Archive for the ‘Readings’ Category

Book Recommendation: Sacred Marriage

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

41Q2Gjcy7HlOver the Holidays, I did read a couple of books in preparation for our upcoming messages series, “Biblical Perspectives on Love & Marriage.” One of those resources was Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage, which I really enjoyed. Rather than your normal “here’s how to have a great marriage” books, Gary looks at marriage from the perspective of, “how can the marriage relationship help us to grow in our relationship with God.”

On the cover, the question is posed, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”

Here’s a brief excerpt that lifts up one of the fundamental ideas raised in this book; that marriage forces us to deal with our own brokenness, weaknesses, and sin.

Kathleen & Thomas Hart write, “Sometimes what is hard to take in the first years of marriage is not what we find out about our partners, but what we find out about ourselves. As one young woman who had been married for a year said, ‘I always thought of myself as a patient and forgiving person. Then I began to wonder if that was just because I had never before gotten close to anyone. In marriage, when John and I began… dealing with differences, I saw how small and unforgiving I could be. I discovered a hardness in me I had never experienced before’.”

Pick up your copy today from the Bucket bookstore: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

A few more changes…

Friday, October 19th, 2007


I have been working on the bookstore that I have set up on this site through Amazon. I now have 34 books listed that fall into seven categories: Understanding Faith, Theology, Leadership, Spirituality, Bible Study & Commentaries, Religious Fiction, and Fiction. Check it out.

What’s wrong with foundationalism?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I’m reading a book right now that is hurting my brain. The book is Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism: How Modern and Postmodern Philosophy set the Theological Agenda by Nancey Murphy. I’m reading it in conjunction with an independent study for seminary on Emerging Church theologies. I know it’s full of tons of great information. It’s just hard to digest so much “head” knowledge at once. The first section of the book is all about the development of modern theology and paritcularly addresses the ways in which the church has developed two polar opposite responses to modern philosophy; liberalism and fundamentalism. The second part is all about postmodernity. As you can imagine, I’m enjoying the second half much more. Here’s the opening of that section.

Contemporary theology, like an empty pile in solitaire, is waiting for a new king to come along and get things started again.” So says, Jeffrey Stout. Stout is pessimistic about the appearance of such a kind, and I am too. but what STout fails to consider – and what will be the focus of the second part of this book – is the possibility that the rules of the game might be changed instead. If all the possible move have been tried within the limits set by modernity, this should be a cause for dismay only if we believe modern thinkiers have had the final word on the topics of knowledge, language, and the ultimate nature of reality. It is becoming more and more widely accepted that modern thinkers have not had the last word.

He goes on to this quote from Karl Popper who is writing in 1935.

The empirical basis of objective science has thus nothing “absolute” about it. Science does not rest upon solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or “given” base; and if we stop driving the piles deeper, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simple stop when we are satisfied that the piles are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being.

W.V.O. Quine who wrote, “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” which Nancey Murphy uses the publication date to mark the end of modernity writes this.

The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mahtematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundaries are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions re-adujustment in the interior of the field.

Finally, Murphy writes…

…beliefs that are useful for justifying other claims will always turn out to be indubitable, and in fact will be found to be dependent upon the structure they are intended to justify… What finally brought empiricist foundationalism to an end was the recognition that scientific facts are “theory laden.”

All quotes taken from Murphy, pp. 85-91.

“Good to Great” quotes

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The following quotes are from Jim Collins book. Good to Great which is available for purchase here.

The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good-and that is their main problem. 1

We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats-and then they figured out where to drive it. 13

You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end. regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. 13


Simply Christian Quotes

Monday, July 30th, 2007

The following quotes are from N.T. Wright’s book, Simply Christian which is available for purchase here.

Our passion for justice often seems like that. We dream the dream of justice. We glimpse, for a moment, a world at one, a world put to rights, a world where things work out, where societies function fairly and efficiently, where we not only know what we ought to do but actually do it. And then we wake up and come back to reality. But what are we hearing when we’re dreaming that dream? 1

The world got together over apartheid and said, “This won’t do”; but at least some of the moral energy came from what the psychologists call projection-that is, condemning someone else for something we are doing ourselves. 7

It is important to see, and to say, that those who follow Jesus are committed, as he taught us to pray, to God’s will being done “on earth as it is in heaven.” And that means that God’s passion for justice must become ours, too. When Christians use their belief in Jesus as a way of escaping from that demand and challenge, they are abandoning a central element in their own faith. That way danger lies. 13

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Leaving Church Quotes

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

The following quotes are from the book, Leaving Church, by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is available for purchase here.

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do,” she once said, ”because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. “ 7

God uses whatever is usable in a life, both to speak and to act, and those who insist on fireworks in the sky may miss the electricity that sparks the human heart. 26


The Emotional Healthy Church quotes

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

The following quotes are from The Emotionally Healthy Church which is available for purchase here.

The sad truth is that too little difference exists, in terms of emotional and relational maturity, between God’s people inside the church and those outside who claim no relationship to Jesus Christ. 17

Making incarnation the top priority in order to love others well is both the climax and point of the entire book. The church is to be known, above all else, as a community that radically and powerfully loves others. Sadly, this is not generally our reputation. 18

The problem was that we had died to the wrong things. We mistakenly thought that dying to ourselves for the sake of the Gospel meant dying to self-care, to feelings of sadness, to anger, to grief, to doubt, to struggles, to our healthy dreams and desires, and to passions we had enjoyed before our marriage. 22


“Thirst: God and the Alcoholic Experience” quotes

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The following quotes are from Thirst: God and the Alcoholic Experience. It is available for purchase here.

In that earlier process I discovered something that Andre Maurois described well. He observed that the need to express oneself in writing typically springs from unresolved inner conflicts. It is not a matter of having found an answer to the problem, Maurois said, but rather having discovered the problem and desiring a solution. The solution that typically comes, however, is not a resolution of the problem but rather a deeper consciousness of the issues. It is consciousness of the issues. It is a consciousness born of having wrestled with the attempt to express the problem. 3

Drunk or sober, never personally affected by chemical addiction or living with that issue, we are much more alike than different. 4

Chemical dependency is a social disease. I did not contract my alcoholism in solitary splendor. My genes, relationships, and environment had something to do with it. Likewise, for many of us recovery is a social process. Though bookstores typically display recovery literature in the “Self Help” section that notion did not apply to me. 4


“Unleashing the Word” quotes

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The following quotes are from Adam Hamilton’s book. Unleashing the Word. It is available for purchase here.

I understand that in preaching we are assuming the terrifying responsibility of speaking on behalf of God. This should be a frightening proposition-one misstep and we find ourselves violating the third commandment by misusing the name of the Lord, while misleading or potentially damaging our hearers. 12

We believe that in and through the Bible God offers us a timeless word for our lives and for our world today. 12

As with most successful ventures, I believe effective preaching must start with the end in mind, and then a plan must be developed to accomplish that end. 15


“The Spark” quotes

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

The following quotes are from a book entitled, The Spark, written by Lyn Heward & John U. Bacon. The book chronicles the writer’s journey behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil. To purchase your copy, click here.

Ian added, “Do you know the definition of a good show? I shrugged. “A good show is one where only we know what went wrong!” 15

Diane noticed my lingering gaze. “You’ll see our show posters all over the building. It’s important to remind people that whatever they do for Cirque du Soleil-whether they’re acrobats or accountants-these shows are why you do what you do. It helps keep us motivated.” 24

“In tough negotiations, we hold our meetings in here, because once a phone company or computer manufacturer or accounting firm sees what we do, they want to be a part of it.” 26

Passion is key to everything we do, and those without it don’t last long. 28

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