Sunday, August 2, 2009

Religion Saves--book review

I think it's safe to say that there hasn't been another book quite like Pastor Mark Driscoll's Religion Saves + Nine other Misconceptions (Crossway Books, 2009).

The book addresses 9 touchy-subjects (at least, as deemed by most evangelical churches) with directness, grace and biblical grounding that are seldom found in combination.

The issues were gleaned from questions submitted by the congregation at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. The topics were distilled down from a list of 893 questions; the congregation was invited to vote on those they were most interested in hearing the Pastor address and then he preached on the top nine. Those material from those sermons is compiled in Religion Saves.

Pastor Driscoll pulls no punches and takes no topic lightly. The result is a book with chapters that might come with a "not for young children" disclaimer if being aired on television.

Chapter One tackles the perpetually debated question regarding scriptures' view of birth control. Because it isn't specifically addressed in the Bible, Driscoll extrapolates his view from looking at passages regarding the purpose of the sexual relationship, God's view of children, His plan for the family, etc. While tasteful, the language is plain and blunt and I can see where certain audiences would disapprove. But then, it's also likely that those audiences wouldn't entertain questions on some of these issues, so it's probably a moot point.

Other topics addressed include:
  • Christian's use of humor (particularly in church/sermons)
  • Predestination
  • Grace
  • Sexual Sin
  • Faith and Works
  • Dating
  • The Emerging Church
  • The Regulative Principle

I appreciated the well-reasoned arguments, the clear use of scripture in forming his point-of-view and the grace with which he addressed differing opinions. Religion Saves + Nine other Misconceptions may not be a book that you'll pick up and read from beginning to end, it is definitely a good addition to your library for referring to when one of these questions arises and you want to have some solid biblical research to consider.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chronological Bible

It seems fitting for this to be the first review on my new site.

I was blessed to win a giveaway by Melinda at Traveling the Road Home. The part I looked most forward to is the One Year Chronological Bible. It takes the entire Bible, puts the passages in the order the events are most likely to have actually occured and then breaks them down into 15-minute daily readings.

So far, I'm loving it. It's nice to make a 15-minute committment to read each day and to know just exactly how much that is. And it's a refreshing change to have things mixed-up a bit, yet somehow make even more sense than reading straight through the Bible I've known since I was young.

You know something is different by January 5th. The first four days of the year take you through the familiar accounts of creation, the Fall, and the Flood, and then Job shows up. Estimates are that Job was enduring his trials and tribulations at about the same time Abram was learning to obey God's voice (the accounts of Abram/Abraham follow Job). At the end of September when you hit New Testament passages, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John work together to give a new twist to the accounts of the life of Christ.

It's possible that this particular Bible resonates with me because I'm a chronological remember-er myself (give me a small clue of a restaurant receipt or one sentence in my day planner and I can give you an account of many of the details before and after that particular event or moment). I'd recommend this Bible, however, to anyone looking to see "the old, old story" in a fresh, new way.

Have you read the Bible chronologically before? What did you think of it? What has been the most effective method for you to read the Bible through in a year?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to RefreshMom Reviews

As a newly minted reviewer for Thomas Nelson books, I needed a blogspace to post the reviews of the books I've read. Sometimes I find out about products that I know others would be interested in and I want a place to share those finds, even though they don't fit in with the mission of RefreshMoments.

So, I bring you RefreshMom Reviews. If you have a product you'd like me to review, you can contact me via the email addy listed in the sidebar.

I've got lots of opinions and like to share them!