Book Review: A Farewell to Mars

Brian Zahnd remembers when he, a pastor, threw a huge party for the beginning of the Gulf War—when he, a Christian leader, celebrated the invasion of a country and the use of the sword. Since, he has repented. He even says it was the worst sin he ever committed. A Farewell to Mars is part confession, part instruction, a book about why he left the effective worship of war and chose to worship only God alone.
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Book Review: Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

I am not attacking right theology. I am simply making theology a window rather than a wall.”

I had not read anything by Donald Miller since reading both Blue Like Jazz and it’s companion book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” Then my brother recommended Searching for God Knows What. I was searching for a good book. Donald Miller was searching for God. Again. In a way, I was reminded of how I seek after God, even when I think I’m not.
Sometimes Donald Miller, founder of Storyline Blog, feels like being a Christian is like trying to be in the circus, and everyone is watching him to make sure he does everything right and doesn’t mess up. In fourteen chapters of deeply personal writing (with titles like “Santa Takes a Leak,” “Why Nudity is the Point,” and “How to Kill your Neighbor”) Miller dares us to see Christianity as something not defined by formula, but by relationship.

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A Poem of Mine is Published in The Inaugural Issue of ‘Brain of Forgetting’

An Irish legend tells of Cenn Faelad, who lost his ‘brain of forgetting’ when his skull was split open in battle by a blow to the head from a sword. He developed a perfect memory, and wrote everything down.

The new literary journal, Brain of Forgetting, has published their inaugural issue, titled “Stones,” to celebrate the legend.

My poem, “Sapphire Stone,” appears in the inaugural issue.

This may or may not qualify me as an Irish poet.

Either way, I’m excited to share the news.

Steps of Salvation – Concerns

Peter’s Patter blogs an evaluation of the “Five Steps of Salvation” outline that emerged in Christian Churches during the 1800s. While each of the “steps” are crucial, he writes, such a presentation of the Good News can become spiritually damaging.

Peter's Patter

The current final version of the Plan of Salvation taught in most Churches of Christ and Christian Churches looks like this:

  1. HEARRomans 10:17,
  2. BELIEVEJohn 1:11-12, Acts 8:36-37, Romans 10:9
  3. REPENTLuke 13:3, 5, Acts 2:38, 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9
  4. CONFESSMatt 10:32-33, Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37
  5. Be BAPTIZED1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-5
  6. (GROW2 Peter3:18 and/or ENDURE to theEnd – Mark 13:13)

For more explanation of these steps see this post.

Although these Steps have been taught as Gospel for many years, I have a few concerns with them.  I also have some issues with this approach to Bible study.  However, I DO BELIEVE that each of these “Steps” is crucial to our relationship with God. We cannot have meaningful relationship with God while rejecting any of these commands.  The Bible clearly connects each of these…

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