An Attention Catching Title for a Captivating Book
Timothy J. Stoner is a conundrum for me. Having a some similarity in backgrounds, I found it easy in some respects to relate to his thoughts about how we worship and follow Christ. However, I would characterize this author as anything but typical. I found myself often curious at how he would surprise me by his responses or assessments. I think that is part of the appeal of his writing. You have a difficult time putting him in a box; which is how he describes God.
Stoner holds to reformed theology and believes strongly in a sovereign God. He is also a strong advocate of social justice, particularly when it concerns orphans around the world. I think you would have a difficult time pinning a particular label politically on him, but you definitely understand his theological positions as he writes throughout the book.
There were two chapters in particular which impacted me the most: Chapter 11 – Dancing in the Dark and Chapter 13 – David’s Dance. The first one deals with realizing the God-giving gifts and potential that lies at the core of our being. The latter discusses through Stoner’s own personal experiences, how the love of Christ in a believer goes beyond sin and uncomfortable lifestyle choices and to the heart of relationships – particularly difficult ones.
While this book is characterized as a response to questions surrounding the Emergent Church, I came away from reading it feeling like Stoner ruffled some of my feathers and caused me to think about some issues in my own life in a deeper way. I highly recommend this book as a very good read, particularly if you appreciate having someone lightly jar your thoughts and opinions.