GCC Reading for January 2013

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Faulkner once said something to the effect that a good writer reads more than he writes. And since I am a significantly worse writer than Faulkner was (but I drink less), I am constantly looking for books to absorb. This month, with some Amazon gift cards burning holes in my pocket, I have decided to carve out significant time to read books that seem significantly worth my time. Here’s what I have going now or will have going in the new future.

Kingdom Through Covenant: A Biblical Theological Understanding of the Covenants by Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum

I have high hopes for this one.  A Crossway title that claims to be both a critique of Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology, and a biblical-systematic outline of what is becoming the Neo-Reformed-Baptist covenantal theology; “Progressive Covenantalism”. I am about 100 pages in enjoying it thus far. They are both quality writers (which is a problem with a lot of good theology, bad writing) and seem to be civil in their critique and discussion. I am hoping for the same continued quality

In The Name of Jesus: Reflections of Christian Leadership by Henri Nouwen

This came recommended by a dear, wise friend and I have heard nothing by wonderful things about the author and the book. I had someone whom I respect deeply tell me that this is one of the best books that they have ever read. So with that in mind, I hope for an excellent experience in this book.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This is my great undertaking of the New Year so far. I have always wanted to read The Brothers Karamazov, but I have been intimidated by it since high school. I started it last weekend and to my surprise, I cannot put it down. The pace is slow-ish but the content is gripping, even devotional at times.  My biggest concern now is that I will fly though it so fast that I will need to reread it within a few months!

 Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor

This is one that I haven’t cracked open yet. I may wait until I finish up The Brothers Karamazov, but whenever I see it sitting on my shelf I get excited. I am a huge fan of O’Connor’s short stories and I vividly remember weeping the first time I read “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” (read it, it’s online). So I have high hopes for this novel and from what I have heard, it should not disappoint my high hopes.

As I like to keep a couple of books going at the same time, but can never seem to actually pick out a book at a bookstore. So if you have any recommendations for me, let me know!

Stephen Prothero | The American Bible

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“To be an American is not to subscribe to a common creed. It is to engage in a common conversation”.

I would not consider myself much involved in politics or patriotism to any degree of intensity beyond casual, but this conversation cannot be ignored. Traditionally, America’s greatest strength was it’s free range of ideas, ideologies and thoughts. But today it seems as if nobody is willing to discuss politics or religion out of some strange cultural more masquerading as politeness. Or if we do, it is on Fox New or MSNBC hurling insults and outlandish claims of Nazism at the “other guys”. Just look at your Facebook wall: everybody has that one Facebook friend who reposts borderline hateful political posts every few hours. We are in all-out ideological war (or trying to make hasty, unwise peace like Neville Chamberlain at Munich) and our reputation, liberties and intellectual dignity are in grave danger.

Enter Stephen Prothero. Prothero is a New York Times bestselling author (read Religious Literacy, seriously), professor of Religious Studies at Boston University and writes for CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. He is a voice crying in the wilderness when it comes to issues of dialogue, religion and literacy. And The American Bible is Prothero’s most ambitious and most important project so far.

I have never, ever seen a book like this. The American Bible is a tour through the “canon of American texts” and responses to them.

The book features the very best of the American canon, from the overlooked to the overused.

The book contains some of the most important theological and ideological texts that have sparks some of the most heated and defining arguments of our national identity. The list of texts is impressive and vast. Spanning from Noah Webster to Malcolm X to Dwight Eisenhower (and a pleasant surprise visit from Woody Guthrie, a personal hero). For many texts, it displays them in their fullness or the book offers a relatively comprehensive description of the artifact and then lets the culture wars rage. Prothero has gathered responses, articles and sound bites from people all over the theological and political spectrum weighing in on some of the most important artifacts in American history.

In The American Bible, Prothero has captured the spirit of the culture wars without saying much at all. Like a photojournalist, Prothero doesn’t need to say much at all to make his point clear. His point being, we need to talk to each other again. This volume is a call to civil discourse. If anything, that we could learn about those on the other side of important issue and not demonize them but dialogue with those who hold to different beliefs. Prothero is asking that we put off our airs of superficial politeness and put down our weapons of cultural trench warfare in favor of conversation. Few texts have done this as well as The American Bible.  It is not like the book inspires you to go sentimentally hug a fellow American as much as is prompts you to tackle the tough stuff within our cultural identity, particularly our relation to the Divine God. Unlike many well-meaning Evangelicals, Prothero does not insist on crusading our way back to a “Christian nation” nor does he suggest we throw away Christian theology or morality like many liberals. He simply presents undeniable realities of faith, disagreement and the American way of life.

Now, I would certainly not say this is a perfect book (outside of the Bible, is there such a thing?), the structure was a bit choppy trying to read all the way through and sometimes I felt  as if he represented Christians a bit too politically with his choices of contributors and commentators. But overall, it is one of the best things that I have read in a while and kindled quite an aesthetic nostalgia for the rich Americana stories that so mystify me. It also gave me hope that the gospel can be a part of the American discussion. Not just in a “keep ‘Christ’ in Christmas” sort of way, but in a truly radical and appealing way. I plan on keeping this book as my coffee table book and returning to it somewhat frequently for reference. Very rarely do I come across something as unique and important as The American Bible.

Review: The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

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The Explicit Gospel is a book that is going to fly off the shelves. There are a lot of reasons for that, but foremost it’s Matt Chandler- an evangelical celebrity in his own right, releasing his first book. Most of the “Christian celebrities” (still not totally comfortable with that idea) have a few books out and turn their sermon series into books once a year or so. But that’s not The Explict Gospel. Chandler (and Jared Wilson) have released a theological treatise of ‘gospel-centeredness’ in an articulate, yet accessible dialect.

I didn’t really understand the title until the end of the book (It took me a while to connect the dots…), but it’s *explicitly*  laid out in the introduction when stated,

“…I want to spend my time with you trying to make sure that when we use the word gospel, we are talking about the same thing” (p.15, italics are Chandlers)

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Review | Jesus + Nothing = Everything

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Tullian Tchividjian has become one of the most helpful people for me to listen to outside of my immediate church body. He says things that tend to make a Christian uncomfortable, and he says it in ways that I have never, ever heard before (rare indeed these days). Tullian’s new book, Jesus Plus Nothing Equals Everything is a gospel manifesto centering around his personal hardships in 2009 and his own personal awakening to the equation above. His main point,

“The operative power that makes you a Christian is the same operative power that keeps you a Christian: the unconditional, unqualified, undeserved, unrestrained grace of God in the completed work of Christ” (p. 206)

This book is something special, it is well articulated and unapologetically gospel-saturated . Tchivijian comes out swinging from the beginning, writing as a man on fire, urgently trying to get a point across that easily gets lost in the shuffle, even in the ‘gospel-centered’ crowd. Tullian takes his orthodox reformed theology, and showcases the ‘now power’ of that theology. In doing so, Tullian boldly challenges the church to repent, wake up and ditch its golden calfs, while calling to individual to painfully examine their hearts and motivations. The result for me was some painful conviction and the deeper realization that I have in me an ugly “back-door legalist” (p.50-51). But this book doesn’t let you sit in your guilt, not for a second. For every minute of painful self-evaluation, there are 5 minutes worth of glorious reflection on the gospel of free, radical, unmerited, ‘right now’ grace! Continue reading

Review | ‘Gospel Wakefulness’ by Jared C. Wilson

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I am convinced that every couple of years the American church needs to switch up its vernacular to keep from getting too used to its own words. It is not that words ever go bad, but that we grow forgetful; we fall asleep, if you will. In Gospel Wakefulness, Wilson doesn’t say anything new, but instead, he says the same old thing Christians have been saying for 2000+ years, that,

“In myself, I am the chief of sinners. In Christ, I am the righteousness of God” (P. 145)

Gospel Wakefulness is a book not written with a new message, but with a message written for a new generation, fighting the same battle as their predecessors: the fight of faith in Christ alone. Like concepts such as “Christian hedonism” and “revivalism” laid down by Godly thinkers and writers of years past, “Gospel wakefulness” is a similar awakening by the Holy Spirit encouraging us to behold Jesus “with the eyes of faith you always assumed were there” (p.33)

 

The idea is timely, yet timeless. Wilson lays down a realistic vision for a change in the Christian’s affections, facilitated by the gospel’s changing power alone. In a time in history where lukewarmness dances dangerously with cause-driven Christianity, Gospel Wakefulness comes out of a place of gospel-obsession. This book has the wonderful potential to act as an alarm clock to rouse sleeping Christians, beckoning them to wake up to the good, free grace of the gospel. The gospel-awakened heart “[has] tasted the goodness and lost [it's] taste of the pale imitations” (p. 64).

Gospel Wakefulness is one of the most loving, yet urgent critiques of ‘Christian culture’ that I have read in a while. Wilson never insults the church, but he is not ready to concede to the unhealthy culture it has fostered. He says,

“My hope is in the kingdom God so much that I have found it frustrating to speak with people who place their hopes in the kingdom of America or Christian culture and for them to speak with me … you will find your gospel centrality a head-scratcher to some of your brothers and sisters (P.64-65)

and ever so poignantly,

“Christians, many of us are living lives of disregard and consequently having little impact. Despite our big buildings and our big budgets and our big publishing empires and our big voting blocs and our big events and our big numbers, we are living in such a way to be disregarded. We are making lots of noise . . . inside our inconsequential bubble” (p.181)

But if the book were to just be some sharp critique of the church for its lack of gospel-centrality, it might as well just be some blog written by a 20-year-old kid with a chip on his shoulder…

But instead, Gospel Wakefulness spends most of its pages probing the soul of the reader, exposing idols and misplaced hope by fixating the soul on the gospel of Jesus. The book led my to a deeper awareness of my ugliness and greater awareness of the beauty of the gospel each time that I picked it up. Since this book is entitled Gospel Wakefulness, I would say that it did its job.

Gospel Wakefulness is a book written with a skillful mix of conversational and academic voice. Wilson is frank, sometimes dropping lines too good not to tweet and at other times (with a fantastic self-awareness) Wilson drops high-brow stuff like,

“The extent to which your soteriology is monergistic – most Calvinist nerds know what I’m talking about here – is the extent to which you ought to know that your pride is a vomitous affront to God” (P. 83)

Along with skillfully quoting a bevy of wise Puritans and theologians of times past. All tied in with some well placed humor, a constant gospel-preoccupation and a holy brashness. Gospel Wakefulness  proves itself readable, gospel-steeped, convicting, and quotable.

My only complaint (if it can even
be called that) is that I was at times left wanting more. Wilson spends most of the first half of the book unpacking the concept of gospel wakefulness and the second half applying the gospel to particular areas. Mind you, it isn’t split up like “theory → application”, but is a dipping of particular areas of interests of the Gospel-Wakened Christian into the gospel of Jesus. And there are simply some more things I wish Wilson would have treated this way (The chapter “the gospel-wakened church” could be an entire book itself, as could the chapter on prayer). But I truly could not recommend this book more strongly to anyone Christian, non-Christian, leader or follower who desires to be “utterly captivated by the gospel” (p.18), as I truly was.

Give Them Grace | Book Review

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Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus

Alright, a book on parenting may seem like an odd book for me to review on this site, considering the fact that I am neither a parent or even have a wife to make that happen anytime soon. So naturally, I was a little timid in wading into this book and felt somewhat unqualified to read and review it. Until I read it. I was somewhat relieved when I began reading the book and they were really just talking about the gospel! After reading and considering Give Them Grace I feel less qualified to parent in the future, yet more confident in grace to sustain me as a parent, and as a single dude.

Give Them Grace doesn’t seem to be on par with any other parenting books out there (but I do confess I am a ‘parenting book’ rookie, this is the first one I have read). It was about parenting, but at the same time it wasn’t, it was about grace; honest, uncomfortable, counterintuitive grace. This is clear by the introduction, which focusses Law vs. Grace in parenting, Romans 6-8 style,

“Although we long to be faithful parents, we also rest in the fact that our faithfulness is not what will save our children. Giving grace to our children is not another formula that guarantees their salvation or obedience. Grace-parenting is not another law for you to master to perfect your parenting… Our children will be saved only through the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit who works at the direction of our heavenly father.”(p.20)

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WTS|GCC Partnership | Help Me Help You

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The Partnership!

Good news friends and followers. As of today GCC (the blog you are currently viewing) is partnering with The Westminster Theological Seminary Online Bookstore! What does this mean to you or to GCC? Well the long answer is that WTS has agreed to sponsor my blog in a way | essentially, they will reward me with WTS store credit for the WTS Bookstore referrals through GCC. This is incredibly, incredibly helpful for me personally, because I am a POOR college student with a book budget of roughly 0$. I also think this is helpful for you folks equally (well, maybe not equally…) because despite my book budget or lack thereof, a bloggers gotta read to review. So no books, no content.

Woah, Nick. “sellout much”?

Actually no. My snobbery and elitism tend to get me in trouble (arrogance, sin, pride, general douchebaggery, etc..) but in the area of quality control it has come in quite handy. I will not put something on “Gospel Community Culture” that does not pass my own personal, theological, cultural and quality test. As a matter of fact, I buy most of my books on WTS as it were. They are legit; their theology is extremely close to my personal/church theology posted in the “theology” section in the Resource Library. As a matter of fact this is an absolutely humbling partnership, I am grateful they would find GCC worth their time, resources and money.

So how is this helping you?

To be fair, this wont benefit all my readers; I know many of you guys have no interest in theological books, bibles, resources and the like… but I know many of you do. I know this because of the frequency with which you guys visit my elibrary. So this partnership will A) expose a good chunk of my readers to theologically sound and discounted books through a legitimate and trusted avenue and B) by doing this provide me with resources to review and recommend (or dissuade) to you. So be a champ, and click any of the Westminster Bookstore links, check out their store and help a blogger out!

Help Me To Help You |

So, in conclusion… it’s likes this

Colin Meloy | The Replacements ‘Let It Be’ |

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This is a cool little book. Worthy of a cool little review. I picked this book up at Von’s, a quaint little indie record shop in Lafayette, Indiana. My dad had told me about this book a few months before, so when I finally stumbled across it, I jumped on it. I ended up reading it in one sitting at the CoffeeHound, it really was a fantastic read.

Written by Colin Meloy (the lead singer of The Decemberists) as part of The 33 1/3 Series, a series of small books written by musicians about albums that influenced them. But Colin Meloy is more than a good songwriter, he is an amazing storyteller as we find out from “Let it Be”.

‘Let It Be’ is about the classic album by The Replacements by the same name. But ‘Let It Be’ is more about how Meloy fell in love with music than it is about the technical interworking of the timeless Replacements album. Meloy tells hilarious and moving stories about divorce, a hippy uncle who sends him mix-tapes and growing up in the Pacific Click here to check out 'Let It Be' by The ReplacementsNorthwest. From Meloy’s writing it becomes clear the power of good music and the importance of discovering music for yourself.

In a world before blogging, iTunes, MTV, and online streaming, the only way to come across good music was good old-fashioned reading, talking and digging. The world Meloy speaks of is somewhat primitive compared to life in the digital age today (even though we are only 20-something years removed from the release of The Replacements “Let It Be”) but the spirit of discovery is the same. At only about 100 pages, it is a must read for anyone interested in the formative power of culture and rock and roll music.


Review: Note To Self

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Note To Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself: by Joe Thorn

Review by Nick Rynerson

Click Here to Pre-Order from Amazon.com

Last week (4/12-4/14) at The Gospel Coalition 2011 we were loaded up with free stuff (or, swag, if you will). Even more so for us bloggers fortunate enough to attend Band of Bloggers on Tuesday. It was a fantastic time listening to Steve McCoyJustin Taylor and a bunch of other dudes discuss blogging and the Gospel. On the Band of Bloggers panel was Church Planter and fellow Acts 29 guy Joe Thorn. Thorn is a great guy and I have had the pleasure of meeting and listening to on several occasions, so when I found out he was writing a book and it was getting published though Re:Lit, I was stoked. I was even more stoked when I found out those signed up for Band of Bloggers would be getting a pre-released copy!

It’s a small book, not very intimidating and the text is of readable size: a good weekend read. But what a weekend it was, between Note to Self and The Greener Grass Conspiracy, I forcefully, yet lovingly was kicked in the rear end by the Gospel.

Note To Self is really like nothing I have ever read. It’s made for the trenches, battle tactics in the Spiritual War we fight as Christians. It is sort of to the Good Guys what The Screwtape Letters is to the Bad Guys, letters from the trenches. The concept is simple yet brilliant. It’s Joe (or you) preaching the Gospel to yourself amidst 48 real-time situations that we all have and will continue to face. What Joe does in Note To Self is take a section of scripture and in about 500 words engages in “self talk” as Martyn Lloyd Jones would call it.

Every section starts off with a rich verse of scripture at the top of the page and then the words Dear Self… What happens after that is straight up, honest Gospel talk. Every chapter points back to Jesus and how the Gospel actually matters pertaining to whatever subject Joe is dealing with. The way Thorn writes, you can tell he is not just some armchair theologian, but is living the fight with those, like me, reading what he writes. It is apparent that he gets the Gospel and he gets his sin when he says:

“Dear Self,

You are proud, and what makes this so dangerous is that you don’t realize just how proud you are….What you need is a clear picture of God, yourself and your hope; this only comes through law and gospel. You must see yourself as you really are — creature, not Creator; sinful, not righteous; undeserving, not deserving; dependent, not independent; made for his glory, not your own… This is the theology that erodes pride, builds humility and produces joy.” (P. 108)

Woah. Note To Self is really about 136 pages of that. Every single page of Note To Self is drowning in Gospel truths, so much so that it forces you to put a Gospel lens on everything from loving your wife (P.69) to complaining (P.109) to not being a Christian fanboy [personally my favorite chapter] (P.123) to being the Church [close second favorite] (P.87). It is a continual hammering of the Gospel into the thick skulls of prideful people. It doesn’t do this directly, but in fact the book is set up as to observe a man preaching the gospel to himself. It is sort of like watching game film of a good team as you prepare for the season.

When I was reading this, I felt as if I was reading Joe Thorn’s journal [minus the 'Love your husband' chapter, I just pretended that was his wife writing]. I felt as if I was experiencing a spiritual battle raging, very, very similar to the one that I fight day in and day out. It gives perspective to the war we are truly in and the weapon we’ve been given, the discipline of preaching [the Gospel] to ourselves. Reading it was challenging, as it confronted a lot of my own personal sin head on and didn’t let me shy away from it. It then applied the spiritual rubbing alcohol on to my wounded pride. Every night (as I read it before going to bed) I went to sleep more in love with Jesus than before reading this book.

I foresee this being an incredible resource for the Church in the years to come. As it is small, accessible, practical and biblical. Anyone can pick up this book and get something out of it. And that something is going to be gospel-centered. Because this book is not just gospel-centered, but gospel-submerged, and cannot be avoided. Charis is considering getting a bulk quantity and giving them out at Sunday service.

This book knows its limitations, it doesn’t try to be what it isn’t. This is not a systematic theology or a book designed to tackle any certain issue at length but a manual on preaching the Gospel to yourself in the midst of spiritual warfare. At times I wish he would elaborate more on some topics and wish he would’ve written like twenty pages on the issues of work and local church involvement instead of two, but like I said, not the purpose of Note To Self.

Oh, and did I mention how well written it is? It isn’t sloppy or indulgent. No word is wasted and the language is intentionally blunt, it comes off sharp and discerning. Joe Thorn also uses the word “legit” on Page 134, which in my book gives him 100% street cred [not a big accomplishment getting street cred from a white guy in central Illinois who listens to Steve Earle, but regardless...]

So whether you are a pastor or a non-Christian that is confused as to what the Christian life actually is or somewhere in between, Note To Self by Joe Thorn is a must read. You will finish the book with a new and more complete understanding of the discipline of preaching to yourself. The book is available now for Kindle at Amazon.com and will be available for purchase at the end of April. It’s cheap so do yourself a favor and get this book.

Rating: 9/10

Review: The Greener Grass Conspiracy

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Review: The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge 

Click here to Pre-Order at Amazon.com

Release Date: April 30th, 2011 (Available now for Kindle)

(by: Nick Rynerson)

Recently, Crossway was gracious enough to send me (and 99 other bloggers like me) a copy of one of their new books, The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge. I had never heard of Altrogge, but I trusted Crossway, they haven’t let me down yet. A few days ago, the small cardboard box with ‘Crossway’ packing tape was sitting in my mailbox, so I started reading, not knowing what to expect.

What I got was a feast for my soul (more on that later). Altrogge writes of a worldwide conspiracy that is keeping the world (and Christians in particular) in bondage. He calls this “The Greener Grass Conspiracy”, essentially a plot between ourselves, Satan and the fallen world we live in to keep us from finding contentment in Jesus. Altrogge starts off and convincingly lays out the conspiracy and the players:

“The world makes big, fat promises of immediate pleasure. It flashes its artificially whitened teeth and tells me to enjoy myself. The world lies to me.…Satan Joins the world… Satan invites me to find satisfaction in something other than God. It doesn’t matter if it’s pornography or community service, as long as it’s not God. Satan is happy as long as I’m not happy in God. Satan slanders God’s character and his goodness. Satan Lies to me. ….My heart doesn’t want to be left out of the conspiracy, and so it plays right along with the world and Satan. It tells me that I need to have certain things and I need to have them NOW.” (p.12-13)

Altrogge writes with urgency and zeal to uncover and unravel this conspiracy. Stephen is well aware of the Spiritual War we are caught up in, that is “an all-out, no-holds-barred war taking place within us” (p.50). He writes as equal, a fellow brother struggling with the same three enemies aiming to take away his joy as well as ours. His book is practical, honest and pointed, Altrogge says “The Greener Grass Conspiracy” is “more like sweaty, bloody, hastily scribbled notes from a battlefield” than “the memoir of a contented man”(P.14). As you read, you easily connect with Stephen, his honest real life stories, and his imperfect yet mature walk with Jesus. Oh, and did mention, he is absolutely hilarious! I was getting some odd looks reading this book in public because I would laugh out loud somewhat frequently. This promotional video from Crossway and Altrogge does the book some justice, it’s certainly worth a watch.

Like I said before, this book was a feast for my soul. In the footsteps of giants on the subject of contentment like The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs and Spiritual Depression by D. Martyn Lloyd Jones, this book holds a mirror up to our fig-leaves and idols then gently, yet usually painfully points you back to the One who removes our fig-leaves and killed our idols on the Cross, Jesus. Sometimes when I was reading, I wanted to hang my head and weep, as I saw how ugly my sin was (in the midst of his very sarcastic, Jared Wilson-esque sense of humor). Especially in the fourth chapter, “I worship my television”, which can be adequately summed up by Altrogge’s final words of the chapter:

“But the sweet fruit of contentment can only blossom after you’ve ripped out the weeds” (P.44)

Altrogge points out both how we get wrapped up in the Conspiracy in both our religion and irreligion, and takes a hard, Gospel-centered line towards both. He urges and pleads with us to find our joy in Jesus, as he fights to do the same. This book is rich in scripture and quotes from dead guys, but it never comes off intimidating or academic but very, very practical. And it’s overflowing with proclamations of the gospel, you cannot read this book without being forcefully shoved back to the Gospel of Jesus. It all at the same time wrecks and builds up the soul, purging sin for revelation of the Gospel. Altrogge brings it:

“The Father heaped the idolatry of millions upon Jesus and then punished Jesus as if he was the idol worshiper. It was as if Jesus was the pornography worshiper, job worshiper and vacation worshiper. Ever seen something so disturbing and revolting that you couldn’t bear to watch? On the cross, Jesus was worse.”(P.61)

The shocking honesty, undeniable wit (including a brief encounter with the King Solomon at Starbucks), amazing readability and Gospelicious nature of “The Greener Grass Conspiracy” have made it one of my new favorite books. I do not say this lightly, as I am pretty critical on books. And by all means, the book wasn’t perfect, in fact, I wish it was a bit longer and I wish it dealt more with contentment within the context of Community (it does a bit, but that is a subject I am very interested in). But regardless, it is a Gospel tour-de-force.

One of the best features of “The Greener Grass Conspiracy” was the “Stop-Think-Do” questions at the end of each chapter. These are 5 questions at the end of each chapter that relate back to the content of the chapter, these questions are sometimes hard to answer and don’t always let you off the hook with just pondering for a minute and moving on. Altrogge asks the reader to make painful lists, draw graphs and write down gospel-blessings, it’s pretty sweet, but your pride will HATE it….”The Greener Grass Conspiracy” is not only good for personal devotions, but as curriculum as well (especially because of its easy readability and study questions provided in the form of the Stop-Think-Do). I am already thinking about ordering several more copies and using them in a small group study for some newer believers.

But at the end of a day, a book of Jesus is not good unless it stirs my affection for Jesus. This book certainly did, it encouraged me and turned my affections toward Jesus like books before it, such as Lloyd-Jones’s “Spiritual Depression and Piper’s Desiring God have done for me. This is a book for the trenches of Christian living, a book that grips you, pleads with you and asks you to look to the Gospel and say “Courage, dear heart”(P.127). For Christian’s, I can not recommend this enough, and for non-Christians, if you are interested in Christianity, this is a great book to pick up to learn what the Christian life is all about: Jesus Christ.

Overall Rating: 9.5/10