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.

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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.

Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio

225_350_book-2313-coverIt is perhaps one of the most well known stories of the Bible. A shepherd boy named David goes up against a giant, Goliath, and defeats him with no weapons of war but tools of shepherds. It has inspired many and is used when a seemingly victory by a superior team is thwarted by their opponent.

Using this story, Louie Giglio, in his book Goliath Must Fall, writes on why the giants that try to prevent us from being victorious must fall. Giglio shows that God is more powerful than anything that would hinder our victory. He then points out that certain traits must also fall in order for us to be victorious.

Anger, pride, and fear are some of the giants that must be defeated or else we will struggle to be fully used of God with such weight holding us back. One particular giant is the giant of comfort

Often people will fail to take action because they are comfortable enough where they are. I see this in my own life and appreciated that comfort can be a god if it is not understood. Giglio really pointed out the dangers of being so comfortable that we fail to see giants attacking us on other fronts. Then…wham! We are the ones falling and not the giant.

This book is a great challenge to point out the areas of life that can hinder spiritual growth and maturity. I can see how many could benefit from reading this work and making a habit of reading it on a regular basis.

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

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Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray

SurrenderRarely do I come across a book that has such value that it impacts from the first few pages of reading. Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray is one of those books. The depth and richness of the challenges set forth by Murray are of such caliber that every Christian should read this book and could you benefit from making it a yearly habit.

Murray sets forth the premise that Christians are living life without the power and grace of God because they are not fully surrendered to him; absolutely surrendered is the term he borrows.

Starting with the example of King Ahab in I Kings 20, with particular attention to verse four, Murray shows the heart of absolute surrender. King Ahab is being attacked and his response to the demands of the invaders is “All that I have and all that I own are yours” (my paraphrase).

Murray challenges Christian to take this approach in their relationship with Jesus Christ. From this challenge, Murray then gives examples of the benefits and blessings of being absolutely surrendered to Christ and calls all Christians to seek such a life.

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

The Comeback by Louie Giglio

225_350_book-2296-coverCan a person comeback from a defeat? What if dreams are crushed, can they be revived?

In his book, The Comeback, Louie Giglio gives encouraging words that God is not a one-and-done God. He does not give us just one chance and if we fail He abandons us. Rather, God wants us to continually seek Him despite our failures.

Giglio gives story after story of how failures occurred but God did not give up on a person. The failure was used by God and people still were used in mighty ways. Such encouragement is needed in a time when failure can be perceived as disapproval by God.

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

Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation by Robert J. Morgan

240_360_book-2208-coverMeditation in the United States, has, unfortunately been relegated to an eastern, religious act to draw oneself closer to illumination. By the emptying of one’s mind with rhythmic breathing, the spirit of an individual can contact the source of illumination. This influence may become a barrier when a person reads the Bible and notes verses about meditation on the Word of God.

In his book, Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation, Robert J. Morgan seeks to correct this misunderstanding and introduce the reader to Biblical meditation for spiritual growth and wisdom. Morgan has seen the benefit of meditation, done Biblically, and wants fellow Christian to benefit as well.

Morgan starts off with explaining meditation from a Biblical understanding and then gives ways to use meditation spiritual development. Such development can aid in areas such as: caming of the spirit, insight into God’s Will, and the wonder of God to name a few. By meditating, a Christian can focus on God and His wisdom thus growing deeper in faith and understanding of Scripture.

Morgan also has a download of guided meditations. These guided meditations are set to music with Morgan reading passages of Scripture in a metre format. This should be a good start for those wanting to embrace Biblical meditation and develop habits of proper meditational tactics.

I found this book to helpful in its explanation of meditation. Its short length acts as a decent primer on meditation and can be read in a short time span. This makes it ideal for developing good habits of meditation but not so lengthy as to lose the reader who wants to start as soon as possible.

There is also a meditation guide in the back for the reading of Scripture. Passages are given then brief instructions on how to meditate on those passages. Again, a nice tool to have to encourage the development of meditational tactics.

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

Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen

nothing-to-prove-book-3dMany Christian try so hard to be the ideal Christian. They look at certain way, talk a certain, and believe that opening up their faults shows that God is powerless in their lives. This performance-based Christianity has caused some to feel like a failure and believe that they are not good enough to be used by God.

Jennie Allen understand this for she has, and is still, battling the pressure to be the idea Christian. In her book, Nothing to Prove, Allen writes of the struggles she has faced trying to act as if she has it all-together. Yet, inside she feels that she is drowning in deluge of believing she is a failure, no one will accept her, and God cannot use such a person as her.

Part personal recollections, part guidance, and part inspirational, Nothing to Prove gives insight for those who struggle with trying to prove their worth to others and God. Allen petitions her readers to let go of such thoughts and embrace the grace of God. God is not concerned about your performance; He loves you. He wants you to find your worth from Him; not the expectations of others.

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