the pursuit of holiness | book review

The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges The_Pursuit_Of_Holiness_Ca_large

Ratings: 4.0 – 4.0

My Thoughts:

I got this audiobook as free download from Christian Audio awhile ago.  After having listened to it, I want to get a hard copy to go over what I missed and make marks and notes.

This was a fantastic look at holiness and how Christians should make the pursuit of holiness, not an activity to fit into daily life, but a lifestyle.

We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness.

There’s this idea in modern Christendom that we’re human, we sin, that’s the way it is, and there’s nothing we can do about it.  That’s is hopeless theology right there.  Jesus died on the cross so that, through Him, we would have victory over sin.

What I like about this book is that, while Bridges was straight forward and real about holiness and sin, it didn’t feel preachy or holier-than-thou, or over bearing.  While the subject matter was serious, he was matter-of-fact and honest throughout the whole book.  His approach was also very practical, which I totally appreciate!  When reading a book or listening to a sermon, I look for the practical application.

“The Christian living in disobedience also lives devoid of joy and hope. But when he begins to understand that Christ has delivered him from the reign of sin, when he begins to see that he is united to Him who has all power and authority and that it is possible to walk in obedience, he begins to have hope, and as he hopes in Christ, he begins to have joy. In the strength of this joy, he begins to overcome the sins that have so easily entangle him. He then finds that the joy of a holy walk is infinitely more satisfying than the fleeting pleasures of sin. But to experience this joy, we must make some choices. We must choose to forsake sin, not only because it is defeating to us but because it grieves the heart of God.”

Bottom line, this book was deeeeeeeep!  And I totally recommend!  If you have the chance, I also recommend the audiobook, the narrator was easy to listen to and wasn’t super long.  And like I said in my Lies Women Believe review, approach it with an open mind and prayerful heart.  God has amazing desires for our lives and we should be pursuing Him and the things He loves with everything we are.

Happy reading :)

The Pilgrim’s Progress Check-In #3

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How’s everyone doing so far? Have you finished Part One?  Are you halfway through Part 2 like I should be?  Hope you have enjoyed the story so far no matter where you’re at!

I’m going to be perfectly honest and tell you that I got completely lost and kind of stumbled my way through a good chunk of this section.  This is evidenced by the lack of sticky notes on several pages!  I was going to say something like, ‘There were a number of deep conversations in this section’, but this whole book has been full of deep conversations.  I’m afraid I don’t have the time to touch on all of them, but I will visit one that impressed me the most (from what I remember).

The conversation that begins with Christian asking Ignorance how it stands between God and his soul now was really good, in my opinion.  The discussion about what constitutes good thoughts and a good heart is one that hasn’t much changed over the years.  Ignorance insists that since it’s his heart that tells him his philosophies are correct, they must be so.  Christian counters that by saying that if one’s thoughts about self and God aren’t in harmony with the Bible then they are incorrect.  This turns theologically deep pretty quickly and we get a better sense of the meaning of Ignorance’s name.  I think Bunyan is trying to demonstrate the faith of one who is ignorant of what true faith is and how one’s theology must harmonize completely with the Word otherwise one’s faith is, as Christian describes, fantastical.  I like how Christian literally lists out the defects of Ignorances faith.  I like lists so I’m drawn to every single one in this book!

I’m not going to go into detail about this whole conversation but I will say that I have several lines underlined and marked for revisitation.

I’ve probably said it before, but I’ll say once more: I am having a hard time commenting on this book!  It’s just soooooooooooooooooo dense!

So I’m going to leave it at that.  I know, super lame. I do apologize!  It’s 2:45 am and I promised myself I wouldn’t let myself go to bed until I typed up something resembling a check-in!!!

What did you all think of this last part of Part One?  What conversation sparked your interest?  Did anything make you question your theologies or philosophies on life and God?

Are you having as hard a time as I in forming comments?  Heheheee!  Don’t sweat it!  I’m sure you’re getting along just fine :D.

Happy reading! :)

dug down deep//book review

Second review of the night.  I read The Power of a Praying Woman and Dug Down Deep last year and am only now taking time to type up my thoughts on them.  Let’s talk theology for a bit.

I got excited to read Joshua Harris’s Dug Down Deep when I first saw the book trailer.

I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meet’s Girl years ago and enjoyed them immensely so I was eager to get my hands on this book.  With everybody arguing back and forth and debating and discussing within and without the church, and the world telling you that truth is relative, that what’s true for you may not be true for me, it’s imperative that you not only know what you believe but why you believe it.  Harris challenges his readers to take a look at theology not as archaic and useless but as a means through which we can get to know the God of our faith better.  Knowing why you believe as you do, to be able to back it by the Word and be able to share and prove it to others will carry you further than just fluffy Christian lingo and a sit-down in a pew once a week.  Christianity is so much more than knowing a few great verses and singing feel good songs, it’s sacrifice and strength and knowledge of the Christ who loves with an everlasting love.  It’s studying the Bible and allowing it to speak to your heart and transform your life.  It’s building your life on the Rock of Ages and trusting completely in Him.

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While I grew up with a fairly solid grasp of Bible stories I didn’t have a clear idea of how the Bible fit together or what it was all about. I certainly didn’t understand how the exciting stories of the Old Testament connected to the rather less-exciting New Testament and the story of Jesus.

This concept of the Bible as a bunch of disconnected stories sprinkled with wise advice and capped off with the inspirational life of Jesus seems fairly common among Christians. That is so unfortunate because to see the Bible as one book with one author and all about one main character is to see it in its breathtaking beauty.

There were one or two theological points that I don’t quite with him on but on the whole, this is a great read and super inspiring and encouraging.  I really appreciate Harris’s writing style and look forward to reading some of his other books!  Has anyone read Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God?