Posts Tagged ‘book review’


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will realize that offense is a huge problem in our society, with people seeming to go out of their way to look for things by which to be offended. I bought this book for research on a series of messages on offense and being offended. I was not disappointed. Brant Hansen directs the idea that we have a right to be angry, and as much as we may want to kick against that idea, he’s right. This book combines real life examples, biblical teaching and some of the most challenging ideas on this topic I have ever seen. This book should be a mega best seller because every man, woman and child on the face of the earth should read it and the world would be a MUCH better place if they did.

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Okay let me start with a confession. I am a big fan of Torry Martin. I bought his book Of Moose and Men when we were both speaking at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference here in PA last year and I was hooked. This book is a sampler of several of the chapters from that book and his current book Call of the Mild, after reading this book, I can’t wait to pick that one up. Look, Torry is hilarious! He’s also a very interesting person who’s lived an interesting life. These stories are part memoir, part comedy with a little bit of devotional pulled in for good measure. If you’ve never read Torry’s stuff, pick this up, you can read it in an hour or two. After reading these stories you’ll want to pick up both of the full length books. This is great, uplifting material that will put a smile on your face and bless you, and who couldn’t use that?


I was on vacation, and it was a very relaxing time, lots of time to kick back and read. I read Matt Tommey’s Created to Thrive, and it was so good that I went to his Amazon page to see what else he had. I of course knew of this book, but somehow, I had not read it, so I picked it up. Once again I read this book in a very short period of time, about two days, and once again, it is that good. In this really phenomenal book, Matt gives us an exploration of our call as artists in the Kingdom of God. It also provides a primer of sorts for involving the Holy Spirit in our creativity. It all comes down to the idea that we have the immense privilege of collaborating with God.

In this book Matt reveals a level of transparency as he shares his own personal stories of both struggle and success. This is definitely not the work of a theoretician. This is a book from someone who has worked diligently at both his craft and his faith. I came away from this book once again feeling immensely inspired. This is both a great read and an important book.


I’m sure when Hilary Yancey wrote this book she was probably not thinking, “I hope a lot of fifty something men read it.” but I did. To be honest, I picked up the book because of it’s title. Her publisher offered it to me as a blogger for review and so here it is. The title is something I have been dealing with in my speaking ministry for quite some time. The idea that there are people out there who need to forgive the perfect, sinless, God. Hilary Yancey explores this concept in ways far beyond what I considered and she does so masterfully. I really can’t bring myself to say I liked this book. The subject matter is such that that would make me seem cold and heartless, as you’ll see in a moment. What I will say instead is that I am really glad that I read this important book, and I highly recommend it, because it will challenge your thinking in ways I had not even considered.

Hilary Yancey writes this book around her pregnancy and the subsequent birth of her son Jackson. You see Jackson was born with cleft lip/palate, only one eye and one ear, needing a tracheotomy and a g button. She deals with her prayer life, her struggles when her prayers for a miracle went, in a sense, unanswered. She deals realistically with the struggle when God doesn’t do things the way we think He should. Further she deals with her son and his “different kind of normal.” She is a doctoral candidate in the area of philosophy and this really comes through in her writing, yet the book is very readable and accessible. She has challenged my thinking on so many subjects, from disability to God and I honestly feel like I am a little bit better as a person for having read this book.


You know what’s better than a book? A free book. You know what’s better than a free book? An excellent, life-affirming, God-glorifying book. That’s what this book is. A couple weeks ago, I received an email offering a review copy Jim Cymbala’s new book. Well that was a no-brainer for me. I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve ever read. This book is wonderful. It’s a quick read, I read it in two days, and given my schedule right now, that’s saying something. It is a book full of the testimonies of some people who’ve been rescued, mostly from pretty horrific circumstances, by the love Jesus. This is one of the most encouraging books I have ever read. Story after story shows how the love of Christ overcomes all matter of struggle, then at the end, is a clear presentation of the Gospel along with a final chapter called “Where to go from here” which helps a reader to find and take the next steps in forming a walk with Christ.

On this blog I talk a lot about telling a better story. This is a prime example. Few things testify to the greatness of Christ better than the story of a transformed life. The Rescue will give you seven great stories of people who’ve gone from the darkness into the light of God’s love.

This would be a great book to give to someone who is outside the faith, struggling with faith, or just generally having a hard time. It would also be a great book for a new believer. Do yourself a favor and check out this book.


If you are a person of faith who lives in the culture, read this book.
If you are not a person of faith who lives in the culture, read this book.
If you are a person who is unsure about faith, but lives in the culture, read this book.
and if you are a person who is diametrically opposed to faith but who lives in the culture, read this book.

What can I say? This is a phenomenal book. It’s formatted as a devotional, a reading a day for 15 weeks, with an essay each day from some of the greatest thinkers in the arts, academia and the sciences, writing on matters of faith and culture. I chose to read more quickly. These writings are some of the most thought provoking things I have ever read on either topic, and I read a lot on faith and culture. This is a book I will reference often in various aspects of my life and work. Given the level of scholarship behind many of these essays, the book is surprisingly easy to read and comprehend. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Read this book


There’s a joke me and some of my ministry friends would get out whenever we heard someone say something that was biblically questionable, or just plain out there. We’d say, “That must be in the book of Paul, somewhere near the back.” The reason is simple, there is no book of Paul. However there are many books written by Paul, or more correctly, letters or even more correctly letters, and those letters lay out much of the theology of the New Testament. While there is no book of Paul, there is definitely a “Gospel According to Paul” that can be discerned from his letters. In The Gospel According to Paul, John MacArthur lays out Pauline theology masterfully.

John MacArthur is one of the great thinkers in the church today and this book is a wonderful, thought provoking dissertation on some of the great theological points of the Apostle Paul. MacArthur starts off with the bad news behind the Good News, which is the sinful condition of all humanity. From there, MacArthur explores through Paul’s Eyes (and of course from Gospel truth), how to be right with God, Salvation by faith alone and many other truths that everyone needs to know. MacArthur is brilliant. I found myself disagreeing on one or two points, but even in this, he provoked me to thought and to really explore what I believe and more importantly, why I believe it. This is a must read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their faith. Not to be missed are the Appendixes at the end, especially the Spurgeon Sermon on Paul’s Glorious Gospel. Five Stars!