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Paul F. Evans

Wilmington, NC, US
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  • reviews
  • 16
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  • 54
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  • Can Man Live without God

  • By: Ravi Zacharias
  • Narrated by: Ravi Zacharias
  • Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119

With forceful logic, insightful illustrations, and passionate conviction, Ravi Zacharias shows how affirming the reality of God's existence matters urgently in everyday life. According to Zacharias, how you answer the question of God's existence will have a profound effect on the way you live your life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it.

  • By Mark on 04-20-07

Horrible Audio

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-17

I persevered with this because I like Ravi Zacharias... but I could barely hear him at times because the audio was awful. I could have done better with a cassette recorder in a moving car.

  • Hidden But Now Revealed

  • A Biblical Theology of Mystery
  • By: G. K. Beale, Benjamin L. Gladd
  • Narrated by: Michael Quinlan
  • Length: 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

This audiobook explores the biblical conception of mystery as an initial, partially hidden revelation that is subsequently more fully revealed, shedding light not only on the richness of the concept itself, but also on the broader relationship between the Old and New Testaments. Exploring all the occurrences of the term mystery in the New Testament and the topics found in conjunction with them, this work unpacks how the New Testament writers understood the issue of continuity and discontinuity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book. Irritating narration

  • By JCW on 07-15-15

Disappointing!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-14-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The reader should be someone who at least knows the books of the Bible and what the standard abbreviations are. For example this reader kept saying Roman (Romans), and Revelations (Revelation). The reader in a technical book on the Bible which requires reading transliterations of the original languages should have some affinity for acceptable and standard pronunciation. Furthermore, these books do not exit in the Bible, Hosa, Josiah, Zephoriah, and Philistines. Yes, I listened several times and that is what he said. And by the way it is pronounced Colossae, not Colossai, and it should be allusion, not illusion, or elusion (over and over).

What was most disappointing about G. K. Beale and Benjamin L. Gladd ’s story?

I am a huge fan of Beale, but this book is full of overreach to make the biblical material fit the thesis. Beale's constant reference to the uncertainty of scholars and then just stating his opinion without really establishing the point being made, was wearing. Furthermore to move from a disputed and not properly supported conclusion to an "if this is right then this can be said" argument is weak. I think Beale has made to much of the term "mystery" and has attempted bend everything else (almost into a pretzel in some cases) into the shape required to meet the thesis stated at the beginning. While I think Paul did in fact have Daniel 11 in mind when he spoke of the mystery of lawlessness in 1 Thess. 2, I cannot for the life of me see how it can be reasonably deduced that he was consciously employing Daniel 2 in Ephesians 1, 2, 5, Colossians 1 and in the Corinthian passages, and it is a stretch to say he was consciously employing Daniel 2 in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Quinlan’s performances?

Not at all for a book of this nature.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, I think it dealt with an issue that was interesting and helpful to me in several places, but the assertions were such a stretch in others places that it frustrated me.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Surprised by Scripture

  • Engaging Contemporary Issues
  • By: N. T. Wright
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128

Bishop, Bible scholar, and best-selling author N. T. Wright here provides a series of case studies on how to apply the Bible to the pressing issues of today. Among the topics Wright addresses are the intersection of religion and science, why women should be allowed to be ordained, what we get wrong and how we can do better when Christians engage in politics, why the Christian belief in heaven means we should be at the forefront of the environmental movement, and many more.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Previously published chapters compiled to a book

  • By Adam Shields on 06-10-14

Wright or Wrong!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-07-15

If you could sum up Surprised by Scripture in three words, what would they be?

Mostly right on!

Any additional comments?

I must first say that I enjoy N. T. Wright, his writing, his style, his form of expression, and I usually agree with him, about 90% of the time. But this book is flawed, not necessarily in its conclusions, but in its analysis of American evangelicalism, and I think, in some of its eschatology.

Wright was mostly right on with his scriptural analysis, in my opinion. With a few exceptions, I agreed with his theology of the kingdom of God, its now, but not yet point of view. I also agreed with his appeal for the church to become more culturally relevant through its implementation of the principles and life of genuine New Testament righteousness, as a result of the transformative power of Christ's death and resurrection (though I am still not sure of all of his views about the death of Christ in terms of atonement).

What I found very disappointing was his continual reference to American Christianity in these essays, especially what he called fundamentalism, as extreme, and politically right (to the extent that it misrepresents the gospel and New Testament). He paints with a very broad brush! His portrayal of virtually all American evangelicalism as wide-eyed fanaticism, focused on escaping the material world, in favor of an eternity in heaven, the rest of it be damned, suffers from gross oversimplification. Indeed, his claim that he has spent some time in America, knowns some American Christians, has debated some Americans Christians in theology, and has read American newspapers, and the like, rings entirely hollow.

To effectively caricature American evangelical Christianity as dangerous, misrepresentative of the intention of God, and in gross error concerning the kingdom of God and indeed the atonement of Christ, simply because it is passionate and politically engaged, more openly and visibly, than, say, in the UK, is to betray his lack of real knowledge of the genuine hearts of millions of ordinary and sincere American Christians. It is a fact that the American church in general is more culturally and politically resistive to what it sees as liberal government policies, than in the UK, but his evaluation does not take into account the generosity and engagement of millions of sincerely committed American Christians, and of thousands of churches that make genuine efforts to meet the needs of disadvantaged people at home and abroad, regardless of their religious affiliation, contributing per capita and in percentage (in the church), far more than the overage church-goer in Europe, liberal or conservative. I can vouch for the fact, that the overwhelming generosity of Americans as a people, displayed not least by the millions of dollars contributed to alleviate the suffering of people world wide, is precisely fueled by their faith and church connections. (Unlike Brits you can check most Americans charitable contributions every year in their tax returns. By contrast, Americans who identify as Christian often give in excess of 10%, (up to 20% is not uncommon) of their income to charity and the church, in contrast to those who identify as liberal, where the percentage is often below 1%). It is a shame that Wright believes the liberal press, and the BBC in particular when they speak authoritatively about the American church and what it believes. It would be equally wrong for me to characterize the British church as so hopelessly anemic as to be virtually irrelevant in the public square, or to a have sufficiently influential enough voice to make even a modest contribution to reversing the decline of British moral culture. That would be an unfair caricature, despite appearances from outside of the UK.

Many of us in the American protestant, evangelical tradition believe in the role of the church, almost exactly as Wright describes it. Fundamentalism is not the only or even the majority constituency in the American church. Furthermore, serious minded believers are not all escapists. Wright leaves the impression that pretty much everyone who is evangelical or fundamentalist has a hopelessly truncated and unsophisticated eschatology, A good number of preachers and teachers do realize that the new heaven and earth will recapitulate the original overlapping dimensions of heaven and earth, and not a perpetual material - "spiritual" dichotomy. Furthermore, the American evangelical church works as hard as it does, is as politically and culturally active as it is, precisely because it does believe in the breaking into this age of the kingdom of God, for the sake of the world that God created. To criticize American evangelicals because their theology leads to passion and action which he considers over the top, presumably in contrast to the the more measured and less confrontational UK model, is to split hairs. Maybe the American church can be a bit brash, but at least it is raising a blip on the radar.

In case, you are wondering, I am a Brit, who came to the United States as an adult. I have lived here 36 years, in the South, where the "radicals" live and move and have their being. If Wright can claim to know the American church in general, I can a least claim to have an acquaintance with the church in its evangelical (radical) heartland! I am a pastor too (30+ yeas), so I do modestly claim credibility for these remarks, although compared to Wright, I am of course small potatoes.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Case for the Real Jesus

  • By: Lee Strobel
  • Narrated by: Lee Strobel
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 219

From college classrooms to best selling books to the Internet, the historic picture of Jesus is under an intellectual onslaught. This fierce attack on the traditional portrait of Christ has confused spiritual seekers and created doubt among many Christians: but can these radical new claims and revisionist theories stand up to sober scrutiny

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Solid

  • By Paul F. Evans on 03-04-13

Solid

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-04-13

Would you listen to The Case for the Real Jesus again? Why?

This is an excellent treatment of the historical evidence, logical implications and conclusions coming from it. The only real way to overcome this carefully presented arguement is to successfully dispute the facts upon which it is constructed. Because the facts are beyond dispute and accepted even by critics of the conclusion, it is hard to see how you can reach any other conclusions than Stroble presents.

Strobel's intellectual honesty and willingness to admit his sketicism at first blush at some responses to his questions, only adds to the strength of the arguments. He often does not take even the third and fourth answers without question. This is a thorough job that demonstrates that Strobel has thought through his subject long before the interviews. He does not let his interviewees off lightly! But he does not adopt an antagonistic tone.

The objection some will raise is that Strobel didn't scream and rant at his interviewees. He treated them respectfully. This will be construed as being soft on the arguements. Obviously Strobel has presuppostions, so he is not going to make a fool of himself by adopting a belligerent approach, just to prove his so called objectivity. But then EVERYONE begins with presuppositions, even skeptics, and skeptics would hardly disqualify themselves on that premise!

All in all this is a good job. I only wish journalists today were as thorough and thoughtful as this when they are covering politics. On average in the news cycle we get nowhere near this level of objective and honest reporting.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful