, so that's why I opted for four. This is not for the average casual reader (unless you're just that type of nerd - which I am!), but if you feel like diving deep into the philosophy and theology around the problem of evil, I enthusiastically recommend this book!(less)
This is an excellent little book on the cross and what exactly Jesus did on it. Sproul does an excellent job of exploring Christ's sacrifice on the cr...moreThis is an excellent little book on the cross and what exactly Jesus did on it. Sproul does an excellent job of exploring Christ's sacrifice on the cross and why exactly that specific act is central to Christianity. He does use a decent amount of Christian vernacular, but he also does a pretty good job of explaining the more technical terms
I would recommend this to any believer who desires to read a little deeper on Christianity. It is a smaller, gift-sized book, so it's not very intimidating. But, if someone isn't very interested in reading something that dives a little below the surface of Christianity, then they might become a little bogged down in the writing. It is a very well-written book, but I think it would have a harder time holding the attention of a skeptic.
That said, the theology expressed within is solidly reformed - so be forewarned if you're not of that persuasion. Then again, in my opinion, if you've never wrestled with some of the calvinistic concepts of salvation you need to encounter and engage them at some point. Sproul doesn't actually get into Calvinism until the end, and there he more explains it than really "pushes" it - but he does give a solid (albeit quick) argument in it's favor.
I would encourage everyone to at least engage at some level the points which Sproul addresses here, and this little book, while unassuming, gives a great little crash course in what the cross means for every Christian.(less)