What We Have Been Reading
WE LOVE TO READ…and here we hope to give you our reviews of the books we’ve read recently, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted The devil has fallen on hard times. Surveys say that even the majority of Christians doubt Satan’s existence. Burdened by doubts, skeptical believers find themselves divorced from Jesus dramatic confrontation with Satan in the Gospels and from the struggle that galvanized the early church. In Reviving Old Scratch, popular blogger and theologian Richard Beck reintroduces the devil to the modern world with a biblical, bold, and urgent vision of spiritual warfare: we must resist the devil by joining the kingdom of God’s subversive campaign to interrupt the world with love. Beck shows how conservative Christians too often overspiritualize the devil and demons, and progressive Christians reduce these forces to social justice issues. By understanding evil as a very real force in the world, we are better able to name it for what it is and thus to combat it as Jesus did. Beck’s own work in a prison Bible study and at a church for recovering addicts convinced him to take Satan more seriously, and they provide compelling illustrations as he challenges the contemporary versions of evil forces. Because if Jesus took Satan seriously, then so should we.
Faithful Presence: Seven Disciplines That Shape the Church for Mission
In our quest to renew the church, Christians have walked through seeker-friendly, emergent, missional, and other movements to develop new expressions of the body of Christ. Now in the post-Christian world in North America we’re asking the question again: Is there a way to be the church that engages the world, not by judgment nor accommodation but by becoming the good news in our culture?
In Faithful Presence, noted pastor and scholar David Fitch offers a new vision for the witness of the church in the world. He argues that we have lost the intent and practice of the sacramental ways of the historic church, and he recovers seven disciplines that have been with us since the birth of the church. Through numerous examples and stories, he demonstrates how these revolutionary disciplines can help the church take shape in and among our neighborhoods, transform our way of life in the world, and advance the kingdom.
This book will help you re-envision church, what you do in the name of church, and the way you lead a church. It recovers a future for the church that takes us beyond Christendom. Embrace the call to reimagine the church as the living embodiment of Christ, dwelling in and reflecting God’s faithful presence to a world that desperately needs more of it.
The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion
The renowned scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author widely considered to be the heir to C. S. Lewis contemplates the central event at the heart of the Christian faith—Jesus’ crucifixion—arguing that the Protestant Reformation did not go far enough in transforming our understanding of its meaning.
In The Day the Revolution Began, N. T. Wright once again challenges commonly held Christian beliefs as he did in his acclaimed Surprised by Hope. Demonstrating the rigorous intellect and breathtaking knowledge that have long defined his work, Wright argues that Jesus’ death on the cross was not only to absolve us of our sins; it was actually the beginning of a revolution commissioning the Christian faithful to a new vocation—a royal priesthood responsible for restoring and reconciling all of God’s creation.
The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
What if changing our perception of God has the potential to change everything?
God is not what you think. Visions of an angry, distant, moral scorekeeper or a supernatural Santa Claus handing out cosmic lottery tickets to those who attend the right church or say the right prayer dominate our culture. For many others, God has become irrelevant or simply unbelievable.
In The Divine Dance, Fr. Richard Rohr (with Mike Morrell) points readers to an unlikely opening beyond this divinity impasse: the at-times forgotten, ancient mystery of the Trinity—God as utterly one, yet three.