Wow, she's really messed up in this one. But, as usual, she's being real. Lauren Winner battles with the same stuff the rest of us do. Good read if yo...moreWow, she's really messed up in this one. But, as usual, she's being real. Lauren Winner battles with the same stuff the rest of us do. Good read if you're a Christian struggling with your faith.(less)
Great book! At first I thought it was a "Name it and claim it" thing, but Batterson's approach is a great mix of faith in God and the Christian's resp...moreGreat book! At first I thought it was a "Name it and claim it" thing, but Batterson's approach is a great mix of faith in God and the Christian's responsibility in making things happen for God's purposes. Lots of examples from his experience that prove he's the man to write this book.
I particularly like his emphasis on dreaming big and pursuing awesome living.(less)
Brilliant, brilliant book. Keller answers questions about faith with grace and solid reasoning. If there is someone in your life who is struggling wit...moreBrilliant, brilliant book. Keller answers questions about faith with grace and solid reasoning. If there is someone in your life who is struggling with faith in Jesus because of many complex questions, this is the book for them. It's among my favorites all time.(less)
I’ve just finished reading a new book titles The Church In An Age of Crisis:25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Books), by James Emery White. I see his approach as being to Christians who are resisting the reality that we live in a post-Christian Western culture. If there was one word to describe this book it would be sobering.
In the introduction of the book its purpose is stated:
This book offers a whirlwind tour of our day that is meant to introduce and provoke . . . I do not attempt to offer all of the answers in this work. I’ve ventured a few ideas in previous writings, but here I focus on knowing the signs themselves, gathered under the headings of faith, mindset, marriage and family, media and technology, and mission. (p. 12-13)
This author is quickly taking a place among my favorites. He has great lines, like this one about America’s declassification of sin: “It seems we are one of two types of people: mistakers or sinners. Our culture’s verdict is clear: We are mistakers.”
The book is divided into short chapters, and I’m a big fan. There’s no fluff to confuse or belabor these points. It’s a work that gives an accurate and interesting overview of the crisis for the Church in America. But, the crisis for the church isn’t only the reality of our cultural shifts – it’s our lack of acknowledgement of it.
Maybe there are a few Christians who are willingly unaware of how drastic the change in America’s approach to God is. You are afraid to read books like this because ignorance is bliss. But, you’ll be somewhat comforted by the final chapters. White doesn’t pose a problem without offering a solution. After making the point that people are no longer seeking for God, he shares that they are still willing to listen to what our lives have to say about the Jesus we follow. And, 82 percent of unchurched friends will go to church if invited by us.
You need to read this book. It will put the real back in your concept of reality.(less)
It was kinda long for me. Nothing he said was wrong, but I felt that it would have been better received if it had been written 10 years ago. Nothing r...moreIt was kinda long for me. Nothing he said was wrong, but I felt that it would have been better received if it had been written 10 years ago. Nothing really surprised. Oh, there was a great story about how a young couple in his church reacted to Christians who had come to their city with signs of judgement. Other than that, the book primarily focused on how church culture doesnt fit with the rest of society, but no new perspectives on that topic.
I managed to get a free book based on my willingness to write a review on my blog – no strings attached. In other words, I can say whatever I want abo...moreI managed to get a free book based on my willingness to write a review on my blog – no strings attached. In other words, I can say whatever I want about the book and there will be no repercussions. Great idea. So, I will be brutally honest about A Travelers’ Guide to the Kingdom: Journeying through the Christian life by James Emery White (InterVarsity Press).
While God is everywhere, there are places where his presence is felt with greater intensity. I can remember meeting with God at Bear Mountain, high above the Hudson River about 30 miles north of New York city. It was there that God gave me direction and confirmed for me the decision to ask Vanda to be my wife. A place can have significance to a person for personal reasons. James Emery White takes a slightly different approach that is based on the shared history of all Christians.
White is a world traveler. Using the brushes of history, scenery and personal experience, he masterfully paints pictures of places like The Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, England, where C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien would meet every Tuesday morning for a pint. Each chapter is about one place that holds significance for the history of Christianity that the author uses to help “get a sense of what life in Christ means. Not a life that simply knows about Christ, but a life that is in Christ.” They are places where knowledge and experience have met in profound ways to teach us aspects of true Christianity.
So, the author’s visit to Iona Abbey in Scotland is about the importance of maintaining a connection with what you are becoming in both this world and in the spiritual, unseen world - like in the days of the ancient evangelist Columba. White’s trip to St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt, where it is believed Moses met with God in the burning bush, is about knowing that God is real and that he has significance for your life. A trek to Wittenberg, Germany, where Martin Luther started the protestant reformation, must be a place that propels us to have the courage of our convictions – convictions given to us by God for a reason.
In all honesty, I’ve found that this book combines history, scenery and biblical principles in a way that educates and inspires. He doesn’t just tell you why the places are significant, he gives thoughtful insight on how they can become significant for you even though they are places you may never get to. And if you do manage to get to any of these places, I know you will feel God’s presence in a greater was as a result. (less)
The word “disillusioned” is used often in Sarah Cunningham’s book Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation (Zondervan). It’s a series of letters written by the twenty-something who is the daughter of a Southern Baptist Church planter. I didn’t read it because of the church planter thing. I didn’t even know that until after my wife brought it home from the library for me. My initial reason for reading it was because I’d been to the author’s web site that encourages new authors and I wanted to see what she was all about.
The book was published in 2006, the same year Vanda and I left our church with hopes to plant one for another denomination. Sarah puts to words what I couldn’t. She’s not afraid to say what she thinks in describing our frustrations, from the things we use to gauge the church’s success (attendance, budget, programs, image, etc) to how discriminating we are in determining what kind of people are welcome at our churches. But, just when I was sure how the rest of the book would go, she made a surprising shift.
Sarah encourages young people to take responsibility for the church instead of running away from it. Having pointed out the faults of the church, she declares that the church has been established by Jesus Christ: and that Jesus says “Satan will not overcome it.” That means tough times will come, but the church will endure because we are his.
If we’re going to be a part of its success then we need to come to terms with the fact that God didn’t make us all the same, so differing approaches to worshipping him actually follow his design. We must be okay with that. Postmoderns don’t have all the answers because no generation does, so we must build relationships with people who don’t understand our rants even if that means we’ll end up worshipping somewhere else.
It’s a book written for disillusioned church-goers written great wisdom by a woman who has experience many angles of the Christian community: church planting, pastor’s kid, church staffer, church attender. Young people with be drawn in by her authenticity more than enough to listen to the challenge of the second half of the book.
And if you’re older and trying to get a handle on younger folk, don’t stop half-way through. You’ll be pleased with the hope Sarah offers. (less)
Philip Yancey was the main draw to this book for me. His thoughts in the intro were enlightening. But, I didn't finish this book. I couldn't. It was t...morePhilip Yancey was the main draw to this book for me. His thoughts in the intro were enlightening. But, I didn't finish this book. I couldn't. It was too hard a read. I likes the one on the house in D.C. for politicians, but the rest was took too much effort for a simpleton like me, I guess.(less)