Book Blurbs: January 2017

Here are some books I had the privilege of reading this past month and some brief thoughts about each one.

#1, #2, #3 – The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality by Luke Gilkerson, The Talk: Changes by Luke and Trisha Gilkerson, and The Talk: Relationships, 11 Lessons to Give Kids a Greater Understanding of Biblical Sexuality. You can probably guess why I read these books. I would commend them as good resources for parents wanting a Bible study approach to the subject of sexuality for their children. It is broken into short lessons that include Scripture reading, commentary, discussion questions, and sample prayers. I plan on using his resource with all three of my boys. I don’t know of any other resources like these that are both understandable for kids and helpfully structured for parents. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.

#4 – The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice (published by Moody Publishers, 1983). You can read my thoughts on this book here. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.

#5 – Preaching Old Testament Narratives by Benjamin Walton (published by Kregel Publications, 2016). You can read my thoughts on this book here. BOOK RATING: 9 out of 10 stars.

#6 – Can I Lose My Salvation? by R.C. Sproul (published by Reformation Trust, 2015). This book comes in a series of short books (less than 100 pages) entitled “Crucial Questions”, where Sproul addresses common questions about Christianity and the Bible. In this book, you will read answers on those who fall away, the unforgivable sin, restoration for those who have sinned, perseverance, carnality, and Jesus as the High Priest. If I were to give someone a reading resource about assurance or losing one’s salvation, this would not be my first pick, even though I agree with Sproul on most of his interpretations of difficult passages. His treatment of a delicate question was not as clear and even as a Christian like myself who doesn’t struggle with assurance, I found myself with more questions than answers. BOOK RATING: 7 out of 10 stars.

#7 – What Is the Relationship Between Church and State? by R.C. Sproul (published by Reformation Trust, 2014). This book comes in a series of short books (less than 100 pages) entitled “Crucial Questions”, where Sproul addresses common questions about Christianity and the Bible. You will find the following topics covered: civil obedience and disobedience, war, and established religion. While there may be more thorough resources dealing with our response to government as Christians, I appreciate the simplicity and accessibility of Sproul’s book. For an immature or new believer, they will find this book to be biblically anchored and intellectually stimulating. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.

#8 – Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian (published by Crossway Books, 2011). Where do I start with this book? It is bad; it is poor Bible hermeneutics; and it is erroneous Gospel-writing. Other than his “fall from grace,” the author is known for being a proponent of the hyper-grace movement and this book is his so-called defense of this thinking as he peruses his way through the Epistle to the Colossians. He overemphasizes grace and downplays repentance, confession, and obedience. You even get the impression that any effort towards being holy is a waste of time. I would not recommend this book to anyone – unless you simply want to understand the hyper-grace view more. Very sad to read this book was published by Crossway, which usually releases solid material. BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.

#9 – On Pastoring: A Short Guide to Living, Leading, and Ministering as a Pastor, by H.B. Charles Jr. (published by Moody Publishers, 2016). You can read my thoughts about this book here. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.

#10 – You Can Preach to the Kids Too! Designing Sermons for Adults and Children, by Carolyn C. Brown (published by Abingdon Press, 1997). This book was not what I had hoped it would be. At our church, we recently transitioned into having our children sit in our worship service, and I was hoping to find some tips for how to help the young kids feel more a part of the worship service when I am preaching. We have discovered better resources than this one. This book was a little too “gimmicky” in its suggestions. BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.

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