When we read through the book of Acts, the power of the Spirit is undeniable. Miraculous healings, conversions and other events leap off of the page....moreWhen we read through the book of Acts, the power of the Spirit is undeniable. Miraculous healings, conversions and other events leap off of the page. Sadly, these events are very rare in western life today, and I think this is in large part to our neglect or compartmentalization of the Spirit. This book reminded me just how amazing and necessary the Holy Spirit is in the lives of believers to accomplish what God wants. America is a society of innovators and "do-it-yourselfers". Which, in the business and professional world is a wonderful thing. But from a Christian perspective, we are called to depend on Him who cares for us. There are dozens of fantastic passages in this book that are convicting, challenging and encouraging. I can't recommend it enough for people who really want all that God has for them. It is a short and fast read. If you are a believer and want to be reminded about the power of the Holy Spirit, I would absolutely recommend it for you.(less)
C.S. Lewis is one of my all time favorite authors. I often fall asleep listening to an audio recording of "Mere Chrsitianity". Lewis' knack for impart...moreC.S. Lewis is one of my all time favorite authors. I often fall asleep listening to an audio recording of "Mere Chrsitianity". Lewis' knack for imparting wisdom in easy to understand and intriguing ways is perhaps best highlighted in The Screwtape Letters.
The book is a series of letters from an elder demon, Screwtape, to his younger nephew demon, Wormwood. While we are only privy to one side of the conversation via the letters, Lewis does an excellent job of filling in the important details throughout the one sided exchange as the demons conspire to "win" the soul of an unsuspecting man. While the story was only mildly interesting to me, the simple and piercing wisdom found throughout this book is amazingly beneficial for readers who desire to kill sin in their lives more and more.
More than one time through the book, I would go back and read a phrase or passage because it had such an "elusive-obvious" ring to it. Letter 26 was particularly penetrating as I saw some patterns in myself with my interactions with my wife, while though I had been thinking they were selfless, I am now starting to see some selfish motives that lie underneath them.
We also have many insights as to what demons may (and I would argue likely) do to interfere in the lives of people. For example, helping us focus on the bad breath of another person in church instead of the sermon. Finding a church that suits our tastes and not based on the truth of scripture. And one of the most interesting things that happened for me while reading it, was reminding myself when I say the phrase "the Enemy", this wasn't referring to Satan, but rather, God.
The book has such an intriguing and unique perspective that it is a hard one to put down. At 160 pages it is a short read, but because the language is a bit outdated and it is coming from a radically different point of view, it might be a little more difficult to read than most christian books.
So often in our Christian life, we have moments of fear, doubt and guilt. ”What was I thinking?”, “How can I ever be forgiven for this?”. These statem...moreSo often in our Christian life, we have moments of fear, doubt and guilt. ”What was I thinking?”, “How can I ever be forgiven for this?”. These statements are not uncommon. If you think that YOU have sins to worry about I have two words for you: Jeffery Dahmer.
Dark Journey, Deep Grace is a book that the world will find disgusting, repulsive and try to use it as ammunition against the Christian faith. The believer will find it disgusting and repulsive as well, but not for the same reasons the world will. The believer will find it disgusting because of Mr. Dhamer’s acts, but the world will find it disgusting because the author belives that Mr. Dhamer is saved. Ultimately I found the book humbling. Humbled by this wonderful example of God’s grace, his forgiveness, his faithfulness and his amazing ability to love us, Jeffery Dhamer included, despite our sin. Once we are able to wrap our head around the astonishing forgiveness provided by God, the assault the world will try to use against believers will have no affect against us and we can see it for what it really is: an amazing story of redemption, showcasing the beauty of Godly love.
The book details Jeffery’s horrific crimes, apprehension by authorities, and his glorious turn around after being put in prison for his crimes. I don’t want to go into too much detail as I think this book would be great for everyone (provided they can handle the graphic nature and description of his crimes). It is a testament to the power of guilt, but the even greater power of truth, forgiveness, repentance and love all glorifying God in the process.
If you are being tormented by perpetual guilt, read this book. It will give you a stirring example of how God can forgive anything, even the horrific crimes committed by the late Mr. Dhamer.
Recently, the investigation into creation, evolution and intelligent design have been taking up much of my time. This has not been an easy undertaking...moreRecently, the investigation into creation, evolution and intelligent design have been taking up much of my time. This has not been an easy undertaking as there are many perspectives on these issues and mounds of data to wade through. The debate on this issue has been extremely heated for as long as I can remember (I’m only 28) and it seems like this debate is only going to continue. This book is a great overview of the issues (if you don’t mind the fact that you are mostly going to get the Christian side of the argument).
The book leans heavily on the research of Dr. Hugh Ross (whom I personally highly respect, but I know many “young-earthers” are not fans of his). The book gives people a clear and easy to understand overview of issues like irreducible complexity, the Cambrian explosion etc. One of the most compelling parts of the book can be found in chapter eight that shows, visually, how improbable evolution based on the massive amount of new phyla (kinds of animals) “evolve” in such a short period of time, which Darwin himself said that would suggest that his theory was incorrect. The “exponential phyla tree” vs “phyla barcode” is a devastating visual that shows just how incomplete the fossil record is OR just how wrong Darwin’s theory is in general.
One shortcoming that this book has (and it is a big one) is a massive lack of end notes (there are sections at the end of each chapter that give book suggestions for further study but they don’t really do much for the specifics they address in the chapters). This is really disappointing considering how important end notes are in technical books like these. It also handicaps the reader for delving into further study on specific points in the book because the reader has no idea where that specific information came from. I understand this is supposed to be an introductory level text, but the lack of end notes is still inexcusable in my view.
Overall, I give it 4/5 stars for a good explanation of the topics, but I can not give a book like this 5 stars with such a huge omission of end notes. I would recommend this for someone who just wants a quick and easy overview of the issues, but if you really want to get deep into the topics, you should look elsewhere.
If ever there was a book that got me excited to evangelize, this is it. Unscilensed: How to Voice the Gospel by James Baccardo is a quick, efficient a...moreIf ever there was a book that got me excited to evangelize, this is it. Unscilensed: How to Voice the Gospel by James Baccardo is a quick, efficient and effective tool for those getting started in evangelism and apologetics. I wish I had this book years ago when I first became interested in Apologetics and evangelism. I purchased the kindle version, but plan on buying a physical copy just so I can lend it out to people.
The book starts with a clear, easy to understand gospel presentation (something I think more Christian books should start with) and moves right in to the toughest part of evangelizing: getting over our fears. The “Famous Excuse List” is refreshing and needed in our day in age. It certainly addressed issues I deal with personally in regards to evangelism, and put them in their proper light. This doesn’t mean I am fearless when talking to people now, but I am without excuse for sure.
There is also a wonderful section on more than a dozen common objections faced by evangelists. ”There is more than one way to God”, “It just matters how sincere your are” many of these knee-jerk responses are addressed and shot down in easy to understand language.
Toward the end of the book there is a section entitled “Varsity Team” which addresses how to talk to people of other varying religious backgrounds and worldviews. The focus and ease of this section is outstanding and has changed how I plan on addressing these groups in the future.
Overall this book is outstanding. 5/5 stars. I think anyone from the middle school years up could read and apply this book to their evangelism strategies.(less)