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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Friday, March 29, 2013

Who Do You Think You Are?- Mark Driscoll

Finding Your True Identity In Christ 

"We don't understand who we truly are children of God made in His image." and that is very true. Many times we forget who we really are in Christ and our true identity. the author is
founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle Washington and Creator of Resurgence the largest Christian Leadership website. I always am glad to see an extensive notes section and an index to quickly find something I had read. Big name endorsements such as Rick Warren and Sheila Walsh help to round out the endorsements. The titles of the chapters hint at the content such as I am a saint, I am appreciated, I am Reconciled, I am Forgiven, and I am Victorious. The author dedicates this book to his teenage daughter and this book should be given to all of our children. 
So many people seek to get their identity through this world, but only when we realize who we are in Christ will we realize our true identity. Questions everyone must ask themselves are Who are you? What defines you? What is your identity? and What does it mean to be "in Christ?" Other books by the author include Real Marriage, also on his website are several sermons and guest blogs from the Washington Post.
In the chapter I am Blessed, the author briefly touches on predestination.  He says
"For the Christian, the doctrine of predestination is something to be considered and rejoiced in.  The Christian is supposed to lovingly, truthfully, and humbly present the gospel of Jesus Christ to non-Christians and see what God does as a result."
Quotes from R.C. Sproul, John Piper, and Jonathan Edwards help to ground the theology in Biblical principles. The chapters begin with a passage from Ephesians and contain stories from members of Mars church. 
Website of Mark Driiscoll can be found at pastormark.tv/book
I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling in their identity, which is everyone at one time or another.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Quiet - Susan Cain

The Power of Introverts in a world that can't stop talking.  Speaking of the contributions of introverts Winifred Gallagher has said "Neither E=mc2 nor Paradise Lost was written by a party animal."
With extensive notes and reader's resources, this is a much needed and welcome book to those of us who are introverts.  It will help you understand yourself or someone you know in a whole new way.  Many people misunderstand introverts, they are not always shy and reserved, although these qualities may overlap.  There is a test in the beginning of the book to see if you are one of the estimated 1/3 to 1/2 of the population that fall into this category.  You may be surprised at the results.
Using personal examples, history, and interview subjects, the author defines the culture that has changed to hold extroverts up as an ideal, and why we need introverts in this world.
This book is divided into 4 parts,  The Extrovert Ideal,  Your Biology Your Self, Do all cultures have an  extrovert ideal? and How to Love, How to Work.
There is an interesting dedication in which she dedicates the book to her family, particularly her grandfather.
People such as Rosa Parks, Dale Carnegie, Dr, Seuss, Stephen Wozniak and others are considered introverts and their contributions to society are legendary.
Website www.readitforward.com offers many resources for readers including a feature called extra libris for this book. Also www.broadwaypaperbacks.com and www.thepowerofintroverts.com.
Also worth viewing is the author's TED talk from 2012 available on youtube.
This book address issues such as what to do with an introverted child, what to do if you are an introvert yourself, and when should an introvert act like an extrovert.
Also will answer the questions When should introverts collaborate, and participate in group activities?
What I like about this book is that she does not generalize or pigeon-hole people into one extreme or the other.
This is not necessarily a "Christian" book, there is a mention of Moses and Aaron and personality differences between them, however we all can learn something about how God has made us and our personalities.  Christians will also find interesting the section on Saddleback Church and her analogy with a Tony Robbins seminar.
I would recommend this book to anyone who feels like they don't fit in, (you are not alone), and anyone who has a loved one or child who may be an introvert.