(Caveat: this post will have nothing to do with Rob Bell, Charlie Sheen or Hitler.)
A few weeks ago I was one of the happy winning recipients of Challies.com's Free Stuff Fridays. Through the promo I was treated to free copies of Michael Horton's The Christian Faith, John MacArthur's Slave and James R. Payton, Jr.'s Getting the Reformation Wrong. I haven't completed any of the three yet; however, I thought I would share a few initial reactions.
Horton's The Christian Faith is immense at more than 1050 pages! I may write a review from a lay person's perspective, if I ever get far enough through it to make a legitimate assessment. I'm sure I will, eventually.
MacArthur's Slave looks challenging. I'm looking forward to working through it and to have some of my "prejudices" confronted. To be honest, I recoil when I hear Christians calling themselves slaves. First, because of the profound negative connotation that the word evokes in me, given the horrors of institutional slavery that landed on the shores of this country. I do not associate anything positive with the word, so I'm expecting that bias to be confronted. Secondly, since I've been saved, I've viewed my life B.C. (before Christ) primarily as a life of enslavement and my life since Christ primarly as having been set free. Just like the woman caught in adultery who was enslaved to the plight and all of the trappings of being an adulterous woman in a Jewish culture, until Jesus forgave her and set her free --to go and sin no more. I see that as freedom and not slavery. Again, I'm looking forward to learning more from Dr. MacArthur on the topic.
Finally, and most surprisingly, is Dr. Payton's book, Getting the Reformation Wrong. Before the draw, never heard of this book. Since I started reading it, I have had a really hard time putting it down. I love, love, love this book. Such a geek, because this is actually a historical text primarily written for college grad students. I'm only on Chapter 3 but can tell that I will enjoy finishing it all the way through. No idea whether I'll agree with his conclusions, but I also have no doubt that I'm learning a tremendous amount from him so far!
(in addition to these reads, I'm trying to finish a new book, Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James, so I can write a review and offer a free giveaway from Zondervan as part of a promotion for release of the book at the end of the month.