03 April 2008

the faith (3)

Charles Colson, The Faith (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008).

Chapter Three: He Has Spoken

One of the more enjoyable aspects of the book thus far is the number of stories which are drawn from a wide range of church history - from the first centuries of the church to current events.  It is makes for a more interesting read to see these events aligned with various aspects of the basics of Christian belief.  And it is probably a good introduction to younger believers of the rich history of the church as well as reminding a good many others (myself included more often than not) that this heritage does exist and holds great value.  That is to say, the faith is more than the lines of the biblical text (narratively speaking).

This chapter speaks to the historicity and authority of the Bible.  Like every chapter in the book, Colson works through the material quickly and briefly.  He spends very little time (too little, perhaps) on defining inspiration - so little, in fact, that the primary audience will no doubt be scratching their heads over it once they have put the book down.  It is a given that
 such an approach is necessary for the book, but this also requires a stronger approach that is exhibited on this point.

Otherwise, the chapter reads like a quick-fact guide to the canon: its authority, assembly, and a few other surrounding issues (e.g. archeology and textual integrity).  Once again, the chapter moves deliberately to the ability for these foundations of the faith to transform the individual.  Again, he calls upon some famous points in church history to back this up (Augustine, St Anthony, Luther) before adding his own vignette of affirmation.

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