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Knowing God by J. I. Packer Thursday, 12 April 2012

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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I have  listened to this as an audiobook and hardly dare to say anything which might sound negative about such a distinguished author or this book in particular. It is totally biblically based, expounding many passages very literally, but reinterpreting others metaphorically (e.g. “all things” in Rom. 8:32); I have trouble with that kind of ambivalence.

The last chapter of the book elaborates on a few verses from the end of Romans 8 – a chapter I dearly love. It’s incredible how far and wide it’s possible to stray from a few clear words!

Altogether I was overwhelmed by Packer’s apparent intimate and detailed knowledge of God, his character and ways, and his absolute demands on us. I heard more about God’s unapproachableness and wrath than his desire to welcome me into fellowship with him. Also, Packer’s emphasis on our propensity to misunderstand, rebel and act sinfully frightened me and made me feel hopeless.

It’s very much centred on election and our ‘final’ union with God in heaven, and has rather little to say about how we should be living with and for Jesus here and now. Disappointing. So I can’t honestly recommend this book.

Liars and Outliers [Kindle Edition] by Bruce Schneier Friday, 6 April 2012

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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Just started this. It’s about trust, especially as applied to security issues in the physical, social and digital worlds.

Bruce Schneier is a very clever and thoughtful observer of society with an ability to not overlook the wood for the trees. He dares to ask fundamental questions and suggests answers.

Which means I’m all the more surprised to discover his singularly binary logic – no room for shades of significance – and his unquestioning adoption of the trendy anti-teleological evolutionism à la Richard Dawkins.

Let’s see what I think when I get a bit further… After Easter!

The King Jesus Gospel by Scott McKnight Friday, 6 April 2012

Posted by greyowl in Rezensionen / Reviews.
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This is a good book for those who still believe the Gospel is just abut getting me to heaven.

Based on a rather imaginative elaboration of Paul’ statement in 1.Cor. 15, Scott McKnight argues that the Gospel is in fact God’s story with Israel, culminating in the story of Jesus, who fulfilled his plan. The story goes back to the creation and man’s God-given mandate to rule the world for God the King. At various stages, Adam, Abraham, Moses, David and the prophets failed to accomplish this task. We all end up as usurpers.

The final point of this Gospel is the promise of new creation as previewed by Jesus’ resurrection. We, his followers, empowered by the Holy Spirit, are now called to practise this gospel culture, which means fostering the kingship of Jesus.

The message is valid. God wants us to see the full scope of His love for the world and live accordingly, and not just concentrate on launching souls into heaven. But I didn’t really like the style. Unnecessary repetition, convoluted argument and – for a study on the meaning of a word like Gospel – too much sloppy and sensational formulation for the sake of sounding cool.

(Read with Kindle)