Archives For Book Reviews

Most of the English speaking world has no idea how blessed we are to have so many English translations of the Bible. There was a time when making an English translation of the Bible was illegal and there are many places around the globe where people would do anything to have a copy of the Bible in their native tongue. But with various English translations of the Bible, there are some things we need to understand.

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One of the greatest problems we have in the church is an epidemic of apathy. Christians have a greater passion for professional sports, reality television shows, politics, and the release of newest iPhone than they do for God. What a shame! So how do we stem this lukewarm tide? How do we light a fire in the hearts of Christians? I believe this Bible class material may be a great first step in doing just that.

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To say Michael Whitworth is a “prolific writer” would be quite an understatement. I know of no other author in our brotherhood who produces as many high quality publications as Whitworth does with his Start2Finish Books. His books are well researched, well written, and of the highest quality. I highly recommend every member of the church read his material. One of his latest books, Living and Longing for the Lord is no exception.

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For over a decade, I’ve been involved in full-time ministry. If I had chosen another profession, I suspect I might feel pretty competent by this time. But to be honest, more often than not, I still feel like I’m in way over my head.

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The biblical-sounding arguments in favor of homosexuality abound. One of those arguments is that in Romans 1:24-27, Paul wasn’t condemning the practice of homosexuality, only the homosexual acts that occurred in idol temples.

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It is so important that we have good Christian authors writing books to help us, encourage us, and challenge us. But, in order to benefit from their writing, we have to be reading. Here are a couple of books that I think will be of great benefit to the church.

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I was going to wait and write a review on this book when I finish reading it. But, because it is free today, I want to go ahead and let everyone know how great of a book it is! If you have not yet read Michael Whitworth’s, The Epic of God: A Guide to Genesis, this is your chance to pick it up for free!

This fellow preacher and brother in Christ is a fantastic author and has done a phenomenal job on this book! His humor and insight shine through on every page. This is one of those books I hate to put down; I can’t wait to finish reading it.

Lord willing, I will write a complete review of The Epic of God when I finish reading it. So, stop reading this and click here to go over to Amazon and download the Kindle version now. If you do so today (Saturday, March 2, 2013), you will get it free!

Also, be sure to follow Michael Whitworth and Start2Finish Books on Twitter.

I recently finished reading a wonderful book. This is a book that everyone, but especially young people, needs to read:

 George Washington Carver by John Perry

George Washington Carver

The book, as I’m sure you would assume, is a biography of George Washington Carver. All that many people know of Carver is that he figured out a lot of uses for the peanut. That is certainly true, but there was so much more to his life. The author, John Perry, describes how Carver went from being a slave to one of the most respected men in America. Despite the fact that he lived during an era of intense racism and prejudice, he was greatly respected and admired. In fact, near the end of his life he was good friends with one of the wealthiest and influential men in America, Henry Ford.

I did not know much about Carver’s life before reading this biography, so I have nothing with which to compare it and have no way of attesting to its accuracy. However, it seems to me Perry did an excellent job with this work and gave a balanced view of Dr. Carver’s life. There were even times, while reading, the kindness and goodness of Carver’s character brought tears to my eyes.

I do not know whether Carver was a New Testament Christian or not, that is certainly not for me to decide. But whether in the body of Christ or not, there is a great deal we can learn from his mind and his character.

1) Carver saw God in the creation! Every morning he would rise early and go and find new plants to study. His fascination with what could only be credited to a Creator, never ceased. In fact, it was that fascination that drove him to make many of his ground-breaking discoveries. Perry wrote concerning Carver, “The more he learned about the beauty, complexity, and interconnectedness of the world, the more convinced he was that it could only have been formed supernaturally, by the hand of God.”

All of us could learn from this. Romans 1:20 says, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” Think about that for a moment: if you want to clearly perceive some of the invisible attributes of God, take a look at “the things that have been made!”

2) Carver did not believe in entitlements! As I read his story, I often thought how the people involved in the Occupy Wall Street could benefit from what I was reading. We don’t know hard times! Carver, and those who lived during his era, knew hard times! We don’t know a gap between rich and poor like he knew a gap between rich and poor. Yet, Carver knew that the answer wasn’t, take from the rich and give it to the poor. The answer was to, “Work hard and make a difference in the world.” He told his students to look neither, “up to the rich or down to the poor.” In other words, the rich were not to be envied and the poor were not to be looked down upon.

Today, where many see despair and hopelessness, I believe Carver would see abundant opportunity. Where they see insurmountable circumstances, Carver would see circumstances that were begging to be overcome with hard work and ingenuity. I think this passage of Scripture describes Carver well, and would be most beneficial to the “Occupy” crowd, “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…and be dependent on no one” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

3) Carver knew how to deal with racism! One of the greatest areas of emphasis, in this biography, is the area of race. Most young people today have not seen racism like Carver saw racism. Not that racism does not exist today, because it certainly does. Racism is sinful ignorance and arrogance. However, Carver faced the ugliness of others with commendable nobility! Carver met opposition and resistance his entire life, because of his race. But, as Perry wrote, “Carver didn’t fight for his rights; rather he proved through patient example that he–and by extension, all blacks everywhere–was worthy of them.”

Carver understood that minds of ignorant and close-minded people will seldom be changed by arguing or fighting. Carver knew that the only way to change the minds of those who saw the black man as inferior was to prove himself by doing something of value. Perry wrote, “Carver believed that the way to overcome prejudice and discrimination was not by complaining, but by proving that the notion of black inequality was a myth born of ignorance.”

Carver influenced others to use this type of resistance. One young man wrote to Carver about a conflict he had experienced with a man who was “bitterly opposed” to him, “I never retaliated one bit; I used righteousness, patience, and self-control and won out…He comes to my house now, sits down and talks about how to get through life. He is a completely converted man…”

If we could all be so wise! Scripture says it best, “Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

As with anyone, there will be things in his life with which you will certainly disagree. But George Washington Carver was quite definitely a man from whom we could all learn something. I would highly recommend this book for your consideration.

I love you and the God of Creation loves you,

Wes McAdams

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

No Wonder They Call Him the SaviorMax Lucado’s, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior is a thought-provoking examination of the cross and some of the events leading up to, and surrounding, the crucifixion. In his typical style, Lucado breaks up the book into several very short chapters, so that the book is very easy to read. Each chapter focuses on a different person or perspective of Christ and His crucifixion.

To me, Max Lucado is immensely popular for two reasons. First, he is an unbelievably talented wordsmith. Second, he offers his readers comfort. Reading a Max Lucado book is like a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate–it may not change your life, but it sure feels good.

No Wonder They Call Him the Savior is no exception–it is an emotionally charged book that leaves the reader feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Unfortunately, that is about all it does. The book offers comfort without conviction.

It seems that to Lucado, the cross is a message of acceptance and tolerance. The word “tolerance” is actually found numerous times throughout the book, giving the reader the impression that God is “tolerant” of sin. I don’t know what Lucado’s definition of “tolerance” is, but tolerance seems to imply that God allows and accepts sin. “Tumble off the tightrope of what our Master expects,” Lucado writes, “and you land safely in his net of tolerance.”

I believe Lucado has a very skewed view of grace. Grace is not about God allowing, tolerating, or accepting sin; grace is about God forgiving sin! Paul writes in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”

Lucado says rightfully about grace, “We take our free gift and try to earn it or diagnose it or pay for it instead of simply saying ‘thank you’ and accepting it.” But I can’t help but wonder what, if anything, Lucado believes man must do to accept that gift of grace. Scripture teaches that man receives this gift of grace when he obeys the gospel (Romans 6:1-7; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). Yet Lucado never once, in a book about the cross, explains how man obeys the gospel.

There are many positive elements of the book, such as the way Lucado famously helps the reader to feel they are a part of the story. His talent for painting a picture in words is truly amazing. Yet, I can’t help but feel very disappointed that this God-given talent is being used to tickle the ears of readers (2 Timothy 4:3).

I love you and God loves you!

Wes McAdams

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”