Had I not heard MacDonald speak on this subject before I read the book, I suspect the book would have irritated me. However, a most engaging speaker hHad I not heard MacDonald speak on this subject before I read the book, I suspect the book would have irritated me. However, a most engaging speaker has produced yet another most engaging book. How much is practical in the smaller church contexts in which most UK readers will find themselves remains to be seen, but some helpful insights nevertheless....more
I wanted to rate this higher because both authors are highly respected, deeply committed disciples of Jesus, with much to teach us. Unfortunately, itI wanted to rate this higher because both authors are highly respected, deeply committed disciples of Jesus, with much to teach us. Unfortunately, it reads as if it was written in a hurry. The editors have let the authors down in my opinion. There is great content here that gets lost in poor style that fails to flow. The final chapter on the place where God dwells would benefit from being expanded and developed.
This book is a good idea, and it will be a great book when it is finished....more
In this excellent book, Tom Wright translates a large part of the substance of the, so far, 3 volumes of his "Christian Origins" N T Wright series intIn this excellent book, Tom Wright translates a large part of the substance of the, so far, 3 volumes of his "Christian Origins" N T Wright series into his "for everyone" highly accessible style. It works.
I came to this book as a theologian and completed it as a worshipper.
Wright challenges us to see Jesus in His own context, and to shake up our postmodern preconceptions. As someone who has argued for separation of church and state, Wright's assertion that perhaps this doesn't make sense if Jesus is who He said He is has left me pondering. Wright's view of the church is what you would expect from a conservative evangelical but challenging none the less to his readers, many of whom will be in love with Jesus and disillusioned with the institutional church.
Provocative stuff that demands response, and to be read again,...more
I generally like McLaren's stuff, although I find lots of points of departure in it. This book is really a rehash of some of the earlier stuff. The fiI generally like McLaren's stuff, although I find lots of points of departure in it. This book is really a rehash of some of the earlier stuff. The final chapter could do with fleshing out whereas some of the book's earlier material tends to get a lot of repetition....more
The Natural Church Development principles certainly have their uses in assisting churches to focus their efforts on particular aspects and characterisThe Natural Church Development principles certainly have their uses in assisting churches to focus their efforts on particular aspects and characteristics, but good church growth principles don't necessarily lead to good theology. This very readable and accessible book is one such example. I have been a fan of NCD but at the same time a critic of Christian Schwarz's "three colours" of everything approach and I picked up this book in the hope that I would better understand where he is coming from.
Schwarz sets out to simplify the Trinity by expressing this central Christian doctrine in terms of relationship. Herein lies the problem. Firstly, i am not convinced the Trinity can be simplified. However, the real error is to construct a Trinitarian model that is solely focused on the relationship between Godhead and creation: we miss something of great significance when the perichoretic relationships of the Persons within the Godhead are overlooked. In his desire to express an experiential model Schwarz overlooks that the doctrine of the Trinity is really more about how God relates within Himself than it is how God relates outside of Himself. When we lose sight of that we short change ourselves in our own experience of God: not only does He graciously reveal Himself to us, supremely in Christ, but He also invites us to participate in the kind of relationship with Him that He enjoys within Himself.
Elsewhere I've read Schwarz's rebuttal that the three colours model is modalist. I'm sure he intends no such thing. However, with an approach that starts with our personal styles of experiencing God surely modalist understanding will result? Surely, we do far better to start with the mystery of the God who is fully sufficient within Himself, loving and receiving love, complete, perfect unity in perfect community? From that standpoint we see grace in a new light, for He still chooses relationship with His fallen creation even though He has no need to.
The NCD principles continue to be beneficial to the wider Church, and so much of the material produced by the NCD stable is good and helpful. But maybe that's the point - NCD doesn't really need a flawed theological layer to justify itself. Use it as something to assist in the growth of your church, but don't use it as a substitute for sound doctrine.
I should just add that I gave up halfway through, so if anyone reads through to the end and thinks I missed something vital please do let me know....more
Book 2 picks up from where "The Hunger Games" left off and whilst there is a certain inevitability about the plot, Collins weaves in enough of a senseBook 2 picks up from where "The Hunger Games" left off and whilst there is a certain inevitability about the plot, Collins weaves in enough of a sense of ongoing betrayal, intrigue and paranoia to keep the reader hooked. With what is quite possibly one of the worst cliff hangers ever, I came away from the book feeling that this volume merely served as a necessary bridge to volume 3, providing an insight into the broader canvas of Panem and setting the stage for what ought to be a thrilling climax.
The moral questions surfaced by book 1 remain, and are still worthy of consideration, even though the reader's growing familiarity with the horrors of the arena tends to push them out of view somewhat....more
An excellent and thought-provoking book. Don't be fooled into thinking this is just for the teenagers in your life - although I am attempting to persuAn excellent and thought-provoking book. Don't be fooled into thinking this is just for the teenagers in your life - although I am attempting to persuade mine to read it too! 4 stars not 5 because there was a sense of inevitability about the ending. However, in a (western) world increasingly dominated by reality TV and with the influence of the media once more under close scrutiny there are aspects of this story that require considered and sober reflection....more