The Simplest Way to Change the World : A Review

The Simplest Way to Change the World by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements

This title is one of the best books on hospitality as it relates to evangelism. In a time when many are becoming more isolated from others it is refreshing to see biblical correctives like this book.

In twelve chapters divided into two sections Willis and Clements point to the power of hospitality in changing lives and provide a plan for how to engage in biblical hospitality. In exploring the power of hospitality they address the current cultural climate of isolation, entertainment, relaxation, and busyness that make hospitality such a challenging activity. The authors root hospitality in the character of God and the New Testament practice of the church. In addressing the plan for hospitality the authors address the excuses and challenges people face in planning to hospitable and show how to address them. The authors then proceed to show how one can use hospitality to share the gospel.

Books like this are very much needed in our day and I would commend this to all believers who want to make an impact in their community and see God work through them.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Advertisements

Irresistible Faith : A Review

Irresistible Faith by Scott Sauls

This book focuses on how believers can be a witness for Christ in a a time when it seems many believers are failing to be a winsome witness for Christ. The New Testament clearly teaches that believers are to live lives that adorn the gospel and in this book Scott Sauls shows how believers can do that very thing.

In nine chapters, divided into three sections, Sauls begins first with the main thing which is abiding in Christ. He points to the plodding nature of sanctification in this first section and the importance of understanding the preciousness nature of life. In the third section he expands upon the importance of the being engaged in the gospel community that is the local church. In the final section Sauls explores the good works that believers walk in that adorn the gospel in their day to day life.

In a day where it seems some are trying to win the world with outrage Sauls book points readers to the better way which is commanded of believer in the New Testament.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible: A Review

ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible

As someone who regularly uses the ESV in my preaching and teaching ministry I was pleased to receive a review copy of this republication of the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible, which was initially released in 2013. This study Bible provides Christ centered study helps throughout the whole Bible.

The contributors to this Bible are some of the best pastors and theologians in evangelicalism today. Each book of the Bible comes with an introduction which addresses how each book points to the gospel of Christ as well as an outline of the book.  This republication adds to the rich study notes five articles on major themes related to biblical theology, covenants, and the relationship between New and Old Testament.

Whether the ESV is your usual Bible or not there is a wealth of resources in this study Bible that would make it a welcome addition to any believer’s library. I have benefited greatly from this study Bible in my personal devotions as well as preparing to preach and teach. I would highly recommend this as a resource for any pastor or Bible teacher.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Scrappy Church: A Review

Scrappy Church by Thom Rainer

In his latest title Thom Rainer former CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources provides a resource for the many churches in North America that are plateaued or declining. In studying churches that have turned around from a period of decline Rainer has discovered key characteristics that shape and define a scrappy church, that is churches that refuse to give up on reaching their communities for Christ.

The three main areas that Rainer addresses as being key to being a scrappy church are being outwardly focused, being welcoming to outsiders, and clear process for member retention. In the chapters of the book Rainer expands upon those key areas and how addressing them have helped churches in decline reach their community for Christ.

If you’re a pastor or church leader you will benefit from this book. With the majority of churches either plateauing or declining this book is a helpful reminder that there is hope for change.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

The Wiersbe Study Bible Premium Cowhide : A Review

NKJV Weirsbe Study Bible

The Weirsbe Study Bible draws on Weirsbe’s many years of Bible teaching to provide a reference resource that would be benefit to any Bible teacher. This Bible in particular is well made and has many features to commend it in addition to the study helps contained throughout the Bible.

One of my favorite features about this Bible is the number of ribbon markers. Most study Bibles if they come with a ribbon markers come with one marker. This immense Bible comes with three ribbons.

20190321_100314-1

In addition to this the binding is clearly of superior quality, which is absolutely necessary for a Bible of this size. You can definitely tell that this is not a cheap Bible that will come apart quickly. 20190321_100410

Before opening the Bible I was concerned about readability, whether the publisher would be able to combine readability with all the resources this Bible contains. I was greatly satisfied with the font size found in this Bible both in regards to the Bible text and the study notes. 20190321_100348

If you’re looking for a new study Bible for yourself or someone else this is definitely a quality study Bible to consider getting.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

 

The Hand of God: A Review

The Hand of God by Alistair Begg

The Hand of God is a classic Alistair Begg title first published in 1999 and now republished 20 years later. All the wit and wisdom one has come to expect in anything by Alistair Begg is found in this title which provides readers a better understanding of the sovereignty of God and providence through the lense of the Bible’s account about Joseph in Genesis.

In sixteen chapters Alistair Begg guides readers through the account Joseph drawing out the doctrinal implications and providing application with a pastor’s heart. Joseph’s story is one that often draws attention because as one sees in this book many of Joseph’s experiences mirror our own. We face rejection, isolation, suffering, temptation,and disappointment just the same way Joseph did. Alistair Begg helps show how we can learn much of God’s control and faithfulness in those circumstances through the example of Joseph.

This title is filled with biblical insight and practical application that would benefit any reader. If you’ve been encouraged and edified by Alistair Begg’s preaching ministry this book won’t disappoint.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Holy Noticing: A Review

Holy Noticing: The Bible, Your Brain, and the Mindful Space Between Moments

Holy Noticing by Charles Stone

In our day of constant distractions and business it is often rare to be fully engaged in our daily and spiritual lives. Charles Stone in this book defines holy noticing as, “noticing, with holy purpose, God and His handiwork, our relationships, and our inner world of thoughts and feelings.(p. 32)” Far too often if we are honest we don’t notice those things near as much as we should. In this book Charles Stone provides a guide to engage in holy noticing.

In this book Stone begins by defining holy noticing while clearly setting it apart from the mindless meditation which is often reflected in Eastern mysticism and New Age movements. Holy noticing is about cultivating greater awareness of God and others, as opposed to detaching from reality and emptying your mind. Stone shows the biblical basis for this discipline and its practice in church history. The remaining six chapters follow the acrostic BREATHE. These six areas addressed in the acrostic are our bodies, relationships, environment, emotions (affections), thoughts, and heart.

There is much to be commend in seeking to practice holy noticing particularly in regards to our relationship with God and with others. One of the greatest benefits of this book might be in how it shows how little we are engaged in everything and everyone around us while also providing practical steps to grow in holy noticing.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

The New Elder’s Handbook : A Review

The New Elder’s Handbook by Greg R. Scharf and Arthur Kok

While there are many books out there the deal with the role of elders/pastors in the local church. There are a few that provide the clear path of training and equipping leaders found in The New Elder’s Handbook.

The authors provide in the first section that biblical rationale for putting in place a process the identify and equip these vital leaders in the context of the local church. In The second section of this book which comprises the largest section of the book the authors provide 75 questions for new and potential elders/pastors addressing key areas of competency, character, and convictions. The final section provides an invaluable discipleship recourse to be used to raise of biblical informed believers.

If you’re looking for a resource to help provide a strategy for raising up new leaders in your church this book would be a great resource. If your a new pastor/elder this would be a great resource for personal study.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life : A Review

Lloyd-Jones on the Christian Life by Jason Meyer

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was one of if not the greatest preacher of the 20th century. In this volume from the On The Christian Life series Jason Meyer provides not only an overview of Lloyd-Jones teaching on the basics of the Christian life but also a wonderful introduction to the works and thought of Lloyd-Jones. This volume addresses an area in which the physician turned pastor was at his strongest.

The first section of the book provides and introduction into the life and work of Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The second section draws heavily from the  teaching series Great Doctrines of the Bible which can be found in print form or in the original recordings. In this section Meyer demonstrates the foundational role these doctrines played in the Christian life. The third section provides an overview on Lloyd-Jones’s teaching on areas such as the Bible, prayer life, home and family, as well spiritual depression among others. The final section provides an overview of his ongoing legacy.

This is one of the best contributions to the series I have read thus far. It provides a rich synthesis and exploration of Lloyd-Jones’s teachings on some of the key aspects of the Christian life, allowing his ministry to continue as readers are impacted by his deep understanding of the Christian life. I would highly recommend this book.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

Running from Mercy: A Review

Running from Mercy by Anthony Carter

Jonah is one of the books of the Bible that often grabs our attention, probably because whether we like it or not we see much of ourselves in Jonah. Anthony Carter in this work provides the reader both a Christ-centered understanding of the book of Jonah and a better understanding of ourselves in relation to God.

In seven chapters Carter explores the grace of God in the life of the runaway prophet Jonah. As Carter makes clear the God of the Bible is not the small god who is powerless over his creation, instead he is all knowing, all powerful, and all present. We see the futility of attempting to escape God as Jonah had attempted to do. Toward the end of this book readers are again reminded of the character of God, that he is overflowing with grace and mercy.

This book will help readers to have a greater appreciation for God’s relentless grace.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.