I borrowed this from my pastor and read it to see what I thought. The first two-thirds of the book breakdown the ideas of catechism and how it current...moreI borrowed this from my pastor and read it to see what I thought. The first two-thirds of the book breakdown the ideas of catechism and how it currently looks in the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches. The history, background materials, and comparison charts are a wonderful read for those not knowledgeable; but as a whole, it reads more like a seminary textbook instead being intended for the average layman. The last third of the book would be most beneficial to Pastors and lay leaders looking to build "new members" classes and redeveloping the Sunday School program. The major idea being the creation of the three tiered program of classes that identify new believers, growth and discipleship of followers, and the mentoring of believers and leaders of the church. (less)
Michael Youssefis a great writer and for the first time in a long while I felt truly impressed by the leadership concepts being presented. Not one pag...moreMichael Youssefis a great writer and for the first time in a long while I felt truly impressed by the leadership concepts being presented. Not one page goes by without sound biblical reference and additional examples of modern leaders used to make a point. For many looking to read a neo-pop culture version of John Maxwell, this is your book. And that is not meant to be a drumming of the book at all, but instead an acknowledgment that the iPod generation is moving into leadership roles and they need more than just Passion Conferences Podcast to get them motivated to lead. His style of writing is light, airy, and conversational but not vapid. I was struck by his use of the CEO of Starbucks as an example, since recent comments of the CFO seem to be a little anti-church, but Youseff backs up the secular example with scripture. He balances the tools you need to be a leader with modern examples and the moral steerage of Jesus Christ, without the negative nagging patriarch tone of some older leadership readings. I'm really blessed for reading it and will definitely keep it in my rotation of leadership readings for the next few years. Comparisons would lead me toJesus, CEO, writings by Francis Chan or Louie Giglio, and some of Andy Andrews works.
Francis Chan continues to develop his readings for the growth of the church in modern America. The key elements that are pushed forward as a part of M...moreFrancis Chan continues to develop his readings for the growth of the church in modern America. The key elements that are pushed forward as a part of Multiply is that the form of Discipleship has waned greatly in the last century. Where churches have focused greatly on creating converts, the growth and depth of faith has shallowed out. Thus the lay leadership is ill-equipped to meet the growing needs of the current generation of believers. If I were to recommend this to anyone it would be a group, especially Sunday School Leaders, as a bible study focus for the a month or the year. A lot of what he has to say has more of an impact if a group can plan impact activities instead of an individual working singularly within a church.(less)
I finished this book in about two days and must say that it is a great book for anyone looking to enter the field of ministry or about to become the l...moreI finished this book in about two days and must say that it is a great book for anyone looking to enter the field of ministry or about to become the leader of a fairly large ministry/church. The downsides of the book are that it appeals well to a niche market. Those who have not read the copious amounts of leadership materials from Druker, Maxwell, and Roth will find this a great place to start reading about Leadership Principles. Mohler mentions them in passing and quotes them in various places but his purpose is slightly different from theirs. Where the previous writers speak more to the general ideals of leadership, Mohler talks about the application of leadership in a ministers/discipleship leader's life. I imagine that a bulk of this work was generated as a part of his teaching at Southern Seminary. At times reads as a do this, not that, if you become a head minister following your MA Div. His information on communication management skills and PR would be a critical leg up for anyone. However, those looking for a more generalized or business approach to leadership may want to go with other books available in the genre. Lay leaders of the church might also benefit more from a devotional style leadership reading instead of a how-to.
This book was provided to me as a ebook review by NetGalley and Bethany House Publishing(less)
For the most part, William Bennet has woven together an interesting read on the state of the growing Muslim influence in the US. Now for some this wil...moreFor the most part, William Bennet has woven together an interesting read on the state of the growing Muslim influence in the US. Now for some this will register as a book of bigoted fear mongering; while, others will see it as a call to arms. For me it was neither of these and instead fell well short of the inferred premise, "Fear the Rise of Islam in Western Nations." The reason for this is that many of his arguments are simply paper men. The real fall of the west is not connected to the "rise of Islam" and should not be viewed as such by Western Protestant Christians. In fact some demographers argue the cultures of Middle Eastern Sunni and Shia Islam are collapsing under social distress. Most secular educated Christians have been exposed to Islam at some point from a centrist or liberal POV. That being said I was hoping that he would elevate the argument of division and build informational inroads for evangelicals to reach this "rapidly growing population." However, he builds off of falsities of the religion that continue to be promoted from the Christian leaders and not bring anything new to the table or argument.
Compared to some of his other works this seems a bit less. I will admit for the contemporary average American the book will provide some insights; however, it may actually lead to more of a derisive approach to those who truly need converted.
eBook was given as part of a reader review with BookSneeze.com (less)
Dr. Swain has taken on the political pundits and defeated them clearly. Instead of devolving into a heated, emotional debate, she uses polling data to...moreDr. Swain has taken on the political pundits and defeated them clearly. Instead of devolving into a heated, emotional debate, she uses polling data to back-up her commentaries on Immigration, Moral Construction, immigration, the Obama Administration and abortion. The basis of the book is one of a noble effort in that it is a call to galvanize the Christian population of America to openly discuss and debate the ideas that are being presented by the mainstream media on both sides of the aisle.
The chapters on Abortion, Immigration, and Obama are extremely poignant and fact based. This a great read for anyone who needs an emotionally balanced argument against the moral liberalization or America. I wish I could use this as a text to teach contemporary American politics. It provides a great example of independent thinking within a political group. Her choice of using a myriad of quotes to introduce each chapter clearly focuses the reader on objective she is attempting to push forward. For anyone who is politically involved more than the average citizen, at times she using redundant data to support her POV.
I did read this as part of a Booksneeze review and read the digital copy they provided. In the digital format, I would suggest a few layout changes that caused the book to appear longer than one would think. Her writing finishes somewhere around 52% on the Kindle edition and then is followed by the Appendices. Since they included the Ten Commandments, Declaration of Independence, US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I chose only to read the the Dec of Ind. following her writing. I've read the others all before and use them in my classes annually. In addition, the use of block quotes throughout the text was again redundant and at times annoying on the Kindle because of formatting that would cause the layout to be a small set of lines followed by the block quote and then empty space or vice-versa. (less)
My biggest issue is that this is deep. It is no light bedtime read. Tozer's writing is easy to follow but difficult to digest if you are not 100% with...moreMy biggest issue is that this is deep. It is no light bedtime read. Tozer's writing is easy to follow but difficult to digest if you are not 100% with the reading. All that being said if you add this read to a daily devotional cycle, your faith will be deeply challenged and rewarded. (less)
This book is a great simple read for a weekend or a business trip hotel read. For full disclosure, I quickly read through The Travelers Gift & Mas...moreThis book is a great simple read for a weekend or a business trip hotel read. For full disclosure, I quickly read through The Travelers Gift & Mastering the Seven Decisions before reading this book and found many of the leadership qualities he presents to be similar but different from the mainstream NYTimes business bestsellers. The wisdom he presents continues to be Biblical and Angelic in its scope.
The premise this time around is that all of history's Travelers have been convened in one chamber with five chances to discover the key to get Humanity back on track. Now I will say that both books lean heavily on Anglo-American historical figures; which could lead some to find it difficult to relate to the main and supporting characters. Some of the unique characters being Joan of Arc, Winston Churchill, a reappearance by Anne Frank, and a lesser known man Erik Erickson. To accompany the book, AndyAndrews.com is posting weekly biographies about the historical characters within the novel. The main purpose being to find the truly base building blocks of what it means to begin anew with mankind. Again I point out that this is for the most part a light read with fundamental issues of leadership and Christianity at its core. Anyone looking to get past the typical leadership, this is how I leader, reader both of the Traveler's novels would be a great place to start.
The original book in the series is more rewarding;however, this one provides for interesting debate within the ideologies of modern American Apologetic theories. He at times echoes the voice of C.S. Lewis in his simple delivery of the complex ideas but is still no comparison to the likes of Chesterton. G. K. (Gilbert Keith). 1874-1936.. If you are looking for heavy lifting start there but for a fun and thoughtful read begin with Andy Andrews.
I did read this as part of a Booksneeze.com promo.The digital version they release is a great Kindle addition and only contained snips of DRM data within the text as a reminder that it was to be read in expectations of a review. Thanks BookSneeze.
Considering most devotionals are bland and boring at times, Calvin Miller has been able to break out of the mold. However, this book is most effective...moreConsidering most devotionals are bland and boring at times, Calvin Miller has been able to break out of the mold. However, this book is most effective when read as a group. Reading it alone and periodically throughout the past months, made for a difficult read. However, the times that I spent reading and viewing the verses were more enjoyable when looking at a week’s reading per day and reading the Character studies on following days. I would like to reread it as a small couple’s study group. His use of the Fruits of the Spirit as a long term discussion goal is not new but at least it is well done and not a simple rehash of previous readings and devotionals on the same discussion. The structure of the readings is nice that it allows for five reading days and then a possible group discussion on either a 6th or 7th day of the week, as long as you choose to move the character studies around, I chose to do mine before the week’s readings. The questions have a nice variety for both new and older believers but I would recommend that the group should be at similar places in their walk with Christ and small for better discussion. My favorite week of readings would have to be Week 4: Love - God’s Passion for His World. His use of Jonah and Hosea as major readings was a great way to look at the tough side of God’s love at work in our lives. I did review the Kindle version of the book and found it very easy to read and the pagination transfer between my Kindle and Desktop were great but reading on the iPhone app was difficult at times. I would highly recommend this as a great Sunday school reader for any Adult or Couples group looking for something different. (less)