Muscle and a Shovel
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Muscle and a Shovel

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  47 reviews
4th Edition Revised NEW: 4th Edition includes the epilogue, Randall's Secret [epilogue] Muscle and a Shovel is a raw and gritty true story about a pair of young newly-weds who move to the city to chase the American dream. In the process they're befriended by a man who turns their belief about God, their church, and their faith upside down! Baptists, Methodists, Presbyteria...more
Paperback, 382 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Michael Shank Ministries
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(showing 1-30 of 447)
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I've grown up in the church of Christ. Yet, even I was "cutting off the end of the ham." This book helped show me why we do some things that I've never thought twice about. And while there are a few things I don't agree with 100%, I can see why some people believe that now based on the scripture provided. I love that everything is backed up with scripture. I just wish it wasn't King James Version as I've always struggled to understand it. If you are curious as to why the church of Christ practic...more
Rebekah Morgan
Before talking about the content of the book, let me get it out of the way that it is obviously self published and most likely never edited. The writing is repetitive and at the same level as a middle schooler.

The content of the book is strange. It begins with several pages of blatant racism, goes into a discussion of why looking at the Bible as a whole is more profitable than just looking at verses, and ends with a diatribe on why the Church of Christ is the only viable option for Christians....more
You are CONTENT with your DENOMINATION, and your CHURCH...I suggest you DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. This book is focused around the church of Christ, and it will try and convert you to their church.....It will make you question your faith, and your soul..... I did not give it a star at all, becuase I do not think that this book needs to be "rated".....Instead of reading this book, I suggest you pick up your BIBLE and read it instead!
Havebooks Willread
This is a very thorough record of one man's discovery of the Truth of the Bible. Through the influence of a co-worker, Mike realizes the importance of studying the Bible for oneself rather than following what any man says or the traditions one has been taught.

"Why were people so careless with the Bible? Why didn't people study the Bible like their eternal souls depended on it?. . .Studying and understanding the Bible isn't for the lazy. Studying the Bible requires muscle and a shovel. Mental mu...more
Ryan Mcdonald
Excellent book! It will make you think about every aspect of your spiritual life. I will warn you though, it could challenge your entire belief system. If so, don't put the book down, instead try and prove it wrong through study of the scripture. You will find that very hard to do.
David Cox
If you want to read a book about someone who is honestly struggling to resolve the questions that he has regarding his religious background and how he comes to learning the actual truth about what is clearly written in the bible on how we are to follow His Word, this is the book you need to read if you desire to be in a saved state with God!! Nobody has ever written anything as eloquently as this man has regarding how he comes to terms with his faith and becoming baptized. The only other book th...more
Missy Russell
This is a great book. Everyone should read it. It is simple to read and takes you to the Bible for what it truly means to be a Christian. Very enlightening.
Rick Harper
Michael Shank is either incredibly ignorant or totally deceptive. This book reminds me of Nazi propaganda; it's only missing pictures of the deformities and birth defects of the offspring of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, non-denoms, etc. Horrible. Shank preys on the ignorance of his readers , both historical and biblical ignorance. He simply continues to parrot everything that is constantly parroted by Church of Christ denomination members. I had to force myself past every page...more
This is the best book I have ever read. This is a true story. It is a book about a man's journey to become a Christian, the difference in teachings and which church is right for you. It can make you angry at times but keep reading and if there is something you do not agree with find the answer in the bible and prove you are right, then notify Mr. Shank. He welcomes it! I guarantee, if you read the entire book you will learn something whether a Christian or not. I know I did and I have been a Chr...more
Have you always wondered why certain things you hear from the Sunday morning pulpit don't always match up when you read your Bible? This book is about several characters, all of whom are looking for change in their life. They don't all understand why or how at first, but eventually it all comes to light.

Randall is such a caring individual. He is always cheery and helpful no matter what his lot in life is. He is someone most people either naturally gravitate towards or completely ignore. I need...more
Really interesting personal story of how the author came to salvation. From a story-telling perspective, it's not a masterpiece, but I don't think the author has an inflated view of his prose. Actually, I enjoyed the way he made self-conscious references to 1980s pop culture as a way to set it in the time frame.

Great book for anyone who wants to know how the Bible says we are saved, and become part of God's Church.
Kristi Bell
This is an excellent book on how a man was converted to Christianity and it is very scripture oriented. It answered some questions for me that I've had. I would highly recommend this book. This book is backed up by Scriptures throughout it. It does take a "muscle and a shovel" to dig through God's word! Randall, the guy who studies with Michael, is a member of the church of Christ.
Wynema Clark
If you want to know what the Church of Christ, the denomination, believes this book spells it out perfectly. I would not recommend this book to anyone unless you need to know and understand why they believe what they believe. But if you want to understand the Gospel I would recommend "The Naked Gospel" by Andrew Farley.
I really enjoyed reading about the authors honest challenges with scripture and faith and conversion journey. I would recommend this book to others, it really makes you think and points to scripture for the answers. The author belongs to the Church of Christ so this book is written in favor of this particular church.
I have never read any type of religious book like this. It takes an honest look at the Scriptures while telling a captivating story. The story and the truth behind it is one that left tears streaming down my cheeks as the book ended. It is one I whole-heartedly recommend to everyone. It will cause you to reexamine your beliefs and desire to be a better evangelist. It is a MUST READ & one I look forward to reading over and over again.
There are over 1000 Scripture citations in this book. I believe that the word of God is inerrant. I couldn't refute any of the Scriptures. I did see verses that I'd never seen before. I did experience a wide range of emotions as I read.

I recommend that you read it for yourself. I recommend it, and I suggest you read until the end.
This book challenged me. I didn't even want to read it at first. So many people told me how wonderful it was, I was afraid it would never live up to my expectations. It is a very clear, biblical account of one man's journey to Jesus.
Michelle O'brien
EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK!!!! Wonderful story of Mr. Shanks conversion to Christianity - over 1,000 Bible verses quoted supporting NT Christianity - please, read this book!!
William Sharp
This is a wonderful book. If you are somewhat interested in the Bible and how God saves us from our sins, read it. You will not be disappointed.
D. Hoggatt
If you think you know what the Bible says without reading the Bible, this book may shake your faith. This is one man's journey to salvation - as prescribed by God's Word, and not as opined by a man, man's traditions, or man's desires. I dare you to read Muscle and a Shovel by Michael J. Shank.
Michael Shank shares a detailed account of he and his wife's conversion. It is a must read that skips the opinion and sticks to scripture.
Troy Connor
This book was outstanding!!!!! The conversion story of a lost soul who gets baptized into Christ. This book shows the beliefs of the church of Christ and its biblical truth. This book does a great service along with the bible to answer the questions to the beliefs that you hold dear to your heart. I believe everyone should read it and take a look at their own faith.
Becky Neal
a must read!!!
Shannon Clark
I'm not a member of the Church of Christ, but this book opened my eyes to the need for diligent bible study. And I'm thankful for that!!
All Serious students of the Bible should read this book. But before you read it please be warned, you will find scriptures which will be new to you with very serious implications. If in addition to being a serious Bible student you are also serious about obeying God you will have some tough choices to make. None of us always makes the right choice in moral and spiritual decisions. All of us depend on the mercy and grace of God to fill in the void between our very best behavior and His perfect st...more
Nikki Akins
I love that the author is giving a first-person account of his personal search for Biblical truth. An open mind and and open Bible are essential to get the most out of this book.
Garrett Behrends
If you are curious about what the church of Christ believes and why they believe it, this is a good book for you. My main complaint is that the scripture used in this book is pulled from the KJV, it is understandable since he wrote this in the 1980's, but I still don't like it.
Lynn Heath
This was be best book on personal conversion I have read (next to the Bible). Mike (the author)tells the story of how he and his wife were converted to simple biblical Christianity by a man who caught his attention because he was different. Always having a smile and a positive attitude and backed up everything he said with Scripture.
A truly amazing recounting of Michael's search for the truth in God's Word. I would recommend this book to every Christian and to anyone who is currently on their own search for the truth in God's Word. I have met Michael Shank and he is genuine and humble and I am thankful to call him my friend and brother.
Lester Cockram
I truly enjoyed this book, learned a lot, and sincere in giving it a personal 5 star rating, with that said, I was not brave enough to recommend this book to anyone I know outside the Church of Christ doors. If you eat nails for breakfast take the challenge.
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