Friday, April 18, 2014

Does God Desire All To Be Saved? - Book Review

I finished listening to the ChristianAudio version of John Piper's book Does God Desire All To Be Saved? a few weeks ago, but didn't have a chance to write the review until today.

The question, "Does God desire all to be saved?" is a challenging question and a challenging answer (no matter what your answer) and it made for a challenging book to read.  The question is challenging no matter how you answer it, because whichever way you go there are implications. A simple, "Yes." doesn't even really answer the question.

Some believe that all will be saved... eventually. I don't believe that. I can't. The Bible just doesn't leave room for that interpretation. But nevertheless, some can answer yest to this question, believing that all will eventually be saved.

Others might answer yes, knowing full well that all are not saved, but are doomed to eternal punishment. This leaves a new challenge. Does God have unmet desires? Is God unsuccessful in His attempts? Where does this leave us?

An answer of, "No." brings on a whole new set of challenges to deal with.

In this book John Piper, as he always does, digs deep into scripture. That is my favorite thing about Piper books. I know that I am not going to simply get his opinion, but an expounding of scriptures that are specifically related to the question at hand. You can tell from his books that he genuinely wants to know what the Bible says.

The voice talent on this book does an excellent job of bringing to life the words of this book. I enjoy an audio book much more if I can almost feel as if I am simply listening to a person talking to me. The way the book is written and the way it is read pulled me into this discussion. When I finished listening to it, I almost went back to the beginning to listen again. Piper doesn't dwell too long on any one thought, unless it is absolutely necessary. This left me feeling like I needed to pause and think occasionally or simply go back to the beginning.

If you have a desire to get away from a simplistic answer to this question and dig deep into the scriptures to see how God's Word answers this question, then you really need to get this book. I must warn you though, it is not for the person who doesn't want to think and consider and ponder big thoughts of God.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taking God at His Word - Book Review

I just finished listening to ChristianAudio's Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung.

In the last few years I have spent a significant amount of time reading and studying several different confessions of faith, belief statements, and other similar historical documents. One of the most important aspects of a comprehensive statement of faith is the portion related to a view of the Holy Scriptures. When listening to this audio book, I found myself taken back to those confessions and statements as Kevin DeYoung expounded on the scriptures.

The chapters of this book methodically teach from the scriptures that the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, Infallable, and Sufficient. It does a wonderful job at balancing between being a completely understandable, introductory work on the scriptures, without losing the reinforcement and structure typical in a good, solid theological work.  In other words, I could easily hand this book to a new Christian without worrying about it overwhelming him, but I could also hand it to an older Christian as a resource for relaying the teachings of scripture on the scriptures.

The voice talent for this book was Lee DeYoung. With the common last name, I am assuming that this is a relation to the author. Having heard Kevin DeYoung speak, I enjoyed the reading by Lee DeYoung. He really captured the heart and passion of this book.... and he sounds a bit like the author. There is always something special about a voice talent that has a personal connection to the book.

If you are wondering what the Bible says about the Bible, then I would highly recommend this audio book. If you are wanting a book that breaks down the traditional, orthodox Christian view of the Holy Scriptures, this is an excellent resource book, and I would highly recommend it. If you are solid in your belief in scripture and just want a book that supports and reinforces this faith, then I would highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

in the morning

For Christians the beginning of the day should not be burdened and oppressed with besetting concerns for the day's work. At the threshold of the new day stands the Lord who made it. All the darkness and distraction of the dreams of night retreat before the clear light of Jesus Christ and his wakening Word. All unrest, all impurity, all care and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, at the beginning of the day let all distraction and empty talk be silenced and let the first thought and the first word belong to him to whom our whole life belongs.
~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together)
or... in the words of King David:
Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
(Psalm 5:1-3 ESV)