Sunday, 13 April 2008

Two books worth a read

I have just finished Jerry Bridges' book 'the Joy of Fearing God', reading it a chapter at a time in order to engage with the material. It is a deeply stirring book. Jerry paints a compelling picture of God and delighting in Him and it is full of personal stories and insightful applications. I didn't use the study guide but can see it usefulness if being read in a group. A great book to get us into enjoying who our God is and how we can live for Him. Surprisingly, it is in fearing God that our deepest enjoyment of Him comes ...


The other book I have recently finished is 'Zion's Christian Soldiers?' by Stephen Sizer. Terry Virgo recommended it as being helpful in thinking clearly about Israel, the land, the temple and the church. I found Stephen really helpful in joining up all these dots, and now have a much broader, clearer view on these controversial issues. However, I did find the book very unsettling when it came to explaining the extent of the 'Christian Zionism' movement. I had little knowledge of it, nor was I aware of their political weight regarding US foreign policy. The book is not a light read but well worth the perseverance, although you will need a good understanding of God's sovereignty in order to sleep well after reading it!!!

3 comments:

MidBible said...

Sizer's book is somewhat theologically lightweight compared with others written on the issue on BOTH sides of the argument. Moreover, in this abridged version of his first book, Sizer arguably parodies all or most Christians who support Israel as hyper-dispensationalists and extreme Christian Zionists, which is simply not the case. This building of straw men simply to knock them down at best ignores theologically heavyweight books that argue persuasively that the Jews remain God's chosen people, for example by the likes of R. Kendall Soulen or Scott Bader-Saye. It is simply not the case that all people who take a pro-Israel position or who argue God has not finished with the Jews are rabid Christian Zionists who support "Israel right or wrong", hate Arabs and somehow dictate US foreign policy. A useful counterbalance to Sizer is Torrance's and Taylor's "Israel God's Servant" (Paternoster), pitched at the same kind of audience (it is not too heavy). See also http://www.midbible.ac.uk/content/view/111/113/ for some resources on this issue.

Sean Green said...

I think you are right in saying (hopefully graciously) that Sizer gathers together diverse groupings into one block in order to draw out the two camps. At some point you have to do this or lose people like myself (although clumsy).

I don't want to get into a Israel / church debate but what is your view on Christain Zionism driving US foreign policy? Do you agree with Sizer's conclusion?

Gareth said...

I read Sizer's book back in November and whilst I found it a useful read in quite concisely summarising the various debates. I couldn't help but find him scarmongering quite considerably!

And somewhat annoyingly just reading all the loonies.