Saturday, July 28, 2007

Invisible Hand by RC Sproul

This book was recommended in our last book club:

Invisible Hand by RC Sproul

"Covers all aspects of divine providence. Written for all who face the hard questions of providence in the concrete arena of faith. "Every woman who has delivered a stillborn baby knows the devastation it brings to the heart," write R. C. Sproul. "Who can experience such a thing without crying to heaven and asking, ‘Why?’ It is normal to wonder where God is in such circumstances. It is where the rubber of human anguish meets the road of divine providence."

"This book is an effort to face those issues and questions that arise with regard to God’s providence," Sproul writes. "It is designed to look at the question of providence, not only from a doctrinal viewpoint, but chiefly from an examination of concrete experiences of the flesh-and-blood people whose lives and struggles are recorded for us in sacred Scripture."

Sproul concludes: "The Providence of God is our fortress, our shield, and our very great reward. It is what provides courage and perseverance for His saints." All who read The Invisible Hand will find themselves praising God for his mercy and loving kindness.

“Not since I read one of Sproul’s earlier books, The Holiness of God, has a book simultaneously shaken my soul and comforted it with the presence of God. . . . This is theology at its finest. It is truth for living.”
—Rob Taylor (Emmaus Journal) from

Luther and His Katie - Chapters 3-5

This week we discussed Chapters 3-5 of Luther and his Katie. These chapters provided so much to talk about, but here are just a few thoughts we discussed.

Excitement: Chapter 4 : Catherine was particularly exciting. The author did an excellent job at creating a sense of excitement over the events surrounding Luther. You find your imagination wondering at the way information would have filtered into the convent, rumours, and whispers of revolutionary events taking place outside the walls of their ‘prison’ pg 49. It also demonstrates the rippling effect that Luther’s actions had across Germany and Europe

Awakening: You get the feeling of a world cloaked by darkness, suppressed by superstition, fear, and despair, highlighting the consequence of works based religion, leaving people miserable without hope. Then they are awakened, the light of truth driving away the darkness, and freeing people from the fear of the church and giving them hope in Christ. They began to see the institutions like convents and monasteries for what they really where, and realised “God could be served as well outside the convent as in!” pg 44

The escape: The escape from the nunnery contains all the intrigue of a movie, secrecy, escape, danger, thrill of the chase. The escape of the nuns was sensational. Imagine hearing the whisperings of Luther whilst in the nunnery and then, upon escaping having the man himself endeavour to secure your protection by finding for you accommodation and marriage partners. You get a hint at how vulnerable it was for unmarried women of the time. Marriage was not only for love, but protection and survival.

Providence: We were reminded of God’s amazing providence! It is truly amazing that the very instruments God used to preserve the scriptures, were those that had corrupted true religion, and reduced Christianity to a works based religion of fear.

Other inventions coincided with the reformation such as the printing press, which helped to spread the news. Gods timing is always perfect.

We were challenged to remember Gods providence in our prayers and praise Him, and thank Him for it.

I hope you enjoyed these chapters… I certainly did.
Please share your thoughts with us.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Luther and His Katies - Chapters 1-2

I must confess that for this book club, I was very slack and didn’t read the whole 2 chapters we were discussing,. I Promise to make up for it next week!

In our discussions we discovered, we had all heard of the 95 Theses but none of us actually knew what Luther’s 95 Theses were. So, I thought I’d find out. Check out this link to view and English translation of Luther's 95 Theses

Having now finally read the chapters… what struck me the most was the depth of Luther’s despair (Pg 27) and (page 26) His diligence in trying to save himself through sacraments, ordinances and penance. How wonderful and amazing grace must have been when he realised that Gods gift of grace was free!

I have had some heavy discussions with relatives about ‘hearing the voice of God’ I also found the statement of Luther’s Father on page 24 very relevant to today’s situation for many charismatic’s. ‘You learned scholars, have you not read in the Scriptures that you should honour your father and your mother? And here you have left me and your dear mother to fend for ourselves in our old age’. Scripture should always take precedence over experience. And yet so often people let their experience rule them rather than the scriptures. As his father says ‘God grant that it was not an apparition of the devil!’ page 25, if we allow ourselves to be dictated by our experience, how do we know if the ‘message’ we receive is truly God’s or the devils? It appears the words of his father troubled Luther greatly until he realised that Gods commandments take precedence. Luthers intial response, seems to be how many respond today… ‘however firmly I closed my mind against them yet in my heart of hearts I have never been able to forget them’ Page 25. I pray that my friends and family will also eventually come to the realisation that Luther did…. ‘God’s Commandment must take precedence.’ Page 25

Please share your thoughts on these chapters with me…