Jacques Ellul -- Each new concept that he brings forth confirms that he is a prophet to this generation. Unfortunately, he is a prophet whose voice has not sounded loud enough in evangelical Christianity. He is a prophet of a new breed whose writings uncover the silent subversion of the Church that Jesus gave His life for. This seditious action has altered the image of Jesus, exchanged grace for works, exchanged mystery for systematized theology and organized the simplicity of Christianity into a structure of religious order.
Ellul ably holds to the essential core of Christian teaching, while showing how the church throughout history has consistently been led away from truly living out the gospel -- whether by outside forces or by the weight of its own success, the church has continually done exactly the opposite of what the New Testament writers tell us to do. This book is fairly easy to read, and is very straightforward: Ellul takes us through some of the most important missteps in church history and shows how the good news of Grace and Freedom was forced to the side, even with the best of intentions. Ellul challenges us to find a new way of living out the Gospel, without either conforming ourselves to our present age or rejecting the essential elements of Christian doctrine.
Destined to Overcome
I recommend the above book NOT because I agree with ALL of the author's precepts and/or understandings, but because of his presentation of the legal aspect of the Church and the believer, and the total LACK of any legal standing on Satan's part ! I believe that this is a PROFOUND insight and is well worth the time spent in studying and assimilating it. There is also an excellent section dealing with the Power and Purpose of prayer.
As for his understanding of the mechanics of the atonement, I believe that it is VERY rudimentary and simplistic. However, MANY share in his concept. I also believe that an understanding of the TRUE mechanics of God's and Christ's work is TOTALLY impossible for the human mind. It would involve an understanding of the physics of God's realm, of which the human mind could have ZERO concept. It would be like trying to understand the forth (or fifth, or sixth) dimension. What would be our frame of reference ??
Within our limited spectrum, there ARE various degrees of revelation and understanding, from the mystical of William Law to the absurdly unjust and simplistic that says merely that God ordered Jesus Christ to bear our punishment so that we would not have to !! However, we DO NOT need to understand electricity and computer electronics to use our computer. We merely throw a switch and manipulate it. It is likewise NOT necessary (thought to me, at least, it IS very desirable) to understand the inner workings of God's Kingdom to be saved and to grow in Christ.
Between the Words -- The Art of Perceptive Listening
The following content was provided by the publisher -- Perceptive listening pays big dividends. It builds stronger interpersonal relationships, increases a person's influence on others' lives, enables speakers to better express their feelings, and helps others talk about ideas, problems, and decisions that need resolving. Perceptive listening, as Dr. Norm Wakefield writes, is a great ministry to others and one of the best ways to express unselfish love. So how do you reap all these benefits? Between the Words gives specific, practical help on becoming the kind of active listener who reflects the likeness of a listening God. With quizzes, journaling opportunities, and Wakefield's accessible insight, the book covers how to: "use the power of questions"motivate people to listen to you"remove listening obstacles and respond appropriately"listen for feelings, ideas, and meaning"minimize miscommunication and reduce relational struggles"hear and respond to God Between the Words is valuable not only for counselors, ministers, and speakers, but for every family member, friend, or spouse who wants to stimulate personal growth and encourage the growth of others. Perceptive listening is a powerful tool for healthy relationships and for discovering valuable truths that move us toward wholeness.
The Essential Enneagram: The Definitive Personality Test and Self-Discovery Guide
The First and Only Scientifically Determined Enneagram Personality Test and Guide. A centuries-old psychological system with roots in sacred tradition, the Enneagram can be an invaluable guide in your journey toward self-understanding and self-development. In this book, Stanford University Medical School clinical professor of psychiatry David Daniels and counselling psychologist Virginia Price offer the only scientifically developed Enneagram test based upon extensive, time-tested research. The most fundamental guide to the Enneagram ever offered, this book features effective self-tests for the simple, accurate, and confident determination of your own personality type. Daniels and Price provide step-by-step instruction for taking inventory of how you think, what you feel, and what you experience. They then guide you in your discovery of what your type means for your personal well-being and your relationships with others, and they show how to maximise your inherent strengths. Brimming with empowering information on each of the nine personality types -- Perfectionist, Giver, Performer, Romantic, Observer, Loyal Sceptic, Epicure, Protector, and Mediator, this one-of-a-kind book equips you with all the tools you need to dramatically enhance your quality of life.