Creation Regained…

I recently completed one of the most insightful books that I have ever read in Albert M. WoltersCreation Regained.  Though I do not fully endorse the reformed view (I sense that the Truth and Life of Christ is found somewhere in the middle or center of Calvinistic or Armenian thought – in fact the global and historical church existed far before either movement ever began), I appreciate the author’s ability to call Christ followers to discover and define their worldview based on the Kingdom of God.

Such an approach is grounded in the conviction of creation, fall, and redemption.  For example, the gospel begins with a God who is good rather than a humanity that is bad.  This perspective changes everything.  With that in mind, the author proposes, “The ramifications of the basic confession [of the goodness of all creation] are far-reaching, especially if we recognize that creation includes everything wrought by God’s wisdom (including such institutions as marriage).  It is the biblical antidote to all worldviews, religions, and philosophies that single out some feature or features of the created order as the cause of the human predicament, whether that be the body, temporality, finitude, emotionality, authority, rationality, individuality, technology, culture, or what have you.  All of these have been scapegoats that have drawn attention away from the real root of the trouble, human religious mutiny against the Creator and his laws for the world – a mutiny that most assuredly is not part of God’s creation and its goodness.  Deeply ingrained in the children of Adam is the tendency to blame some aspect of creation (and by implication the Creator) rather than their rebellion for the misery of their condition” (598).

Read the book and let me know what you think!

 

Creation Regained…

The Grave Robber…

I recently finished reading Mark Batterson’s The Grave Robber.  I have read (and blogged) on most of his books – many of which have greatly impacted my life and ministry (In a Pit and Circle Maker especially).  Primal is still his best book, in my opinion.  Grave Robber is one of his better works.  Batterson is such an encourager.  He has the gift of imparting faith.  He is a masterful storyteller (weaving images and illustrations that have a way of bringing the Scriptures to life).

My only major criticism is that, probably since his third or fourth book, many of his points (not to mention his narratives) seem to be a bit repetitive (as if I have heard them all already in previous books).  I understand the need of any author to reintroduce himself to his audience (this being his third publisher) but I am still waiting for a book that brings another style or stream of thought.

I stick with Batterson because I appreciate his voice and vision within our movement.  But honestly, I am not as excited to read his latest releases as I was years ago.

That being said, my favorite quote was when he actually shared another pastor’s benediction:

You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you.
Wherever you are, God has put you there; He has purpose in your being there.
Christ who indwells you has something He wants to do through you where you are.
Believe this and go in His grace and love and power (69).
Talk about being incarnational!  God moving into the neighborhood.  The Messiah in the Marketplace.  Shouldn’t the church be caught in the same place?  We say often at Blue Bridge that we have been called to go where the people are rather than expect them to come to us.
Use what you have, to reach who you are with, right where you are at….
The Grave Robber…

The Action Bible (New Testament)…

I recently received a complimentary copy of David C. Cook’s The Action Bible (New Testament) for completing a survey on behalf of Tru.

Honestly, I was incredibly impressed with the creativity and quality apparent from page to page.  While I would suggest that a parent not use this resources as a primary family Bible, I am an advocate for any method that shares God’s story (and invites one to participate in his purposes).  We need to encourage, allow, and applaud any Christian artist the freedom to take risks (especially when such steps are taken in faith).

My only concern, and it is a fairly small one, is when we make cartoon characters of those in the Bible.  I understand why we take this approach, but at the same time, I appreciate J.I. Packer’s caution not to place such timeless and transformative truths in the same categories as Scooby-Do or Sponge-Bob.  We as parents must instill the conviction into our children that these are indeed real people, at real times, in real situations.  That God is very much at work within in his creation.

What are your thoughts and experiences?  Are you interested or familiar with this resources?

The Action Bible (New Testament)…