Monday, June 15, 2020

Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

book cover
Morning and Evening
by Charles Haddon Spurgeon,
James Adams (Narrator)


Audiobook
Publisher: christianaudio
Released: August 2007 (first published 1866)

Source: Free audiobook.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
For over one hundred years, Christians have gotten up and gone to bed with Charles Spurgeon's devotional Morning and Evening as a companion. With a reading to begin and end each day throughout the year, you will come to appreciate Spurgeon's emphasis on the importance of abiding in Christ and meditating on God's Word. His wisdom and counsel provide a timeless guide through the trials and triumphs of the year. The richness of his biblical understanding offers readers a look into the heart of one of England's foremost pastors and enduring Christian authors.

His lasting message is even more accessible with Alistair Begg's careful modernizing of Spurgeon's English. Begg, who has a deep love for Spurgeon's preaching and especially for this work, has maintained Spurgeon's clear passion and commitment to Christ. Using the English Standard Version as the scriptural text provides an accurate, understandable accompaniment to Spurgeon's lessons.


My Review:
Morning and Evening is a year-long devotional with a devotion provided for both the morning and the evening of each day. The wording has been updated so that the English is easy to understand. Each devotion started with a verse from the Bible and then had Spurgeon's comments on it or on a related topic. I found a few of the devotions to be insightful, some were interesting, and some seemed to be more of historical interest (as none of the churches I've attended have quite so literally interpreted the Song of Solomon as between the church and God). The devotions were short, so it didn't take long to read (or listen to, in this case, as it was an audiobook) each devotion.


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 8, 2020

A Week In the Life of Ephesus by David A. deSilva

book cover
A Week In the Life of Ephesus
by David A. deSilva


ISBN-13: 9780830824854
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: IVP Academic
Released: June 9th 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
As the city of Ephesus prepares for a religious festival in honor of the emperor Domitian, a Christian landowner feels increasing pressure from the city's leaders to participate. Can he perform his civic duties and remain faithful to his Lord? Or has the time come for a costly choice? In this historical novel, biblical scholar David deSilva brings to life such compelling struggles faced by the early Christians. Their insistence on the absolute lordship of their own singular deity brought them into conflict not only with the myriad religious cults of the day, but with all the crushing power of the empire itself.


My Review:
A Week In the Life of Ephesus is partly fiction and partly nonfiction. It read like a documentary show that's primarily made up of fictional reenactments to illustrate the points. The purpose was to educate readers (in an entertaining way) about the social and cultural background of the Christians that received Revelation so that we can better understand how it would have impacted them. A lot of educational material was worked into the story, but additional information was provided in "sidebars" (which could take up whole pages) that were placed within the story. The book included some pictures of archaeological ruins or artifacts that illustrated information in the non-fiction sidebars or events in the story.

The story followed several viewpoint characters but had two main storylines: an upper-class Christian in Ephesus was being pressured to worship the emperor and other gods in addition to the Christian God and a Christian merchant was offered an opportunity to sell goods to Rome at a large profit but at the cost of others lacking those goods. The author was trying to show the different ways various Christians in Ephesus were dealing with pressures to conform and look out for self interest over following Christ wholeheartedly. Overall, I'd recommend this book to people interested in the insights gained from cultural background information.


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.


Monday, June 1, 2020

7 Feasts by Erin Davis

book cover
7 Feasts
by Erin Davis


ISBN-13: 9780802419552
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: June 2nd 2020

Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
It’s hard to know when you read about the Feast of Booths why exactly it matters for your life. What in the world is the Feast of Trumpets supposed to be teaching you? This guide can help you understand the cultural significance and how these feasts relate to the rest of the Bible. You will discover that passages you once skimmed over are now rich and meaningful in your life today. Erin Davis will teach you: The significance of these feasts and why God wanted His people to celebrate. How each of them point to Jesus and His work in redemption. Why all of this matters for our lives today.


My Review:
7 Feasts is an eight-week Bible study. Each week had an introduction, then five days of study on one of the feasts, and a final section that asked three questions about what we learned. After a week introducing the study and how we're going to use Scripture to interpret Scripture, each week focused on one of the feasts: The Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of Firstfruits, The Feast of Weeks, The Feast of Trumpets, The Day of Atonement, The Feast of Booths. The author had you read the regulations for each feast as recorded in Leviticus and then brought out related verses (mostly from the New Testament) that help the reader better understand the feast and how Jesus fulfilled the intent of feast. Since I've studied the feasts before, this information was not new for me. However, I would recommend this study for personal or group study if you've never studied this information before.


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.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs

book cover
Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs
by Bodie Hodge, Laura Welch
Illustrator: Bill Looney


ISBN-13: 9780890515587
Hardcover: 22 pages
Publisher: Master Books
Released: March 2nd 2011

Source: Bought.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
A fascinating presentation on dragons and their biblical connection will shed light on the truth of their existence and connection to the last living dinosaurs. Powerful, fire-breathing, fantastic beings that have left their legacy on this world and can now only be found in the pages of ancient texts.

Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs is a juvenile nonfiction title enjoyable for all ages! It takes you back to the days of these amazing creatures and their presence in various cultures including Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Read of thrilling historical battles between dragons, and saints, and their ability to terrorize medieval castles. This title is case bound and beautifully presented using original illustrations, envelopes, fold-outs, gatefolds, and more! 24 pages and 11 spreads of substantial quality, unique content, and all at a great


My Review:
Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs is a collection of accounts about dragons found throughout human history and about how the descriptions of dragons often match those of dinosaurs. The target audience is ages 8 through 12 (and older, including adults). The book has pages that flip out for larger illustration, doors that can be opened to see what is behind them, envelopes that contain folded accounts of dragons, and other interactive features. The authors included recorded legends about dragons found around the world, from ancient times to more recent ones. They even quoted where dragons are mentioned in the Bible. They also explained how an evolutionary viewpoint that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago prevented some people from making the obvious connection between dinosaur bones and dragon legends. Overall, I'd recommend this book to kids interested in dragons and dinosaurs.


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.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Uncovering the Mysterious Woolly Mammoth by Michael & Beverly Oard

book cover
Uncovering the Mysterious Woolly Mammoth: Life at the End of the Great Ice Age
by Michael Oard,
Beverly Oard


ISBN-13: 9780890515082
Hardcover: 72 pages
Publisher: Master Books
Released: June 1st 2007

Source: Bought it.

Book Description, Modified from Amazon:
How did the Ice Age end? How did men survive during the end of the Ice Age? Where have mammoths been found? Discover the science behind the Ice Age World. The questions of what happened at the end of the Ice Age and why the woolly mammoth disappeared have been asked by many. Unfortunately, the answers given are usually in line with an evolutionary world view. Author Michael Oard gives biblically and scientifically sound answers to these relevant questions for young readers in an exciting story of one boy and his family. Follow Tungus and his tribe as they travel to a better climate away from the dust storms at the end of the great Ice Age. Learn how people lived, the challenges they faced in daily life, and why the woolly mammoths disappeared while the Ice Age was ending.


My Review:
Uncovering the Mysterious Woolly Mammoth is a look from the biblical perspective at the causes of the Ice Age and what we know about how people lived during that time and what happened to the woolly mammoths. Much of this is written in a fictional account from the viewpoint of a 12-year-old boy living in what is now Germany and a 12-year-old boy who migrated with his family from Siberia. We see how they live now and the two tribes talked about how things changed in Siberia. Both the story and the nonfiction scientific explanation after it seemed aimed at 10- to 12-year-olds (and older).

The nonfiction section explained how the worldwide flood described in the Bible would create the correct conditions to cause an ice age and dust storms, the evidence of which we see still today on the landscape. The authors also talked about the mass extinctions of large animals around this time with a focus on the extinction of the woolly mammoth. The illustrations showed scenes from the story and had a realistic (though somewhat blurred) look. Overall, I'd recommend this book to those who want an overview of the science and archaeology of the Ice Age from a biblical perspective.


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, April 27, 2020

The True Story of Noah's Ark by Tom Dooley

book cover
The True Story of Noah's Ark
by Tom Dooley,
Bill Looney (Illustrator)


ISBN-13: 9780890513880
Hardcover: 72pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group
Released: June 1st 2003

Source: Bought.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
God always has a plan; God always has a man. The plan: destroy the wickedness of the world. The man: Noah. How would you feel if you knew that God was going to destroy the world, and you had been chosen out of millions of people to continue the human race? This book is not just Sunday school material for kids, but the thrilling adventure of Noah comes to life through the dazzling, detailed illustrations and the exciting True Story of Noah s Ark. The images of the interior of Noah s ark are like nothing you ve ever seen before. The people and cities depicted here are certainly more advanced than what you ve been led to believe - these people weren t cavemen! They invented metals and musical instruments; they were skilled craftsmen; they built grand cities -all before the Flood. And this is not fiction - it s all biblically and historically based.


My Review:
The True Story of Noah's Ark is a children's hardback book about life before the Flood and the making of Noah's Ark. There were colorful illustrations along with text explaining what life would've been like before and during the Flood. The author used the information included in the Bible and then filled in some information based on reasonable speculation. Overall, I'd recommend this to any Christian who wants to have a children's book about this event as this book is more accurate than most and gives an accurate idea of how big the ark really was.


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.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Deity of Christ by John F. MacArthur Jr.

book cover
The Deity of Christ
by John F. MacArthur Jr.


ISBN-13: 9780802415110
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: January 3rd 2017

Source: review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Almost two Millennia ago, Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”—and people have been asking the question ever since.

Many answering the question today have a decidedly different view than Peter offered in his faithful response. In the early days of the church, Gnostics balked at Jesus’ humanity. Today, it’s his divine nature that’s under attack. It seems almost monthly that new bestselling books appear detailing how alternative gospels portray an earthly Jesus, devoid of divinity. Theories proliferate online that Jesus’ deity was concocted during shadowy closed-door councils by power-hungry church leaders.

The Deity of Christ by John F. MacArthur is a biblical defense of Jesus’ deity and a clarion call for believers to rise up and defend this core doctrine. Both new and seasoned Christians will benefit from MacArthur’s clear take on the relevant Bible passages. They will come away with rock-solid assurance that Jesus was indeed the unique son of God and a deeper, more profound appreciation of Christ’s love for them.


My Review:
The Deity of Christ is an in-depth Bible study on the deity of Christ. The author focused on verses that are attacked by cultic groups and skeptics. He examined New Testament passages that talk about different proofs of Jesus's deity – his authority over demons, sin, disease, and so forth – and Jesus's claims to deity as well as the apostle's claims that Jesus was God. He took each passage and provided verse-by-verse commentary (including word studies). The tone was formal and somewhat academic rather than casual. The commentary was very focused on what Scripture has to say about Christ. Overall, I'd recommend this Bible study to those interested in what the Bible says about this topic.


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.