Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reviewing Brian J. Walsh's & J. Richard Middleton's The Transforming Vision: Shaping a Christian Worldview


The Transforming Vision was a book I was assigned to read for a Cedarville University education class I took several years ago. It is divided into four parts and consists of twelve chapters:

Part 1: What are Worldviews?
Chapter 1: Worldview and Culture
Chapter 2: Analyzing Worldviews
Part 2: The Biblical Worldview
Chapter 3: Based on Creation
Chapter 4: Acknowledging the Fall
Chapter 5: Transformed by Redemption 
Part 3: The Modern Worldview 
Chapter 6: The Problem of Dualism 
Chapter 7: The Development of Dualism 
Chapter 8: The Rise of the Secular Worldview 
Chapter 9: The Gods of Our Age
Part 4: The Biblical Worldview in Action
Chapter 10: A Christian Cultural Response
Chapter 11: Worldview and Scholarship
Chapter 12: Toward a Christian Philosophical Framework

The premise of this 215-page book is that society is a wreck and only through a Christian worldview can it truly be transformed. Dr. Walsh and Dr. Middleton desire to see every facet of life transformed - families, schools, businesses, governments, and more. They explain how the Christian worldview is the key to that transformation.

The Transforming Vision is a good book that is well-documented and biblically sound, but it reads very much like a college textbook. It is not a challenging read, but it definitely requires some reflection. I have read a few books pertaining to the topic of worldviews, and The Transforming Vision is not at the top of my list of most enjoyable worldview reads. I recommend Chuck Colson's How Now Shall We Live? for something that is both engaging and thought-provoking. James Sire's The Universe Next Door provides a better overview of major non-Christian worldviews. Although I have recommended reading other worldview books, I did benefit from reading The Transforming Vision and believe it will continue to bless many others.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Reviewing Glen Schultz's Kingdom Education: God's Plan For Educating Future Generations

I was given Kingdom Education by a fellow administrator a couple of years ago, but I just finished the 180 page book. It is required reading for one of my M.Ed. classes I'm taking in a few months. This 16 chapter book is divided into five "Kingdom Education" sections:

1. Its Definition, Purpose, and Result
2. The Role of the Home
3. The Role of the Church
4. The Role of the School
5. The Future

Dr. Schultz's main message is that parents must ensure that their children receive an education that is biblically based. The local church must work with parents and teachers so that every child has the opportunity to receive an education that is Christ-centered. Some of what Dr. Schultz shares about public schools will likely be a surprise to many, and opinions will definitely be formed.

I believe Dr. Schultz's book has a good message. It is loaded with Scripture, and it is evident that Dr. Schultz desires the best for young people. I do think more practical solutions as to how to make Christian education a possibility for everyone would make this book even better. Church buildings definitely need to be more than a Sunday and Wednesday meeting place as Dr. Schultz stated, but much needs to change about our thinking in order for all young people to have the opportunity to receive a Christian education. Getting a Christian education is expensive, and there are many who simply cannot afford it. What can we do to make Christian schooling affordable to all? There are many Christian schools that are lacking creativity and a challenging curriculum. How can we better engage our minds and be producers instead of imitators?

I would have also liked for Dr. Schultz to write his book with a more international mindset and provide more information concerning some of the statistics he used and statements he said about America's youth. I do not want these minor criticisms to come across as if Kingdom Education is not worth reading. I am thankful to have read the book and feel Kingdom Education is an excellent book for Christians to discuss if they have anything to do with teaching today's youth. If you are a parent struggling with the schooling issue, I recommend checking out John MacArthur's Grace To You site and gotquestions.org.


Reviewing Dave Harvey's When Sinners Say "I Do": Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage


I placed When Sinners Say “I Do” on my Amazon Wish List after reading a Tim Challies’ review in which he stated this is perhaps the best marriage book he has ever read. I had no excuse to purchase the Kindle book once I saw it under $2. It was released in the summer of 2007 and consists of less than two hundred pages. When Sinners Say “I Do” is organized in the following manner:

Chapter 1: What Really Matters in Marriage
Chapter 2: Waking Up With the Worst of Sinners
Chapter 3: The Fog of War and the Law of Sin
Chapter 4: Taking it Out for a Spin
Chapter 5: Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment
Chapter 6: Forgiveness, Full and Free
Chapter 7: The Surgeon, the Scalpel, and the Spouse in Sin
Chapter 8: Stubborn Grace
Chapter 9: Concerning Sex
Chapter 10: When Sinners Say Goodbye

The author, Pastor Dave Harvey, has written a few books, has served in pastoral ministry for over 25 years, and has been married for more than 30 years. Harvey writes candidly in When Sinners Say “I Do” that the problem in marriages is our sinful hearts; however, he doesn’t stop there. He also points us to the beautiful solution, the Good News of Jesus Christ. When Sinners Say “I Do” can be easily understood to those new to the faith yet strike straight at the heart of those who have been walking faithfully with the Lord for many years. Humor is tastefully sprinkled throughout this biblical book. I found chapter eight to be particularly insightful and used much of it for a devotional I led on encouragement. The chapter on sex was done in good taste. I’m thankful to have finally read When Sinners Say “I Do”, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to any Christian regardless of whether you have recently gotten engaged or you have been married for a good number of years.