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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Audiobook Review: Randy Alcorn - Hand in Hand: The Beauty of God's Sovereignty and Meaningful Human Choice

https://christianshelfesteem.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/9781610459297_1.jpg?w=560&h=560Deep Theology in audiobook form!

This book is a rare jewel.

Most audiobooks, by nature, are simple. It is very difficult to listen to complex theological doctrine in audiobook form. Think of how hard it would be to follow John Owens, "Death of Death" with someone reading it to you. But In this case it works.

First things first. Alcorn takes a very difficult subject and makes it accessible to the normal person. This is a monumental feat in and of itself. Add the ability to follow it easily in audible form, and we have ourselves a great audiobook.

The subject has been debated for 2000 years and Alcorn does not break new ground here, but neither does anyone else who writes on the subject. What he does bring is a logical and balanced voice to the freewill debate.

What sets this book apart from many others is the attention to fairness in debate. Most people, when debating, set up straw men and knock them down. They take another’s position, stretch it our past what the person actually believes, knock it down, then say they have destroyed their argument. In reality, they have only destroyed a caricature of the true argument. In the end, that leaves no one convinced and only preaches to the choir.

Randy Alcorn, takes a different approach here. He lets both sides speak for themselves. He is fair and does not use logical fallacies to win his argument.

I believe a book like this can bring both sides together for a calm discussion without raising one’s blood pressure.

The narration was spot on. Randy does his own narration and does a fine job at that. Sometimes you forget you are even listening to an audiobook and feel you are listening to a lecture. The narration was clear and read at a speed that makes it easy to understand.

I loved this book!

I highly recommend this audiobook and give it a 5 out of 5 star.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Ted and Kristin Kluck - Household Gods

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51SXQNsMypL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI tend to gravitate toward unusual books. Today, best sellers are usually "10 steps to this" or "three steps to that". Those kind books are about as deep as a thimble of water. They are soooo boring. Give me something I can sink my teeth into. When I saw this book, it really peaked my interest - How can family become an idol?

I think what drew me to listen to this book is the fact that in today’s society the family is derided so much. From the idiot dads, to the single parent households, the nuclear family is all but extinct. So how can it be placed as an idol when no one cares about it anymore?

If an idol is something we replace God with and the family is considered "out of date", how can it become an idol?

When starting this book, I felt I would be disappointed - Ho Hum, another Hipster Postmodern Neo-Calvinists whipping himself in public to show everyone how humble he is.

I WAS WRONG. What I saw here was a man who seemed to have it all, but was miserable because he placed his dream of a perfect family in the place of God’s will. In places, you can see the pain that both he and his wife have faced.

This idol of the family was created because of our culture’s desire to destroy the family. In many cases, the Christian pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction. We have placed family as such a priority, that all else pales in comparison.

How do we get our priorities right? Place God back on the throne! When we place Him first, all other things will fall into place.

All in all, this was a very good book. The narration was very well done and the sound was crisp and clear. They have Adam Verner (male) as narrator for Ted’s part and Amy Rubinate (female) for Kristin's. Both do a great job.

I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it, especially for those Hipster Postmodern Neo-Calvinists, of which I am a part of - minus the postmodern.


I highly recommend this audiobook and give it a 5 out of 5 star.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Audiobook Review: R.C. Sproul - Everyone's a Theologian An Introduction to Systematic Theology

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519ZCpqzjzL._SL300_.jpgR.C has always been my favorite Theologian. I was introduced to the reformed faith through many of his writings. So when he writes a new book, I jump at the chance to read it. In this case I was blessed to listen to it.

This book is basically a short Systematic Theology. But do not let that description fool you. It contains much depth. He called in an introduction but it covers every major theme in Theology.

Each chapter takes a subject from the Bible and explains it out using scripture. It is written with the average person in mind. R.C. has always had an ability to explain doctrine to the average person. Here he is at his finest.

The book alone would be worth listening to even if read by an average Joe, but this one was narrated by the one and only Grover Gardner. Gardner is an award winning narrator, and he is my personal favorite. He could probably read the phone book and make it interesting. So what do you get when you put a top notch theologian and an award winning narrator? A perfect combination. It reminds me of the old commercial – “You put peanut butter on my chocolate.”

I truly loved this audiobook and highly recommend it to all

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 in exchange for an honest review.

Audiobook Review: Scottie Nell Hughes - Roar: The New Conservative Woman Speaks Out

http://mymismatchedworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Roar-Large-Angled.pngIn today's politically correct world, tolerance is the ultimate virtue. That is unless you are a conservative woman. In this book, Scottie Nell Hughes gives us a perspective of what it is like to be both a wife and political personality.

She shows us how the left are for women, but not all women. They only cater to those who think like themselves and demonize the rest. She shows how the left is very loving and tolerant to those who agree with them, but very hateful and intolerant to those who don't.

This book is a very easy listen and in some places will make you mad (not at her, but at those who consider themselves the thought police to the rest of us).

Scottie Nell Hughes being both author and narrator, reads with an emphasis on her original meaning. I believe this added another dimension to the book. The quality of the recording is top notch.

I enjoyed this audiobook. It was short, to the point, and left me looking for the her next book.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Audiobook Review: Chip Ingram - Culture Shock: A Biblical Response to Today's Most Divisive Issues

http://livingontheedge.org/images/default-source/home-page-images/book.png?sfvrsn=0Politics and Religion, those are the two things we are never supposed to talk about. In this audiobook, Chip Ingram does that very thing. He takes us though subjects that most Christians have never heard a single sermon on. He delves into a list that tent to start angry debates.

 






The following is a partial list of subjects covered:

Sex
Homosexuality
Abortion
The Environment

These are controversies that could be taken from the front page of today’s newspaper. They touch each of our lives in one way or another. If they do not directly affect us, they usually do through our friends and loved ones.

Ingram's writing is easy to read (or in my case, listen to) and the information is every informative. He not only shows the beliefs held on both sides of the issue, he gives a biblical understanding on each subject. The last part of the book is written in a question and answer format. Here is where the book really shines. He takes the hard cases and shows how to give not only a biblical answer, but he does it with a pastor's heart. The book is clear and precise, yet loving and sensitive.

I enjoyed the narration tremendously. I felt like I was listening to a lecture more than an audiobook. The audio was clear and professional.

If you feel that the world is changing way too fast and you need to get a handle on these subjects, please consider this book.

To wrap it up - Read or listen to this book!

I highly recommend this audiobook and give it a 5 out of 5 star.

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 in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Audiobook Review: Todd Starnes - God Less America

http://cdn2.bigcommerce.com/server4600/13a06/products/3688/images/3191/GodLessAmerica__95083.1389108767.251.374.jpg?c=2This being the second Todd Starnes book I have read, or in this case listened to, I am becoming somewhat of a fan. He is funny but knowledgeable. His writing is simple and easy to read. He causes you to both think and feel.

Here we have a list of things no one would have believed could happen in America. The world has been turned upside down. The very things your parent taught you were right and noble are now seen as bigoted and hateful. To love God and you neighbor is now seen as racist, extreme, and even terrorism.

Like the phrase attributed to Saddam Hussein’s Democrat lawyer, Ramsey Clark, “One man’s terrorist is another man's freedom fighter”. The far left sees good as evil and visa versa. To have a choice to send you child to a school of your choosing is to hate teachers. To put a terrorist in prison is to be an Islamophobe. To say that an innocent baby should not be killed is to start a war on women. On and on it goes. Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" instructs the left to never have a conversation with their adversary because that humanizes them, their job is to demonize them, And demonize they have done.

We live in a New Amerika where an elderly lady is told she can not read her bible on public property; where a solder can die for the right to freedom of religion, but does not have freedom himself to display a bible; where a child can’t even read his Bible during free time at lunch. For years, many liberals have hated religion. They removed “God” from the Democrat platform. When they realized their mistake and decided to put Him back in, the crowd booed and hissed. For the last 40 years, they have passed laws to give us freedom “from” religion. After 9-11 they finally found a religion they can admire. Now they can call Christians - terrorist and Al-Qaeda - freedom fighters.

Now that I have come down off of my soap box, I would like to review Starnes book. Here, Starnes gives us a list of atrocities that have been performed in the name of tolerance. Seeing tolerance as the greatest virtue, the left tend to tolerate only those who agree with them. That is no tolerance at all. Tolerance says, even if I disagree with you, you have a right to believe what you do. The left says that tolerance is closing the mouths of those who disagree so that those who do agree with them do not get there feelings hurt. If you agree with same-sex marriage, you are tolerant. If you don't, you are a Homophobe. If you agree with abortion, you are for women. If not, you have waged a war on women. If you believe that Government should be in control of medical care, you have compassion for the poor. If not, you are a racist. Somehow, spending other people’s money, as opposed to spending your own on the poor, makes a person feel more compassionate. They have taken Alinsky's advice and demonized their opponents. Why can we not have a little civility? Everyone has the right to live peaceable, no matter what race or religion. America stands for freedom! Let us not give that freedom away to the “Thought Police”.

I can say that this book was top notch. It will both, break you heart and give you pride for our country. Your heart will be broken for the assault on the average American who has had their constitutional rights taken away, but you will be proud that the story doesn't end there. People are standing up to the bullying and calling for common sense, which is very uncommon today.

The narration was great. With the mix of good narration and a well written book, I did not feel I was listening to the written word, it was more like listening to a conversation.

I loved this book and highly recommend it to everyone.


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 in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review: Dan Montgomery & Timothy Paul Jones - PROOF: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace

https://s3.amazonaws.com/netgalley-covers/cover42515-medium.pngThis book was a little different that I expected. Full of life and zeal, there is an excitement about who God is and what he does. God is in control! Because God is sovereign we can marvel at who He is.

Here, Montgomery and Jones, show us the wonder of a sovereign God. If God is in control, we have nothing to worry about. Many are offended when told that God has control of every situation. They can only look at the bad things that happen in the world and say it must be God's fault. Would it not be better that God is in control than us? If something bad happens we know He has a reason. Something is bringing Him glory. If we are in control and something bad happens, it has no reason and nothing good can come out of it.

The Bible says, "All things work for the good of those who are called". If God is not in control of everything, that statement has to be false.

Here they also show us that it is natural for people to believe that works are how we get right with God. But natural man is fallen and blind. What he believes is a lie. The only way to be right with a holy God is through the sacrifice of Christ. Grace is totally unmerited favor.

Through the whole book, the authors show us what is usually called the 5 points of Calvinism. Because of the negative feelings that come with that terminology, they prefer not to be called Calvinists.

I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all. If you want a book that will melt your heart and give you a new sense of wonder about our God, this is the book to read.

I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Review: Andreas J. Kostenberger & Darrell Bock & Josh Chatraw - Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_-aEnhYLb8s/Uxs79WgwZPI/AAAAAAAADvE/p09H8oYhF18/s1600/Truth+Matters.jpgToday, it seems like there is an Atheist behind every bush. It has become "cool" to believe that there is no God. While in college, many young people are devastated by professors who take a sledgehammer to the Christian faith, leaving the student in doubt and even depression.

In this well written book, the authors have given us an antidote to the disease that is spreading in many colleges. Truth Matters, give a reason for our faith.

The book is based around Bart Ehrman's arguments against the Bible. Ehrman, a professor at UNC has written multiple books claiming that the gospel as we know it is simply not true. These books have destroyed many peoples faith because they were not prepared to counter his arguments. Here, Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw counter Ehrman's arguments.

Many professors take advantage of new students. It is like shooting fish in a barrel. They know that most teens only know about the bible from what they learned in youth group. In the first week of class they can silence all arguments as they place another notch on their guns - another easy kill.

In this book, Kostenberger and company provide some practical information for stemming the tide and helping the student fight back. They provide a stepping stone for those who do not want to bury their head in the sand.

I enjoyed this book tremendously and highly recommend it especially to students.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from B&H Publishing Group and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Kevin DeYoung - Taking God at His Word

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/files/2014/04/TGAHW-300x457.jpgTo my surprise, this was not a book about the origins of the Bible or apologetics. But it was a good surprise. In stead of an apologetics book, we have a love letter to God's word. DeYoung teaches us what it means to fall in love with God's word.  He takes us through the Bible and shows us what it says about itself. God's word calls us to love God's word.

Because the Bible is the very words of God, we should treat it as such. It should be studied and reverenced. It should be a guide to lead us to God, the author.

The writing is short and to the point and the Language is simple and easy to understand. Here is a book for anyone from new believer to a Bible professor.

Because this is the audio version, I want to add that the narration is very good and fits the material.

If you are looking for a short enjoyable book to read during quite time, this may be the book for you.

I highly recommend this audiobook and 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 Crown & Covenant Publications in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Book Review: James Sanford - Blueprint for Theocracy - The Christian Right's Vision for America

This book will be an exception to the rule when it comes to my normal reviews. I will be giving the book a good rating and review because of the writing and the interesting experience of reading it, but not for the views and thoughts of the author, which I personally disagree with.

The book was very engaging. Sanford is a very good writer even if he is bias against "Christian Right". He admits that much at the first of the book. This is meant to be a history of the Christian Reconstruction movement, but he spends just as much time on the christian right as Reconstructionists. All-in-all it is an interesting read but he does place little jabs at those he disagrees with throughout the book. Some of the arguments against CR is warranted and should be heeded.

But with that said, much of what is written (but not all) is just not true. The problem he has throughout the book is in tying today’s religious right to the Reconstrutionist camp. Is that not the premise of the whole book? If that fails, then what has he accomplished. The whole reason for the book is to tie today’s christian right to the now defunked Christian Reconstruction of the 1990s.

I read around 100 Christian books a year. I have read some Reconstruction books over the years. But I can say that in my 30 years of being a Christian, being a conservative politically, and meeting thousands of conservative Christians, that I have never personally met a Reconstructiuonalist or anyone who held to their beliefs. In fact, I can count on one hand how many people I have met who have ever even heard the name of one CR.

Getting back to the content. Sanford sees Christians as domestic terrorists. They bomb abortion clinics and kill doctors. There have been 9 people killed over abortion since 1993. In 21 years, eight were shot and one bombed. Fifty times more patients die at the hands of the abortion doctors (excluding infants) than by anti-abortion protesters. In a sense Sanford is saying, because nine out of 2.18 billion Christians (that is one-third of the population of the world) has committed a terrible crime, then all are terrorist. Can we not say the same about the atheist? More people have been killed in the name of atheism (Communist-Marxism) than religion. Here is a quote from the book:

"Meanwhile, the agents of violence who followed in Terry’s wake left a path of destruction sustained by bitter rhetoric exceeding even his own. Clinic bombings and day-to-day threats increased during the tumultuous 1980s and continued unabated through the 1990s. The assassination of doctors and clinic personnel began just after Randall Terry’s movement peaked, with killings carried out in 1993, 1994, and 1998, and numerous others attempted. An atmosphere of terror was created through the posting of wanted signs on the internet and the transmission of death threats to doctors in their workplaces and private homes. The zealots behind these acts subscribed to what has been called a “theology of vigilantism” and spoke openly of guerilla warfare and theocratic revolution. Most of them began with an evangelical background similar to Randall Terry’s. They simply went farther with it."

I have been a christian for over 30 years and am pro-life myself. I have never heard anyone advocate killing a doctor or bombing a clinic. I have heard that we need to pray that God will convict their heart that what they are doing is wrong. That is why we call it pro-life and not anti-abortion. We do not believe in individual vengeance. The Bible say "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord". God gave Government the sword for punishment. It is funny how those who are "for" abortion call themselves pro-choice, but call those who are against abortion, anti-abortion. That makes it sound like they are for the choice to abort, but not for the abortion itself. In our case we are for life in any case. We believe murder is wrong whether it is an infant or an Adult, even more so with an infant because they have never done anything to deserve death.

Sanford spends much of the book trying to prove that the Right-wing christian is practicing Christian Reconstuctionalism but has to admit halfway through that..."Indeed, the theonomist position on the current utility of Old Testament laws has never gained much support outside of the Reconstructionist movement. Christian Worldview advocates of the Religious Right from Schaeffer to Dobson have mostly steered clear of the controversial issue."

In other words, Right wing Christians do NOT believe that we should use O.T. case laws in today society. Is that not the whole basis of this book...to prove that the Religious Right was created and maintained by the beliefs of the theonomist? That is like saying that the guy who shot me has long hair. You have long hair, so you must have been the one who shot me. That is the logical fallacy of guilt by association. The bad thing is the Religious Right is not even associated with the Theonomist. Since the 1990's, Theonomists hardly exist.

In the second half of the book,Sanford tries to show that the Christian Right are conspiracy nuts who think the humanists are trying to take over. Isn't this the same thing he believes about the Right? We are trying to take over the world? He says that those who believe that abortion is wrong are moved by emotion and morals gleamed from the bible, but those who believe abortion is a right are moved by experience and reason. So to think that abortion actually takes a life is emotion.

Back to the book... Sanford seems to believe that the Christian Right has used their power to change the whole country toward Biblical morals. From were I stand, they must be doing a very bad job. Both Democrats and Republicans vote on the Liberal side of every piece of legislation. Abortion, Gay marriage, marijuana, and every other liberal belief is now legal in many parts of the country and within ten years will probably be legal in every state of the union. With liberals controlling the news media, print media, Hollywood, and Government, I do not see the Christian Right having any power other than tipping the waitress at Chili's after church on Sunday morning :)

All in all the book was an interesting read and I was never bored.

I can only say I recommend it for those who search out both sides of the story and have more knowledge of the Christian Right and Christian Reconstuctionism than what they see here. If not, you are not getting the whole story.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Review: Saul Austerlitz - Sitcom A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community

I was always a fan of the early sitcoms. I also enjoy a few of the newer ones, but without the same enthusiasm. "I Love Lucy", "Dick Van Dyke", and the like are classics. When I saw this book was up for review, I jumped at the chance.

Austerlitz takes a look at the history of the sitcom from its earliest days up to the later (30 rock and community). We see some commentary about each show and some interesting "behind the scenes" moments. The writing is fluid and easy to read. You find yourself thinking, "Just one more chapter".

Each chapter is written in episode fashion, with a different show in each chapter. He not only speaks of the show from the title of the chapter, he also interweaves sitcoms that were in some way linked to each show.

I enjoyed the book even if I disagreed on some of his critiques. My disagreements are probably more from my enjoyment of reruns as a kid than from anything said by the author. There are a few spots of foul language that I did not care for, but that is to be expected.

If you love sitcoms or just want a good history of the genre, this would be a good book to pick up.

I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Chicago Review Press Incorporated and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Thabiti M. Anyabwile - Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus Death and Resurrection

This is the first book I have read by Anyabwile and it will not be the last.

In this short book, Anyabwile teaches us to stare. Remember when you parents told you it was rude to stare at someone? Here, Thabiti gives us permission to stare at what God has accomplished for us in the death and resurrection of Christ.

When we contemplate what He has done we become captivated. We see the world in a different light. Life has so much more meaning.

The book is written in an easy to read format. Anyabwile takes theology and explains it in a way that even the young in Christ can understand. With this in mind we can understand that the Gospel is so profound that people can spend a lifetime and never plumb it's depths. On the other hand, when Christ enlightens someone’s heart, even simplest person can see and experience it.

In 5 short chapters he takes us through the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ. Here is a list of chapters with a short summary.

1. Is There No Other Way? (Christ had to die in our stead. We could not save ourselves.)

2. Why Have You Forsaken Me? (What was it like for Christ to be forsaken by the Father?)

3. Where, O Death, Is Your Victory? (How did Christ defeat death?)

4. Why Do You Seek the Living among the Dead? (all other religious leader are dead except one!)

5. Do You Not Know These Things? (We need to know Christ in the power of His resurrection)

This work would make a great devotional. If you take one chapter a week and meditate on it, I believe it can be extremely beneficial in your walk with Christ. It is also a good read for those who do not know the Lord. To see what Jesus accomplished may lead the sinner to Christ.


I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Audiobook Review: Timothy Keller - Romans 1 - 7 for You

http://christianaudio.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/9/7/9781610457286_1.jpgKeller is always a good read, or in this case a good listen. He takes us through the first seven chapters of my favorite book of the Bible, Paul’s letter to the Romans. We hear about such weighty subjects as Depravity, Salvation, Sanctification, etc. With that said, Keller uses very understandable language to explain some of these most profound doctrines.

This is not a dry theological tome. It is warm and practical but also contains some good meat for reflection. I guaranty you will gain something from a reading. It is short enough to leave you wanting more. I am looking forward to the next volume when he touches on verses 8 to the end of the book.

Keller adds some great quotes from theologians of the present and past. Each chapter contains questions for reflection.

The narration was great. This is the first time I have heard Maurice England. He has a very comforting voice that lends itself to the material. The quality of recording was also top notch. No hisses or pops. It was recorded with good crisp highs and smooth lows.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all who desire to have a greater understanding of Romans and the Gospel.

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 The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Stanley N. Gundry - Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)

http://gavinortlund.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/9780310331360.jpgHere is another multi-view debate on a biblical subject. With most books of this genre, we have a non-essential doctrine debated. When speaking of “the timing of the second coming” or whether “tithing is for today”, there is very little harm to the new believer or even the unbeliever when hashing out these kinds of subjects. But this volume is much more serious. I feel that in some ways it branches out a little too far.

Can a person be an evangelical and also deny that the bible is true and without error? Would that person be beyond the pale of orthodoxy?

I can not speak for the rest of Evangelicals, but I personally believe that those who deny inerrancy may well have stepped over that line. If we believe that Jesus said things that were incorrect “fact-wise” about this world, how can we believe Him when he speaks about things in the next? Doesn’t the Bible say those things that are invisible are more real than the visible? The things we see are decaying and falling apart, but those things that are not seen are eternal and will last forever.

I will have to admit that I started this book with a particular presupposition and after finishing it, I came out with (please forgive me for saying) the same "post-suppositions". I will not say the arguments against classical inerrancy could not convince some people, but I personally think they are found lacking.

As just one example, here is a quote from Peter Enns:

"This is why I feel that the term inerrancy has run its course and that evangelicals need to adopt other language with which to talk about the Bible. As referenced repeatedly in this essay, one suggestion I have articulated is an incarnational metaphor: Scripture is a collection of a variety of writings that necessarily and unashamedly reflects the worlds in which those writings were produced."

So, Enns believes that the Bible is a "reflection of" or "conforming to" the world of that day. I understand that Enns is not using the word "world" in the same since as Paul when he said we are not to be "conformed to this world", but it does sound a little weird to say God is reflecting the beliefs of the world when he spoke.

Enns believes the Bible contains errors but he will not come right out and say it. Why does he not just say what he means? "The Bible is a man-made book that contains errors - plain and simple." Why dance around with nebulas phrases that cover up the real meaning. Either the Bible is God-Breathed or man-breathed. If God wrote it, like Jesus claimed, how can we say it has mistakes and errors?

Like Calvin, I believe God uses a sort of baby-talk to speak to man. God has to, in some since, talk down to us. He is infinite and we are finite. It is like Michael Moore trying to fit into skinny jeans – It ain’t happinin’. But there is a big difference in talking down to a baby and telling that same baby a flat-out lie. I could have told my son, when he was a toddler, that the sky is blue and that would be true in some sense. Even though it is really made up of all colors, because of our atmosphere, blue is the most visible. On the other hand if I told him the moon was made of cheese...that is a lie. In the same way, if the walls of Jericho did not exist, then the Bible is not truthful when it says the walls feel down. If this were the case, the Bible is not accommodating the finite mind of man; it is misleading man all together.

Our finite minds can not comprehend an infinite God, but the little amount God allows us to comprehend is true.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it with "much" reservations.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Review: Ardel B. Caneday & Matthew Barrett - Four Views on the Historical Adam (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology)

http://i43.tower.com/images/mm124387396/four-views-on-historical-adam-ardel-b-caneday-paperback-cover-art.jpgProverbs 18:17 reads, "The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him."(ESV)

This scripture has become a motto for me in connection with my theological studies. From the earliest time in my Christian life, I have "tried" to consider the other side, if for no other reason than to be able to give an answer for my own beliefs. I put "tried" in quotes because I understand that it is impossible to be totally unbiased. The desire to see more than one view of a subject is why I look forward to every new book in the Counterpoints series. Each book in the series takes a theological subject and debates the various views.

It is always good to see both sides of a story before making a decision. In this case there are four sides to the story.

Each contributor gives his reason for his belief for or against the historical Adam.

Was there a real person we call Adam?
Was he the first human?
Did sin originate with him?

I felt this would be a great subject. I was a little disappointed that a majority of the debate concerned evolution. I understand that evolution has to be discussed, but it seemed to take center stage. Even though the book was interesting and well written, I felt there could have been much more exegesis of the text.

Even though the book kept my interest all the way through, to be honest, some contributors were much better than others. I think the pastoral reflection by Philip G. Ryken at the end was worth the price of admission. If all contributors wrote with such passion I would have given the book 5 stars.

Personally I think rejecting the historical Adam seems to ride very close to the edge of heresy. I am not questioning the salvation of such men. I believe Jesus died for sin which includes our intellectual mistakes. When Jesus himself believed Adam was real, those who believe he is not seem to be saying that the sinless Christ made a mistake.

All-in-all I enjoyed the book and learned a lot. While technical in some places, it was still fairly simple to follow. I personally would suggest reading Ryken's reflection first!

I recommend this book with a few reservations and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Review: Brian Borgman - Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical & Balanced Perspective

http://cdn1.bigcommerce.com/server2500/cb550/products/5194/images/8468/Spiritual_Warfare_front__52078.1388506494.1280.1280.jpgHearing the phrase "Spiritual Warfare" brings to mind pictures of exorcisms and demon possession. We think of deliverance ministries or of Frank Peretti novels. For a long time we have needed a balanced view on the subject. I believe Brian Borgman has given us that balance.

Many times a book on this subject will be too far in one extreme or another. One author believes that there is a demon under every bush, and another believes that the devil does nothing today. Both of these suffer from an unbiblical and unbalanced point of view.

The book, "Spiritual Warfare", shows us that the devil is real and we are in a war. The war we are fighting is not against other people. It is against the devil himself and his angels. Using the illustration given by Paul in the book of Ephesians, Borgman takes us through each piece of the Christian’s armor, describing each part and its use. He shows us in a very practical way how to win this war.

I especially enjoyed the Appendix sections:
Appendix 1: The Sovereignty of God and Satan,
Appendix 2: Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?,
and Appendix 3: Christian, Pray for Your Pastors!

Borgman gives us a good understanding of the war we are in and how to win it. Packed full of encouragement and instruction, his book leaves you with more weapons than you started with.

If you are interested in the subject of warfare, this is a great place to start. Simple and easy to read, it is a great gift for a new believer.

I recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Review: Greg Gutfeld - Not Cool: The Hipster Elite and Their War on You

http://img1.imagesbn.com/p/9780804138536_p0_v2_s260x420.JPGI try to stay away from political books, not because I do not enjoy them, but because they raise my blood pressure. Having read Gutfeld before, I could not pass this one up. He has always been a fun read. I think the humor cushions the anger that it would normally provoke.

The premise of the book is intriguing. Cool vs. Uncool. He could have used a number of themes to say the same thing - Snobs vs. peons, socialist vs. free, Whole foods vs. Wal-Mart shoppers… and so on and so forth.

It reminded me of a TED video I watched once, (I know, I’m sorry). In this lecture the guy asked how many people knew someone who shopped at Wal-mart. I think I heard crickets. No one was so "low-class" as to even know anyone who shops there.

Gutfeld shows that the Cool not only believe they are cool, but they want to run the lives of the uncool. They want to make you cool also. This is something I have ranted about for years. A group of rich, spoiled liberals (and a few Republicans), who hate all normal people are the ones who run our country and our lives.

"It is for our own good" the liberal says. "We don't want you to get hurt so we need to make guns illegal". "We want to keep you healthy", so Cigarettes and Trans-fats are taxed or made illegal. But these people are hypocrites. The same people that try to outlaw cigarettes, legalize pot? Maybe second hand pot smoke is good for you. The same people who hate Christianity have found a new peaceful religion in Islam. The same idiots who raise taxes are caught not paying their own.

I agree with Gutfeld - leave me alone. Let me live my life. If I do not hurt anyone, why am I being punished? Like a parent who can not find out which child that busted the window, they just punish them all instead of the one that actually broke it.

This book was great. Being a Christian, I did not like some of the language, but I can overlook that a little. The message of the book is excellent - Just like High school, America consists of the cool, good-looking, but dumb people getting the breaks while the normal, smart, but ugly do all the hard work. That is why we elected a “community organizer” instead of a war hero or a religious business man for the highest office in the land. Old war heroes who move slow and boring business men just aren’t cool. A mysterious young guy with hardly any background except for skipping class in college to do drugs is way cooler!


My rant is now over. If you want a rant of your own, READ THIS BOOK!

I highly recommend this book. It my cause the veins in your forehead to bulge, but don't we need that every once in a while.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Review: Jeremy Walker - Life in Christ

Having read and enjoyed Jeremy Walker's writings before, I looked forward to this book.

"Life in Christ" is basically a book about the gospel. What must I do to be saved? Walker tells us - Look unto Jesus! It is not ourselves, our church, our family, our money, etc. It is Jesus and Him crucified! Jeremy does not stop there. He shows us what our life in Christ should look like and how God, not only changes a person, but births a new creation in them. We are not the same. We are new creatures.

This book is very understandable and easy to read. In some places I felt like I was reading a sermon from Spurgeon. Here is a small example:

"We look to Him at Calvary. There hangs the suffering, bleeding, dying Lamb. Look to Him, with the crown of thorns piercing His noble brow. Look to Him, with the blood pouring from His hands and feet, cruelly pierced with Roman nails. Look to Him as the gore drips from His wounded flesh, torn from His back by a vicious scourge. Look to Him as He bows His head in agony under the weight of His holy Father’s just anger against sin. Look to Him as He cries out from the midst of an impenetrable darkness, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” Look to Him as He shouts with a loud voice, “It is finished!” Look to Him as He yields up His Spirit."

Wow, Just thinking of what Jesus done brings tears to our eyes. He took our place. He was punished for me! Like I heard an old preacher say years ago, "If that don't fire you up, your wood must be wet." What a savior we have!

I loved this book. It is not only written with sound doctrine, it also has, what Edwards called "Religious Affections". It will stir your heart toward Christ. If you need encouragement, not the feel-good self-esteem kind, but true gospel edification, this is the book for you.

I highly recommend this book to all, believer and unbeliever alike, and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.


To Hear some great interviews follow these links:

http://www.janetmefferdpremium.com/2014/01/16/janet-mefferd-radio-show-20140116-hr-3/

and

http://confessingbaptist.com/podcast038/

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Audio Book Review: Rosaria Champagne Butterfield - The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

When scanning through books to read, I came upon this gem. I had never heard of Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, but the title was very intriguing. I placed it on my "to read" wish list. Then I was blessed to see it offered for audiobook review. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance.

This book has to be one of the most heartfelt biographies I have read (or listened to) in a long time. Rosaria's story is not you average - "I did drugs and Jesus saved me" testimony. She was an English professor, a gay rights activist, and a practicing lesbian. She was writing a book against the christian right, when God stepped in.

When going through some love and hate mail from an article she wrote against Promise Keepers, one letter challenged her belief system and lead her to a whole different perspective. Her life did not change overnight. God dealt with her heart over a period of time. We get a glimpse at the highs and lows of her life as God dealt with her heart,

We normally see the person come to the Lord at the end of a book like this. But in this case, Rosaria is saved in the middle. We not only get a glimpses of her life without Christ, we also get to see what happens after she is saved.

Boldly honest, this book pulls no punches! The narration is preformed by the author and it is well done. Because it is her story, we hear the emotion as she reads.

I highly recommend this audiobook and 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 Crown & Covenant Publications in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Lyle D. Bierma - The Theology of the Heidelberg Catechism: A Reformation Synthesis

I have always thought of the Heidelberg Catechism as a strictly Calvinist document. Here, Lyle D. Bierma, convinces otherwise.

Over the years, I have read a few commentaries on the Heidelberg, but this book is a little different. It is not a commentary, per se; it is more of a history of its theology.

Bierma's thesis is that the catechism was a synthesis of Calvinism, Lutheran and some times Zwinglian theology. He believes it was an ecumenical document to be used in more than just the Calvinist Reformed churches. His arguments are precise and convincing.

In this work he takes us through each question of the Heidelberg comparing them to other catechisms and documents of the time. His goal is to prove that the origins of the wording were taken from multiple sources.

In this short but convincing work , Bierma accomplishes the task he sets out to perform. The writing is straight forth and readable. I believe the sections concerning baptism, the covenant, and the Lord's Supper are the most persuasive.

I enjoyed this book and will now look into reading, what seems to be, the companion volume, "Introduction to the Heidelberg Catechism", by the same author

Though not for everyone, I recommend it and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from Westminster John Knox Press and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Matthew M. Barrett - What Is Regeneration

I have had the privilege to read a number of books or booklets in the "Basics of the Faith" series. They have all been a great blessing and this one is no exception.

This is also the second book I have read by Barrett and I am very impressed. His writing is excellent and I will read him again in the future.

In this small book, he takes the subject of his larger volume, "Salvation by Grace: The Case for Effectual Calling and Regeneration" and condenses it into 40 pages. Focusing on regeneration, he gives us a very understandable overview of the subject. Using scripture to back up each statement, Barrett shows us that God is the one who makes us alive. We can not birth ourselves. We are born not of the will of man, but of God himself.

He shows us the difference in the “gospel call” and the “effectual call”. The “gospel call” is the outward call while the “effectual call” is the moving of God upon the heart. We see what it really means to be "born again" and how God gives us a new heart. We also see how God opens the heart to see the things of God. Because we are born blind and in sin, God gives us light to understand and the new heart to accept it.

Even though this book is very small, it was a great read. I think this would be a great resource for those who are new in the faith and would like a short and readable explanation of what God worked in their hearts to bring them to Himself. It would also be a great introduction to regeneration for those who feel that the 429 page, "Salvation by Grace", is a little long.


I loved this book and I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book, free of charge, from P & R Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.