Monday, November 23, 2020

Christ in the Sabbath by Rich Robinson

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Christ in the Sabbath
by Rich Robinson


ISBN-13: 9780802411990
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: May 1st 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description from Goodreads:
Christ in the Sabbath will take you on a “Sabbath tour” of the Bible. You’ll explore the themes of Shabbat (Hebrew for "Sabbath") and rest in both Old and New Testament and then discover what it has meant to Jews and Christians for centuries. Rabbinical comments and a variety of traditions provide clarity and credibility to the study of Sabbath.

This volume does not resolve all the differences among Christians concerning the place of the Sabbath today; instead, the journey undertaken in this book is designed to help you form your own conclusions—or inspire you to continue exploring the meaning and significance behind the Sabbath.


My Review:
Christ in the Sabbath explores the origins and practice of the Sabbath in the Bible and afterward. This book was written by a Jewish believer in Jesus, so we get both the Jewish and Christian perspectives. The author started by looking at the origins of Sabbath in the Bible, what it meant, and how it was celebrated (or not). He also looked at special sabbaths, the sabbatical year, and the year of Jubilee. He talked about what things were forbidden on the Sabbath and how this list developed over time. He talked about how Sabbath was celebrated at the time of Jesus and how Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He explored the history of Christians worshiping on Sunday and if those in the New Testament period and early church saw this as a new Sabbath. He talked about how Sabbath is celebrated today by Jews, the different views among Christians about Sabbath, and how Christians might celebrate Sabbath. This book contained a lot of information, but it was very readable and easy to understand. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the history and practice of the Sabbath.


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, November 16, 2020

Esther by Lydia Brownback

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Esther
by Lydia Brownback


ISBN-13: 9781433566615
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Crossway Books
Released: August 18th 2020

Source: review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The book of Esther reads much like a fairy tale: a young Jewish queen, her wise older cousin, an evil royal servant, and a self-centered king. But Esther is no fairy tale. From the beginning of the book to the end, God is the main character of the story--even though he's never mentioned.

Join Lydia Brownback as she digs deeper into the book of Esther and learn how God is faithful to keep his promises and deliver his people. This story ultimately points to the gospel, revealing the need for a better deliverer, a better king, and a better kingdom than any found in this world.

The Flourish Bible Study series equips women to study the overarching storyline of the Bible book by book. Designed for individual or group use, each 10-week workbook features conversational teaching that aims to make in-depth Bible study accessible to women in all seasons of life, along with practical application questions and additional recommended resources.


My Review:
Esther is a Bible study on Esther that is 10 chapters (or weeks) long. It seems targeted at individual study, though it could be used as a group study. The author worked through the book of Esther, bringing in historical background information and related verses from throughout the Bible. You look up and read the verses in your own Bible. She provided commentary on what was going on, reading comprehension questions, and application questions. She focused on how God was at work even though God isn't directly mentioned in Esther. Overall, I'd recommend this study to women who haven't taken a deeper look at Esther 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.


Thursday, November 12, 2020

Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes by E. Randolph Richards; Richard James

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Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes
by E. Randolph Richards;
Richard James


ISBN-13: 9780830852758
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: IVP Academic
Released: October 13th 2020

Source: Ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Book Description from Goodreads:
The Bible was written within collectivist cultures. When Westerners, immersed in individualism, read the Bible, it's easy to misinterpret important elements--or miss them altogether. In any culture, the most important things usually go without being said. So to read Scripture well we benefit when we uncover the unspoken social structures and values of its world. We need to recalibrate our vision.

Combining the expertise of a biblical scholar and a missionary practitioner, Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes is an essential guidebook to the cultural background of the Bible and how it should inform our reading. E. Randolph Richards and Richard James explore deep social structures of the ancient Mediterranean--kinship, patronage, and brokerage--along with their key social tools--honor, shame, and boundaries--that the biblical authors lived in and lie below the surface of each text. From Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar to Peter's instructions to elders, the authors strip away individualist assumptions and bring the world of the biblical writers to life. Expanding on the popular Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes, this book makes clear how understanding collectivism will help us better understand the Bible, which in turn will help us live more faithfully in an increasingly globalized world.


My Review:
Misreading Scripture with Individualist Eyes looks at the cultural background of the Bible in order to better understand what's happening in the Bible. The authors focused on the differences between individualist and collectivist cultures, specifically on kinship, patronage, brokerage, honor, shaming, and boundaries. They used modern and ancient examples to help explain a concept then showed how this shows up in the Bible. They showed how understanding these cultural differences can change how we view what's going on in some biblical accounts or even what the main point being made is. I've read a lot of these cultural background books yet I still learned a lot. I felt that the authors explained the concepts well. Overall, I'd highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a deeper understanding of the Bible.


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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Wonder of His Name by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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The Wonder of His Name
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss


ISBN-13: 978-0802412577
Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Released: October 1st 2014

Source: review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Names matter. Did you know that more than 350 names and titles related to Jesus can be found in the Scripture? The vastness of His character and His work on the behalf of His people are revealed through His many names. The more deeply we explore the names of Jesus, the more we are able to move from simply knowing about Him to truly knowing Him. Fall in love with Jesus all over again as you get to know Him through thirty-two of His life-changing names. These meditations by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, illuminated by the artwork of Timothy Botts and accompanied by quotes from classic authors, hymn writers, and preachers, will help you recapture the wonder of His name.


My Review:
The Wonder of His Name is a hardcover, devotional book focused on 32 different names of Jesus. For each name, there's a verse using that name along with a devotional text that talks about the meaning and impact of that name. On a second page, there's a few quotes from preachers, hymns, etc., about the name as well as a question that makes you think about how this information impacts your life. The names were illustrated in a colorful way and some names had a colorful, two-page spread of the verse in addition to the normal material. I had thought that more names would be covered, so I was disappointed that only 32 names were featured. However, I did enjoy the devotional material on the names that were covered: Jesus, the Word, Son of God, Son of Man, Immanuel, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace, Messiah, Chief Cornerstone, Captain, Friend of Sinners, I AM, Bread of Life, Light of the World, Good Shepherd, Resurrection and the Life, the Truth, Savior, Lord, Head, Great High Priest, Advocate, Alpha and Omega, Lion, Bridegroom, King, Servant of the Lord, Man of Sorrows, Redeemer, Lamb of God, and Amen.


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.

Friday, November 6, 2020

The Action Bible

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The Action Bible: God's Redemptive Story
by Sergio Cariello (Illustrations)


ISBN-13: 978-0830777440
Hardback: 832 pages
Publisher: September 1, 2020
Released: David C Cook; Revised edition

Source: Review copy from the publisher through Amazon Vine.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
The Action Bible presents more than 230 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easy to follow the Bible’s historical flow and building up to the thrilling climax of God’s redemptive story. Plus, these spectacular updates take the action to a whole new level:

25 new stories showcase a more extensive exploration of God’s work in our lives.
23 expanded stories highlight additional experiences of the people who tell God’s story.
128 new pages of illustrations deliver a richer artistic experience with more close-up faces, historical details, and dramatic colors.

Readers will witness God’s active presence in the world through stories from the life of Jesus and great heroes of the faith. Let this blend of powerful imagery and clear storytelling capture your imagination and instill the truth that invites you to discover your own adventure of life with God. Sergio Cariello’s illustrations for The Action Bible leap off the page with the same thrilling energy that earned him international recognition for his work with Marvel Comics and DC Comics.


My Review:
The Action Bible is a comic-book style picture Bible for children ages 5-8, though older children will also enjoy it. The stories are straight from the Bible, but they are condensed and often contain a few comments not in the Bible as well as some commentary and historical information worked into the story to help explain events. Each new story indicated "based on Judges 16:1-20" or whatever verses. Not every event in the Bible is included, but it included a lot more than a typical children's Bible.

I really liked that the events were in chronological order and shown in their historical setting. Several psalms were worked into David's life story and several proverbs into Solomon's story. The prophets gave their (summarized) prophecies during the actual events where they were given, and Paul's (summarized) letters were shown as written when they really were written during his travels. There were even some maps of Paul's missionary travels. Also, the Old Testament flowed into the New Testament through a brief (and clearly marked as not in the Bible) historical summary of the events that happened between the two. So the Bible came across as a continuous historical account of God relating to man with a redemptive plan in action.

Sexual content and gore was smoothed over, usually implied or skipped entirely. I was also very impressed by the vivid, detailed illustrations. The illustrator did an excellent job of correctly showing the character's age, ethnicity, and culture. A few things were not quite accurate, but this book was a lot more accurate than other Children's Bibles I've seen. I'd certainly recommend this book, and I give them away to the children at two churches. These children are often seen carrying these Bibles around, and they make comments indicating that they have been reading the stories and remembering them.


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, September 28, 2020

Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Volume 2 by Bodie Hodge

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Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Volume 2
Editors: Ken Ham,
Bodie Hodge,
Tim Chaffey


ISBN-13: 9780890516492
Paperback: 174 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group
Released: March 28th 2012

Source: Bought.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Over 40 powerful explanations proving the Bible is still accurate and without error! Can God be Tempted? Why don't Christians follow all the Old Testament laws? Is marriage good or bad? All these and more are questions that appear to point out a problem in the biblical text. Too often people focus on what seems to be contradictions or errors in the Bible, using them to create doubt in the minds of believers or act as stumbling blocks in trying to present the Gospel. It is important to resolve these issues to reassure people that the Bible is inerrant.


My Review:
Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Volume 2 is a collection of answers written by various people explaining why various alleged contradictions in the Bible aren't actual contradictions. The book explained what, exactly, a contradiction is and why these alleged contradictions aren't true contradictions (like the word is used in a difference sense in different places or the dilemma wasn't an either/or but both are possible). They explained the answer or several possible answers to the specific alleged contradictions. The arguments were easy to follow and well-written. I'd highly recommend this book, especially to anyone who has been asked about (or wondered about) apparent contradictions in the Bible and didn't know the answer.


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.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Your Guide to the Grand Canyon by Tom Vail, Mike Oard, Dennis Bokovoy, John Hergenrather

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Your Guide to the Grand Canyon
by Tom Vail, Mike Oard, Dennis Bokovoy, John Hergenrather


ISBN-13: 978-0890515013
Hardcover: 190 pages
Publisher: New Leaf Publishing Group
Released: October 1st 2008

Source: Bought.

Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Exploring the Grand Canyon is a one-of-a-kind adventure. It is a World Heritage Site and one of the most amazing features on the face of the planet. The size and majesty of the Canyon is overwhelming, regardless of how many times you have viewed it, how many trails you have hiked, or how many river miles you have traveled. It is also a mystery! Most will agree that the Grand Canyon was carved by water. But how and when is where the mystery lies. Was it formed slowly over millions of years or quickly in a catastrophic event? This debate falls into two camps, which hold to vastly divergent worldviews. This True North Guide examines the geological and ecological evidence and lets you decide which of those worldviews is best supported by the data. Contains 26 fold-out pages with maps, special overlook features, and more! Discover the Canyon's wildlife, vegetation, fossils, geology, and history!


My Review:
Your Guide to the Grand Canyon is a guide to viewing the Grand Canyon and is written from a biblical, young earth viewpoint. The main part of the book is foldout pages showing the view from each viewing point in the park along with text describing points of interest, animals of interest, and giving the evidence seen from this viewing point that supports a catastrophic flood formation of the canyon. They point out when they think the various rock layers were formed within this biblical viewpoint and the places on the trails where fossils can be seen. The last pages in the book give a more detailed comparison of the uniformitarian evolutionist views and a creationist views of the canyon, and they discuss which best fits the evidence seen at the Grand Canyon. They talk about geology, fossils, dating methods, the ecology at the Canyon, the history, and more. Overall, I'd recommend this guide to anyone going to the Grand Canyon who wants to know the creationist explanation of what's being seen (rather than the evolutionary one provided at the park).


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.