February 2011

JRF’s #7 – Meaning at the Movies by Grant Horner

February 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

While every teacher (in school and out) has some kind of influence on us, most everyone can point to an individual or a handful of teachers that have significantly impacted the way one views the world. Grant Horner is one of those teachers for me. I remember walking into my first class at The Master’s College as a relatively new believer and finding an essay sitting on every desk by some weird philosopher I had never heard of and couldn’t pronounce – Nietzsche. A few minutes after the class was supposed to start, a man wearing a fedora and tweed vest burst into the room (ya, he’s a bit eccentric – what would you expect from an English prof?). “Before you went off to college your father or pastor may have sat you down and warned you about all the dangerous philosophies you may be exposed to in academia. Perhaps he even told you that out of all the philosophers, ‘stay away from Nietzsche at all costs – he will destroy your faith!’ Well I don’t believe that we who have the truth have to be afraid of error, so we are going to start out this class by analyzing […]

Jim’s #4: Forgotten God by Francis Chan

February 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

Forgotten God is pretty much what I expected from Francis Chan.  I really enjoyed Crazy Love when I read that and expected this to be similar, which it was but with a bit more theology to it than Crazy Love.  When I first saw that Chan was putting out this book I immediately got interested because the Holy Spirit has always been the God I know the least about.  The Celtic Christians called Him the Wild Goose and I thought that was always an interesting analogy. Francis goes through the topic pretty systematically, beginning with why we need the Holy Spirit, moving into the theology regarding the Holy Spirit, and then discussing our lives and the pragmatic side of the Spirit.  He discusses numerous times the general feeling around the church that a day with Jesus would be better than a day with the indwelling Holy Spirit but goes on to show how the Bible (and Jesus) teaches absolutely contrary to that.  I mean, how is God being with us better than God being in us? There were other parts of the book I really enjoyed as well, including his discussion on quenching the Spirit and point that we often […]

Schlaefli’s #1: Everyman by Phillip Roth

February 27, 2011 // 0 Comments

This post will have a confessional tone- until this week I have never read anything by Roth. First impressions- he is supremely talented, just as I’d been told by my admonishing friends. The book is a subtle homage to the medieval story of the same name- an unnamed man travels towards death, reflecting on his virtues and vices, his victories and defeats. It is a very sober and bracing meditation on the regrets we take with us to the grave, and of the yawning emptiness that awaits the unbeliever (As Everyman and Roth presumably are). There is a scene at the end of the book with the main character at the cemetery that is one of the most beautiful passages I have read in a while. Good stuff. I’ll be reading more from Mr. Roth.

Jim’s #3: The Surprising Work of God by Garth M. Rosell

February 26, 2011 // 2 Comments

There are plenty of books on the work of Billy Graham, but not nearly as many on Harold John Ockenga, the man behind much of what Billy Graham and his ministry achieved by God’s grace.   I had not heard of Ockenga before my church history course but after reading the book I have to wonder how that was the case.   Ockenga was God’s man behind the 4th Great Awakening and the Rebirth of Evangelicalism.  This book goes into incredible detail of his life and ministry. Garth Rosell was asked by Ockenga’s family to write this biography (as his father, Carl Rosell, was another key member of the Awakening movement) and granted him permissions to all of Ockenga’s journals and private works to do so.  He gives great back story to the great Awakening and captured well the impact of Ockenga and Graham’s work.  Ockenga was an enormously powerful preacher  and evangelist(though quite awkward with the ladies as you’d find in this book).  He was part of the first graduating class of Westminster Seminary, founded by J. Gresham Machem after the split within the Presbyterians from Princeton and eventually the founder and president of the ever-important National Association of […]

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