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Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten…
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Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don't Have to… (vuoden 2010 painos)

– tekijä: Phillip Cary (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
1172187,529 (3.82)-
Like a succession of failed diet regimens, the much-touted techniques that are supposed to bring us closer to God "in our hearts" can instead make us feel anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. How can we meet and know God with ongoing joy rather than experiencing the Christian life as a series of guilt-inducing disappointments? Phillip Cary explains that knowing God is a gradual, long-term process that comes through the Bible experienced in Christian community, not a to-do list designed to help us live the Christian life "right." This clearly written book covers ten things Christians don't have to do to be close to God, such as hear God's voice in their hearts, find God's will for their lives, and believe their intuitions are the Holy Spirit. Cary skillfully unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality, bringing the real good news to Christians of all ages -- Publisher.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:LudieGrace
Teoksen nimi:Good News for Anxious Christians: Ten Practical Things You Don't Have to Do
Kirjailijat:Phillip Cary (Tekijä)
Info:Brazos Press (2010), 210 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
Avainsanoja:to-read

Work Information

Good News for Anxious Christians: 10 Practical Things You Don't Have to Do (tekijä: Phillip Cary)

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Every generation, particularly in the age of modern media, has religious buzzwords that guide much spiritual thinking and conversation. In this generation, particularly among conservative evangelicals, many of those meaningful Christian phrases revolve around the notion of surrendering oneself to God wholly, in mind, body, and spirit. While this idea is present throughout the Bible and in Christian theology across the centuries, it has taken root in particular ways recently, including such ideas as God taking control of one’s life (“Jesus, Take the Wheel”) to listening for God’s guiding voice in one’s heart in contrast to the baser desires of the flesh.

While such ideas are necessary to a point, recent trends have probably taken them out of faithful balance, argues Phillip Cary, a professor at Eastern University. In fact, the limited ways in identifying God’s will for one’s life and one’s emotional response to life at every moment is likely crippling a generation of believers, he says. In order to remedy this, he offers ten essays in “Good News for Anxious Christians.”

Seeking to respond to what he terms the New Evangelical Theology, he suggests ways in which recent trends in spiritual discourse have made young disciples – it seems clear that his primary, though implicit, audience is college-age people trying to grow into a mature faith – rather schizophrenic, trying always to separate good emotions from bad reason, trying to always emotionally feel only certain appropriate Christian feelings, trying to only have the right Christian motivations, and trying to discern only God’s specific direction for one’s individual life in contrast to one’s own desires. In each of these cases, Cary believes that the gospel has been lost and perverted into a practice that devalues critical thinking, individual gifts, and the joy of faith for the cause of everyone trying to be Christian in the same limited way.

Writing from negative to positive, he offers “10 Practical Things You Don’t Have to Do” to be a faithful Christian, including such things as “Why You Don’t Have to ‘Find God’s Will for Your Life’” and “Why You Don’t Have to Keep Getting Transformed All the Time.” In most of these, he counters what he sees as a false divide between emotions and reason, seeking to unite them and to value both emotional health and critical thinking. While his frequent assaults on the amorphous “new evangelical theology” seem a bit ad hominem, the vigor and “take no prisoners” punchiness of his writing is otherwise greatly appreciated.

Mostly, though, his necessary corrective to bad theology and bad Christian anthropology is applauded. While the nature of sin is corrosive, it has not completely defiled human emotions and reason to the point that they are completely dysfunctional. Otherwise, it would be impossible to ever respond to grace in such a way as to grow into the person God desires one to be. Also, there are trends in Christian teaching that suggest certain thoughts and emotions that are healthy and unavoidable are always signs of personal sin, which Cary refuses as an almost unforgiveable assault on human integrity and the source of unnecessary and irresolvable anxiety.

While I do not agree with all of Cary’s arguments, I heartily support his overall effort to remind people of the holistic nature of the faithful life. His pointing to the human-created paradoxes, particularly the recurrent theme about the impossibility of finding God’s will in your heart alone, that have been substituted for the paradoxes of the Gospel (to suggest the writings of Karl Barth and others) is correct. And the student of Scripture in me loved his insistence that the Bible, in itself, is beautiful without always needing to find ways to “make it relevant” or “apply it.” ( )
  ALincolnNut | Nov 9, 2011 |
If this book had ended after chapter 8, I would have given it 5 stars. But beginning in chapter 9, and more fully in chapter 10 and the Conclusion it became evident that, while the author was very good at pointing out the dangers of modern evangelical Christianity, what he offered in its place was in its own way just as misguided. He decries a faith fed by experience (He expresses the anxiety this approach fosters with questions like "What if I am not experiencing the "right" things? Am I not really Christian?") yet offers in its place a theology based on his own experience of Christmas carols and liturgy. So I might ask, What if liturgy means nothing to me? Does that mean IU don't have saving faith? What if I am not moved as he is by Christmas carols? Am I not a "real" Christian? He speaks of the "application" part of sermons as boring and "doesn't really do us much good," yet Jesus' preaching was predominantly application, and the letters of Paul each tend to start with theology and end in application - and the application sometimes is the longer part. The gospel he offers is as empty as that of Liberal Protestantism and modern evangelicalism, and sounds very much to me like the emptiness of medieval Catholicism - a religion, not a faith, that would be damaged more by the loss of liturgy than the loss of Christ, despite his claim that he is keeping the focus on Christ alone. He is so close . . . yet regrettably so far away from a very excellent book. Having started in the Spirit, he ends with the shadows and form of religion void of the Spirit. ( )
  davemac | Oct 2, 2011 |
näyttää 2/2
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Like a succession of failed diet regimens, the much-touted techniques that are supposed to bring us closer to God "in our hearts" can instead make us feel anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed. How can we meet and know God with ongoing joy rather than experiencing the Christian life as a series of guilt-inducing disappointments? Phillip Cary explains that knowing God is a gradual, long-term process that comes through the Bible experienced in Christian community, not a to-do list designed to help us live the Christian life "right." This clearly written book covers ten things Christians don't have to do to be close to God, such as hear God's voice in their hearts, find God's will for their lives, and believe their intuitions are the Holy Spirit. Cary skillfully unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality, bringing the real good news to Christians of all ages -- Publisher.

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