Monday, February 27, 2017

Is Justice Possible? by J. Paul Nyquist

Is Justice Possible? The Elusive Pursuit of What's Right by J. Paul Nyquist is a primer on why Christians should care about justice and ways in which to pursue justice.

Nyquist begins by defining justice. He then discusses reasons humans find justice hard to accomplish. The next section discusses how justice should be done, and the last asks the question of whether justice will ever be realized.

Is Justice Possible? includes anecdotes about justice not being done, or being delayed significantly. It also includes basic definitions and different ways American Christians can pursue justice in political, public, and personal arenas. This is probably the most helpful section.

Overall, Is Justice Possible? is an easy read. It is a thin book that serves as a basic introduction to the topic. Those who have never given justice more than a passing consideration will find reading this beneficial.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Moody Publishers Blogger Review 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, See Part 255

Monday, February 6, 2017

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco tells the story of Christ's crucifixion from the point of view of a dog. There aren't a lot of details - most of the story takes place before Barley, the dog, encounters "The Kind Man" as he refers to Jesus. Barley witnesses the triumphal entry and then Christ's walk with his cross to Golgotha and subsequent crucifixion.

Barley has an interesting point of view and is a good storyteller. Those who don't handle descriptions of violence towards animals will need to avoid this book, as Barley doesn't have the easiest life. There are some engaging characters he meets, one of which gives us the opportunity to see the effect of The Kind Man on people's lives. How Barley ends up at the foot of the cross is an interesting twist of story telling.

The Dog Who Was There is easy to read and moves quickly. I don't know that I can wholeheartedly recommend it, simply because it is unexpectedly rough. But it is entertaining, and I think those who know in advance what they're getting into will enjoy this unique take on a timeless story.

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

The Chamberlain Key by Timothy P. Smith

The Chamberlain Key:Unlocking the Biblical Code That Proves the Existence of God by Timothy P. Smith reads like it may have taken its plot from a thriller on the best seller list. Tales of prophetic dreams, hidden codes, and messages for the future make up the bulk of this book's text.

It is hard to accept the contents of The Chamberlain Key. Perhaps with more time to get used to the fantastical ideas, I could jump on board, but in just one reading and initial exposure, it's hard to swallow. That being said, the book itself is written in an easy to read, narrative style. Keeping up with everything was sometimes hard, but for the most part Smith makes what is I'm sure a very complex topic fairly easy to understand.

Smith makes it clear he is not publishing this information with any interest in self promotion. He actually goes a bit over the top stressing that, which gives what he says a bit more credibility. I'm neither discounting, nor endorsing the content. Anyone who finds the concept of messages hidden by God within the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament intriguing should read The Chamberlain Key for him/herself, but only if he/she is will to keep an open mind.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. 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, February 1, 2017

The Good of Giving Up by Aaron Damiani


The Good of Giving Up: Discovering the Freedom of Lent by Aaron Damiani is a great introduction to the history, practice, and benefit of Lent for those who are unfamiliar with the practice. The author grew up in a tradition that did not celebrate Lent, was introduced to it as a young adult, and now pastors a church that celebrates Lent. His perspective is useful, having been on all sides of the issue.

Damiani splits his book into three parts: The Case for Lent, The Path of Lent, and Leading Others Through Lent. In the first part, Damiani gives a brief but comprehensive history of how Lent has been viewed and celebrated throughout church history. He also answers common objections from those who view Lent with suspicion. In the second part, he covers the key aspects of Lent including fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and confession. The last part is more of a guide for those in charge of leading groups through the season of Lent, though there is useful information for laymen as well.

As one who has never really practiced Lent, I found The Good of Giving Up informative and encouraging. It has a very humble tone that gives the reader information without putting any pressure on him/her to think a certain way about Lent. It is just the right length to be an introduction to a commonly misunderstood topic. The focus on Jesus being in relationship with Him ties the entire book together. I'd encourage anyone curious about Lent, those practicing it for the first time, or those just starting to lead others through it to read The Good of Giving Up.

I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Moody Publishers Blogger Review 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, See Part 255