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Showing posts from May, 2013

Tracing God's Footprints

I Am That I Am: Tracing the Footprints of God by Judy Azar LeBlanc
This new book by Judy LeBlanc is written to outline and trace the eight covenants of the Bible, Jesus’ parables and the way in which the divine names of God reflect unique aspects of God’s character.  The chapters in this book are short enough to follow while giving you a small dose of the biblical material and commentary by theologians and scholars.
The Takeaway
One, this book was an overambitious project to begin with.  The goal of outlining God’s covenantal dealings with his people and presenting Jesus’ parables with any detail in just over 450 pages is hard to do by any stretch of imagination.  For instance, at the beginning of the book LeBlanc gives one page to describing what a covenant is and how it functions.  She goes onto focus here efforts by quoting from Lewis Sperry Chafer, a Dispensational theologian, who outlines eight covenants found in the Bible.  Rather than giving a rationale for why she decided to…

Journible The 17:18 Series: Acts

Journible The 17:18 Series: Acts

The 17:18 Series: The Book of Acts by Joel R. Beeke and Rob Wynalda
In Deuteronomy 17:18 Moses foretells of a future king coming to reign over Israel and copying the law himself rather than just acquiring a copy of the law.  The role of writing down or scripting the Word of God is of paramount importance for the growth of the believer.  With this truth in mind, Joel Beeke and Rob Wynalda have created Journibles.  This Journible on the Book of Acts is both a resource to copy the Scriptures yourself and engage in some questions about the text. On the right hand side of the Journible is blank lines with verse indicators for you to copy down the whole Book of Acts.  On the left side of the Journible are questions regarding context, theology, and details of the text for you to answer.  In other words, this Journible on Acts incorporates a place for you to write your own copy of Acts while engaging with the details of the text in a question and answer format.

Chasing Francis

Chasing Francis: A Pilgrim’s Tale by Ian Morgan Cron
Combining the story of St. Francis of Assisi with the mid-church crisis in the life of Chase Falson, Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron is a journey that you don’t want to miss.  Part history, part fiction, Chasing Francis is a tale of wisdom strikes at the heart of what it means to live out one’s faith in a broken world.  Focusing on the crisis of faith that ensues when Chase Falson, founding pastor of a megachurch in the Northeast corner of the State, decides that ministering out of an evangelical zeal for certainty and reading someone else’s script is not for him.  In a quest for relief in what to do with doubts, frustrations, and challenges, Chase is given a leave of absence by elders and flies to Italy to see his uncle who is a Franciscan priest.   Rather than tell the story and to give away the tale, I think bringing out some of the truths in the book will help readers get a better grasp on their reading.
Holistic Integration…

Humble Orthodoxy

Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris
Joshua Harris, Pastor at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland is well known for his writings on the Christian faith that span the gamut from dating to theology.  His new book, Humble Orthodoxy is a short work aiming to bring together the twin ideas of humility and truth.  In too many cases, a desire to firmly hold onto the truth carries with it an arrogance that smacks of contempt for other Christian traditions.  Knee-jerk reactions run the spectrum from vitriol against Arminianism, infant baptism, Catholic tradition, and worship music.  This little book by Josh fills a void that is needed.  Rather than harping on individual doctrines or just humility, Josh wants us to think of the posture in which we hold our theological viewpoints. 
He writes, “Whether our theological knowledge is great or small, we all need to ask a vital question: What will we do with the knowledge of God that we have” (4)? Is knowledge made to be an instrument to pumm…

Seven Men

7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas
Many readers will know of author Eric Metaxas for his award winning book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  This new book, 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness is a collection of mini-biographies on great men figures in history who have made a significant contribution to society but have also lived out a vibrant faith in Jesus Christ.  The figures include Jackie Robinson, Pope John Paul II, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Chuck Colson, Eric Liddell, William Wilberforce and George Washington.  The power of a book like this is you get a glimpse of the adversity these men faced and how they overcame it by their lives, incorporating their faith in everything they accomplished. 
Living Beyond Your Moment
Two of the figures in this book, George Washington and Jackie Robinson radically affected the lives of others who came after them.  Metaxas writes of Washington, “Most of us can hardly fathom just how unusual Washington’s decision was.  In rejecting p…

The Blessed Church

The Blessed Church by Robert Morris
Robert Morris, Senior Pastor at Gateway Church which has over 20,000 in attendance tells his story in ministry in his new book entitled The Blessed Church.  I was wondering as you probably are as you take up this book, how in the world Gateway Church grow to be that large?  Part of the message of the book is Robert’s desire to elucidate some principles that have solidified his mission in helping to grow this church.  The book is divided up into 34 chapters ranging from roughly 3-8 pages a chapter.  The goal in writing is that ‘we might pastor churches that God blesses to be a blessing’ (15)!
Throughout the chapters in the book Robert provided a section called Keys to a Blessed Church that encapsulated some of his bigger concepts.  On p.40 Robert writes, “It’s okay to want to grow.  It’s part of the way God made us.  But we must always monitor our motives and attitudes.”  As the church was busting at the seams, Robert desired for more people to come…

Nate Saint: Operation Auca

Nate Saint: Operation Auca by Nancy Drummond
The story of Nate Saint is remarkable one for anyone interested in knowing what it looks like for a man to follow Christ, to use his gifts, and to love his fellow man regardless of what they can do for him. Nancy Drummond has written an accessible mini-biography of Saint’s life for children ages 7 and up to dive into.  The chapters are written succinctly in roughly 6-8 page chunks.  The story brings together Nate’s passion for flying, his desire for the Waodani people to know Christ, and his ingenuity in creating the right repair parts for planes that were utterly demolished. 
The story begins with Nate having an ever-growing passion for flying.  Even at an early age after sitting in the cockpit of a plane, Nate exclaimed, “It’s the greatest feeling in the world!” (9)  Nate grew up in a family that regularly worshipped the Lord, met in prayer meetings and were constantly gracing the doors of the church.  The soil in which he was raised was…

Radical Dating

Radical Dating By Diane Montgomery, Gabrielle Pickle and Sarah Bubar
This new book by three friends, Diane Montgomery, Gabrielle Pickle and Bubar entitled Radical Dating is a foray into the world of dating from a Christian and biblical perspective.  Rather than just devote an entire book to purity or boundaries or any other specific topic, the authors seek to elucidate the answer to the question of how Christ (specifically Christian faith) change the way we view dating, from the beginning to end.  Although the book is dedicated to girls, I thought it might be good to gain a better perspective on dating from a Christian female lens. Each chapter is broken up from the perspective of one author while some chapters are a combination of the three authors.  The authors indicate from the opening introduction that the who, how, and why women date matters ‘because our lives are a witness to the world and a sacrifice of worship to God’ (12).  There is a public witness that matters in our person…

The Wisdom of Puritan Jeremiah Burroughs

Contentment, Prosperity, and God’s Glory by Jeremiah Burroughs
The vast literature of the Puritans is immense in both its profundity and its careful way of pricking the heart as you dive into its contents.  Jeremiah Burroughs, a member of the Westminster Assembly and preacher among Congregationalists bears much the same wisdom in his little book entitled Contentment, Prosperity, and God’s Glory.  With a Preface written by Phillip Simpson and the language being updated, this small work is chalk full of goodness concerning the riches God gives us and how to dispense them in a wise way.  This book is one that is to be re-read and looked over again at because the way Burroughs brings out his points that most alarming to one’s spirit.
Early on in the book, Burroughs writes, “You have not learned how to be full until you have learned how to properly distribute the use of your estate and outward comforts that you enjoy according to the needs that exist” (18).  The act of being temperate is …