Tuesday, March 22, 2011

[books/2] March 18, 2011

The Books I’m Reading

Coffeehouse Theology: Reflecting on God in Everyday Life by Ed Cyzewski

I think maybe the title of this book is a bit misleading. When I picked it up, I expected… well, to feel like I did when I was at Bible College and we all sat around drinking coffee after meals and debating about theology.

It’s not really like that.

That’s not say that it isn’t a good book. Just different that I anticipated.

I’d say that this book is more like… a text book for those who struggle with understanding what theology is. There are diagrams and detailed information, as well as lists of books that you can read on each subject that is discussed.

That said, there are a few things that are worth mentioning.

1. To understand true theology, you have to first establish a relationship with God.

“Most simply put, we understand God through a relationship with God.”

2. It is important to be aware of “Contextual Theology” or, in other words, the fact that our understanding of theology is greatly influenced by our culture or “context”.

3. Cyzewski tells a brilliant story about a fellow student from India who was in his theology class at college. When starting a discussion about what doctrines are just cause for a church split, the young man says, “Back in India, my church would never divide over disagreements about theology.” They then learned that in India, the elders would simply confront someone with wrong doctrine and if they didn’t listen- they would prevent them from tithing!

Good point, if we divide the church over false teaching, who will guide the people in error back to truth?”

4. Sometimes we really believe things… and we’re wrong. Cyzewski explains about how he once believed that the “Toronto Blessing” (Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship) was a hoax. Then he met a girl (whom he eventually married) and saw her family’s prison ministry that had been greatly influenced by the “happenings” at Toronto- and he could not deny that it was God moving.

“Thankfully, my beliefs about the Holy Spirit weren’t hardened to the point of rejecting the ministry of Julie’s parents. I could have just stood up and left when the ‘crazy stuff’ started to happen. Well, given that we were in a prison, I could have at least tried to leave. Still, I willingly stayed and learned and changed. I now read the Bible with greater awareness of how the Holy Spirit works in our world, and consequently I pray with a new urgency and expectation that God desires to do something wonderful.”

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