A Theology book that touches deep within your heart, brings you to your knees and makes you cry is worth reading/ listening at least once a year, everA Theology book that touches deep within your heart, brings you to your knees and makes you cry is worth reading/ listening at least once a year, every year.
I had read this book before but this time (August 2012), I am listening to this audio version which I am loving. The narrator, Simon Vance, does an amazing job, not to mention that he is British which is perfect because Packer is British as well. Each chapter is about 25 mins. average so it makes it easy to listen to one chapter a day. I would not read/listen more than one chapter a day, because this is the kind of book that deserves to be digested slowly.
If you have not read/listen to this book, I would strongly recommend that you make it the next book you read or listen (yes, read it before the other 50 in your TBR list):)
This time (March 2014) my youngest (10yo) and I are listening to The Screwtape Letters: First Ever Full-Cast Dramatization of the Diabolical Classic [This time (March 2014) my youngest (10yo) and I are listening to The Screwtape Letters: First Ever Full-Cast Dramatization of the Diabolical Classic [With DVD] by Focus on the Family.
"The one thing that discontented people cannot do is give thanks, and therefore they cannot have theA favorite book on marriage.
Some favorite quotes:
"The one thing that discontented people cannot do is give thanks, and therefore they cannot have the wisdom that contentment brings."
"From a thankful heart, all things may be received, including the great gifts of discipline and standards (1Tim 4:4-5). But without gratitude pervading everything, strict views on marriage will simply create an earthly hell for yourself and others."
"A godly marriage occurs when a man and a woman both die to themselves, and are raised to the life that seeks the best interest of the other in all things. This is the only kind of godly marriage there is. And when we give all away in this manner, we discover that we receive all."
This is a must read for all those who want to be able to fully understand O'Connor's short stories. After reading this book, I have no doubt that FlanThis is a must read for all those who want to be able to fully understand O'Connor's short stories. After reading this book, I have no doubt that Flannery O'Connnor is not only and amazing writer, but one who truly understands sin and redemption.
A few of my favorite quotes:
"I have heard it said that belief in Christian dogma is a hindrance to the writer, but I myself have found nothing further from the truth. Actually, it frees the storyteller to observe. It is not a set of rules which fixes what he sees in the world. It affects his writing primarily by guaranteeing respect for mystery."
"Redemption is meaningless unless there is a cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause."
"To be able to recognize a freak, you have to have some conception of the whole man..."
"The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location."
"A gift of any kind is a considerable responsibility."
"Any discipline can help your writing: logic, mathematics, theology, and of course and particularly drawing. Anything that helps you to see, anything that makes you look."
"Your beliefs will be the light by which you see, but they will not be what you see and they will not be a substitute for seeing."
"In my stories a reader will find that the devil accomplishes a good deal of groundwork that seems to be necessary before grace is effective."
"The theologian is interested specifically in the modern novel because there he sees reflected the man of our time, the unbeliever, who is nevertheless grappling in a desperate and usually honest way with intense problems of the spirit."
"The Christian novelist is distinguished from his pagan colleagues by recognizing sin as sin."
Excellent book. I read it on Kindle but enjoyed it so much that I want to re-read it in paper!
NOTE: I read it on the paper for the second time in AprExcellent book. I read it on Kindle but enjoyed it so much that I want to re-read it in paper!
NOTE: I read it on the paper for the second time in April 2013, and I still give it five stars.
I appreciate that Chester in the second chapter of his book (p.52) deals with the issue of excommunication.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
"Food matters. Meal matters. meals are full of significance. 'Few acts are more expressive of companionship than the shared meal...'"
"Our life at the table, no matter how mundane, is sacramental - a means through which we encounter the mystery of God."
"The first two are statements of purpose. Why did Jesus come? He came to serve, to give his life as a ransom, to seek and save the lost. The third is a statement of method. How did Jesus come? He came eating and drinking."
"Hospitality has become performance art, and we've lost the creation of intimacy around a meal."
"Hospitality involves welcoming, creating space, paying attention, and providing. Meals slow things down. But meals force you to be a people oriented instead of task oriented. Sharing a meal is not the only way to build relationships, but it is number one on the list."
"How could you extend the generous welcome of the gospel if you didn't welcome people into your home?"
"That is what the church is to be: a community of broken people finding a family around a meal under the tree of Calvary."
"The feeding of the five thousand people was not the full deal. But it was a glimpse of it. Jesus is the host of God's great party, just as he was the host of the dinner in this wilderness. When Jesus saw the crowd 'he welcomed them'(Luke 9:11). Jesus is God's Messiah, because he welcomes us to the messianic banquet."
"Jesus is the host of God's banquet, and he provides for us by dying for us."
"The world is more delicious than it needs to be. We have a superabundance of divine goodness and generosity."
"We not only express our dependence on God by feasting, but also by fasting. Just as food points to the goodness of God, so the hunger of fasting reminds us of our need for God."
"If you want to see a religious person's vision of life, then show up at one of their meals."
"Jesus didn't run projects, establish ministries, create programs, or put on events. He ate meals. If you routinely share meals and you have a passion for Jesus, then you'll be doing mission."
"Meals bring mission into the ordinary. But that's where most people are -living in the ordinary. That's where we need to reach them."
"If you want to understand a person's worldview, don't read a book. Talk to them, hang out with them, eat with them."
"Sin distorts all of our relationships, including our relationships with food."
This is a book every Child of God should read. Because we have been called to love our God "with all our mind," we must understand what the implicatioThis is a book every Child of God should read. Because we have been called to love our God "with all our mind," we must understand what the implications are, what does it mean to love Him like that, and how it looks in real life. The aim of this book in Piper's words is: "to encourage serious, faithful, humble thinking that leads to the true knowledge of God, which leads to living him, which overflows in loving others."
A few of my favorite quotes:
"overintellectualism is a plague just like anti-intellectualism."
"I would like to encourage you to think but not to be impressed with yourself when you do."
"Thinking, without prayer, without the Holy Spirit, without obedience, without love, will puff up and destroy (1 Cor. 8:1). But thinking under the mighty hand of God, thinking soaked in prayer, thinking carried by the Holy Spirit, thinking tethered to the Bible, thinking in pursuit of more reasons to praise and proclaim the glories of God, thinking in the service of love—such thinking is indispensable in a life of fullest praise to God."
"The mind is mainly the servant of the heart. That is, the mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fires of the heart. The apex of glorifying God is enjoying him with the heart. But this is an empty emotionalism where that joy is not awakened and sustained by true views of God for who he really is. That is mainly what the mind is for."
"If you cannot embrace the pain of learning but must have instant gratification, you forfeit the greatest rewards of life."
"There is no way to awaken faith or strengthen faith that evades thinking."
"Thinking feeds the fire, and the fire fuels more thinking and doing. I love God because I know him. And I want to know him more because I love him."
"God is not honored by our groundless love. In fact, there is no such thing. If we don't know anything about God, there is nothing in our mind to awaken love. If love doesn't come from knowing God, there is no point calling it love for God."
"People don’t embrace relativism because it is philosophically satisfying. They embrace it because it is physically and emotionally gratifying. It provides the cover they need at key moments in their lives to do what they want without intrusion from absolutes."
"Relativists don't pursue truth, They make the denial of truth serve them."
"Reading is the way we are able to think the thoughts of Paul and thus know the mystery of God."
"So the issue in Corinth is that knowledge was producing pride, and pride was destroying love. So he says, 'This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.' Knowledge is susceptible to pride because it is the result of getting, not giving. Knowledge is a possession. It is something we have attained. So we are prone to boast about it. Love, on the hand, is an act of giving, not getting. Love is not an attainment or an acquisition. It moves outward. It shares. It takes thought for the interest of others. It builds up the faith of others rather than the ego of the lover."
"True knowing and true thinking produce not pride but love for God and love for people."
"Thinking that does not aim to display Christ and build up people is not worthy of God’s approval. It may produce wonders—antibiotics, buildings, bridges, books, big-screen TVs—but the final stamp on the box will be: Disapproved. For “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. . . . Without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Rom. 14:23; Heb. 11:6)."
"God did not give us minds as ends in themselves. The mind provides the kindling for the fires of the heart. Theology serves doxology. reflection serves affection. Contemplation serves exultation. Together they glorify Christ to the full."