I stayed on track with the reading this month, and I figured it should be easy to catch up pretty soon (especially with school coming up!) here are the 5:
Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be
by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
This book was probably one of the best that I have ever read. DeYoung and Kluck really lay a great foundation for the necessity of Biblical truths and are truly respectful in their handling of this (non) movement. I would actually say that everyone who has any dealings with the Emergent Church or its un-led leadership needs to read this. There is great clarity and definite conclusions, and unlike some guys that they quote, they don’t leave you wondering what they believe. The Bible is true, Jesus is the only way, meeting physical and spiritual needs are equally essential, and others culminate into the end calling us to listen to all the Churches of Revelation in our daily lives- we must not lose our love for others or the Word.
Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different
by Tulian Tchividian
Tchividian does a great job in outlining what our lives need to look like as believers. It worried me at first, because this is almost the theme of the book that I am currently working on, but not exactly, so I will most definitly be drawing from this and others I have read as I continue that journey. Anyway, with the exception of the Claiborne quote at the beginning of chapter 7 (its not one of his outlandish quotes that lead nowhere though), it is a great challenge for us as believers to be focused on what really matters. Most importantly, just when it seems as though he is about to slide into an emergent conversation, he declares that we cannot leave the truth of the Gospel in order to be unfashionable.
Can We Rock the Gospel?: Rock Music’s Impact on Worship and Evangelism
by John Blanchard and Dan Lucarini
I bought this expecting it to be great! But, it was not so great. As in, I disagree with what they teach. While Blanchard and Lucarini do well to point out the dangers of rock music, I believe that they go too far in coming to their conclusions (not to ruin the ending, but, they are against rock and the Gospel mixing). They spend the bulk of the book telling us how rock music cannot and should not be used in relation to the Gospel, but then spend the last chapter telling us that it is up to our own conscience to decide. Besides some other not so great arguments used, this is the worst. You cannot tell me that something I am doing is a sin and then tell me I need to leave it up to my conscience. However, I would suggest that every pastor and worship leader read this, because they bring up many great points about music and some dangers there in. To sum up, I did not enjoy it, but would suggest it to everyone!
He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World
by Albert Mohler
Actually, I haven’t really finished this one yet… but I am half way through, and it is amazing so far! Mohler’s love for the Bible and the God who wrote it is evident. He does a great job challenging us to preach, and preach well. His greatest exhortation thus far is to take the Bible seriously- which is behind expositional preaching. I would definitely suggest this book to every one. Even if you aren’t interested in preaching, you need to read this- it provides a great background for understanding why we do what we do. The amount of stock Mohler puts in the Bible far outweighs the travesties of the next book listed.
First off, this was not as terrible as I thought it would be- that is, if you read only the parts where he emphasizes being more missional and generous as believers. However, be careful with the rest. He talks about how the Bible is not the only foundation to our faith (which is a problem) and that faith is not like a building (which contradicts Scripture’s teaching on the Church being a like a building founded on Christ and His Word). There are also deeper issues regarding the doctrine of Hell and who goes there. His premise is that it is none of our business who does and doesn’t go to Hell. This is true, but we can still hold to the Biblical standards of how one’s fate is sealed. All this to say that McLaren is the typical emergent author (although he would probably hate that title). It is great that he is trying to get away from modernism by caring for the poor more, being more missional, and focusing on community, but post-modernity is his functional savior. Modernism can only be conquered by sound Biblical teaching and not new post-modern thinking.