Tag Archives: singles

Double Book Review: “The Meaning of Marriage” & “Is God Anti-Gay”

Book Review: The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Kellertim_keller

Side note: I try to read at least one marriage/husband book per year. If you decide to this, this book would be a great place to start.

The Good:

Have a Good Pen Ready. I found out really quickly I needed to make sure my pen had plenty of ink, because I was underlining like a college freshman in their first class. This was like going through pre-marital counseling, a seminary class on marriage, and a sermon series on the family all rolled up in one. So my first advice to you is to have your pen, locked and loaded.

If you’re married, make room on your shelf. Packed with enjoyable and impactful personal stories and real life examples, this book provides superior insight to the marriage relationship. Additionally, this quite possibly may have the best Biblical support of any marriage book I have read, just incredible Biblical foundation.

College/Young Adults…Peep This! Chapter 7 is an absolute gold mine for college/young adults and anyone that is ministering or counseling this particular age. This chapter is worth the price of admission. Singles as well, you will want to read this chapter.

Spoiler Alert. Not to ruin the book for you, but the principles are life-changing. For example: Marriage should bring glory to God, if not you are doing something wrong. Or here’s another example: You will not be marriage to the “same person” forever – if you are doing marriage right you each will inspire each other to change more like Jesus Christ. GOOD STUFF!

The Bad:

Wordy.  My only complaint was there were a few occasion of wordiness, and could have been more succinct. But even this comment is being a little nit-picky.

The Grade: A.

This may be the best marriage book I have ever read. The combination of Biblical foundation and timeless life principles is difficult to beat. This is well worth the read for anyone preparing for or in marriage.

anti-gay 

Book Review: Is God Anti-Gay by Sam Allberry

The Good:

It’s all about perspective. The author admits to struggling with same-sex attraction. Therefore, the perspective is what makes this book superior. Christian authors can attempt to write these words, but from the pen of someone who experiences the struggles, the weight of the words increase dramatically.  There was truly a balance here. These were determinations and principles that the author truly had to experience and fully believe. Otherwise, it would be a practicing homosexual writing these words, not one who struggles with same-sex attraction. Therefore, the author provides great insight in a balanced approach to the treatment of the gay community and the homosexuality subject in general.

New Insight. Some of the Biblical perspective and groundwork were incredibly enlightening. In fact, there were times where I thought to myself, I never even thought of that, and it makes total sense. The depth from the combination of a Biblical scholar who struggles with same-sex attraction was a lethal combo, in the sense of providing spiritual depth along with a human touch.

Great Ending. Don’t you hate it when you watch a movie that is good all the way up to the end, and it just ruins everything? This book is nothing like that. The ending, especially the words penned on page 83 are worth the price of the book one hundred fold.

The Bad:

One piece missing. It is a short book, so there could always be more you could add. However, one piece that seems to be missing is the interaction with culture. This book dealt more with friends or those attending church, what about engaging culture?   Chapter 5 just needed to be a little longer.

The Grade: A-

Everyone I’ve talked to said this is a must read on the topic of homosexuality. As I said before, this book is written by a man who has dealt with this issue in their own life, and comes to the table with elements that have come out his own personal journey. He truly had to believe what he writes, because it affects his life choices. Additionally, the depth of spiritual insight on the subject was eye-opening. Worth the quick read.

 

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Youth Curriculum Review Series (Cont.) – 2013-14 Edition

Curriculum Review: Sticky Faith by Dr. Kara Powell & Brad Griffin (Zondervan Press)SONY DSC

The Good:

Creativity. The creativity has to be the first thing that stands out to me. You can tell right off the bat that the writers have experience in youth ministry. This is not purely a lecture series, but an interactive teaching approach that is easy for the teacher to use. The illustrations were dynamite, and I was rarely disappointed in the variety.

Purpose. The premise falls in line with my youth ministry philosophy. As it says in Colossians 1:23, the goal in youth ministry should be: lead teenagers to a faith that lasts, that continues, and in this case, that sticks. With so many students leaving church following graduation, there must be something that we could present to our departing seniors that will help change the trend. This curriculum aims to buck the trend, and point the students towards a faith that isn’t tied to youth group.

Easy to Use. No matter the experience level of the teacher, this curriculum was pretty easy to use. Sure, there was study involved, but even if a parent wanted to use this with their upper-classmen, it could happen.

The Bad:

The video clips. I wasn’t too impressed with the content of the clips, and was even concerned at some of the wording for young Christians. Be careful, and do not feel pressured to use the clips. At times they add to the teaching, and other times they are simply not needed.

Activities. Some of the activities or worship practices were out of my comfort zone. It’s good to have creativity, but again, don’t feel pressured in doing something that may cause more confusion than growth. This was rare in the series, but it did appear.

The Grade: B

The variety and ease of use allowed this to be a positive grade. There were some flaws, and the spiritual depth needed an extra boost every now and then, but for the most part, I enjoyed the series. In fact, I was able to use this material for a transition class where I combined junior high, high school, & young adults. Very few curricula could ever be that versatile.

The curriculum did its job in providing valuable lessons for the senior to transition into adult life. It’s an important enough venture to look into this curriculum for a number of reasons: very few curricula out there like this, the epidemic of seniors leaving church after graduation, and the importance of the topics covered. Just those few reasons alone should encourage you to take a look.

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Stuff Christian Singles Hear

It is both hilarious and painful to hear at the same time, because many of us, including myself have had these said to us. Singles are a special part of the church, and I know each church can do a better job of making them feel welcome, comfortable, connected, and needed in the Body of Christ.

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