Book, , Movie, Music, and Television Reviews

A couple of terms were introduced, both of which color the system's view of eschatology.

(note: the descriptions, as I understand them, apply only to end times.)

Dispensationalism: all things are interpreted literally, all promises to Abraham and David are yet to be fulfilled (no promises have already been fulfilled)

Preterist: most of all prophecies concerning the end times have already been fulfilled.

Riddlebarger explains that neither of these views are correct.

When Scripture uses figurative language, interpret it figuratively.  Dispensationalism takes the figurative and forces it into literalism.

Prophetic passages can also contain a "has passed, but has yet to come to pass" dual meaning.

Riddlebarger helps us understand that there were anti-Christ types before Jesus walked this earth, and that there have been many anti-Christs, and there will be more.

Therefore, since Antichrist has already come, remains with us today, and will come again, understanding the tension between the already and the not yet is the key to understanding what the doctrine of Antichrist actually entails, and understanding this tension enables us to know how we are to combat him.

Kim Riddlebarger. Man of Sin, The: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist (p. 36). Kindle Edition.

 

 

Worship by the Book” was written by Mark Ashton, Kent Hughes, and Timothy Keller and edited by D.A.Carson.

 

'What is at stake is authenticity. . . . Sooner or later Christians tire of public meetings that are profoundly inauthentic, regardless of how well (or poorly) arranged, directed, performed. We long to meet, corporately, with the living and majestic God and to offer him the praise that is his due.'---D. A. Carson

 

Each of the authors bring a different perspective of worship to the book, offering a variety of emphasis; their years of ministry give this book a unique insight of corporate worship.

 

“Worship by the Book” primarily aims at pastor, seminary students, and other church leaders and offers a theology of worship that comes from Scripture and points directly at Christ.

 

As more and more Christians seek deeper worship and begin to turn their backs on anemic worship services and Sunday morning concerts that invite the audience to sing along, “Worship by the Book” brings us back to the purpose (and object) of corporate worship.

 

This book sets itself apart from other “theology of worship” books because of the variety of backgrounds of the authors. One brings liturgy to the table, another a more modern method. But they all point to Jesus.

 

Consistently, the book illustrates a method of worship, along with an explanation about why it points to Jesus.

 

I'm not a pastor, worship leader or seminary student. But for years I longed for deep and meaningful worship. This book helped me to identify why the congregation I'm currently in makes my soul, along with my mouth sing!

The most profound, yet supremely simple concept:  Q) what is the most important instrument of worship? A) The congregation.

And the verdict is: Read this book if you lead worship, if you oversee somebody who leads worship, if you sit under a worship leader. Read this book if you want to know why worship works, or why it doesn't.

 

Buy this book for your worship leaders and pastors. It would make a great gift, especially if it came with a note that said, “this book explains why I love the way our church worships.”

Just finished it the first time.

Still don't get it, so I'll blog through it.

the first piece I'll work through is the "why" - why are we so fascinated with the "anti-christ?"

Riddlebarger says that it's because we don't quite see "evil" as evil unless we can put a face to it.  Communism is bad, but unless we can put an evil dictator's face to it, we don't seem to connect it to life.

Another thing is that the "Left Behind" series put a name to him.  That makes it more tantalizing and we "see" more clearly.

But what we think we know (via end times fiction) might not necessarily be what the Bible says about the "man of sin."

~~~

Next question:  why am I interested in this topic?

End times in general, I think - everybody wants a glimpse into the future.  What will happen?  What will happen to those I love?  Will there be a rapture, or will we be here during the "great tribulation?"

I lean "a-mil" so I believe that Christians will be here during the great tribulation - we've been here before, we will be again.  The world hates us; and the more we love Jesus, the more they hate us.

Do I want to "date set?"  Since Christ left, Christians have looked forward to His return.  Is it near?  Is it far?  How do we know?

Is the Anti-Christ a sign?  Who is he?

In the end, curiosity brings me to this topic...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

``

 

Opening Statement and "what's the point?"

include title, author, and a quote from the author about the purpose of the book.

What is the tone of the book?

What makes this author uniquely qualified to write this book?  Who is his audience?

What is the purpose of the book?

What does the book promise? What is the problem the book promises to solve?

What does the author say?

two or three paragraphs - does the book do what it promised to do?  why or why not?  If not, why not?

Why does it matter?

Before I wrap up the review, I want to help people understand what sets this book apart and what makes it unique. This is often the most important part of the review.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? -What is your overall impression?

Reviews are, by their very nature, subjective. An author of a review cannot entirely remove himself from it.

And the verdict is:

Challies says:

At 10MillionWords I’ve gotten into the habit of closing each review with “Verdict: Read it if…”

Adapted from GoodReads and Challies

 

How do these work together?

I started "The Daniel Plan" by Rick Warren (and others) - yeah, yeah...same old, same old.  But as something to work through, there might be some meat there.

Consider the introduction of the book.

Stewardship.  Stewardship over my body.

Friends, I’ve been a poor steward of my health and a terrible example for you. While we’ve been helping many around the world, I’ve ignored the problem here at home.

So today I am publicly repenting, and I ask for your forgiveness! God expects us to take care of the bodies he has given us, but I have not done that. Now, I’ve only gained two to three pounds a year, but I have been your pastor for thirty years. So I need to lose ninety pounds! Do any of you want to join me in getting healthy?

Committing to giving my body to God first, is a way of putting the physical focus on Him, away from me.

Yet, in this season of Lent, of preparation, of looking forward in time to the work of Christ on the cross...it seems like a good time to start this way of thinking about health.

My body is not my own, it was purchased by Jesus, with His blood.

Today we make the same common mistake Greek philosophers did thousands of years ago. Aristotle, Socrates , and Plato believed in dualism, 4 which included the idea that your mind (or spirit) is important, but your body isn’t important spiritually. They devalued the body. In fact, some Greek philosophers taught that your body is evil, so it really didn’t matter if you messed it up.

The Bible tells us the exact opposite. Your body is holy because God made it, and everything God makes has a purpose. We are to bring glory to God with our bodies, so we can’t compartmentalize our lives and think that we can divorce our bodies and live as if only our spirit matters. God owns your body!

Indeed, Jesus, you’re an engaged Shepherd, not an absentee landlord. Even as we make plans in our hearts, you are actively ordering our steps (Prov. 16: 9). Oh, the freedom and peace this brings! You are the Lord who “opens doors no one can shut” (Rev. 3: 8). And the converse is just as true; you also shut doors no one can open.

 

Our future is tied not to making the right decisions but to trusting the right Lord.

From "Everyday Prayers"

These days, all around us is the cry, "We worship the same God!"

But we don't.  Christians belong to a sovereign God who is in control of the universe.  Our future belongs to Him.

There was a time when I felt that - yes, there was a God, but I wasn't sure that He wanted me.  Coming from where I am now, I know that if I want HIM, He wants me.

For those of us dealing with job changes, financial stresses, and health issues, show yourself to be both merciful and mighty, Jesus. May your mercy keep us gentle and your might trump our impatience. For those of us having to make important decisions for the people we love, be huge and present. Long-term care for aging parents, the “right” education for our kids, the best treatment for family members and friends in the destructive whirlwind of addictions—make the way clear, Lord. As Prince of Peace, give us your peace as we wait upon you.

Huge changes are coming in my life.  Good changes, but hard changes also.  I'm leaving a great church, I'm leaving my kids (although I think I'll see them a lot.)   I hate moving.  I'm moving.  Addictive behavior of family members, all sorts of choices.

I pray for my family members, and my future family members.  Help me be patient, and pour Your mercy on us all.

"The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination" by Lorraine Boettner

For a beginner to Reformed theology, this book will give the basics of TULIP in an accessible way. If you are firmly already in the "ANTI-" camp, don't bother reading the book, you'll hate it. But if you want to learn about the theology, with an open mind, this is a great place to start.

This book begins at the beginning. Boettner teaches in this book that all of "TULIP" stands or falls together and starts with the "T" - total depravity.

For Boettner, the sovereignty of God is something to be glorified, not hated. We deserve nothing from God, and the idea that He saves some at all is a testament to goodness.

Each segment is supported with Scripture, and explained thoroughly.

There is a little bit of "here's where the other side is wrong" - and sometimes in not very graceful language - but even those are framed in "here's why from Scripture"

I read the Amazon reviews and there were a few of "one-star" reviews. ALL of these were not based on the writing of the book, but on their disagreement with Calvinism.

Every so often I start a book that just doesn't seem like it's worth finishing...So once a month I'm planning on posting a "not a review" for those "zero star" books...

First up...

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

at 28% done, I decided to call it a day. the book is listed at a "bargain price" and is written by a pilot who flew with the "movers and shakers" of the war. It communicates a lot of information, but in a way that is not all that readable.

I did take away a renewed understanding of the futility of the Viet Nam war, and I guess it's a good thing that we look at ALL war with the same cynical eye.

(Edit: okay, I'm working at it again...)

[relatedratings=null]This year I read through "God Is In the Manger" for Advent.

Book Description:

These forty stirring devotions will guide and inspire readers as they move thematically through the weeks of Advent and Christmas, from waiting and mystery to redemption, incarnation, and joy. Supplemented by an informative introduction, short excerpts from Bonhoeffer's letters, and passages from Bonhoeffer's Christmas sermons, these daily reflections are timeless and moving reminders of the true meaning of Christmas. Now repackaged in a beautiful hardback edition, it makes the perfect holiday gift.

For me, reading the words of Bohnhoeffer, many of them from prison, reminded me of that different time. We have felt for a while that the USA is on the verge of some version of that "different time" and the words of encouragement from prison resonated.

Each day there was a devotional, a few words from Bohnhoeffer, and a Scripture passage.

I would do this one again, and will buy a couple over the year so that I'll have some to give away.

It's the New Year and changes are coming. Tom is dropping out of college and the rule was (for both kids) that if they're not in school...they leave.

I don't know what's going to happen in my personal (romantic) life, but my relationship with my son is not good.

anyway... the post title. I love this song. "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)"

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning
It's time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

You're rich in love, and You're slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
Lord, I'll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I'll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I'll worship Your holy name
I'll worship Your holy name