Monday, November 23, 2015

BookPastor >> "40 Questions About Creation and Evolution" (Kenneth D. Keathley and Mark F. Rooker)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on March 9th, 2015.


TITLE: 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution (40 Questions and Answers Series)
AUTHOR: Kenneth D. Keathley and Mark F. Rooker
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2014, (432 pages).

Is there a conflict between science and faith? Is there a way to understand both? When is the beginning of the world? What is the origin of the human species. How did the world come into existence? These questions have challenged people through the centuries. From archaeology to philosophy; humanistic thought to theology, the questions about the beginning of the world and man continue to fascinate. In this book, forty questions are posed with regards to creation and evolution. All of the questions are categorized in 6 major parts.

Part 1 - Doctrine of Creation
Part 2 - Creation and Genesis 1-2
Part 3 - Days of Creation
Part 4 - Age of the Earth
Part 5 - Fall and the Flood
Part 6 - Evolution and Intelligent Design

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Midweek Meditation: "Prayer at the End of Pilgrimage" (Stephen Doyle)

Often associated with a journey, the Christian life is a familiar one with ups and downs. This prayer gives thanks to God as one is at the end of a pilgrimage. Written by Stephen Doyle, it also reminds us that the end of one journey also prepares us for the start of the next one.

"Father, we have walked in the land where Jesus walked,
We have touched the soil and rocks where the seed falls.
We have seen the lilies of the field and heard the birds of the air.
We have been warmed by the sun that warmed Him and
      cooled by the breezes that touched His face.
We have been to the sea where He walked,
      and to the river where He was baptized.
We have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit where He first
      sent it, and anguished at the spot where He gave Himself for us.
We have rejoiced at the emptiness of the tomb and the
      fulness of His love in our hearts.
Be with us, as we continue our earthly pilgrimage to the new
     Jerusalem where every tear will be wiped away,
     and we will be with You,
     Your Son and the Holy Spirit, forever.

(Stephen Doyle, OFM)

Monday, November 16, 2015

BookPastor >> "Help My Unbelief" (Barnabas Piper)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on May 22nd, 2015.


TITLE: Help My Unbelief: Why Doubt Is Not the Enemy of Faith
AUTHOR: Barnabas Piper
PUBLISHER: Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook Publishers, 2015, (176 pages).

Doubt is not the enemy of faith. Unbelief is not necessarily bad. In fact, for author Barnabas Piper, it is necessary for authentic faith. As a son of the famous evangelical, John Piper, Barnabas is no stranger to the Church or all things evangelical. Go to Church. Join the Sunday School. Have faith. Be baptized. Pray. Obey your parents. Believe in the Bible. Be well behaved, especially when you are a pastor's kid! Growing up in such an environment, there is a strong tendency to dumb down doubts so as to raise up the level of faith. It may work for kids, but as kids grow into young adults, they will start to be more inquisitive, to probe, and to question the norms. Looking at the famous words of Mark 9:24, which the book's title had borrowed from, Piper moves beyond the "Lord I believe" toward the "Help my unbelief" phase of life. He eases readers toward the tension of faith and doubt; belief and unbelief; the ups and downs of the spiritual life. There are parts of the Bible that are very clear to us, and parts that are mysterious. The reason for the tension is because both sides shed light on truth. The Bible does not simply spout out answers to life, it raises questions too. Asking questions does not mean a lack of faith. It simply means wanting to know the truth at a more profound level. It is acknowledging the mystery without giving up our faith. Such an attitude brings us back to what faith and belief is about. Knowledge without experience is incomplete.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Worship - I Will Go For You

Loved this.

我願為祢去 (D)
          D        A7         Bm                  G          D      Em    A7
          D        A7         Bm                  G          A7   D
          D        A7         Bm                  G          D      Em    A7
          D        A7         Bm                  G          A7   D

                D        F#      Bm               G   D     Em  A7    
                        G        D        F#m          Bm    Em        A7     D     





神聖的愛 融化我
神聖的火 熬煉我
神聖的使命 佔有我
神聖的靈 引領我




Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Midweek Meditation: Compassion

The refugee crisis is reaching unprecedented proportions as many Syrians fleeing the wars in their home country are flooding the shores of Europe. It is a reminder for all believers:

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?" (1 John 3:17)

Here's a moving video from Samaritan's Purse organization.


Monday, November 09, 2015

BookPastor >> "Blind Spots" (Collin Hansen)

This review was first published at Panorama of a Book Saint on March 27th, 2015.


TITLE: Blind Spots: Becoming a Courageous, Compassionate, and Commissioned Church (Cultural Renewal)
AUTHOR: Collin Hansen
PUBLISHER: Wheaton, IL: Crossway Publishers, 2015, (128 pages).

Whether one's Church is growing or declining, young or old, large or small, there will be blind spots from the leadership level down to the ordinary member. It is simply human nature to have blind spots. Noting the hostility that the Church is increasingly facing, Hansen has written this straight-forward book that categorizes three types of Christians as "Courageous" (Prophet), "Compassionate" (Priest), and "Commissioned" (King). Each group focuses on a specific gospel thrust but often at the expense of other equally important initiatives.

The "Courageous" group is passionate about truth and wants to stand up boldly in defending and proclaiming the truths of the faith. It is about courage to stand up for the truth even when the stand is unpopular. This is necessary for the endurance of the faith. Especially when the world is facing a crisis in Syria and Iraq with ISIS threat. Bold moves and decisions need to be made before more innocent lives are sacrificed. The blind spot for such Christians is the tendency to fear the future and bemoan our present situations. They tend to remember the past so much that they belittle the present and the future. What is necessary is for these Christians to be consistent in their practice of courageous standing, not only for issues of marriage and sexuality, but also for justice, for compassion, against racism, and against war. Hansen believes that courage is more about challenging culture rather than plainly saying no to them. By praying for our enemies, and seeking to reach out in love, we avoid falling into our blind spots. Courage flows from humility and care for humanity.

Friday, November 06, 2015

"The Other Letter"

With Christmas approaching, many people will be busy shopping once again. In a twist to the holiday spirit of buying and accumulating, children were asked to write two letters. The first was a conventional one to Santa Claus or the Three Wise Men for a gift. The second was to parents. This is a powerful wakeup call to parents.Watch the powerful Ikea video here.


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