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Showing posts from September, 2011

Theological Interpretation of Scripture

Recently there has been a whole spate of works devoted to a theological interpretation of scripture.  The two works edited by Kevin Vanhoozer are a collection of articles on the New and Old Testaments taken from the much larger Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible (896 pages).  Just doing a cursory search on Amazon will yield a number of works by Stephen Fowl, Dainer Treier, J. Todd Billings, and Christopher Seitz.  This emphasis on the theological character of Scripture is a welcome response to the ever increasing field of biblical and theological studies.  In seeing the proliferation and expanse of works devoted to the topic of theological interpretation and the Bible, one must ask why the surge of works at this particular time?  Secondly, should we assume that this interpretive stance (theological angle) be just another voice in the crowd and will die down shortly?

Although the cultural milieu we live in still shakes it wary finger at any substantive truth claim r…

The Life of an Average Joe

Troy Meeder's book Average Joe is a real hard look at the lives of everyday men, or average joes as he likes to phrase it. The book is chalk full of stories about how men make it their best to succed in life, to become godly men through trials and temptations. Early on in the book he writes that every man has a time in their life when they make the change from boyhood to manhood. For some, it is marriage and kids, for others its the military or graduation (9). I can still remember the time when I graduated college and was going to get married the nexth month, that was a huge change for me. Troy indicates that this type of change is necessary for the role of a man to be complete, for his leadership to take root.




His chapter on the hole is a chapter that was very important to the tenor of the whole books. We try so hard as individuals to fill our lives with work, recreation, relationships to fill some strong need for fulfillment and yet these things let us down. Meeder points out t…

Visions of Mary

In receiving this books from Paraclete Press for review, I was not sure what to think of Medjugorje. Being an orthodox Protestant in the Reformed tradition, I am not exposed to visions and revelations from apostles or women of the Scriptures, nor do I seek out these experiences. Even while not fully grasping the place of Mary in Catholic teaching, nor understanding why there is so much attention placed on her, I was not pushed away in reading this book. The book, entitled Medjugorje: What's Happening written by Father James Mulligan is an indepth at the purported visions given by Mary, the mother of Jesus to six people living in Medjugorje, a town in the region of Bosnia-Hercegovinia. What is great about this book is that the author tries to get into the background of how these visions came about, and how the town was for many years preparing itself for these visions through one of the Franciscan priests in the area (Fr. Tomislav Vlasic), through the predictions of Mate Sego (a ki…

Our Last Great Hope

Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas has written a timely and challenging book to incorporate the Great Commission in the lives of every believer. In some ways, this book was not a new idea at all, but an old idea of following the Great Commission call into every part of life. Yet, even as many have tread the waters of evangelism in practice and through church, the church still needs to hear the call to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. If we can only gain the wisdom of someone who has laid their life on the line for Jesus, then I think Ronnie's wisdom is enough. Early on in the book, he writes, "When God hands out careers and directs the courses of lives, He is purposeful. Ronnie goes on to bear witness that in his corner of the world Tyson Foods, Walmart and J.B. Hunt all have part of their headquarters there. Part orkpof the church's ministry was to minster to corporate leaders in the area. In other words, the task of the Great …

Living More Simply

Real Simplicity written by Randy and Rozanee Frazee is a sweeping gust of wind by the pipes of our break-neck speed lives. The Frazees intend to get their readers to not only live more simply but realize their hectic lives are in large part due to their own choices. The wisdom in this book is not about remvoing oneself from society to live in a hermitage, but rather living more simply in every area of our lives.




In the second chapter, Randy Frazee makes the point that community is the lifeblood of every believer. Not only is community a necessary component of healthy growth (personal, spiritual, physical and moral) but community is found in the original design of creation. Frazee says, "We are, after all, created with a connection requirement" (37). No, this connection requirement referred to her is not the internet. It is none other than a life and blood relationship with others, bearing with each other's burdens and sharing life together. Overall, this point is well t…

Hospitality as a Way of Life

Radical Hospitality, written by a Benedictine monk and laywoman(a mother also) is a treasure chest full of wisdom and encouragement. We have gotten far off track in the West with our individual lives separated from not only our neighbors but also strangers we meet. Father Homan and Lonni Pratt call us back to bringing a hospitable life to bear to everyone we meet. Rather than being a book of how-to's and don't do it this ways, we find a work rich in illustrations and examples of learning hospitality even through our weakness.




The authors begin the first chapter narrowing their glance at what it means to be hospitable. They write, "Hospitality does not focus on the goal of being hospitable. It is not about the offering hospitality. Instead, it is singularly focused on the object of hospitality-the stranger, the guest, the delightful other" (17). Instead of drawing up a list of activities for the guest to do, we find solace in seeking to focus on the one coming to our…