Skip to main content

Rude Awakening

Rude Awakening by Mark Donnelly

The phrase ‘rude awakening’ often refers to a situation a person faces in which they are unprepared for or were not ready for in the least bit.  Mark E. Donnelly’s new book entitled Rude Awakening is a jolt to the bones of those believers coming to church every week and believing on their own merit.  Donnelly goes onto ask a series of introspective questions regarding our relationship with God in writing, “What is the fruit of truly knowing God?....Are you a good Christian? By whose definition?  Are you defining your goodness merely by what you abstain from” (14-15)?  Mark supposes that there is a kind of knowledge about God that doesn’t equate to truly knowing him because there is a disconnect between our actions and our heart.  Rather, being united to Christ gives us the motivation to love people well and serve them. Mark goes onto to mention that the love is in three directions: upward, outward, and inward (17).

After a near death swimming drowning, Mark goes onto to talk about various subjects in the book from the Holy Spirit to love and hate.  One of the best insights in the book was Mark’s taking a time inventory of his life by taking a time budget.  After calculating the time he spent on various activities, he asks a pointed question, “What activities are wasting my time?  What activities can I not eliminate” (106)?  I think we forget how often time gets away from us if we are not consciously setting wise boundaries.    This wise use of time includes the use of our money which is often a good marker of our hearts.  I think Mark has a good way of getting to the bottom of issues and pointing out practical ways Christians can come to terms with their failures and sins. 

I didn’t agree with every point of Mark’s theological views but I appreciated his willingness to see that even issues such as time and money have a dramatic effect on our spiritual lives. 

Thanks to Book Crash for the review copy of Rude Awakening in exchange for review.


Popular posts from this blog

the great spiritual migration

The Great Spiritual Migration by Brian D McLaren

Brian McLaren and his own pithy way brings to the foreground and emphasis on a new kind of Christianity. The kind of faith that Brian envisions is a kind of migration not been set in the bedrock of beliefs that is unmoving but rather shifting with both culture and with faith. His new book the great spiritual migration is exactly that, a pointed work that encapsulates a vision towards the future where Christianity is changing and its peoples lives are changed as well.

Brian states in the introduction, "but we also know that for a lot of people Christianity is malfunctioning, seriously so, and it's not pretty. This kind of frustration with conventional Christianity is what McLaren gets gets to at the heart of this message is concerned with a number of different clusters unbelief. One, namely that Christianity has been stuck in a set of propositions or beliefs that has controlled churches in the faith, rather then a spirit of love t…

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning by Timothy Snyder
Misperceptions, misconnections, and missed observations are just some of the issues that Timothy Snyder raises in his book, Black Earth, concerning the Holocaust.  Snyder, no stranger to the frontlines of scholarship on the Holocaust, with his previous book Bloodlands, that concerns the land from Hitler to Stalin, takes a look at the Holocaust from new sources and new avenues of thought.  How did some nation-states survive relatively unscathed from Nazi persecution while others, notably Jewish populations, succumb to a wave of killings?  Also, what was the role of the Soviet Union in the war and how did Stalin effect changes in the Final Solution?  These questions are only two of the many that Snyder answers in his detailed account of the Holocaust.
One of the best chapters was entitled The Auschwitz Paradox.  Generally when the public thinks about the Holocaust, we think of Auschwitz first or at the top of our mental m…

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Growing up with the NIV, the NKJV was not a bible I was familiar with.  This new NKJV Study Bible takes all of the features of the Thomas Nelson Study Bible and makes them better.  Right out of the box I noticed that the Bible was considerably lighter than most study bibles I have read.  Further, the text font was much larger than most study editions, although I’m not quite sure of the size. The aquamarine color was a great touch and the Bible was finely put together, enduring the wear of many coming years of use.
Why is this Bible worth the purchase?  First, the study notes were great for extra handling of particular confusing and messy areas of Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments.  Yet, the study notes aren’t an obstruction to the reading of the biblical text.  Clearly, the editors have taken great care in making the text stand out and the notes illuminate certain themes and areas of Scripture.  Second, the NKJV takes into account all t…