This Paycheck’s Book Purchases (February 7th)

I am married now and I am still reading books! Its a wonderful surprise that I really didn’t expect. I guess this blog series didn’t die out….

Anyway, here are this paycheck’s book purchases, you might notice there is a little bit of everything (ministry, philosophy, history):

Flesh: Bringing the Incarnation Down to Earth by Hugh Halter

I got this book through NetGalley. Here is Amazon’s description: If we’re honest, no one really cares about theology unless it reveals a gut-level view of God’s presence. According to pastor and ministry leader Hugh Halter, only the incarnational power of Jesus satisfies what we truly crave, and once we taste it, we’re never the same. God understands how hard it is to be human, and the incarnation—God with us—enables us to be fully alive. With refreshing, raw candor, Flesh reveals the faith we all long to experience—one based on the power of Christ in the daily grind of work, home, school, and life. For anyone burned out, disenchanted, or seeking a fresh honest-to-God encounter, Flesh will invigorate your faith.

The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: The 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief by George Marsden

George Marsden is a great author and a great historian. Here he tackles a very important subject – In the aftermath of World War II, the United States stood at a precipice. The forces of modernity unleashed by the war had led to astonishing advances in daily life, but technology and mass culture also threatened to erode the country’s traditional moral character. As award-winning historian George M. Marsden explains in The Twilight of the American Enlightenment, postwar Americans looked to the country’s secular, liberal elites for guidance in this precarious time, but these intellectuals proved unable to articulate a coherent common cause by which America could chart its course. Their failure lost them the faith of their constituents, paving the way for a Christian revival that offered America a firm new moral vision—one rooted in the Protestant values of the founders.

Preaching?: Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer

Every once in a while I feel as though its important to pick up a book on preaching – it will act as a shot of adrenaline to your week-in-week-out preaching. Here is the Amazon description: Like many things in life, the skill of good preaching is 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration. Alec Motyer gives us a simple guide based on a multitude of sermons over many years of preaching, in many different situations. At its basic level he tells us that preparing a good sermon is like baking a cake. It requires the correct ingredients for each type of cake to be baked, likewise with preaching, know your subject and pull all the pieces together to make up the winning recipe. Preaching is a privilege accorded to few and the fruits thereof welcomed by many – let Alec help you reach out and make the best of the gifts God has given you.

The Severity of God: Religion and Philosophy Reconceived by Paul Moser

I was browsing through the Notre Dame Philosophy Book Reviews and this came up – philosophy has been on my mind a lot lately so I figured I should buy it. Here is the Amazon description – This book explores the role of divine severity in the character and wisdom of God, and the flux and difficulties of human life in relation to divine salvation. Much has been written on problems of evil, but the matter of divine severity has received relatively little attention. Paul K. Moser discusses the function of philosophy, evidence and miracles in approaching God. He argues that if God’s aim is to extend without coercion His lasting life to humans, then commitment to that goal could manifest itself in making human life severe, for the sake of encouraging humans to enter into that cooperative good life. In this scenario, divine agapē is conferred as free gift, but the human reception of it includes stress and struggle in the face of conflicting powers and priorities. Moser’s work will be of great interest to students of the philosophy of religion, and theology.

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