Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Know the Heretics by Justin Holcomb

book cover
Know the Heretics
by Justin Holcomb

ISBN-13: 9780310515074
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: April 29, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through BookLook.com.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Many believers have little to no familiarity with orthodox doctrine or the historic distortions of it. Know the Heretics provides an accessible “travel guide” to the most significant heresies throughout Christian history and the orthodox arguments against them.

As a part of the KNOW series, this book is designed for personal study or classroom use, but also for small groups and Sunday schools wanting to more deeply understand the foundations of the faith.

My Review:
Know the Heretics is a summary of the historical discussions about what Christians believe. This short book effectively communicates the information. A layman--even a teenager--can understand the issues being discussed and why they were and are important. The author did an excellent job at defining theological words and explaining complex theological issues in an understandable way. I think this would be a great study for high school- or college-age church groups.

The author didn't cover every heresy, but he picked important ones--some of which are still around in slightly different forms. He explained the historical and personal background of the founder of the heresy, what was being taught, the orthodox arguments against those teachings, and why this is relevant to us today. He also included discussion questions.

The heresies where mainly chosen from early church history. This book covered some of the same ground as Know the Creeds and Councils, but this book focused on the theological arguments while that book focused on the creeds developed in response to these heresies.

I'd recommend this book to those interested in knowing more about why Christians have historically believed certain core doctrines, especially those people intimidated by "theology" or "doctrine" books.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Women at the Cross by Linda Lesniewski

book cover
Women at the Cross
by Linda Lesniewski

ISBN-13: 9781441235770
ebook: 160 pages
Publisher: Revell
Released: February 1, 2008

Source: A free ebook promotional offer.

Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Who were the women present at Christ's crucifixion? Why did they come, and why did they stay? What did they see? What did they hear? How do their actions speak to people today? In searching for answers to these and other questions, author Linda Lesniewski discovered that she shared a spiritual kinship with the women who stood there as well as those who have been changed by the cross throughout the years.

Women who read this book will realize a greater appreciation for his sacrifice. Perfect for small groups or personal study, Women at the Cross brings alive the devotion, loyalty, and servanthood of the women who came, who stayed, and who continue to come even today.

My Review:
Women at the Cross is a devotional or Bible study type book for women. It started with the women who are named as those with Jesus at the cross and resurrection. The author explained what we know about them and gave some cultural and daily life information about women at that time. She then used Scripture and cultural background information to write a "filled out" description of Jesus' death and resurrection.

The second part of the book gave brief biographies of some notable Christian women through the ages who have lived and died to spread the Good News. These biographies were so brief that I'm not sure how much impact they have. I've read more detailed biographies on many of these women, and maybe the intent was to interest the readers in learning more. The last part was about how modern women have and can respond to Christ's death and resurrection.

I've read a lot of Bible culture and reference books, so I didn't learn anything new from this short ebook. However, if you're not familiar with this type of information and would like a brief "Christian women's history," this is a good presentation of it.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.