Does Prayer Change Things?
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For these reasons, Dr. Sproul argues, prayer has a vital place in the life of the Christian. In short chapters packed with practical wisdom, he unveils the purpose, the pattern, the practice, the prohibitions, and the power of prayer, calling Christians to come before God's presence with joy and hope.
Volume 2 of the series, Can I Trust the Bible?, is Dr. Sproul's commentary on the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy. In the volume on prayer, Does Prayer Change Things?, there is a helpful discussion of human freedom vs. human autonomy and divine sovereignty. There is also a brief exegesis of the Lord's Prayer, some encouragements to prayer, as well as some reasons for frustration in prayer, and a reminder of the conditions for answered prayer.
The question of whether a Christian can know God's will is addressed in the fourth volume titled, Can I Know God's Will? Dr. Spoul begins by explaining what is meant by the decretive will of God, the preceptive will of God, and God's will of disposition. He then illustrates how these three work themselves out in biblical interpretation, and gives an analogy from the judicial system. Under the heading Knowing the Will of God for Our Lives, I found it interesting that Sproul states, . . . I find the practical question of the will of God pressing on my mind quite frequently. I doubt a fortnight passes that I am not seriously engaged by the question of whether I am doing what God wants me to do at this point in my life. This is followed by a detailed look at man's will: is it free? If so, in what sense? How is it related to God's sovereignty?
In the last book of the series, How Should I Live in This World?, the following premise is put forth: ethical decisions affect every area of life. It then goes on to answer the question of how these decisions are made. Chapter One opens with an explanation of the historical distinction between ethics and morals, and contrasts the humanistic model of ethics with the Christian ethic: God calls us out of the indicative by His imperative. Ours is a call to nonconformity to a transforming ethic that shatters the status quo (p. 5). Dr. Sproul illustrates the inconsistency of relativism, using the example of the moral and Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. He explains what is meant by an ethical continuum, or degrees of sin and righteousness, giving examples from church history and scripture. Other topics include the authority behind ethics and the sovereignty of God; the difference between freedom and autonomy, and between legalism and antinomianism; and the pros and cons of situation ethics. The specific ethical questions of war, abortion, capital punishment and materialism are also covered. The book concludes with a chapter on ethics and conscience.
R.C. Sproul has a unique gift for making intimidating topics accessible to a wide audience, and this series is an excellent example. Pam Glass, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
danniAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5GreatJune 16, 2014danniAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book for the chief reason that Dr. Sproul reveals his love and passion for prayer. He is widely known for his theological expertise and academic flair. From the books I have read of his thus far, all are dominantly written with a very scholarly imprint. His third book in the Crucial Questions series drastically differs in that his writing seems rooted in his powerfully undeniable experience with prayer. I believe this is somewhat purposeful as God did not create prayer to be a scientific entity. There will be no scientific proof of the power and work of prayer for those seeking such. Prayer is only experienced through true faith in Christ. Thus the results, success, failure, etc. of prayer can only be explained through faith experience and scripture.
Each chapter distinguishes specific aspects of prayer: The Place of Prayer, The Purpose of Prayer, The Pattern of Prayer, The Practice of Prayer, The Prohibitions of Prayer, and The Power of Prayer. The last chapter was my favorite. He expounds on several examples through Scripture to reveal the power of prayer.
I loved that he humbly admitted he does not know everything about prayer, thus a reason to continually seek the Lord through prayer.
I'm not convinced that a non-believer would gain anything from this book. But those who are already seeking the Lord may realize a more intense thirst for prayer and the work God accomplishes through it.
mamagrimmetAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5One of the BestJanuary 19, 2011mamagrimmetAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5this is one of the best books are prayer. it's short, and to the point. sproul is fabulous!
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