In a fast-paced world of technology, friendships easily become surface and superficial. But God has called us as Christians for something more as theIn a fast-paced world of technology, friendships easily become surface and superficial. But God has called us as Christians for something more as the body of Christ. In this book, the author takes a look at biblical friendships: what they are, what they aren't and traits to develop to become a biblical friend. "Truly biblical friendship is embodied in the Trinity, empowered by Jesus Christ, and intended as a spiritual discipline among God's people for the purpose of glorifying him." Biblical friendship is intended to be a testimony to other Christians and to be a witness to the outside world of the love of Christ. Some of the traits needed to develop this type of friendship are constancy, candor, carefulness and counsel. These types of friendship take time to build and must be continued on through the good and the bad, helping each other in time of need. Transparency is needed, yet carefulness to guard the others' private concerns. Counsel is seen throughout Proverbs as being a characteristic of biblical friendship. Traits to guard against that will destroy a biblical friendship are hurtful speech, such as gossip or slander, anger and jealousy. Biblical friendships take time and must be more than just the online status quo that is so prevalent among friendships today. This book is a needed reminder of what true friendship looks like in a day and age when often friends are treated as one more project or program in our lives.
*I was sent a copy of this book free from the publisher Cruciform Press in exchange for my review....more
This was a very down-to-earth, accessible, easy-to-read volume on the doctrines of Scripture and the Trinity. Many people are put off by the idea of tThis was a very down-to-earth, accessible, easy-to-read volume on the doctrines of Scripture and the Trinity. Many people are put off by the idea of theology and think it is primarily for scholars and theologians. But everyone has a theology whether they realize it or not. And our theology or view of who God is, affects our daily lives. This book puts theology in an understandable format, making it easy to grasp for the average person. What we believe is our theology and good theology is needed to live a life in accordance with God's Word. After a brief overview of the Christian story in 4 acts, this book is divided into 2 sections: Revelation and Scripture, and The Trinity. Each part then breaks down the doctrine in the following sections:
High Altitude Survey Passages to Master - a look at key passages that explore this particular doctrine In Retrospect - what did the past teach regarding this doctrine? A look at church history Facts to Never Forget - key truths regarding this doctrine Dangers to Avoid - some of the heresies that have arisen in the past from this doctrine Principles to Put into Practice - how is this doctrine practical for my daily life? Voices from the Past and Present - key church fathers, theologians and others' quotes regarding this doctrine Shelf Space - further recommending reading to dive further into this subject
Each section is well-written and concise. For those looking for a beginning-level curriculum for small group or Sunday School classes, this volume would make an excellent choice to go through together to better understand and grasp the doctrine of Scripture and the Trinity.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Bethany House in exchange for my review. ...more
Don't start this unless you have time to sit and read it. Once you start it, you won't want to put it down. Read this in 1 day - very suspenseful andDon't start this unless you have time to sit and read it. Once you start it, you won't want to put it down. Read this in 1 day - very suspenseful and page-turning!...more
Most of us are prone to worry. And what's not to worry about? The world we live in is increasingly scary, difficult and uncertain. But as Christians wMost of us are prone to worry. And what's not to worry about? The world we live in is increasingly scary, difficult and uncertain. But as Christians we know a God who is above all of that. In this book, the author takes us through how worry affects us, not only emotionally but physically. And then walks us through the Bible and the many admonitions by God to not worry but put our trust in Him instead. She examines several examples throughout Scripture of how God's people faced seemingly impossible circumstances, yet God overcame and worked through them. Ultimately, worry comes down to our theology and what we believe about God. If we are worrying, we are not trusting God. This book gives a rundown of who God is and why we can put our trust in Him. "We, who are among the most comfortable Christians in history, have no business embracing fear and letting worry drain us of the strength God gives. It's time for us to repent of worry, recognize we can make a different choice, and pursue the frightening freedom and baffling peace of trust in God." Examples are given of what it was like for people during the Bible times who were asked by God to trust Him. They didn't have the written Scriptures like we do. How much more should we be able to trust God, having the evidence of His faithfulness throughout the Bible? "This is not about simply 'handing our worries over to God'; it's about understanding how incredibly powerful and trustworthy God is, how much higher his ways are than ours, how ridiculous it is for us to cling to the illusion of control and the fear of what is small in God's view. It's about putting our concerns in their proper place, in relationship to God's concerns. It's about who God is, not who we are. It means taking seriously Paul's instruction to 'let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think' (Rom 12:2)." This short, easy-to-read book packs a good punch in the battle against worry that we face. Reasons to worry abound, but reasons to trust God abound even more. While not taking lightly the struggle of worry, the author reminds us that God is all-powerful, compassionate and in control, Someone who is trustworthy and has proved that over and over. A recommended read for those who struggle with worry, offering encouragement to grow in our trust in God.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for my review....more
Of the books I've read in the Theologians on the Christian Life series, this one is my favorite. I was drawn into it immediately in hearing the storyOf the books I've read in the Theologians on the Christian Life series, this one is my favorite. I was drawn into it immediately in hearing the story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer's life. The author is one who went to L'Abri, the ministry that the Schaeffers started, and knew the Schaeffers personally, so personal anecdotes are woven into the story. I knew a little bit about Schaeffer from college, when I took "Introduction to Fine Arts" and we read the book How Should We Then Live? and watched the film. At the time, I thought it was fairly boring. :-) My interests have changed a bit since then and I'm much more interested in culture and worldviews, so reading about Schaeffer is much more fascinating. We already own several of Schaeffer's books that I have yet to read but want to; so in reading this book, I became even more eager to read the Schaeffer books that we have (and plan to dive into The God Who Is There shortly). While the book covers biographical info about the Schaeffers and how the ministry of L'Abri started, it also talks about Francis' views of the Christian life. Much of his views can be found in his book True Spirituality. I found it interesting since I recently read a book on John Wesley and his view on Christian perfectionism, that this book addressed Schaeffer's disagreement with Wesley on Christians reaching perfectionism in this lifetime. I would definitely recommend this book to learn more about Francis Schaeffer and the ministry of L'Abri, which was influential in many lives over the years. These paragraphs sum up the book nicely: "A number of years ago, McKendree Langley wrote an important book on Abraham Kuyper, titled The Practice of Political Spirituality. This title well expresses how Francis Schaeffer viewed public life. For him all of life, including politics, was a matter of spirituality, just as were prayer life, Bible reading, and the like. Not that he confused the church and the state, as we have seen. Nor that church life should be ignored, or that doing politics, writing a poem, making a scientific discovery, raising a family, and so on are strictly the same kinds of activities. yet in a deep sense, they are spiritual activities. For Schaeffer, then, spirituality was not restricted to the special practices we often associate with religious devotion. Here we can emulate the Schaeffers' approach, without necessarily living exactly as they did. The work of L'Abri may not be absolutely unique, but such a community-with its approach to prayer, to holding seminars, to discussing major issues around the meal table-is a special model for engaging culture. Other models might look different, though they are no less valid. I know of seminaries and churches that have culture and vocation programs, and of other para-church works that are focused on a particular realm of life, such as science, politics, or the arts. What we should take away from the Schaeffers' teaching and example, and indeed, from the ongoing work of L'Abri around the world, is that Christ is Lord of all of life, and because of that, there is no realm of life not subject to our scrutiny and to our calling as Christians in the world. For many, this message and this practice represent what is so wonderful, so exciting, about the Schaeffer legacy."
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Crossway in exchange for my review....more
Not a book I would recommend. If I hadn't been reading it for a group read/study, I probably would not have finished it. Though there are some good trNot a book I would recommend. If I hadn't been reading it for a group read/study, I probably would not have finished it. Though there are some good truths and principles in the book, the tone and approach comes across as harsh to me and ends up rubbing me the wrong way, rather than encouraging me toward being a Titus 2 woman. If an older woman approached me the way the author tells them to in this book, I would run the other way! :-)...more
I wasn't sure on this book as Wesley was Arminian and I am a Calvinist. :-) But the book brings out that he was very big on the gospel and bringing peI wasn't sure on this book as Wesley was Arminian and I am a Calvinist. :-) But the book brings out that he was very big on the gospel and bringing people to faith - justification was by faith alone. He also seemed to work well with others, even if they didn't agree theologically. Overall, I had a hard time reading this book, which is why it is only 3 stars instead of 4. There were parts I enjoyed but other parts just didn't grab me. John Wesley was a huge influence in the Great Awakening and revival of the 1700's. Though he remained an Anglican all his life, it appears he was influential in the Methodist denomination getting started. I did not know that his marriage was an unhappy one or that he never had children. He also was a theologian on the book of 1 John and taught that Christians should ever be striving onwards toward perfection. Yet he made a clear distinction between justification and sanctification. For those who are interested in learning more about what John Wesley taught (and also some of his brother Charles' hymns), this would be a good book to give an overview of Wesley's teachings. I did not agree with all of what Wesley taught, but he was passionate about people getting saved.
Quotes: "It is crucial to remember that Wesley took the doctrine of original sin and trumpeted it to an eighteenth century that preferred to believe in the essential goodness of humanity, the inevitable march of progress, and the bright future of decent people rightly governed. Wesley begged to differ. Even the otherwise sound churchmen of his day preached a message that was too weak and too soft, too much like a series of recommendations for how to behave better...The weakness of their preaching was rooted in their failure to understand how bad humanity really was." "We are not basically good, with a few external failings. We are radically fallen...Wesley taught that original sin is 'the fundamental point which differences heathenism from Christianity.' In contrast to all forms of paganism, even the highest and noblest forms, Christianity alone has an accurate understanding of the depth and extent of human sin, of 'the entire depravation of the whole human nature...' The human predicament goes to the heart of man." "If we were only a little bit sick, we would need only a little bit of salvation. But being desperately disordered and sick all the way to the heart, we stand in need of true religion, heart religion."
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Crossway in exchange for my review....more
I couldn't get into this book. The writing didn't really grab me and didn't seem to flow. I tried flipping through it to look at different sections buI couldn't get into this book. The writing didn't really grab me and didn't seem to flow. I tried flipping through it to look at different sections but nothing jumped out at me to pull me back into the book. It seems to be a good overview of what Bonhoeffer taught and believed. Starting off with his christology and then going into his views on living in community, which many know of because of his book Life Together. It then breaks down the different disciplines of the Christian life: the Word, prayer, and confession. Some other topics are covered for the rest of the book. For those interested in Bonhoeffer, they may find this a good overview. The end of the book gives the books that he wrote and also books that were written about him. I wanted to like this book but just couldn't get into it.
*I was given a copy of this book free from the publisher Crossway in exchange for a review....more
This book spans the breadth of the Biblical basis for missions, theological implications, history of missions, as well as what missionaries face in crThis book spans the breadth of the Biblical basis for missions, theological implications, history of missions, as well as what missionaries face in cross-cultural situations and mission strategies for reaching the world. While primarily being a great textbook for missions classes, it is also a great read for churches to go through to understand what missions is and why it should be part of every believer's life. Jesus left us with the command to go and make disciples, teaching them His commands. This involves not only evangelism and the spread of the gospel but discipling new believers to then go out and evangelize and disciple others. The book begins with what the missionary call is and the importance of knowing God and His Word. It then goes on to show the Biblical foundation for missions. In order to properly "do" missions, one must start with what the Bible says about it and this book goes through the overview of Scripture and how missions is evident throughout the Bible, from God's choosing of one man to become a nation that would proclaim Him and spread His name to the gift of His own Son as the sacrifice that would make a true relationship with Him possible. It then discusses the importance of theology in missions, knowing who God is, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Scripture, etc. An overview of the history of missions, how it expanded from the early church after Jesus' ascension to modern day missions, is given in the next section of the book. Then the cultural implications of missions, dealing with different worldviews and cultures, as well as the various world religions that one encounters, is discussed. Next, mission strategies are discussed such as the need for making disciples, as well as church-planting. What a missionary faces in changing cultures and what to expect from culture shock is also given to help potential missionaries be better prepared for the experiences they will face. The need for the local church to be involved in missions and the ever-changing state of global missions is looked at in the final chapters. An excellent overview of what missions is, the Biblical, theological and cultural implications, as well as a brief history of missions, this book makes for a highly recommended resource for those preparing for missions and the churches that support them.
Quotes: "It is absolutely critical that everyone who engages in Christian mission understand how fundamentally theocentric that mission must be. God himself issues the marching orders. He defines the task. He prescribes the means. He provides the resources and the power to accomplish it. He gets all the glory. A healthy obsession with the glory of God safeguards his people from the idolatry of thinking they are primary, and it also purifies their methodology because if the end is his glory, then the means must glorify him as well. Because he is sovereign, missionaries will not be tempted to engage in manipulative means, and they will not despair in the face of opposition. Furthermore, the mission of the people of God is not some minor addendum to the life of the church but God's assigned task to them that connects them to God's design for all of human history. Because it is fundamentally God's mission, it is not an option."
"The fundamental problem facing every human being is sin: guilt before a holy God and corruption in every aspect of our nature. Even the most educated, healthy, well-fed unbelievers on earth still face eternity under the wrath of God for their sin. Such people have many needs, and all of them should elicit compassion from Christians, but their greatest need is salvation in Jesus Christ."
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher B&H Academic in exchange for my review....more
A very quick, easy read providing an apologetic for the purpose of short term missions. Short term missions can cause more harm than good and the authA very quick, easy read providing an apologetic for the purpose of short term missions. Short term missions can cause more harm than good and the author takes us through what makes short term missions impactful rather than harmful. After showing the biblical pattern of short term missions in the book of Acts, he looks at who short term missions is for. While there is the participant, the sending church, the local unbelievers, and the receiving church, the ultimate purpose behind short term missions is to come alongside and assist the missionary. We are the ones to "hold the rope" for them while they are in the pit. After challenging us to rethink whom short term missions is for, the author then proceeds to go through the steps of a fruitful short term trip: determining where to go, when works best for the missionary, what type of ministry is needed, etc. Determining what the costs will be and accepting applications, the author also gives a sample application questionnaire and how to weed out those who may not be best for that particular trip. This is a very handy primer on how to do short term missions most effectively and should be a great resource for every church to look at how they do short-term missions to make the most impact, not only for assisting the missionary but to grow their own members. Highly recommended resource for churches that want to be more effective in short term missions and in coming alongside their missionaries.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher William Carey Library in exchange for my review....more
I wish that every believer would read this book. It is eye-opening to how New Age terminology and concepts have become "Christianized" and accepted inI wish that every believer would read this book. It is eye-opening to how New Age terminology and concepts have become "Christianized" and accepted into today's churches. My heart is heavy after reading this book. It reveals information that most Christians are probably completely unaware of as they read the popular devotional book by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling.
What you may not know about Sarah Young's Jesus Calling: Her inspiration for writing Jesus Calling was a book called God Calling written by 2 anonymous women. Seemingly innocent, but in looking into the book God Calling, it is seen that God Calling is teaching New Age beliefs. It blatantly contradicts the Bible by saying that God is "in" everyone, while the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells only believers. It appears that Sarah Young was inspired by this book to seek her own messages from God like the women received in God Calling. Sarah Young states in the introduction to Jesus Calling "I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day." This indicates that Sarah did not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, that the Bible was not enough for what she needed to grow closer to God. Using the teaching from the New Age book God Calling, she then proceeded to listen for her own messages from God. The result is the devotional Jesus Calling. Unknowingly (I hope anyway), perhaps because of being inspired and influenced by the New Age teachings in God Calling, Sarah uses similar New Age phrases and concepts in the book Jesus Calling. Most of us would not recognize these seemingly benign phrases. But those who have come out of the New Age movement, such as the author Warren Smith, recognize these for what they are and realize that the Jesus of the Bible would not use these well-known New Age phrases to communicate to us. "The situation is ripe for spiritual deception when the Word of God is minimized and spiritual experience is raised above it." "Another Jesus" Calling is a commentary on the devotional Jesus Calling, showing where the book goes seriously astray, using New Age ideas such as channeling, and actually contradicting the Bible, something which the true Jesus would never do. As an example, on January 28 the devotional states: "I am with you always. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven." However, these were words that Jesus spoke to the disciples on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20). In Acts 1, Jesus and His disciples are on the Mount called Olivet near Jerusalem (which is quite a distance from Galilee), when He ascends into heaven after saying "you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:9 tells us that after He said these things is when He ascended to heaven, not after His statement in Matthew 28. If this Jesus from Jesus Calling were really Jesus, obviously He would not say a lie or contradict Himself.
This book goes on to show many examples of why Jesus Calling is not a book that should be embraced by Christians trying to follow the God of the Bible. Part of me wants to quote the whole book by Smith, showing the problems and pleading with people to recognize the subtlety of the New Age terms and concepts that are interwoven into this book. Smith reminds us that the Bible warns of false Christs coming and of people being deceived. Dr. Harry Ironside is quoted as saying: "Error is like leaven, of which we read, 'A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.' Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died."
Jesus Calling is immensely popular and is very emotionally appealing. This information in Smith's book will likely not be received well by the many Christians that love this devotional. Out of love and concern for my fellow believers, I would urge you to pick up a copy of this book "Another Jesus" Calling to see what it has to say about the subtle dangers in Jesus Calling. We are told in the Bible in 1 John 4:1 "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." It is hard to hear that something we dearly love may not be true. I understand that no one likes to hear this kind of thing.
Eye-opening and extremely easy-to-read, this book can be read in just a few hours. Highly recommended!
More quotes: "God is always present with us - a presence that will never be magnified above His Word. If we choose to put experiencing God's presence above His Word, we are leaving ourselves open and vulnerable to the visits of a counterfeit presence."
"If one becomes dependent on a subjective presence rather than the objective holy Bible, deception is inevitable. That is why it is crucial to compare what is taught by anyone or anything to the revealing light of God's Word. Test the spirits of any presence that may appear in your devotions and quiet times." 2 Timothy 2:15 - "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (NASB)
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Lighthouse Trails Publishing in exchange for my review....more
I had heard of B.B. Warfield before but didn't really know much about him. After reading this book, I've learned much more of who he was and what he sI had heard of B.B. Warfield before but didn't really know much about him. After reading this book, I've learned much more of who he was and what he stood for. Warfield lived from 1851 to 1921 and is known for his stand on the inspiration of Scripture. He lived in a day where the Bible's inspiration was being challenged and he defended it as being the inspired Word of God. But Warfield taught and wrote much more than just the Bible's inspiration. This book takes us through what Warfield taught on the many doctrines of the Christian faith. So much of this book resonated with me and what I already believe. Warfield put into words so many great truths. I found much that I wanted to quote from this book. Warfield not only defended the inspiration of Scripture but its authority. The book also takes us through what he taught on the gospel, our salvation, who Christ is, the Holy Spirit, sanctification and other doctrines important to understanding a life of faith. Warfield wrote prolifically and I am now interested in reading some of his writings after reading this book. Monergism has some of the books he wrote free as ebooks (http://www.monergism.com/blog/7-free-...). For an overview of what Warfield taught, as well as a good reminder of what the gospel is and how it affects our daily lives, this book is a great read. Recommended for encouragement in the Christian walk.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher Crossway in exchange for my review....more
This book is written primarily to older women who want to be mentors but find in their attempts to be part of traditional mentor programs that often tThis book is written primarily to older women who want to be mentors but find in their attempts to be part of traditional mentor programs that often they can't seem to connect with the mentee and the relationship fails. Two age groups are addressed in the book - Moderns (those born prior to 1965) and Postmoderns (those born between 1965 and 1981). Traditional mentoring programs are tailored much more to how the Modern age group thinks and approaches mentoring, which no longer attract women in the Postmodern age group, thus causing the failure. I thought the book had a lot of good points in showing the differences in how the Modern age group women approach mentoring versus how the Postmodern age group women look at it. What struck me though is that when the characteristics of each age group was given, I fell more in line with the Modern women age group even though I am chronologically in the Postmodern age group (having been born in the 1970's). The list (keeping in mind obviously that all women are different, these are generalities): " Older women value programs, structure, and organization. Younger women value organic, flexible approaches. Older women believe you must be a positive role model. younger women believe you must be yourself. Older women prefer to teach or impart wisdom. Younger women want to process life and learn from real experiences. Older women prefer to learn through instruction. Younger women prefer to learn through stories, experiences, and lived-out truth. Older women respect and trust those in authority. Younger women respect and trust only those who have proven worthy. Older women value privacy. Younger women value transparency. Older women see distinct standards for how one should live as a woman. Younger women believe there is no one right way to be a woman. Older women choose the mentor for the mentee. Younger women prefer to learn from multiple mentors. Older women prefer scheduled terms that start and stop. Younger women want an ongoing relationship and content to build it over time. Older women use technology in limited ways. Younger women depend on technology to manage life. Older women embrace contractual commitments. Younger women continue only if the experience is valuable."
The book then tackles these issues and addresses the older women and their need to adjust and adapt to the type of mentoring that the younger women are looking for, though it goes against their natural instincts and inclinations. In order to help the current mentoring crisis (for younger women are looking for mentors), traditional programs and methods are not working and a new approach is needed. That new approach is explained throughout the book. The appendices give training information for using this book to train older women in how to mentor the postmodern generation. Helpful tools are given - such as having a younger women panel, using skits, and doing mentor and listening skills assessments. I found this book very easy to read and very practical. Though chronologically I fall into the younger women category, I find myself relating to more of the older women traits and so found it useful to better understand women in my own age group as well as the younger women I interact with. Though geared toward the older women, this book is also helpful for younger women to read and see why perhaps they are having trouble connecting with older women and to better understand the differences between the generations. So both groups would find this book useful in better understanding each other and seeing how they can adapt to each other for a mutually beneficial mentoring relationship. An excellent resource for any church to have for help with ministering to the women in their care.
*I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher Kregel Publications in exchange for my review. ...more