Being a Christian by Dr. Jason K. Allen

Being a Christian coverBeing a Christian.

Many people have an idea of what a Christian should be. There is a standard of what a Christian should do and not do. However, does this line up with what the Bible teaches? Also, should a Christian’s faith affect all areas of life?

In his book, Being a Christian: How Jesus Redeems All of Life, Dr. Jason K. Allen points out that Jesus came to redeem all areas of life for His glory. Areas such as family, work, church, time, money, and others. Rather than believe that Jesus came to solely give eternal life, Dr. Allen shows that Jesus came to give abundant life in all its facets.

The area that I really enjoyed was the area of the mind. Dr. Allen points out that there has been a shift towards the emotional aspects of Christianity but that the mind should not be ignored. Rather the mind should draw one closer to Christ in the heart which is an emotional response.

I really appreciated this as I often struggle to show emotion but am an avid reader and learner. I recognized the need to take it one step further and let me mind become redeemed and connect with my heart in my relationship with Jesus.

While the material in this book is not new, per se, the style of Dr. Allen has a connectivity that others may not have. Thus, this book should be a great resource for all those who use it and perhaps use it often.

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

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Whisper by Mark Batterson

cover-whisperMark Batterson has written a book to help those hear the voice of God. Many want to hear God’s voice but are unsure of how God talks to us. Most would list the Bible and prayer but Batterson shows that there are more ways God speaks to His followers. Batterson gives seven ways in which God speaks:

  1. Scripture
  2. Desires
  3. Doors
  4. Dreams
  5. People
  6. Promptings
  7. Pain

As I read this book I was impressed by the level to which Batterson went to demonstrate how God uses the above method to speak to His followers. I must admit that I struggle with desires and dreams as I fear both can be easily misunderstood. Batterson however gives example of what to look for in both and it is something that I will investigate further.

Those aside, this is an interesting read and hopefully will prompt good conversation on how to hear God.

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

12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

12-ways-your-phone-is-changing-you-ggynui1aSince the introduction of the smartphone the temptation of distraction is now in the hand of each person. No longer does one need to go to a theater, amusement park, sports arena, or even outside. All types of entertainments await with the simple tap of an app. With all these lures seemingly ever present a question is asked of Christianity: does the smartphone make us better Christians?

Tony Reinke has written a timely, relevant book on the smartphone and its affect on the attention span of its users. As a smartphone user to other smartphone users, Reinke seeks to show that the device in the hands is simply a tool. Whether this tool is used for good or harm is entirely up to the user.

I appreciated the viewpoints in this book in that Reinke is not saying the smartphone is evil but rather an instrument that can be used of God. Reinke uses both the positives and negatives to show that a proper understanding of the smartphone is needed to better one’s spiritual development. Once this is one, a person can develop a system on how to use the mobile device for the glory of God.

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

Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell, PhD

225_350_book-2411-coverThe Christian faith has been under attack since the very start of it. By either trying to deny the resurrection of Christ or to claim that Christ never said He was God, antagonists have tried their best to discredit and malign Christianity. Some have managed to turn followers of Christianity away from their faith believing that no evidence exists to support their beliefs.

Josh McDowell and his son Dr. Sean McDowell have updated the classic work Evidence that Demands a Verdict. This work is designed to arm Christians with information to support their faith and answer critics. Ranging in topics like: evidence for the Bible being true, supposed contradictions in the Bible, evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and evidence for truth. By addressing this issues, the McDowells have given Christians ammunition to attack the lies that try to threaten their spiritual foundation.

One area that was of particular interest to me was the appendix relating to issues posed by Dr. Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman has written several books attacking Christianity by attacking the Bible but not in a methods from previous attacks.Rather, Dr. Ehrman focuses on the variants in the manuscripts and tries to use this to show that we cannot be sure of words in the New Testament. The McDowells address this and other arguments presented by Dr. Ehrman and give some excellent information on why Dr. Ehrman’s information is faulty.

This book should be in every Christian’s library as more attacks are being made against Christianity and Christians need to be able to defend their beliefs.

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

The Potential Principle by Mark Sanborn

233_380_book-2354-coverIs there something that beats the best? There is…that which is better.

In his newest book, The Potential Principle, Mark Sanborn gives potent advice on how to get better at who you are, what you do, and the legacy you want to leave. By giving examples of successful people, Sanborn shows his readers that everyone can get better if they only take the time to do so.

He then shows how to get better at something. Whether it is reviewing what one has done to learn or surrounding one’s self with people better than they are, Sanborn lays out a proven path that those who practice it will see themselves getting better and better.

Having been an avid fan of Mark Sanborn for some time I really appreciated the practicality of this book and the ease of understanding the material. While this book will find itself in the business section it is more than that and I encourage everyone to take a look at this book. I believe it will be well worth it.

*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.