Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Gentle Romance

A thirty year old woman, Ann, comes home to what she thinks is a celebratory weekend. Her younger sister is graduating with a Master's Degree. The weekend becomes tragic when a drunken driver hits their car and the sister dies. This opening draws you in, particularly when the younger sister dies humming a tune that begins to haunt Ann.

While the book is a romance, the thrust of the story is on Ann's relationship to God. She starts as a non-believer, and the tragic death of her sister does nothing to change that. She meets her sister's neighbors, Tammy and her mongoloid son, Keith. They strike Ann as encroaching; not people she wants in her life. However, as she gets to know Keith and understand his simple faith, particularly his faith that angels are around us helping us, she begins to love them.

I recommend this story for those who like a good read, not exciting, not outrageous, but a simple heartwarming story. It makes a very good case for the Christian dilemma of bad things happening to good people. Perhaps, if viewed correctly, they are God's way of helping us grow.

I reviewed this book or the Thomas Nelson Book Sneeze Program.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jesus for Today

MacAurthur has an important message for Christians today. In The Jesus You Can't Ignore, he shows us the Jesus many people seem to be understand. The real Jesus was neither meek not mild. He opposed the false piety of the Pharisees even though it led to his death. He didn't try to sit down and give have a nice chat with them. He told them where they were at fault. We, as Christians shouldn't be afraid to do that. Too many Christians today are taking the easy non-confrontational path. When the world is full of religious leaders pushing the easy pop-culture forms of religion, we need to stand up for what we believe. It doesn't help to hide behind pleasant sounding dialect.

MacArthur's point is that it's not easy to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In today's world so many churches fail to give what MacArthur calls “hard” preaching. If Christians stand back and fail to confront the false religions and false teachers, then we have lost our way. Christ confronted the religious leaders who preferred to give outward appearances of piety than to tend to their spiritual needs and those of their congregation. Today the risk of falling into the same trap by trying to curry popular opinion is very great. External observances do not substitute for spiritual commitment.