The talk. Parents try to avoided it, dread it, pass it over to the government to explain, or ignore it – but if you have children, you must have it if...moreThe talk. Parents try to avoided it, dread it, pass it over to the government to explain, or ignore it – but if you have children, you must have it if you are going to be faithful to your calling as a parent. Written for boys (there is a girls edition) the purpose is to explain to the boy what is going on and help through puberty.
I like the organization of the book most of all. The authors lay a great foundation of a sovereign God before building up into the discussion of puberty and sex. Changes are happening, but God is in control and has ordained this for you. Then, as a shocker to modern sensibilities, it moves from the fact that there will be changes, to the purpose for these changes is for marriage. The authors start with God’s plan, then to God’s purpose before getting to what one would expect in explanation of the physical. The book closes with some practical exhortations and guidance in marriage, dating, and purity.
Who would be helped by this book? As I read, I thought that this would be a great resource for mothers who are raising boys and the Dad is not around. This could also be helpful for a Dad who may be entering the discussion with a bit of fear and trepidation to read over, review, or perhaps use like a textbook.
The book was written for the young man to read, however I would caution parents not to let the book do the talking. Don’t let this fine work be a substitute for yours. Do you own work, and use this tool to assist you. Your son needs you.
The book is a good resource that approaches the subject from a godly perspective. Teaching a child, full of changing hormones in a Darwinian construct can lead to disaster. This book makes plan that Christ is Lord of all, even our bodies.
It is also helpful that it views sexual relations in marriage as a God given gift. The boundaries God has given to us is not to keep joy from us, but to give us joy. H. L. Mencken famously defined Puritanism as "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." That is not the view of Christianity (nor was it the view of the puritans). God’s way of marriage and the marital relationship is the way to true and satisfying happiness. Teaching about sex without boundaries and can be just as bad as teaching boundaries without purpose.
My thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for the review copy.
Paul Washer's new bookGospel Assurance & Warningsis the third book in hisRediscovering the Gospeltr...more-- Gospel Assurance & Warnings by Paul Washer
Paul Washer's new book Gospel Assurance & Warnings is the third book in his Rediscovering the Gospel trilogy. These books are written to rightly set forth the truth of the gospel of Christ. This book, as the title aptly informs, is broken up into two sections; assurance and warnings. The assurance section walks the believer through key texts in the book of I John on how we can know that we have been truly born again. By examining the qualities John lists as signs of the new birth, we are encouraged that these are evidences of saving faith. Washer does a very good job in explaining these important truths in a simple, yet straight forward way. Even when coming to difficult or often misunderstood passages, the clear meaning of the scripture is declared then applied.
The last portion of the book deals with the great error of easy believism and the sinners prayer, and the false professions they encourage and create and is centered on sections of the Sermon on the Mount. It is a terribly dreadful proposition to consider that many church members do not know what it is to be born again and many preachers are assuring these false converts giving hope where there is no hope. Because of the sinners prayer (bad theology put into practice) countless have been deceived by pastors and evangelists that they have been saved because they repeated a prayer when the Bible gives a very different gospel and description to what it is to have saving faith. This book points out the error then gives the evidences of saving faith.
Washer’s writing style is impassioned, clear, and steeped with Biblical passages and imagery. This is a refreshing change from other popular authors who mince words the the bush is beaten into the dust. The way in which Washer simultaneously asserts Biblical truth while denouncing false preachers and theology put me in mind somewhat of writing of A.W. Pink.
This book would be very helpful for one who is having doubts about their salvation or a new convert learning about what it truly means to be born again. The exhortations, warnings, and clear Biblical instructions found in this book are to be commended.
My thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for providing me a copy.(less)
A very interesting book. Whether or not the categories of introvert/extrovert are correct, I don’t know, but I do know I found myself relating to and...moreA very interesting book. Whether or not the categories of introvert/extrovert are correct, I don’t know, but I do know I found myself relating to and identifying myself in the descriptions of the introvert. I found some of the studies fascinating, especially how the brain can react differently for two people in the same situation. Though I can’t speak for the validity of the research, I can identify with most of the characteristics of the introvert and think I personally received some benefit from it.
But I had two problems with the book. The first is that there is no place for the soul in the book. It is all about the body and our physiology. Tenderheartedness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit of God. And though, by God’s common grace, there may be some that are more sensitive than others – this is not a chemical, evolutionary attribute but because we are made in God’s image, some are tenderhearted. But, the extroverted believer, indwelt by the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, will also be tenderhearted. The reverse is true – sin isn’t excused by “I was born this way” which was subtly hinted at in a few places.
The other issue (since I said I had two) with the book is that Cain really didn’t have anywhere to hang her hat. Meaning that there was nothing solid to hang her assertions on and no solid ground for her exhortations to stand. A Biblical view would be that God has created us, knit us together in our mother’s womb to be the person that we are. I am what I am by the grace of God. There are places that my quiet personality can be used for God’s glory, and there are places that the outgoing will be used for God’s glory. No person can do all and be all to all people in that respect. Another blessing and need of the church.
Then we have the other side of the coin. If I’m the process of evolution, should I try to go out and push myself? Why not hole up and read books, if that is what I really want to do? Why should the outgoing pause and listen? Out of love of neighbor. If we take the introvert/extrovert personality types for granted, then we should realize that each person is a depraved introvert/extrovert, and will be selfish with what God has blessed them with. The extrovert will, at times, selfishly make himself the center of attention and bull over the quiet and the quiet will, at times, selfishly keep and withhold good from his neighbor.
I learned a lot from the book, both when I agreed and disagreed. I don’t know that I would recommend the book, but I would urge you to do a thorough study of the mind, soul, and personality from scripture before picking up this book.(less)
Spiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is an excellent overview of spiritual warfare. Using Ephesians 6:10-20 as the structure and the...moreSpiritual Warfare: A Biblical and Balanced Perspective is an excellent overview of spiritual warfare. Using Ephesians 6:10-20 as the structure and the outline of the book, authors Brian Borgman and Rob Ventura expound what Paul tells us both about the spiritual war Christians engage in, and the weapons of that war.
The “Biblical Perspective” in the subtitle comes from the exposition of the text. The authors do a good job of giving the historical background of the book of Ephesians, and then chapter by chapter lays out what the text says before applying the text to the Christian life. However, the book doesn’t read like a commentary or someone’s sermon outlines, it is both instructive and readable.
The “Balanced Perspective” in the subtitle alludes to the interpretation and view of the spiritual warfare. In the introduction, C.S. Lewis is quoted from The Screwtape Letters “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” This book affirms the reality of our enemy and the spiritual struggles from both without and within on our Christian pilgrimage; however, the focus is not on the forces of evil, but on Christ which is the key to this book.
Spiritual Warfare is well written and engaging. The chapters are short and quick to the point, but also full of spiritual instruction. Each chapter concludes with questions for reflection and discussion, which makes this book valuable for study groups, family worship, or other small groups. The latter portion of the book is especially beneficial to preachers and pastors on the chapters on prayer, the Sword of the Spirit, and the proclamation of the Word of God. I would recommend this book as a good place to start on spiritual warfare, or for a pastor studying Ephesians. My thanks to Cross Focused Media for providing me the review copy.
What does it mean to be a Christian? In his new book Life in Christ, Jeremy Walker walks us through what the Bibles tells us about the most important...moreWhat does it mean to be a Christian? In his new book Life in Christ, Jeremy Walker walks us through what the Bibles tells us about the most important of all subjects; salvation and union with Christ. Jeremy puts on display many areas of Christian life and experience, drawing out the realities of the new birth, implications of saving faith, blessings of union with Christ, and changes God works in the believer as a new creature in Christ.
Starting with the gospel and saving faith, we are guided through what it means to have been saved, to be saved, and to look ahead to the glories that await those who are in Christ. He begins by explaining the gospel- that Jesus is the object of our faith, to whom we look. Then, as a born again child of God, the life we have, our identity, our hope, our righteousness is in Christ. Jeremy points out that when we begin to think of what it entails to be “in Christ” we see that this is not a superficial decision one makes, but Christ is the unsearchable, fathomless, and glorious treasure whose depths we will spend an eternity exploring. Salvation is bringing a dead sinner to life, implanting a heart of flesh, and giving the person a new nature to love what he once hated, and hate what he once loved. In Christ, we are not merely pardoned slaves, but made to be sons of God. Our identity in Christ has changed both our position and our nature and because the perfect work of Christ, we can be assurance that He will accomplish what He set out to do, and we can know that we know Him. Since life in Christ is real, then life in Christ has a real effect as we continue to be conformed to His image, until we have run the race and finished the course and He brings us home.
This book is theologically sound, and wonderfully written. It is a rare occurrence to have both a theologically sound work that is also just a pleasure to read. Life in Christ is steeped in Biblical passages and Biblical language and gets straight to the point, which I appreciated.
No book, no volume of books could ever begin to plumb the depth of what union with Christ fully means, however this book is a wonderful way for a new believer to learn more of what he has in Christ, and for the mature Christian to adore and worship the Beloved. I could see this book being a wonderful guide for the babe in Christ, a devotional book, or a great book for a Bible saw group. I highly recommend picking up a copy.
You may also enjoy listening to the THIS interview Jeremy gave on the Janet Mefferd Show talking about the book.
Also, to whoever is ultimately responsible for the footnotes instead of the endnotes; I give you a hearty well done, well done. There is nothing that quite dampens the Newell spirit as to see a book with endnotes, but alas, dear reader; rejoice. You will not be burdened by flipping back and forth in the needless scavenger hunt. “Will this be a reference to another book? Is this more vital information? Will this the endnote merely be yet another ibid?” No interrupting the reading by flipping back and forth, for you will conveniently find that information at the bottom of the page. Not all people read books in reading room, or at a desk. My heart, upon seeing the footnotes, as it were, slowly stood from its reading chair with an approving ‘slow clap’ and a nod of the head. (less)