If you're counting weeks, I'm officially two weeks behind on averaging a book a week for the year in my quest for another 52 books read. I read four books in January in five weeks and I ended up reading three books in February in four weeks. With nine weeks having passed in 2012, I have another 43 to catch up. So far so good then!
This was probably one of the best books I've ever read on relationships. The book is mostly speaking to single or divorced individuals, but the truths of the book are very much applicable for married people as well. Ingram deals with Hollywood's version of falling in love versus God's version of falling in love. It's amazing how tainted our worldview is and how many people actually fall into relationships and even marriages that neither partner is right for. It's so easy to get caught up in the emotion of the relationship and the feelings that the foundation principles of a relationships are often pushed to the side. These principles must eventually come out if the relationship will last long term, but by that time, most relationships have already went so far emotionally (physically and mentally) that the hurt is only turned up and the break up or decision is that much harder. Ingram also speaks to the many times relationships will derail, even God ordained relationships, because the couple gets too emotionally/physically involved too fast. Finding meaningful love, God honoring sex, and real lasting relationships is very possible, but we're hopeless to find them outside of God's plan. Great book for singles or those dating and engaged on their way to marriage. Great book for marriage partners who want to reignite things as they once were.
I honestly dreaded this read. It was a book I had to read for one of my Seminary classes. However, I did enjoy the book surprisingly. The authors paint a great picture of the truth of theology and divide theology up into types and practices. This part was really fascinating. Grenz and Olson divide theology up into: folk, lay, ministerial, professional, and academic. Folk and academic theologies are the polar opposites of one another but are equally as dangerous to the individual or to the church if not monitored. Folk theology is basically a belief system about God that one has acquired from being taught or preached to. No real study has occurred on their end. The belief system was simply passed down from parent to child or preacher to parishioner. It's really a belief system of ignorance that leads us to hold on to "truths" without having any proof of them. Unfortunately this kind of theology is most prevalent as many church goers can't tell you what they believe with any certainty or Biblical proof, much less why they believe it. The other four theologies progress from the bottom rung of the theological ladder (folk theology) and continue upwards to academic theology which basically is the study for the benefit of knowledge. In this sometimes pride comes in and can lead to completely abandoning the spiritual aspect of the Word. The Word is more than information. It is experiential. We must remember that the Bible tells us that we should always be prepared to defend our faith while also claiming that knowledge puffs up. Somewhere we must find the balance between blind faith and academic explanation.
Clayton Kershaw is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. He just won the Cy Young Award for being the best pitcher in the National League for 2011. He's not even 25 yet and he won the triple crown for pitchers: most wins, strikeouts, and lowest ERA in a season among his peers. You would think a young man like this would be all about himself, but in this book he co-wrote with his wife, Ellen, Kershaw reveals the truth behind who he is. That truth lies in a complete faith in Jesus Christ. The Kershaw's tell their story of how they grew up together, the struggles and lessons they endured and learned, their young adult experiences, and marriage. Above all however, they speak of their heart for Africa which was birthed in Ellen when she was just a teen. The Kershaw's are working to build an orphanage in Zambia and take yearly trips to be with the people and preach Jesus. They encourage the whole body of Christ to arise to the challenge of making a difference in the world around us and to see beyond our usual circumstances and surroundings. There is a world waiting to be reached and needing the good news of Jesus that we have locked away. Arise, and tell someone about who Jesus is!
Ryan is engaged to Rachel and resides in Perry, GA. He is the proud "Dada" to Rylee and Charlee. He holds a Bachelors degree in Social Science Education and a Masters degree in church ministry / leadership. He has served in various positions of ministry, music, management, and more. He spends his free time with his girls, writing and playing music, reading books, playing and watching sports, and living life. To contact Ryan, email firstname.lastname@example.org.