Posts Tagged ‘book review’

The publisher offered me a free copy of this book for review purposes and I decided to give it a shot. I’ve always found Ms. Meyer’s no-nonsense approach to the Word of God refreshing and that certainly comes through here. She breaks the book down passage by passage and gives great insights to their meaning.

As an example, when commenting on Colossians 2:2 and 3 “2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Ms. Meyer keys in on the wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ at one point and says, “Whenever you need wisdom in a situation or any time you need to know something, the answer is ‘hidden’ in Christ. It is not hidden because God does not want you to find it; it is hidden because God wants you to seek it.” Her comments are full of the plain-spoken wisdom I have come to both expect and appreciate.

I would not go so far as to call it a commentary, but there is clearly a fair amount of research happening here, as she references other texts, the Greek, etc. As a text for a church Bible study, this book would be a great guide. The book is a quick read at 180 pages but I really do feel I came away with a better understanding of Colossians. This could be a very useful resource. Check it out.

This is a fantastic book on the Holy Spirit, combining biblical teaching with testimonies from people who have seen the work in their lives. Cymbala has written a book that is encouraging and convicting at the same time. The book speaks to our need for the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers, from His help in prayer and comprehending Scripture, to His power in our lives.

This is a must read especially for the season we’re in right now.

I was not entirely sure what to expect from this book, but I bought it on the recommendation of a friend, predominantly for two reasons: 1. the reputation of its author and 2. the need of information on this topic as a church leader. The book did not disappoint. Piper struck while the iron was hot as the saying goes, and I mean no disingenuousness in that statement at all. This short but ultra timely book was so amazing and well thought out. It was a real blessing to me. It holds none of the speculation, theories (conspiracy or otherwise) and there is not even a hint of politics in it’s pages. This does not surprise me because it comes from John Piper, but given the rest of the coverage corona has received, it was really refreshing. What Piper does here is what I would expect from him and what I hope people get from me as a pastor. That is, he takes us to God’s Word and shows us the purpose in the pain. He pulls no punches, but this book gives hope, and encouragement along with the tough love. This is a fantastic book. The only change I might have made was to broaden the title, here, because while it does deal with corona virus, it could deal with virtually any of the struggles we face in life. It only took me a few hours to read this book, but it was time well spent. One of the timeliest books I have ever read.

Disclosure: The publisher requires me to tell you that they sent me a copy of this book for free, because I am a blogger. I will also say, I only ask for books that I am interested in reading and think might be beneficial in one aspect of my ministry or another. Such is the case with this book.

The Inquisitive Christ is a fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed. The book deals with twelve questions that Jesus asked of various people in Scripture. Ms. Murphy mines rich gems from these questions to help modern day readers to really examine their lives in light of Jesus’ teachings. This is a superb book. One example is Jesus asking the man at the pool if he wants to be well. What first seems like a “duh” moment (if it weren’t for the fact that it’s Jesus asking the question) really bears a deeper meaning. We all have things in our lives that we would like to change but when all is said and done, do we have the will to actually make the change and do we really want to change?

Now at times, I have read non fictions books especially ones with a theological emphasis that have been a little “dry.” Such is not the case with this book. Cara L.T. Murphy is a brilliant story teller. When she is retelling a Bible story, she walks the line of fleshing out the story without straying into adding anything that might take it out of the realm of being biblical, and she does this nearly flawlessly. I am hesitant to say that she brings the Bible to life, because I believe that the Bible is alive with no help needed from us. That being said she does make the reader feel as if they are in the room with our Lord while the events are happening. Further she tells related stories from her personal life that really add to the points she is trying to make. Her use of language feels poetic and yet highly relatable. Ms. Murphy ends each chapter with a “Lectio Divina” section that further urges the reader to put themselves in the story. I have done “Lectio Divina” numerous times but never like this. This is the first time I have found it fulfilling. Finally each chapter has a series of study questions adding to the applications the reader can make. This is a five star book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Ms. Murphy.

Well it’s two days after Christmas and I am pleased to report that my family blessed me with a total of ten books, eight of which are a boxed set of classic theological books by C.S. Lewis. I was thrilled to dig in.

I have to be honest. When one reads some of C.S. Lewis’ works of fiction, amazing though they are, their clear language and understandability make it easy to forget that he was a professor at one of the top. There is no such difficulty with this book. This is heady stuff, that will no doubt require several more reads over the course of this life. Breaking it down to it’s simplest elements this book is, as the cover blurb states, a defense of universal values. Lewis calls these values the Tao, and he goes to great lengths to show how these values occur almost universally to all cultures, religions, etc. To violate these values is to lose our humanity. I found this book fascinating and I will not doubt read it again.

I love reading the Jesus Bible this year. It’s basically an NIV Study Bible, but what makes it unique is that all the commentary throughout show how the various passages point to Christ. It also contains several long form essays on various spiritual points from people such as Louie Giglio, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias and Randy Alcorn. I’ve always believed that all Scripture points to Christ. This Bible shows us how. I also found the Jesus Bible very helpful in my preaching this year, because whether I was preaching from Old Testament or New, the commentary helped me keep Christ first and foremost. This was a great devotional Bible for this year, and I highly recommend it.

Right here at the beginning, I am supposed to mention that I got this book free from the publisher in hopes that I would give it a review. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Have serious doubts that I am anywhere close to the demographic the author probably imagined as her audience. She’s a 20 something year old single woman a 56 year old happily married grandfather, but I have to tell you, I found this book thoroughly engaging. The book speaks of living in the presence and Kingdom of God. Zaldivar is a wonderful storyteller, who gives just enough of personal anecdotes to illustrate her points, yet often leaves them open-ended enough for the reader to draw his or her own conclusion. The book is powerful, challenging and very biblical.

Zaldivar subtitles her book Finding the Holy in the Here and Now and she delivers quite well on this. This book is about living for Jesus in the here and now with an eye toward eternity. This book is targeted to women, but I will tell you every one can gain something from reading it. This is her first full length book and my prayer is that she writes many more. This is one I fully intend on passing around. Pick it up and read it. You won’t be disappointed.