Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Justice Project

“The Justice Project” edited by Brian Mclaren, Elisa Padilla and Ashley Seeber is a compilation of 35 chapters of essays by different authors from different races, cultures and backgrounds that deal with the issues of Justice. As with any book of essays written by different authors, some are better than others.

I would like to address briefly. Chp. 22 Just Religion: Why should We De-colonize God’s name?
The author tries to make the claim for a salvation in other religions outside of Christ (without denying Christ). His main argument seems to be that God is moving in other peoples lives and other religions that are not Christ centered. I would agree with the author that God is moving in peoples lives who do not know Jesus.
On a recent mission trip to Haiti, I seen God moving. God was there in the smile of a young lady who was selling coconuts on the side of the road. This lady has no water, no electric, nothing of any material goods and there she is smiling—That was God.
I seen God in the fact, that for the most part, people there are not starving, even though it seems like they should be. That was what we call Gods prevenient, sovereign grace. (The sun shines on the just and the unjust).
But seeing all that only means that they need to recognize the “unknown God” and that God is Jesus. Which puts the responsibility on us, to go and share the good news found in Jesus.
Another part of the chapter the author ask the question, “How is the good news good to those who have never heard?” Then as an example he asks if there was a viral disease on Manhattan Island and the authorities issued only one bus on which to evacuate, how would that constitute good news for its citizens?
I would answer by saying the good news is that the followers of Jesus give up their seat on the bus so that others may escape. And they did that because of the life transforming power of Jesus in their life.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


With the popularity of the “Twilight” books and the movies (New Moon to come out this weekend) about vampires, here are 2 books that WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided me to review

The first is a non-fiction book (“Touched by a Vampire: Discovering the Hidden Messages in the Twilight Saga” by Beth Felker Jones) that guides the reader through the “Twilight” series. It uses the themes of the Twilight books such as romance, love, gender roles, good bad, choices, desires a springboard to look at what the Bible says on such subjects.
This is one of the best books I have read that takes a look at a pop culture fad and opens the subject up for discussion without being totally negative or discouraging about reading the original series. This book, with questions at the end of each chapter, would be a great small group study for high school or college age adults.
I would give the book 5 stars.

The next book is a novel by Tracey Bateman titled, “Thirsty”
I generally am not a reader of novels, but seeing the popularity of the “Twilight” series (not to mention my daughters numerous readings of the whole series) I thought I would give this book a try.
For the most part the book kept my interest, for the fact that I kept expecting something great or unusual or shocking to take place. The book seemed to me to be a reading of a predictable made for TV movie (nothing great, unusual or shocking took place).
The characters in the story were pretty much predictable: you have a good person (Nina) struggling with a bad habit (alcoholism). And how that habit has affected those family members around her. You have a evil person trying to be good (Marcus). You have a small town, with its sheriff, trying to unravel the mystery of strange murders. And then you have the happy ending.
One area of the dialogue that was very silly was on pg.228. The main character of the story (Nina) and the sheriff of the town (Jill) are awaiting the highway patrol to come and examine a murder.
Nina says, “The calvary has arrived.”
The sheriff corrects her with, “Cavalry”. …”How can you get a bunch of old horse soldiers mixed up with the place where Jesus died?”
I felt that this was some sort of feeling of obligation to say something about Jesus in the story.

Overall I would give this a 2 ½ stars out of a possible 5.

Touched by a Vampire:

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Worship in the Park

Next Sunday, Nov. 15, we will be worshipping at the lakefront (Lake Toho) in Kissimmee. Service time begins at 10:30 under the shelter and there will be a grill out/picnic immediately following. Everyone is welcome.