So many books and so little time
Each month we are glad to recommend a book to guide you in the decision making process of what to read and to help build your personal library. We will dust off a few of the classics and let you know about some of the more recent publications. The monthly book recommendation will be available at Books by the Park where you can pick up a copy for yourself and maybe a friend.
May we recommend...
The Disappearance of God:
Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness
by R. Albert Mohler Jr.
A special thanks to our friends at The Discerning Reader for the book review.
It is becoming difficult to keep up with the volume of books coming from the pen of Dr. Albert Mohler. In the past eighteen months we have seen five new books and there is still one remaining for later in 2009 (an original work based on a sermon series, slated for release later this year). Atheism Remix began as the W.H. Griffith Thomas Lectures Mohler delivered at Dallas Theological Seminary early in 2008; He Is Not Silent, a book on preaching, is an original work, written as a book; Culture Shift and Desire and Deceit began as articles written over a period of years, most of which were posted at Mohler’s blog. Each of these books speaks to a different subject that is of importance in our cultural context.
Newly added to the mix is The Disappearance of God. Like Culture Shift and Desire and Deceit, this title had its genesis on Dr. Mohler’s blog, though interestingly, this is not acknowledged anywhere within the book. Like the previous titles, it is a series of articles that speak to a common theme—in this case, dangerous beliefs that point to a new spiritual openness.
If you have read Dr. Mohler’s blog, you will know how good these articles are and how applicable they are to living as Christians in this culture. The book begins with what I consider one of Mohler’s most helpful articles, “A Call for Theological Triage.” Here he explains how to contend for the faith and how to understand distinctions between theology of utmost importance and theology of lesser importance. In later chapters he discusses assurance and perseverance, the doctrine of hell, Christian beauty, the emerging church, church discipline, faith in a post-Christian age, and so on. Here are just a few of the questions this book answers: Is God changing His mind about sin? Why is hell off limits for many pastors? What’s good or bad about the “dangerous” emergent movement? Have Christians stopped seeing God as God? Is the social justice movement misguided? Could the role of beauty be critical to our theology? Is liberal faith any less destructive than atheism? Are churches pandering to their members to survive?
By its very nature as a book that began as articles written over a long period of time, the book does not have a great deal of flow and does not offer a real sense of building an argument. It simply compiles articles and essays dealing with the subject matter. Thus those who keep up with Dr. Mohler’s blog will inevitably have a sense of deja vu when they read this book. I stress this because I think it is important that you know what it is you are buying here. Still, these articles (chapters) are worth owning and worth reading again. Reading this material in a book is far superior to reading it online and there is value, I think, in having it in this printed format. I am glad to have it on my shelf rather than being forced to access it only online.