Having read many books in the Questions Christians Ask series from The Good Book Company; Can I Really Trust the Bible is the tidiest book yet. Author Barry Cooper addresses many objections that critics ask throughout this entry. He does this while weaving a unified theme of Pooh Bear (yes, this book is filled with subtle humor) to illustrate that until one “Tastes and sees that God is good” and experience the Bible for themselves they will never truly trust scripture. Knowing all the arguments for or against the Bible are not enough because they only supplement the validity of scripture’s truth. Therefore, Cooper appeals to the nihilistic philosophy of our day and provides reasons of experience to persuade his readers to take the Bible at its word.
Doubt is the appropriate word to describe if I was going to be able to write this book review or not. At the time of this writing I confess I have had a rough few weeks in my life where I did not feel like reading or writing. So I was doubtful that I had the energy to read or write. However, by the grace of God that sustains us even in our deepest times of doubt I was able to finish reading John Steven’s book, “How Can I Be Sure.” As a result, I have found it to be a very timely fantastic book, as we each struggle at some point in life. As Stevens writes, “doubt is dangerous, but we need not be terrified by it… it’s an opportunity for spiritual growth.” Therefore, Christians should remember that doubt is different than unbelief, that doubt produces spiritual maturity, and that we must look beyond ourselves.
According to Stevens, the most troubling aspect of doubt is the difference between “doubt and unbelief.” Often the failure to distinguish between these two terms causes one to move beyond a casual doubt and towards questioning one’s salvation. Stevens offers hope and comfort by simply asking,
“Do you believe and trust in Jesus?” If the answer is “yes”, then you have every entitlement to assurance of salvation. If the answer is “no”, then you have no grounds for assurance.”
This is because our salvation is not based on any work we do as Christians. It is not even based on the level of our faith. Rather, salvation is based on the object of our faith, which is Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus fulfilled all the religious requirements we could never keep. As a result, we should trust what God did for us on the Cross of Christ than our works and effort. Then we will move from unbelief back to simple doubt. Continue reading “How Can I Be Sure? by John Stevens”
When writing a good story the ending can be the most difficult part. God’s story of redemption found within the Bible is no different. The difficulty is found when one is required to interpret the Bible’s ending from a list of possibilities. As a result, for centuries many scholars and layman have debated exactly how Jesus will return. Churches have split, false teachers have risen, and new Christian sects have developed from a variety of end time theologies. Therefore, it is very important that Christians interpret prophetic passages in the Bible carefully.
According to author Jermaie Rinne in the book How Will The World End one can be careful by simply remembering that, “Jesus is returning.” No matter how Jesus will return, He is returning. When He comes back one won’t argue if His return is theologically correct or not. Rather, one should be glad He has returned, period. This simple, yet profound truth allows Christians to be able to “focus on the work at hand” than “watching the clock” for His return. By knowing He will return, Christians should be motivated to engage in missions more. After all, this best prepares as many people as possible for His certain return. These pieces of sage advice are sprinkled throughout How Will The World End, along with specific theological explanations and other practical applications.
For example, one-way Rinne made How Will The World End practical is by using contemporary examples people are familiar with. Early in the book he references movies like Armageddon, and Pacific Rim to contrast what the Day of Judgment will look like from the happy endings often shown in Hollywood. However, if one has professed Christ as Lord then there will be a happy ending for the Christian. This book is also concise, which makes it easy to understand basic end time theology without the elaborate prophecy charts found in other eschatological systems. Continue reading “How Will The World End?: Book Review”