Books

Book Review - A New Testament Biblical Theology by G. K. Beale

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Christians today are blessed with a wide variety of resources for studying the Bible. In America, it seems that every few months some must-read theology book hits the press and promises to revolutionize our understanding of God’s Word. And many of these books truly are helpful. We really have no excuse for not understanding Scripture more and being more conformed into the likeness of Christ, given the endless resources meant to help us do just this. Read more about Book Review - A New Testament Biblical Theology by G. K. Beale

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Book Review - Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (Part 2)

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Image of Deep and   Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
by Andy Stanley
Zondervan 2012
Hardcover 352

Continued from Part 1

Rules of Engagement

Toward the end of the book, Andy Stanley gets into the subject of preaching and engaging people and finally how a church can become “Deep and Wide.”

As in all things, purpose should determine approach. At the end of the day, it’s what we do, not what we purposed to do that defines our lives and reputations…if your stated purpose is at odds with your approach, you will never accomplish what you have purposed to accomplish. So one of the first things a service programming team must do is clarify the purpose of the weekend experience. (Loc. 2207 & Loc. 2215)

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Book Review - Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (part 1)

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Image of Deep and   Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend
by Andy Stanley
Zondervan 2012
Hardcover 352

A couple of pastor friends of mine encouraged me to read Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley when I had no intentions of every buying it or reading it. The tagline of the title is: “Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend.” So, automatically, I was already skeptical because I don’t want to create a church that anyone would love to just “attend.” I’ve been beating the missional drum with our church about being the church rather than merely attending the church. So, my first impression by just reading the cover was “Creating Churches that Attract Customers, Not Disciples.” But in spite of my skepticism, I took their advice and got the book. Read more about Book Review - Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley (part 1)

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Book Review - Good Mood Bad Mood

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Image of Good Mood Bad Mood: Help and Hope for Depression and Bipolar Disorder
by Charles D. Hodges M.D.
Shepherd Press 2013
Paperback 192

Is it possible that almost 90% of Americans who are diagnosed with clinical depression are diagnosed incorrectly? Is it possible that most of them are really just going through a natural process of normal sadness that happens to most people when they suffer loss of one kind or another? The stakes in a massive misdiagnosis of thousands of people for the same illness are huge. The sector of the drug industry that produces medication related to helping people cope with medical depression, bipolar and the like is vast, well-funded and has a lot at stake in the continual diagnosis of these diseases. Through varied sorts of advertisements, one could draw the conclusion that a huge number of people could be (or are) suffering from medical depression and similar ailments. In fact, it is estimated that over 25% of Americans at any given time are believed to be suffering from depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder (p. 20). Read more about Book Review - Good Mood Bad Mood

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Book Review - The Christian World of the Hobbit

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Image of The Christian World of The Hobbit
by Devin Brown
Abingdon Press 2012
Paperback 208

I remember the first time I entered the world of Middle-earth. I was twelve or thirteen and noticed an interesting little yellow book on my mother’s shelf. I’m not entirely sure if she ever read it or not—as that kind of book was not what I remember her reading. But I asked if I could read it and eagerly dove in. At that age I don’t believe I was even aware there was a sequel to the book. But from the first few moments I was hooked.

Fantasy literature isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and all books in the genre of fantasy are not created equal. Few rise to the level of art achieved by J.R.R. Tolkien. His books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, are among the most widely read in the English language. And like countless readers of Tolkien before me, I found the world he crafted to be enchanting and alluring.

Tolkien’s world, the land of Middle-earth, is a place readers long to return to. Yet spending time in Middle-earth is not an exercise in futility or a way to check out of the here and now. In an ironic fashion, Tolkien’s world inspires noble efforts in the real world, and calls us all to live better and nobler lives.

Tolkien scholar Devon Brown, elaborates on this quality of Tolkien’s works: Read more about Book Review - The Christian World of the Hobbit

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