Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel R. Beeke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a new father I frankly feel overwhelmed at times by what is happening in our world, knowing that my son will have to face challenges that are likely increasingly difficult. It seems that every day I read about “parents” who decide to end the life of their unborn child and most recently about parents who are sueing because they chose to give birth to a child that was later diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
It is in this world that we are called to parent. How we face these challenges as adults has everything to do with how we raise our children. What values will they have? How can we help guide them through the mines of moral indiscretion and raise them to hate sin or even to know what sin is much of the time?
Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism by Joel R. Beeke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Calvinism, you say? What is that exactly?
People have varying reactions to hearing the term Calvinism. There are many strong opinions for and against the Calvinist perspective on the teaching of the Bible. Yet with the strength of opinion, and perhaps because of it, Calvinism is often misunderstood and misrepresented.
Whether or not you identify as a Calvinist, Joel Beeke does a terrific job in presenting the tenants of this Reformation era theology. In the first section he takes us chapter by chapter through TULIP, an easy way to remember the basics.
What I found most helpful was the second half, which is a real life perspective of people who lived as the first Calvinists: Puritans. These 15th century Christians are often regarded to see how the teachings of John Calvin impacted how people lived everyday life. Beeke takes us through the family structure of a typical Puritan household along with how the faith was taught and practiced.
Do not be intimidated. At first glance this book with its more than 400 pages looks too large to tackle. However, Beeke uses accessible language and strong biblical support to present a basic look at what Calvinism is and the assurance of living in light of God’s sovereignty and for God’s glory.
[LEGAL: copy of the book was provided as compensation for this review by the publisher]
In The Pilgrim’s Regress CS Lewis talks about growing up and being handed a card that was covered front and back with rules. He found that there was no possibility of following all of the rules, and this set him on his journey to find what truth really was.
As I was wondering around in the forest of the Emergent Church (see part 2), I decided to follow what I believed to be God’s call on my life to serve as a pastor. I honestly thought that I had something figured out, and was ready to lead a group of people in the same direction.
My fervent determination to make a difference in the church instilled a passion for learning, and in the process was opened to a number of books and resources on church leadership and church models, which is how I was exposed to the work of Thom Rainer.