From Hermes to Murder

From Hermes to Murder

To anyone who has followed Jesus for any amount of time, you’ve likely experienced how differently people react to you. For some, a Christian is viewed as a person who has it all together, who is blessed by God, or who could show them something about truth they’ve been missing. For others, a Christian is viewed as a person who is hypocritical, untrustworthy, and deserving to be ridiculed and avoided (or worse).

We see these extreme reactions all within a matter of verses in the book of Acts. In Acts 14:11-18 the people of Lystra watch Paul heal a man and then conclude he and Barnabas must be gods.

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Blessing At the Burning Bush

You will have to decide

if you want this—

want the blessing that comes to you

on an ordinary day

when you are minding your own path,

bent on the task before you

that you have done a hundred times, a thousand.

 

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A Spoke in the Wheel

a spoke in the wheelA week ago I started what may turn out to be one of my favorite classes. The next few months at Fuller I’m studying the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian alive during the rise of Hitler. He was executed about one month before the Nazi’s final demise. While I do not agree with everything Bonhoeffer believed or did, his life offers us a vulnerable look at how to live out a faith in Christ amidst the most trying times one might imagine.

The first book I read for the course is called A Spoke in the Wheel by Renate Wind. It provides both a biographical look on Bonhoeffer’s life as well as a collection of some of his writings. Below are some of the quotes from the book that most stood out to me.

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Perspective on Heaven vs. Now

Perspective on Heaven vs. Now

I love the way this cartoon shows the difference in our perspective now versus for eternity. Not that “grandpa” doesn’t care about them, but that this life is the launching pad to experience just a taste of the goodness of God.

My 51 books of 2015

Here are the books I read in 2015 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Topping the list this year was The Bible Tells Me So and The Grand Paradox.

Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher. In addition to this list you might also check out my reading lists from previous years as well as my recommendations on how to become a better reader. A lot of people resolve to read more in the new year and if that’s you I hope this list gives you something to get you started.

This year I also released my book Redeeming Pleasure in September.

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Everyone is a Theologian

reknew manifestoOne of my mentors recently developed a recommended library on a number of theological topics. It’s not just any list, as it spans more than 2000 books. It’s meticulously organized around nine major themes: Bible Interpretation, The Old Testament, The New Testament, Church History, Theology, Apologetics, Christian Living, Philosophy, and Contemporary Science/Free Will/Time. Then, there are numerous subcategories for each of these. He even provides a rating based on the reading difficulty for each book from one to four.

I’m grateful that my book Redeeming Pleasure made this list. In case you can’t find it, it’s in the Theology: Ethics category. It’s rated at a 1 so don’t be scared!

We all have views about God and how to interact with Him. But are your views growing and being challenged? If you can’t easily answer yes to that, I’d recommend you consider spending some time in 2016 growing in your faith in this way.

Click here to check out the list.