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Book Reviews and Recommendations

You know a book’s going to be good when…

…you’re six pages in and needed to stop twice to mull some things over.  And that’s just the introduction.  So far so good.  The first few pages of Thinking. Loving. Doing. – A Call to Glorify God with Heart and Mind is heartily recommended, even if you don’t make it to page 7.

Here are two quotations in particular that got the gears turning:

Because we are not God, because we are finite, not infinte, we cannot know everything at a glance, and therefore our knowledge is limited to one perspective or another.

God knows absolutely everything, because he planned everything, made everything, and determines what happens in the world he made.  So we describe him as omniscient.  One interested implication of God’s omniscience is that he not only knows all the facts about himself and the world; he also knows how everything appears from every possible perspective…. God’s knowledge, then, is not only omniscient, but omniperspectival.  He knows from his own infinite perspective; but that infinite perspective includes a knowledge of all created perspectives, possible and actual.

But we are different.  We are finite, and our knoweldge is finite.  I can only know the world from the limited perspectice of my own body and mind.  The effects of this finitude, and even more of sin, should caution us against cocksureness in our claims to knowledge.  I am not saying that we should doubt everything.  Certainly my limited perspective gives me no exuse to doubt that I have five fingers, or that 2+2=4, or that God exists.  Our finitude does not imply that all our knowledge is erroneous, or that certainty is impossible.

But we do, in most situations, need to guard against mistakes.

One way to increase our knowledge and our level of certainty is by supplementing our own perspectives with those of others.  When our own resources fail us, we can consult friends, authorities, books, etc.  We can travel to other places, visit people of other cultures, Even to get a good understanding of a tree, we need to walk around it, look at it from many angles.

That was from John Frame.  As a follow up, David Mathis (writing the intro) then quotes Jewish author and talk show host Dennis Prager.  One way we can supplement our finite perspective is through engaging the mind, particularly through reading.  This one may come as a bit of a kick in the teeth, but can you see yourself?

One thing I noticed about evangelicals is that they do not read.  They do not read the Bible, they do not read the great Christian thinkers, they have never heard of Aquinas.  If they are Presbyterian, they’ve never read the founders of Presbyterianism.  I do not understand that.  As a Jew, that’s confusing to me.  The commandment to study is so deep in Judaism that we immerse ourselves in study.  God gave us a brain; aren’t we to use it in His service?  When I walk into an Evangelical Christian’s home and see a total of 30 books, most of them best sellers, I do not understand.  I have bookcases of Christian books, and I am a Jew.  Why do I have more Christian books than 98 percent of the Christians in America?  That is so bizarre to me.

Not bad.  For only 6 pages…

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About hespelerbaptist

Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.

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