31 responses

  1. Oengus
    January 30, 2014

    Dan: “life lessons can be drawn from playing Master Chief in Halo”

    Are you kidding? Did someone really do that?

    • Dan Edelen
      January 30, 2014

      Oengus,

      Your question reveals the problem. Whether someone did or did not, that we are wondering if it might be true says everything we need to know about the state of things.

      In truth, I don’t know if someone did. But I don’t know that they didn’t. In fact, I can pretty much assume someone DID, since that’s about where we are in youth ministry today.

  2. bobp
    January 30, 2014

    Hi,

    I read blogs not books so I’m out of it. (And the less blogs , the better. I want to be more blessed,not more perplexed.)

    The last “major” book I read that everyone else was reading was The Purpose Driven Life”. A fine book, and I’m glad Jesus got some publicity of it, but I can’t say it is the book I return to again and again like Tozer, for example.

    As for point number 1 , I made a somewhat similar comment to my pastor about pastors in general having a sheltered environment and how Methodists were encouraging lay speakers who were making their living outside the church.

    He not only agreed and took it further to my surprise saying maybe all pastors should be laity. (He had referenced that day some unfaithful Methodist ordained preachers performing same-sex marriages.)

    • Dan Edelen
      January 30, 2014

      Bob,

      the bivocational pastor issue is a toughy. I’ve been on both sides. If nothing else, it would be good if pastors had not spent all their lives in institutional ministry. The guy who was out there in the “real world” before becoming a pastor has more to say to me and to you.

  3. Diane R
    January 30, 2014

    Amen, Dan. But you should see the books and conferences out there for women. We have to read and hear “Life Coaches, ” Inspirational authors and speakers (women cannot take any kind of doctrine you know) and Third Wave Charismatics that have been to the seventh tier of heaven and saw not only Jesus, but also God. The next 25 pages then are devoted to what God looks like and what He said to this “special anointed” author/speaker. Sadly, it’s the Young Calvinist movement that have the best books, both by men and women. I haven’t a clue to what happened to the Pentecostals and Charismatics, but out of desperation, I’m almost ready to go to anti-Pentecostal/Charismatic John MacArthur’s church (who has very good adult Sunday School teachers as well as great women teachers of the women’s groups).

    • Dan Edelen
      January 30, 2014

      Diane,

      I get the feeling that your place at this point in your life is to be the discerning stalwart who leads people onto the narrow path. Maybe you have to be in the tougher place so that you can pull some off that wide road. Time and again, that seems to be where I see your heart.

  4. akaGaGa
    January 30, 2014

    Coincidentally, I can say with some assurance that “today’s books on Christian living are terrible” because … today’s Christian living is terrible. Rather than fill this space explaining that statement, I’ll send you to the article that prompted me to say it. It’s by one James Prasch, who – love him or hate him – doesn’t pull his punches.

    http://moriel.org/MorielArchiv.....huck-smith

    • Dan Edelen
      January 30, 2014

      I’ve heard of Prasch, akaGaGa. Heard a few of his teachings. Interesting guy. Has he had a Calvary Chapel affiliation?

      • akaGaGa
        January 30, 2014

        Not officially, but he knew Chuck Smith and shared the platform with him and other Calvary guys on occasion. But he’s truly upset with what’s going on at Calvary. He recently posted a video titled “A Word to Calvary Chapels from Jacob Prasch.” If you watch it, ignore the beginning and wait ’til he gets into the meat. As always, he says it like it is.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4qKLKhTL8Q&feature=youtu.be

      • Oengus
        January 31, 2014

        My observation is that CC generally doesn’t respond to(let alone act upon) what outsiders say. Now if the critic were a big name who is in the “club,” then maybe yes, the criticism might get some traction. Otherwise, no.

        But I ask, why did Prasch, if he’s got a beef about something, wait until Chuck was dead before saying anything?

      • Oengus
        January 31, 2014

        Someone has written out an interesting response to Prasch.

      • Oengus
        February 2, 2014

        Sorry about the 404′ed link I gave. WordPress says the authors deleted their website. That is remarkable when I consider that it was fairly large blog with plenty of entries.

      • Dan Edelen
        February 2, 2014

        I read it before it vanished, Oengus. Not sure I thought much of the response, as it rambled so much the points got lost.

      • Oengus
        February 3, 2014

        Dan, I took note of it simply because it was a response of some kind. But it sure is strange that they took down their entire blog.

        Anyhow, I will bet dollars to donuts that you will not find any kind of official Calvary Chapel Association response to Prasch. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong.

        Like I said earlier, the S.O.P. at CC is not to acknowledge or respond to outside criticisms. Personally I think this is a counter-productive policy in the long run.

      • Dan Edelen
        February 3, 2014

        Slapping all the yapping chihuahuas is counterproductive to most large organizations, Oengus. And there are more of those little beasts than you can shake an open hand at, espcially since the rise of blogging. If I were CC, I wouldn’t waste my time either.

      • Oengus
        February 3, 2014

        Dan: “yapping Chihuahuas”

        Yes, I agree, it is true there are lots of those. But merely stonewalling everything doesn’t deal with the fact that CC does have some genuine problems, and occasionally the chihuahuas latch on to a couple of them, broadcasting them all over the place, and injecting plenty of confusion and misinformation in the process.

        But one doesn’t have to deal the chihuahuas directly. They can be ignored while addressing the real issues in a forthright manner.

        My “other place” is not friendly to chihuahuas, but it does mention some of what I think are the basic problems that need to be dealt with. The biggest problem of all is that nobody thinks they have a problem.

      • akaGaGa
        February 3, 2014

        It might be wise to ignore the messenger and listen to the message, lest we find ourselves beating Balaam’s donkey.

      • Dan Edelen
        February 3, 2014

        Interesting perspective (and illustration), akaGaGa.

  5. wayne
    January 31, 2014

    Dan,
    You ‘hit the nail on the head”, I really find in hard to read,much less agree with, most of the current market books. I will strend my time reading several blogs, that, at least to me, speak deeper and are of more help to me. Yous is on of the few I look forward to, thanks God bless

    • Dan Edelen
      January 31, 2014

      Thanks, Wayne. I hope to stay tapped into what the Lord is doing.

  6. Gary
    January 31, 2014

    Dan, great wisdom.

    • Dan Edelen
      January 31, 2014

      Coming from you, Gary, that means a great deal. How would you change the current state of books on Christian living?

      • Gary
        February 2, 2014

        It seems to me that there is a very shallow view and teaching on progressive sanctification. This means that Christians do not understand what it means to grow in Christ nor how to disciple others to grow in Christ.

        The first few years of knowing Christ a believer people can grow just by being around older Christians and attending church. However, after the milk is drunk and mush is eaten, trying to teach people how to eat meat is almost impossible to fid. plus, most Pastors do not want their members growing into maturity and learning to minister to others. Books on the Christian life need to be focused on the spiritual age of the readers. Most is not only milk they are skimmed milk.

  7. Rob Grayson
    January 31, 2014

    Dan, you are, as usual, spot on. The reason for all this, in my insufficiently humble opinion, is that we (by which I mean 21st century western Christians) are generally so absorbed, fascinated and moulded by the consumer capitalist worldview that it drives everything including the Christian books we read and rave about.

    And at the root of it all is basically one thing: money.

    Until the church starts to seriously counteract the prevailing consumerist culture, this is only going one way, and it ain’t north.

    • Dan Edelen
      January 31, 2014

      Rob,

      Yes, money does drive a lot of it.

      But I also wonder if some of it is that something disconnected around the 1960s or so, and all those mature saints who should have passed along their wisdom didn’t. Reasons are plentiful, but the lack exists nonetheless. For this reason, too much of our material today is…well, weak. We lost something, and books prior to that era highlight this loss glaringly.

      • Rob Grayson
        January 31, 2014

        Dan, I absolutely agree with your thesis that the lack exists. And yes, the reasons are complicated. It if we don’t have some inkling what they are, how can we hope to reverse them?

  8. ScriptureZealot
    January 31, 2014

    I suppose I’ve picked the right ones. I don’t recognize much of these things. In Christ Alone by Sinclair Ferguson, Knowing God by J.I. Packer, Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. All fantastic. You have to pick the right ones. C.J. Mahaney’s book on humility, not so much, especially if you know what has gone on with him.
    Jeff

    • Dan Edelen
      January 31, 2014

      Jeff, yes, those are classic books, though I have not read the Ferguson. Thanks for the recommendations. My recommendations are here: http://ceruleansanctum.com/godly-reads

      • ScriptureZealot
        January 31, 2014

        It seems to me Christian Living is such a broad category. How would you define it? I didn’t even know the term until a few years ago, even though I had read a lot of them through the years.

        It seems a bit unfair to generalize that far, unless you mean the post as sarcasm. Most stuff that people produce, whatever it is, will be mediocre, and time will weed out the ones that aren’t worthy. I suppose that’s why reading the classics, like Edwards on your list, and Owen, who I’ve gotten to love, are pretty sure to be great.
        Jeff

    • Gary
      February 2, 2014

      These books are the basics on faith vs works. They are foundational not much beyond.

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