Archive for the ‘books’ Category

h1

What’s on my reading list this year?

January 3, 2010
Currently reading Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Prayer and realizing that some of the critics of contemplative prayer are rather… stupid and ignorant… Just saying… I am trying to be nice about this… really.
I plan on read all of the writings of Maj W Ian Thomas this year. I finally have them all… or at least most of them.
I have three books by Watchman Nee to read this year. I have read The Normal Christian Life before, but now since I also have Love Not the World and Sit, Walk, Stand I think reading them all together will be fun.
I need to finish John Stott’s book on Ephesians (not pictured) but thought that I should also read his Basic Christianity to get a feeling for his theological positions.
I am throwing in Charles M Sheldon’s In His Steps (Where the phrase WWJD came from) as well as the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. It looks interesting.
Paul Tillich’s book (not pictured) The New Being is also yet another book I am hoping to get read.
I am also reading through the bible this year. I am using The Daily Message Hardback: Through the Bible in One Year in hopes to keep it “readable” without distracting me from reading. Don’t worry, I will also have a “study time”.
I do have some other books on order and will add them as I get them. But this should be an interesting book year.
So… what’s on your reading list this year?

Share/Save/Bookmarka2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=location.href;

h1

Book Review: Religions of the Stars by Richard Abanes

July 7, 2009

Book Review: Religions of the Stars by Richard Abanes

I consider it a privilege to review any book. Even more when it is a friend’s book, though with that sometimes comes the trepidation that I may read the book too charitable or not charitable enough.

I have gotten to know Richard Abanes over the last year or so at various websites we both hang out at. He is very insightful and what I would consider being from the old school of Discernment ministries. His lineage as I call does come directly from Walter Martin and Christian Research Institute. Suffice it to say I would recommend him as one of the “good” discernment minstries out there. Richard has authored many books and at times even I would consider him a bit controversial.

To be straight forward, Richard and I do not agree on everything. Yet, unlike many who profess “discernment” I have not found him to be antagonistic toward me at all. Personally I think the disagreements are very minor and truthfully, Richard is the type of person that can agree to disagree on the minor things, yet will fight tooth and nail over the essentials.

Religions of the Stars is a very informative book. It is broken into different sections as to how Hollywood stars believe.

Oprah’s New Spirtuality : This covers the life of Oprah which was very humanizing of her, and then goes into the critique of Oprah’s New Age belief in contrast to the Christian faith.
Mormon in Movieland: This section covers and contrasts Mormonism with Christianity
The Buddha Comes to Tinseltown: This section covers how Buddhism came to Hollywood and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity
Scientolgy: Hollywood’s A-List Religion: This gives a very revealing look at Scientology and is very informative. Again, this section contrasts Scientology with Christianity
Kabbalah a la Madonna: This is also an interesting section as Abanes covers and contrasts not just Christianity but also Judaism/Kabbalahism with the new pop version that Madonna and others follow.
The Magick of Hollywood: This section covers Occultism in Hollywood and again contrasts it with Christianity

Each section is informative, humanizing and easy to read. I learned much about Scientology and the type of Kabbalahism that Madonna is into. Richard Abanes really never goes into sensationalism which would be easy to do in such a book.

Now there are two minor critiques:

I do believe there is a “Christian” panentheism. This type acknowledges that God is separate from creation, yet also sees that God is “in creation” in the sense that Romans 1:20 states:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Now I would not fight tooth and nail to support this as Biblical doctrine, yet in the debates I have read I do see that this type of panentheism may be acceptable. The thing on this I do agree with is the way and definition Richard Abanes used panentheism as not being Biblical.

In the Magick section I disagree a bit on Harry Potter as being connected with Occultism. Now I truly understand the reasons why Richard sees these books as he does and again, would not argue and divide over our disagreement. I do agree to an extent as I would be cautious to let my kids watch the movies or read the books without discussing them with them.

Again, I will emphasize that these are very minor disagreements and I would recommend the book to anyone that needs information on these religions.

Personal message to Richard:

Richard, I was amused at one reference to a certain “evangelist”. As I have gotten to know him I see him on the level of Ken Silva. LOL! But, then even a broken clock is right twice a day so Eric could be right on some things I suppose.

var addthis_pub=”iggy”;

Bookmark and Share

h1

Book Review: Religions of the Stars by Richard Abanes

July 7, 2009

Book Review: Religions of the Stars by Richard Abanes

I consider it a privilege to review any book. Even more when it is a friend’s book, though with that sometimes comes the trepidation that I may read the book too charitable or not charitable enough.

I have gotten to know Richard Abanes over the last year or so at various websites we both hang out at. He is very insightful and what I would consider being from the old school of Discernment ministries. His lineage as I call does come directly from Walter Martin and Christian Research Institute. Suffice it to say I would recommend him as one of the “good” discernment minstries out there. Richard has authored many books and at times even I would consider him a bit controversial.

To be straight forward, Richard and I do not agree on everything. Yet, unlike many who profess “discernment” I have not found him to be antagonistic toward me at all. Personally I think the disagreements are very minor and truthfully, Richard is the type of person that can agree to disagree on the minor things, yet will fight tooth and nail over the essentials.

Religions of the Stars is a very informative book. It is broken into different sections as to how Hollywood stars believe.

Oprah’s New Spirtuality : This covers the life of Oprah which was very humanizing of her, and then goes into the critique of Oprah’s New Age belief in contrast to the Christian faith.
Mormon in Movieland: This section covers and contrasts Mormonism with Christianity
The Buddha Comes to Tinseltown: This section covers how Buddhism came to Hollywood and contrasts Buddhism with Christianity
Scientolgy: Hollywood’s A-List Religion: This gives a very revealing look at Scientology and is very informative. Again, this section contrasts Scientology with Christianity
Kabbalah a la Madonna: This is also an interesting section as Abanes covers and contrasts not just Christianity but also Judaism/Kabbalahism with the new pop version that Madonna and others follow.
The Magick of Hollywood: This section covers Occultism in Hollywood and again contrasts it with Christianity

Each section is informative, humanizing and easy to read. I learned much about Scientology and the type of Kabbalahism that Madonna is into. Richard Abanes really never goes into sensationalism which would be easy to do in such a book.

Now there are two minor critiques:

I do believe there is a “Christian” panentheism. This type acknowledges that God is separate from creation, yet also sees that God is “in creation” in the sense that Romans 1:20 states:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Now I would not fight tooth and nail to support this as Biblical doctrine, yet in the debates I have read I do see that this type of panentheism may be acceptable. The thing on this I do agree with is the way and definition Richard Abanes used panentheism as not being Biblical.

In the Magick section I disagree a bit on Harry Potter as being connected with Occultism. Now I truly understand the reasons why Richard sees these books as he does and again, would not argue and divide over our disagreement. I do agree to an extent as I would be cautious to let my kids watch the movies or read the books without discussing them with them.

Again, I will emphasize that these are very minor disagreements and I would recommend the book to anyone that needs information on these religions.

Personal message to Richard:

Richard, I was amused at one reference to a certain “evangelist”. As I have gotten to know him I see him on the level of Ken Silva. LOL! But, then even a broken clock is right twice a day so Eric could be right on some things I suppose.

var addthis_pub=”iggy”;

Bookmark and Share

h1

Books! Books! Books!

May 15, 2009

Michal Frost and Alan Hirsch are a great team. ReJesus is a provocative look at how we are doing church now and how we should look at church as we move into this new era. Though I will not say they present anything “new” I will say they unpack many things that others have presented before them very well. This is not about changing Jesus to fit our views, but about changing our views, and recaptureing a high Christology that will refocus us to drive a missional church.

Andy Crouch is a deep writer. Be warned Culture Making is not light reading. Is culture something we need to fight against, or do we need to realize culture is inate to humankind. Andy Crouch builds a great foudnation to show that we are to make culture and explores what this means a Christians.

Every year I try to re-read Classic Christianity. Bob George unpacks Grace in a very down to earth manner. This book had a profound impact on my faith and in helping me find acceptance from God.

Bookmark and Share

h1

Books! Books! Books!

May 15, 2009

Michal Frost and Alan Hirsch are a great team. ReJesus is a provocative look at how we are doing church now and how we should look at church as we move into this new era. Though I will not say they present anything “new” I will say they unpack many things that others have presented before them very well. This is not about changing Jesus to fit our views, but about changing our views, and recaptureing a high Christology that will refocus us to drive a missional church.

Andy Crouch is a deep writer. Be warned Culture Making is not light reading. Is culture something we need to fight against, or do we need to realize culture is inate to humankind. Andy Crouch builds a great foudnation to show that we are to make culture and explores what this means a Christians.

Every year I try to re-read Classic Christianity. Bob George unpacks Grace in a very down to earth manner. This book had a profound impact on my faith and in helping me find acceptance from God.

Bookmark and Share

h1

Todd Friel: Is He For Real?

April 6, 2008

Now, it is long, but the highlights are…

1. Did he read the book… does not sound like it at all!
2. Tells us piety is wrong, then tells us that the problem is the “hypocrites” in the church.
3. Does not grasp that we are in the world and not of it…
4. Agrees then builds about 20 different straw men to make it wrong…
5. States over and over “WE need to change the people” ummm God changes people! ARRRRGH!

When he states two types of Christians… your type and our type don’t miss the irony in all that as Todd’s picture comes up… and then he begings to promote exactly what he is speaking against! LOL!

It goes on.. He talks of being anti “hypocrites” then states “WE” must change people and does not even care to see the others perspective. IF HE ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK he would have noticed the message is not changed… believe me I have read the book.

I see he is misdiagnosing the problem and then ignoring any solution except his OWN WAY… and that is that instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to change people… “WE” must change them.

Good grief… once again I understand why I do not listen to these guys. There is so much doublespeak and misinformation and… well intellectual dishonesty…

Well I did laugh a bit… And Todd, get out of that bubble. Denny’s is not all there is in culture.

Oh contrast Todd’s rant with this video…

or this one…

Blessed?

iggy

h1

Todd Friel: Is He For Real?

April 6, 2008

Now, it is long, but the highlights are…

1. Did he read the book… does not sound like it at all!
2. Tells us piety is wrong, then tells us that the problem is the “hypocrites” in the church.
3. Does not grasp that we are in the world and not of it…
4. Agrees then builds about 20 different straw men to make it wrong…
5. States over and over “WE need to change the people” ummm God changes people! ARRRRGH!

When he states two types of Christians… your type and our type don’t miss the irony in all that as Todd’s picture comes up… and then he begings to promote exactly what he is speaking against! LOL!

It goes on.. He talks of being anti “hypocrites” then states “WE” must change people and does not even care to see the others perspective. IF HE ACTUALLY READ THE BOOK he would have noticed the message is not changed… believe me I have read the book.

I see he is misdiagnosing the problem and then ignoring any solution except his OWN WAY… and that is that instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to change people… “WE” must change them.

Good grief… once again I understand why I do not listen to these guys. There is so much doublespeak and misinformation and… well intellectual dishonesty…

Well I did laugh a bit… And Todd, get out of that bubble. Denny’s is not all there is in culture.

Oh contrast Todd’s rant with this video…

or this one…

Blessed?

iggy

h1

The New Christians: Tony Jones

February 20, 2008
Of all at Emergent, Tony Jones has been one that intrigued me the most. I really like much he offers at Emergent Village such as the Plato Smackdown and other podcast dealing with philosophy and religion.
With that I had some great anticipation when heard he had a book come out. Now, I caution that like other “Emergents” Tony is but one voice in a much larger conversation. I do see heavy influence by Brian McLaren both from the title to the much that is spoken about by in New Kind of Christian as we flash forward and find the pioneers who blazed trails and also took the arrows.
I was not disappointed with Tony’s book. I see though as I look around the web (I usually try not to as I am about to write a review, yet for some reason I did…) I see that the chapters Tony talks about the “chickens” seem to miss the mark with some. It seems some people miss the understanding of stewardship and think Tony is “out to save the chickens” truthfully I saw that chapter about saving Christianity from consumerism… not just consumerism, but wanton destruction and total disregard for God’s creation. The own took to heart his business, the officers, thought it a joke to worry about the humane slaughter of chickens… and many of them were “Christians”. To me to understand that (which seemed a simple illustration) one would begin to grasp the issues we see as emerging… Christians.
My favorite point that Tony makes is how he explains “Absolute truth” I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say, I wish I have the simple illustration to explain why I see that the biblical definition of Truth needs no “qualifier” and to add to it, actually takes away from it and adds more issues than if we just stood on the bibles definition. This is not to throw out “absolutes” rather to gain that Truth is a Person… Jesus Christ… and not a detached abstract thought.

If one is trying to get an understanding on the “movement” this will give a bit more to the grand puzzle. But, realize as I already stated, this is a grand mosaic of many conversants. To say this book wraps it all up neatly, would be misleading, yet it will help flesh out the misunderstandings that are out there. (unless you get stuck thinking about saving chickens for Jesus and miss the point!) = )
For other voices about the book..

Be Bless,

iggy

h1

The New Christians: Tony Jones

February 20, 2008
Of all at Emergent, Tony Jones has been one that intrigued me the most. I really like much he offers at Emergent Village such as the Plato Smackdown and other podcast dealing with philosophy and religion.
With that I had some great anticipation when heard he had a book come out. Now, I caution that like other “Emergents” Tony is but one voice in a much larger conversation. I do see heavy influence by Brian McLaren both from the title to the much that is spoken about by in New Kind of Christian as we flash forward and find the pioneers who blazed trails and also took the arrows.
I was not disappointed with Tony’s book. I see though as I look around the web (I usually try not to as I am about to write a review, yet for some reason I did…) I see that the chapters Tony talks about the “chickens” seem to miss the mark with some. It seems some people miss the understanding of stewardship and think Tony is “out to save the chickens” truthfully I saw that chapter about saving Christianity from consumerism… not just consumerism, but wanton destruction and total disregard for God’s creation. The own took to heart his business, the officers, thought it a joke to worry about the humane slaughter of chickens… and many of them were “Christians”. To me to understand that (which seemed a simple illustration) one would begin to grasp the issues we see as emerging… Christians.
My favorite point that Tony makes is how he explains “Absolute truth” I won’t spoil it, but suffice it to say, I wish I have the simple illustration to explain why I see that the biblical definition of Truth needs no “qualifier” and to add to it, actually takes away from it and adds more issues than if we just stood on the bibles definition. This is not to throw out “absolutes” rather to gain that Truth is a Person… Jesus Christ… and not a detached abstract thought.

If one is trying to get an understanding on the “movement” this will give a bit more to the grand puzzle. But, realize as I already stated, this is a grand mosaic of many conversants. To say this book wraps it all up neatly, would be misleading, yet it will help flesh out the misunderstandings that are out there. (unless you get stuck thinking about saving chickens for Jesus and miss the point!) = )
For other voices about the book..

Be Bless,

iggy

h1

UnChristian

January 13, 2008
UnChristian

I received a copy of the book by Dave Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons a while ago and was pretty excited to read it. I am sometimes a sucker for data and graphs and such as I expected from a book by the Barna research group.

As I read through it though, it seemed as if it was old material. What I mean is this is the data to back up what many of us have already been stating and have witnessed.

The “Christian” Church has become in many ways unchristian.

Now, what does that mean? It does not mean we all have forsaken doctrines and such, rather it means that though we still hold many things that are true and of great value, somehow we have given off some very unchristian messages.

We are perceived by people as:
Anti homosexual
Judgmental
Hypocritical
Sheltered
Too political
Too focused on getting people saved

Now on the surface each of these may not sound that bad to some. Yet, remember this is what people think of “Christians”. My question is, when asked, this is their reply instead of “People that love Jesus and love others.”

Are we just a people that hate gays? Is that what some view sums up being a Christian? I hope not. Yet it does seem that many of us are missing the boat.

Are we to be known for what we are against or Who we are for?

It was a hard read as at times I wanted to yell, “THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT!”

Funny thing is that I read another review where the author stated the real issue was that the “Emergents” were corrupting the church… I guess they missed the chapter on judgmentalism…

I recommend the book. It has in it some quite differing viewpoints on how and what we need to do to change others perceptions of Christians… like Brian McLaren and Charles Colson which some might say are polar opposites so it should appeal to a wide variety of people. Other contributors included are Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, Chris Seay, John Stott and a few others.

For more info on the book, you can check out their website.
To hear an interview with one of the authors check out the Steve Brown Etc. show.