There is a lot of preaching today that is focused on bolstering the hearer. The illustrations and anecdotes are used to assume and enlighten those who need encouragement. Encouraging messages are needed at times. However, when they are all that a preacher uses then he does a colossal disservice to his listeners.
Joel R. Beeke has written a wonderful book on why it is vital that preachers teach both that which brightens the mind and calls the soul to act. True preaching shows the listener where they have gone awry against the truths of Scripture and then shows how Christ gives power to live for Him and not for self.
While I would not classify myself as one who subscribes to reformed theology I can wholeheartedly agree that to preach only that which brings clarity of mind but not the glory of Christ is error. Both must be taught and Beeke expounds on this in his book giving Scriptural reasons on why this must be.
*I received a review copy in exchange for my honest assessment.
The Starting Place Study Bible is an excellent resource for those were getting into an introductory study the word of God. The notes, aids, and instructional articles are very helpful for those who were new to scripture or perhaps have been taught something and I wanted to make sure it is accurate. I found the particular aids throughout the scripture very relevant and also placed at idea locations to help understand a text and also to make sure the proper teaching was followed.
One item about this particular thing is it is a little heavy so it is not ideal for carrying around often. I also feel that the Bible is a bit blocky for my liking as I prefer taller and thinner versus thicker and shorter. That said just to be in a great resource for somebody who want to buy will be the very first time or perhaps wants their first Study Bible.
*I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
If you have read my post for some time you will know that I highly regard the leadership trainings of John Maxwell. His material had impacted my life and I even had the privilege to meet him in person.
This latest Bible, which is really a revised edition of a previous Bible, has his leadership thoughts and teachings along side Biblical passages that use examples in Scripture of both good and bad leaders. By using examples from the Bible, Maxwell shows how Scripture has the best leadership advice and those wanting to be the best leadership should look to God’s Word.
The Bible itself is in the comfort print with is a print designed to be read easily. It comes in several bindings and the paper is decent. It is a bit heavy compared to some smaller editions of this Bible so it is not ideal for a lot of carry. It would do well for a devotional Bible if someone is wanting to studying leadership from a Biblical standpoint but I do not recommend it for more theologically-focused study.
*I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest assessment.
Warren Wiersbe and his “Be” series is a very popular series on Christian growth and development. It has aided many in their Christian walk and some of his book are used as readings in some of the Bible classes I have taken. Now, with the introduction of the Wiersbe Study Bible, Wiersbe’s thoughts and notes are in a Bible to aid those reading the Bible.
The articles are not lengthy and do not interfere with the reading of the Bible. The study notes are succinct and those who have read the “Be” series will appreciate having notes close to the text.
The Bible itself is well bound and I really liked the silver gilt on the paper. The Bible is a bit on the heavy side so it is most likely not ideal for a lot of carry. The font is the comfort font meaning it is easy to read but please note this does not mean large print font.
All in all this is a nice study Bible and I believe will help those in their Christian walk.
*I received a review copy and was not obligated to give a positive or negative review.
Changing one’s behaviors and attitudes is not easy. Add to this commands in the Bible to not be angry, think of godly things, love your neighbor, etc. could make a person feel bogged down and dejected.
Realizing that change takes effort Real Change was printed to help foster conversations to grow individuals and change them for God. While this book reads more like a discussion guide it is nonetheless a great resource in small groups to discuss how to change Biblically.
It is not long but the content is rich and should provide plenty of discussion material throughout its usage.
*I received a review copy and my opinions are my own.
My sons love dinosaurs and when this book came to print I was excited to show it to them. While the target audience is 8-12 years old and my sons are four and three years old, it is still a great devotional to use.
The correlation between the different dinosaurs and truths of God’s Word is well done and makes teaching truths relevant and personal. While some of the content is geared towards the target audience I still use the devotions and modify it as needed for my boys. Thus, this is a great devotional for the dino-lover in your family no matter the age; even I enjoy them.
*I received a review copy of this book in exchange for my assessment.
Perry Stone is a speaker and author that I have enjoyed listening to and reading. His perspectives challenge my own and have caused some detailed dialogues with myself and also with friends. Some of the material he presents are tough for me to embrace and this book is such a one.
Angels are something that has intrigued mankind for years. We have movies about them, TV shows, books, and proposed sightings caught on video. While angels are mentioned in Scripture, not much is states about them.
Perry Stone teaches in his book, This Season of Angels, that during high prophetic times angelic activity increases. Using the book of Daniel, Stone attempts to demonstrate that as certain prophetic events happen angelic activity also happens to such a level that humans recognize it.
While this is interesting to read, it is hard to backup with Scripture. First, while it may appear we are in what some call the End Times, it is difficult to definitively prove. While I agree we are seeing things we have not seen in history for some time, it is unwise to state that this is what the Bible described.
Also, the Bible is minimal in its teachings on angels. This is not bad but it also must give caution to those who desire to write about them and teach on them. Is Stone right in his teachings? I am uncertain. Is he wrong? Again, uncertain. Thus, while this book is an intriguing read it would behoove the reader to do so with their Bible close to determine if Stone is accurate or reading into something that is not there.
*I received a review copy of this book and am not under obligation to write a positive review.