Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2 Books for Religious People...

Ah...Christmas break was nice. I hadn't gotten to do much leisure reading until the holidays, both out of my lack of desire to spend money on books, and my lack of time to sit with my coffee and read aforementioned books. I turned my attention to 2 books by author I'd never read before, and each book sent a convicting message to my all-too-legalistic and self-righteous heart. 

The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
This book is a great look at the Parable of the Prodigal Son- or as Keller calls it, "The Parable of the Two Lost Sons." One son is lost in his hedonistic pursuit of worldly pleasure, and is saved by the father's overwhelming love. However, the older son is also lost. He hates the fact that the younger, wayward brother gets graciously accepted back into the family. He thinks that, because of his perfect behavior, he has a right to demand whatever he wants from his father. 

I imagine that this is a pitfall for many, especially those who grew up in the church. God is gracious on the wayward- those who have crazy "drinking-smoking-cussing-sexing-rebelling" testimonies. But he is equally gracious on the prudes and self-righteous- those who have "prideful-self-centered-arrogant-moralistic-religious" testimonies. Both fleshly sins and sins of self-righteousness are despicable to God, and both must be forgiven by his grace.

Crazy Love by Francis Chan
This book is a straight shot to the gut. Simply stated, if God has been so gracious, so loving, so sacrificial, so radical in His love for us, why are American Christians mostly so lukewarm? Why do we seem to care about our own comfort and security more than the things Jesus talked about- radical love, real sacrifice, desperate prayer? Christians are supposed to be obsessed with Christ no matter what. So why aren't we? Maybe because we are not taking Christ's words literally...Check out this work- it is sure to convict.