Love, the Glory of God, and the Flesh.

You know how when you are sick your head can feel like a block of wood? Well, I was taking a shower, and soaping up my skull, and thought, “Oh my poor head…” Then it occurred to me, “It isn’t mine. It belongs to God. He has just given it to me to use for His glory, and instead, most of the time I use it to please myself, and the rest of the meat suit He loaned me.” I asked Him to forgive me, and use me for His glory.

I don’t know how other people go to work this sick, without getting worse, and ending up in the hospital. I used to go to work sick, back before I had sick leave. I’d work until I passed out. I had a fever so bad once working grocery, I came home, and started seeing things. I had bronchitis so bad I passed out and fell into a pile of broken palettes next to the bailing machine. Thank God I didn’t get stabbed by one. My boss at the time was a Christian woman. I was hyperventilating and couldn’t stop. She prayed for me, in front of about 5 other coworkers, and my breathing went back to normal. She gave me $50.00 of her own money and sent me home.

I had 3 little kids and a wife to take care of at the time. Back then $50.00 would have been about a days wages after taxes. She told me to go to the doctor, and she would help me out. I felt bad that I couldn’t take care of my family. I didn’t let her pay for the doctor bill. I took time to pay it off on my own. If she were not a Christian, I doubt she would have helped me. People tend to watch you like a herd of animals. They see the wolves pulling you down after a long hard fight, but don’t care as long as it isn’t them.

We aren’t under the same laws as the animals. The laws of nature don’t make the predator evil for eating his prey. It is just the way of nature. We are under a different law. God has given us the moral so we can know His holiness, and our lack of it. We are not holy or righteous outside of Christ. Christ left us with 2 commandments in regards to the 10 of the moral law. James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”

If you are in Christ, then the Holy Spirit is in you. You are able to resist the devil. You are able to make no provision for the lusts of the flesh. You are able to love others, because while you and I were sinners Christ died for us.

My boss back then put money in her savings account to help people with. She set a percentage of her pay back every payday for the sole purpose of loving others as herself. It is different having sick leave and vacation time paid for by an employer, not because they are in Christ, but because a union made them do it. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the leave, but it means so much more coming from someone who loves Jesus. That boss I worked for back then has long since died. I wonder how many others have worked for a Christian boss? I hope you all have a merry Christmas, and seek to show the love of Christ to those around you.

ps, gubbermint and socialized programs are no substitute for the love of Christ lived out by His Bride and body.

A Snyder’s Soapbox Review of, “This Dangerous Book” by the Greens, Founders of Hobby Lobby.

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I know this review is going to seem negative at times. Please realize this has more to do with my expectations, and subjective bias. I’m a stickler for theology, and evangelism. I also prefer more academic works. If you are like me, you will find this review helpful. If you are a layman and have more of a superficial interest in theology, then this review won’t be that relevant.

This Dangerous Book” has a provocative title, with an implicitly lofty goal which can be inferred from this statement on the cover, “How the Bible has shaped our world and why it still matters today” I had hoped that it would more thoroughly treat the topic of the Bible, and its effects on human history. I was somewhat disappointed. It did not live up to my expectations. I was expecting a much larger, well fleshed out, academic treatment of the topic. This book could have been edited down to be an introduction to a book on the topic instead. It could have also been a brief book on the efforts of the Greens to collect Biblical artifacts for their museum, or the personal experiences of the Greens in regards to their faith. The Greens attempted to do all three in a book that is only a couple hundred pages long. The book didn’t accomplish any of them to my satisfaction.

In my opinion, books that add value to the Christian library must meet some criteria. The main attribute I look for is whether or not the book is Christ/gospel centered. They should also be; evangelistic, exclusive, (exclusivity of Christ) theologically orthodox, intellectually stimulating, educational, reasonable, and well bibliographed/annotated.

This book would only be educational to the laymen. It gives a basic overview of the history of the Bible, and its effects on mankind. The Green’s expressed their desire to present the Bible without any bias. They even had their collection displayed by the Vatican without a note of distinction between Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism. I was disappointed with their ecumenism, and their efforts to keep the book, and museum, from being overtly evangelistic. The personal stories of the Greens were encouraging and inspiring at times. The theology of the Greens was not fully expressed. I think this was in an attempt to have a broader audience. Because of their ecumenism, desire to have a wide appeal, and brevity of the treatment of the implied topic, the book fails to meet my requirements for a valuable book.

That’s not to say that there isn’t any value in this book. There are books that many Christians would find interesting, but not necessarily worthy of their personal libraries. Books like these are more for entertainment. They are the types of books you read and then give away. This book falls into that category. As such I can recommend it. If you have some spare time on a weekend, and are not in the mood for something more substantial, this book would fit the bill. The writing is interesting. The personal experiences the Greens write about hold your attention. Their enthusiasm for the Bible is commendable. Just because it isn’t my cup of tea, doesn’t mean it won’t thrill you. That is one of the great things about books. They are as varied as the authors and readers. If you like to write about something, there will be someone who wants to read about it.

What the book gets wrong; it is too ambitious for a book that is approximately 200 pages. It will have limited appeal to academia. It is more of a primer of the topic of the Bible’s affect on history.  For the title it talks too much about the Green’s experiences, and their Bible museum. It doesn’t make a clear gospel presentation. It demonstrates the Green’s flawed approach to ecumenism. It isn’t a book that will be read over and over again, or used for reference. It is a read once, and give away type of book.

What the book gets right; it will appeal to the wide varied masses of folks who profess to be Christian, including cults and groups that aren’t. It is a decent primer for anyone who has given absolutely no thought to how the Bible has shaped human history. New Christians might find it encouraging. Anyone who wants to know more about the founders, and owners of Hobby Lobby will enjoy reading about them.

I was sent an extra copy of this book to give away on my site. If you would like to have this copy, please leave a comment on the page and e-mail me your address so I can send it to you if you are the winner. This give away is only open to people who live in the continental U.S. I will select the winner personally based on my own personal preferences 🙂