Thursday, November 8, 2012

You don't really get to know them

10 Christians Everyone Should Know
Lives of the Faithful and What They Mean to You

10 Christians Everyone Should Know:  Lives of the Faithful and What They Mean to You is a set of bios I received from Book Sneeze for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  My review does not have to be positive.

This compilation of biographies is marginally good at best.  They are too abbreviated and the editor left out some details of some that, in my humble opinion, are absolutely necessary to understand the Church as it is today.  In particular, his section on Martin Luther is sugar coated, as most biographies about him are.

Martin Luther was a man of great faith, he did have boldness and courage, etc.  But he was almost a bi-polar anti-semite.  At one point in his life he asked the Christians to support the Jews, then to convert them all, then to write them off and treat them badly.  It’s not fair to only discuss the good about those who preceded us while altogether ignoring the bad.  Don’t misunderstand me, I’m thankful for Martin Luther’s contributions to the Protestant Reformation, but his anti-semitic attitudes were flat out wrong.

The other biographies are abbreviated.  He hits good points about each and I learned something from them all.  I would not recommend this book overall, there are too many good biographies out there to have to settle for this one.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Voice: Unnecessary but captivating

The Voice:  Unnecessary but captivating

The Voice New Testament was published by Thomas Nelson publishers.  The translation is written in a sort of screenplay style.  I like that aspect of this Bible translation.  It helps me visualize what’s taking place in the New Testament stories.

I don’t like that this translation translates the Greek word “logos” as “voice”, many other translations use “word”.  Word is much more powerful in my humble opinion, because while we Christians cannot claim to share His same voice, we can claim to share His same Word.  

It also uses “Liberating King” instead of “Christ”.  I like that they tried to get away from “Christ” (which most Americans don’t understand) but “Liberating King” just doesn’t really cut it either.  The most accurate replacement for “Christ” is “Messiah” which is what Jesus (Yeshua) is.  The Jewish Messiah.  He cannot be our Savior unless He is first the Jewish Messiah.  

Other than these issues, for the most part I like this translation.  I like the daily reading plans included in this New Testament.  This will not ever replace my Amplified Bible, New King James Bible, One New Man Bible, or any other version I use and reference, but I’ll keep it on my Kindle to read on an airplane or while waiting in line somewhere.

I give it three stars.  

I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions and thoughts I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Dreams and Visions: Best book I’ve read ever

Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World by Tom Doyle is the best book I’ve read...ever (that's obviously not including the Bible). 

This is a complete factual nonfiction book  that reveals the loving heart of Jesus in some of the most difficult places in the world to reach with the gospel.  The book reads with a good novel, but when you’re finished you don’t feel like you’ve wasted your time with mindless fiction, instead you’ve enriched your life with a sneak peak into the loving heart of our Father toward the Muslim people.

Doyle recounts confirmed experiences that Muslims have had with Jesus in dreams and visions.  Every story leads the Muslim to a Christian who can lead them to Christ.  The stories are fascinating.  I am normally a skeptic about such things...but I know in my heart these stories are genuine.  In each recount, nothing unscriptural happens.  Jesus is glorified, all of the attention is placed on Him and lives are saved.  

I wish that every Christian would read this book.  We American Christians need to get over the prejudice we’ve had toward the Muslim people.  There’s no doubt that extreme Islamists have cause and are causing a lot of harm in the world, but Jesus loves these people and we need to PRAY for them.  If their governments won’t allow us to go in and preach, then we can pray for more of these encounters to happen and shake their worlds.  

All the glory and honor to be to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who blesses us with all spiritual blessings.  

I received this book for free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions and thoughts I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grace is Good, Grace is God

Grace is Good, Grace is God

I must start my review off with a disclaimer:  I am generally not a Max Lucado fan.  I have nothing against him personally, I just strongly dislike his writing style for the most part.  Having said that, I give his book, Grace: More than we Deserve, Greater than we Imagine three and one-half stars.  

Lucado is bringing to light a subject that needs more attention in Christendom:  Grace.  To call it a “subject” is probably not fair, but please bear with me.  Grace is the essence of what we believe.  Jesus epitomizes grace.  He IS grace.  While Lucado doesn’t make this bold claim, this is why I’m so glad he presents this to us to ponder.

Lucado does a good job of using imagery to convey the depth of grace.  In one case he likened it to putting a sponge in the ocean and checking to see of you soaked it all up.  The answer to the question is obvious:  of course not!

While Lucado does a good job of conveying the depth of grace, I feel he doesn’t do as strong a job defining it.  His definition is acceptable, just not strong enough.  He essentially says it’s something we don’t deserve.  Yes, we all know that’s true, but grace is bigger than that.  Grace is a Person and His Name is Jesus.  

I was blessed by this book.  That’s a big deal for me, because normally I find it difficult to follow his writing style.  If you’re a Lucado fan, you’ll love this book.  If you’re not, you’ll like this book.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Jesus Mission: Mediocre book

Jesus Mission:  Mediocre book

I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.  To be brutally honest, I felt the book lacked depth and direction.  Steven Scott, the author focused in on the four primary missions he said that Jesus left us to accomplish.  Honestly, I think the “missions” he chose are generally accurate, but I think the most simple way to put it is to bring it down to three:  preach, teach and heal.  That was the ministry of Jesus, and it is the ministry of the Church today.

Unfortunately, Steven Scott barely brushes the surface of our mission.  I don’t think the book does our mission justice.

I will give the book three stars.  It is well written, his points are easy to understand, and if you’re a new Christian you might gather a light from his writings.  As a born again believer for nearly twenty years, I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I would say that I would have liked more meat and depth from this pastor.  

Nearing Home - a precious read

Nearing Home 

The Rev. Billy Graham is a man whom I respect and admire very much.  I appreciate his life and legacy and the example he has lived in front of America and the world.  His memoire, Nearing Home is a precious recount of his life stories and lessons learned along the way.  I count it a great honor to have him share his heart through these precious words and his transparency.

I believe looking forward to heaven is a good thing and an honor, I like reading Rev. Graham’s perspective of moving on.  I disagree with some that say the book is depressing, I think that if you look through the right lenses you see the honor of moving forward to heaven to live in an immortal body and enjoy praising Jesus without the distractions that come along with living in this world system. 

Five stars.  I highly recommend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Doing Virtuous Business

Doing Virtuous Business is a lost art in today’s society, but in the book by Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, we are freshly challenged and encouraged to put people before personal gain. Malloch’s book is one of the most engaging and on-time books I’ve read in the past several years. He uses common sense and good morals to communicate the necessity of doing business the right way. Some might call him old fashioned, I say he has good sense (and I’ve under the age of 30).

While it is engaging and he has tons of common sense, it is missing witty verbiage. The book’s tone is sort of cold and matter-of-factly. It’s not one I ran back to read (it doesn’t warm the heart, so-to-speak).

I do, however, greatly enjoy the scientific approach to making a case for good moral business. The real life examples he uses are large-scale realistic ones that support the teachings of good morals.

My final criticism is that it could have been and should have been more blatantly written from a Christian world view, not a “good” world view.

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