“He who has God has nothing less
than he who has God, and everything else.”
– Heath McNease, The Weight of Glory
I just downloaded Heath McNease’s cd, The Weight of Glory, knowing nothing about him or it except for the fact that each song was based off a different work of C.S. Lewis’. That was good enough for me. I mean, someone who likes reading C.S. Lewis enough to undertake a project like that can’t be a totally horrible songwriter, or at least I hoped. I listened through it once in the car last week, and liked his fun, unique sound and a lot of what I could catch from the lyrics. I can’t ever get all the lyrics the first few times through though…really I like to listen to it and read along in the cd booklet, cause I’m a nerd like that, but he doesn’t have a cd booklet or even lyrics to most of the songs anywhere online that I could find. So, anyway, I’m listening, catching bits and pieces, and honestly, my mind was sort of wandering – you know, paying attention to the road and all that – by the time the last song came on. But I heard this line, and it caught me. “He who has God has nothing less, than he who has God and everything else.”
Really you could stop after the first half of the phrase and have enough truth to chew on for a while with that alone: He who has God has nothing less. Period. End of discussion. Less than what? It doesn’t matter. To have God is to have fullness, to have nothing less of anything that is possible to actually have in this life. Fullness. Continue reading →
I first wrote about this book a few weeks ago here, and mentioned that I had hoped to blog my way through it, highlighting some of its thought provoking points and quotes. I’m now kicking myself even more for failing to do that, because there’s so much worth discussing in this book and one post can’t accurately portray its depth or communicate all its main emphases. But I guess that’s why it’s called a review, not cliff notes. So instead of trying to give a thorough synopsis, and since you can already tell from the past few sentences that this is going to be a positive review, I thought I’d try to provide a list of characteristics of this book that directly influence its quality. Of course there’s the subject matter, and those who are particularly interested in these topics may need no other reasons to read the book, but unfortunately there are plenty of books out there with good subject matter and even good conclusions that don’t go about addressing it in the most effective manner. This book is theological but readable, deep, but engaging, unique within its subject matter without reinventing the wheel unnecessarily, and its authors (Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert) manage to be very sure of their standing without needing to be arrogant, condescending toward, or dismissive of contrary opinions. This is an incredibly difficult line to walk.
The full title of the book is What is the Mission of the Church?:Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission, and it sets out to do just that. It looks at the idea of mission (with all of that word’s Christian society loaded connotations), specifically related to the church and asks the question of what it is that Jesus has sent us into the world to do. It explores Biblical “missional” and “social justice” passages, looking critically at them for the truths that really can be drawn from context and in the larger picture of the Biblical narrative as a whole, and it delves into the discussion of topics such as the kingdom of God, the idea of shalom, the Great Commission, and, of course, good works and social justice. It does all this through, and while being…
I love words. We’ve already covered that. As may be expected then, I love to read. A wide variety of genres, really, but mostly I love to read good books. Books that make you think and encourage discussion. And I love that discussion, too. Well, usually…I don’t love discussion that dissolves into pointless argument, but I do love drawing out the positives and negatives within a book and the things about the Lord we can see and learn from it. Some books, of course, are completely packed with Biblical truth, whereas others may be Christian but written from a different theological viewpoint. Others may be written by Christian authors but not have an overtly theological nature, and of course most books are not Christian in the slightest, by author or subject matter. Does this mean any books outside of the specific theological category we may fall in are not worth reading? I don’t think so. Part of the wonder of God’s ability to reveal Himself is the fact that many, many books can have thought provoking concepts and faith-sharpening moments, regardless of whether we may disagree with part or most of them, or whether the authors even set out to demonstrate God at all. Continue reading →