Posts Tagged ‘Religion & Spirituality’

When I received this book from Bethany House to review, I was interested to see what it contained. Not being the type of book that I would normally read, I thought I would give it a try. I was very disappointed by what I found in the book. While mentioning God many times, the book was very man-centered. God seemed to been thrown in as an afterthought after all the practical advice had been given out. God is usually mentioned in vague generalities, with the name of Jesus hardly even being mentioned at all. This book seemed to be a Christianized version of Dr. Phil or Oprah. Basically, I found it to be a self help book with a Christian label thrown on it. No problem is as easy as following 6 simple steps. And any solution that lacks a Gospel centrality will be found lacking. The reality of life, death and resurrection of Jesus and how it pertains to our lives today must be central to any solution. If not we are simply treating the symptoms and not the problem. I hate to give bad reviews to books that mean well.  However, I found this book to be nothing more that current day evangelical, purpose driven, therapeutic moralism. And for that reason, I can’t recommend this book.

As I decided to read Desiring God Revised Edition by John Piper, I was not sure what to expect. This is considered by many a must read book of the modern era. I was greatly blessed by what I read. This book discusses how we are to be as happy as we possibly can in God. It goes into great detail to explain what exactly is what Piper terms a Christian hedonist. Piper then looks at how this applies to many different areas of our lives including worship, marriage, money, missions and many others.

Reading this book was monumental for someone as myself who has struggled to find joy in God at times. The phrase ‘that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him’ really struck home with me. The chapter on suffering was very encouraging and informative. As someone who always put sacrifice and suffering on the opposite end of the spectrum as joy, this chapter completely changed my heart and mind on this topic.  This chapter showed me how sacrifice is not the removing of joy from my life to please God, but how suffering and joy go hand in hand. For anyone who believes like I did that seeking joy was somehow worldly or wrong, every chapter in this book will challenge that view in one way or another. I am grateful that God placed this book in my hands at the perfect time in my life. I would recommend this book to all.

 

This book was provided free for review from Multnomah Books.

The Whole Bible Story is basically a summary of the bible in story form.  Starting in Genesis this book walks you through the bible in chronological order.  The stories are very short and succinct. While not offering anything overly deep, it is very helpful for a new Christian looking just to understand the basic storyline of the bible. The subtitle claims to include everything that happens in the bible in plain English. This statement could be a little misleading. Dr. Marty does include everything that is told in narrative form. However, for those looking for a complete overview of the bible, this book does not cover the poetry of the Psalms and the book of Proverbs. It also does not cover the instruction and teachings in the epistles. With that being said, I did enjoy reading this book. Marty offers this book in a very clear and easy to read style. Reading through this book actually led me to reading my bible, in order to find out why the story unfolded the way in which it did. I hope new Christians reading this book will have the same response, and I believe that they will. This is the type of book that can really spark a desire to dive into God’s Word. I would highly recommend this book for new believers or those who have not read the bible much. A great introduction to those overwhelmed by the bible. It is also beneficial to those who have been reading the bible for some time. It reminds us of the overall story of the bible, which can sometimes be forgotten in the desire to learn doctrine.

 

*I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers*