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Thoughts on the Christian life in a fallen world

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Raegan and RJ in Space - Richard M. Collins

Theme song at www.raeganandrjinspace.com.  Reading in the form of a graphic novel and written for ages 9-12, this is the story of a group of Christians that are sent to colonize the galaxy.  Leaving their home in New Hope, Tennessee their mission is to set up a new colony called New Hope on a planet called New Bethlehem. Some readers may be surprised to see a female as President of the United States.  One 10 year old that read this asked me if this was part of a series,  because it seems there were some assumptions made of the reader.  The author did a good job of mapping out the history of the crew and descriptive terms and crew assignments.
All in all, this is a great science fiction graphic novel for the young reader interested in Christian fiction. Great illustrations and content make for an exciting story. And at 48 pages long it is just long enough to engage the reader and keep their interest. Update - There are other books available in this series that continue the story.  This book was a Reader's Favorite Book Award Winner.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hand in hand - Randy Alcorn

 The beauty of God's sovereignty and meaningful human choice. The argument between man's free will and God's sovereignty has been going on for a long time. The two main camps are Arminian and Calvinism. This book may not change your mind no matter what side you fall on, but it is an interesting read on the subject. The capital H and small h are intentional in the title.  They represent God and man and the specific roles each play in salvation.
Randy Alcorn is one of my favorite authors, so I was anxious to read this book and what he had to say on the subject.  I found it to be a well thought out, well written treatise, something I would expect from Randy. The author has stated that he intends the reader to take this book as a whole, rather than individual chapters that my make the case either way. The author's own stand is of a "4 point Calvinist," which he states is only popular among other 4 point Calvinists.
Questions such as Does the Arminian belief in free will mean God is not sovereign? a question that does not have an easy answer.  To even attempt to write a book on these subjects is a brave task indeed.  No matter what he writes, the author is sure to have some cry heresy.  He includes the humorous skit by the comedian Emo concerning denominational differences, which if you haven't seen you need to.  Just about every church goer will be able to relate. Randy also states that "Throughout history Calvinists and Arminians have weighed in, often disagreeing, but sometimes agreeing more than we suppose." He gets into some church history with quotes ti prove his point by Spurgeon, A W Pink, and Charles Simeon.
The use of charts and graphs help the reader compare and contrast the ideas, and helps in understanding. With chapter titles such as The Sovereignty of God, Free Will and meaningful choice, and Does Open Theism resolve the Sovereignty/Choice Paradox? the author tackles a tough subject at lot of authors avoid.
Randy is founder and Director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. The book is published by Multnomah Publishing and available from his web site.
All in all I would highly recommend this book.
I have been provided a complimentary copy of this book for review.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Reluctant Journey - Richard Parrott

Finding God's Purpose for your Life. The 14 chapters in this book are divided into 3 sections titled Homeless with God, Troubled by God, and Hidden from God.  In this book, the author uses the lives of Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph to illustrate these points.
In the introduction, Richard states he has a double yoke in his office to remind us of "our partnership with Jesus."  Some of my reformed friends may have a problem with this idea of "partnership" and the idea of an "invitation."
Each chapter has a summary of Bible passage, a summary of the chapter, and a Think section with questions for reflection and conversation.  I can see these being used in a group Bible study or simply for personal use.  In the chapter titled The Gift of Deep Healing, there is a section on forgiveness.  He describes a personal illustration of an incident that happened with his son concerning forgiveness.  The author sums it up by saying "Forgiveness is not just a moment but a process."
In the chapter titled the Promise of God, the author says he heard God speaking to him on a Thanksgiving morning while drinking coffee in a restaurant.
Other features include truths from the Lord's Prayer and stories from the founders of our faith.
The author is a professor at Trevecca Nazarene University and a n elder in the Church of the Nazarene.  This book is published by Thomas Nelson under the Refraction collection that features
"succint and candid writing for a contemporary minded reader." More information at refractionbooks.com.  This book weighs in at 280 pages, which is quite an undertaking for the reader.
I have been provided with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review.