Mar 12, 2012

Immediate Transfer to new Domain

Hello everyone.

I have yet to complete construction of the new site, but it is running well enough as is. You can change your bookmarks to

If you subscribe via reader, you can now subscribe by

You can also follow on twitter @seekingakingdom and on facebook

This domain, will soon forward completely to the new domain within 7 days. If you enter this address it will send you to the new site.

If you are a blogger and you currently link to Deliver Detroit, I will be re-routing the domain and forwarding it on. Please update your blog roll to reflect the name and domain change. I am grateful for your links and would like to keep them coming!

See you all there!

Mar 9, 2012

Reading through the eyes Jesus gave you, the Jesus Lens

Buy now at Amazon.Com!How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture by Michael James Williams, Zondervan, 2012, 288 pages. Interest Group: Christianity/Bible/Reference

An Amazon search for "how to read the bible" yields an easy 5,529 results! Add some other search parameters and you are bound to expand that number exponentially. No question about it, there are plenty of books on reading the bible.

Methodological, pedagogical, philological, or just plain introductory methods can all explain how to get into and read the bible. What many believers would benefit from the most is reading the bible effectively. Scholars of all sorts can explain to you the content and intent of religious literature, regardless of their creed or allegiance, but the true effectiveness of reading the bible is found in doing it, internalizing it, and obeying it.

How to Read the Bible through the Jesus Lens: A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture is Michael Williams' attempt to remove the hype and the proverbial fluff and get to the nuts and bolts of understanding scripture. If you are disciple of Jesus Christ, it should be a no-brainer. However, this is not always the case. Fundamentally, Jesus is the one who has enabled us to see the truth of his words, it is through him we should read the truth of scripture.

I elected to review the book and the author's insights as he views the letters of John through the Jesus Lens. The author of John's gospel makes his agenda clear from the onset, the deity of Christ. The Jesus Lens tells us that we must see through the events of this gospel and discover the Father in the Son. Likewise the Son in the Father is a revelation that is important to the life of the disciple. Because of this union with each other, Jesus is divine and human. Without the perfection of deity, the imperfection of humanity could not be redeemed.

The epistles also attributed to John reveal the importance of truth and obedience to that truth. It is the Jesus Lens that again demonstrates the physical manifestation of God's love through the human presence of the divine son. Jesus Christ sets forth the standard and the instructions that enable us to follow in his footsteps. In other words, practicing the life he enables us to do through the life that he lived here on earth. This same revelation of truth and similitude to Jesus Christ is found in the refutation of error and the behavior we provide toward others, hospitality.

Williams' has done many old and new believers alike a great favor. He has pared down the truths of each book of the bible and allowed us to view them through the Jesus Lens. With a summary, contemporary application, and reference to how to read each book with Jesus as our interpreting lens, William's has developed an excellent tool. Whether you use it as a desk reference or a review tool after finishing a book in the bible, this book is very helpful for reminding us to see Jesus in all things, including our bible reading plans.

I received this book from Zondervan for the purpose of review. No books were harmed in the reviewing of this book.

Mar 4, 2012

What did Jesus teach? Commandments or Suggestions?

The Commands of Christ: What it Really Means to Follow Jesus, by Tom Blackaby, B & H Books , 2012, 176 pages. Interest Group: Religion/Personal Study/New Testament

The name of Tom Blackaby may not ring familiar in too many popular circles. If you knew of his father, Henry Blackaby and appreciated his work, you will appreciate Tom's also. They both establish themselves in their writing with a penchant for dedication to the instruction of God, and the fellowship that brings with it.

In his work, The Commands of Christ: What It Really Means to Follow Jesus, Blackaby sets out to establish parameters of Christian living, as spoken through the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ. With some introduction and very little pomp, Blackaby outlines the direction of the Christian's life by establishing a system. The system in this book introduces the command, quotes the scriptures from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, and then explains them in a practical manner. After reading each command and it's explanation, Blackaby ensures the reader of a modern explanation to apply personally in our own context.

Other reviewers have commented on the simplistic nature of the outline method Blackaby utilizes. I think this apparent weakness actually serves as a strength to be replicated by other authors treating similar topics. Although it is near impossible to avoid authorial bias in any work, Blackaby serves the text well by remaining without dogmatic denominational interpretation. At the end of the day, Blackaby aims to teach his readers the importance and simplicity of adhering to the commands of the Lord. He is also careful to ensure we remember the importance and distinguishing characteristics of those who claim to follow Jesus, that "if we love him, we will keep his commandments."

I received this book from B & H Books for the purpose of review. No books were harmed in the reviewing of this book.

Jan 20, 2012

Remnants of Deliver Detroit?

As I prepare the new blog, I am pilfering the blog archives of Deliver Detroit. I am looking at articles, revising, reshaping, or scrapping them altogether. I wanted to survey the readers that are still here, yes, even those from Uzbekistan, and see if there were any favorite posts, series, or articles that you enjoyed reading over the years.

If you would like to, please email me at thegospelisgood[at]h0tmai1[dot]c0m, or use the contact tab above to send a message.

Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon!

Jan 4, 2012

For all my loyal readers, I have an update concerning the blog. For all the loyal site bots and useless traffic links I get from Uzbekistan, well, I don't know what to say to you. Thanks for all the useless traffic?

I have been preparing new material for the blog I originally aimed to recreate on a WordPress theme in November. That did not happen. Good news is, I passed my licensing exam, and the semi-minute break I took helped in that regard. However, the blog theme is not ready. I hope it will be up and running by March 1st.

Until then, if I have any blazing insights or new book reviews I am itching to post, you will still see them here.

See you soon!

Dec 31, 2011

Three reasons New Year's 2012 is not that big a deal

Armageddon is upon us. Ironically, only one second separates us from the final year of civilization. Or some would think right?

With a year full of end-time rapture predictions and prophecies finding fulfillment in the termination of the Aztec calendar who knows what to believe anymore? After all, it seems that the world is the same as it always was right?

Tonight at 11:59:59 pm., the clock will most assuredly flip to 12:00:00 am. and we will move from the year 2011 A.D. to 2012 A.D.

How much will change for you in that singular second?

According to world population studies it is estimated much will change in that singular second. At least one person dies each second. The second separating 2011 from 2012 will not change that fact.

So as many of us sit and ponder new year resolutions, books in review, and the world in news photographs, let us remember a few things.

1. The difference between this year and next is irrelevant if you are not living with purpose. That is a purpose that profits you through focusing on treasuring eternal reward. Be careful not to confuse temporal prosperity with godly approval of your efforts.
Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (Jas 4:13-17)
2. Your ability to provide for you or your family does not equate to trusting God for your provision. It is easy to feel like everything is okay when your anxieties are calmed with full cupboards, warm beds, and ample clothing. This past year may have been harder than most, but it still is not as hard as it can get. It can be even more difficult if you truly find yourself counting the cost of discipleship.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Mat 6:33-34)

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted... (2Ti 3:12a)
and last but not least,

3. The way you live your life determines the reason why you live it. Many of us will get caught up in the daily grind and forget our purpose. Our public lives are easy to mask and putting up a facade is an easily accomplished task. We must measure our resolve to be godly by the private lives we live. It is then, and only then, that the facade comes down and the testimony that is you speaks plainly of the gospel. Every second is one in which we might perish. This must direct our actions.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Tit 2:11-14)
This New Year's Eve. I encourage you to not just reflect on the year in review, or the one coming ahead, but  on every fleeting second that surges by in the blink of an eye. Remember also that it is not that which we have lost this past year that will matter as long as we consider that which we stand to gain in the life eternal.

The time between 11:59:59 pm. and 12:00:00 am. might be the final second you experience. At least it will  be for someone.

Thanks for reading.

*If you are not a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you have found this article to be of use to you, please let me encourage you to understand there is no philosophy of life embedded in these thoughts. If I share these perspectives with you outside of the hope that is found in the forgiveness of sin, the salvation of mankind, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I live and speak both in vain. Please consider reviewing this presentation of the message of Jesus Christ at Two Ways to Live. I have found this to be the most useful statement of what the gospel means.

Oct 31, 2011

Book Review: Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (Revised Edition) by John Piper

Following on the heels of a successful publishing the past 25 years, John Piper has again revisited one of his most popular works, Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Originally published in 1986, this book has been the go-to manual of what John Piper defines as Christian Hedonism.

Having never completed reading an entire John Piper book, I was not surprised to see it read like he speaks. John's book touches on many critical issues effecting the Christian in today's context. John has appropriately revised this entry to accommodate the advent of modern technology, the new ails of our age, and added an additional chapter to include, "Suffering: The Sacrifice of Christian Hedonism." Concisely, academically, and scholastically, John defends his thesis, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" throughout the entire text. John Piper also sufficiently demonstrates the story behind his passion for Christian Hedonism, and propagating it amongst brothers and sisters everywhere.

I had a difficult time engaging the book and being motivated to read it. It was not so much that the material or topic nature was not engaging itself, it is that I just found it a bit dry. I suppose John Piper may be able to level the accusation of anti-hedonist toward me at this point. Even though the premise of the book, and "Christian Hedonism" is to find joy in God, and thus draw God's satisfaction in you, it challenges some of the paradigms of the modern Christians faith.

John Piper demonstrates that the Christian life is easily seen as sacrificial in  many regards. He also challenges the adage that finding joy in the "less-than" lifestyle Christ calls his disciples to lead is not itself as controversial as one might find. After all, having true joy in Christ is dying for him, storing up for yourself treasure in heaven. Knowing that there is reward for your temporal loss is at the center of John Piper's Christian Hedonism.

I enjoyed the book, but I am not sure I have been converted to Christian Hedonism just yet! Nor am I ready to call myself a Christian Hedonist. There is plenty of sound advice and good strong scriptural support for John Piper's Christian Hedonism. I also have now been afforded a glimpse into the "Desiring God" battle cry John is so well known for. With the addition of another chapter, and a group study guide, this book is worth the purchase for those who have never experienced it, and for those who have previous versions. A refreshing updated Desiring God will not disappoint!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review!