Friday, October 12, 2012

mondays with my old pastor

This is a review of Mondays with My Old Pastor.

This book was an interesting read.

There were some positive things about this book. It was well-written and not too wordy or lengthy. I also appreciated very much the example that it sets for us. In a culture and time where all things must be current, hip, stylish, we should always be returning to the older generation for the wisdom and experience they have to offer us.

I have the feeling, though, that these stories were a little bit polished. They all seemed a little too articulate and glossed over. I think this sort of book needs to have some stories that have a little more personality, more character to it. This left me a bit unsatisfied.

It was an enjoyable read, but one that didn't move me too much.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Coming Revolution

This book is useless. Let me get that out of the way at the beginning. It's completely not worth reading.

Before I explain what's wrong with this book, you have to know what's wrong with this author. Richard G. Lee is a particular kind of conservative Christian; he believes that the United States of America is an exceptional entity that has been led with a light from above since the beginning. He's the guy behind the American Patriot's Bible, which is a horrific publication that dilutes the Bible with American nationalistic drivel. The combination is nothing short of blasphemy.

The Coming Revolution is a similarly problematic work that suggests that, since the United States has supposedly always championed a Judeo-Christian ethic, that if we all gang up together and take some sort of stand, we can return this alleged ethic to the forefront of our society.

This work and this author are completely wrong. The United States has never, at any point in its history, looked like Christ. What about some of the other parts of our past? How about the way we got rich off of slavery? What about manifest destiny? Remember the revolutionary war where we killed lots of image-bearers over unfair taxes? (Maybe Christians should organize an army and attack Washington.) What about all the people who have had to die for our ideals? We've done some horrible things in the name of Christ.

The USA was not a decidedly "Christian" nation in its founding and was Christians need to remember which kingdom they serve and be about God's business along the way, not through legislation and political activism, but through living and loving in the image of Christ. I don't particularly want a return to manifest destiny, slavery, and bloodshed.

Friday, May 11, 2012

father hunger: a review

Though my rating is 1-star, there is something I like about this premise. Families do need their fathers. The epidemic of abandonment by fathers, those who leave completely or are withdrawn, is killing our children, sons and daughters. It's causing women to be over-taxed, over-burdened, and over-functioning.

Unfortunately, the patriarchal base of this author overshadows any upside of the book, and is its greatest flaw. Wilson needs to actually be calling men out of tyranny into a relationship of mutual love and submission with their wives and a male example free of uneasy male dignity and "machoness."

Wilson instead reaffirms tired old patriarchal gender roles and calls men to "man up" and be all the traditional manly things.

Additionally, he repeatedly asserts that Christian egalitarians are uncomfortable with gender distinctions, which is completely untrue. Egalitarians support men and women using the gifts they have been given as individuals in the family and society. For that reason, husbands and wives are to submit to one another in accordance with Ephesians 5. Children will benefit from this as they will have an example of how renewed and redeemed creation interacts. They will see that the patriarchy that is still pervasive in culture doesn't fly in God's new creation.

Children that grow up in that sort of household will undoubtedly become much more well-adjusted adults.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

redemption


Redemption is a good read, especially if you are one who likes to read biographies of athletes or who enjoys a good story of redemption.

First, there is lots of insight into what it takes to train for these sorts of things. The day-in-day-out work and character that is required for athletic training is truly inspiring.

Second, and more pertinently, it is a great story about a passionate individual who, despite all his best attempts, found his way into the fold of Christ and full acceptance of faith in the living God. It's a story that parallels the biblical story of a Creator/Redeemer God who is redeeming the cosmos. This, of course, is probably accidental considering the source, but it's intriguing and inspiring nonetheless for the discerning and theologically minded reader.

There were parts that felt a bit contrived, but it is an effective testimony of the relentless pursuit of the Creator. It's certainly worth your time.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

i am a follower - leonard sweet

I always fine Leonard Sweet to be a refreshing read. This book does not disappoint. Sweet writes in a way that is crisp, fresh and largely free from meaningless cliche and trite sentimentality.

One of the most frustrating things about contemporary Christian culture is its emphasis on leadership that takes its cues from the world's economy. God's economy is so different, and to us, it's countercultural and counterintuitive. Sweet emphasizes God's call to follow - to be followers of Christ, which is really the only way of being a leader in the scope of Christ's Kingdom.

My favorite things about this book is that Sweet proves a comfort with tension. There is an innate tension in the Christian life. We die to live. We become little to become big. We became least to become greatest. This message is vitally important, and because it's not preached with regularity, Christians are walking around in a parched, dehydrated state. Sweet's book is badly needed and preaches the remedy for this predicament.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This was a very good read, primarily because Johann Sebastian Bach is an irresistible subject. His was a life devoted to creating beauty through music, both sacred and secular. Though he was quite prolific during his lifetime, he fell into and remained in relative obscurity until the 19th century, when other musicians and composers (such as Felix Mendelssohn) revived his techniques along with his beautiful creations.

This work is fabulously crafted into an uplifting story of Bach as Christian and composer. Most other biographical works on Bach discuss mostly his music, but this one explains how his great faith inspired all of his life’s work.

I recommend it for the music or history lover.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

how to get people to hear you

A Book on Selling Books

So this is a book on getting your book published.

For aspiring (and starving) writers, this book might give them some clues as how to get the “in” they need in order for their career to take off.

The book starts you at the beginning, walks you through the conceptual stage, into the production, and finally helping you walk through the steps of finding the right publisher, making your presentation as striking as possible, and moving through the final steps before publication.

It’s very clear. That can be said for sure. It is very descriptive of the process and might be helpful for someone who is trying to break through.

Don’t rush out thinking this book holds the key to making this process easy.

I do wonder a bit about how wide of an audience this book can find, though.

So if this is something you’re interested in, this book might be able to help. If not, save your money.