12 August 2014

Review: The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus

The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus
The Real Mary: Why Evangelical Christians Can Embrace the Mother of Jesus by Scot McKnight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very enjoyable read. As a good Reformed protestant that I have been for 25 years now, I of course shy away from any "Mary-ology" leanings. This books reveals the Mary I have never looked at or given the time of day to. That seems to be the main goal of this book, and at least for me, it works. I know have a new-found admiration for Mary, and believe all protestants should.

02 June 2014

Review: Child to the Waters - James Everett Kibler

Child to the Waters
Child to the Waters by James Everett Kibler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Let me start by admitting that this type of book is not my normal read. Therefore, my rating and review will not be as "academic" as others who read this style for a living might write. Even though I have met Jim Kibler on numerous occasions - have heard him lecture, had meals with him, and sat in an easy chair in his company, I had just never gotten around to reading any of his books. I even used to carry most of them in my online book store, so I have accumulated them, but again, never read one - until now.

The first story in this book through me for a loop initially. The literary symbolism and descriptive language being used was just so foreign and I feared I would not make it far in this writing. But alas, it did not take long at all for it all to click, and I found that the more I read, the more enjoyable the writings became.

This book is a collection of short stories focused on a slow paced life of country/southern type characters - characters which come alive in these pages, and stories that suck you in to the surroundings. I found them very well written and each story seemed more enjoyable than the last. Now that I am officially familiar with this author's writings, I will be less hesitant to pick up another of his titles in the future.

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17 May 2014

Review: Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed - Michael Sweet

Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed
Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed by Michael Sweet

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what a page turner - for me at least. I have been a Stryper fan since finding their first album in the record bin about 3 months after it hit the shelves. I have seen them multiple times in their heyday of the 80's, evening meeting them before and after shows a few times (the photos are on Facebook to prove it), as well as the very first reunion show in 2003 (meeting them before the show again). I have been a fan all through the years of everything the band and individual band members have released. So obviously when vocalist Michael Sweet released this bio, I pre-ordered it immediately. Upon receiving it in the mail, I began devouring it, and finished it quite quickly for my normal schedule.

26 March 2014

Who Are the “Lost” According to the Bible?

While leading a weekly devotion meeting today using the latest weekly topic from The Wired Word that was dealing with the lost flight 370 incident, in the questions at the end, this multi-part question was raised:

What does the Bible mean when it speaks of "the lost"? In what way, if any, does that term relate to people who are missing? Some Christians use the term "lost" to describe people who don't (to their knowledge) have a relationship with Christ. Is that a useful or accurate term? If so, in what way is it possible to be "lost" from God?

The question resonated with me because only a couple months earlier I had preached a message on the parable of the Prodigal son that had touched on this area of thought, so I quickly pulled out a few quotes on the topic to share with the group. Here are those thoughts, which make a pretty good stand-alone article:

22 February 2014

Review: Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe by Thomas DiLorenzo

Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe
Lincoln Unmasked: What You're Not Supposed to Know About Dishonest Abe by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what an absolutely amazing book! I have heard many lecture, read many smaller writings, and discovered so, so many truths about Lincoln over the past 20 years, and because of that I have never actually read a full treatise on him from start to finish (figuring I knew so much already). Well, I will say that most all of the topics in this book I was already aware of general thoughts about, but for once they all came together into one theme of why and how things went down.

14 February 2014

Review: Christ and the Kosmoses by Charles W. Asbell

Christ and the Kosmoses
Christ and the Kosmoses by Charles W. Asbell
Scripture Research - Vol 4 - No. 14

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This little book was actually a nice read. I honestly was not sure what to expect, knowing nothing of the background or theological stance of the author. Even their web site had little theological affiliations listed to reveal their position. But I read on anyway, awaiting an answer.

This booklet deal with the idea of the Greek term kosmos, as used throughout the NT, is not actually referring to the world as a whole, but to a dispensation - a time - an era containing a specific people, and their dealing with God within it. I am not alien to this concept, and so it was not at all startling. I guess I just never looked at applying the use of kosmos to such a thought. I knew of the overarching "this age" and the "age to come" separation of the Hebrew understanding, and this kosmos understanding kind of aligns right along side of that.

19 January 2014

Review: Revelation and the First Century: Preterist Interpretations of the Apocalypse in Early Christianity - Francis X. Gumerlock

Revelation and the First Century

What a great book! Very similar to the edition the author co-wrote with Gray DeMar (The Early Church And The End Of The World) but with much more content and more recent translated documents.

In a nutshell, this book has one goal - to close the mouths of those who speak as if preteristic understandings were totally absent in all of church history. As the author states in the introduction:
One common criticism against preterist interpretations of the book of Revelation is their alleged lack of representation in Christian history. Oponents of preterist interpretations of Revelation say that such views did not exist in ancient Christianity but were introduced into Christianity in the 1600s by the Jesuit names Luis Alcasar, sometimes spelled Alcazar. This, of course, implies that such interpretations are novel. For Christians, "novel" tends to mean that such interpretations are un-orthodox and not in agreement with the ancient faith handed down to us by the apostles. 

13 January 2014

Review: 33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask - Thomas Woods, Jr

33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask
33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Books like this need to be read by all America students - of course if this information were more widely propagated, we wouldn't have such a messed up nation and government as we do. Tom Woods tackles so many various issues that most anyone should walk away learning something new.

He covers topics relating to the Founding Fathers, the Constitution, the War Between the States, States Rights, slavery, the wild west, the American Indians, Presidential powers, Social Security, FDR, Teddy Roosevelt, the Whiskey Rebellion, Capitalism, Foreign Aid, the Depression and economy, Herbert Hoover, Bill Clinton, and so much more.

03 January 2014

Do You Read the Bible Entirely? Challenging All Christians!

Christians stand on the Word of God - or at least they should if they don't. They live based on the teaching found within the 66 books of the Scriptures, and base much of their belief of Christianity on that book. So, the question of the day, do Christians consistently read their Bibles since it is so important to the lifeblood of their belief and practices?

Unfortunately, Christians can be quick to argue over understandings of the Scripture. A good question to ask when this happens is, "Have you read the Bible through in it's entirety?" Sadly most have not, and so it seems baffling as to how they can argue over parts of it, if it is possible that the answer to the argument is contained in that portion of Scripture that they have not ever read - yet it happens.