I want to take a minute and post links to two book reviews. One is an excellent review of a book I intend to buy, read, make notes on and require any body under the age of 25 that comes to me for pre-marital guidance (which is a must if you want my signature on the marriage license. It's a license to be married, not to be wed. I can't sign it if I have no clue if you have any clue what it is to be married).
This book is What He Must Be....if He Wants to Marry My Daughter by Voddie Baucham.
Here's the link to Frank Turk's review (Frank goes by the name Centurion on TeamPyro, a blog I readily endorse.) If you've got time to spend on the internet, read Pyro. If you are a comic collector, check out Frank Turk's own blog/hobby shop.
Why will I endorse a book I haven't read? Because I've heard Dr. Baucham preach, I've heard him teach academically, I've read his blog, I've met the man (not that he will remember me), and greatly respect his work and Biblical viewpoint. He has two other books, Family Driven Faith and The Ever-loving Truth. All of these books are worth your time and money.
How much do I respect Voddie Baucham? If I looked up and saw him walk in during one of my sermons, I would hand him the microphone and sit down. He can preach more in 10 minutes than I can in a month. Is he human and fallible? Yes, but he also sets an excellent standard of being Biblical, no matter the cost.
On the subject of being Biblical, I'd like to link you to a review of a book that you should NOTwaste your time, money, or brain cells on. It's from Tim Challies, a well-known (in the internet world) blogger on Christian subjects. This is his review of The Shack by William P. Young. Now, he has a longer review that spells out more details, and I'll email it to you (or you can download it yourself).
Why do I side with Challies on this book? Well, here's why: there is a great tendency in American Christianity today to 'fluff' out the Gospel and God's expectations on His people. We are, rightly, concerned about taking the message of Christ and God's love to people around us. Unfortunately, we have allowed how the world responds to God to be our definition of success. As such, we water down hard truths, we push God's love as greater than His holiness, we try to project God as being whatever we need to see in order to understand Him.
Instead, we need to recognize that God has revealed Himself to the world in certain ways. One is as a righteous, jealous, holy, loving, all-powerful God who created the universe. The other is as the righteous, jealous, holy, loving, all-powerful God who created the universe. Our definition of success cannot be based solely on how the world responds. Our success is measured in our faithfulness to God's revelation of Himself. I don't think you find that in The Shack. I think you find an Americanized representation of what we'd like God to be, rather than what God has said He is.
To some, the book 'feels good' or 'was life-changing.' Eating a McDonalds double cheeseburger feels good, but that's not real nourishment. Shooting myself in the foot is life-changing. It's not healthy.
God reveals all of Himself through Scripture. Have you given the Bible as close of a reading as The Shack?
In truth, for the believer in Christ, nothing should have the importance that the Word of God has. Are other writings helpful? Yes, but anything that supposedly exists to help us grow in Christ should be based on Scripture, and not conflict with it. Neither should those writings try and take the place of Scripture.
So, why would I recommend, require if possible the first book? Because it's a compilation of what the Bible actually teaches. If you were to show me that you had read and comprehended what the Bible teaches about marriage and manhood, I'd let you out of reading What He Must Be.
Why would I recommend skipping the second book? Because it claims to teach about God without needing the Bible at all, that God is to be found more in your personal experience and how you want to see Him than in His own revelation. Why bother? If the author of The Shack is right, than his book is a waste of time. Experience God in your way, your own life however you want. If he's wrong, than the book is heretical, and you should read your Bible instead.
Looks like I forgot to post this! Thank you!
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