Category Archives: Books

Confident Humility

Back in October, the always generous Dave Ramsey gave a free copy of his then new Entreleadership book to all 15,000 leaders in attendance at the Catalyst Conference. I had a large reading list at the time but after the prodding of my good friend & CP’s Executive Pastor Matt Kysor, I finally got around to it. I have since read it twice & can’t stop thinking about what I  read.

Of all the things I could takeaway from the book, the one theme I can’t stop thinking about is the idea of confident humility. I don’t believe this is a phrase Ramsey ever uses directly but it’s weaved throughout every page of the personal stories he shares.

Ramsey’s stories show us a person who, through his experience, has recognized he is only as good as his team & the people he places around him. This is confident humility. The confidence comes by creating the team & making the tough decisions that guide the organization. The humility comes by learning from that team as much as we teach them & recognizing we can only do so much on our own.

Confident humility is what separates the Entrepreneurs from the EntreLeaders. These are two different types of people but instead of telling you how Entrepreneurs & EntreLeaders are different, consider this your tease to read the book.

EntreLeadership was an insightful glimpse into the life of an ordinary man who has channeled his passion to do extraordinary things & learned from others along the way. Ramsey’s honesty is refreshing and you finish the book with no doubt that this is truly a leader who practices what he preachers. This is a must read for anyone leading anything.

CV

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BOOK REVIEW: Love Wins

In reality, what I have to say about this book is not really that important. Over the past month, I have seen many who believe their opinion is incredibly important, so much so that they have essentially played God by judging a man & a book they disagree with. This is NOT what I want to do.

I am not God. I am not the judge.

I am human. I am imperfect.

Rather than give you a discourse I have simply decided to tackle 6 popular assumptions the book has generated & take a TRUE/FALSE approach. I have been asked for my opinion & thoughts by many so I felt a responsibility to write this post. This is my perspective & I am willing to recognize it is only a perspective.

I pray my thoughts will enhance your discussion.

TRUE – Rob questions traditional views of Heaven & Hell. Many of us have likely pondered the reality of streets of gold in Heaven or the melting flesh & fire in Hell. Rob tackles these views by examining their context in Scripture.

FALSE – Rob Bell is a Universalist. A true universalist believes that what we do in this life does not matter & that everyone ultimately ends up in Heaven. This is NOT Bell’s view.

TRUE – Rob believes people get a second chance in eternity to accept God’s love. Bell gives us enough Scriptural evidence to have a discussion over the possibility that God’s grace could extend in the afterlife.

FALSE – Rob doesn’t believe in Hell. This is absolutely, unequivocally not true. Bell clearly believes in Hell which to him is a place where we are broken & separated from God.

TRUE – Rob believes Heaven & Hell start now on this earth. This is Bell’s biggest point during the entire book. Rather than looking at eternity as an evacuation point he challenges us to realize the power of our choices now.

FALSE – Rob is an unorthodox, heretic. To say this about Bell would force many to say the same about Billy Graham & C.S. Lewis who, among others, questioned many of the same eternal issues Rob wrestles with in this book.

My challenge to you, if you have any interest in this book, is to read it for yourself instead of basing your opinion on the words of others. Let the book challenge you & then, as one of my friends says, “eat the chicken & throw out the bones.” I have yet to read one human literally work  I have agreed with 100% & Love Wins is no different. What I am certain of is that I am not the judge of who gets in & who doesn’t & neither are you. If Bell’s book brings many of us back to the idea that God is God & we are not, I am more than okay with that.

As always, I welcome your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment.

CV

Why Discussion Matters

Rob Bell’s latest book, Love Wins, (which I have read) has shaken up the church world in ways it hasn’t been shaken-up in years if not decades. The book has been incredibly controversial & opinions have varied, but there has been one common theme: people are actually discussing their beliefs & faith in God. This is a good thing.

Discussion matters because it helps us grow.

Discussion matters because it stretches us.

Discussion matters because it refines us.

Although I was opposed to many of the books early critics for critiquing something they hadn’t even read, there has been a shift towards civilized conversation over the past week from people on both sides of the issue. This has been a welcomed shift from my perspective & one we would all do well to follow in the future. May we remember, that we have people on the outside looking in, & to them, more than almost anyone else, discussion matters because discussion can lead us to God.

CV

Here we go…again.

By now, many of you in the church world have likely heard about Rob Bells upcoming book along with the controversy it’s creating. The controversy was started primarily by the video I’ve attached below. Feel free to watch it & then continue reading my post.

Few people disagree that Rob seems to take a slightly universalistic tone to the Gospel in the video & the publishers description of the book 0nly reinforces that idea. Once the video was released, all hell (oh the irony) broke lose as Christians, once again, hated on one another & tore down a man who has done far more to advance the Gospel of Christ than many of those who will critique him.

I could take many avenues with this post but there is one overwhelming issue that has been gnawing at me since the news came out on Saturday. That issue? One of Christians tearing down other Christians. The book isn’t even out yet & people have already passed their judgement. When will we learn that the constant judgement & critiquing of our fellow brothers  & sisters, only further the stereotypes that Christians hate everyone including those who also happen to be professing Christians?

I don’t agree with ALL of Rob Bells theology then again, I don’t know that there’s ever been a person who’s theology  I  agreed with 100%. What I have always liked about Bell is that he’s a pot stirrer & a thinker. It’s these very two things that have driven many evangelicals crazy & yet this approach has opened doors for healthy conversations that weren’t happening many places before Bell came on the scene. I can’t take up for Bell on this book because, like many of it’s critics, I haven’t read it yet. What I can do is take up for a fellow brother who I feel has been maligned at every turn by many simply for asking questions no one else had the courage to ask.

I will buy the book & I will read the book. I will keep an open mind & remain hopeful that Bell will re-alling himself with orthodox Christianity as he so often does. If he does not, I will be disappointed but no matter what, I will NOT tear him down in judgement like so many others have done & will continue to do. I would hope that many of you will choose to take this path as well for I believe it is the only productive path we can take to enhance the Kingdom of God which is bigger than any theology, book, or individual.

Your comments are welcome.

CV

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Yo Leaders – LEAD!

In his book TRIBES, marketing guru Seth Godin talks about the idea that life is full of people looking for tribes; something they can belong to and connect with. In short, Godin suggests that the reason people stick with a tribe is largely due to the tribe having a leader that is worth following. Someone who won’t let themselves, or the people around them, stay the same.

I wonder if this is one of our biggest problems with church? Maybe the reason the seats aren’t full is because we have a lot of people looking for a tribe without many leaders who are truly worth following.

Leadership requires setting a standard & some people aren’t comfortable with that. They think people will judge them. They think people will talk behind their back. They think people will question their decisions . Guess what? That’s all true but leaders don’t care because leaders are there to lead not win a popularity contest.

If you’re truly a leader these things will start to bother you less and less as you grow into your role. You’ll learn who to let speak into your life & who to block out. Instead of judging people who set the higher standard, you’ll be the one doing the setting & when people talk behind your back, you’ll realize it’s most often because you’re doing something they admire rather than something they hate.

Leaders lead people & I am hopeful that the church can train & equip more leaders who will set the standard high & lead their respective tribes to great heights.

CV