Category Archives: Books

Review of “Letters to the Church” Chapter 2 – Sacred

“The stories in scripture are meant to show us that there exists something of greater value than our existence and rights. There are things that belong to God. Sacred things.” – p.31

The sacred should cause us to slow down. In Chan’s words to not rush into things. To pay attention. God is God and he has full authority to do all that he does. It may not make sense to us but maybe that is because we are out of touch with the sacred and too in touch with the secular.

I appreciated Chan’s candor and transparency in this chapter that his approaches to ministry and attracting people to church have not always focused on the right things. It doesn’t take being a mega-church to do this. A church of 75 can do this as well.

We must make sure that we put God first in all that we do even if that means less people are receptive. Who or what would they be receptive to if it isn’t God?

I also appreciated the discussion of our identity as God’s temple in the New Testament from 1 Peter 2 and pairing that with God’s mighty works in his temple in the Old Testament. These sacred things are now a part of who we are as God’s people and as bricks in his spiritual house.

This also means church is sacred. When God’s people gather to worship it isn’t something to be so critical of. It isn’t like we are just ordering pizza. We are the holy people of God, gathered to do holy things. We must keep this focus as disciples of Jesus and holy people.

It is critical that we have a healthy ecclesiology (understanding of the church). That has been lacking in recent years in many circles partly because we have secualrized and institutionalized everything so that we view and treat it just like everything else in our lives.

What if we could start seeing everything in our lives from a spiritual perspective, even ordering pizza? That the pizza delivery person has the divine image in them. They are to be loved. They are to find a place to belong. We start seeing the whole world different when we begin to understand the difference between what is sacred and what is secular – to not secularize the sacred but also to understand the sacred in what we thought was secular (common).

Thoughts on chapter 2?

Book Review: “Letters to the Church” By Francis Chan (Chapter 1)

I have had a lot of people tell me that I need to read Francis Chan’s book, “Letters to the Church.” I began reading it a few weeks ago and am going to share some thoughts here. I also want to involve you in this conversation for any of you who want to read throughContinue Reading

Book Review: “A Different Kind of Poison – How Legalism Destroys Grace” by Kevin Pendergrass

This book is a journey from legalism to grace through the life of Kevin Pendergrass. I was unaware of Kevin’s story and his transformation until I read his book and I would like to make you aware of this resource. Kevin group up as many of us did – contending for the faith (which meantContinue Reading

Book Review: Jesus’ Economy by John Barry

John Barry was a chief editor at Logos/Faithlife Bible software. He ended his stint with Faithlife in order to work with the poor all over the world and create sustainable business models to help get people out of poverty. He started a non-profit called Jesus’ Economy and has now combined his ministry with his writingContinue Reading

Book Review – Paul: A Biography By N.T. Wright

430 pages of text. Less than ten citations of contemporary secondary sources. Roughly a dozen extra-biblical ancient source citations. Another dozen intertestamental/apocryphal citations. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of scripture citations. All of that to say Wright’s book, “Paul: A biography” is scholarly but not written in direct conversation with various theories of what isContinue Reading

“Poured Out” By Leonard Allen

I just reviewed Leonard Allen’s recent book on the Holy Spirit called, “Poured Out: The Spirit of God Empowering the Mission of God” over at Wineskins. This is a book that everyone in Churches of Christ and beyond needs to read. The review is thorough. See if it interests you – http://wineskins.org/2018/11/13/book-review-poured-out-by-leonard-allen/

Book Review: “Paul – An Apostle’s Journey” By Douglas A. Campbell

A few weeks ago a friend recommended I read Douglas Campbell’s work on Paul. Since that time I have worked my way through his book “Paul – An Apostle’s Journey” and want to share some insights on the book, Campbell’s views, and the positives and negatives of the book as a whole. The first thingContinue Reading

My Top 5 Eugene Peterson Books

In the wake of Peterson’s death I want to take a moment to mention some of my favorite books he authored. Under the Unpredictable Plant – Peterson’s attempt to wrestle with and through a moment of personal ministerial turmoil through studying the life of Jonah. This is a move from career to true, God-given vocation.Continue Reading

Recommended Reading to Gain a Better Understanding of the Old Testament

For those of you who asked about what one can read to gain a better understanding of the Old Testament, here are some resources to consider: The first thing to do is spend time reading the actual Old Testament. One way to make that simpler for beginners is a good children’s Bible – If youContinue Reading

Book Review: Renewed – Clothed with the Wealth of Jesus in a Tattered Land by Bruce Morton

I have really been enjoying teaching through Colossians the last few Sunday mornings in my adult Bible class. Paul’s letter is so relevant for us today in helping us understand how the things we believe as Christians are different from the belief systems of the world. There is an analogy Paul uses in Colossians 3Continue Reading

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