Thursday, January 23, 2014

Futureville: Discover Your Purpose for Today by Reimagining Tomorrow by Skye Jethani

Review: Futureville: Discover Your Purpose or Today by Reimagining Tomorrow
Skye Jethani
Nelson Books

This is another winner from this author.  Jethani writes books that need to be read.  This one touches all of us in one way or another.  What is happening here is a look at the premise that drives actions and thoughts related to an individual’s view of the future---and the present as well.  

In a gentle manner and in a very readable way the author examines the outcome of believing in a global sort of evolution, evacuation, or resurrection.  Each direction leads to a different emphasis and practice according to Jethani.  He has connected dots that at the very least were obscured by loads of rhetoric from their respective adherents and opponents.

This is an affirming and insightful work which is sorely needed by many and especially those in the Church.  He weaves it together through a metaphor of a World’s Fair held in New York City toward the end of the Depression.  Sounds strange, but it is quite apropos to his message. 

Any nits?  For me the same metaphor that worked so well may also be its problem.  The title doesn’t work for me.  I “get it” now, but not before reading the content.  That’s a big negative unless name recognition will take this book off the shelf and into a reader’s hand.  I certainly hope so since I believe that Jethani has hit on something really important in this book.

This book was supplied by the publisher via Booksneeze in return for this review.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Review: Exploring Christian Theology: Nathan D. Holsteen & Michael J. Svigel, General Editors

Review: Exploring Christian Theology
Nathan D. Holsteen & Michael J. Svigel, General Editors
Bethany House Publishers

The strength of this book was identified by the endorsement written by Darrell Bock where he says that this book “combines biblical texts, what people have said across history, and that alludes to contemporary culture…”   Bock’s description is quite accurate.  With the help of a glossary the person just coming to theology can obtain a helpful overview a range of topics that involve the church, spiritual growth and end times information.

The presentation of material is even handed when different positions exist.  The positions are not debated happily, and the information supplied helps to differentiate the various opinions.  A very good and concise church history that points up some of the major doctrinal decisions from the earliest times forward is the best I have read.  The section on end times is equally as thorough and complete. It too has a history of the development of thought on the end times that is well written.  Both sections are generously supplied with charts to compare or summarize the information given.  Endnotes are available, too.

While this book does not cover all of Christian theology, it does give the reader a starting point to sample some of the topic.  Additional recommended reading lists compiled by topic are included for those that wish to dig deeper.  The entries are designated beginner through advanced reading to assist those not familiar with the works---like me.  

Readability?  Not a textbook, so relax, but not fluff either.  Neither is it dry or boring.  And as mentioned there is a glossary for those us who haven’t a clue what full preterism is or who the Church Fathers were.  The editors included brief entries from many of them for the reader, by the way.

Overall, I do recommend this book for those wanting a taste of Christian theology in the areas mentioned above.  

This book was provided by the publishers in exchange for this review.