As believers, our walk with God is motivated by hope-not the bland, vague notion most people have, but the expectation of an exotic, pleasurable inheritance that guides us and fires our passion...or, at least, should.
Ted Dekker has written an exposÃ© on the death of pleasure within the Church. Because many of us have set aside hope and the inspired imagination that drives it, Dekker says we have been lulled into a slumber of boredom, even despondency. Our faith wanes, the joy at having been liberated fades, and we feel powerless. The Slumber of Christianity explores what robs us of happiness and how we can rediscover it and live lives that rekindle hope. The pursuit of pleasure is a gift to all humans-a function of the Creator himself, who is bent upon our happiness.
It's time for Christians to reclaim our inheritance of pleasure. The Slumber of Christianity will inflame hearts toward full-fledged, mind-expanding encounters with hope, through the imagination.
In his debut nonfiction work following a plethora of successful novels (White; Three), Dekker exhorts Christians to wake up and find genuine happiness in cultivating a deep desire for heaven. Although he argues that Christians should enjoy the pleasures of earth as a "foretaste" of heaven, he cautions that these pleasures should not be mistaken for the real thing. Relying heavily on C.S. Lewis and the Apostle Paul, he makes a case for hope as the "engine of life." Satan, he says, has redirected our obsession away from God and heaven by filling our minds with earthly things. With the relentless zeal of an evangelist, Dekker illustrates many of his points with excerpts from his novels and from scripture, but his thought flow is sometimes problematic. He offers three practical ideas for setting one's mind on heaven-meditations, readings and corporate exercises-but fails to satisfactorily flesh them out. Although Dekker clearly has a sincere passion for his topic, Mark Buchanan's "Things Unseen" and Arthur Roberts's "Exploring Heaven" are better choices to excite desire for the afterlife.
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July 04, 2005
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