Sunday, July 14, 2013

What They Need to Hear

by Klemet I. Preus

A couple months ago there was a meme running on the social networking site Twitter. People were posting the hashtag #FourWordBible, along with a four word statement. Some people took the instructions metaphorically, using their four words to declare a general philosophy: "Be real with me", "Do not trust easily", "Spread love, practice peace." Others treated the meme as a joke, posting things like: "Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica", "Chatty snake ruins everything", or "Thou shall not hashtag." Unfortunately, the majority of people took the opportunity to slam Christianity: "Price list for SLAVES", "Most Sold Fiction Novel", "Crowd Control R Us."

sigh... There's a lot of misinformed people out there. Not that there aren't legitimate complaints against us Christians. But I have to wonder if some of those critics have even heard the story of Jesus before. Of course, that just makes me wonder if I'm doing my job in telling the story to those around me. Which, in turn, makes me think of my shortcomings in doing that job. How can I do better?

What They Need to Hear struck me as being a useful tool for that. This book is not a how-to manual for evangelism, but rather a case study in witnessing. In 2006, Pastor Preus thought his father-in-law was on his death bed. A conversation with Lloyd revealed that he had serious doubts and misconceptions about his salvation. Pastor Preus started to answer Lloyd's questions, address his errors, and offer him the comfort and power of the Gospel. Because Lloyd's imminent death took 18 months, Rev. Preus was able to gather a book's worth of letters to share with others.

I found the book to be beneficial on two levels. One is the simple content that Rev. Preus shared with Lloyd, a combination of apologetics and catechesis. The other is the chance to watch the interaction between Rev. Preus and his father-in-law. The thread of witness didn't follow a pre-planned pattern, but rather reacted to Lloyd's questions and events in his life. I think it's a good book to read and tuck away in the back of my brain, to await the day when I encounter a "Lloyd" in my own life.

 I just had to check it out and pass it on.
LibraryThing link


Friday, July 12, 2013

Rise of the Time Lords

by Michael Belote

This is kind of like a catechism for science/science fiction geeks. Rather than comment more I'll just refer you to Mr. Belote's blog.

 Just had to put it on my shelf.
 LibraryThing link


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Curious Notions

by Harry Turtledove

This one's an okay book about a father and son who set up shop in an alternate reality where the Germans won the first World War. The authorities start to suspect them and things go from bad to worse. I got the book because I was curious how the Kaiser's America would compare to other alternate reality tales. It wasn't all that different from a What-If-the-Germans-Won-World-War-2 scenario. No Nazi trappings, of course, but otherwise very familiar.

 A waiting room alternative.  
LibraryThing link

Labels: , ,

Saturday, July 06, 2013

A History of Islam in America

by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri

One nice thing about sending your children to college is that they bring home interesting books. In one sense, A History of Islam in America didn't quite live up to its title--the lives and beliefs of American Muslims haven't been all that well documented over the centuries. But some of what Professor GhaneaBassiri did find I found fascinating, especially Islam in antebellum America and the milieu at the turn of the 20th Century. Muslims before the Civil War were mostly Africans, taken from their homes and people, enslaved and transported to North America. For many, with no mosque or community to support it, their religion became a strictly private thing, with nothing but an occasional ritual passed on to younger generations. The chapter about the era after the Civil War was fascinating in how it presented American Protestant culture from the perspective of an ethnic and religious outsider. It's easy to gloss over the sins of one's forebears if the history has been written by said sinners. As I read the book, I heard echoes of Lies My Teacher Told Me and A People's History of the United States.

Check it out!
LibraryThing link


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]