Drinking Deeply

Sunday, August 12, 2007 at 12:29 AM

Book Review: The Truth War

John Macarthur wrote The Truth War essentially as a call to arms for Evangelical Christians. A call not to defend orthodoxy against the outsiders, but against the far more dangerous wolves in sheep's clothing, apostates who still claim the label "Christian" but deny core essentials of the Gospel. John Macarthur points out that Scripture has not only predicted that such a fight will come, but commanded that we continue fighting, trusting in a sovereign Lord that will ultimately use sinners like us as the seed of woman to wage war and crush the seed of the serpent.

The book walks through the first few verses of the Epistle of Jude and points out the utter foolishness and hopelessness of those who apostatize from the faith and the necessary steps to stand firm and defend the faith.

The book does an excellent job doing an overview and Scriptural presentation of the problems and solutions at hand. It presents a biblical and scholarly refutation of distinctiveness of the Emergent church and issues a firm call for repentance on both the Emergent church and those who tolerate these people.

That said, the book is very contextual, and it's very evident that this is a book written for these times against these people. When the next error crops up, John Macarthur will have to write another book doing the same thing over again, probably using the same passages. Not to say that he misapplies the passages or the truths he points out are only relevant today, but since the book is so specifically directed, the examples he uses will quickly fade into the past, and I wonder if it might be more beneficial to generalize those rather than picking specific authors that will quickly disappear.

Anyway though, I would highly recommend this book especially for those who wondering how to respond to postmodern Christians, ones who deny that people can have authority on anything yet still want to hang onto the fundamentals of Christianity. An excellent read with a biblical response. It's not a great book to keep around though. It doesn't quicken the soul like a positive presentation of God's grace or exposition of God's law, nor is it a great resource for refutations of specific cases. It does a good general refutation of the principles behind it, ones that people can pick up after a reading.

My recommendation: borrow it, or give it to someone as a gift.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007 at 11:15 PM

For Your Joy

From a pamphlet of Desiring God -

I have heard it said, 'God didn't die for frogs. So he was responding to our value as humans.' This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential in our lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren't bad enough. We are. Our debt is so great only divine sacrifice can pay it.
John Piper


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at 10:00 PM

Some thoughts on Harry Potter

Haven't really been posting much, can't say I haven't had time anymore, but it's more just wanting to do other stuff. There are a couple loose ends I should tie up eventually and I did say that I was going to start posting on church government. We'll see how well those plans go through.

The past few days I've been holed up in my room reading Harry Potter, books 5-7. This post will just be a compilation of some thoughts.

From a literary perspective, I thoughally enjoyed the books and was reminded of how much I enjoyed fiction, especially fantasy and sci-fi. I stopped long ago around high school and never really picked it back up. I'm glad I had the opportunity to actually sit down and read some of these books, though I am a little behind the curve on that. I believe one of my friends bought the seventh book at midnight and proceeded it read it straight through in 3 hours or so. Props to you if you still read my blog. And no props if you don't! haha. The world of Harry Potter was quite imaginative and rather captivating. I think I polished off 5-7 in a Wed-Sunday block which included a couple late nights. Enjoyable stuff.

I will say the last book seemed almost forced and a departure from the rest. It felt like Tom Sawyer, where different plot twists seemed to be thrown in simply to be thrown in. The ending was disappointing and rather anticlimactic, though the back story to a few major players was quite fascinating. ::shrug:: what are you gonna do?

From a more theological perspective, the series carries with it all the truths of Romans 1, that we all know that God exists yet want to deny him. In a world of wizards and power and magic and the supernatural, there is a continual appeal to something greater, more powerful, deeper. Akin to the "Deeper Magic" in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, there is self-sacrifice and love triumphing over all evil forces. Good wins and evil is rejected because it's evil. Wrongs are put to right and justice is finally meted out in the end, though it seems to take a long time.

Character traits like honor, humility, love, and generosity are often portrayed in a positive light, while selfishness, hatred, and self-vengeance are portrayed negatively.

Yet, with all these foundational truths pointing to a Triune God, there is a clear denial of His sovereignty, rule, and existence. The ultimate choice is of course in the hands of men, as if they could, of their own "free will", choose between good and evil. Though Christmas and Easter are often celebrated as holidays, there is little that points positively to anything supernatural beyond man, let alone a Triune God.

All that said, I am glad that the book reminded me of how much pleasure there could be found in simple reading, though I certainly would not go to a book for Gospel truth, though maybe for confirmation that we all know God, but suppress the truth with our lives.

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