Recent Reads

Here are some fantastic articles on the future of campus ministry!

I recently read John Stott’s The Cross of Christ.  This is a fantastic book.  It is a classic that had been on my list for a while and I finally got around to it.  It was especially appropriate to read it during Lent.  I think every Christian leader should read this book.  And speaking of the cross of Jesus Christ, I found this post with another way to illustrate the atonement, as interesting.

Speaking of books I have read recently:

The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders – a great book on the vital importance of the Trinity in evangelical Christian life.  Note “evangelical” in that last sentence as Sanders only cites “evangelicals” because he says they do not have a reputation for being Trinitarian but they are.  This book will stretch your mind and move you to discipleship

The Story of God, the Story of Us by Sean Gladding – This book would be a great read for anyone who wants to get an overview of the entire Biblical story.  The portion on the Old Testament is written from the perspective of the Jewish exiles living 500 years before Christ; the New Testament from the perspective of a church community a few decades after Christ.  Therefore it is kind of like reading historical fiction.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet – I actually read this book a few months ago but I wanted to mention it because I loved it!  It was a compelling story that I could not put down.  I will definitely be reading more Follet in the future.

Back to some articles…

I often wonder, and discuss with others, what are the “essentials” of the Christian faith.  This is not an easy question because almost any answer you give leads to other questions.  I think Roger Olsen does a pretty good job answering it, so I recommend this post.

Do we have free will?  If so, how does it work?  This post argues for a midway position between  free will and determinism.  The author does so in the context of the debates surrounding Rob Bell’s new book .  He also mentions Greg Boyd, whose work I enjoy and appreciate, who leans heavily on free will.  But one problem is that their view of free will seems to discount the many anthropological, sociological, psychological and other various factors that influence us.  Being raised in a specific place and time and culture influences us so greatly that we simply are unable to freely choose anything.  I often make this point when Christians slam messed up Christians in the past, such as the Crusaders.  Yes, killing in the name of Jesus is wrong and abhorrent.  But I am not arrogant enough to assume that had I been living in those days that I would not have gone along with the vast majority of my culture on the way to war.

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