June 2010

Ron’s #25: Robert Murray M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar

June 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

I don’t read enough biographies, but when I do, I walk away thinking that I should read more of them. Christian biographies are especially important, as they show what a life lived for Christ looks like. Robert Murray M’ Cheyne by Andrew Bonar is no exception. Robert Murray M’Cheyne was a Scottish preacher born in 1813. After pursuing classical and religious studies in the university, he came to Christ following the death of his older brother David. David provided a godly example to his little brother, and God used that loss to lead Robert to Himself. He then became a passionate preacher, evangelist, hymnist, writer, and missionary during his short life. M’Cheyne died in 1843 at the age of twenty-nine. Twenty-nine! I am ashamed to see the dearth of godly pursuits evidenced in the first twenty-nine years of my life. Robert Murray M’ Cheyne was written by his close friend Andrew Bonar a mere six months after Robert died. The book includes many of his journal entries reflecting on his ministry. The strongest part of this biograpghy is the longer fragment from M’Cheyne’s writing titled, “Personal Reformation.” Much like Jonathan Edwards’s “Resolutions,” “Personal Reformation” sheds light on the heart of […]

Ron’s #24: The Devil’s Delusion by David Berlinski

June 23, 2010 // 0 Comments

I was interested in this refutation of the “New Atheists” called The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions because the author was not a Christian. David Berlinski is a secular Jew, and he takes on Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens with power and wit. Much of the material in here is challenging the essence of the worldview of Darwinism. As other voices continue to say, Darwinism’s biggest critic is science itself, not faith as is often caricatured. While I enjoyed reading this book, much of the scientific discussions were too technical for this guy. If you have a strong background in the sciences, you may glean more from this than I did. I certainly appreciate was Berlinski brings to the discussion. Share on Facebook

Ron’s #23: Rome Sweet Rome by Scott and Kimberly Hahn

June 22, 2010 // 3 Comments

My friend recommended this book about a Protestant’s journey to Catholicism, as I am a former Catholic (as she is as well). I was interested in understanding the reasons for such a conversion. Overall, the subject of the book was an interesting read. I was impressed with Scott Hahn and his voracious study of theology and discussions with friends. He appears to be an intriguing fellow. The book itself is poorly written, even painful at times. [e.g. “I began to see that every time Kimberly and I performed the marital act, we were doing something sacred” (28).] But, I won’t let that cloud the discussion. I see his transition marked by three main points of doctrine. 1.) Scott started with a change of mind about infant baptism and birth control. Both of those issues, not exclusively Catholic doctrines, caused a shift in his thinking. 2.) From there, he became convinced that sola scriptura (Scripture alone is authoritative) is unbiblical. 3.) Mary’s role in the life of a Christian was the biggest and final hurdle before becoming a Catholic. If true, these three points should make us all Catholics. If infant baptism removes original sin, if Scripture does not have final […]

Mark’s #21: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

June 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

Recently I asked my English teacher friend, Ron Coia, to loan me some books I should have read in high school, but chose instead to play basketball.  The first book he gave me was Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Originally published in 1953, this book seems increasingly prophetic.  Bradbury describes a society in the future that has no need – or even worse – a disdain for books.  There are at least two reasons for such a state of affairs.  First, books can be controversial.  They can offend.  Therefore, in the interest of not offending any minority group, such books and thinking should be done away with.  Second, society has become a purely ‘entertainment’ society, and therefore has no need with pausing and thinking (which good books require). Bradbury describes a world where television is pumped into homes on wall-sized screens… sometimes on each of the four living room walls at once.  The viewers are then constantly bombarded with noise and flashing images.  While not watching these screens, the characters have ‘sea shells’ in their ears that pump music and noise into their minds (think ipods).  Schools have done away with any type of formal education, focusing rather on sports and […]

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