Book Blurbs: December 2015 & January 2016

Repentance#1 – Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel by Richard Owen Roberts (published by Crossway Books, 2002). My own criticism of this book is that is seems a little too exhaustive at times, which may seem unfair considering usually people’s repentance is not exhaustive enough. I believe it would have been more useful to be about half the size of the 368 pages it was. However, what is in the book is a very biblical treatment of the subject of repentance. I am fairly convinced every verse in the Bible on repentance is explained or referenced in this book. Subjects covered are fruits of repentance, questions to ask when repenting of sin, what repentance does not look like, the difference between contrition/sorrow and repentance, etc. This book should be read by every Christian carefully and soberly.

BOOK RATING: 9 out of 10 stars.


Overcoming the World#2 – Overcoming the World: Grace to Win the Daily Battle by Joel R. Beeke (published by P&R Publishing, 2005). I would get this book into the hands of a new Christian. There is much practical advice on the disciplines of the Christian life and many wise principles that will equip someone unfamiliar with the Bible’s teaching on sanctification.

BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.


Christian Worship Vol 1#3 – The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship (Volume 1) edited by Robert E. Webber (published by Star Song Publishing Group, 1993). I have only required the 1st of the 3 volumes of this series and have coveted them for many years. While they read more like encyclopedia that most books, you will find the research that is documents on the early practices of worship in the early church to be fascinating and convicting.

BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.


Parables#4 – Parables: The Mysteries of God’s Kingdom Revealed Through the Stories Jesus Told by John MacArthur (published by Nelson Publishers, 2015). I blogged about this book recently. You can read my review here.

BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.


Finding Peace in Life's Storms#5 – Finding Peace in Life’s Storms by Charles Spurgeon (published by Whitaker House, 1997). This is a book about hope – hope for surviving the smallest and biggest of trials. It is an encouraging collection of articles (or sermons) from the Prince of Preachers meant to encourage the believer that no trial is too big for God to handle. The believer, Spurgeon said, should have hope in God because God can enable him to persevere through it all. It is a book that can assist the person going through a difficulty and prepare the believer who is “at peace” and who will face a difficulty in his life.

BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.


Bedside Manners#6 – Bedside Manners: A Practical Guide to Visiting the Ill by Katie Maxwell (published by Baker Books, 1990). If you are looking for a book with biblical insight or equipping for visiting the sick, this is not the book. But if you are looking for a book with creative ideas for what you can say or do when visiting the sick, this is a helpful resource. The book shares many practical ideas for visiting hospitals, shut-ins, nursing homes, children, the terminally ill and caregivers. I was hoping it was more than just ideas – meaning, I wish it had more biblical instruction. But that was clearly not the author’s intent.

BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.


One Minute After You Die#7 – One Minute After You Die: A Preview of Your Final Destination by Erwin W. Lutzer (published by Moody Press, 1997). This book wasn’t unbiblical, but I don’t know why I would commend this book to Christians as the “go to book” on the subject of heaven, when there are at least three others I would recommend before this one. If you like Lutzer and his writing style, I suppose this might be a good one for you. Otherwise, I think you will get bored reading it if you have read Alcorn or MacArthur or Peterson on the same subject.

BOOK RATING: 7 out of 10 stars.


Passion and Purity#8 – Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ’s Control by Elisabeth Elliot (published by Fleming H. Revell, 2003). This was a re-read for me, but the first reading happened when I was in high school. So it seemed almost like I was reading a new book. There are some helpful features of this book that anyone dating or thinking about dating (or courting) can benefit from: it reads like a diary, it is filled with “relationship” wisdom from a godly woman who loves the Lord, there are expressions of Elliot’s authenticity as a woman who struggled with contentment and a flurry of emotions, etc. Where you fill find the book lacking is that it does not contain a “here’s what the Bible has to say” about relationships and dating. There are other books that do that much better than this one with that goal in mind. If you are looking for more of a story of how God drew two people together, than you will enjoy reading this book.

BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.


Marriage Is Hard#9 – Marriage Is Hard: Truths I Wish I Had Understood Before I Got Married by Susan Black (published by Focus Publishing, 2013). This was the 1st pleasant surprise read of the year. The author’s transparency about her own struggles with self-focus and impatience were refreshing. Her self-counsel was helpful as she talked about how the Lord grew her to the reality that marriage is not a Hollywood story but a union of two sinners. Read this book, whether you are a man or woman, to be encouraged about that tough road that is marriage and the reality that it won’t be easy … but it will be sanctifying,

BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.

Word Filled#10 – Word-Filled Women’s Ministry edited by Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson (published by Crossway Books, 2015). I had never read a book on women’s ministry until I read this one. And I don’t know if I ever have to read another one on this subject either. It was that good and that helpful. You can and will benefit from this book if your church is looking to launch a women’s ministry, is the brainstorming stage of writing out a philosophy for women’s ministry, or have had a women’s ministry established for a number of years. This book is a philosophy of why churches need to invest in their women teaching one another.

BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars


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