Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Religion Saves

Camping was wonderful, just like usual, but my pain was off the charts. It was predicted to rain every day we were there, and while we didn't get anywhere near what we expected, it was still too much for five days! The dampness in the air always makes my joints ache, and Jesse forgot my comfy chair, so I spent much of the trip sitting in our tent on our nifty new air mattress. We didn't make it to the zoo this year because of the rain, but we're hoping to make it up there before summer is over.

Mia fell in love with fishing instead of swimming this year. From the moment she woke up until she fell asleep, she wanted to be in the water with a pole in her hand. She caught more fish than anyone else and she caught the biggest fish, including a 7-1/2" bluegill and an 18" northern. We couldn't keep the northern, because 24" is legal, but we were all astonished at what this little girl caught just standing off of the shore! She's a fascinating dichotomy of ballet tutus and fishing poles, this little girl of mine.

Religion Saves by Mark Driscoll is a compilation of sermons Driscoll gave at his Mars Hill church in response to questions submitted by his congregation online. From 893 questions, he narrowed it down to the most popular and occasionally most controversial such as birth control and worship styles. I appreciated Driscoll's almost irreverent writing style that doesn't allow readers to take these issues too seriously, especially when they are the ones that divide believers. However, he doesn't dismiss these questions lightly, using just the right amount of humor without becoming flippant. During the first half of this book, I felt like I had finally found someone who was able to put into words my beliefs, and on some issues that I wasn't quite sure where to stand, Driscoll combined Scripture and reason into positions that make sense. When the American church has lost its authority in its quest to be culturally friendly, Driscoll calls them on it and doesn't pull his punches! When I reached the chapter on predestination/free will/elect, I was stopped short by Driscoll's forthright Calvinism, although he did present the Arminian side fairly. I've always considered myself an Arminian, but after reading his careful arguments, I was forced to do some research of my own, and while I can't call myself a Calvinist yet, I'm definitely on that path. I think ultimately, that's the best way to use this book. Read each chapter with an open mind, then read the Scriptures and talk to people you trust who are strong in their faith before forming an opinion. If widely read, this book could just save Christianity from itself.

Today is just the beginning of camp photos!


Kevin Jackson said...

Make sure to read both sides on the Calvinist / Arminian question. IMHO Driscoll doesn't at all accurately represent Arminian theology. Check out the book "Arminian Theology, Myths and Realities" by Roger Olson. He does a good job of explaining the Arminian view and how Calvinists misrepresent it (usually unintentionally). God bless.