Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Who is the Holy Spirit? What does He do? And is it true, as the subtitle of J.D. Greear's new book "Jesus Continued" suggests that the "Holy Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you'? These are questions that the author deals with in "Jesus Continued...why the Holy Spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you" and he offers a refreshingly unique study of the Holy Spirit's role in the life of a believer.
J. D. Greear is the Pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. He holds a Phd in Systematic Theology and has authored previous works, including "Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart". His newest release is a balanced look at the role that the Holy Spirit plays in a believer's life and how we can learn His ways to better grow in our relationship with the Lord.
The book has sixteen chapters, divided into three sections, which address overarching issues about the missing Spirit, experiencing the Spirit and seeking the Holy Spirit. This is not a book about wild, charismatic fanaticism. Nor is it a treatise on cessationism. The author believes in the expression of the Holy Spirit today through spiritual gifts and graces, but emphasizes the broader spectrum of His purpose in a Christian's life.
In style, this book was not easy reading for me, but I do believe it was worth it. He approaches the subject of the Holy Spirit from a balanced view. His personal stories scattered in the book help illustrate his points nicely, and I was particularly impressed with the way he addresses the leadings of the Holy Spirit in several places. You'll have to read to discover why, but if you like your 'guidance' to be very 'cookie cutter orderly', then you might not enjoy his conclusions. I believe the book will help you if you want to grow deeper in your knowledge of the Holy Spirit and will help you to experience Him more in everyday life. This book was given to me, free of charge, through the Book Look book review program for bloggers, available at www.booklookbloggers.com, and the views expressed are my own.
Monday, February 16, 2015
Perhaps you've found it difficult to discuss Christianity with atheists. Maybe some of their arguments have even taken you off guard and made you wonder how to respond to their queries and their critiques. Dr. Frank Turek has recently written a unique book entitled "Stealing From God" which discusses some of the most common arguments most atheists propose, while demonstrating through solid reasoning why these same arguments require God in order to support their own positions. It is a thought provoking book that challenges the conventional thinking of skeptics, while equipping the mind of the believer to see the impossibility of some atheistic claims apart from the knowledge of God.
Dr. Turek is the President of "Cross Examined" and the co-author of "I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist". He is not afraid to tackle questions that some might consider tough to argue and has debated at numerous campus and other public venues. It is his depth of scholarship, combined with his simplicity of reasoning that make his arguments worth reading and exploring carefully. He even includes small excerpts of public debates where some of the objections he addresses have been raised by others.
Using the acronym CRIMES, he proceeds in the chapters of the book to examine the areas he considers some of the major places where atheists 'steal from God' to propose their doubts. In areas including, causality, reason, information and intentionality, morality, evil and science, each topic is probed by often quoting the words of the critics themselves to carefully articulate their ideas. But, then, with a surgeon's precision, he cuts to the real root of the trouble and gives the diagnosis that identifies the ailment for each one. It is a very thorough treatise of truth.
The only area I think would have made the book an easier read would be in summarizing earlier in the book. He concludes by reviewing some of the main points addressed in 1-2 pages, which were simpler in form that the pages of material used to explain them. But, for those familiar with this type of debate, it may not be that unusual. I also like his presentation of CS Lewis "Four Point Case for Mere Christianity" and appreciated his willingness to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My recommendations are for those who want to learn better how to defend their faith, for some who think they have legitimate arguments, and for the individuals who are not afraid to tackle the questions which may baffle some, but are in reality "Stealing From God".