Book Review: Out Of My Mind By W. J. de Kock

March 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Book Reviews, Personal Development, Theology 

A Genuine Change Of Mind
Produces Change In Life

The language de Kock uses is different (regenerative theology) but the meaning is very similar to what we’ve come to know as spiritual formation.

But for de Kock it is more than a theoretical discussion. It’s personal. He lived regeneratively and shares his experience in Out of My Mind.

In this great read, life and theology come together. It combines biographical material – de Kock’s experience of transformation – with theology and history. The theology is modernist with an Apartheid flavor and the history focuses on the recent transformation of the South Africa society.

But all that changed. De Kock’s transformation parallels that of South Africa and the book gives a brief account of both.

One of my favorite words in the book is re-minding. It is another way of saying repentance and de Kock’s case illustrates what that really means.

Because the book contained theology, it was a little dry in places but overall an insightful read.

The book is available in both hard cover and Kindle.

THINK!AboutIt

6 Things To Understand About “Devotion”

Humans are the only birds to flock first and feather later.

Dogma Has A
Short Shelf Life

In the movie, Hoffa, starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito and more, one of the opening scenes has Nicholson and Robert Prosky firebombing a laundry in retaliation to the owner’s refusal to join the union.

Unfortunately, the bombing goes badly wrong and Prosky’s character, Billy Flynn, is caught in the flames. Dying in the hospital, Billy is coaxed to confess by the attending priest. That could be tricky for two reasons.

Billy is convinced he was acting justly, which doesn’t require confession, and more importantly a confession might possibly lead to the conviction of Hoffa and his new sidekick played by DeVito.

Billy’s response is surprising and unexpected.

He looks at the priest, breaths an expletive and then makes an unforgettable quote.

Never let down. Never let up. Never forget.

I don’t know if that really happened but I don’t doubt people have expressed that kind of devotion in the face of life and death situations. I also don’t doubt that Hoffa was able to elicit that kind of devotion.

But here is the point. Devotion is not always what you think.

Generally, we view devotion as an honorable thing and devoted people as committed, reliable and good. In fact, devotion is a popular topic in religious circles and the truly devoted are among the best religion has to offer.

But is that completely accurate? According to Hoffa, devotion can apply to less principled types.

Devotion has a moral sense that doesn’t fall within the boundaries of traditional thinking. People frequently commit themselves to causes, groups and ideologies that are questionable at best. It happens all the time.

And once established, devotional connections are difficult to dislodge, regardless how right or wrong they may be. According to a Michigan study, devotion becomes more resolute in response to challenging facts. The followers of Hoffa didn’t let the law get in the way.

In reality, devotion is just devotion. It’s neither good nor bad, and it has many dimensions to consider. You find it everywhere, even among the unsavory.

Based on that thought we could make some interesting observations about devotion. Read more

5 Guidelines For Making Personal Choices

November 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Personal Development, Personal Failure, Philosophy 

Choice liberates and limits.

The Freedom Of Choice
Should Be Guarded
With Deliberation

Because choice isn’t absolute, because some choices can be hurtful, because wrong choices can retard growth, because the number of choices we have is always reduced by making only one, and they are reduced even more when we make poor choices, we must approach choice-making cautiously, deliberately and judiciously.

The following guidelines are offered to inform the deliberative process: Read more

10 Real Truths About Personal Choice

November 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Personal Development, Philosophy, Truth 

Making one choice is the same as eliminating others.

No Situation Is Void
Of Choice

Freedom is a hot button issue. History would be a very boring, and a short topic if it weren’t for all the skirmishes over personal freedom.

It’s universal. We all want freedom. When we have it we feel independent, unencumbered and unobstructed.

But is that really true?

Closely related to Freedom is Choice. If a person is free, the assumption is they make their own choices.

And that makes sense. Is a person really free if they don’t have choice and isn’t choice one evidence of freedom?

Freedom is the issue but choice is the mechanism.

Neither of these ideas comes without restrictions, though. Rules, conditions and limitations apply. Read more

3 Things That Influence Christian Behavior

November 11, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Christian Living, Personal Development, Personal Failure 

Struggling with bad behavior makes Christians look real, not fraudulent.

You Can Counter
Bad Qualities
With Good Ones
You Can’t Eradicate Them

Have you ever wondered why people act out? I’m talking about the good people, the ones who usually appear quite decent, no foul language or anti social behavior.

Why do these people get caught in lies or found stealing or worse, unexpectedly?

Sounds horrible, I know, and we don’t like talking about it but it does happen.

But the real question is this. Have you ever wondered why Christians sometimes act badly, worse even than many non-Christians?

We consider that an anomaly.

Christians are the ones who adamantly oppose wrong and hassle those who practice or promote it. They also claim to be the best and there is good reason to believe they should be.

So when a Christian does something out of character with the image they project, we get caught off balance. Makes you scratch your head and wonder what went wrong.

It can also make Christians feel a little insecure.

If it happened to them, can it happen to me?

It’s a different story for non-believers. In fact, the stubbornly non-believing are almost gleeful when Christians color outside the lines. It’s all nonsense anyway so misstep is all the proof they need to cry hypocrisy.

Less damning unbelievers entertain the same thoughts but are a bit more gracious. They don’t assume hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy might apply in some cases but is that the only reason Christians act badly?

Are there other factors to consider? Read more

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