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Summary

Is God a sadistic torturer? Coldhearted judge? Genocidal maniac? Unfortunately, our popular caricatures often make him out to be. God has some skeletons in the closet. At least, that's what many of us fear. "How can a loving God send people to hell?" "Isn't it arrogant to believe Jesus is the only way to God?" "What is up with holy war in the Old Testament?" These are difficult questions that our family, our friends, our culture - even we ourselves - are asking. The Skeletons in God's Closet pulls these skeletons out of the closet to show that they were never really skeletons at all - but part of the good news that God is good and coming to redeem his world. Hell is not an "underground torture chamber" God creates to torture sinners, but a destructive power we unleash that God has promised to redeem his world from - it represents an extravagant act of mercy. Judgment is not "churchgoers go to heaven, everyone else goes to hell," but God coming to raise humanity from death and set his world right by calling things out as they really are - and the results are a shocking surprise. Holy war is not "the strong using God to justify their conquest of the weak," but God arising on behalf of the weak when the tyranny of the strong has raged for far too long - he is the hope of the world. Mercy. Surprise. Hope. Not what we usually think. Ultimately, The Skeletons in God's Closet uses our toughest questions to provoke paradigm shifts in how we understand our faith as a whole: we'll pull the "skeletons out of God's closet" to reveal they were never really skeletons at all. We'll grapple with the "skeletons in the ground" of tragedy, injustice and death in our world - to explore resurrection as God's good answer. Most importantly, we'll affirm that God is good "in his very bones" - not just in what he does but in who he is. This is an audiobook that sings loudly, boldly, and clearly: God is good and coming to redeem his world.

©2014 eChristian (P)2014 eChristian

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Great read

I got the book on a recommendation from a sermon note from Tim Mackie. Lots of thought provoking content, love the engagement with Augustine. I found the first two sections easier than the Holy War section but might just have been personal challenge. Really well presented.

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Blows apart false caricatures of God's nature

This is not a 'new theology' responding to the refined social consciousness of 21st century humanity. Far from it. This is a re-establishing of biblical truth about God's nature as seen in His dealings in history with the nation of Israel. Marvelous stuff, and more so for arising out of the author's own struggles against the injustices most of us shrug and accept as inevitable. Nicely done Mr Ryan-Butler.

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  • Debra Mecartea
  • 07-08-17

More unanswered questions

The author seemed proud that he had answers questions I never had and left the questions I did have unanswered. He tried to interpret away some hard passages, but left me unsatisfied. The reader's voice was rather dull...but maybe it was the book.

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  • Christiana Womack
  • 20-09-15

Repetitive but powerful

The style felt more like a collection of sermons than a book. The content of the "sermons" was very powerful, insightful and revolutionary. But within the format of a book it came across as VERY repetitive. So much so that it sounded like the same thing was being said over and over again. I still gave it four stars because the content was that good. Definitely worth reading or listening to.

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  • Trevor Michael Branch
  • 12-09-21

Interesting perspective but a little one sided.

I think the view here is a bit incomplete. The author seems to follow a lot of David vs Goliath thinking where the issue might more really be inside all of us and then what do we do about that. I agree that western empires have left a lot of damage in their wake but so have communism and then individuals. Just because other nations and people are maybe less powerful doesn't mean they don't do the same things. Oppressor and oppressed are everywhere. Its all about people. I think it's important to go into more nuance than pointing out the big obvious points. If you're wanting to push back against American Evangelical Nationalism then this does well as a foil, but it can seem a bit one sided in situations where in most cases offense is either committed on both sides or where it's more about individuals than an entire nation or corporations being the big players. Yes there can be and are institutional issues but that's the way of the world- so what do we do as Jesus people in an entire world that follows Babylon that's the big question that should have been answered and was left behind. Sin and Babylon are at the Core of the ways of this world. I'm left feeling like every organization and country is guilty which leaves really no action on my side than to disassociate from obvious evil and do the best I can. Altogether a good read but left more to be desired in application and could have been more well rounded in the critiques - ultimately no kingdom in this world will align with God's kingdom and its important to recognize that Christians should really consider only Babylon and Christ's kingdoms as options. Pointing the finger at American misses the point all kingdoms western or not fight for their own power and glory and commit atrocities in their own interests. Even small tribes and individuals commit atrocities that's why it's really about two kingdoms not just the west vs the world. I did appreciate the dive into sin and judgment - this is really great for people that aren't reading their Bible all the way through which is sadly probably many, worth the read just wish some areas were more balanced and fleshed out.

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  • Kyle Vath
  • 07-06-21

A book promoting atheism

This book will do more for atheism than any book promoting atheism will ever do.

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  • Helene S.
  • 23-03-21

Worth listening to

This book contains really interesting ideas and I will be working through it again.

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  • Sheri Bledsoe
  • 04-04-20

Such a GOOD BOOK!!!

This book opened my eyes to so much in Scripture. I was both fascinated and enlightened. I wish that all believers and not believers could hear/read this book. So many things I have thought about are covered and explained. I enjoyed the performance too. I would recommend this book to everyone. Thank you for having this book on audible. I will listen again and again!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-01-20

empezó muy bien

es un libro que empieza muy bien sin embargo como en el capítulo 16 empieza a ser un predicador de banqueta. tiene varias cosas muy interesantes sobre la religión cristiana bastante desinformación sobre la religión judía Y al parecer no busco nada sobre la religión musulmana. si buscas este libro para aprender más sobre religión es recomendable que lo escuches hasta la mitad pololeas hasta la mitad ya que después es la búsqueda de la conversión al cristianismo

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  • Dennis S
  • 28-08-19

It's About Heaven and Earth, not Heaven and Hell

This book will cause you to rethink the entire heaven and hell/heaven and earth paradigm. It answers a lot of questions I have always had about Jesus teaching of Gahanna in the New Testament. God created the Heavens and the Earth, not heaven and hell. Understanding this is essential to understanding why God is on a mission to reconcile Heaven and Earth.

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  • Nathan
  • 25-04-19

it helps the Bible make sense throughout.

loved it!!
it helps you see God through the eyes of the people who wrote the Bible.

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  • Chris
  • 01-03-19

Deluded

He seems like a good-hearted, brilliant guy who nevertheless essentially believes what he wants to, ignoring the most difficult Biblical passages and relying on his own philosophizing. He is also almost unbelievably repetitive. This book could be about a quarter of its length, which probably just speaks to the lack of substance.