Book Review: Christian Faith in the Old Testament by Gareth Lee Cockerill

It is fair to say that a majority of the modern Christian’s Bible reading and knowledge comes from the New Testament. We make jokes about getting stuck in Leviticus, falling asleep in Deuteronomy, and sinking into depression in Lamentations. The language of the New Testament is more simple. We can understand the chronology and circumstances with less effort.

However, we must not forget that the Old Testament was the only Bible that the Apostles had to teach and preach from. They didn’t have the Gospels, Acts, Romans, or the other Epistles. They preached Jesus from the Old Testament Scriptures and people were saved. And the Scriptures they used then continue to speak to us today.

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Gareth Lee Cockerill gives us an excellent overview of the Old Testament and how it applies today. His writing, although summary in style, is very engaging. He does an excellent job of drawing modern day application from the Old Testament Scriptures. For those who learn visually, the graphs and charts in this book are amazing! As a Bible teacher and preacher, I found a wealth of content to draw from. And I think you will too!

If you are a pastor, teacher, or if you would like to have a better understanding of how the Old Testament fits together and how it applies to us today, I would highly recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick

When God’s Words are in your heart, the devil’s lies lose their power over your mind. Crashing the Chatterbox is overpowering the lies of insecurity, fear, condemnation, and discouragement with the promises of God. It is hearing God’s voice above all others.

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In this book, Steven Furtick amplifies the voice of God, specifically focusing on three promises:

  • God Says I Am
  • God Says He Will
  • God Says He Has

When we remember the Word of God concerning our identity, His promise for the future, and His finished work on our behalf, we can begin to walk in victory over the noise that plagues our lives. When we listen to His promises, we forget our problems.

Overall I enjoyed this book and found it helpful both for personal application and, because the author is a great story teller, for sermon fodder. There were two or three chapters that sparked sermon ideas that I am excited to develop. I would suggest this book to anyone who struggles with insecurity, fear, condemnation, or discouragement (is there anyone who doesn’t?) and anyone who ministers to people with these struggles. You will find something here that will help you hear God’s voice above all others.

Caveat: I don’t agree with the all of the theology of this book. Please read prayerfully.

*I received an advanced reading copy of this book for review from Multnomah Books. 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Awakening Faith by James Stuart Bell

In Awakening Faith, James Stuart Bell has compiled a devotional collection of deeper insights about life and faith. In an age of pithy sayings and catch phrases, we often hunger for something with more substance to challenge our souls. This one year devotional does just that while remaining very readable.

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Each of the three hundred and sixty-six one-page readings is taken from the earliest teachers and writers of Christianity, those widely considered the Church Fathers. While the diligent student will certainly find some discrepancy in doctrines between these Church Fathers and the disciples who pioneered the New Testament Church, he will also find some great nuggets of wisdom and spiritual insight.

If you have ever been interested in studying early Christianity but are not sure where to start, this devotional may offer some insight. It includes writings from over seventy Christians from the first eight decades of Christianity. It also includes a brief biographical sketch of each of these early Christians.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a devotional that is more than feel-good fluff, but truly challenges and inspires the soul.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Priceless Stones by James Revoir

No one just happens across priceless stones. Priceless stones are raw and buried. They must be mined, cleaned, and polished. It’s the best metaphor for my criticism of Mr. Revoir’s book. There are some priceless stones of incredible information in this book. It is evident that the author is very intelligent. However, I had difficulty mining the gems from this work.

It is difficult for me to be critical of anyone who has written a book because I have never undertaken the task. However, it is as a reader and not a fellow-author that I offer my personal review. While I found some of the content of the book, specifically the insights into the Hebrew words, to be very interesting, I found myself struggling to engage with the book.

The book is written, almost in a devotional format. The subtitle is “42 Days of Hebrew Promises for Kingdom Living.” In each chapter, Revoir focuses on a different Hebrew word or phrase and draws present application from the meaning of these ancient words. Each chapter concludes with a prayer, a declaration, and reflective questions.

I would personally rate this book two of five stars. However, if you are looking for a devotional style book and you love to study the Hebrew meaning of words, perhaps you should give it a try. It is my hope that Mr. Revoir continues to spread the Christian faith by every means possible.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: The Power of a Half Hour by Tommy Barnett

Summary in a sentence: “Your half hours direct and shape your future.”

Tommy Barnett points out the incredible power of investing small amounts of time to get huge returns. Time is the “most significant nonrenewable resource” that we have. Each day that passes leaves us with less time. Time is a gift from God which He intends for us to invest carefully, intentionally, wisely, and productively.

“You will never get lost time back–and nobody can eliminate the results of time well-invested.”

The thirty short chapters in this book are grouped into categories that focus charting your life path, strengthening your faith, building your character, advancing your dreams, improving your relationships, and changing the world. Mr. Barnett shows how all of this can be accomplished thirty minutes at a time.

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The book offers some good, practical instruction. By no means does it exhaust each topic, but the point is to demonstrate the difference a small amount of time given regularly to any area of life needing improvement can make a big difference.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is striving for growth in any area of life. Especially if you ever feel overwhelmed by what seems to be insurmountable odds. Mr. Barnett will help you break down every obstacle and attack it strategically.

Book Review: Seven Men by Eric Metaxas

Seven Men: And The Secret Of Their Greatness is a collection of bite size biographies on seven of the most influential men who have lived. The common thread that runs through them all is the bravery with which each man stood up for what he believed. None of them were perfect, but each one fought in his own manner for the greater good.

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Metaxas tells each story with an irresistible flow that will keep you turning the pages and wishing there was more at the end of each chapter. He is witty and humorous while shedding light on the lessons we can learn from those who have walked before us.

The seven men you will read about are:

  1. George Washington
  2. William Wilberforce
  3. Eric Liddell
  4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  5. Jackie Robinson
  6. Pope John Paul II
  7. Charles W. Colson

I highly recommend this book and especially to young men who desire to make a difference in the world. Come and read of the sacrifice and determination of those who already have.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: One Perfect Life by John MacArthur

I recently found a great study tool created by one of my favorite authors, John MacArthur. I wasn’t quite certain what I was getting when I received my copy of One Perfect Life in the mail, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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The concept of the book is a blending of all the Scriptures concerning the life of Christ. It is part Bible, part commentary with an interesting twist. MacArthur has compiled relating Scriptures chronologically to tell the Gospel story with blended strokes. The short chapters are arranged by events in the life of Christ and pull from every book of the Bible that tells that portion of the story or contains supporting material. It layers the four Gospels on top on each other to see a more complete picture.

This book will be a regularly used tool in my study library. Any time I am preaching or teaching from a specific event in the life of Christ, I will certainly use this study tool to understand the event from the viewpoint of each Scripture in which it is told.

I would highly recommend this book to any preacher, Bible teacher, or anyone who wants a fresh, Bible-based look at the life of Jesus Christ. Thank you, Mr. MacArthur for creating this wonderful tool!

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: 20,000 Days and Counting by Robert D. Smith

Teach us to number our DAYS, that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

How old are you? I am 10, 307 today. Tomorrow I will be 10, 308. I’m not the oldest person alive, I’m simply changing how I measure the length of my life. We measure our lives in years but the Scriptures clearly teach the wisdom in numbering our days.

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This is the powerful practice that author Robert D. Smith conveys in 20,000 Days and CountingI have read many books on purpose, goal-setting, and time-management but the impact of this concise book was much deeper than others. It is written so that it will take the average person about an hour to read but you will want to read it twice and slow down to let every sentence sink in.

The chapter titled Motivation is a Myth (just one page) is worth the price of this book.

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you find yourself in a rut. You will be encouraged to remember how short and fragile life is and how important it is to employ every day for the purpose God has intended for your life.

Today is a gift. Make sure you celebrate it by doing something important and worth-while.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: GlobeQuake by Wallace Henley

The subtitle of this incredible book caught my attention; “Living in the Unshakeable Kingdom while the world falls apart.”

Wallace Henley has worked for more than three decades in the fields of journalism, government, and the church. His experience and unique insight shine through in this work. This is not a book of doom and gloom, but of hope for the citizens of God’s unshakeable kingdom.

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Mr. Henley discusses the causes and effects of a shaken world, the need for a stable people and a stable church, and outlines a strategic, Biblical plan for obtaining and keeping stability in six spheres of life; person, church, family, education, governance, and business/marketplace.

This is by far one of the best books I read in 2012 and I would highly recommend it for every Christian leader whether you be in the sphere of the church, the family, or business. I would also highly recommend this book for anyone who may struggle with anxiety or fear due to current events. There is a place of stability and hope!

Buy a copy here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Relentless by John Bevere

I recently finished Relentless by John Bevere. I have always enjoyed the author’s writing style and why I don’t always agree with his theology, I deeply appreciate his defense of Scripture and desire to communicate the truths of God’s Word.

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This book is really about the empowerment of God’s grace. We tend to think of grace only in relation to our sin but grace is meant for so much more. Grace is not only the power to overcome sin but it is the power to live an overcoming life as a warrior for the Kingdom of God.

One of the highlights of the book is the chapter on humility. We often think of pride as the opposite of humility but as the author points out, Habakkuk 2:4 portrays pride and faith as opposites. “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by faith.” This should show us how God links faith and humility. Some hide their pride and disbelief behind a shadow false humility.

A perfect example is the ten spies of the promised land. “If the ten spies had humbly relied on God’s promises, they would have moved out and conquered the land. They would have submitted to the Word of the Lord rather than their limited strength and human reasoning, and they they would have been submitted to one another – under the same mission.”

True humility is absolute obedience and dependance on God.

For me, the whole book was worth these few paragraphs at the end.

Sadly, I have witnessed our spiritual (scriptural) foundations shifting to accommodate the trends of the times. It’s gotten so out of control that minister of a large church can stand before his congregation, declare he’s a homosexual, and receive a standing ovation. Another can declare it’s no longer God’s will to heal, and his people believe him instead of God’s Word. Another can author a book declaring that all humanity is going to eventually enter heaven – that no person will burn in eternal fire – and he remains a ‘rock star’ in Christendom. Another can challenge the virgin birth and the return of Jesus Christ and still be celebrated as a leader of the Christian faith. More and more sad scenarios such as these play our among “Christians” each day.

Some recent surveys may help us understand these ludicrous shifts. According to one national survey, only 46 percent of ‘born-again Christians’ believe in absolute moral truth. More than 50 percent of ‘evangelical Christians” believe people can attain heaven through avenues other than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only 40 percent of ‘born-again Christians’ believe Satan is a real force. How can this be? The answer is found in Paul’s words to Timothy: “They will not endure sound doctrine” – we are not remaining relentless in truth.

More and more we are hearing and declaring a non transformational gospel. Its core message is unfaithful to the core doctrine of God’s Word, as in “Jesus died for our sins to get us to heaven, but we are human, and God understands our different vices and sexual preferences.” A popular teaching of late in the removal of the need for repentance from sin. Multitudes of believers are gleefully told that there’s no need to embrace godly sorrow over disobedience or to confess it to God because sin has already been covered by grace. I’ve heard men and women who embrace this teach boast of how simple, fresh, and liberating the message is. But if simple, fresh, and liberating war the real indicators of truth, then any doctrine that gratifies the flesh would be truth! If it’s an accurate teaching that Christians no longer need to repent, then Jesus Christ was way off base when he told five of the seven churches to “repent” in the book of Revelation.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from bloggingforbooks.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”