Monday, March 30, 2015

Too Many to Jail by Mark Bradley

book cover
Too Many to Jail
by Mark Bradley

ISBN-13: 9780857215963
Trade Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Monarch Books
Released: December 1, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Goodreads:
In 1979, there were fewer than 500 known Christians from a Muslim background in Iran. Today there are at least 100,000 new believers. Church leaders believe that millions can be added to the church in the next few years--such is the spiritual hunger that exists. The religious violence that accompanied the reign of President Ahmadinejad drained its perpetrators of political and religious legitimacy, and has opened the door to other faiths.

This book sets the rapid church growth in Iran in the context of the deteriorating relationship between Iranians and their national religion. There is a major focus on the Ahmadinejad years, but the author also covers the history of the church before 1979, developing the central idea that the spark may have become buried in the ashes but has never been extinguished.

Careful, proportionate, well-informed, and accurate, Too Many to Jail is a powerful reminder of the Christian revival that the headlines ignore. The stories of faith, persecution, and encouragement will inspire every reader to see anew God's work in the world.

My Review:
Too Many to Jail describes the recent growth of house-churches in Iran, including the factors behind why Muslims in Iran are now choosing to follow Jesus and why house-churches work better in Iran than building-churches. The book described the politics in 1979 up to now and explained political and cultural reasons why Muslims in Iran are interested in Jesus. He also described several types of house-churches, why they work better than building-churches in Iran, and the persecution that converts and Christian preachers are facing. He also provided the history of the church in Iran up to 1979 and details of known cases of persecution against Christians in Iran.

I appreciate that the author tried to give an accurate idea of what's going on rather than going with whatever numbers sound impressive. I could easily follow and understand the author's reasoning and found the information very interesting. It was both sad (due to the suffering) and exciting (due to the growth) to read. I feel like I understand the situation in Iran much better now. I'd recommend this book to those interested in the Christians in Iran.

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, March 17, 2015

Insights on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus by Charles R. Swindoll

book cover
Insights on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus
by Charles R. Swindoll

ISBN-13: 9780310284338
Hardcover: 319 pages
Publisher: Zondervan
Released: December 7,2010

Source: Bought from

Book Description from Goodreads:
Swindoll takes us inside 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus to discover its narrative drive, overarching message, and joyous implications for our lives.

My Review:
Insights on 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus is a Bible commentary on 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. The author explained the meaning of various key Greek words to help the reader understand confusing passages and to bring out the full meaning of the text. He also provided information on the cultural and historical background and quoted similar statements made elsewhere in the Bible to help the reader fully understand the verses.

The author gave a paragraph or two of Scripture and then studied through that verse-by-verse. At the end of each section, he discussed how we can apply the writer's message to our own lives. He also included occasional "journal" pages were he talked about how those verses had been applied or worked out in his life.

Though you can look up information on just a single verse, this is more a Bible study book where it's assumed you'll read the whole book. Some sections focused on clarifying what the verses mean so the reader can better understand them. Others were more of a sermon where he tells the reader what to understand from it. Overall, he came to conclusions that I think most Christians can agree with. His main focus was on the qualifications and troubles faced by ministers since that was a major topic in the verses being studied.

Overall, this book was easy to follow and understand. I'd recommend it to Christians who want to dig deeper into understanding 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus.

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.