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Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Real Marriage" by Grace and Mark Driscoll

This book has some pros and cons. For instance, I love how it speaks about how real marriages start as genuine friendships. It goes into love and respect a bit, too, which is nice. I like the phrase "boys who can shave" when the authors speak of males who refuse to "man-up." The book also dives into the dangers of pornography, the inherent badness of abuse / how to deal with it to heal, and how spouses ought to be selfless servants. What I did not particularly like was how the authors took select verses from Song of Songs to insinuate that certain sexual acts (I dare not even repeat) are Biblically lawful. It's one thing to think that certain phrases have a particular allegorical counterpart. However, if that is not backed up in some other part of the Bible, I do not think we ought to say "well ---- is symbolic of ----, so it's okay to do ------." I'm sure the authors had good intentions, but this book was just plain perverted in certain areas of the text. Yikes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"Healing Your Church Hurt" by Stephen Mansfield

This book was a very interesting read. With all of the Christian books I review, I can't say I've come across many that broach this topic. This is a real issue in Christianity. It is one that I have personally experienced. The author, who has faced his fair share of church hurt, shares some of his story. However, he keeps things generally vague and goes into more detail for helping the reader. So, this book is not just him telling his awful story. This is for those that need healing. What I liked about this book was that the author started out recalling horrific things that happened to lead pastors and theologians in the early church (think Reformation era). He also writes about how suffering may be preordained as a means for making us more Christlike. He writes about how we should listen to others' criticisms and change what we need to but not take everything they say to heart--we are first and foremost identified by who Yeshua says we are, not who others say we are. The author also writes that anger and unforgiveness and lead to sin and even demonic activity. He goes into word studies quite often and has an impeccable writing style, both of which I enjoyed. What I will say I would have liked in this book that was missing was if the author wrote more about the spirit of the antichrist or how some may not be "good shepherds." However, one could argue that one would come to this conclusion from reading between the lines. Overall, this is a very good book. It helped me deal with a lot of my issues. We don't have to go back to churches that hurt us, but we ought to forgive from our heart and move on with our lives. Phil 3:13-14