Improbable Planet by Hugh Ross
A book describing the many highly improbable factors required for life to be possible at all, possible in this universe, and possible on our planet. Sometimes the science described can get a bit technical for some, but that should not deter the reader as it only means even those who do understand the science will be able to appreciate the complexity of this thing we call creation. Although written from an old earth perspective, anyone will benefit from reading just to see all the attention to detail the whole universe displays. Read it as fiction if you need to, but read it. See in it how fabulous God appears because he is the one who makes all of this highly detailed stuff happen.
This is probably Dr Ross’ best book on the topic.
4 stars. Highly recommended.
Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton
While the title may make you think this to be a dry tome about the inner workings of Christian doctrine, the truth could hardly be further. In it you are made to think of what is necessarily true vs what is possibly true. Between what we can imagine to be true vs what we cannot imagine not being true. In style it reads more like Alice in Wonderland than a doctrinal work, but it makes you think again. Everything is presented from a fresh perspective. Chesterton is a first-rate philosopher who thinks and writes in fanciful language rather than the standard language of philosophers. Thus he holds your attention more easily and keeps your brain working more readily.
He provides a viewpoint I have not seen from other authors. It is refreshing, a delight to read, and a welcome addition to the discussion of right (orthodox) belief.
4 stars. Highly recommended.
God’s Good Design, What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women, by Claire Smith
Smith shows that if the passages in the New Testament are taken at face value, they aren’t hard to understand at all.
Having just finished a book with highly questionable scholarship, the book is refreshing in its clarity. The audience seems to be people who are familiar with the topic, are able to understand the relevant Scripture, and can follow straightforward logic. The writing style is friendly and engaging.
Right from the start, she jumps in and tackles the difficult passages. The exegesis is lucid and fair to the text, aware of all the current controversies, and honest to the text. While not paving much new ground, Smith establishes or re-establishes the core, central, and clear meaning of each of the texts dealt with. Interpretation of the particularly thorny passages are concluded confidently, but not dogmatically.
While I would not consider Smith the most exacting exegete, the questionable pieces are free and small, really only opening a door to problems more than being actual error.
Overall, recommended as a first book on the topic. If you have already done reading in this area you can safely pass it by.
An excellent treatment of the subject material, deals fairly and graciously with alternate viewpoints. At points it suffers from assertion without proof or assertion with inadequate proof, but this is rather minor and the points where this happens are not seriously under dispute by people who would be making use of the book either for themselves or counseling others. Difficult subjects, like divorce are examined head-on and all of the relevant positions and Scripture are discussed. The authors place themselves solidly at one place in the spectrum of options and show clearly why they have come to that position. Thus the book is quite helpful in helping a person come to a reasoned conclusion.