Friday, June 6, 2008

Summer Reading Club -Mark Lee style

Following Mark's directions.

I like the bonus round!

The two books I just finished reading are:

"Your God is too safe" by Mark Buchanan
"The Jesus I never knew" by Phillip Yancey

But very interesting books (I've read Mark's book twice now....I read it again for another book club I'm in [shock...yes I am in two book clubs!])

I love Phillip Yancey's books...I've gotten hooked on them and plan to read another one of his this summer.

Gotta go make my list of what I'm going to read.


"Your God is too safe"

Buchanan speaks of a place called "Borderland" which most of us are comfortable living in and not leaving. We do not venture out to where God calls us because we are afraid. A safe god requires nothing of you and therefore we don't worship or revere a safe god. Is God safe? As CS Lewis wrote in Narnia "Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king, I tell you." The irony of it all is that although He is not safe we have to find our refuge in Him to deal with this world and get past the Borderland in which we live. We are told to go into the "holy wild" (which is another book by Buchanan) and find what God has for us. Buchanan emphasizes that we must love as Jesus loved and this will kick us in gear. I know I don't do this very well. Buchanan shows us that we must adopt "holy habits" and live by them. We must take our faith serious and venture out of our comfy box. The habits include prayer, confession, and fasting. Of course we know these already but I like the way Buchanan shows you the benefits of each in a light that is much different from what my church has taught. Buchanan's style is easy to read. He is deep but not to the point that you have to look up the words he is using to get his point across to you. I've read this book twice and gained insight both times from it.

"The Jesus I never knew"
Yancey takes the gospels and shows us the Jesus that most of us miss. I believe our society has lost alot of who Jesus was when He walked on this planet. We of course are not 1st century Jews and therefore are at a disadvantage to understanding some of the context but we can still dig to find meaning in all that is written. Yancey proceeds through Jesus' birth to His second coming. He expounds on God choosing to reconcile us to Him by way of His only Son. I enjoyed Yancey's background chapter (especially realizing that Peter's accent gave him away- yes my redneck accent does that with me ;) ). Yancey gives us insight into Jesus' temptation, the Sermon on the Mount, grace, miracles, Jesus' death and resurrection and accension. My favorite chapter deals with God's kingdom. Yancey explains that what man wants in a kingdom is not God's plan at all. We are told to be careful in wanting God to establish His kingdom now because once He comes back it is over. As CS Lewis writes "When the author walks on to the stage the play is over." Yancey showed me that Jesus is more human than I thought and so much more God than I can comprehend. This book isn't a quick read but well worth your time to expand your mind.