Showing posts in 'Book Reviews'

Book review: Why did Jesus have to die?

Helen Thorne | August 4th 2014

Over the 25 years since I've become a Christian I've heard quite a few talks on the cross. I've read a few books too. And, as I've worked my way through the pages of Scripture, I've noticed it's a subject that pops up time and time again! In broad brush-strokes, at least, I get what Jesus has done for me. So why, oh why, would I spend 2 hours of my holiday reading a book about the cross from the publishing company that employs me?

The answer is simple. Our Lord's work on the cross isn't something to understand and then move on from - it's the core of our salvation, the foundation of our daily living and our hope for the future. It never gets old, it never gets dull. And that's something, Marcus Nodder author of Why did Jesus have to die? knows very well.

In his eminently readable book - part of the Questions Christians Ask series - Marcus dispels some of the myths around the cross. It's not just a logo or a great sacrifice that inspires us to try harder to live a loving and sacrificial life. Nor is it yet another dying and rising myth circulating in the ancient world. It's the best news imaginable for a lost and hurting world.... continue reading

 

Book review: I wish Jesus hadn't said that ... But I'm really glad he did

Helen Thorne | June 30th 2014

Jesus certainly isn't convenient. All that stuff about denying self, loving enemies, being sacrificially generous, forgiving those who wound us and spreading the gospel across the globe can seriously get in the way of our comfortable lives! So is the Christian life worth all the effort? It certainly is ...

In his easy to read book, Steve Timmis looks at 10 tough calls of Jesus and, in turn, humbly shows why the sacrifice they demand is completely worth it right now and always.

With Bible passages simply explained and illustrations throughout that will simultaneously make you smile and think, this book is a great spur to faithfulness. It encouraged me to take stock of my life in light of Jesus' work, pray and reorientate my priorities - in so many ways. As I went through its pages, my doodles included questions that I wanted to ask myself at a later date:... continue reading

 

Book review: True Friendship

Steve Jeffery | May 8th 2014

Vaughan Roberts has done it again. Since the publication of Turning Points fifteen years ago, he has been producing a steady stream of books on subjects from biblical theology and worship to godliness and apologetics. Now the tradition continues with his latest offering, True Friendship (10 Publishing, 2013)

Like Vaughan’s other books, True Friendship is insightful, punchy, clear, and biblical. He writes as a Pastor to ordinary people, and it’s hard to imagine anyone struggling to understand what he’s saying. If you can read English, you can read True Friendship.

And yet behind this easy style lies a remarkable depth of theological and pastoral reflection. Vaughan has clearly read widely and deeply on the subject of friendship, and brings us insights from (among others) the 12th-century English monk Aelred of Rievaulx, the 19th-century theologian Hugh Black, and the 20th-century Catholic Priest Henri Nouwen, along with more familiar names such as C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer. Vaughan encourages his readers to take time chewing over what he says, and each chapter ends with questions for reflection, making the book ideal for group discussion.... continue reading

 

Gospel Patrons: People whose generosity changed the world

Rachel Jones | April 9th 2014

You may well have heard of William Tyndale, the man who translated the Bible into English in the 16th century, losing his life in the process. But standing behind him, largely unknown, was Henry Monmouth. This was a man who shared Tyndale’s vision, partnered with him and, to put it bluntly, paid the bills. Monmouth put Tyndale up while he worked on his translation, and then used his business connections to smuggle the English Bible around the country. Monmouth is an example of what John Rinehart calls a “Gospel Patron”.

Gospel Patrons are men and women who do not take centre stage of the gospel story, but who play a vital role nonetheless. Rinehart’s book of the same name takes a look at how God has used such people to change the world, and how we can become those kinds of people too.... continue reading

 

Book review: Romans 1-7 For You by Tim Keller

Richard John | March 26th 2014

In my experience, people’s approach to daily Bible reading and prayer is quite a personal thing. Some folk prefer to use daily Bible reading notes, and happily use the same notes year after year. Others chop and change for variety, or to find notes that suit them.

In the mornings, I’ve found the Good Book Company’s new ‘God’s Word for You’ series very helpful. I’ve used all three titles so far - Galatians for You, Judges for You and Romans 1-7 for You and plan to read more as they come out.

The series is triple-barrelled: they are for us to Read, Feed and Lead.

Each chapter of the book of the Bible being studied – in this review, Romans – is covered by one chapter in the study book, and is split into two parts. I’ve found one ‘Part’ an ideal length to read for one day’s Bible reading. Be advised that sometimes Part 1 and Part 2 cover different verses from the set chapter, at other times, each Part considers the whole chapter, but from two different angles.... continue reading

 

Book review: Stepping Out in Faith

Richard John | January 29th 2014

“It doesn’t look like a church!” was the comment of a former Catholic coming to our church for the first time. (Admittedly, it was our old wood and asbestos structure, once thought to be a “disused woodyard” by a passer-by. We have re-built it since!). To her, a plain building, with no crucifixes, images of Mary, incense or candles was simply not ‘a church’.

Another Catholic who came to our church recently was very surprised at the Bible-centred preaching. “The Bible is never mentioned at our church”, they said.

We’ve all no doubt had comments from Catholic friends, family or work colleagues along the lines of “I go to confession, but I still feel guilty afterwards for the wrong things I know I’ve done – and I can’t seem to find any peace”, or “I go to Mass, and pray the prayers that are expected, but there’s something different about you and your church. You seem to have a personal relationship with God, and you study the Bible for yourselves”.... continue reading

 

Christianity and Homosexuality: A Review of Books

Timothy Keller | October 7th 2013

A great article and review from Timothy Keller of Sam Allberry's book, Is God Anti-Gay?, originally written for Redeemer Report: Renewing the City Socially, Spiritually & Culturally.
 



Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
by Wesley Hill
Zondervan, 2010

Is God Anti-Gay? Questions Christians Ask
by Sam Allberry
The Good Book Co., 2013

The relationship of homosexuality to Christianity is without doubt one of the main subjects of cultural conversation today. If you are a Christian in New York City, it is nearly impossible to talk about your faith without this subject being raised. Although it is not central to the gospel message at the heart of Christianity, right now the cultural moment requires that we be prepared to address this issue whenever we are publicly identified as Christians.

A sign of this cultural moment is the wave of new books—from very divergent points of view—that have come out recently treating this topic. People who attend Redeemer will either come across the books themselves, or will have their basic arguments presented to them in shorter forms online. So over the next few months I will be reviewing several of these books. It’s my way as a pastor to point people to those volumes that both fit in with biblical teaching and are pastorally wise and sensitive, as well as those books that, for all their good intentions, are mistaken and unhelpful.... continue reading

 

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood reviews "Is God Anti-Gay"

Daniel Broaddus | September 18th 2013

Below is an engaging book review from our friends at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on Sam Allberry's, "Is God Anti-Gay?" The original review appeared on their blog here and is written by Chris Sarver.

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On campuses across the United States, the number of believing college students who have confided with their friends, pastors, and campus ministers that they struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA) is on the rise. For instance, on a 2013 summer missions project, nearly one in five male and female college students anonymously indicated that they had in the past engaged in “some sort of sexual activity with a person of the same gender.”  Likewise, over the course of the last decade, I have seen a distinct rise in the number of students who have cyber-sexed with others of the same gender or viewed homosexual-themed pornography.... continue reading

 

The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood reviews "Is God Anti-Gay"

Daniel Broaddus | September 17th 2013

Below is an engaging book review from our friends at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on Sam Allberry's, "Is God Anti-Gay?" The original review appeared on their blog here and is written by Chris Sarver.

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On campuses across the United States, the number of believing college students who have confided with their friends, pastors, and campus ministers that they struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA) is on the rise. For instance, on a 2013 summer missions project, nearly one in five male and female college students anonymously indicated that they had in the past engaged in “some sort of sexual activity with a person of the same gender.”  Likewise, over the course of the last decade, I have seen a distinct rise in the number of students who have cyber-sexed with others of the same gender or viewed homosexual-themed pornography.... continue reading

 

Book review: A Foot in Two Worlds

Helen Thorne | August 26th 2013

The Christian life is hard. I'm sure you will have noticed! We are saved from sin and heading for eternal bliss but at this moment in time we're far from perfect and still rubbing shoulders with messed up people in a messed up place. We live in tension. The tension that comes from having a foot in two worlds - the present age and the age to come. And every day brings a struggle of some description.

Of course, we don't like that tension. Most of us would prefer it to disappear. Sometimes we try to make it disappear either by compromising our faith to make life easier or by believing the misinformation that some teachers spout - that we can have wealth, ease, almost complete victory over sickness and temptation in the here and now. If only!

John Chapman's book is to the point. It's real about what life is like. It helps us to gain perspective on this daily tension. It teaches what the Bible says about life between Jesus' first coming and his second. And it spurs us on to live faithfully, in the power of the Spirit, gradually becoming more like Jesus while in the thick of the mess that characterises our world and our hearts. And it does all that in about 75 pages.

As with all books penned by Chapman, it's accessible, engaging, biblical and practical. There are moments which will make you smile and moments that will convict your heart. It's packed with examples from his personal experience which brings great warmth to the writing. But its real strength lies in its simplicity. It's perfect to read in one sitting (though if you want to move more slowly and use the discussion guide at the back, that's fine too). And it simply spurs you to keep persevering in the present and keep rejoicing in the future. No compromise. No false hope. Just a clear call to fix your eyes on the wonder of Jesus and keep putting one foot in front of the other. And, quite frankly, that's message we all need to hear from time to time.

Want to buy a copy of A Foot In Two Worlds? Click HERE.

 
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