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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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.

NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

225_350_book-2335-coverWhen a Bible is read it is often done through the lense of the reader. This is not a bad thing unless the lense of the reader is understanding something that is not there. This happens more than realized because our cultural dictates how we understand something we read. It is the same with the Bible.

The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Bible seeks to give the reader an understanding of the culture of Scripture. By doing this, the reader should have a better comprehension of what the writer was trying to say. Instead of viewing it as a foreigner, the goal is to place the reader in a setting as if they were alive as the Biblical events are taking place. I found this Bible to be a great help in understanding what a person in Biblical times may have thought.

As to this Bible itself, it is a heavy Bible coming in at just over four pounds. The text is easy to read and the photos are stunning. The articles are well placed and not distracting. There are also great aids in the back of the Bible such as a weights and measurement section and a brief concordance.

This is a great Bible for study and it would do well for those that want to better understand the day in which Biblical characters lived. For those wanting a devotional Bible, seek elsewhere.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible 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.

Know Who You Are by Tim Tebow

TebowHow does somebody discover their true identity? There is a lot of information on the subject and sadly some of it has a poor foundation. Because of this, Tim Tebow has written a book Know Who You Are. It is an interactive guide to discovering your true identity with a special emphasis directed at homeschoolers. However anybody can benefit from the information in this book whether they are home-schooled or not.

The book is divided into four parts with each part being building on each other. The first section, dealing with who you, are goes into who an individual is. Why they have value and worth. Recognizing that worth comes from God because God created each person with unique talents, gifts, and abilities. Because of this each person has worth far beyond what they can possibly understand. Tebow relates that he is not valued because of his athletic ability. Rather he is valued because he is a child of God.

Part 2 is realizing that God is in control and allowing Him to control your life. By relying on God a person does not have to fear the unknown but must simply put their faith in God for guidance. Also, relying on God for strength to live for Him allows a person to live for more than just today.

Part 3 is interaction with fellows human. By recognizing everybody has value, because they’re God’s creation, individuals begin to treat people differently. They treat them with respect, and ideally love, because they see people as valuable; not as tools for personal gain.

With that in mind the last section deals with living bigger and that has to do with not living for yourself but rather living for others with the intent of showing God to them.

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