Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Perfect Ending - Book Review

Before I launch into my review, there are two points of consideration. I was provided this book for review by the publisher for an honest and unbiased review.
but as for me and my review, we will focus on the good and the bad of the book. The cultural and political jabs taken in the book are a matter of subjective analysis of which the attention paid to them helps to sell books.
So what do we really have here? The bottom line is that it’s another book on prophecy – the end times – eschatology – or whatever subject categorization you wish to put on it? Well, that’s precisely what we have here in Robert Jeffress newest volume Perfect Ending.
Why another book with a dispensational slant to the end times? Jeffress’s motive in producing another volume on eschatology is that it will be “a powerful incentive for you to clothe yourself in holy conduct and godliness as we look forward to His certain return.” (p.27). Thus we have the underlying emphasis of the book. It is practical. It is motivational.
Jeffress achieves this in every chapter. Each of his chapters is interspersed with personal stories and practical illustrations which keep the reading of the book fast-paced. But the dilemma is that it should not be read as a fluffy Christian novella. It should be studied, digested and lived. In fact given the approach and structure of the book it seems like it may have been the result of an extended sermon series.
A couple of highlights: First, there is an excellent discussion on “reckon” (Galatians 3:6-8) on pages 35-38 detailing how that one single word proves that salvation is by faith alone in Christ and not faith plus something else or someone else.
Second, I found Chapter 9, “Rewards in Heaven,” to be most intriguing. In this chapter Jeffress details the rewards to be “earned” by unbelievers and Believers. Without divulging the content, it should be most frightening for unbelievers and quite motivational for Believers.
About a year ago I taught an adult Sunday School class on Revelation. In preparation for the class I collected a number of books both print and digital. They were all informative and helpful, but I wish I had this book as a resource. It separates the material into study-size sections and even provides study questions as an appendix.
If you’re a pastor or a teacher about to embark on a journey through “the end times,” you need to include Perfect Ending as a resource.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Evolution: 60% Believe

In my more than six and a half decades on this earth, I have developed a certain quantity and quality of physical skills. For those of you that know me, you are aware that I can play a fairly decent game of golf – still. Another proficient physical skill in my repertoire is that I no longer drag my knuckles when I walk.  That’s right, in a little over sixty-six years I have evolved to the point that I walk somewhat upright.
What stimulated an evaluation of my physical skills is some research conducted by the Pew Research Center on how Americans feel about evolution - 
A short summation of the research shows that 60% of Americans believe that we (us as humans) got here by evolution) and 33% believe we were created as we are. (7% do not know – perhaps looking the missing link in all of this.)
The details of the survey are quite interesting, very informative and downright scary from an evangelical point of view. If you take time to review the research by religious groups, the results should cause us to wonder what the heck is being taught from the pulpits of Evangelical and Catholic churches in America. The results should strike fear in the souls of evangelical Christians. A greater acceptance of evolution is a greater acceptance of a more secular, godless lifestyle and culture.
So I believe the question is quite simple and straightforward: Is that where we want to go?
You can find a more detailed analysis of this research here