Posts Tagged Book Review
Any Narrative theology fans out there? Nothing has shaped my understanding of the Bible, worldview, epistemology, theology and spiritual transformation more than ‘narrative theology.’ During a research paper my first semester of seminary I came across a book filled with essays on narrative theology that really exposed me to this particular field of study. The book was Why Narrative? Readings in Narrative Theology by S. Hauerwas and G. Jones.
Even more influential for me was a book by George W. Stroup called The Promise of Narrative Theology which began to give me language to make some sense of the radical transformation I had experienced a couple years earlier as my own personal narrative suddenly collided with God’s larger, more ancient Story as I read the Book of Acts for the first time as a confused college kid.
Here is the most significant quote for making some sense of my own moment of transformation I experienced some 8 years ago: Read the rest of this entry »
McLaren’s latest and largest full frontal assault on evangelicalism and historic orthodoxy is now available in stores: “A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith”. I cannot think of anyone better to offer a fair and balanced review of this book than Dr. Scot McKnight. The review is found in Christianity Today and can be viewed below.
Let me say that I have enjoyed some of McLaren’s challenges over the past decade of my own. There is much we evangelicals need to hear from Brian, but the slippery slope is just that – slippery. And McLaren has continued to slip further and further toward the same old liberal theology that characterized similar schools of thought made popular in 19th century Germany, and carried forth today.
Well, while I can honestly still promote and encourage you read and soak up McLaren’s book The Secret Message of Jesus, I encourage you read McKnight’s review before you approach his latest work. Here’s McKnight’s conclusion and link to the entire review:
“Alas, A New Kind of Christianity shows us that Brian, though he is now thinking more systemically, has fallen for an old school of thought. I read this book carefully, and I found nothing new. It may be new for Brian, but it’s a rehash of ideas that grew into fruition with Adolf von Harnack and now find iterations in folks like Harvey Cox and Marcus Borg. For me, Brian’s new kind of Christianity is quite old. And the problem is that it’s not old enough.”
With the recent tragedy in Haiti many are again asking the age-old questions: If God exists, then why would He allow such horrific suffering in his world? How can we face such gut-wrenching images on the TV of mass human casualty and still believe an all good, all powerful God is active despite it all? I recommend the following book to wrestle with such questions. Here’s my overview and critical review:
In Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy, Greg Boyd attempts to answer the question: “How are we to conceive of an all-powerful God creating beings who to some degree possess the power to thwart his will, and thus against whom he must genuinely battle if he is to accomplish his will?” In the process, he questions the viability of the traditional Augustinian view of God’s sovereignty that has shaped the majority opinion of Christians down through the centuries. He calls the traditional view “the blueprint worldview,” because it assumes “everything somehow fits into God’s secret plan—a divine blueprint” (13). There is “a specific divine reason for every occurrence in history”—even the most horrific experiences of suffering (14).
Against this Boyd argues that the world in which we live is a cosmic war zone between God and free moral agents, both human and angelic. He argues that evil is the result of free moral agents rebelling against God’s good purposes and therefore suffering and evil is not to be blamed on God but on Satan, his angelic cohorts, and humans who act contrarily to God. In order to make this argument viable, he must wrestle with many significant theological issues along the way: God’s omnipotence, God’s foreknowledge, human freedom, natural evil, hell and more. The bedrock of Boyd’s argument, the factor that remains foremost among his convictions, is that God is love and desires to have a bride who freely chooses to live in covenant with Him.
Boyd’s argument can be summarized into the following six theses: Read the rest of this entry »