Unapologetic by Francis Spufford

unapologetic - francis spuffordI don’t normally put the author’s name in the subject line of a post about a book, but since this book shares its title with a certain recent Rihanna album (with very colorful artwork), I thought it best to be clear.

This post is about an interesting read from an Englishman named Francis Spufford. The book is called Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense. While much of his language proved difficult to navigate at times, I enjoyed his perspective. As he explains the uniqueness of Christianity in England, it almost feels as if he’s writing to us from the future. We can only speculate about what parallels we’ll see in the American version of Christianity with what has happened in places around Europe.

Spufford’s writing leads to some tough sections to get through stylistically, but I loved his transparency and vulnerability in the way he talked about faith. This means that there is a surprising amount of profanity in a Christian book about God, much like Michael Gungor’s book The Crowd, the Critic, and the Muse. While this will cause issues for some readers, it also allows for a depth of honesty that is refreshing. Spufford explains it this way:

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October with C.S. Lewis

Year with C.S. LewisThis post is part of my series through A Year with C.S. Lewis.

Here are my favorite quotes from the assorted C.S. Lewis books that are covered in the month of October in the book. There were quite a few of them that offered profound perspective when life is difficult. If you are going through a rough season of life right now I pray they may be of encouragement to you. Consider the following:

You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears.

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

Now God, who has made us, knows what we are and that our happiness lies in Him. Yet we will not seek it in Him as long as he leaves us any other resort where it can even plausibly be looked for. While what we call ‘our own life’ remains agreeable we will not surrender it to Him. What then can God do in our interests but make ‘our own life’ less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible source of false happiness?

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Foster Video Pt.2

Michelle and I had previously filmed a video, originally used in our church, to begin to document our journey with foster care. It’s an overlooked issue for many people and an overwhelming process for everyone who takes the time to get involved. Our goal has been to tell the highs and the lows of the process and to encourage more people to get involved in one way or another. When you consider that there are around 15,000 orphans in the Arizona foster care system alone it is quite disturbing.

Here is our second video that we showed this weekend that updates our process after all of the training but before our first placement.

Should Christians Avoid Halloween?

People Afraid

We have a bizarre obsession with fear. This photo is from the Nightmares Fear Factory Haunted House.

This post includes two conclusions I’ve drawn about culture and spirituality. One of them might be more liberal than you are comfortable with and the other might be more conservative than you are comfortable with. Maybe I can provide at least something for everyone to disagree with.

It’s Halloween again. Which means dressing up in ridiculous costumes, kids looking adorable, kids hopped up on crazy amounts of sugar, and questions about whether a Christian can have any part of this. I just wrote a reply to an email I received from someone in our church and it got me thinking about how my family handles this holiday. Hopefully my conclusions can help you figure out your family’s stance.

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Top 10 Theology Books

I was recently asked to provide a list for someone who wanted to build their theological foundation up a bit. In response I recommended the following ten books. These are not the deepest theological books you’ll ever find, or even books you are likely to find in a Bible college setting. Instead, these ten books serve as great examples of practical theology that is approachable enough for anyone to understand (as is not the case with most theology books). As such, I’d highly recommend this list to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Scripture and how God interacts with His people. Upon those we can properly build an understanding of how to fully treat others as God intended.

While I can’t promise that you’ll agree with all that you read on this list (I don’t myself), I can promise you that they will cause you to ask new questions, to think new thoughts, and to walk away with a stronger grasp of your faith.

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Authority Struggle