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A Cluttered Mind
5 Stars Out Of 5
Excellent; well worth a re-read
May 23, 2011
A Cluttered Mind
This is a book that I read quickly in order to get an overall sense, but will have to re-read in order to let the thoughts sink more deeply. I'm impressed by Carlson's approach. As both a pastor and a medical doctor, he brings a unique perspective to issues in our lives. Using God's Word, he speaks to our relationship with God, with others, with our self and with God's creation.
This is no "health-wealth-prosperity-make-me-feel-good-about-myself" kind of book. This is the kind of book you wish more secular readers would attempt to look at, for Carlson presents the Bible and science together, not as two separate entities co-existing, but as two sources of the same truth looking at God and us from different angles.
As I said, this is one I'll be re-reading in order to let my mind wrap around the grand ideas presented. Having said that, this is not a difficult book to read; just one that you'll want to go slowly through and absorb well. I highly recommend it to you.
Does God want you to live the Good Life?" A question author Dr. Philip Carlson attempts to answer in his book Love Written in Stone: Finding God's Grace in the Boundaries He Sets.
Truly our hearts, which are designed to be in communion with God, desire to know God in an intimate way. With this knowledge, how is it that we search so ferociously in life for everything but God?
We demand our desires and longings to be met with childish foot stomping and arm crossing. And when they are not met we go elsewhere to have our demands fulfilled. We get lost in sex, drugs, food, shopping, money, over-working, dieting, exercising... replacing God with anything that will take the place of the longing in our hearts.
Yet, in the midst of our demanding requests and self-searching what we really need is never taken into account.
Love: Written in Stone attempts to diagnose this problem.
"There must be something out there that will fulfill me, something, some experience, that next purchase, that one thing that will erase the nagging sense of emptiness."
We seem to search and search ourselves for the answer while excluding God from our search.
Continuing... "[return] to the God that made us, establishing our life and hope and identity in Him and His love expressed through the Gospel."
There are four sections that direct the reader in "Guidance for Your Relationship With God, Instructions for Our Relationships With Others, Directions for a Healthier Self, and Insight for Our Relationship with Creation."
Each of these chapters diagnose a specific issue in life and how through God we can live in grace and find meaning in our lives through God's parameters.
Bethany House Publisher provided this book for free as a part of their blogger book review.
The book's subtitle "Finding God's Grace in the Boundaries He Sets" describes it well. The author, Philip Carlson, explains how God's laws are like guardrails on the sides of a steep mountain road. They are meant to protect us, not to burden us. God's love is "written in stone" to protect our relationships with Him and with other people. His commandments are given to keep us healthy, spiritually and physically. Carlson discusses topics ranging from sex to stewardship.
Dr. Carlson shares encouragement and hope from a combination of science and God's Word. He also opens up about experiences from his life, his medical practice, and his work as a pastor. It was a good combination of logic, wisdom, application, and experience.
I was drawn to this book because I want to understand more of God's grace. I want to understand it with my heart not just my mind. A quote Dr. Carlson shares from Jonathon Edwards sums it up, "He who has only doctrinal knowledge and theory, without affection, is never as engaged in the goodness of faith." I was challenges and encouraged as I read Love Written in Stone.
Disclosure: I received book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers' program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Review: Love Written in Stone: Finding Godâ€™s Grace
April 20, 2011
Dr. Philip Carson MD has written a book that most of us need to read now, and review regularly. He reminds us in several ways that the grace of God found in His expectations upon us is not restrictive but provides the freedom we desire and the healing in body and spirit that is lacking for many of us today. Divided into four different sections he addresses relationships not only with others, but with God as well. Topics like forgiveness, love, commitment and even sex (It's important and too often an avoided topic.) are discussed. Later in the last two sections, he focuses on health issues and finally the environment. Sounds like a lot and it is, but the author is able to focus in each area with enough depth to be helpful without wearying the reader. Illustrations carry the weight and are well chosen for the point they convey.
There's very little to say on the negative side, in my opinion.
What did concern me is that the folks that could benefit the most from this book will probably be the last to pick it up. The title itself could be a problem for those injured by the legalism found in some quarters. So, until they begin to see their problem having a spiritual component, or until someone encourages them to read a chapter that is near and dear to their heart the impact this book could have will be dampened. Once a person does pick it up, the author's gentle presentation will take over from that point, along with the Spirit's nudge.
Overall, this would be a nice addition to your library and a good book to lend out to others to read.
This book was provided to me by Bethany House for review.