Thursday, August 27, 2015

Born Again by Jim Barringer

Ever since President Jimmy Carter said he was “born again,” the term has been used a great deal. But just what does it mean?

Barringer lays a good foundation, establishing why we are no longer who God created us to be, and why Jesus said (to Nicodemus) we must be born again. I like his ideas on identity. Apart from God, we will never be who we were intended to be as our identity comes from Him. Barringer's thoughts on God's jealousy were enlightening. I am glad he confronted the myth of people being born good. He also writes about sins but, oddly enough, defines sins well after he has written much about them. I did, however, really like his discussion as it gave me a new understanding of sin.

The rest of the book is about the process of living out being born again, loving God and loving our neighbor. His thoughts on loving God and how to love Him more were great. His thoughts on loving my neighbor were very convicting and insightful.

This would be a good book for new Christians or for people who have been Christians for a while but long for a new understanding of what it all means. It would also be a good book for use in an evangelism type of group, introducing nonChristians to the idea of being born again and what it all means. The Bible is used quite a bit so the leader of an evangelistic might first want to lay the groundwork for believing the Bible is actually the Word of God first.

I, as a Christian for over 50 years, also found some really good material in this book that was convicting. Barringer's definition of sin was new to me and made me much more aware of sin in my own life. I would recommend every Christian read this book just for that section alone. He has a section on gay marriage that really made me think a while. I'm not sure I like what he said but it was certainly thought provoking. He also speculates a little about eternity, saying God “will celebrate our diversity by letting us retain our languages, but meld us into one by allowing us to understand every language.” That and much more is food for discussion.

There are very good discussion questions at the end of each chapter so this book would be a good choice for a group study. It's a thought provoking book and Christians, new and old, would benefit from reading it.

Jim Barringer is a worship leader, teacher, author, traveler, and speaker, serving at The Church of Life in Orlando, Florida. He has a Masters degree from South Western Seminary. He and his wife have one daughter. You can find out more on Facebook and follow his blog here.

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of the book from the author for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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