Friday, March 21, 2014

Christian Faith in the Old Testament by Gareth Lee Cockerill

Christian Faith in the Old Testament: The Bible of the Apostles by Gareth Lee Cockerill is a good book for what it is, but how it labels itself is somewhat misleading. The publisher's blurb and back of the book description both make it seem as though this book will help understand how certain events in the New testament have roots in the Old Testament. Or maybe how Old Testament prophecies or events are fulfilled in the New Testament. Instead, Christian Faith in the Old Testament is pretty much just a survey of the Old Testament.

Though I was disappointed that it wasn't quite what I expected, Christian Faith in the Old Testament is a very comprehensive and easy to understand. It contains many charts and figures that help solidify themes in the reader's mind. There are two appendices in the back - one contains historical evidence supporting the closed cannon of the 39 books in the Old Testament. The other appendix includes all of the charts and figures from throughout the book combine into one. Scripture references are all throughout the book, so the reader is always sure at what point in scripture the author is discussing. The overall themes of scripture are stated as well.

Overall, I'd recommend Christian Faith in the Old Testament by Gareth Lee Cockerill to anyone studying the Old Testament. This book would have been a huge help in my Old Testament survey class in college.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook 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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Global War on Christians by John L. Allen Jr.


The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution by John L. Allen Jr. is an in-depth look at the growing trend of the persecution of Christians world wide. The book consists of an overview of five regions of the world: Africa, Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, and Eastern Europe, as well as a look at five prominent myths associated with the global war on Christians, and the consequences and possible responses to the overall problem.

Allen's background is as a speaker and journalist for various national and international publications, most predominantly the National Catholic Reporter. His background as a journalist is clear in his style of writing. The Global War on Christians consists mainly of facts and figures. While there are several examples and anecdotes to help push each point home, the entire book reads more like several very long articles joined together, rather than a self-contained book. This sometimes made it tedious to read for more than fifteen to twenty minutes at a time.  The other thing that made it difficult was the sheer number of facts, figures, and examples; reading this often felt like drinking out of the proverbial fire hose.

However, while it was difficult to read for long periods of time, the strength of Allen's journalistic background shines through in the depth of his research and the willingness to discuss and examine his word choice. The Global War on Christians has a twenty-two page introduction dealing with the possible objections to and reasoning behind his choosing the word "war" to describe his topic. In this introduction, he also discusses the difference between a "war on religion" and a "war on Christians," explains the silence about this topic both inside and out of the church, and ends with a call to action even before the first chapter.

Allen's passion for his topic is clear throughout the entire book. His diligence in research is evident, and his arguments are fair and easy to understand. This book isn't for everyone. it is a semi-difficult read both in content and style. However, its an important topic, and for those willing to take the time to read it, The Global War on Christians does a thorough job of informing its reader.

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers as part of their Blogging for Books 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