10 December 2013

Review: Discovering the Original Gospel of John - Jerry Wayne Bernard

Discovering the Original Gospel of John
Discovering the Original Gospel of John by Jerry Wayne Bernard

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Well, I admit I did not finish this book completely. I had high hopes for it, until I read the introduction and he gave high praise for the time he sat under Dr. Bart D. Erhman. Knowing Erhman has spent most of his career attacking Christianity and the Scriptures, I started loosing my high hopes immediately, but I pushed on hoping for the best. Well, my fears were justified, as the book started attacking the text, claiming there were two writers of John, one being more gnostic and adding pieces that wouldn't have been in the original. He also goes on to claim that Paul was radically different and actually more gnostic than the other Apostles.

05 December 2013

Review: The Benefits of Coconut Oil : Why You Should Add This Healthy Oil To Your Life

The Benefits of Coconut Oil : Why You Should Add This Healthy Oil To Your Life
The Benefits of Coconut Oil : Why You Should Add This Healthy Oil To Your Life by Ryan Jamieson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A quick an easy read, but filled with information I only partially knew before. Lots of great uses for coconut oil that I have never considered. Of course since this ebook was free, I loved it even more. I have used coconut oil in my diet on and off for a couple years, but now I have renewed interest in using it for more things and more often for sure.

View all my reviews

10 October 2013

Review: My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business - Dick Van Dyke

My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business
My Lucky Life in and Out of Show Business by Dick Van Dyke

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is not often that I read biographies, and recently, the ones I have read were on musical type people that I have enjoyed, but this was a book I had on my to-do list since I saw it hit the shelves. I am not exactly sure why, aside from just growing up with reruns of the Dick van Dyke show that I loved, and the few movies of his I saw as a kid. So, when I was at the public library looking for a totally unrelated biography, I saw this one standing face forward on the shelf as if spotlighted for me to see, so I grabbed it without hesitation.

His childhood was filled with typical stories of the time, but along came little neat tidbits like his close friend who had an irritating cousin who always tried to hang with them - one Mr. Gene Hackman. Just seeing how so many paths crossed over the years, I found that fascinating.

09 September 2013

Review: The Cross & the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants - Kenneth Bailey

The Cross & the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants
The Cross & the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants by Kenneth E. Bailey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoy Bailey's style, and this book was a bit less technical than some of his others, making it even more easy to read and grasp. He takes a relatively short story and expands on the underlying concepts and cultural understandings that the original hearers would have grasped when they heard it. He adds so much background story to it, that it really comes to life more.

My only complaint, and it is a relatively slight one in light of the whole story, is that Bailey kind of misses the mark in identifying the parties of the story. In identifying the prodigal son as just mankind, he misses the covenant significance behind it. The father figure is indeed representative of Yahweh as he points out, but the older son would be representative of the two southern tribes that were technically still within the covenant with the Father, with the prodigal son representing the ten Northern tribes who were not. Like the prodigal son, those tribes were cast out, dispersed throughout the nations, but they were promised (as seen in Isaiah, Hosea and Ezekiel 37, and elsewhere) that one day they were to be brought back into the fold. As we see this beginning to happen under the ministry of Paul, we see the building frustration of the Pharisees who were dealing unkindly to the idea, just as the older son in the story did.

14 August 2013

Review: Evangellyfish - Douglas Wilson

Evangellyfish by Douglas Wilson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a fan of fiction. I rarely read it, and in general rarely read for just the entertainment factor. But having been a big fan of Wilson's for nearly two decades now, and having read so much of his non-fiction theological work, and hearing so many great things about this book, I dove in - and LOVED it.

In some ways I did not know Wilson could write like this. It was so captivating, and he does a great job of establishing the characters and their internal "evils" that they truly come to life in the story. The story is kind of creepy in places, yet realistic sounding at the same time. I loved the ending and did not see it coming, so that was great.

The story is about a scandal with the pastor in a mega-church, and contains all kinds of mini-plots with characters and their scandalous lifestyles too. While it is fiction, nothing found here is too far fetched to not be believable and possibly a reality in churches of this nature. All in all, it is quite a wild and crazy ride that was quite enjoyable when it was over. I will definitely look out for more of Doug's fiction type stuff from now on.

View all my reviews

23 July 2013

Review: The Sons of God and the Nephilim - Tim Chaffey

The Sons of God and the Nephilim
The Sons of God and the Nephilim by Tim Chaffey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great and well-researched book on the topic of Genesis 6. I just previously finished Van Dorn's volume on the topic, Giants: Sons of the God which I found to be more in-depth and exhaustive in ways, but I still found Chaffey's work to add additional information to the discussion.

As expected, he lists the alternate views, and then disassembles them by showing their weaknesses. In the end, only the fallen angel view can match all of the criteria of original language, other use in scripture, as well as other historical writings. The historical writings sections had some pieces I was unfamiliar with too, which was nice to see.

In both this and Van Dorn's book, they go the extra mile to show that there is a better than good possibility that God had his people on a mission to wipe out this giant threat, as is evident from the battles He sent them on. If this is true (and evidence seems to point that way), then it is a game changer when it comes to understanding the OT and all that was happening as far as the people being sent to wipe out whole people groups.

I give this book two thumbs up as a great starting point for the discussion of Gen. 6, the Sons of God and the Nephilim.

View all my reviews

18 July 2013

Review: The Gathering in the Last Days - Tina Rae Collins

The Gathering in the Last Days
The Gathering in the Last Days by Tina Rae Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand book about fulfilled eschatology (preterism). The author starts with the angle that the title states, dealing with the gathering that was prophesied to take place in the "last days." This part alone is worth the price of the book, but she does stop there. The book continues on to hit on most every major topic and concern of eschatology like the resurrection, day of the Lord, death, Revelation, etc. All in all a nice introduction to many aspects of the fulfilled eschatology view. I think this, along with Glenn Hill's Christianity's Great Dilemma would make a good combo set for anyone interested in looking into this position, since both offer easy to grasp introductory views on almost all major issues.

View all my reviews

01 July 2013

Review: Giants: Sons of the God - Douglas Van Dorn

Giants: Sons of the God
Giants: Sons of the God by Douglas Van Dorn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Years ago I had done some study in the Gen. 6 issue about the "sons of god" and have thought to writing a book of my findings. Well, I am glad to say I can remove that idea from my to-do list, because this book far exceeds a anything I could imagine writing. This is my first Kindle book ever read, so I was not able to feel the end of the book coming, and when I thought there was nothing else he could possibly say, I would look to see I wasn't even halfway done.

When the main section did finally come to an end, I still found I was only half done. The amount of extra appendices as well as the endnotes added even more information of great importance to the study.

If you're looking for a book that pretty much seals the deal of proving the angels angle, and one that deals with every contrary argument, then this is for you. On top of that there is just so much more, making this a major tool in the discussion.

A great amount of information is provided about everything from giants in mythology and folklore, to stories passed down from all over the globe of historic dealings with giants. A wealth of information on the topic all in one place. Excellent.

View all my reviews

23 March 2013

Review: Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today - N.T. Wright

Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today
Scripture and the Authority of God: How to Read the Bible Today by N.T. Wright

My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Dummy me - had this on my shelf since it came out - forgetting what it was (an updated version of "The Last Word), and ran across a copy of "The Last Word" at the library, so I grabbed it and read it. DOH!! So, I read this book's additional chapters and therefore include my review from "The Last Word" onto this edition too.

Our modern society is in need of instruction when it comes to how to handle God's Word, and this book is a great foundational look at the topic. What does it mean when someone says the authority of Scripture? What did the Reformers mean when they spoke of taking Scripture literal? As are most of his smaller writings (at least the ones I have ready so far), Wright is not overly scholarly, but speaks on a level that anyone can grasp his points. All in all, a great resource on the importance of Scripture, and how we should use it for change.

View all my reviews

22 March 2013

Review: Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil - Ann Nyland

Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil
Fallen Angels, Watchers, Giants, Nephilim and Evil by Ann Nyland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my first time reading a book by Nyland, and while overall, the content and her connecting the pieces together was good, but quite often the delivery seemed lacking. The material feels a little like just a bunch of pieces of disjointed facts and texts tossed together with a bit of notes in an attempt to make a comprehensive writing.

Not much background to things is given most of the time, and no real leading up to a point and then proving it. Most of the time it feels like a bunch of pieces of scholarly points, laced together to be somewhat cohesive.

12 January 2013

Book Review: Scott Stapp - Sinner's Creed

I am not one to listen very much to the media, and when it comes to listening to the rock critics and the stories that go around, I rarely give an ear at all. So, I was unaware of pretty much any of the turmoil or controversy in the Creed camp during the day.

I discovered Creed not too long after the first album, but pretty close to the second, so both are close in proximity to my first discovering them. I was almost an instant fan, and out of all of the 90's grunge and alternative bands, they were almost the only one that resonated with me at all.

I was never one to call them a Christian band, but as a Christian myself, I looked heavily to their spiritual lyrics for the positive message I found. So, that aspect made me like them even more.

This book opened my eyes to the whole behind-the-scenes happenings that at the time I could have cared less about. Also discovering the early life Scott had was quite an eye-opener. I felt so sorry for the way he was treated by his step-father in the name of Christianity, and was quite angered at that. So, I could understand a bit of why he turned and did what he did in his later life.