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How Not to Worship a Black Hole: A Review of Young, Restless, No Longer Reformed by Austin Fischer

Author: Austin Fischer
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Cascade/Wipf & Stock (2014)
Language: English
ISBN: 9781625641519


Official Website

Over the last 15 years, I’ve engaged in far more discussions, “debates,” and arguments over the subjects of election, predestination, free will, determinism, foreknowledge and the like, than I’d actually be comfortable admitting. Some Christians care very little for these subjects, not simply because they are anti-intellectual or want to avoid conflict, but because they don’t understand what they have to do with their picture of God’s character. For me, however, these subjects have been critical. I’ve heard it said regarding theology that for many people—but perhaps particularly for certain personalities—one’s head and one’s heart have to agree, in order for that person to genuinely worship God. When it comes to these subjects, that has always been my desire: to worship God with my whole self. That is why I have never been able to either stomach emotionally nor substantiate intellectually the God constructed by Calvinism. I both cannot find it taught in Scripture, nor can I love and worship the portrait of God it paints.

That is not to say that I don’t recognize that many millions of Christians can and do. In the process of honing my own views, I have learned a great deal about Calvinism from Calvinists themselves. I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy many long-term relationships with Calvinists, including mentoring and professorial relationships. The vast majority of the Calvinists I’ve interacted with in person have been thoughtful, godly people. (Some unfortunately have not been). Online, however, I cannot say the same. The vast majority of the Calvinists I’ve interacted with through the medium of the internet have come across as arrogant, militant, and intellectually dishonest. That is perhaps why I continue to read books on this subject. A part of me is still deeply puzzled by the phenomenon of New Calvinism 1. In fact, it surprised me that I was not aware of this book sooner. While I’m normally one of the first to hear of books rebutting Calvinism, I didn’t know this book existed until a Facebook friend named Taylor Scott Brown began posting quotes from it as he was reading it. A few weeks later, my friend Erik Merksamer (aka "Mixmaster Merks") read the book and lent it to me. So now that I’ve read it myself, I’d simply like to outline the book for anyone who might read this review before making a decision about reading it, add some of my own thoughts here and there, and give it my hearty recommendation.

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Glo Bible Software Review

Over a year ago, I stumbled upon a new interactive way of viewing the Bible and related resources called Glo Bible. It was fascinating. The software focused on user-experience and connecting the reader with media like virtual tours of the Holy Land and online video related to biblical topics. The interface was also highly visual. The books of the bible were all laid out in a table side-by-side. It was great.

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Guess Who's Getting Into Heaven: A Review of Love Wins by Rob Bell

Author: Rob Bell

Format: eBook

Publisher: HarperCollins (2011)

Language: English

ISBN: 9780062049636




Background on Love Wins: The Tweet Heard Round the Internet 
(well, by American Evangelicals at least)

In case you haven't heard, Rob Bell (@realrobbell) made some waves recently with the release of a new book entitled Love Wins. His name even trended momentarily on Twitter thanks in part to a blogger by the name of Justin Taylor who wrote a scathing indictment of Bell and the book on a blog called "The Gospel Coalition." Normally, I'd say Taylor is entitled to his opinion, no matter how biased it is. But this post by Taylor wasn’t simply biased, it was outright alarmist. He didn't just accuse Bell of teaching false doctrine and heresy, he had NOT READ THE BOOK!!! Shortly thereafter, and also without bothering to read the book, John Piper (who, like Bell, is also famous for his dramatic flair) tweeted "Farewell Rob Bell" and the Interwebs were nearly instantly set ablaze with the flames of a thousand "theotweets" (copyright 2011 T. C. Moore). This all led up to the actual release of the book, which brought with it its own set of reactionary reviews. So, there was that.

But before I add my review to the pile, a brief confession: I've been mostly ambivalent about Rob Bell. I heard him speak in person once a few years back when his Drops Like Stars tour came through Boston, and a year ago I listened to Mars Hill's sermon series on the Sermon on the Mount. I enjoyed both experiences, but I've never read any of Bell's books prior to this one, and to be perfectly frank, before all the hubbub over Love Wins I wouldn't have called myself much of a fan nor a detractor. But after reading the hatred and vitriol being spewed all over Bell by the folks over at The Gospel Coalition, I began to think this Bell character and his book might be worth a second look. Someone The Gospel Coalition hates this much must be writing shocking and appalling things worth examining. Which brings me to this review after finishing the book.

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The Future of Openness? A Review of Creation Made Free

Creation Made FreeCreation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science

Editor: Thomas Jay Oord
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Pickwick (Wipf and Stock) Publishers - 2009
Language: English
ISBN: 9781606084885

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Welcome to

Theological Graffiti is a blog written by T. C. Moore @tc_moore ...a Jesus-disciple, husband, father, Associate Pastor @NewCityChurch of Los Angeles, sometimes web designer, writer, and theology geek. For more about me, visit my Personal Website or my Online Profile. Otherwise, enjoy the graffiti.

T. C.

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