POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

A Tale of Two Books

There are two books that I am greatly anticipating this spring, one of which just shipped from Amazon.com and will soon arrive in one of the sheik little brown boxes to my door step.  The two books are the kinds that you hope to be able to give to others who have questions about Jesus or the historic Christian faith...but will not be too simplistic or boring to actually give to someone.  The books are written for different audiences, but I think the reader of the POCBlog will love both.

For the Sophisticated Skeptic and the Thoughtful Believer
(Updated - There is now a dedicated web site for the book) 

The Reason for God:Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller, Penguin, 2008 Hardcover | 9.25 x 6.25in | 320 pages | ISBN 9780525950493 | 14 Feb 2008 | Dutton Adult

Keller is a well known Presbyterian minister at Redeemer Prebyterian Church in New York City.  He was recently interviewed in Newsweek magazine (see The Smart Shepherd) and is well known and loved in the missional/theologically driven church planting movement.  The book is a work of Christian Apologetics which is sectioned into two main parts.  Part I, entitled, “The Leap of Doubt” an exercise in defensive apologetics seeks to answer some objections to Christian faith:

  1. There can’t be just one true religion
  2. A good God could not allow suffering
  3. Christianity is a straitjacket
  4. The church is responsible for so much injustice
  5. A loving God would not send people to hell
  6. Science has disproved Christianity
  7. You can’t take the Bible literally

The second half, entitled “The Reasons for Faith,” the move is to more positive apologetics and shaping a case for the gospel.

  1. The clues of God
  2. The knowledge of God
  3. The problem of sin
  4. Religion and the gospel
  5. The (true) story of the cross
  6. The reality of the resurrection
  7. The Dance of God

This book will surely interupt my current reading and jump to the front of the line.  I may however tell Keller to wait as I really want to get to After the Baby Boomers - How Twenty and Thirty Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion by Robert Wuthnow .

To purchase Keller's new book Westminster Books has it for 15.47. If you have some car time allotted in life, there is also an audio book version (read by Keller) which Westminster books has for 18.87

For the Indie, Emo and Younger Crowds - And Just About Everyone

Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears, Crossway Books/Re:Lit 2008, Hardcover, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, 256 pages, ISBN: 9781581349757.

If there is anything that the Christian faith is centered upon it is the person and work of Jesus.  Far too often he is the subject of much revisionist theology, much cultural invention and just plain misunderstanding.  In this work you have pastor Mark Driscoll and theologian Gerry Breshears doing a marvel team up to put out some biblically faithful yet relevantly communicated Jesusology.  From reading Mark's other books and having interacted with Dr. Breshears on a few different occasions I really look forward to this book.  Driscoll's wit, erudite mind and humor will certainly come through as will Breshears theological care and acumen.  You want good theology and the laugh out loud - this is the book.  I think this is one you could give to any non Christian person under 35 without any concern.  Jesus will be honored, the Bible's actual teaching about him on display and by God's grace  the reader just might meet Jesus in the process. 

Amazon has it for cheap here. The sermon series upon which Driscoll based the book is also online for free (audio/video) at Mars Hill Church's web siteAudio book coming in March.

JI Packer - who is really getting up there in years - wrote this endorsement:

“This book reveals Mark Driscoll as a highly powerful, colorful, down-to-earth catechist, targeting teens and twenty-somethings with the old, old story told in modern street-cred style. And Professor Breshears ballasts a sometimes lurid but consistently vivid presentation of basic truth about the Lord Jesus Christ.”

J. I. Packer, Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent College

Wrestler and Ultimate Fighter Matt Lindland wrote this one: 

“This book presents an honest view of Jesus without giving in to the pressure to soften him up. I had to grapple with the real vintage Jesus. This is a Savior worth fighting for.
Matt Lindland, 2000 Olympic silver medalist in wrestling; top-ranked middleweight mixed martial arts fighter