Friday, April 14, 2006

Godincidence and A New Kind of Christian

Book reviews first today. Coincidence or Godincidence by Steve & Kathi Rose is filled with great stories of miracles and hope. It was especially enjoyable for me because I live in Northeastern Wisconsin, so I recognize the cities, streets, and even some of the names in the stories. The book tells of amazing coincidences or perhaps the hand of God moving in people's lives. Some stories filled my eyes with tears while others left me a little flat, but I think some of the power of this book will be that the different stories will affect everyone differently. The stories and short and the Roses do, for the most part, a good job of of telling them, although in some spots they work a little too hard at adding suspense. It's a minor complaint that shouldn't keep you from enjoying this book.

I finally finished A New Kind of Christian by Brian McLaren, and I'm so glad that I stuck with it. At first I feared that I wasn't intellectual enough to truly understand it, but I think that the writing style is just a little off-putting. This is not a book you can read with the TV on in the background or while in the company of others. This book needs to be read deeply and carefully. McLaren poses the question of how the Christian faith is changing in a postmodern world as a dialogue between a pastor who's questioning his church and his daughter's high school science teacher, Neo. Neo speaks so eloquently, but at such a higher level that sometimes it's easy to lose track of what he's saying. I found myself rereading portions of the book to really grasp what he was saying, and I even took notes! This book has a powerful message of where Christianity has been, where it's going, and where it should go. McLaren puts forth some questions that really inspire the reader to think and rethink their faith. This is a book that should be read, reread, and discussed with others. A truly amazing work.

Two years ago the confirmation class at my church put on a human video of Ray Boldt's song Watch the Lamb. The song tells the story of Simon of Cyrene bringing his young sons to Jerusalem during Passover to sacrifice a lamb at the temple. While there he is forced to carry Christ's cross and comes to understand that Jesus is the lamb who died to atone for the sins of the world. It's a beautifully powerful song. My son, Doogie, played Jesus in the human video and changed how I view Good Friday and the crucifixion forever. He carried the cross, was "whipped" by a Roman soldier, fell to the ground, was put on the cross, and "died." I can't imagine how God felt to watch his son go through those things, but watching my son go through the motions broke my heart. Imagining His Son go through them shreds my heart. I can't even think about it without tears in my eyes and my heart in my throat. When I think about my son dying for the sins of others, I am angry beyond belief. When I think about him dying for mine, I'd rather die myself a thousand times. What God did, what Jesus did for me, for the world is unimaginable for anyone. Our minds and our world is just too small. I am grateful today, and I will be try to be more grateful every day. Have a blessed Easter.


Kathie said...

I have a copy of the God-incidence book you wrote about and wrote about it on my blog last year. I thought you might be interested in more God-incidence stories.