Monday, July 20, 2009

I Want To Believe by Mel Lawrenz is not a quick read. It is a book to be read in a quiet setting with slow deliberation. It is just the right thing for a long plane trip or a cold, winter night by the fire. I would not suggest you try to read this book on a sunny day at the beach. I am reviewing and recommending several books as excellent summer reading. This is not one of them. But I do highly recommend this book. It meets a great need that we all have--the need to believe.

Mel Lawrenz has advanced degrees in theology and philosophy. He has been pastor for more than twenty-five years. He knows what he is talking about. The book is filled with stories, both personal and drawn from history. This is the kind of book that can be used by a Sunday school teacher or a small group leader to challenge students' thinking. College students and other thinking Christians will benefit greatly from reading and studying this book.

I retired as a Senior Pastor five years ago after serving for forty-seven years. I now have the time to read and meditate at a slower pace. I read Mel's book one chapter at a time and then pondered over that chapter's contents. I believe this is the way everybody should read this good book.

"Some ideas about God are shared by many of the major religions and are also found in the beliefs of hidden tribes--bits and pieces of spiritual truth in diverse cultures all over the world. But those common threads lead to some crucial quesions: What are we to make of the different religions? Can there be only one way to God? Should we assume that one is right and all the others are wrong? Lawrenz examines several belief systems--atheism, Buddhism, Earth religions, Hinduism, and Islam--comparing their answers to ultimate questions about life and meaning with the Christian gospel. He evaluates their truth claims, and presents the case for the belief that Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer."

Leonard Sweet, E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism, Drew Theological School, said, "One chapter alone, 'No More Excuses,' is worth the price of this book."


SmilingSally said...

This sounds like a good source of study.

Loren said...

This does sound like a good study....thanks again Clif!

Mevely317 said...

In hindsight, I was very fortunate... "enduring" confirmation classes led by a pastor who took us adolescents to visit a synagogue, a Roman Catholic mass, and other "mainstream" congregations in turn.
Decades later, however, some questions won't be stilled. Reckon I'd better put this title on my to-do list!

Have a great week!

bp said...

Sounds like a good one to ponder. I have not heard of it before.
Thank you for your kind words about my review. I made a link list on my blog to my other blogs. It is just a list for now until/if I get around to making a picture button. It is under my "mission statement" in the side. Thanks for the idea! God bless!

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Clif,
I love to see what books you recommend, 47 years as a pastor wow!! I know the Lord is pleased and a well deserved retirement, now you can relax, read, and tell us more about the books you read. Thanks for dropping by on Sunday I did not get a chance to visit till now.

Blessings Lorie

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

It warms my heart to hear that you have an open heart to read about other religions. Some people can be stubborn and refuse to learn about other religions, thinking they only have the true religion! Sounds like a very interesting book.