Monday, July 07, 2008

So What Have You Been Reading in May & June?

It's been a couple of months since I updated you all on what I have been reading.  To be honest, due to health issues since early May, it was only recently that I felt well enough to concentrate much on reading.  But let me give you brief reviews on four books that I have read which you may decide to look into yourself. I welcome any questions or comments you may have.

novelsI'll Cross the River by C. Hope Flinchbaugh. Recognizing that many VOMC supporters enjoy reading Christian novels, I was hopeful when I saw this recent book by C. Hope Flinchbaugh which I was made to understand focused on a family in North Korea. I was disappointed to find that it was primarily a continuation of her early two novels focusing on a fictional Chinese Christian woman named Mei Lin.  I was also disappointed by the weak storyline and even weaker theology evidenced particularly at the end of the book.  Enough said; this book will not be offered for sale here at The Voice of the Martyrs in Canada.  Just glad that I read it first before offering it to our supporters.

novelsMissions in Contexts of Violence edited by Keith E. Eitel. A 2008 compilation of various articles by the Evangelical Missiological Society on the subject of doing missions in contexts of violence.  Starting with biblical and theological studies and ending with cases studies from various parts of the world, I found this to be quite a helpful read.  Not all of the articles are of equal value.  Some are quite scholarly; others a tad simplistic.  I thought a couple of the articles were a bit irrelevant but all in all, I would recommend the book especially to those involved in ministry where persecution and other forms of violence are reality or a threat.  Personally, I found the Biblical and theological foundations section the most useful (no surprise there for anyone who knows me well).

novelsTruth With Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer by Bryan A. Follis.  A very useful study of the apologetical methodology of one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. Its particular strength is the reminder that Francis Schaeffer was first and foremost an evangelist and not a philosopher despite how he has often portrayed.  Neglecting this has been one of the chief errors of Schaeffer's critics.  If you are a Francis Schaeffer fan (as I am) you will find this a very helpful assessment of his contribution to the field of apologetics and the continuing value of his methodology in today's postmodern society. 

novelsMission from a Position of Weakness by Paul Yonggap Jeong.  This book addresses a key biblical thought from my opinion; doing mission from a position of weakness, exhibiting cross-centredness and servanthood rather than power and strength in our attitudes and methodology.  This is the only book that I know of that specifically addresses this as its sole topic. Hence, it has value due to its uniqueness.  However, costing $63.00, coming from what I have found to be a reputable publisher, and purported to be the author's doctoral thesis, I expected a higher level of scholarship and editing than I found in this book.  I am left waiting for someone to write a more significant study on this key subject; wish I had the time to try.

1 comment:

ingrid said...

I appreciate these book reviews Glen, since I don't have the time to read as much as I wish I had. I make it a point to read the books we offer for sale at our yearly Prayer Conferences and Missionsfest here in Edmonton, so I appreciate this additional information.

One of my loves is apologetics, so it was thrilling for me to read your views on election and predestination in reference to the resistance to the gospel that the messenger of God faces, as outlined in your book 'In the Shadow of the Cross',chapter 4. How refreshing!