Thursday, January 31, 2008

Book Reveiw #1: The Beautiful Fight by Gary Thomas

There are way too many quotes from this book to quote. Needless to say, Gary is an excellent writer who is able to communicate profound Biblical truth in clear word pictures. He does an excellent job of pushing the Gospel of transformation through its paces, incorporating the theology of the accession, and not allowing the reader off the hook with just "do nots", but now that you have heard and seen "do like wise."

" The gospel of transformation calls me to progress from not lusting to having eyes that honor, respect, and generate compassion." page 63

With this, he writes about the transformation of our eyes, mouths, heart, hands, feet, mind, and ears as instruments ( he actually uses the word submissive) of God; going beyond the elimination of sin, but moving towards the practice of righteousness.

The third section the book deals with embracing personal transformation, being available to and pursuing transformation, recognizing its not an easy process, but it is a process to be pursued in community. If we dare heed the call to come follow, then we should count the cost, because the call is nothing short of a call to be transformed; living compelling lives that inspire others to fight the beautiful fight.

Gary does what few writers seldom do; combine good theology, church history, and contemporary illustrations to communicate truth; challenging the reader to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. While you won't get " Here are three steps", you do you get a list of ingredients for transformation.

Is it good for small groups? In the back of the book there are discussion questions that engage the reader around the material and illustrations. While the books is laced with scripture refrences and quotes from theologians, the questions are not rooted in the observation but in the application of scriptural truth. They would serve to help a small group get to know each other.

If you have a group who functions like a book club, this would be great. If your group doesn't like to do homework, this may be a little bit to chew off.

For personal use, if you find Dallas Willard a little dense, you may find Gary a little more tangible, but no less thought provoking. Gary is just able to communicate in a more consice manner.

You can't afford not to read The Beautiful Fight.

Next Week's Reveiw : Your Money Counts by Howard Dayton