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Showing posts from September, 2016

Letter of Henri Nouwen

Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life by Henri J.M. Nouwen
The immensity of Henri Nouwen’s faith is only overshadowed by the joyful spirit of his care for others.  In this collection of Henri’s letters, written to friends, family, and many people seeking wise counsel, Henri gives his beautiful life as an example to help others in their struggles.  The wonderful truth is that in Henri’s lifetime he received 16,000 pieces of correspondence to which he replied to each and every one. 
The genuineness of these letters brings out Henri’s personality and his amazing ability to speak so honestly about himself in these letters.  After speaking at a conference, Henri writes to his friend Ed who asked him to come, “But don’t feel guilty about any of this.  I just tell you this as a friend.  It was a good fatigue, a good emptiness and a good exhaustion.  I did not feel angry or anything like that.  In fact I felt grateful to you, and all the kind people.  But I also realized that this should …

Full Tank Life

Full Tank Life by Ben Tankard
Pastor and musician Ben Tankard has seen the dark times of life and experienced much light in his life, and in his new book, Full Tank Life, he shares his wisdom on following our dreams and making them work for us.  The book combines personal stories, wisdom, biblical insights, and common practical sense to give the reader encouragement in their quest for living a full tank life.  Ben tells his story in the book of beginning a new genre of music, namely gospel jazz, and how it was hard getting people to buy into the genre, some seeing it as too jazzy, others not enough gospel music, and yet her persisted in his efforts, even selling tapes out of the back of his car.
One of the things I appreciated about the book was Ben’s excellent way of taking big concepts such as destiny, and helping the reader practically see how this works in real life.  He writes, “Make a “vision map” that captures words, images, colors, and textures that reflect your dreams…The goal …

From Eden to the New Jerusalem

From Eden to the New Jerusalem by T. Desmond Alexander
Biblical theology is a discipline of theology that brings together the best of a biblically faithful hermeneutic while looking at the overarching story in the Scriptures, from Genesis to Revelation.  Often, especially in covenant theological circles, the overwhelming emphasis is on the covenant structure of the Bible and how these covenants ultimately lead towards the new covenant, culminating in Christ.  While this approach is very good, often other themes in Scripture fall by the wayside, such as throne, garden, city, and the restoration of all things in Christ.  T. Desmond Alexander, in his book, From Eden to the New Jerusalem, in his succinct and pointed manner draws our attention to the big ideas of Scripture that form the basis of biblical theology from the sacred garden to the holy city, and the throne of God to the establishment of the living God’s dwelling with men in the final chapter.
Early on in the first chapter, Alexan…

Good and Angry by David Powlison

Good and Angry by David Powlison
Counselor and Professor David Powlison has written a gem in his new book called Good and Angry.  Many books on the subject of anger come up with seven solutions to solve anger issues or focus on techniques that someone can do before they get angry, David’s book does not solve the so-called problem of anger but promotes ways to think through and talk through anger that are wise and true.  Further, David looks at avenues by which good comes from a right kind of anger. 
To begin the book, David points to various personalities of anger or ways people carry out their anger; whether its domestic gunslingers, volcanoes, or icebergs.  I resonated with the iceberg person who does not explode when angry but keeps a growing list of those who have wronged you and will at times verbally unload the list on a person when hurt.  This kind of anger rarely causes two parties to come together in apologies but usually exacerbates bitterness.  The interesting point that Dav…

Cardinal and Gold: The Oral History of USC Trojans Football

Cardinal and Gold: The Oral History of USC Trojans Football by Steve Delsohn
The history of USC football is ripe with glory, fanaticism, defeat.  ESPN Outside the Lines reporter Steve Delsohn carries forth the gauntlet of Trojan oral history in his new book, Cardinal and Gold: The Oral History of USC Trojans Football.  What remains unique about Delsohn’s diving into USC history is that he did hundreds of interviews from players and coaches as far back as 1972-1973 to now.  These interviews show up in the book like clerics would show up at a roundtable meeting, each pointing out their various perspective and vying for their voice to be heard most vociferously. 
One of the best parts of the book was Delsohn’s focus on the 1978 season, in which USC traveled to Alabama to take on Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide.  Just a season prior, the Tide rolled into the Coliseum and took down the #1 Trojans.  1978 was a new year and coach John Robinson had his boys fired up for a fight down in Alabama.  Co…