the blog

title

The Sacred Meal :: Nora Gallagher


content

This is a book i am been needing to review for awhile now. I finished reading it a month ago for so… so here ya go!

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher
a mealOn the back of this book are quotes by a couple well respected people; Brian McLaren, Lauren Winner. McLaren’s words I agree with, Nora Gallagher opens up The Table to wide audience in her book The Sacred Meal.

She is a great writer and as you read this book you will sense this and feel as if your sitting along site her, having a conversation about a often misunderstood but incredibly important aspect of the Christian life. She communicated the truth and mystery of the Eucharist in a very accessible and creative way. Which makes this book well worth the read.

Lauren Winner makes the statement, “I know of no contemporary writer whose insights about the Eucharist match hers.” I know Winner is smart and well read which is why this statement blows me away. That is a huge claim and one I would not even come close to making. As good of a book as this is I have read many that are better when it comes to Eucharistic theology.

Gallagher opens up the conversation of the Eucharist to all, which is great, but sometime she goes a little to far and leans a little too much into her trade as a novelist. I don’t need to agree with everything she says but I thing she stretches her metaphors a bit far at times and fails to simply tell us how to live a Eucharistic life, even though i think this is her aim.

This book is worth the read but go in open minded, ready to agree and disagree, but most importantly be ready to engage in a horribly important topic for today’s church, The Eucharist.

=====================

If you want to buy this book get it here!
(buying it here sends eMinistries a little cash, So buy it!)

I got this book for free from Thomas Nelson to review on this blog.
THANKS!

Discuss

title

Gardening Eden :: Book Review


content

I recently received this book in the mail to review, there was a mix up with my address so I received it a bit late (I’ll use that excuse but really it’s just been a busy few weeks).

But I am really looking forward to reading Gardening Eden by Michael Abbate.

I once made a “urban garden” for my wife, it was a birthday present. It was really fun and as we cultivated our little box of gardening goodness I really began to realize how beneficial it is to do something with your hands and realized how one totally thinks about food, groceries, and the earth differently when you have a stake in it, other than just consumption.

As I have flipped through the book, reading bits and peices it seems like Abbate hits on some really key and relevant topics for the aspiring gardener who has a desire to follow Christ in biblical ways and is thinking about God’s call on our lives to care for his creation.

Here is a quote I came across, “We need to discover what our faith has to say about the issues of environmental stewardship. As God followers, we’re convinced that our faith is relevant to the issues of the day, but we remain unclear about God’s perspective on the environment.”

So true and it seems like Abbate is on his way to helping us think about these important issues.
And hopefully helping us realize our call to be green / to care for His creation! 

Abbate also has a section that is simply about becoming a better gardener and then give tons of great resources at the end of the book.

Like I said, I haven’t been able to read more than 20 or 30 so pages but I am excited about diving into this one!

Go online and pick up your copy :: Amazong :: Gardening Eden

And if your the first person to comment on this blog post i’ll send you a free copy! 
Just give me your address.  

Peace & green!
Erik 

Discuss

title

Guest blogger // book review :: The Blue Parakeet


content

A friend of mine from High School recently ran across my blog. It’s always crazy when that happens! But my friend, James Chambers is follow Jesus and working on his M.A. these days. He’s got some good things to say, you should check out his blog. He recently read a book by Scot McKnight, a fellow pretzel (our home town mascot). The book looks pretty good, i’m excited to read it. He asked me if he could post the review on my blog and i thought, “Why not.” Let’s make it book review week here at Revolutionary Thoughts. Enjoy!  

——————————————————

This past week I was awarded the opportunity to read Scot McKnight’s new book The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How you Read the Bible before it actually is released (Projected Release Date is November 2008). If you are not familiar with Scot McKnight you can check out his blog, Jesus Creed, here. Scot is a fellow Freeport native and I have been reading his blog for over a year. However, this is my first opportunity to read one of his books and I am very happy to have been given the opportunity to read his book.

Being a graduate student I am constantly reading. Desiring to become a college teacher I continue to read even when I don’t have too. Each book I read helps to further refine my faith and help me to live my Christianity out in a real and practical way. Scot McKnight’s book is another one of those books that has helped me to see how to live my faith in today’s world.

McKnight’s purpose in his book is to help the reader learn how to read the Bible in order to live out what the Bible says in today’s context. He starts out by asking the question of why we follow some of what the Bible says and not other aspects of what the Bible says? Scot believes that we all pick and choose and he is concerned with how we pick and choose. Scot is not afraid of the fact that Christians pick and choose, he defends that the church has been picking and choosing throughout her history. What Scot desires to do is to show that by reading the Bible as it should be read allows Christians know how to live the Bible out in today’s context.

Scot McKnight begins by outlining the different ways that people pick and choose when reading the Bible, giving two ways that he argues are deficient and then providing a third way that he sees as the best way to read the Bible. After these introductory issues are discussed, Scot elaborates on how his method of reading is done, all for the purpose of living out the Bible today.

Scot introduces his readers to the concept of the Bible as Story (which he does not claim to be his idea). When the reader of the Bible stops viewing the Bible as story and instead views it in ways it was not meant to be distorts the purpose of the Bible. Once we understand the story of the Bible we are able to listen (which is the second point of his method). Once a person learns how to truly listen, they are able to discern how to live the story out today’s context. Obviously this is a brief synopsis of the book as I truly think each of my blog readers should read this book, so I don’t want to give too much away.

The reasons I have found this book very helpful is that no matter where a person is at in their Christian life (mature, new believer, unsaved) this book offers wonderful tips and ways to grow in reading one’s Bible. It also helps the reader of the Bible begin to wrestle with the grey areas of Scripture, to expand their thinking about what it means to live like Jesus in the 21st century. But the greatest reason that I endorse this book is that it is the first book that I have read on “How to read the Bible” that treats the Bible as it was intended to be. When we see the Bible as story we are able to take part, become an active player in the story. When the Bible is seen as a book of proof texts or laws or a theological text book, it minimizes the reader’s response to live out what it is asking for. Scot says it best, “Until we learn to read the Bible as Story, we will know how to get anything out of the Bible for daily living.” (pg. 57)

Another positive of this book is that examples are plenty (and for me this is a plus). I want to see how a method or theory actually plays out, to see that it actually works the way that author thinks it should. Scot McKnight gives an example of reading the Bible with his method that helps the readers see flesh to his method. Scot also speaks at a level in which he can be clearly understood.

All in all, Scot McKnight’s book is a must read for those who wish to get more out of their Bible reading than they are currently getting. Scot follows in a long line of evangelicals who have come to see that the way the Bible has been used for Christian spiritual formation was lacking something; that the Bible was not being used according to its intended purpose. Scot’s method of reading, understanding, and applying the Bible to today’s context is a shot in the evangelical arm to get the most out of our reading the Bible and living the Christian life (two things I am very passionate about). I can see this book becoming a useful resource in discipling new Christians on reading the Bible as well as becoming a book used in Christian colleges to help students understand the role of the Bible in academics and life. One last word of caution is that this book will stretch Christians, but it is a stretch that needs to be made.

So, I encourage you to head back to the top of this blog and pre-order this book. You will be challenged!

 

——————-

Thanks James!

Discuss

title

Wild Goose Chase // Mark Batterson


content

Celtic Christians had a name for the Holy Spirit that has always intrigued me. They called him An Geadh-Glas, or ‘the Wild Goose.’ I love the imagery and implications. The name hints at mystery. Much like a wild goose, the Spirit of God cannot be tracked or tamed. An element of danger, an air of unpredictability surround Him. And while the name may sound a little sacrilegious, I cannot think of a better description of what it’s like to follow the Spirit through life. I think the Celtic Christians were on to something that institutionalized Christianity has missed out on.

Most of us will have no idea where we are going most of the time. And I know that is unsettling. But circumstantial uncertainty also goes by another name: Adventure.

The Introduction to Wild Goose Chase by Mark Batterson

 

 

That’s where Mark Batterson starts in his new book Wild Goose Chase and from there, he leads his reader through an exciting, inspiring and provocative journey of chasing hard and fast after the Spirit of Jesus, the Wild Goose who is trying to lead all of us into the full and exciting adventure we call life.

Early in Wild Goose Chase I think Batterson really hits a 21st century Christian nerve when he says, “Christians are bored with their faith.” Our Christian (sub)culture has established a very safe and calculated way to be “successful,” but Batterson would say chasing the Wild Goose, the Spirit of God is never predictable and as good as it might be, it’s definitely not safe.

This book is full of great one-liners to put in your pocket and chew on later. Sometimes the one-liners become a bit cliché but overall, there are tons of great nuggets that really leave you thinking and challenge you to take your pursuit of God to the next level.

One of my favorite was is found on page 58, “Spontaneity is an underappreciated dimension of spiritualaity.” “It is our moment-by-moment sensitivity to the Holy Spirit that turns life into an everyday adventure.”

Another thing Batterson does well is to keep his content challenging yet uber accessible for the average reader. He never gets too fluffy, too “spiritual” or too heady for the average guy or gal to get ahold of what he’s saying.

And in the vein of any good rabbi or pastor he asks great questions! Wild Goose Chase is full of inquisitive and challenging question for the reader. This was a part of the book I really enjoyed and it really displays his pastor’s heart.

Batterson’s book is honest, simple and full of great challenges for the Christian who want to pursue God even if it’s going to be like a Wild Goose Chase, who knows, maybe that’s a good thing. Mark Batterson would tell you it is! And he would say the adventure is well worth it!

Check out the website www.chasethegoose.com
and order your copy—it came out today, at Amazon.com.
You can also check out Mark’s blog at Evotional.com

Enjoy the read,
Erik

Discuss