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Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

 

Today’s post will tackle another question that the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: “How did Peter find out that Jesus was the Messiah?”

Here are the answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction:

God revealed it to him; no human told him.

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.. (Matthew 16:16-17)

His brother Andrew told him.

One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first *found his own brother Simon and *said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). (John 1:40-41)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

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John Charles Ryle. Thoughts for Young Men.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, August 17, 2015. 44 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

What is a book a young person can read to grow spiritually and maturity?  This is a classic by John Charles Ryle that is a timeless classic.  I think given our time this is also edifying for people in their 20s to also read.  John Charles Ryle who is best known by his pen name J.C. Ryle wrote this filled with godly and biblical exhortations that isn’t just applicable to his time period.  In fact in reading this the second time and also in conjunction with the youths in our church (pre-teens and teens) I felt it is more relevant and edifying than when I first read it ten years ago in my 20s.

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Today’s post will tackle another question that the Skeptic Annotated Bible asked: “Who carried Jesus’s cross?”

Here are the answers which the skeptic believes shows a Bible contradiction:

Jesus carried his own cross.

They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, carrying His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which in Hebrew is called, Golgotha. (John 19:17)

Simon the Cyrenian carried Jesus’s cross.

As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they compelled to carry His [cross. (Matthew 27:32)

And they *compelled a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to carry His cross. (Mark 15:21)

And when they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, as he was coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)

(All Scriptural quotation comes from the New American Standard Bible)

Here’s a closer look at whether or not there is a contradiction:

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A weekend non-fiction fun read as a break from heavy theological reading: Because Pastors need a break also!

Franklin Foer.  World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, September 12th 2017. 272 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

When people talk about the danger of Big Tech what exactly do they mean and how serious is it?  With a book that has the subtitle “The Existential Threat of Big Tech” author, journalist and newspaper editor Franklin Foer wrote this book to talk this specific issues.  Having finished reading this in early 2021 in which some of the national conversations include concerns about Big Tech and social media this book is quite relevant though it is written in 2017 and also the fact that Foer who is entrenched in the media establishment brought up the same concerns that I hear from political conservatives shows that the issues and problems with Big Tech really should transcend partisan party politics.

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Need to start up again our Weekend Reading Review!  To kick it off this year’s Reading Weekend Review this week we look at a Christian Children’s book for your family!

Tim Ladwig. Stories Jesus Told: The Story of the Two Builders. Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Publishing, March 2nd, 2021. 32 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want a children’s picture story book that you can read that capture Jesus’ teaching about the wise and foolish builder?  Tim Ladwig has illustrated another excellent children’s book on Jesus’ parables for the ages of four through seven.  I was delighted to see Ladwig has another volume out as part of his “Stories Jesus Told” series.  Previously I have enjoyed three of the books he illustrated: The Lost Son Comes Home, Who Is My Neighbor? and  Looking for the Lost Sheep.  So when I saw he has a new book out titled The Story of the Two Builders I realized I need to read this to my kids!  What’s amazing is my kids can identify his illustration style as the same as the previous books from him we read before!

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Erroll Hulse. Postmodernism.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 19, 2017. 27 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

What the general attack against Christianity like in today’s culture and society?  There is quite the postmodern feel with much of the rejection and animosity to Christianity today.  This short booklet describe this threat and also calls believers to be faithful to the truth of the Biblical faith.  This is written by Erroll Hulse who is a Reformed Baptist pastor in England who have authored many books and articles including Reformation Today magazine although this is the first time I have heard of him and read any of his writing.

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A Pastors also need a break from heavy theological reading!  So here’s a Batman comic book review!

Lee Bermejo. Batman: Noël. New York, NY: DC Comics, November 2nd 2011. 112 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

A Batman Christmas story?  Can it be?  Indeed!  I enjoyed this comic book that is a Batman’s version of Charles Dickens’ famous story A Christmas Carol, but modern and updated in the world of Gotham.  I enjoyed it perhaps more than some of the reviewers online and hope some of the people’s negative remark might not turn people away and perhaps my review can add some balance consideration!

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Note: For fans of Spurgeon have you checked out my Review: Charles Spurgeon Framed Art Print?

I am writing this book primarily as an encouragement to those in my church who are on Winter Break with School, so they can take advantage of their winter break to read things about God and Christ from the famous English Preacher Charles Spurgeon!

 

Charles H. Spurgeon. The First Fruit of the Spirit.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, August 25th 2017. 20 pp.

5 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Purchase: Amazon (99 cents for Kindle)

Want to read a short but deep and biblical work on God’s perspective of the Christian virtue of love?  I highly recommend this booklet that is written by Charles Spurgeon, one of my favorite preacher from the past that I like to read.  Spurgeon died in 1892 and I’m amazed at how well over hundred years later Spurgeon’s writings which are adapted from his sermons, still speaks to us in a manner that is still relevant and fresh.  In this particular work Spurgeon looks at Galatians 5:22 which tells us the fruit of the Spirit includes love.  Yet what is and is not love?  Spurgeon masterfully uses the passages in the surrounding context to teach us what love is and is not.

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David Kitz. Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer Volume 1.  Plymouth, MA: Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., December 2nd, 2020.  262 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Are you looking for a new devotional through the Psalms?  Bible dramatist, author, minister and blogger David Kitz has written the first installment of his 365 days devotionals on the Psalms.  This book goes up to Psalm 51.  After reading and using this devotional I hope there will be future volumes from the author and the publisher.

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John Piper. The Dawning of Indestructible Joy.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, August 31st 2014.  94 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Desiring God

Purchase: Amazon

Looking for a devotional book on the Advent Season that would make you love Christ more and increase your joy meditating on Christ’s incarnation?  This book is by John Piper will flame your passion for Jesus.  As the subtitle states the book is a “Daily Readings for Advent.”

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A “wee” kid Wednesday, so here are two illustrated non-fiction books that I enjoyed reading to my daughters.   For one of them I want to thank to the publishers for an advance review copy!

Barry Wittenstein. The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention (Really!).  Watertown, MA: Clarlesbridge Publishing, February 13th 2018. 32 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Can you imagine a world without Band-Aids?  Its hard for us today in our time to imagine a time where there wasn’t Band-Aids!  Here in this book the author Barry Wittenstein tells us the story of how the Band-Aids was invented.  This is a great story about invention, creativity, life and also how accidents and “bad” things in our life can be used to turn around for the purpose of good.

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James Montgomery Boice. Genesis, volume 1: Genesis 1-11Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, May 1st 2006. 464 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

Are you studying through the book of Genesis and wish you can understand more of what you read?  A book that would be helpful is this title.  The book is an expository commentary, which is between a devotional and heavier exegetical Bible commentary. It was written by the late preacher James Montgomery Boice and covers first eleven chapters of Genesis.  Overall I enjoyed this and learned a lot of new things from the book of Genesis as the result of reading the Scripture in conjunction with this commentary as a learning tool.

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A  special weekend non-fiction reading review, especially with everything going on in 2020!  A break from heavy theological reading: Because Pastors need a break also!

Scott Galloway.  The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. New York, NY: Penguin Group, October 3rd 2017. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Increasingly people are realizing that there’s not only a good side to Big Tech but also a negative side.  Want to read a book on the four biggest technology company today with both its good and also its bad?  This book is worth the read and I highly recommend it.  It looks at Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google and note its strengths and weaknesses and also serious concerns for the four.  Most fascinating is the book’s exploration of the tension between these four companies and competition with each other.  The author is Scott Galloway and I appreciate that in chapter one he tells us who he is: He is a NYU school of Business professor of marking, consultant, public speaker and entrepreneur.  I think his background is impressive but he’s also very real with his readers about his mistakes, what he’s learned firsthand in the world of entrepreneurship and also about what his personality is like.  But don’t take his honesty as weakness: what he has to say in this book is truly mind-blowing and educational.

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I”m posting this weekend non-fiction reading review early!  A break from heavy theological reading and politics!  Because Pastors need a break also!

 

Alex Kershaw. First Wave.  New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, May 21st 2019. 384 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

What was it like to be on the early part of the assault on Nazi occupied France on D-Day during World War Two?  Obviously those of us who weren’t there would never know fully what it’s like but this book gives us a narrative glimpse of that day with accounts of soldiers in different military outfits that were part of the initial forces to attack the Nazis that day.  The book subtitle is appropriately “The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in the Second World War.”

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John MacArthur. Called to Lead.  Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishing Company, September 5th 2010.  240 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Want to read a book on biblical leadership?  I know there are books out there that are “Christian leadership” that sometimes is more secular based than biblically based where worldly view of leadership is “baptized” with Christianese but it might not be God-centered.  Well, this is not those kind of bad books.  Instead this is an excellent book by Pastor and Teacher John MacArthur and I thought it was really well written and relevant and applicable.  At the same time this book in its exploration of the Apostle Paul’s example of leadership is also a good example of what does solid Bible exposition and preaching and teaching looks like.

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