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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Strange Fire - John Macarthur

The Dangers of Offending the Holy Spirit with counterfeit worship. The title comes from Leviticus 10:2
"In ancient Israel there lived two priests who approached God without the reverence He deserves. The disregarded God's instructions and burned incense in His tabernacle with "strange fire"
  At over 300 pages this book covers a lot of ground.  In the Introduction the author makes it clear that he sees the charismatic movement as a "farce and a scam from the outset." He goes on to make his point the chapters are divided into three parts, Confronting a counterfeit  revival, Exposing Counterfeit gifts, and Rediscovering the Spirit's true work.  In this book he names names, and calls the this practice heresy. John Macarthur is a strong believer in cessation, that the gifts of the apostles were for a specific period in time to establish the early church.   There is a subject and Scripture reference index, plus an extensive 30 page notes section.  Two of the most interesting chapters to me were his Open Letter to My Continuationist Friends, about the dangereous ramifications of the Continuationist Position, in which he points out 8 points defending his position.  and in the Appendix titled Vices from Church History, using quotes from past theologians to support his position.  The author is a well known author and pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, and media ministry Grace To You.  www.gty.com and www.thomasnelson.com.
Mr. Macarthur uses scripture to support his claim that what most claim to be "speaking in tongues" is actually a hoax, and nonsensical gibberish.  He names Oral Roberts and Benny Hinn as two modern day health and wealth preachers who are leading people from the truth.
Whatever side of the argument you may fall on, this book is an interesting read.  I would recommend it for anyone wanting to know the truth abut the modern Charismatic movement.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Small Change - Charles E. Johns

Glimpses of Grace in the Ordinary. On the cover of this book is pictured a small plant held gently in cupped hands, an analogy for the Christian faith, starting with a seed and growing into a mature plant.  Sometimes God uses ordinary people, the author describes it as "tales of people, places and things that can either pass unappreciated or can become elemental moments of definition."
This book contains short chapters, 2 or 3 pages each, many of which were published previously in a column titled Faith Matters in The Voice, the newspaper of the United Methodist Wyoming Annual Conference.  Divided into sections titled Advent, Epiphany, Lent, and Ordinary time- All in the family and Ordinary Time  - On the road. .  Author is a United Methodist minister, and uses personal observations and thoughts to express God's grace to himself and others.  In Flying Lesson, he talks about the time when he was 9 years old and "believed the wrong people, a small step on the road to maturity, with no harm done."
I enjoyed reading the author's personal insights and stories.  His writing style is similar to Henri Nouwen,who he cites as an influence.
Published by Crosslink Publishing, www.crosslink.org