Monday, January 31, 2011

Generous Justice

Got this book from a good friend at Christmas. He has always the knack of picking something that illuminates the mind and stirs up the heart......
Every now and then you read a book and realize - the contents of this book could seriously change my life. This is one of those books. Tim Keller is setting out the Biblical reasoning why Christians and Churches should have a passion for justice at a local and global scale. It is a small book in size, containing just 8 chapters making up about 190 pages. It is a book that punches way above its weight and size. In the usual masterful manner the author draws together the teaching of Scripture and brings it right in under your radar and then detonates. The impact could not only be life changing but church changing. His thesis is simple - for too long the church has abandon the call of God to minister to those in need. For too long reformed Christians have been deformed Christians by leaving this call of God to those outside the Kingdom. The author is clear - this call is for the church.
Too many Christians say Don't get involved with the poor - sure they bring it on themselves! Keller is dynamite on this and blows this away with a quote from Edwards, "Such a faculty (ie being able to manage your affairs) is a gift that God bestows on some and not on others. And it is not owing to themselves.....This (ie helping them) is as reasonable as that he to whom Providence has imparted sight should be willing to help him to whom sight is denied, and that he should have the benefit of the sight of others, who has none of own."
Basically that means if you know someone who is not good at handling their affairs - then that is no reason for not reaching out in rich generosity.
I would advise any elder and deacon in the church to read this and see where and how you can minister to the needy and have the blessing of God come down on you and the society you live in. Perhaps if we got out of our comfort zones and unlocked the 100s of 1000s of pounds lurking in church bank accounts we could minister as Christ calls us to and have endless opportunity for sharing the gospel which has stirred us to be so generous.
Thanks Dave for another cracker book......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raised with Christ, Adrian Warnock

This is the next volume on my reading on the resurrection. Raised with Christ comes with two opening pages of recommendation. And I am glad to say that it does live up to all the words of commendation. It is a well written 19 chapter book that seeks to explain that the resurrection changes everything. The opening chapters cover the details of the resurrection and the rest tease out this life transforming doctrine in to every day life. If you like footnotes instead of annoying end notes you will enjoy the way that the publisher has set out this volume. This is a thoroughly heart warming and informative read. I didn't agree with everything that the author said especially in his comments regarding the work of the Holy Spirit and also revival. He seems to take MLJ's angle on the working of the Holy Spirit. All in all an excellently written and helpful study on the doctrine of the resurrection and a must for anyone wanting to delve in to this glorious truth.