book review

Book Review: The Spiritual Condition of Infants by Adam Harwood

Southern Baptist Pastor and fellow blogger Chris Roberts did a very thorough book review of The Spiritual Condition of Infants: A Biblical-Historical Survey and Systematic Proposal by Dr. Adam Harwood. The review is worth a read so I wanted to highlight it. A Review of The Spiritual Condition of Infants – Harwood’s stance becomes clear early in the book, though he waits until the end to give a “declarative statement on the spiritual condition of infants” and to “speculate how God might deal with people who die in their infancy”. He concludes that although people are born with a sin …keep reading »


Book Review: Gospel-Centered Family

Chester, Tim, and Ed Moll. Gospel-Centered Family. New Malden, Surrey, England: The Good Book Company, 2011. Guest review by Doug Young. I recently taught my children the meaning of an old, and all but lost saying—A rift in the lute. A lute is the predecessor to today’s guitar. The rift, or crack, is evidence of a problem that, if not addressed, threatens the instrument. Tennyson’s line in his epic poem Merlin and Vivien gives us the meaning: “It is the little rift within the lute that by-and-by will make the music mute, and ever widening slowly silence all.” What poetic …keep reading »


Book Review: Practical Theology For Women

Alsup, Wendy Horger. Practical Theology For Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2008. Reviewed by guest blogger Priscilla Barry. A friend once sent me a story that illustrates the importance of an ever-expanding knowledge of theology. A sailor, working on a cargo ship with a rigorous deadline for delivery, was assigned the late night watch on deck. During the first minutes of his watch, a freak accident culminated in the sailor falling overboard. It was the next morning before the sailor’s absence was discovered. When a thorough search of the ship …keep reading »


Book Review: Business for the Glory of God

Grudem, Wayne. Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching On the Moral Goodness of Business. Wheaton, IL: Good News Publishers/Crossway Books, 2003. Guest review by Wayne Elliott. Why, we may wonder, would one of today’s most respected evangelical theologians care about the world of business, much less be moved to write a book analyzing the theological basis for business? After all, isn’t business far removed from the halls of the theological academy? Wayne Grudem is a graduate of Harvard University (BA), Westminster Seminary (MDiv), and the University of Cambridge, England (PhD). He has served as president of the …keep reading »


Book Review: The World-Tilting Gospel

Phillips, Dan. The World-Tilting Gospel: Embracing a Biblical Worldview and Hanging On Tight. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2011. 320 pages. Dan Phillips is probably best known to the Christian blogging world from his writing at Pyromaniacs as well as his personal blog, Biblical Christianity. Phillips, now an author, was more than just a blogger. He holds an MDiv from Talbot Theological Seminary, has pastored four churches, has taught college and seminary classes and presented at Bible seminars. In The World-Tilting Gospel (TWTG) Phillips explains how the gospel is antithetical to the natural world and actually changes (or should change) the …keep reading »


Book Review: The Purity Principle

Alcorn, Randy. The Purity Principle: God’s Safeguards for Life’s Dangerous Trails (LifeChange Books). Sisters: Multnomah Books, 2003. Randy Alcorn is a well-known Christian author and speaker. He has written over 30 books which include both fiction and non-fiction. He is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries (EPM) through which he has ministered to people in many countries. Prior to founding EPM Alcorn was a pastor for 13 years in the state of Oregon. Much like the name of his ministry, in The Purity Principle (TPP), Alcorn seeks to address sexual purity from an eternal perspective. That is, from …keep reading »


Book Review: Why I Still Believe

Boot, Joe. Why I Still Believe: (Hint: It’s the Only Way the World Makes Sense). Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2006. 159 pages. The Christian faith is more than an intellectual or emotional assent to believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is an objective, rational faith in Jesus Christ. First Peter 3:15 calls upon Christians to be ready to give a defense of why they believe. This is the practice of apologetics. Joe Boot goes one step further explaining why he still believes by sharing his life story as a Christian while providing a rational defense along the way. …keep reading »


Book Review: The Divided States of America?

Land, Richard. The Divided States of America?: What Liberals AND Conservatives are missing in the God-and-country shouting match! Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007. Richard Land is the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He holds an A.B. from Princeton and a D.Phil. from Oxford. In The Divided States of America? Land, a conservative Christian, attempts to correct far left and far right political ideologies in their views of God and country. The book will give readers much to consider regardless of their political leanings. Considering the relationship between God and country in America brings …keep reading »


Book review: Marks of the Messenger

Stiles, J. Mack. Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2010. In Marks of the Messenger, Mack Stiles explains what makes up the fertile spiritual ground for a messenger of the gospel. He examines the gospel, evangelism, and what it is to live for Christ. He explores what these areas should look like in a Christian’s life. Stiles’ offers biblical teaching intertwined with true stories. The stories help illustrate Stiles’ points that show rather than just tell. This gives the reader a fuller understanding of how Stile’s biblical points work out in real …keep reading »


Book Review: Preaching that Connects

Galli, Mark, and Craig Brian Larson. Preaching that Connects: Using Journalistic Techniques to Add Impact. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994. Galli and Larson offer journalistic tools for preachers to help them communicate better in their sermons. Both authors have pastoral and journalism experience. Galli is a former pastor and  senior managing editor of Christianity Today. Larson is a pastor in Chicago and chief editor for Before explaining what this book offers it is important to understand

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Book Review: The Trellis and the Vine

The Trellis and the Vine:The Ministry Mind-Shift that Changes Everything by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. Matthias Media, 2009. 196 pages. The Trellis and the Vine focuses on doing the hard work of gospel living. That is, Christians giving of themselves through personal discipleship creating gospel growth. The trellis represents the structure of a church including “management, finances, infrastructure,


Book Review: Christianity in Crisis The 21st Century

Christianity In Crisis: The 21st Century By Hank Hanegraaff.  Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009. 432 pages. Hank Hanegraaff has updated the 1993 edition of Christianity in Crisis to keep up with the “Word of Faith” movement and its teachers. The author exposes the continued growth and danger of these teachings. The book is divided into seven parts and three appendices. It is well documented with 54 pages of footnotes and 17 pages of bibliography. In his usual style, the author provides several acronyms to help the reader remember key themes. In this edition, Hanegraaff leaves


Book Review: Fearless by Max Lucado

Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear By Max Lucado, Thomas Nelson, 2009, 224 pages. Fearless is a practical book addressing various fears in life by pointing to Jesus as the answer to those fears. The book is filled with real-life illustrations of fear and the things people do to run or hide from those fears. Lucado answers those fears with examples of biblical stories and Bible verses. He does use a variety of translations to make his points which might give pause to some readers. However, there are a few other speed bumps to give the reader pause. Full disclosure:


Book Review: Dear Timothy Letters On Pastoral Ministry

Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Tom Ascol. Cape Coral: Founders Press, 2004. 384 pages. Many times in life we wish we had a practical “how to” guide for the various activities of which we are involved (i.e. new job, volunteer work). Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry edited by Thomas Ascol is a book that could certainly be characterized as a “how to” for pastoral ministry. The book is not a “how to” in the sense of giving answers for every single issue a pastor might face. However, it does cover a wide range of that will …keep reading »


Book Review: Religion Saves By Mark Driscoll

Religion Saves: And Nine Other Misconceptions By Mark Driscoll. Crossway Books, 2009. 287 pages. (I will be starting a drawing tomorrow for a free copy of this book.) Background After 343,203 online votes on the Mars Hill Church website, nine questions for Pastor Mark Driscoll emerged as the ones most urgently calling for answers. Inspired by 1 Corinthians, in which Paul answers a series of questions posed by the people in the Corinthian church, Pastor Mark Driscoll set out to determine the most controversial questions among visitors to the Mars Hill Church website. In the end, 893 questions were asked …keep reading »


Book Review: Brothers We Are Not Professionals

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper. B&H Publishing Group, 2002. 286 pages. The Review Brothers We Are Not Professionals by John Piper is a very encouraging book. It is written to pastors as a call to for Jesus Christ to be the center of every aspect of a pastor’s “life and ministry and culture”. (xi) Piper biblically challenges pastors with his ministerial convictions after 22 years of experience (at the time of publication) as a pastor. The book is a call to go against the cultural norms of people pleasing for …keep reading »


Book Review: Godology

Godology: Because Knowing God Changes Everything By Christian George.  Moody Publishers, January 1, 2009. 176 pages. What first caught my attention about this book was the foreward by J.I. Packer.  Right away this made me want to look further into Godology. Godology is a book explaining the attributes of God in more modern terms.  The author creatively engages the reader using many modern illustrations and then leads into explaining God’s attributes. 


Book Review: The Noticer by Andy Andrews

The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective by Andy Andrews.  Thomas Nelson Publishers. The Noticer is a great story about a mysterious man named Jones. The story is set in a small town where Jones is about helping people with their lives’ perspectives. I appreciated how the story moved along. It kept me wondering what will happen next. Since I grew up in a small town I really connected with the characters. I could really see and feel how they were connected and related to each other. As the story moved along it a picture of …keep reading »


Get Outta My Face! – Book Review

A review of Get Outta My Face!: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counsel by Rick Horne. Wapwallopen: Shepherd Press, 2009, 176 pages. The book is divided into three main parts:  I. What You Must Understand to Connect with You Teen, II. What You Must Do to Help Your Teen and III. How to Make the Changes Stick.  These parts are further divided amongst 11 chapters.  There is also a handy Helpful Reminders appendix that summarizes each of the three sections as a quick reference guide. This might seem like a lot of information to cover in only …keep reading »


Book Review: Knowing God

I recently had the opportunity to write a book review for our church newsletter.  I was very appreciative to be asked do so.  And a big thanks my wonderful wife for being editor who helped me condense the review from 1,200 words down to less than 800.  Below is the review. Knowing God by J.I. Packer InterVarsity Press, 1993, 286 pages. Overview Do you know God or just know about Him? Do you seek to know God through Scripture or through personal experience? Are you skeptical about the Bible being divine revelation from God? In Knowing God, J.I. Packer sets …keep reading »


The Metaphorical Safety of The Shack

So far I have two reviews of The Shack posted.  One, The Shack Review, by a dear brother and fellow church member Wayne Elliott.  The other, Uncovering The Shack, by local yet widely known Pastor Michael Youseff. Now, I have another dear brother who I recently had a good Southern Baptist dinner with.  For folks not in the know, that’s Wednesday night dinner in the fellowship hall.  This brother understood the nuances and concerns of The Shack.  He kept this in mind while reading The Shack and, therefore, enjoyed the book without worrying about heretical persuasions.  I certainly appreciate this …keep reading »

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Uncovering The Shack

My fellow church member bro. Wayne whose review of The Shack I recently posted informed me of another review of The Shack.  Michael Youssef, pastor of Church of the Apostles, one of our neighboring churches, has reviewed The Shack in a recent sermon. Dr. Youseff’s review, Uncovering The Shack, can be downloaded directly on mp3 here.  There is also an iTunes feed if you’re interested.  He actually stopped in the middle of a sermon series to review this book because he thought it was that important. Dr. Youseff begins, “In the 33 years since I’ve was ordained to the ministry, …keep reading »


“The Shack” Review

A friend from church wrote a brief review of The Shack that touches on some key points as to why we should be cautious about this book.  Or maybe even disregard it all together.  He gave me permission to share this review. SHACK ATTACK – OR A CALL TO DISCERNMENT? “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” -Charles Spurgeon At the encouragement of friends, I recently read The Shack by William P. Young. A national bestseller widely embraced by some churches …keep reading »