Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Let teh Kingdom Come First

Dr.  Russell Moore addresses several of the hot button topics of today in his book Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel. (B&H Books, 2015). He is adamant that the church needs to be doing a better job of addressing these issues, not in a political way, but in a way that looks to the gospel of Jesus Christ for answers.
I found myself strongly agreeing with some of his positions, especially how Christianity as a whole has gone from “Moral Majority” to “Prophetic Minority”. I also disagree with others—if I read it right he is not a big fan of creation (61,62). And as often happens, I’m close enough to the middle of the argument, that I could be persuaded either way.  Luckily in most of these cases Moore and I tend to agree.
There is no doubt in my mind that Dr Moore is well versed in scripture and theology. And he quite capably states and defends his position.  Although many liberals will be unhappy with his understanding of many of the issues of today, they will have to admit that he is not just repeating what he has heard from pastors and parents over the years.  His arguments are first and foremost based on his study and understanding of the Scripture, and backed up with scholarly and scientific studies.
The admonition for Christians is to seek the Kingdom of God. Moore points out how that often is at odds with culture and society. The people in the church have a choice: they can be at odds with society as they seek the kingdom, or they can realize that perhaps they need to do a bit more studying before they identify themselves as Christians.
Interestingly enough this book took me a long time to read, not because I didn’t like it, but because I did. I could only read so much before I had to stop and think about how I would respond to his arguments.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for the review. There was no requirement to post a positive review. Having said that, I rate this book 5/5.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Biblical Heaven Is One You'll Enjoy

Scott McKnight talks about Heaven in his newest book The Heaven Promise: Engaging the Bible's Truth About Life to Come. (WaterBrook, 2015). A basic premise of this book is that if we want to know what the Bible says about Heaven, then we should spend time  with the Bible. Seems simple, but all too often people who don't read the Bible think they know a lot about heaven because of stories they've heard, books (fiction) and the movies they've seen. 
McKnight takes a different approach than many authors, as he divides the book into four Parts:  I) The Heaven Question, II) the Heaven Promise, III) God's Six Promises About Heaven and IV) Ten Questions About Heaven. Basically he's turning to the Bible to see what Heaven is and isn't, what God says about heaven, and the promise for believers, and then he turns to what will probably be the part that most people will turn to first- everyone wants to know about pets, about purgatory, and several other questions that McKnight addresses.  And no, I'm not going to tell you what he said about pets, children, or families. I will say that he offers his opinion based on study of scripture.
He closes with a personal  statement of belief about why to believe in Heaven, and again, it's based on scripture, on church history, and faith and belief in the Triune God.

As a disclosure I need to indicate that I received a copy of this book in exchange for the review. I was not required to write a positive review. The publisher is interested in my honest and personal opinion of the book.