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Posted April 30, 2011
The book's subtitle "Finding God's Grace in the Boundaries He Sets" describes it well. The author, Philip Carlson, explains how God's laws are like guardrails on the sides of a steep mountain road. They are meant to protect us, not to burden us. God's love is "written in stone" to protect our relationships with Him and with other people. His commandments are given to keep us healthy, spiritually and physically. Carlson discusses topics ranging from sex to stewardship.
Dr. Carlson shares encouragement and hope from a combination of science and God's Word. He also opens up about experiences from his life, his medical practice, and his work as a pastor. It was a good combination of logic, wisdom, application, and experience.
I was drawn to this book because I want to understand more of God's grace. I want to understand it with my heart not just my mind. A quote Dr. Carlson shares from Jonathon Edwards sums it up, "He who has only doctrinal knowledge and theory, without affection, is never as engaged in the goodness of faith." I was challenges and encouraged as I read Love Written in Stone.
Disclosure: I received book free from Bethany House Book Reviewers' program. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Posted April 25, 2011
In Love Written in Stone, Dr. Philip Carlson provides readers with a new perspective on the laws of God. While some might see them as limiting or legalistic-especially in the individualistic, Western culture that idealizes personal freedom-Carlson shows that those boundaries set by God are really an expression of love. Carlson deals with issues regarding the health of the self, of relationships, and of creation; by combining Biblical knowledge with recent scientific research, he shows the truth and wisdom behind the ancient precepts. Carlson explains in Love Written in Stone that by seeking a relationship with God and obeying His laws, we can find health of body, mind, and spirit.
In reading Love Written in Stone, one can easily see the true depth of spiritual maturity and insight found in Carlson's writing. Through his experiences as a doctor and a pastor, he has gained a breadth of knowledge in both medicine and theology that makes a work such as this possible. This combination of the scientific and the spiritual also lends itself to convincing those that might doubt the wisdom of the Biblical laws. The writing is affecting without being preachy; Carlson maintains a learned tone even as he writes for every person, no matter their background or status. By the end of the book, one has a new perspective on the love that comes with boundaries, that ultimate love that comes from God.
I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for review. All of the opinions in this review are my own.
Posted April 14, 2011
This book takes a deep look at what God tells us to do from a medical perspective. I'm not just talking about the Ten Commandments or old school Levitical rules but commandments of God in general. Some examples have to do with love, joy, happiness, not worrying, etc. Even though the author is a medical doctor, he does not complicate things too much or put big medical words in his writing. Things are easy to understand, and various Bible references are made with some actually quoted on the page (something I personally like). If you're looking for a scientific dissertation on Leviticus, this book isn't for you. However, if you'd like to know how following God will made you a little better, have fun reading this.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2011
What happens when God is not in His rightful place in my life? The underlying theme in Philip Carlson's book Love Written in Stone is to show that God has a purpose in every law He provided. He desires to protect our relationships with Him and each other as well as protecting ourselves and preventing damage. The purpose of the book is to evaluate aspects of the best possible life using scientific discoveries to show God's kindness in giving us instructions by which to live. He explains the reason for addictions, loneliness, isolation, and guilt, and cites scientific evidence (for the not-too-scientifically minded) to demonstrate that God's ways and obedience to Him are the most healthy and happy way to live. The book divides God's instructions into four categories: our relationship with Him, our relationships with others (sexuality, commitment, sense of belonging, parenting), caring for ourselves (wellness, effects of sin, importance of rest), and our relationship to creation. Overall, this book was easy to read. The book didn't feel much like a scientific approach, likely because the author presumed his audience did not consist of scientists. The non-scientist does not need be intimidated by the 'science' of this book because it is not bogged down with citations, theories, data, or analyses. When I selected this book to read, I thought it would answer my questions on which of God's laws are applicable to me today and the meaning behind the strange and obscure commands; however, these issues were not addressed. I found mixed messages throughout the book, and at one point I was given the understanding that obeying God's ways would lead to a happy and safe life, only to discover in later chapters that the author means the "best possible life", even though discipleship is actually costly and the road is not easy. Despite my confusion, assumptions, and presuppositions that needed to be dispelled, I found this book a delight to read. The epilogue was my favorite chapter that wrapped up the entire message of the book. Our purpose is to glorify God, become what He created us to be, and to engage in kingdom-building activity. We find the greatest contentment, fullness, and joy when we know that we are doing what we were created to do. Ultimately, the reader will see that God's commands are not just means of God controlling us or keeping us from having fun, but ways He guides us to the best life and to see ourselves how God sees us. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a book review.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.