Tuesday, December 5, 2017

All Things New by John Eldredge

All Things New: Heaven, Earth, and the Restoration of Everything You Love by John Eldredge reminds the reader of an often forgotten, yet essential, part of Christianity - the restoration and renewal of earth. As Eldredge puts it on page 16, "the thing you are made for is the renewal of all things. God has given you a heart for his kingdom - not the wispy vagaries of a cloudy heaven, but the sharp reality of the world made new."

Jesus speaks often in the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Knowing that it is both now and not yet, most of modern Western Christianity has relegated the "not yet" part to a concept of heaven that leaves many feeling unsatisfied. That is because the truth is far greater than anything we could ever imagine. It is this concept and its implications that Eldredge examines throughout this book.

Fans of Eldredge will find familiar themes in All Things New. Those who are not familiar with Eldredge will be introduced to his easy to read, flowing style of writing. All Things New is full of scriptures upon which the premise of the book is based. It also includes many excerpts from epic novels and stories from Eldredge's own life that illustrate his points. All Things New left me feeling refreshed and opened my eyes to the fullness of a truth that has largely been ignored. Hope is the cornerstone both of the promise of renewal in scripture, and in All Things New.

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

Long Before Luther by Nathan Busenitz

Long Before Luther: Tracing the Heart of the Gospel From Christ to the Reformation by Nathan Busenitz traces the main themes of the Reformation back through history to the ancient church.

Some claim that the theological beliefs championed by the reformers such as Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli were unheard of before in Christian history. Though the reformers claimed they were fighting against the excesses of the Catholic faith and bringing it back to a truer gospel, some of their opponents (from their contemporaries to modern day) insist that there is no historical or theological basis for their doctrines, especially that of salvation through faith alone. This book is Busenitz's attempt to disprove this claim.

Busenitz examines all of the reformers' main doctrines, but he focuses mainly on justification through faith alone. He presents writings and statements from a variety of leaders through the history of the church. He breaks the book into time periods and shows how elements of the theology of the Reformation are present going back to the very beginning of the church. There are a large number of people and works cited through this book. At the end are 100 quotes from the various church leaders quoted throughout the book that directly relate to the Reformation's theological tenets.

Long Before Luther was somewhat difficult to read. It isn't a book one can sit down and just read straight through. It is more of a reference kind of book and probably intended to be read in sections. However, it is a great resource for those interested in proving that the Reformation was not something entirely new. Busentiz did a lot of work to bring all of these sources together. Overall, anyone interested in the history of Christian theology, or in the Reformation in particular will find Long Before Luther a useful addition to their library.

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 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Jesus Always by Sarah Young

The large deluxe version of Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young is a beautifully bound and presented version of one of today's most popular daily devotionals. Written from the perspective of Jesus talking to the reader, each day helps the reader focus on Jesus and His word.

Each day's entry has about a half a page in length devotion written from the perspective of Jesus to His followers. The focus is being in relationship with Him. There are also three or four scripture verses each day that illustrate the truths mentioned in the devotion. The scriptures are from different translations and usually different parts of the Bible.

This large deluxe version is printed with comfort print, which is very large. It appears big enough that anyone should be able to read it with ease. There is a gift presentation page and a silk ribbon included. The book is leather bound and will make a beautiful gift for any occasion.

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, October 4, 2017

Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre

Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War by Ben Macintyre is a fascinating look at the beginning of modern special forces as the western world knows them.

The men who created the Britain's Special Air Service were rugged, action oriented men who had little patience for bureaucracy that kept them from the battlefield. David Stirling was part of a unit that was supposed to act as a commando unit but was constantly standing down before actually going on missions due to one bureaucratic reason after another. Frustrated, Stirling sought and got permission to form a unit of his own. It was much smaller and while the hierarchy was sometimes murky at the beginning, operational control would at first remain with Stirling. This unit was formed specifically to attack Rommel and his forces from behind enemy lines. They were successful not only in causing physical destruction on the North African front, but psychological terror as well.

The specifics of how exactly that all came together as well as how the SAS transferred from North Africa to Europe is the content that makes up Rogue Heroes. Certain men who played a bigger role are given more space while others just have their name listed. However, there is a full honor roll in the back with the names and ranks of all the men involved in the original unit. Rogue Heroes also includes many photos of some of the main men as well as some from the SAS diary.

All in all, Rogue Heroes is a fast paced story about men who stood tall in WWII and changed the face of modern warfare. Macintrye's writing flows well and is easy to follow along with. He makes complicated topics easy to understand and allows the reader to almost feel as though one is part of the original SAS crew. Anyone interested in military, WWII, or special ops history will find Rogue Heroes a fascinating and satisfying read.

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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Truth Doesn't Have A Side by Dr. Bennet Omalu

Truth Doesn't Have A Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports by Dr. Bennet Omalu tells the life story of the man who discovered CTE and its link to contact sports, specifically football. Dr. Omalu describes his unlikely journey from a child born during Nigeria's civil war to one of the most well known doctors and leading voices in neuropathology whose life story would be played on the silver screen by Will Smith.

The entire tone of Truth Doesn't Have A Side is one of humility. Dr. Omalu doesn't seem to take any part of his story for granted. He points to God's mercy and provision in his life throughout several key moments. He points out that his discovery of CTE isn't because of anything special in him, but simply because he doesn't share the same conformational intelligence that a native born American could about football. Throughout all of his struggles, especially the fight surrounding CTE and the NFL, Dr. Omalu does his best to minimize his part in the story. The focus is the truth about how full contact sports affect the brain. The focus is on the people who suffer for the sake of entertainment for the masses.

Truth Doesn't Have A Side is an easy and engaging read. Whether one is interested in football or other contact sports should not determine whether or not one reads this book. Dr. Omalu's story would be compelling even if his life was lived entirely in obscurity. People with interests in many areas will find something to relate to or appreciate in Dr. Olamu's life.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander


To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is the third book in Alexander's Belle Meade Plantation trilogy. While each book is stand alone and can be read as such, there are the same characters in all three novels. To Wager Her Heart centers around Alexandra Donelson, a young woman in her mid-twenties in Nashville in the 1870s. She wants help educate freedmen, despite her family's belief that it is not appropriate for a young woman of her station.

Alexandra meets Sylas Rutledge, a railroad man from Colorado. Though she has a terrible first impression of him, circumstances keep throwing them together. Eventually a relationship develops between the two of them that blooms into more.

I'm usually not a fan of romance novels. However, the historical aspect of this book made me willing to give it a shot. I'm glad I did. Alexander's writing style flows quickly. The pace was quick but not at the expense of character insight and development. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction or romance novels will enjoy To Wager Her Heart.

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Paul the Apostle by Robert E. Picirilli


Paul the Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian by Robert E. Picirilli is a critical examination of the life and ministry of Paul the Apostle. This is meant to be a middle of the road book, such as a college textbook. Paul the Apostle isn't for the casual reader, nor is it an in depth look at all the minutiae others critically examine.

This is a great resource for pastors and students of theology. It is kind of a slog to read straight through, but since that isn't its intended purpose, that isn't a huge problem. The writing is accessible and the structure is very easy to follow. Whether one wants more information about a particular letter, missionary journey, or time in Paul's life, it is easy to find what one needs. There is also plenty of other resources listed if one does want to take a closer examination of a particular aspect of Paul's life.

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