Book Reviews

2017 Book Reviews:

 

 

Current Books:

  • "Prayer," Philip Yancey, 2006

 

2017 Book Reviews:

 

"Draw the Circle," Mark Batterson, 2012 (40 days of Prayer) 

  • "If you want God to do something new in you, you cannot keep doing the same old thing. You have to do something different. And if you do, God will create new capacities within you. There will be new gifts and new revelation. But you've got to pray the price. You'll get out of this what you put into it."
  • Draw the circle is about PALAT, praying as long as it takes. The idea is to draw a circle around those prayer requests that you pray for consistently until God answers one way or another. It's a challenge to be consistent and persistent. [posted May 11, 2017.]

 

"Stuck," Terry Waller, 2015.

  • This book is about transitions in life, specifically when you are in between jobs or ministries. It is about finding God in new ways and discovering His purposes, while at the same time, surviving and navigating through the time. 
  • The transitions are: Awakening, Deciding and Finishing. 
  • Lord help us not to live for the distant day when the in-between will be no more, but help us have the courage to step into the sacred space of the in-between, knowing that this is the place where life is transformed. (Jim Branch)

 

"Going Beyond the Five Points," Rob Ventura (general editor) 2015.

  • "For many, this marks the beginning of a deeper study into the whole counsel of God in Scripture. A thirst to be thoroughly biblical in all areas of life is driving a more comprehensive present-day reformation beyond the famous ‘five points.’ This book captures the voices of seasoned Reformed pastors graciously guiding and encouraging Christ’s beloved sheep to press on and to seek the ‘old paths, where the good way is’ (Jer. 6:16)."

 

2016 Book Reviews:

 

"Crafting a Rule of Life," Stephen Macchia, 2012.

 

"Organic Church," Neil Cole, 2005.

  • Church begins with Jesus, who He is and what He has done. He should be the most important thing about us and the most recognizable aspect that the world sees. 
  • Church growth: We cannot have a harvest unless the crop allows it. We need to invest more into breaking up the soil and planting seeds.
  • Let go of "control." Let the Holy Spirit do His work!
  • Reproduction is the product of intimmacy, and we are created to enjoy intimmacy with Christ, His mission, His spiritual family, and the lost world. 
  • The DNA of God's Kingdom is: That God loves us enough to send His Son on a mission to build a redemptive relationship with us. 1 John 4:2. [posted Nov. 2016]

 

"Making Disciples Across Cultures," Charles Davis, 2015.

  • Culture affects how we make disciples says Charles Davis. We often unconsciously bring our own culutral assumptions into ministry and mission, not realizing that how we think and operate is not necessarily the best and only way to do things. In today's global environment, disciple making requires the cultural humility and flexibility to adapt between different cultural approaches.

 

"Practicing Affirmation," Sam Crabtree, 2011.

  • Good affirmations are God centered, pointing to the image of God in a person. The only commendable attributes in people were give to them.

 

"Habits of Grace," David Mathis, 2016.

  1. Vary your sources and seasons of reading and listening
  2. Create Space and Redeem Spare time
  3. Mind your Mindless moments
  4. Adapt to new media
  5. Be a life-long learner and embrace its identity

"An All Around Ministry," Charles Spurgeon, 1900

  • Bretheren, we must have Christ in us, the hope of glory; the Spirit dwelling in us, the pure, ever flowing life, or our lives will be failures.

"Cross," John Piper, 2015.

  • Dare we be so in love with our lives that we will stand back while three billion souls still haven't heard of Jesus.

"Dark Night of the Soul," St. John of the Cross, ed. Paul Negri, 2003.

  • God leads us into the dark night those whom He desires to purify from all these imperfections so that He may bring the farther onward. 

"Multiply," Francis Chan, 2012.

"A Peculiar Glory," John Piper, 2016.

"The Spiritual Exercises," St. Ignatius, (1491-1556)

"Theologians on the Christian Life," Calvin. Micheal Horton, 2014.

  • A look at the lives of B. Warfield, Schaeffer, Bonhoeffer, J. Wesley, and Calvin. Good book, great men of God. Here's a quote from Warfield, "No man can fail to meet God in the sanctuary if he takes God there with him."  [March 2016]

"Spiritual Mindedness," John Owen, edited 2012.

"Pleasing God," R.C. Sproul, 2012.

  • Natural humanity's sin is precisely this; wanting the benefits of God without God himself. 
  • The conclusion we reach is this: the great overarching goal of the Christian life is obedience to the King. He is please when we obey. 

Kindle Samples:

  • "T4T - A Discipleship Re-Revolution," Steve Smith and Ying Kai, 2011
  • "Gospel Discipleship," Jonathan Dodson, 2012
  • "Surrender to Love," David Benner, 2015

"Spiritual Equipping for Mission," Ryan Shaw, 2014. 

  • This book suggests spiritual practices we need for our "global witness." The demands of cross cultural ministry can be overwhelming, emotionally draining, and lead to burnout and discouragement. Shaw encourages us to seek God's transformaing power and presence and gives practical insights for prayer, and spritual growth.

2015 Book Reviews:

"Truth Matters," Andreas Kostenberger, 2014

"Vanishing Grace," Philip Yancey, 2014. 

  • Yancey addresses the concern that the chhurch is failing in its mission to dispense grace to a world that is thirsty for it. [Sept. 2015] 

"20 Evidences that God Exists," Ken Boa & Robert Bowman Jr., 2005. 

"Healing For Damaged Emotions," David Seamands, 2015.

"The God Ask," Steve Shadrach, 2013.

"When Helping Hurts," Steve Corbert & Brian Fikkert,  2012.

"Touching the Holy: Ordinariness, Self Esteem & Friendship," Robert Wicks, 2007.

  • Spiritual guides can then help us to recapture the simplicity that is born of seeing life not merely as something to "succeed at" but as something to experience fully and freely as God would wish it.
  • The process of meeting others with a depp sense of openess will place us in a unique position to achieve greater self-awareness by encountering new, previously hidden parts of ourselves. 
  • Relationships based on ordinariness grow when fed by attitudes as openness, humility, simplicity, prayerfulness, vulnerability, perseverance, and sensitivity. With these attributes we will have the necessary strength to be fully present to others, to truly listen to the "song in their hearts."   [good read - posted April 2, 2015]

 

"Life of St. Francis,"  Louis Houghton, 1919.

Biography of Saint Francis.

 

"The Country Parson," George Herbert, 1593-1633 

 
"The Christians Greatest Interest." William Guthrie, 1658

        "While the generality of men, especially in these days, by their eager pursuit after low and base interests, have proclaimed, as upon the                     house tops, how much they have forgotten to make choice of that better part, which, if chosen, should never be taken from them; I have                made an essay, such as it is, in the following Treatise, to take thee off from this unprofitable, though painful pursuit, by proposing the chiefest          of interest, even the Christian's Great Interest, to be seriously pondered and constantly pursued by thee." The work of the gospel it is.                      [posted Mar 6, 2015]

"Tender Care," David Kronbach & Reagon Wilson, 2010.

  • The purpose of tender care, or member care, is to edify, encourage, enrich, and strengthen the cross-cultural worker so that he/she can continue and finish the God-given task before him.       Care is not the private domain of some class of professional, it is the work of the body of Christ.       The most essential character traits to have is humility, authenticity, and the unmistakable fragrance of having had a fresh encounter with the living God. If we don’t tend to our own spiritual health first we render ourselves incapable of providing appropriate care to others.
  •  Two focuses of care giving:
  1.      Lead them into a revitalized relationship with Jesus, point them to Jesus.
  2.      Remind them of what that outpouring of a relationship is; to love your neighbor.
  • Redemptive purpose of suffering: “There is something about the human soul that requires difficulties to reach maturity.”    Do not try to fix people, we are not seeking solutions, we are seeking insight.   We must listen, and listen long to earn the right to speak.  “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Steve Covey.  [posted Feb. 4, 2015]

 

"The Alliance," Hoffman, Casnocha & Yeh, 2014.

Life-time employment in the same company is a thing of the past. So, if a company desires to survive in today’s context the company must have an employee framework that has mutual trust, mutual investment and mutual benefit whether the worker is employed 6 months, 2 years, or 20 years. These companies must move from a traditional transactional approach to a relational approach, or from a family to a team. A mutual commitment to development is the key. Good book. [posted Feb. 4, 2015]

 
"You and Me Forever," Francis & Lisa Chan, 2014.
 
"Jesus was right. we have it all backwards. The way to have a great marriage is by not focusing on marriage. We cannot allow lesser things to destroy our marriages, we also cannot allow marriage to distract us from greater things." Chan says the greater things are the pursuit of holiness through loving God as He has commanded us and to put Him first in our lives. It's all about Jesus. [posted Jan. 1, 2015]
 
2014 Book Reviews:
 
"Joy for the World," Greg Forster, 2014.
 
This book helps Christians understand their role in how to engage culture and what role Christianity out to play in the social order of civilization. [posted Dec. 22, 2014]
 
"What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary," James White, 2011.
 
This book lists 25 reas of practical ministry that the author did not learn in seminary but through his years of expereince as a pastor. He says that seminary has value but it does not adequatly equip men and women for the ministry. Good read. [posted Dec. 22, 2014]
 
"Thinking, Loving, Doing," John Piper and Dave Mathis, 2011.
 
I enjoy anything written by Piper. This book is a compelation of authors writing on different perspectives of thinking, loving, and doing. It discusses purity in resisting compromise, and unity in linking arms with others to celebrate the gospel. Good Read. [posted Dec. 22, 2014]
 
"Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners," John Bunyan, 2007 (original 1666)
 
This book was written during Bunyan's imprisonment from 1660 to 1671. It is an autobiography of his journey from a "profaned life to a new creation."  [posted Dec. 22, 2014]
 
Sample Versions on Amazon.com:
  • Spiritual Equipping for Missions, Ryan Shaw 2014
  • Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully, John Piper, 2014
  • George Whitfield, America's Spiritual Founding Father, Thomas Kidd, 2014
  • One Nation, Ben Carson, 2014
  • A lifelong love, Gary Thomas, 2014
  • Ignite, Mitch Matthews, 2011,
  • Replant, Mark Devine, Darrin Patrick, 2014
  • Ordinary Men, The 12 Disciples, Robb Moser, 2014
 

"Vanishing Grace," Philip Yancey, 2014.

This book begins with the premise and concern that the church is "failing in its mission to dispense grace to a world thirsty for it." He proposes three models on how we can "do it better:" Living as pilgrims, living as activists, and living as artists. The last part of the book seeks to answer the question, "is the gospel truly good news." The answer is Yes but you will need to read it to find out the details. [posted Nov. 24, 2014]

"The Deeper Life," Daniel Henderson, 2014.

"Happiness is not achieved through self gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." Helen Keller. "I exist to worship, glorify, and enjoy God forever in an authentic love relationship with Him through His Son and my Savior, Jesus Christ." This book is about the principles and practices that are vital to a transformed life. The author explains the longings that resonate in our souls-longings such as wanting to know God more fully, to know ourselves better, to spend our time on things that matter. He also helps us in applying these to our daily decisions and long term goals. [posted Nov. 24, 2014]

"Sampler Books" on Amazon.com

 

  • "Coaching for Peformance," John Whitmore, 2009.
  • "Recovering Redemption," Matt Chandler, 2014.
  • "Boundaries," Henry Cloud & John Townsend, 
  • "Go Tell It," Jim Killam & Lincoln Brunner, 2014.
  • "Follow Me," David Platt, 2013.
  • plus about 25 others, this is a good way to be introduced to the main thesis and decide weather to purchase the whole book or not. .....  [posted Sept. 22, 2014]

 

"God and Elephants", Heather Ricks, 2014.

This is a guide to raising support through good storytelling that invites people to worship and glorify God. Her three points of worship are that we:

 

  • Live in awareness of God's presence
  • Be still before God
  • Lead others in worship      
I highly recomend this book. [posted Sept. 21, 2014]

 

Qué Le Pasó Al Culto en América Latina, Miguél Ángel Palomino, 2011.

The author has two hypothesis. First, the renewal in the church these days has accelerated the disappearance of denominational differences to the point that evangelicals are losing their identity. Second, refers to the form of the services and the concern of the introduction of cultural components and the lack of theological preperation of those leading the music. It is in Spanish so it took me a little longer to read. :) [posted May 6, 2014]

Satisfied, Jeff Manion, 2013.

Through the words of Jesus this book seeks to address our propensity to define our lives by what we own. Stewardship of the money I earn requires me to consider both my buying and giving attitudes. We are using this study in our small group and have found it to be a good reminder and challenge. [posted April 24, 2014] 

The Forest in the Seed, Scott Allen and Darrow Miller, 2006.

Very good quick read. 3 principles stand out in this book.

1. Give a man a fish and he has food for the day (Relief)

2. Teach a man to fish and he has food for a lifetime (Development)

3. Empower a man to think about fishing in new ways and his life will be changed forever! (Transformation)  [posted Feb. 24, 2014]

The Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius Loyola, 1540.

 

  • "It is very helpful to him who is receiving the Exercises to enter into them with great courgae and generosity towards his Lord and Creator. For as strolling, walking and running are bodily exercises, so every way of preparing and disposing the soul to rid itself of all the disordered tendencies, and after it is rid, to seek and find divine Will as to the management of one's life for the salvation of the soul, is called a spiritual Exercise."  [posted Feb. 10, 2014] 

 

"Killing Kennedy, " Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard, 2011.

This is the story of the assasination of President Abraham Lincoln. [posted Feb 8, 2014]

"Heroic Leadership," Chris Lowney

Founded in 1540 by ten men with no capital and no business plan, the Jesuits built, within little more than a generation, the world's most influential company if its kind. Those in Europe built the world's largest higher education network. Ignatius Loyola and his early colleagues were convinced that their approach to molding innovative, risk taking, ambitious, felxible global thinkers could change the world. Jesuits followed four pillars of success. 

1.  Self awareness - understand your strengths, weaknesses, values, and worldview

2. Ingenuity - confidently innovated and adapted to embrace a changing world

3. Love - engaged others with a positive loving attitude

4. Heroism - energized themselves and others through heroic ambitions. [posted Feb 8, 2014]

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