Category Archives: Book Reviews

Jolt! By Phil Cooke

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I chose this book, but it wasn’t this.  Jolt! is a self help book designed to help the reader deal with an ever-changing world with confidence and new direction.  Cooke offers 25 “Jolts” that anyone can use to bring innovative change to their life and/or their organization.

I found it hard to engage with this book.  It seemed like I had read it before, a hundred times in a hundred different self help books.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, or even particularly inspiring.  It was all hype but very little delivery.  I was disappointed with this book and had a hard time getting through it.

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While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry

While the World Watched is the haunting memoir of Carolyn Maull McKinstry, a survivor of the KKK bombing at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Carolyn’s story is an eyewitness account the chaos, violence, and hatred that abounded in the Jim Crow South. This book reveals our history in painful detail. It is a reminder of where we started, how far we’ve come, and how far we need to go in our race relations. If you are expecting a book filled with tragedy, hatred, and pain, you will find some of that here. However, the real legacy of this book is the hope, triumph and healing that is found within its pages.

A Conversation with God

A Conversation with God

If You Could Ask God Anything What Would It Be?

By Alton Gansky

Basically, the author has attempted to create a “conversation” between God and the reader regarding 55 common questions about God, Christianity, Jesus, humanity, sin, etc…  The reader (i.e. you) asks God a question, and God answers.

Now, I understand the author’s motive here, but what he accomplishes falls somewhat short of his goal.  The “conversation” comes off slightly hokey sounding.  The book offers some pretty basic theology for a new Christian in a format that they might find friendly, but a seasoned Christian will probably feel that this book is just a bit strange.

In a nutshell, this is a pretty decent book for a fledgling Christian, especially in the older teen/early twenties range.  It isn’t bad as a simple refresher on basic Christian theology, but it wont stand as a serious book to study.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

In Constant Prayer



In Constant Prayer

The Ancient Practices Series

BY ROBERT BENSON, PHYLLIS TICKLE
PUBLISHED BY THOMAS NELSON

This book was written in an effort to help Christians understand and reconnect with the practice of the daily office.  Many people understand the daily office, or fixed hour prayer, as a predominately Catholic practice.  However, Benson’s goal is to help ALL Christians understand this ancient practice as a method for all believers to practice worship and prayer.  It is his position that this is a discipline for all people and will help connect you more deeply to God.

The Book is well written and simple to understand.  Benson does an admirable job of explaining and decoding the practice of the daily office.  He speaks in lay terms and makes it easy for the non-Catholic to understand.  If nothing else, this book will help the Christian develop a richer, more meaningful prayer life.  For that alone, I recommend the book.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

 

The Beginning Reader’s Bible

The Beginning Reader’s Bible – Illustrated by Marijke ten Cate

This is a beautifully illustrated children’s Bible in the tradition of the adult study Bible.  I love this idea.  The Bible is separated into three sections:

  • Stories from the Old Testament
  • Stories from the New Testament,
  • Resources to Guide your Children.

It includes many key stories from the Bible, including the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, a vital message that many children’s beginning reader Bible’s leave out.

The things that make this children’s Bible stand out are the other resources included.  First, this Bible uses actual verses from the International Children’s Bible translation, including the chapter and verse reference.  I think this is a great way to begin introducing children to the skills they will use in future Bible reading and study.  In addition, scattered in key locations throughout the Bible are memory verses, verses that can be used as prayer to God, and suggestions on how to apply God’s word to our daily lives.  There is a real emphasis on the importance of getting God’s Word into our hearts.  Plus, this Bible teaches kids about praying God’s Word back to Him, and the importance of doing God’s Word.

In the last section, Resources to Guide your Children, you will find many helpful tools in one convenient location.   This section covers many of the ideas from that Bible that are important to our Christian faith, such as:

  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Twenty-third Psalm
  • Selected Verses from the Book of Proverbs
  • The Lord’s Prayer

It also has a reading chart, a memory verse chart, a prayer of salvation, and other helpful resources for kids.  The format is simple and easy to follow.

One more thing to note – This book is big and sturdy.  Before I received it, I was expecting the typical smallish kid’s Bible that is so common.  This is a good sized Bible with sturdy pages that developing readers will not be able to easily rip or crinkle.  It is well constructed and beautiful to look at.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Voices of the Faithful – Book 2

Voices of the Faithful – Book 2

Voices of the Faithful is a compilation of devotional writings, 365 to be exact, written by many different missionaries from around the world.  This is a daily devotional book, and each day of a particular month is devoted to one theme.  For example, every day in January, the devotions are focused on prayer.  February’s focus in on God, Our Loving Father.  This is a great way to dig dipper into an area of our faith.

What I liked best about this book was the insight it gives us into the challenges and triumphs of missionaries from around the world.  Each devotion presents a new understanding of what it means to love our neighbors, and it challenges the reader to look around with new eyes and see the mission field that is all around us.  No matter where we live there is work to be done for the kingdom of God.

With that said, I found most of the stories to be inspirational and thought provoking.  They are short and succinct, but for the most part, rich with faith building revelations.  There were a few that I found to be lacking any real depth or purpose, but those were the exception and not the rule.  If you enjoy devotionals and are interested in gaining some insights into missionary work, I would recommend this book.  It will help you expand your Christian world-view and maybe… just mayber… inspire you to step out of your pew and become the hands and feet of Jesus in a lost and dying world.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

The Jesus Inquest – Book Review

By Charles Foster

Did Jesus of Nazareth really die upon a cross and then rise again after three days in the tomb?  That is the question  that Charles Foster seeks to answer in a fictional courtroom trial.  The trial may be fictional, but rest assured the arguments and evidence are based entirely on fact.  These are the arguments that occur right here in our world between the non-believer and the believer.  With exhausting detail, Foster brings to the light, every intelligent (and a few not so intelligent) and relevant argument against the resurrection.  X (the prosecution) lays out his argument thoroughly, and then Y (the defense) counters each point argued by X by offering argument and evidence to disprove X’s conclusions and  support the resurrection.  This is the general format for each chapter.  X opens against the resurrection and Y responds in support of the resurrection.

Foster, a barrister, uses all of his lawyerly skills to present an unbiased examination of the evidence – from both perspectives.  He is not afraid to expose every “contradiction” in the resurrection story with skill and convincing argument.  Then, just as convincingly,  he dismantles the prosecution’s case – point by point.  Foster’s goal?  To either prove or disprove the resurrection of Christ.

If you are easily offended by suggestions that Jesus of Nazareth was/is anything but the Son of God, if you have a difficult time hearing arguments that essentially negate the divinity of Christ, then this book will probably offend you.  Foster, pulls no punches in the examination of the arguments.  He does not water down the comments by X in order to be non-offensive.  He maintains a true voice for both sides throughout the book.  However, if you are interested in an honest examination of the facts from an intellectual standpoint, then you are in for a treat.  Foster manages to keep the book interesting and well paced, for a quick and intriguing read.  In the end, you may find that your faith is stronger and you are better prepared to discuss the resurrection with dissenters.

Booksneeze has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.