Author Archives: Clas Jönsson

Clas lives in Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from Stockholm University 2011 with a degree in Social Work. At the moment he works as a unemployment officer for the Unemployment Agency. He's a member of Bethlehem Church where he serves as a home group leader and he helps leads services. Theologically he's Reformed in a Lutheran church, being such a hybrid you might mistake him for a Anglican sometimes.

Book Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

This is hardly a theological book as most will know. However it a thought provoking classic that makes for good roundtable talks so hence why it is reviewed here. This is a political satire of the highest tier (pun intended for those who speak German). The flow of the book is very fast paced and you’ll blow through the book in no-time. Despite being all animals the characters becoming engaging and it is a fun story.

The basic plot is that animals treated poorly on a farm revolt against their human overlords. The pig Napoleon assumes leadership and institutes a new rule called animalism. The leadership gets corrupted over time and eventually Napoleon becomes the dictatorial ruler over the farm and is not much different from the previous human rulers.

This bought ought to be a mandatory book not just in literature but also in politics class. George problematizes revolutionary forms of government and have good thoughts about power and it’s tendency to corrupt. Animal Farm is a spot on satire of the Soviet Union – particularly under Stalin – but it’s so much more than that. As any good satire it stays relevant and applicable in many other conditions. Regardless of where you are on the political scale read this book and be challenged by it.

Freedom must always be highly valued and not be taken for granted. 10/10

Book Review: Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher

The revival and resurgence of Calvinism within evangelical christianity is a amazing thing. A shallow and superficial evangelicalism have come to embrace solid biblical theology and the fact that theology matters. Much ink has been spilled on this subject both lauding the resurgence and also pointing out its problematic sides. Greg Dutcher postulates that there is a danger that we Calvinist ourself can run the risk of killing Calvinism.

In eight chapters he take on the subject:
1. By Loving Calvinism as an End in Itself
2. By Becoming a Theologian Instead of a Disciple
3. By Loving God’s Sovereignty More Than God Himself
4. By Losing an Urgency in Evangelism
5. By Learning Only from Other Calvinist
6. By Tidying Up the Bible’s “Loose Ends”
7. By Being an Arrogant Know-It-All
8. By Scoffing at the Hang-ups Others Have with Calvinism

Greg writes in a warm and down to earth way and builds his arguments in both biblical and historical ways. Greg seem to have a heart for theology and life being in harmony and that bleeds into his writing. This little book is a labour of love Greg has made for his fellow Calvinist which also is noticeable when you read it. It’s not just tender though, the warnings he give are a real and present danger. Each chapter ends with a written prayer related to the subject he just dealt with. So true to its intent the book is not merely head knowledge but also practical. I recommend the book to any Calvinist, particularly those of us who love filling our heads with knowledge from our huge stacks of books. The book deserves a resounding 10/10.

Book review: Sanctification in the everyday By John Piper

This book is the transcription of three sermons by John Piper on sanctification. It is abundantly made clear is that sanctification is the result of justification. In the preface one of Pipers quotes is highlighted to point to this:

“The only sin we can defeat is a forgiven sin”

In this there sermons Piper delivers four acronyms that are worthwhile sharing.

ANTHEM – For fighting lust
Avoid
say No
Turn to something magnificent
Hold the pure thing in mind

APTAT – For the everyday challenges
Acknowledge that apart from Christ you can’t do anything of eternal value
Pray to God for help for loving others and that grace may reign in me
Trust in the promises of God
Act in obedience to God’s word
Thank God for whatever good may have come through me

IOUS – For reading the Bible
Incline, my soul needs a inclination towards God and his Word
Open, pray for a open heart
Unite, unite my fragmented heart
Satisfy, I want to be satisfied by God

AIMS – For Christ-consciousness throughout the day
Alive – Jesus is alive!
In – Jesus is in me!
Mighty – Jesus is mighty!
Satisfying – Jesus is satisfying!

These sermons are absolutely good, sound and biblical. The acronyms are helpful, though the two middle ones sound more like something from a military command center than something to memorize. Piper is to be lauded for in his ministry reminding God’s people of the satisfaction in God and this runs through these sermons. But the question is what the purpose of this book is. It’s three sermons stitched together with only being the same theme. This could have been done better. The sermons could have been used as a source material for a short book on sanctification. The material is good but the execution is lacking.

Therefore i give it 6/10. The book is free for download at Desiring God. Despite the low grade i recommend it if you have the time since the content is good.

Book review: Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz [Spoiler alert]

I read this book as part of the Challies reading challenge for 2017. Go search for it if you’re unaware of it, it’s a great thing for book lovers. Quo Vadis is historical fiction at its best. This is a thrilling historical novel with strong biblical strokes.

It takes place in Rome during the 60 A.D. The main character is Vinicius, a young Roman patrician who falls in love with the Christian girl Lygia. When you know whats gonna happen historically the question is whats gonna happen to the main characters.  Vinicius is drawn to the Christian faith because of Lygia and will eventually become Christian. But he will still struggle with his earlier life as Roman patrician. Emperor Nero is a autocratic demagog that goes deeper and deeper into madness. These character arcs is one of the greatest strengths of this book.

We get to see different struggles and tensions within the church but also we get to see the gospel proclaimed in ancient Rome. Vinicius eventually get to meet both Peter and Paul. Their lines are in big parts based on what they say in the Bible in the gospels and letters. For example as Paul is taken to be executed he rejoices to have finished his race. Before we get to know the Christians we get to see them from Roman perspective with all the myths and prejudices surrounding the early church. But eventually Vinicius will end upp thinking:

“What kind of God is this, what kind of religion is this, and what kind of people are these?”

Nero -the ruler of the world- tries to annihilate the church. But he dies and the church lives on. This becomes the climax of the book.

“And so Nero passed, as a whirlwind, as a storm, as a fire, as war or death passes; but the church of Jesus Christ rules until now, from that city, every city, and throughout the world, for all eternity.”

Amen!

The book gets a solid 10/10