My friend Dr. Marty Folsom recently invited me to view his impressive theological library in his home, and indeed, it is one of the biggest private collections of theological books I've seen in Washington State, with over 14,000 select volumes. I've never seen so many volumes by great theologians including Karl Barth, Jürgen Moltmann, Ray Anderson and the entire Torrance family tree. Marty also showed me his impressive doctoral thesis: A Comparative Assessment of the Concept of Freedom in the Anthropologies of John Macmurray, John Zizioulas, and Karl Barth. It was an edenic moment and an inspiration!
As a parting gift, Marty gave me two of books that he had authored: Face to Face: Volume One: Missing Love and Face to Face: Volume Two: Discovering Relational, and there is also a third volume forthcoming in the Face to Face series. Here is a quote from the first volume:
Sin is a concern for self. The word "synthetic" refers to human-made products. In this book, I contend that we have a "sin-thetic" life because, left to ourselves, we construct our own lives as individuals, overlooking consideration for God or neighbor. But a life apart from God is artificial. We are self-made. It feels good to be the master of our own life. Thus, I do not see sin as a life of being bad or breaking the rules. Rather, the sin-thetic life is a self-centered life that separates us from those we need (and who need us) to live a mutual life of love.
An authentic life is lived in a trusting openness with other, including God, in honesty and collaboration. I am all about a new vision that gets this kind of meaningful life, and does not default to legalistic religion or constraining morality. This book begins the process of transformation that opens up when we turn our hearts to meet God and others face-to-face.
Folsom, Marty. Introduction. Face to Face: Volume One: Missing Love. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2013. xxi. Print.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these book free from Marty Folsom in exchange for a review on this blog. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."