BOOK REVIEWS & SUMMARIES

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On the Incarnation of the Word

by St. Athanasius is a classic Early Church response by a pastor/theologian/apologist against the attacks leveled against the dual nature of Christ–the God/Man. Athanasius was in his day and continues to be in our own time a giant of Christian orthodoxy.  If you don’t read this review, read his book!  It will edify, challenge and perhaps humble you friend.

 

In Scaling the Secular City,  Moreland 51y688648dL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_displays his acumen in dealing with some of the toughest challenges posed to Christianity.  He accomplishes this with rigorous argumentation and a winsome spirit, the likes of which is worthy to be emulated.

J.P. Moreland is arguably one of the
most influential American Evangelical apologists of the latter century and the first part of the twenty-first century.  His adeptness is especially clear in the areas of philosophy of science and philosophy of mind.  Through his debates, lectures, and writings, Moreland has served well the cause of Christ by equipping people for ministry both in the academy and in the local church.

510E27T-g7L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Now available in summary form is Os Guinness’ “Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion”   This book’s value is multifaceted but wins the day for instructing believers on how to winsomely engage the culture with the Gospel of Christ.

Especially helpful is Guinness’ insight into our age of acute self-promotion (E.g., media freaks) or hyper Narcissism.  To reach the indifferent, belligerent, enemies of the Gospel with the message, Guinness holds that we must consider four elements.  First, we must start by understanding the nature of unbelief.  Second, we must look at how God addresses unbelief.  Third, we must reach unbelievers where they’re at, not where we hoped they would be.  Fourth, we must go to the core problem—the heart!

Moreover, Scripture must inform our mode of communication to unbelievers and we must always consider the audience when aiming to persuade.  In order to guide the conversation and be persuasive we must keep in mind five “pillars” of the Faith in our message: creation, fall, incarnation, cross, the Spirit.  These properly focus a gospel centered apologetic.

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Now available is Mere Apologetics: How To Help Seekers & Skeptics Find Faith  by Alister McGrath.  The value of this book is multifaceted where cogency, clarity and conviction mark the topics under consideration.

McGrath argues that we are to understand apologetics as the reasoned defense of the Faith which must be practiced with gentleness and respect toward outsiders.  When defending we must answer honest questions and be person relative.  When commending we must show the wonder and splendor of the kingdom. And when translating, we must do so exegetically, hermeneutically and person relatively so that our language can be understood  by a child. McGrath has served the Christian community well by providing a book that aids new and older believers in the aforesaid.

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Available now is my short review of The Soul in Cyberspace  by Douglas  Groothuis where he considers computer technologies and ways they affect the soul.  All technologies brings with them what is good but also some things that are bad.

Technologies are a double edged sword: depending on the way it’s wielded (handled) can determine whether one flourishes in life or comes to ruin in life.  That might sound extreme to you, but is it?

This is must reading for anyone wanting to understand what is required to wisely navigate the shoals of our 21st century idol of technology.

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Available now is my summary of The Universe Next Door by James Sire.  This worldview catalog is part of the arsenal needed  for believers to understand the major beliefs held by both their neighbors and also themselves.

The value of this study is akin to a baseball scout taking the necessary time to understand the opposing team’s ball player’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies.  After such due diligence is accomplished, the odds of “competing” and “beating” the “opposition” are enhanced.  Too often Christians are bested in the classroom, boardroom, or family room because we have not done our due diligence regarding other worldviews when compared to Christendom.  This book is a remedy for such maladies as Sire notes:

“For any of us to be fully conscious intellectually we should not only be able to detect the worldviews of others but be aware of our own—why it is ours and why in light of so many options we think it is true” [Opening page]

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Available now in summary form is The God Who is There by D.A. Carson.  This introductory resource on the big ideas of the`Bible is indispensable to aid both young and old with the main Biblical ideas and to see how they all point to Jesus.

This book in particular is an amazing example of writing a “salvation history” tome in terms a high school student can grasp without forfeiting theological rigor.

Too often the Bible is read like a “fortune cookie” whose ideas are not tied to any overarching theme or purpose.  This book explains the Bible’s unifying message in a way that models how to faithfully read the Scriptures so that the reader may actually hear God’s voice in a more sure, clear way.  Take up and read friends.

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Available now in summary form is Politics for Christians . This book is written for the busy student or parent in mind.  The goal of integration is both conceptual and personal.  The former blends its’ theological beliefs with one’s profession of faith into a coherent Christian worldview, where  the latter seeks to publicly and privately live out the implications of what it means to be “Christ’s disciple”.  Moreland/Beckwith (series editors) argue that the reason integration is vital (among other things) is because the Bible is true in its teachings and our vocations and discipleship demand it.

As Christians, we divide on many things and our preferred political party is certainly one of them.  Whatever party lines believers find themselves coming under, a fundamental question needs to be answered: “what policies come closest to our worldview as ambassadors for Christ?”

Answering that question takes careful thought and humility.  It’s my hope that the summaries of this book will help the Christian in particular be salt and light as they engage to the glory of God, the political process.  Moreover, it’s my desire to see the citizens of heaven consider their temporary earthly citizenship as a means to rule and reign that honors Christ and their fellow man, rather than shaming his name. Take up and read friends.

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Available now in summary form is Avery Dulles’ A History of Apologetics who deftly provides a view into the great minds of Christendom’s past so that we may presently be more faithful to our generation with the real Gospel of Truth that alone rescues sinners from eternal peril.

There’s a treasure trove of wisdom the church has at its disposal that is too often neglected either through: ignorance (i.e., people don’t read Church History), or perhaps through spite (i.e., Protestants and Catholics refuse to appreciate one another’s contributions), even a lack of evangelistic urgency (i.e., Believers don’t really care to share their beliefs because of fear, indifference, etc.), perhaps because of an unbiblical view of the life of the mind as it informs our daily living (i.e., a Fideistic bent).  This book is one more aid to remedy the 21st century plague in the Church of anti-intellectualism.

2 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEWS & SUMMARIES

    1. Which book are you referring to: Athanasius’ or Morelands’?

      I’ve not read “The Case For Christ” my impression of that book however is that it’s written by a journalist to reach a massive audience. Moreland’s book is more specialized and thus not an easy read for several reasons. First, he’s a philosopher and even though he does write well, sometimes he’s difficult to understand. Second, he touches on philosophical arguments for God’s existence that other more popular apologetic works don’t. Third, he provides a very good critique of “scientism” (the view that only science gives us knowledge) which is argued persuasively. Again, I haven’t read “The Case For Christ”

      Athanasius’ book is more focused on the “Incarnation of Christ” the fact that God in space time history took on human flesh (I.e., he became fully human). He then argues from nature and Scripture to demonstrate that Jesus in fact was the promised Messiah, and much more. I hope that is helpful.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. It means a lot.

      Like

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