Religion - Christian Life
You gotta love a title like this: The Necessity of an Enemy. Ron Carpenter, Jr., pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center in South Carolina, says to welcome the enemies in your life. He takes this seemingly contradictory idea and runs with it, stretching it out to book length. I really do like the idea of the book, but it seemed like he was trying to extend a sermon to be long enough to justify a book.
Here's the central theme: "enemies are indicators, announcements, clues, that there's something great inside you yet to be born." David faced his enemy, Goliath, and went on to greater glory. Moses faced Pharaoh, leading to his leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Jesus faced Satan in the desert, subsequently launching his ministry. The appearance of the enemy in these cases indicated a new, greater stage of ministry than they had before. The enemy could be internal, or it could be opposition or oppression from outside. The greater the opposition, the greater the opportunity to grow, learn, and be more powerfully used by God.
Throughout the book Carpenter weaves an account of his own experience, in which he and his church got bilked by a scam artist who ran off with over a million dollars of his church members' money. He was excoriated by the press, shunned in the community, and rejected by many in his own church. He writes that the whole ugly, painful situation gave him a great opportunity to learn, to correct his own priorities, and to expand his ministry.
All things to work together for the good of those who trust God, and in our trials and tribulations we are refined and perfected. While the message is on target, Carpenter manages to dilute it with his disjointed exposition and his Joel Osteen-like self-help tone. While Carpenter is, apparently, seen around the world on TBN, I have never seen his show or heard of him; I would be interested to know whether his teachings tend toward the prosperity Gospel, or are more theologically and biblically sound. Based on this book, I suspect the former.
Juvenile Fiction - Religious - Christian - Fantasy
Fiction - Christian - General