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.

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Exalting Jesus in John by Matt Carter & Dr. Josh Wredberg

JohnMost commentaries explore the text to understand its meaning and to aid the reader in better study of the text. A commentary may point out unique phrases or reference a verse of verses inside of the context of the chapter and/or book. This can be a very helpful resource in understanding Scripture.

The Christ-Centered Exposition commentaries are different. Each volume has the intent of seeing Christ honored with each passage exposited. In Exalting Jesus in John, the authors  seek to see Christ honored as they comment on the workings and life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of John.

I really appreciated how the authors broke the Book of John in sections and highlighted key teachings and applications for the reader. Then they ask a series of questions for the reading to take the principles learned and apply them. In this way, this series serves as a commentary and a Bible study in one.

I recommned this series for its unique perspective on Bible commenting and suggest that it also be used for small group study.

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

NKJV UnApologetic Study Bible

225_350_book-2427-coverWhile most apologetic resources deal with the defense of the Bible and Judeo-Christian values, this study Bible deals with how the Bible should influence and affect the reader. It is not a Bible to prove the validity of the Bible but rather a Bible to prove that it should be followed by those that read it. From this point, this Bible offers help via articles in such issues as: justice, marriage, poverty, war, and greed to name a few.

I was surprised by this resource in that I found the personal nature quite enjoyable. What is meant by this is the insight of the articles that allowed me to understand better how the Bible speaks to tensions in my society in a way that is truthful and non-compromising.

I recommend that this Bible be given to anyone entering college/univeristy as a resource to defend their faith with love and facts.

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

NIV, The Sola Scriptura Bible Project: The Complete Collection

225_350_book-2394-coverThis four volume work is a the entire Bible produced with the intention of readability and cohesiveness. The arrangement of the books of the Bible has been done so that the metanarrative is easier to grasp and thus allow the reader to see the big picture of Scripture.

I found this work to be very easy to read and the appreciate the four volume design. It makes finding a particular book of the Bible easier and seeing the weaving of the complete story which can be sometime lost. I also appreciated the care with which the collection was produced. The bindings are solid and the box set allows for the volumes to stand upright without spinal wear and tear.

I hope that a premium edition of this will be created later with a leather binding. The hardbacks are nice and look great but an added value of a leather edition would be a nice gift.

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

The Greek New Testament by Westcott & Hort

9781619702639oIn 1885, the Revised Version of the Bible was published and in 1901 its American counterpart was published. This caused quite a stir as many saw this an attack on the King James Version, the true words of God. At the foundation of this debate was the Greek New Testament by B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort.

These two British professors sought to compile the best Greek New Testament from the best available manuscripts and to modernize the English Bible for the English-speaking peoples. This had not been done for almost 300 years as the King James Version was the predominate version in use. Thus, they set out to produce a Greek New Testament for use in the translation of a new Bible.

Hendrickson Publishers has produced a copy of this Greek New Testament for those studying Greek and who want to see the Greek Text that is the basis for almost every major English, Bible translation in the world today. Reading this Greek New Testament is not only reading a scholarly work it is also reading history.

One can read the Greek text and then notice the variants in the footnotes. Seeing the decisions by Westcott and Hort as to what enters the main text and what is brought down to the footnotes is an excellent resource for those studying textual criticism. It is also interesting to see what Westcott and Hort determined prior to the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Another feature of this book is the condensed lexicon by Mark A. House. This allows the reader to see the uses of a greek word and see how it has been translated. It also lists the location of the use so the reader can see the word contextually allowing for a better grasp of the Greek usage.

One surprise for me was the article by Westcott and Hort titled The Principals of Textual Criticism. This article lays the groundwork for those interested in how scholars determine what words enter the main text of work and the variants that are placed in the footnotes. It is also a nice primer for those who may desire to enter the field of textual criticism and potentially become Bible translator or defenders of the Bible against attacks.

One thing to note about this book is that it is not an updated work of Westcott and Hort’s New Testament adding the information with recent manuscript discoveries. Those having the UBS5 or NA28 will notice the differences and should be cautious using this text assuming it has the most current resources available.

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

The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 2, ed. Christian T. George

SpurgeonCharles Spurgeon has been called The Prince of preachers. His sermons and additional works have changed the lives of many people; possibly millions. Some of his earliest sermons were thought to be lost but recent discoveries have located them.

In the book The Lost sermons of Charles Spurgeon, Volume 2,  give some of his earliest sermons and outlines between the years 1851 and 1854. It is interesting to read these particular sermons because you actually see the development of Charles Spurgeon as he becomes a better preacher and Bible teacher.

One of the tools used in this book is a word count chart. This chart gives the word count of sermons throughout the early years. As one sees the graphics it is shows that Spurgeon started off with smaller sermons which gradually grew in content as he aged. His earlier sermons would average around 300 words while some of his sermons in this volume reached beyond 1,000 words.

This book also gives facsimiles of his outlines for his sermons and they puts them into a format that a person can read. Even his outlines showed growth and maturity as Spurgeon spoke more and studied more of God’s word.

For those who want a history of Spurgeon and receive some wonderful sermons to challenge and growth their faith I would highly recommend this book and its predecessor Volume 1. It will be well worth the purchase.

I receive a complimentary copy from the publisher of this book and exchange very honest review.