Book Reviews

Book Review: Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala

September 9th, 2020|Tags: |

In 1972, a young, untrained pastor struggled to lead a small, multiracial church in a drug-ridden neighborhood of Brooklyn. There was no money for a pastor’s salary, no money for much-needed repairs, no money to even pay the mortgage.

One Sunday night, Pastor Jim Cymbala began to preach. Feeling called to minister to the people of Brooklyn, but not knowing what to do in a seemingly hopeless situation, he choked up and tears filled his eyes. Pastor Cymbala called for the people to come to the altar and pray, and sobbing, he cried out to God for help. God’s Spirit swept over the people, the people began to pray, and God answered.

In the weeks and months that followed, prayer became the focal point of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. The more the people cried out to God, the more they saw His mighty hand at […]

Book Review: Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

April 23rd, 2019|Tags: |

Ignatius of AntiochFoxe’s Book of Martyrs is one of the great classics of the Christian faith. Originally compiled by John Foxe in the 16th century, it has greatly influenced English Protestant thinking.  For many English-speaking Protestant Christians of the past five centuries, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress have been considered second only to the Holy Bible as essential reading for the Christian.

England was a hotbed of political and religious conflict in the 16th century. King Henry VIII had separated the Church of England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534 over the Pope’s refusal to grant an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Many years of political conflict and religious persecution ensued as Catholic and Protestant factions struggled for control.

In the midst of this conflict, John Foxe compiled his Book of Martyrs. Beginning with the martyrdom […]

Book Review: A Doctor at Calvary

April 18th, 2019|Tags: , |

Front of the Shroud of Turin

A photograph of the Shroud of Turin showing both the negative (left) and positive (right) views.

Originally published in the French language in 1950, A Doctor at Calvary provides an in-depth description of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ from the perspective of medical research.

Author Pierre Barbet, M.D. (1884-1961) was a French physician and chief surgeon at Saint Joseph’s hospital in Paris. Because of his expertise in anatomy and surgery, including battlefield surgery experience in World War I, Barbet was consulted in regard to verifying the anatomical accuracy of the Shroud of Turin after it was publicly displayed in 1931.

The Shroud of Turin is believed by some to be the linen shroud in which the body of Jesus was wrapped at His burial. It bears unusual images imprinted on the cloth by some unknown means. The […]

Book Review: Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

January 17th, 2019|Tags: |

morning fog

First published in 1978, Celebration of Discipline has helped many readers find a deeper, more meaningful spiritual life through practicing time honored spiritual disciplines of Christianity. For Christians living in our fast-paced Western culture, experiencing traditional spiritual practices such as simplicity, solitude, fasting and Christian meditation can come as a breath of fresh air.

Foster describes the role of the disciplines in spiritual transformation: While it is true that “human striving is insufficient and righteousness is a gift from God,” it is not true that we must passively wait for God to transform us. Rather, “God has given us the Disciplines of the spiritual life as a means of receiving his grace. The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that he can transform us.” (Foster, 7). As we practice the spiritual disciplines, we develop habits of relating to God […]

Book Review: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

January 17th, 2019|Tags: , |

heart frame

Love plays a central role in our culture and in our lives. The apostle John tells us that love is from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, for God is love (1John 4:7-8). Psychologists tell us that the need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. It is no wonder that God’s primary commandments to mankind are to love God and to love one another (Matt. 22:34-40).

With over 35 years of experience as a pastor and marriage counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book The Five Love Languages, describes what he calls an “emotional love tank” inside every person. He proposes that an empty love tank saps the emotional energy we need when dealing with life’s stresses, fueling misbehavior, harsh words, withdrawal and a critical spirit (Chapman, 23).

There are many ways in which […]

Book Review: Your Personality Tree by Florence Littauer

January 14th, 2019|Tags: |

book cover

When my firstborn daughter was three years old, I found myself in an odd situation. It seemed like every time I asked her to do something, we ended up arguing. I said to myself, “There’s something wrong here… I’m arguing with a three-year-old!” That realization was the catalyst for my discovering the truth about temperament in the pages of Your Personality Tree by Florence Littauer.

You may have encountered a variety of personality tests, some more informative (and accurate) than others. Personality polls are often popular on Facebook. Indeed, there are many useful ways to categorize and identify personality and personal strengths. I have found that one of the most useful things about them is that it helps me to recognize and appreciate the attributes of others that are different from my own.

In Your Personality Tree, Florence Littauer presents temperament using the […]

Bible Study Reviews

Review: The Truth Project with Dr. Del Tackett

January 8th, 2019|Tags: , , |

The Truth Project logoThe Truth Project from Focus on the Family provides a Christian worldview via a 13-week small group study. Each one-hour video lesson, taught by Dr. Del Tackett, discusses the relevance and importance of living daily life from a biblical viewpoint.

The Truth Project is an excellent study that explores in detail many of the underlying fallacies that prevent believers from experiencing the fullness of the abundant Christian life. For many, this may be a life changing study. Highly recommended.

About the study: Well-known Christian leaders such as R.C. Sproul, Os Guinness and Ravi Zacharias add their voices to the expert teaching of Dr. Tackett while reliable historical, scientific and social resources are brought to bear on each weekly topic:

  • Lesson 1 – Veritology: What is Truth?
  • Lesson 2 – Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who?
  • […]

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