Grace is Greater by Kyle Idleman

9780801019418The grace of God is something that is very difficult to understand. On the one hand, we appreciate it. On the other hand, because we do not understand it we may find it difficult to accept it from God and extend it to others.

In his book, Grace is Greater, Kyle Idleman gives a understanding of what Grace is from the Bible and then explains why it is so necessary in the life of a Christian. Often people exclude themselves from certain types of roles because they feel they are unworthy based on past mistakes.

Idleman shows that the grace of God can overcome any past mistakes and as a result no one should be considered unqualified if God has asked himi/her to do something.

He then points out that grace is greater our own personal lives. We should extend grace when we want to take vengeance on somebody, or if somebody injured us. God has given us so much grace that he has made the relationship between himself and us possible. Why should we not extend grace to others?

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

Memoir & Remains of Robert Murrary M’Cheyne by Andrew Bonar

memoirandremainsofmcheyne-204x320He was born in Edinburgh Scotland. The year was 1813. He was the youngest child of the family and his name was Robert Murray M’Cheyne. Reverend M’Cheyne would go on to become an influential preacher and inspiration to many in Christianity.

Were it not for Andrew Bonar we may not know much of M’Cheyne. Bonar took effort to chronicle the life of Robert M’Cheyne and the best book on the subject is titled Memoir & Remains of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. This particular work begins with a memoir to M’Cheyne relating some of his struggles, thoughts, and dealings as he went throughout his life. By using some of M’Cheyne’s journal entries we get some insight into the man. The book contains some of the letters that M’Cheyne wrote to various people with the intent of becoming more and more like Christ. Following the letters in the book come a sample of sermons by M’Cheyne. .

These sermons show the heart of M’Cheyne and how he understood and applied the Scriptures. His desire to let go of worldly enticements and seek after Christ become all the more apparent as each sermon is read. M’Cheyne’s passion also protrudes as he desires that all who hear him find their calling and life in Jesus Christ.

M’Cheyne was somewhat of a poet and would often used poetry to explain some of the thoughts and musings that he had. These poems are at the back of the book and are quite inspirational. For example, take a sample of a poem titled They Sing the Song of Moses:

And oh! When, life’s dark journey o’er
And death’s enshrouding valley past,
We plant our foot on yonder shore,
And tread yon golden strand at last

Shall we not see with deep amaze,
How grace hath led us safe along;
And whilst behind–before, we gaze,
Triumphant burst into a song! (p. 633c – 634a)

M’Cheyne loved God and the peace that would come to him upon his death. He wanted all to know this peace and some of his poetry’s heart is apparent while reading.

On a personal note, I took the challenge to read the whole Bible in one year following the readings outlined by M’Cheyne. Upon accepting this challenge, I wanted to learn more about this individual and found this particular book extremely helpful and insightful. I don’t normally recommend books to everybody. However, I hardly make an exception with this book. The language may be difficult for a modern English reader but take the time to read this work. It may just be life changing to you.

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

The Real God by Chip Ingram

realgodWho is God?

God has been defined, redefined, and then redefined again. Some say that God is this, some say that God is that. Many accept parts of God they like and reject parts that they do not. Others hold views that God is unreachable.

In his book, The Real God, Chip Ingram desires for his readers to come to an understanding of who God is. While a human cannot completely understand an infinite God, God has given us His Word to reveal Himself. Using the Bible as his foundation, Ingram teaches on seven attributes of God. By doing so, the reader should come away with a proper understanding and view of God that is Biblical and truthful.

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

60 Days of Happiness by Randy Alcorn

978-1-4964-2000-8Happiness. It is something that many seek and do so in various ways. Yet, when it seems to be found it flees. King Solomon wrote this “I have seen everything that is done under the sun. Look at it! It’s all pointless. [It’s like] trying to catch the wind.” (God’s Word Translation)

Many feel this way about happiness. Randy Alcorn understands this and has written a 60-day devotional to encourage Christians that happiness can be found and it can last. The error is that it is sought…in the wrong places.

Thus his devotional sets out to remind Christians that Christ offers everlasting happiness. By finding our happiness in Him, and not material possessions or intangible successes, our search for happiness can end.

Each devotional is designed to refocus a Christian on Christ. By using personal and non-personal stories to drive each truth deeper, and then a prayer to summarize, each day is intent on making Christ the source of happiness.

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

The Historical Reliability of the New Testament by Craig L Blomberg

blombergChallenges to the Christian faith have been given to Christianity in an attempt to discredit it.  This may potentially shake the foundation of someone’s belief and a key place to attack is the Bible. By drawing into question if the Bible is accurate, a person could potentially cause a Christian to second-guess whether or not the Bible they hold in their hands is true.

Craig Blomberg, a distinguished professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary, has written a wonderful resource on the New Testament titled The Historical Reliability of the New Testament. Professor Blomberg addresses the historicity, dating, context, and authenticity of the New Testament. He does so the reader can understand the nature by which the New Testament came about and also some of the challenges that are brought to attempt to destroy the Scriptures.

I really appreciated the attention to detail with special note on the Gospels. Professor Blomberg has given ample evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament thus giving Christians comfort knowing their Bible is truth.

The book does not go into a lot of scholarly works but does notate various scholarly resources to support the information being presented. Professor Blomberg also does well to use language that is easy to understand but does not detract from the depth of research he has done.

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

Voices From the Past: Volume 2, edited by Richard Rushing

voices-from-the-past-volume-2-203x320Voices From the Past: Volume 2 is a collection of Puritan devotional readings that were put together in such a way to create a daily devotional. I found in each of the readings depth and richness of the thoughts that were put together.

It seems that as I read each day there is nothing that I do not gain from each of these readings. I am being challenged in my Christian faith, in my duties as a husband and father, as well as my responses and reactions toward my fellow man.

Having read Voices From the Past: Volume 1, I was  anxious to go through Volume 2 and would recommend that both be used in a devotional setting. Perhaps reading one in the morning and the other in the evening.

For those who are looking for a devotional that is easy to read and more inspirationalI would look elsewhere. For those who are looking for something that will challenge to the core of their Christian faith and be shaken in their understanding and devotion to Christ then I recommend that you get these devotionals.

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

Truth for All Time by John Calvin

truthforalltime-210x312John Calvin has been regarded by some as one of the greatest theologians of all time. His approach to Scripture has produced some excellent works that are challenging, Biblical, and thought provoking.

In the book, Truth for All Time, Calvin gives the foundational truths of Scripture so that anyone can understand the key tenets of the faith and why each is necessary. Calvin discusses faith, salvation, the Law, the sacraments, and prayer to name a few. Each section has Scriptural foundation and Calvin’s thoughts on the matter for a well articulated understanding of each tenet discussed.

I really appreciate this little book and the information contained therein. To reach such a breadth of knowledge and wisdom about such key areas of Christianity does my heart and mind well. This book should be read by as can read it for the gold that lies within the pages should enrichen many a soul of Christ’s.

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