Archive for the Books Category

Saving Christians

Posted in Books, Christianity, Church, Discipleship, Evangelism, Faith, God, Jesus, Missional, Religion on October 29, 2008 by Scott

In their new book, Jesus Wants To Save Christians, Rob Bell and Don Golden examine the disparities between the message of Christ and the message of the modern, Western Church.

From Relevant Magazine:

“To preserve prosperity at the expense of the powerless is to miss the heart of God.”  (Rob Bell)

In what ways do you believe the church in America has “preserved prosperity” at others’ expense?

Perhaps one obvious question a church can ask herself is “What percentage of our budget is spent on us and what is spent on others?”

The Church has missed the heart of God by speaking out against abortion while keeping silent about war. Both are forms of violence used to preserve prosperity. Abortion is prenatal war against the powerless child. War is postnatal abortion that destroys innocent life. The kingdom is life for the fetus and life for the civilian. The church embodies this life in a world of expedient and preemptive killing.

It can be difficult to understand the plight of the powerless when we have so much, what can church leaders do to help connect their communities with the heart of God for those suffering right now?

The most powerful thing we’ve seen is when people make a friend from outside their bubble—through a tutoring program, a job skills training class, a Habitat for Humanity build project-when “the poor” has a name and a face and personality for you, everything changes.

As the title of the book suggests, Jesus Wants To Save Christians. In your opinion, what are the biggest things we need saving from?

Boredom. Which is really despair in its non-caffeinated form. And boxes. Where we live in fear and where we put those who unsettle us.

You describe the plan of God for the church to be a gift to the world. Many people today would say that the church is anything but. What are some crucial changes that our churches need to make to become a Eucharist that is broken and poured out for the world?

1. Master the art of doubt. Faith needs it to survive.

2. Surrender the compulsive need to constantly remind people that according to your worldview you’re going to heaven forever when you die and they’re going to burn in hell forever.

3. Celebrate the good and the true and the beautiful wherever and whenever you find it regardless of the label it wears or the person it comes from or the place you found it. All things are yours.

4. Remember that the tax collectors and prostitutes loved to feast with Jesus and the religious establishment gossiped about him and dissected his teachings and questioned his commitment to orthodoxy and eventually had him killed. There’s a lesson for us there.


The Shack Attack

Posted in Books, God, Video with tags , on July 29, 2008 by Scott

Someone from my Life Group just gave me a copy of this book…he said it was worth reading…so did someone else. I’ve heard others say it is junk theology. I started it this morning.

Have you read this…what do you think? Are people mixing fiction and truth?

Here is Driscoll…this is almost 8 minutes…

Blue Like Jazz

Posted in Books, Christianity, God, Jesus, Relationships, Religion on February 27, 2008 by Scott

book_bluelikejazz.jpgI’m almost finished with Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and it may be the best book I’ve ever read in terms of personal impact. The part with the confessional was unbelievable. It’s interesting when an author seems like me but is infinitely more versed in expressing it.

I have had habits of my own, but no drug is so powerful as the drug of self. No rut in the mind is so deep as the one that says I am the world, the world belongs to me, all people are characters in my play. There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction.

…the power of unlove to deteriorate a person’s heart and spirit.

It’s not the way I’ve treated people, it’s the way I haven’t treated them.

What are some thoughts on this book or what is the most meaningful book you’ve read this year or ever?

Does Edition Matter

Posted in Books, Christianity, Culture, God on February 8, 2008 by Scott

water.jpgI recently looked for a new devotional, and I found one after skimming some of one’s pages and vaguely noting some of the contributors, but thinking little about it. So I got it home and began examining it closer…it was titled Water from the Rock…African American Edition.

Now that is stinkin funny…African American Edition. By the way, I am not African American; I’m a collage of German, Italian, and Irish…my ancestors were whores.

I am going through it anyway…with writings from Frederick Douglas, Martin Luther King Jr., and Phyllis Wheatley, it has to be insightful. Here is something I got from Thursday’s reading…

“Praise adds nothing to your holiness, nor does blame take anything from it. You are what you are, and you cannot be said to be better than you are in God’s sight.”

Of course I emailed Scott Williams over at Big Is The New Small knowing he would see the humor…his comment, “maybe I’ll borrow it when you’re done”.

Going All the Way

Posted in Blogs, Books,, Marriage on December 10, 2007 by Scott

going-all-the-way.jpggoing-all-the-way.jpggoing-all-the-way.jpgWritten for those thinking about marriage, Going All the Way by Craig Groschel is a good read – even if you have been married for awhile. Like most of Craig’s books, this book is easy to read with plenty of humor, scripture, and valuable insight.

Some of our favorite quotes for the “experienced” married person:

  • If we don’t put what matters most into our lives first, the lesser priorities take up all of our time.
    • The way it should be… “Next to Christ: I reserve the priority spot for my spouse.”
  • “The things that destroys marriages are not always bad things, but often misprioritized good things.”
  • “A spouse that allows anything to take a front seat to God or their partner (or both) only goes partway.  A marriage that keeps God, spouse and self in order… goes the distance.”
  • “Most couples tend to pursue each other more before the marriage than after.”
  • “Passion in marriage is likely to fizzle unless you actively and intentionally nurture it.”

Going All the Way: Preparing for a marriage that goes the distance is available at Amazon.

Readers Digest

Posted in Books, Creativity, God, Relationships on December 4, 2007 by Scott

Here is the best of our book reading over the last month…

  • we are saved by how we believe, not by how we behave
  • there is a fundamental difference between being driven and being called
  • the major strategy of Satan is to distort the character of God and the truth of who we are
  • salvation is not a future addition; it is a present transformation
  • nobody is more insecure or sick than controllers
  • every temptation is an attempt by the devil to get us to live our lives independently of God
  • when dominated by guilt and shame, self-disclosure is not likely to happen
  • relationships don’t thrive because the guilty are punished but because the innocent are merciful
  • Christ’s mercy preceded our mistakes; our mercy must precede the mistakes of others
  • their horror of my disease was greater than their concern for my heart
  • He is peaceful; we are hassled
  • but Christ was not so focused on his goal that he was unpleasant
  • Christ refused to be guided by vengeance

Do You Believe Every Word of the Bible?

Posted in Books, Christianity, Faith, God, Politics, Religion on November 29, 2007 by Scott

This question was asked in the CNN / YouTube Republican debate last night.  It brought for some interesting responses from the candidates, although only three were given time to answer.

rudy-g.jpgGuliani: “OK. The reality is, I believe it, but I don’t believe it’s necessarily literally true in every single respect … I think there are parts of the Bible that are allegorical. I think there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be interpreted in a modern context.But I don’t believe every single thing in the literal sense of Jonah being in the belly of the whale, or, you know, there are some things in it that I think were put there as allegorical.

romney.jpgRomney: “I believe the Bible is the word of God, absolutely…. It is the guide for my life.” When asked if he believed every word, Romeny stuttered and hesitated before answering “yes.” 

huckabee.jpgHuckabee:  “I believe the Bible is exactly what it is. It’s the word of revelation to us from God himself… “…the part that says “Go and pluck out your eye,” well, none of us believe that we ought to go pluck out our eye. That obviously is allegorical. There are parts of it I don’t fully comprehend and understand… and no finite person is ever going to fully understand it. If they do, their god is too small.”

Who nailed it and who missed the mark? Will these answers influence who you vote for?

Wonder what kind of answers we would hear from the left given the newfound attention from Evangelicals?