Friday, September 22, 2006

Last night, I finshed off my third book by Philip Gulley entitled Just Shy of Harmony. Gulley's works are fiction and tell the story of the Harmony Friends Church, a Quaker church in Indiana. The tales he weaves in his Harmony Novel series are hilarious and caputre well the essence of ministry in a small-town.

If you've been looking for some light reading that is funny and poignant in its description of human nature, I cannot recommend Gulley's writing enough.


I'm also a third of the way through Woodward Park member Gary Villamor's book No Middle Ground: The Church in a Compromising Position.

Gary diagnoses the problem of pretending to be church while avoiding the demands of discipleship. His candid evaluation is a much-needed message for every disciple who wears the name, "Christian."

Here's one nugget from the book that is sure to whet your appetite for me from Gary.

"We often times follow the way of the world, which is never satisfied. The mantra of our society is 'more,' and so, we have thrown Jesus Christ into our bag of more possessions. Are you a husband, father, homeowner, successful business person, 49'er fan, and have an 8-handicap on the golf course? Do you have an RV, an SUV, and lots of other stuff, so much so, in fact, that you have to rent extra space at the mini-storage? And, oh yest, are you a Christian? You must be, because you went to the church building one evening with a few members of your family and got 'saved.' You even have a certificate that says so. I'm being somewhat facetious, of course, but you understand what I mean. We have not separated ourselves from the world -- our hearts love the same stuff they love, and out time is spent in the same manner as they spend theirs -- playing withand caring for all the same stuff. We watch the same TV shows and movies, listen to much of the same music, wear the same clothing, use all the same products, and have similar opinions about most things. This cannot be (emphasis mine); not if we expect to have any moral authority to share Christ with those who don't know him" (26-27).