newthingsold

The wise man is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things both new and old.

Month: April, 2017

Review: “Everything You Wanted to Know About God” by Eric Metaxas

This is a review of the book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Eric Metaxas.

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I first encountered the work of Eric Metaxas when my wife bought for me a book called Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. There was something about the way that Metaxas wrote that had me hooked, not just because of the subject matter, but by the way he phrased and expressed things in the narrative of the German pastor. In Bonhoeffer, Metaxas took a biography on a man who many might not have found the most interesting, and makes it engaging AND accessible for over 500 pages. Though much shorter in length, Everything You Wanted to Know About God exhibits all of those admirable qualities in Metaxas as a writer as he provides in an accessible conversation the topic of God.

Metaxas presents a multi-angle presentation on God in this book, and he writes it to take the form of a Q&A between him and an unknown “everyman” individual. Metaxas touches on all the usual subjects one might assume a person writing about God might address: “evidence,” the existence of suffering, Adam and Eve, homosexuality, but also more unexpected ones like aliens and fundamentalists. Throughout the book, Metaxas waxes between sounding like an eloquent Sunday School teacher, and a slightly snarky, dry-humored person with whom one would want to grab hot wings. If this isn’t Metaxas at his finest, I think this comes close.

Everything You Wanted to Know About God holds up to its title for the most part. It is not a systematic theological text. I would recommend it for anyone who would like to engage people in an intelligent conversation about God but lacks the intelligent individuals. The book doesn’t cover everything, but it is definitely a good start.

I received my copy of this book for free through the Blogging for Books program in exchange for writing a review on it. I was not obligated to write a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.

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#GreatSongs: “Never Let Me Down” by Jake Hamilton

If you read my last non-review post, I was wrestling through some stuff. I had my iPod on shuffle and this song came up and I haven’t been able to stop listening. The blues licks and the sing-along bridge are pretty tight. God is faithful.

I’ve been left alone, I’ve been pushed away
I’ve been tried and tested but I’ll never go astray
Cause I’ve found something worth more than the comfort of my days

I’ve found the king of glory always comes at midnight
I’ll be burning that oil lit nightlight
They can mock me, abuse me, hate me
But I know that you’ll never let me down
No, you’ll never let me down

I’ve lived in fear, have my share of scars
Shook my fist at heaven while I’m screaming at the stars
But I’ve found something worth more than my angry selfish ways

I’ve found the king of glory always comes at midnight
I’ll be burning that oil lit nightlight
They can mock me, abuse me, hate me
But I know that you’ll never let me down
No, you’ll never let me down

I can see the stars declaring (Lord, don’t let me down)
I can hear the rocks are crying (Lord, don’t let me down)
I can hear the church bells ringing (Lord, don’t let me down)
I can feel the earth, it’s grounding (Lord, don’t let me down)
I can hear the people are shouting (Lord, don’t let me down)
And all the cities are screaming (Lord, don’t let me down)
While all the preachers are preaching (Lord, don’t let me down)
While all the kings are bowing down

The king of glory always comes at midnight
I’ll be burning that oil lit nightlight
They can mock me, abuse me, hate me
But I know that you’ll never let me down
No, you’ll never let me down

Review: “Clash of Kingdoms” by Dyer and Tobey

This is a review of the book Clash of Kingdoms by Charles Dyer and Mark Tobey.

The idea of end-times prophecy is a hot topic in the church; and as time continues, scholars who engage with the apocalyptic texts of the Bible are forced to reevaluate them based on current geo-political contexts. “Clash of Kingdoms” is the next entry in the genre, and Charles Dyer and Mark Tobey do a respectable job of interpreting what the Bible has to say about the end in light of what is currently happening in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
What I appreciate about “Clash of Kingdoms” is how Dyer and Tobey (even though they wrote on the topic of ISIS and end times previously) approach the subject again in a way that assumes nothing of the readers as the create context and walk the reader through the history in an accelerated pace to bring them to the present. From there, they give the same thoughtful treatment of history and Biblical scholarship, as they lay out a case for the potential role that the Islamic State could be playing early on in setting the foundation for the end. From there, they analyze how a certain Eastern European leader could be the key to the next movements in apocalyptic events (but no spoilers in this review because the reader should approach this book with little to no expectations like I did).
What gave me pause as I was reading was how neatly and easily conclusions were made and ends tied up so that it seemed like Dyer and Tobey’s interpretation of events is the logical ending. Going back to the Bible which they quote extensively, “no man knows the day or the hour” (Matt. 24:36) so the reader should take a long pause before moving to the next step of using this book as a way to justify a view of world leaders as the antichrist.
“Clash of Kingdoms” is a good read for a fresh, accessible take on Middle Eastern current events. I would recommend this book for end-times, apocalypse buffs; however, those who take an active interest in the geography of the Middle East will find this book equally fascination.

***I received my copy of this book for free through the BookLook Bloggers program in exchange for writing a review on it. I was not obligated to post a positive review; the opinions expressed are mine.***