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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review: Paul M. Gould and Richard Brian Davis - Loving God with Your Mind: Essays in Honor of J. P. Moreland

http://img2.imagesbn.com/p/9780802410399_p0_v1_s260x420.JPGEvery once in a while you find a book that changes your whole perspective. Years ago, I read a book that did just that. I have reread it a number of times since. It was called "Love Your God with All Your Mind" by J. P. Moreland. This is not to be confused with the book I am presently reviewing, which is called, "Loving God with Your Mind" I refer to the former to say that Moreland's work has become a game changer in many respects.

If you are like me, I have heard sermons telling me to "quit over-thinking stuff", "God doesn't do things logically", and "Quit relying on your mind and start listening with the spirit." For too many years, much of the Church has held an anti-intellectual stand. Some preaching almost made you feel guilty to think. It would have been funny, if it had not been so tragic.

Moreland has been a great benefit to the Church. Here, a group of men who were mentored by him, give us a series of articles showing the different areas of Moreland’s writings and teaching.

Starting with the first two chapters, I thought I may be in over my head. Platonism and naturalism are two subjects that I have very limited knowledge of. After pushing through, it really got interesting. Not that the first two were not interesting; it was more my ignorance of the subject than the writing itself.

The book is divided into three parts:

1. The Building Blocks of the World
2. Thinking for Christ in the World
3. Living for Christ in the World

Parts two and three are much more accessible than the first. Understandably, part one tended to be more abstract. I think even those like me who had to push through will come to see that it was well worth the time and effort. This book was a great read and packed full of great information.

With subjects ranging from creation to happiness, there is a great variety of information to keep you reading.

I highly recommend it and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Moody Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Audio Book Review: - John Bunyan - Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

Grace Abounding to the Chief of SinnersWhen you hear the word "Puritan", what do you think about? Black clothes, Legalism, or crabby ol' men?

If this is what comes to mind, you have never read the Puritans. Instead of learning from the original sources, we normally get our information second hand. That is why the Puritans have such a bad rap. Most people who teach those things about them have never read them.

Far from our caricature of the puritans, they were warm, compassionate, and above all passionate for the Lord. John Bunyan is no exception. In fact he is the rule.

Known for his classic novel, Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan is probably the greatest known Puritan of all time and no one can accuse him of being boring.

Here, we have a sort of autobiography. We see the real life Pilgrim. Bunyan gives us a guided tour of the misery and the joy of a man seeking for God. We see a man crushed by his sin. We see his heart filled with fear that he will die in his sin. We see him find redemption through the Savior.

It is both heartbreaking and joyous. His desperation will melt your heart and his salvation will bring a tear to your eyes. If you have never read the puritans, this is a good place to start. The narrator, Simon Vance, has a wonderful English accent that lends itself to the material.

I had already read this book once but now have had the privilege of listening to the audio version and totally loved it.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I enjoyed this book courtesy of the Christian Audio review program at http://christianaudio.com and received the audio book, free of charge, from ChristianAudio.com and Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Sarah Cunningham - The Well-Balanced World Changer

We all have dreams. We all want to make a difference in the world. But what happens if after years of hard work it just doesn't seen to be working like we imagined?

Sarah Cunningham, in this encouraging book, gives us pointers on how not to give up. She shows us that our God-given dreams are not to receive praise from people or to make us feel good about ourselves. They are given to please God and help others. Addiction to approval is not what we are called to.

Our dreams should be to please God and not people. He is the one who called us and gave us those dreams and he is the only one we should strive to please. We may not be another Billy Graham. We need to understand that the world would be worst off if it was full of famous people. If everyone was a boss, who would do the work? If everyone was a performer
who would watch the show.

She shows us that God intends for us to be content whether we have achieved our goal already or not. Contentment should be in the Lord, not in our circumstances.

I enjoyed the book. It was easy to read and was interesting all the way through. It was is very encouraging and I recommend it, especially to those who feel they are tired or burned out.


I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Moody Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.