Friday, August 26, 2011

To Be Perfectly Honest

One Man's Year of (Almost) Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie.

It has been years since my husband has had time to sit down and read a non-church related or work-related book.  When the doctor told him to take it easy this summer as a result of heart trouble, his evenings suddenly loomed large and empty.  It didn't help that I had to make an emergency trip down to San Diego for four days.  I am NOT the wife who leaves frozen casseroles in the freezer for thawing and micro-waving. No no, I leave BOOKS!  And Loren dutifully read them.

Phil was challenged by Ron, his editor, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth for an entire year and then write a book about it.  Now this is the guy who is a self-confessed life-long chronic fudger, who makes his living standing in front of people and telling them stories. In Phil's own words, sometimes he "...adds just enough salt to keep a tale savory, just enough falsehood to keep people interested.His delicious stories are one reason I have read Servant Magazine from Prairie Bible Institute for yearsPhil writes a hysterically funny column for each issue that is truly a highlight!

When Phil mentioned the proposed book idea to friends and told them that he was considering taking a truth vow, their eyebrows shot up. One friend asked, "Isn't that a bit like giving up arson for Lent?"

The year-long journey is fraught with temptation, anger, guilt.  Phil tells us truths about himself that made us blush, chortle and empathize.  Here's a real guy, struggling with real issues, willingly sharing his true story.

My husband liked this book very much and as soon as he had finished it, he was very thoughtful.  He kept referring to it in the days after and then recommended it to his brother-in-law. You will like it too.

~~ Becky

Friday, August 5, 2011

Erasing Hell by Francis Chan

Francis Chan has done a superb job of telling us what the Bible says about hell. Not what I wish it said, not what he would like it to say, but what God actually tells us in the Bible.

He does so humbly and graciously with excellent documentation.  Erasing Hell is not clever or entertaining.  It is certainly not a "feel good" book.  It is horrifying and grievesome. And Francis Chan makes it clear over and over again how hard it was to write.  

Each chapter is followed by "Notes".  These include Biblical chapter and verse as well as extended hermaneutic information and books he has referred to. At the end of the book Chan includes a section of Frequently Asked Questions and an extensive bibliography.

You cannot read the book without understanding the author's heart for God, His Word and people. He does not write arrogantly, but rather with a broken heart.  Bottom line:
As I have said all along, I don't feel like believing in hell. And yet I do.  Maybe someday I will stand in complete agreement with Him, but for now I attribute the discrepancy to an underdeveloped sense of justice on my part.  God is perfect.  And I joyfully submit to a God whose ways are much, much higher than mine.
After having read Love Wins by Rob Bell several months ago and wishing I was smart enough to refute his  heretical, yes heretical! point of view, I thank God for godly men like Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle who are brave enough to pen these difficult but necessary words.
 

~~Becky