Packed full of stories about the human condition, this book of insightful sermons based largely on texts from Paul's letter to the Romans will be invaluable to preachers, teachers, and laypersons. Readers will serendipitously find marvelous results when one acts in faith on the "absurd" notion that God loves us unconditionally. These messages from an outstanding preacher demonstrate that when we follow the example of Paul and faithfully try to become what God created us to be, wonderful things begin to happen!
Gary Carver moves beyond those who find Paul's words to be complex and rigid. He gives to us examples in which Paul's timeless and deep theological concepts are used to address the struggles of contemporary Christians sensitively.... From teenage athletes to contacts in Alcoholics Anonymous to couples struggling with marriage and a host of other human experiences, Carver profoundly recalls experiences that illustrate Paul's insistence that one can experience a changed life in Christ. (from the Foreword)
Harold C. Warlick Jr.
Professor of Religion and Minister to the University
High Point University
With a scholarly understanding of the Pauline writings, Gary Carver uses his masterful skills as a storyteller to bring the biblical accounts to life. His treatment of each passage is brought to a climax with probing ethical insight and deeply moving personal application. Both laypersons and preachers will benefit greatly from a reading of these prophetic sermons laced with marvelous illustrations.
Thomas H. Graves
President, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond
To experience the preaching of Gary Carver is to find oneself in a gallery of living illustrations, all pointing to Jesus Christ. No cookie-cutter preacher, this gifted communicator is endowed both with uncommon insight into the human predicament and God's absurdly fetching grace. Read this book and discover God's spirit calling you to a more meaningful, involved following of Jesus.
Timothy L. Owings
Pastor, First Baptist Church
Gary Carver has a vivid sense of the wonder God creates in everyday life, and he has a keen eye for the human condition.... His insight into the Bible and into the heart of its stories always finds the underlying story of hope, even in the most hopeless-looking of situations. His discoveries, then, make it seem quite natural and sensible to "act on the absurd."
Director of Field Education
Harvard Divinity School
Gary L. Carver is pastor of First Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He has also served as pastor of churches in Alabama and Indiana. Carver is a graduate of Samford University (B.A.) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. and D.Min.) and has done additional graduate study at Candler School of Theology and Harvard Divinity School. He has been widely published in a variety of church and clergy publications, and is the author of Distinctively Different and Out From the Ordinary (CSS).
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