Thursday, May 10, 2012

Father Hunger

"Father Hunger" (Doug Wilson) - I read a lot of what Doug Wilson writes (second only to John Macarthur and related things from the Pyromaniacs).

Doug Wilson is a writer.

I don't just mean that he writes stuff.  He reads a lot, and writes a lot.  This shows up in his writing style.  He makes allusions to other writers, and he has a pithy way of compressing big ideas down and making them understandable and memorable.

At the same time, I disagree with Wilson on some pretty major theological points: he is a Presbyterian (a sort of uber-Presbyterian, called "Federal Vision") and post-millenial - while I am a Baptist, and pre-millenial.

If Presbyterians have any advantage, it is that their theology more naturally integrates the family - which is just the subject at hand.

This is a short book, at 207 pages (plus a short study, end notes, and an index) and Wilson starts right in.

First, he identifies our cultural problems as fundamentally theological - that bad theology leads to bad thinking and bad doing ("we become like what we worship", as he would say).

We have a father problem in our country, because we do not seek our heavenly Father.

Wilson covers this from every angle, with his usual insight and wit.  He makes a compelling case, and gives the Biblical solution - we need repentance, lots of it.

This problem affects every facet of life.  Children related to their parents, husbands and wives, even roles in the church.

He rolls the controversy of "The Shack" (where the Trinity is portrayed as two women with Jesus) into a one liner:
"You need a father?  Here, talk to your mother about it."

This book is excellent for anyone who wonders why things are so wrong, and is interested in making them better - whether it is a better father, or son, or wife, or daughter.

The appendix has an economic study on the impact of fatherless homes.  It shows clearly that divorce and abandonment by fathers is not zero, and not "better for the kids" (to avoid arguments).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Judgment and Salvation

Last month, I finished reading through the book of Isaiah (approximately) twenty times (I spent about a year in it).

Isaiah is a challenging book, for a number of reasons.

The first is length: at 66 chapters it takes a long time to get through one time (about two weeks), and you can forget the beginning by the time you get to the end.

Second, the book is mostly prophetic utterances - not a story or narrative, with clear boundaries (people did this, then they did that).  This makes it hard to break up into smaller chunks to be processed.

The third challenge is related to the second - because it is prophetic language, it is often hard to grasp, or unclear in meaning or subject.

Nevertheless, there is a clear message which comes through - that of God's judgement on sin and His provision of salvation.

I took several style of notes as I was reading; in one, I wrote a word or two to summarize a chapter.  You see: judgment; salvation; judgement and salvation.

This makes sense in context.  Israel had disobeyed God for some time, and was about to go into the Babylonian captivity.  We also see many strong messianic prophecies (God ultimate plan of salvation)