CSB Apologetics Study Bible, Student Edition

9781433644108_csb_apologeticsstudybibleforstudents_jacket-300x400Defending the Bible and it’s teachings, called Apologetics, is a study that can benefit greatly. By solidifying the truths of Scriptures with potent arguments one can rest assured that Scripture is the Word of God. Also, one can believe that God knows best even when certain teachings go against current culture.

The CSB Apologetics Study Bible, Student Edition, seeks to arm students with information to defend their beliefs against arguments that seek to erode the foundation of Biblical doctrine. With information from archaeology, history, personal stories, and others, this Bible gives resources to those who find themselves being asked questions that at first glance seem to strike at the heart of Scripture.

However, once the information is presented it is abundantly clear that God’s Word stand the test of time and will never succumb to scrutiny of those trying to destroy it.

I really enjoyed this Bible and the articles presented. While most of this information is not new to me I can see how those seeing it for the first time would enjoy a Bible like this for personal study and defense of Christianity. College students would do well to have a Bible such as this should they be attending a college where Christianity is often attacked.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Getting the Gospel Right by R. C. Sproul

9780801019692The Gospel. How important is it to get the good news of Jesus Christ right? What are the ramifications of such an undertaking? Some would say that Roman Catholics and Protestants are in agreement with what the Gospel is. Others would say that they are vastly different. Is it such a big deal?

In his book, Getting the Gospel Right, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines two documents: Evangelicals and Catholics and The Gift of Salvation. These documents were signed by Evangelicals and Catholics leaders in an effort to agree on the fundamental teachings of the Gospel. R.C. Sproul sets forth to show that, while the documents were signed, the doctrinal teachings of Roman Catholicism and Evangelicals are not the same.

By highlighting the two documents and breaking down each of the statements contained therein, Dr. Sproul demonstrates that what was written is not Scriptural. He carefully exposes some of the flaws of these documents and champions the mottos of the Reformation: sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), soli Christo (Christ alone).

This book is a great introduction into the variances within Christendom between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. I encourage those want to know more to read additional titles by R.C. Sproul to get a viewpoint from a reformed theologian and contrast that with those from Roman Catholics.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Fearless Parenting by George Barna & Jimmy Myers

9780801000645Raising children is not an easy task. There are many challenges, setbacks, and times of frustration. I should know because I have three children of my own, all of them toddlers or younger. It is because of my present situation that I was interested in a book by George Barna and Jimmy Myers titled Fearless Parenting.

This particular book deals with how to raise faithful kids in a culture that is against Christianity. Rather than taking an approach that somehow it will all just work out because we are Christians, Barna and Myers argue that parents need to be intentional about raising their children. By using culture to show how God got it right and the world got it wrong, this book will help parents  guide their children in a way that is Biblical and God pleasing.

Some of the information presented really is more a challenge to what the parents want their children to have. By this I mean certain character qualities, goals, passions, and ideally a heart for God. The books also gives instruction on how parents can help their children see the traps that the world will set for them.

Materialism, pornography, power, and notoriety are a few of the traps that the world will use to bring a person down. By training children correctly to see what is eternal and what is temporal, a parent will give their child an advantage to, ideally, living for that which will last and not that which will disappear ever so fast.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange for my honest review.

Trade Up by Dean Niewolny

9780801019586Most people when it comes to a career are thinking about how to better themselves. They take into account compensation, prestige, and in some cases how they can use their influence for personal gain. Few look at a career as something to use to make a difference. In his book, Trade Up, Dean Niewolny talks about how important it is to move from an idea of being a career minded person to a difference-maker.

He demonstrates that is a life of giving that makes one satisfied. Often times we think in terms of what we want. Niewolny is trying to get his readers to understand there is more to life than just getting. By helping others become successful the individual should find a life that has meaning, purpose, and leave a lasting legacy.

I appreciate this aspect and take from the book and highly recommend that those starting in a career or those who may been in career for a long time really take a good look at the material presented. If more people lived with the idea of how to help others rather than just making money and moving up the corporate ladder what a better place this world could be.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and exchange for my honest review.

The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition

225_350_book-2356-coverThis particular Bible is a unique Study Bible in that rather than focusing just solely on study notes it also as the dynamics of archaeological notes, personal profiles, as well as some cultural studies. I was rather surprised how helpful I found these additional notes and know that I will benefit greatly from using them.

I will say the difference in this Study Bible versus other Study Bible is that this particular Bible is really more trying to get the reader to understand Scripture. It’s not so much after trying to present a particular doctrine, although there are some that are obvious for those who know where to look, but rather it is trying to get the reader a full immersion on what it is stated in Scripture.

Often times we study Bible we have to be careful not to come at it with an American mindset. This can be very damaging because we will assume that our culture is similar to what was happening back then. This is not the case. As such we need to have a good understanding of the cultural historical context in which scripture was written..

This particular Bible does that very well so that the reader is given a sample of the mindset that would have happened back when the Bible was being written. However, we also need to be careful that we don’t so caught up in historical context we actually lose the presentation of scripture. Scripture does go against cultural things and this need to take into consideration.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

#Truth by Josh McDowell

truthJosh McDowell is a favorite author of mine.  I recall reading Right From Wrong and Truth Slayers through my high school years. When I became a youth pastor I used McDowell’s books to help me teach high schoolers in a way that related to them.

McDowell has taken his love of truth and youth and combined them into a devotional to strengthen his readers to know the truth. With devotions on truths for: the existence of God, God’s Word, God becoming human, and more, McDowell’s book will be a great resource for daily assurance that truth exists and it is to be found in God.

“I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.”

Jesus Among Secular Gods by Dr. Ravi Zacharias and Dr. Vince Vitale

0b284aa8151419741597863df5f05b43I recall a webinar that I viewed in which Dr. Zacharias and Dr. Vitale spoke on truth and the impact the absence of it has on a society. As each man spoke, I was impressed with the candor and level of detail each had in explaining why the Christian faith is superior to all the world’s religions.

During this webinar, they mentioned their newest book, Jesus Among Secular Gods, as a resource for those attending to receive a deeper teaching on how the sciences have been given a god-like place in Western civilization. They argue that science has attempted to usurp faith and become the new religion of the “educated” mind.

As I read this book, I focused on chapter three: Scientism. In this chapter, Dr. Vitale shows that science’s answers to life fail when placed under scrutiny. Science has tried to answer in such a way to exclude God but evidences keep pointing back to God. Thus, the scientist either provides an answer that begs more questions or ignores the data to ignore having to place God into the conversation.

I found this book to quite insightful and well ordered. It is a great resource for any Christian entering academia where Christianity is reject or even ridiculed. It is also a wonderful book to read to strengthen one’s understanding of just how wonderful God is.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.