Dangerous Good: A review

Dangerous Good by Kenny Luck

The church and our country is facing a crisis with men. Many Christian men are living in conformity to the ways of the world as opposed to the identity they are called to in Christ. In this book pastor and author Kenny Luck provides a wake up call to men.

In ten chapters Luck addresses areas in life men need to address to be a force for dangerous good in the world. Luck addresses issues such as our identity in Christ, morality, treating women with dignity, and courage. I think the first two chapters are the most important as he focuses on men neglecting their Christian identity and the moral confusion found among young men. That confusion was illustrated in the murder of Christopher Lane who was killed in cold blood because teenage boys were bored and wanted to kill someone. In a society where men, even Christian men, are becoming increasingly isolated and immoral this book is greatly needed.

I would commend this book to all men, especially Christian men.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

 

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42 Seconds: A Review

42 Seconds The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions by Carl Medearis

As Christians we’re called to share the gospel, the good new of what Jesus has done, with those we come across. How do we do that? Carl Madearis in this book explores Christ’s conversations in the gospels to help readers see a pattern for personal evangelism in how Christ interacted with people.

This book is comprised of twenty short chapters divided into four sections. The first section explores the principle of being kind to those we are interacting with. The idea behind niceness being that we are to notice people, greet people, and developing a personal interest in people. The second section addresses the importance of being present attentive to the person we’re talking to as opposed to simply thinking of what we want to say and how we’re going to fix their problems. The third section addresses the need for boldness in making a gospel transition. The final section addresses the importance of Christ-likeness in gospel conversation.

Overall this book provides good insights into evangelism. While it might not revolutionary or groundbreaking it is a biblical and thought provoking reminder of the importance of sharing of faith and the importance of following the model of Christ.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

 

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus 3rd edition: A Review

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

Last year noted author, apologist, and convert to Christianity from Islam finished his course after a battle with stomach cancer. Later this month a third edition of the book that explored his journey from Islam to Christianity will be released.

Like many Nabeel began his exploration of Christianity as one opposed to it and sought to disprove it, and it was his journey to disprove Christianity that led him to faith in Christ. As he explores his journey he provides the reader helpful background information on Islam and its belief system. In addition to his story of coming to accept Christianity as true, the appendix with supplementary material from some of the best Christian apologists. One contribution that I found particularly helpful was Josh McDowell’s chapter on the role of dreams in Muslim conversions to Christianity.

In a time when Islam is still growing and poses such a challenge for the church Nabeel’s testimony is powerful reminder of the transforming power of the gospel. While Nabeel has finished his course hopefully through this book and others he has authored his story will continue to impact others by demonstrating the truth and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

Preaching by the Book : A Review

Preaching by the Book by R. Scott Pace

While there is no shortage of books on preaching and sermon preparation R. Scott Pace has provided a concise and valuable contribution on the task of preaching.

In three sections composed of eight chapters Pace provides a general overview of the what, why, and how of preaching. In the first section he explores the importance of textual preaching and the priority of allowing the form of Scripture to shape the form of the sermon. In the second section he addresses studying the text and forming the sermon outline. In the third and final section he addresses the importance and use of introductions, illustrations, and invitations.

This book would make a helpful refresher to experienced preachers and a helpful introductions to those starting out as preachers. As a preacher I know I must constantly be growing, learning, and improving on this area of ministry and this book has helped me to do just that. The two chapters that have helped me the most are the chapters on illustrations and invitations. If you’re a preacher I would encourage you to get this book, if you’re aspiring to pastoral ministry this book should definitely be added to your list of reading.

Disclosure: I received a review 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 Essential Jonathan Edwards : A Review

The Essential Jonathan Edwards by Owen Strachan and Douglas A. Sweeney

In 2010 the five-volume Essential Edwards was published by the authors of this volume. The authors have compiled much of that work into this present volume, making it much easier to access their previous work. If you’re just discovering Jonathan Edwards this book would be a great starting point to understand his life and his work as one of if not the greatest theologian America has ever produced.

This volume is divided into five sections following the same structure as the five-volume series published eight years ago. The first section provides a biographical overview of his life. The second explores the theme of beauty which was a common theme in his written works and sermons. The third section traces Edwards understanding of the good life. The fourth section addresses the nature of true Christianity as opposed to nominalism. The final section traces Edwards’s understanding of heaven and hell and how that understanding shaped his life and ministry.

This year will mark the 260th anniversary of Edwards’s passing and after all those years his works are still in print and still relevant today. Edwards served his day as a model pastor-theologian a dying breed in our day. His love of God and his commitment to sound doctrine and true godliness are evidenced not just in his writings but in his life work. If you’re unfamiliar with Edwards you won’t go wrong with reading this book.

Disclosure: I received a review 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 Fellowship of Suffering: A Review

The Fellowship of the Suffering by Paul Bortwick and Dave Ripper

While many books seek to address the why of suffering or how to cope with suffering this book addresses he formative role suffering plays in light of ministry and mission. The authors draw from Scripture and the lives of others to illustrate the important role suffering plays in shaping believers for ministry to God’s glory.

In four parts the authors point to different ways suffering is important for our spiritual formation. In the first section the authors address how we view suffering and how we should understand suffering in light of Scripture especially the fact that suffering will not disappear in this present age. The second section addresses the role suffering plays in drawing us closer to Christ and in fostering spiritual growth. In the third section the authors explore how suffering makes us better able to minister to others who suffer. In the final section addresses the role of suffering in relation to the Church’s global mission of making Christ known.

I’d commend this book to pastors and especially those who are preparing for ministry. To often in ministry we find ourselves unprepared for suffering or unsure what role past suffering might shape present and future ministry and this book ably addresses those two realities.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

Supernatural Power For Everyday People: A Review

Supernatural Power For Everyday People by Jared C. Wilson

This book gets to the heart of a problem many professing Christians find themselves experiencing, the problem of a stagnant and boring spiritual life.Whereas we are often forgetful of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as believers Wilson helpfully reminds readers of the crucial importance of the indwelling Spirit for the vitality of the believer’s spiritual and everyday life.

In the first chapter of this book Wilson addresses the problem which this book so ably addresses. In each of the following nine chapters Wilson explores how the Spirit serves as the divine provision for our problems. If I were to single out one chapter it would be the final chapter which addresses the baptism of the Spirit. In that chapter Wilson cuts through much of the confusion that shrouds peoples understanding of the filling or baptism of the Spirit and provides greatly needed biblical clarity.

For those who feel stagnant in their spiritual life this would be an encouraging and informing read. It is a helpful reminder pointing of the role of the Spirit in the Christian’s life.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

Eschatological Discipleship: A Review

Eschatological Discipleship by Trevin Wax

In this book Trevin Wax addresses the task of discipleship in light of one crucial question. What time is it? Wax sets the Christian understanding on the world and history over and against the prevailing worldviews of progress, sexual revolution, and consumerism.

In the first section of the book Wax lays the foundation for understanding concepts of worldview and wisdom with a view to their relationship to the task of discipleship and understanding the times. In the second section explores the biblical foundations that support his understanding of eschatological discipleship drawing on both the Old and New Testaments. The third section explores Christianity and its relationship to the prevailing worldviews of our culture. The final section explores how eschatological discipleship can shape spiritual formation.

Not many books on the topic of discipleship address the philosophical and worldview issues addressed in this book. Wax’s book is helpful in addressing these neglected issues in the task of discipleship. As seen in the book when we are and where history is going are two important questions that must shape and inform our understanding of what it means to be disciples of the risen Christ. This book will help any reader understand how to live as a citizen of heaven in the present time.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

How The Nations Rage: A Review

How the Nations Rage by Jonathan Leeman

Recent years have demonstrated that there is much confusion and division within the county in general and among evangelicals in particular in regards to how faith and politics interact. In this book Jonathan Leeman, a noted political theologian, provides biblical clarity to the issues at hand.

Leeman in the eight chapters explores both the division that currently exists in the political sphere and how Christians should live in light of biblical mandates. In the first chapter addresses the current chaos of the political spheres and provides goal for Christian interaction. Chapter two is especially helpful as Leeman dispels the myth that the public square is some neutral zone that faith values are not supposed to be kept separate from. The third chapter explores the impact of the Fall on the political sphere. Chapter four addresses the role of Scripture  and how to apply it to politics. Chapter five addresses the biblical role of government. The sixth and seventh chapter addresses the role of the church and believers as ambassadors for Christ.  The final chapter explores the theme and importance of justice.

Anyone who has paid any attention to how the Church and Christians have interacted with the political processes will see that this is indeed a timely book. Rather than taking our cues from the changing agendas of parties we are to draw our understanding of how we interact with the political realm in light of Scripture. This book points believers to a better way of interacting with politics in light of their faith.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.

Enter the Ring: A Review

Enter the Ring by D.A. & Elicia Horton

A truth I have learned in ministering to couples is that marriages don’t end because couples fight they end because they either stopped fighting or didn’t fight fair. In this book the Hortons provide biblical advice on how couples can fight to stay together in a world that pulls marriages apart.

Throughout this book the Hortons point to the importance of pursuing Christ together for the health and well being of the marriage. Common problems like how to manage family relationships are addressed from a biblical perspective. The importance of shared goals and communication in every area especially finances are demonstrated.

I have known far too many couples divorce because they weren’t willing to fight for their marriages and as a result damaged their gospel witness and the witness of their church. I would commend this book to couples and to pastors looking for resources to use in premarital and marital counseling.

Disclosure: I received a review 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.