Saturday, January 16, 2016
“Gifted Mind” provides the reader with a fascinating story of the invention and development of the MRI for non-invasive and early detection of cancer. It also serves as an autobiography of Dr. Raymond Damadian and a discussion of the relationship between Christian faith and science. In particular, there is a discussion of the increasing realization of competent scientists that evolution has little scientific support.
I enjoyed reading the book. I have both a science background and theology background and could appreciate much of what Dr. Damadian has to say. I could identify with him when he discovers a ‘truth’ of God’s created order and the resultant praise to God for allowing him to see it and to pass it on for the benefit of mankind. I very much appreciated the time he took to explain how difficult it is to overcome the skepticism of critics over new ideas and the tenacity it takes to continue to pursue to completion an idea when there are so many obstacles.
A major part of the book discusses how God’s truth is made known through faith. Much of what he says is true, but he is more of a scientist than a theologian. Some of his discussion of scripture lacks theological precision. One example is his explanation (p.220) of John 8:32 “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” After explaining that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, he says that the incarnation of Jesus “opened the previously inaccessible doorway to His truth and to its incomparable power – the power made available only by Him.” And yet many non-believers also have great minds and discover truths about how the created universe works. This is what theologians call common grace. Romans 1 and Psalm 19:1 are two passages that make it clear all creation reflects God’s glory and is known by everyone. The context for the truth referred to in John 8:32 are Pharisees who refuse to believe Jesus as the son of God. The truth is our bondage to sin, and only in Christ can we be set free from it.
There is much documentation in the book that serves to make the point that Dr. Damadian was the originator of the idea to use NMR to do a full body scan and of the method of detecting cancer using the two time relaxation parameters, but there was much repetition in this and I think less documentation might have been less self-serving. At times the book felt more like reading a personal journal of someone struggling with the world’s lack of recognition for his ideas and appreciation for the struggles he went through to make them reality.
Notwithstanding these weaknesses, the book is a worthwhile read for those interested in reconciling faith and science, which are often pitted against one another. My hat is off to you Dr. Damadian!
I received this book for free from Master Books in exchange for an honest review.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Rediscovering Discipleship is not a quick read book but is a book I will add to my review yearly list. I have read other valuable books on discipleship (Down to Earth Discipling by Scott Morton, Disciple by Bill Clem, Follow Me by David Platt) but what really struck me in this book were three things.
First, Robby Gallaty is not dispensing a formula for making mature disciples of Christ, but carefully laying a foundation for an understanding of the process that can be applied to situations in local churches. Not until the last chapter does he really tell us what discipleship looks like in his situation.
Second is the substantial amounts of material helping to establish the context for a definition of discipleship. Not only is there a chapter on thinking like a Hebrew, but several chapters that describe the history of how the church has understood and practiced discipleship and how our current culture and bible translations help and/or hinder this understanding. Included in this discussion is a helpful discussion on the differences between John Wesley and George Whitfield.
Third is the emphasis that spiritual growth happens more solidly in groups than in one-on-one mentoring. He comes to this conclusion not only by experience but by observing how Jesus discipled his disciples.
Robby Gallaty has done well what he set out to do: help us gain an understanding of discipleship that has largely been lost in our churches today.
I received this book free from Zondervon in exchange for an honest review