Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Yes Man

    Image

 

   This is a movie that I longed to watch while reading this book, and I think the reason I wanted to was because I think that Mike Glenn stole this metaphor and placed it within the biblical framework. I was somewhat let down when it came to the overall nature of the book. To start with the book cover art looks like something out of my loving mothers scripturally inspirational, nautically themed, bathroom. Second, while Glenn had good content his writing voice was not something that inspired or enthralled me in my reading. 

      The reason why this book was not incredible was because the central theme of the book revolved around a metaphor that was not strong to begin with. Part of the reason the metaphor was not strong was because it was confusing. Some quotes that allude to the sometimes confusing nature are as follows, 

“Upon first hearing this idea, you might think that finding and living in your ‘yes’ would be limiting even constricting.” (p.6)

 

“Once you find the ‘yes’ of God you discover it is the very thing you would have wanted if only you had been smart enough to ask.” (p.7)

   This metaphor while in theory is suppose to rally the reader around the understanding perspective structure’s behavior the metaphor seemed to cliche and confusing to grip the reader into this new fastidious approach to the christian life. I do appreciate literature that attempts to cause the reader to analyze their thoughts and perspective of God and understand that that effects how they live down to the tiniest relationships. I give the book a 2 out of 5. 

 

This book was given to me in order to review this content of Blogging for Books. 

 

Advertisements

Red Letter Christian

This book is a book that sets out to divulge from the common book dynamics and structure itself around conversation. Instead of giving an authoritative instruction for how to live a doctrinally specific route this book sets out to guide the reader through the journey of following Jesus.
One thing that I admired from reading this book is that two men younger and older found commonality, and differences yet, classify each other as part of the same way, a third way. This way is one that is not based in air tight doctrinal agreeances, but a honest pursuit to follow King Jesus in the wake of his kingdom birthing into this here and now. At first one might ask why that is admirable, and I believe it is because for someone to follow Jesus and have systematized bullet points for everything under the sun is disingenuous to Jesus himself. The reason is Jesus did not speak specifically on how do deal with everything in life point by point. Jesus gave principles and gave a picture of what his Kingdom looks like. This means that those who follow Jesus must do the hard work to see exactly how that plays out in areas all across the board. Shane and Tony set up the book in a topical basis in order to shed light on how a third way, Jesus follower approaches, handles, and discusses any litany of topics. This third way is a classification that I placed on the category that Shane and Tony have been apart of. This category is being considered a red letter christian; which plainly means following Jesus’ specific words, understanding them, and living them.
I believe that this book was a well thought out thesis of joining the cause to be a red letter christian and understanding how one would think, and address the many heated topics one can come across. I would highly recommend this book with anyone willing and looking for something different then the mainstream version of Christianity that many of us are used to.

This book was given to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for crafting a review.

Men of Sunday

    Image 

    Men of Sunday is a very interesting book that allows the reader to peer into the lives and family structures of professional football players. This book was specifically interesting to me because of my love for football and also because of some of the specific topics that were addressed. The book sets out to expose the faithful of the game and how their lives existed within the sport of football, which is categorically a violent and brutal game. The book then sets out to discuss how two seemingly inconsistent realities, following Jesus and potentially hurting their opponents, can coexist. The book takes one through the thought process of one of the NFL most notoriously brutal players who is a follower, Mike Singletary. I loved hearing his thoughts on this inconsistency especially since I am a stone cold Chicago Bears fan.

            Ultimately the perspective they purport is convincing, but at the same time raises question. The book then continues to examine the families and inner workings of how these football players live life. The content of the remainder of the book drags somewhat and examines certain realities too much. I find the book to be a 4 out of 5 due to the content and discussion being very interesting but boring as certain point.

            I received an advanced copy of this book by the author and also through the BookSneeze Blogging for Books Program and was not required to write a favorable review.

 

Jesus:A Theography

      Jesus:A Theography is a well thought out idea for a book. Recently in writing circles the idea of writing through a narrative as a literary device to convey the whole picture has been more common. Another book that set out to use this device would be Andy Stanley’s book Grace of God. This device is actually extremely helpful and highlights areas that are commonly neglected from the lens of proof texting.

      The main goal of Viola and Sweet’s book is for the reader to see that all of scripture points to and is about Jesus. Viola and Sweet spend the first chapter explaining their means of exegeting scripture, and how it is meant to unveil the preeminence of Jesus in the biblical story. While overall I found this book to be a great edition to anyone’s library I do find my critiques. As with Viola and Sweet’s other works that use language that is highly romanticized and they lambaste the topic with words and metaphors. If anyone has read Viola’s From Eternity to Here they would see the similarities and the romanticism. The point is not that they are wrong, but merely is my way of saying I am not sold on their talent in writing or more specifically their writing voice it’s to cheesy and romanticized for my like. If I had to grade the book I would give it a 3 out of 5 for its effort to see everything with a Jesus shaped lens.

I received an advanced copy of this book by the author and also through the BookSneeze Blogging for Books Program and was not required to write a favorable review.

            The Voice New Testament is a fresh look at some ancient texts. What’s surprising is that in a culture so drenched in story, film, and the arts it is only now that we see literary devices of dialogue and other collections of these devices find it’s way into the biblical narrative. The scriptures bridge every genre of literature, but sometimes the valley is missed for the trees when it comes to the vibrancy of written word. The collective interpreters and writers for The Voice project desire to string together a group of people to speak on behalf of certain portions of text in order to have artist and authors speaks as opposed to only great scholars. The pursuit of this translation is to reinvigorate the reader with a fresh perspective and give them a way to look at the text as if for the first time.

            I like to read from varying translations, but not consistently. I go through ebbs and flows and some mornings I will wake a poet or a priest, and the times I crack open the good book could determine the language I can best read and interact with. This translation feels a lot like the translation of the message but with a great emphasis to draw the reader into participation and draw them into the story using devices the modern reader is looking for and hopes to see as to be cues to pay attention or tie this narrative to others. I give this review a 3 out of 5 due the similarities to the Message, but also for the originality that was infused.

 

BookSneeze® has provided with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.

Our Favorite Sins was actually a pretty impressive understanding of desires, temptations, and sins. Todd Hunter makes the case for how temptations and desires work to produce sin within us. To begin with Todd explains that the fact that we sin is based in our disordered desires Todd states,

We live in a posture of misalignment with the purposes of God for humanity.

This is crucial for understanding Todd thesis in regards to disordered desires. This line of thinking flows into the concept of sin being based in these disordered desires. Todd continues this by saying

Sin and temptation are powerless without my desires.

The fact that sin is prevalent and temptations truly rock us is that within us we have disordered desires that give power to these. This leads us to ask the question how do correct these disordered desires. Todd says so plainly,

the only way out of the mess of our disordered desires is to reorient and realign our whole lives around God and what he is up to on earth.

This is perfect statement but when he moves to application of this principle he abandons his mentality of pairing with God’s work on earth. He states that through liturgy and schedule use of ancient practices we can overcome temptation, but make no mention of how building the kingdom is the unifying measure that connects to God’s current agenda.
The contention that I have with his understanding of overcoming temptation is that it seems like an individual task and an individual journey. This completely ignores the communal aspect of the new testament and how God desires to interact with us primarily as a communal body called the church. Overall the book outlined the behind the curtains aspect of temptation and sin, but did not follow through with practical application for change based on its individualistic perspective.

With-Skye Jethani

Skye Jethani takes the reader on a journey into self-awareness. It is important always to remember our perspective especially when it comes to being disciples of Jesus. Skye helps the reader see that there are frameworks that all followers of Christ live out of. What Skye outlines is that there are 4 main modes that we live out the disciple life out of. Life for God, Life under God, Life above God, and finally Life with God. What the author does he shows that the first 3 things are not bad in themselves, but that they are an incomplete way to live for Christ. Life with God is proposed to be the healthiest emphasis and this it characterized in a life in partnership with God working for his kingdom. Now this kingdom aspect is not one that Skye necessarily mentions, but is a more narrative perspective to life with God. Skye purports that life with God is about prayer, and experience a life with him, but I do not agree with his contention. Life with God is about partnering in what God is doing in this world. What Skye lacks in his understanding is where Life with God fits under the umbrella of the Bible’s story.