itibaren Karmatar, Sikkim 737113, Hindistan
I lived inside this story for four days when I lost my voice. It was a delicious escape into vivid, complicated relationships crossing lines of race and class. Watching those mothers pass of their children to women they didn't like, much less respect, just turned my stomach. And seeing the way the help loved and tended those babies only to watch them grow into prim and racist versions of their own mothers broke my heart. Unlike so many books that aim for "realism" and "grit," the justice in this story was believable and absolutely sweet. Also, I may have gained ten pounds at the time, because reading about all of that fried chicken and pork chops and biscuits just about did me in. Though I'll never look at a chocolate cake the same way! My only regret is that Abigail, Minny, and Miss Skeeter went on their way, and I am going to miss them.
Summary: A collection of essays in response to the controversy between John MacArthur and Zane Hodges. MacArthur favors the Lordship-salvation position and says that true, saving faith includes obedience. Zane Hodges says that faith is merely intellectual assent and it does not include obedience. The authors of the essays in this book argue against both MacArthur and Hodges. Critiquing MacArthur, they point out that while obedience follows faith, it is not itself a part of faith. Critiquing Hodges, they point out that faith is not merely intellectual assent; rather, it has three components: knowledge, assent, and trust. And, contrary to Hodges, obedience will result from true, saving faith. The book is broken into two sections. The first part looks at Scripture and the second part looks at the history of the debate as it developed in the Reformers and then the Puritans. Analysis: Exegetically, the book is weak. In fact the majority of the book is spent describing the position of Hodges and MacArthur and then of the positions as they existed in history (e.g. Warfield vs. Chafer). Much less time is spent describing the authors' own position and even less time (!) exegeting any Scripture passages. In fact I'm not sure it can be said that any passages of Scripture are exegeted. Instead, the authors provide their different verses and interpretations to some passages that all parties appeal to (the Rich Young Man passage). While I am in 100% agreement with the authors in this book, I find it frustrating that so little exegesis is being done. Like another more recent book which Michael Horton edited dealing with similar issues "Justified"(this time between John Piper and N. T. Wright), too much time is spent simply saying "But this is what the Reformers thought..." In the end, I'm tempted to say "WHO CARES!?" Why should anyone give a crap what the position of the Reformers taught if it's not in line with Scripture? Knowing that John Calvin or B.B. Warfield said "so and so" isn't going to help me respond to someone who tries to argue their case from Scripture. At best, I'll be able to show that they don't belong in the Reformed tradition. I'm giving the book two stars because it laid out the positions and distinctions clearly between MacArthur, Hodges, and the others. I'm giving the book another star (totaling 3, for the mathematically challenged) because I agree with the authors of the book. But ultimately Michael Horton & Co. are going to have to rely on something more than their tradition if they want convince more than those who are already convinced.
Great book! Kept me entertained the whole time. The ending was a real shocker!