Sunday, July 3, 2016

Review: Renewal Theology: Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian Living

Renewal Theology: Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian Living Renewal Theology: Salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian Living by J. Rodman Williams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Williams continues the plain, clear, non-controversial discussion of theology systematically covering salvation, the Holy Spirit, and Christian Living. Again, as I stated in my review of volume 1, this is a great beginner book on theology for someone seeking to understand Biblical concepts without fussing and trying to sort through various competing theologies and high-sounding doctrinal positions.

But, more than that, this volume offers the charismatic perspective, which would do well for any Christian to read and gain a balanced insight and understanding into the various types, modes of operation, personal applications, and the differences between what is meant by "spiritual gifts" as opposed to "natural talents." This is a must read for anyone unsure about the pentecostal/charismatic view or is just plain against it (cessationist) who is ready for the challenge to his uninformed or preconceived notions about the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts.

He also provides clarity to issues like regeneration, justification and sanctification without going beyond what the Bibles reveals, without countering opposing views, and without philosophical argumentation, delving lightly into controversial topics in a non-confrontational tone like the security of salvation and the possibility of apostasy.

Let me be clear, if one is looking for a book to discuss all the varieties of doctrinal beliefs and theological views, this is not the book. It's purpose is to teach what the Bible teaches and lead readers "more deeply into the truths that He alone can reveal" through the plain exposition of Scripture in a systematized fashion without cluttering or obstructing it with differing points of doctrinal opinions.

The new Christian seeking understanding to gain a better grasp of God's purposes for his life, the old Christian seeking to trod again the "old paths" and regain the simplicity of following Christ, both will benefit from reading and re-reading "Renewal Theology," vol.2.

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Saturday, July 2, 2016

On Transgenderism as Demonic Influence

I think that this is an article every thinking Christian should read in order to better understand the primary issue regarding the LGBTQ community, with specific reference to transgenderism.  The acceptance by certain Christian communities of homosexuality and its various accompanying lifestyles make this article all the more relevant and important:



Review: History of the Christian Church: Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325

History of the Christian Church: Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325 History of the Christian Church: Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325 by Philip Schaff, vol.2
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although, probably much outdated, it is a good read. The "History" starts from the death of the last apostle, John (c.100), to the beginning of Constantine's rise as the Roam emperor. However, the discussion is not on Constantine but briefly on Eusebius and two other of his contemporaries during Constantin'e reign.

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Review: Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine

Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine Predestination: The American Career of a Contentious Doctrine by Peter J. Thuesen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent an enlightening narrative of the "contentious doctrine" of predestination in America from the puritans until now, and he briefly covers it's history from the time of the apostle Paul to Augustine, Medievalism to the Reformation, Arminianism to the English Reformation, and finally, to American Puritanism. In subsequent chapters, he deals with the contention in America covering it's impact or influence even in Catholicism, Mormonism, unitarianism and other religious bodies or groups. He even mentions to my surprise, how the some parts of the African American community had adherents to Calvinism, even hyper-Calvinism. Personally, I never realized how contentious predestination was, especially, to the point of having records of people having mental illnesses/breakdowns from it's belief in its Calvinistic form. For some reason, my only disappointment was that the author did not state, at the end of the book, his position; I am interested to know.

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Review: Old Yeller

Old Yeller Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yep, I get into reading a children's book sometimes. Trying to catch up from my Grammar School days. Anyway, this was about as good and exciting as the movie, perhaps better. And the ending sure bummed me out. But the ending was great and a good lesson on issues of life and death. I especially like the heart-to-heart talk Travis has with his father about Old Yeller. He doesn't provide a simplistic answer to death and is sort of loss for words of comfort, but he tells him the rough truth: "...things like that happen. They may seem might cruel and unfair, but that's how life is part of the time" (p.116).

I read this book with my 9-year-old Grandson and, although I got a bit ahead of him and finished it without him, this is a great book to the kids or Grandkids. The only problem you may have is with the archaic words.

This book is as it should be, a classic, and one of the best.

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