Book Review: A Love for the Strangers

A Love for the Strangers by Rachael Kathleen Hartman

A Love for the Strangers: What the Bible Says About Loving Immigrants
by Rachael Kathleen Hartman (Author)
4 out of 5 stars
The Bible talks about “strangers” and “aliens” hundreds of times, calling Christians “strangers” in the world because our true home is in Heaven. The Israelites were commanded to welcome “strangers” into their community. God tells us more than once to love our neighbor (no matter where they come from) and to be compassionate toward those in need.

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Non Fiction Review: Too Good To Be False

Too Good to be False by Tom Gilson

Too Good to be False: How Jesus’ Incomparable Character Reveals His Reality
by Tom Gilson 
5 out of 5 stars

If you examine Christ’s life, his personality, his teaching, his leadership style, one thing becomes abundantly clear, Jesus is too good to be false. There has never been a human being who lived the way He did, and it would be impossible to make up a story of a man like Him. There’s no way that Jesus could be anyone other than who He claimed to be: God Incarnate.

I love the way this book follows logical steps of reasoning and evidence from the Bible and from history to build an irrefutable argument for the reality of Jesus. The writing is forceful and vivid, but it leads the reader gently down a path of truth to the convincing conclusion that Jesus is the only perfect human to have ever lived and died and risen again. Each step of the way is coherent and meaningful.

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Book Review: Meditations on Christ

Meditations on Christ by Benjamin W. Decker
Meditations on Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians
by Benjamin W. Decker 

2 out of 5 stars

This book has written prayers, meditations, and journal prompts for Christians with a Scripture verse at the beginning of each section.

Although the title is “Meditations on Christ”, every section is all about the fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians. Christ is certainly mentioned in each prayer and meditation, but the title is misleading, since the meditations do not focus primarily on the person of Christ. A better title would be “Meditations on the Fruits of the Spirit.”

This book does have a few weird ideas though, such as making an altar with some candles and “an image of Christ”. That sounds like idolatry.

There are many references to the “children of God” and how “we are all family in the Kingdom of God.” Except we aren’t.

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Non-Fiction Review: Never Go Back

Never Go Back by Henry Cloud
Never Go Back 
by

Henry Cloud (Goodreads Author)
4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book demonstrates ten life lessons that will teach you never to go back to your old patterns or make the same mistake twice. They include things like…
Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not.
Don’t trust the wrong people.
Don’t forget why you’re here.
Don’t take your eyes off the big picture.
Don’t try to please everyone.

I enjoyed reading this because it has a lot of commons sense approaches to problems that are universal, and gives real solutions to difficult situations. One of the good things about this book is that it focuses on the only thing we can control… ourselves. It gives real hope that our life can change, because we can change ourselves, our habits and patterns, our thinking, and our reactions and choices. Continue reading

Book Review: Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe

Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne
Ten Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe: Are Urban Legends & Sunday School Myths Ruining Your Faith? 
by Larry Osborne

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


I loved how this book was organized. The writing style is clear and concise with a dry humor that kept each chapter interesting. I appreciated how the author carefully explained each concept with Biblical precepts and spiritual laws that are direct from Scripture.

I really enjoyed reading it, and now I want to read more from this author!

Book Review: A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte
A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18 
by Joseph Loconte

I thoroughly enjoyed this book about the effect that WWI had on two of my favorite authors, how their experiences translated into the stories they wrote, and how their faith in God was strengthened and established despite the horrors of war.

This is heartbreaking to read, because it gives such detailed personal accounts of the war, the suffering and fear they went through, and the terrible losses of friends and family. But it is also wonderfully interesting to learn about the history of that time, and the misguided Utopian philosophies that were shattered by the war.

I was impressed with the scholarly yet accessible writing style, and the way in which the historical and personal information was organized and presented in each chapter. This clearly explained how Tolkien’s and Lewis’ personal experiences were entwined in the larger story of the war, and the popular philosophies and political thinking of the time.

Book Review: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Bonhoeffer Student Edition by Eric Metaxas
Bonhoeffer Student Edition: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy 
by Eric Metaxas


5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads
It’s impossible to read anything about the incredible life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and not be inspired by his faith, saddened by his suffering, and full of questions about your own beliefs and faith. Does my life reflect the kind of fearless faith that Bonhoeffer showed? Is my heart filled with joy in the midst of dark circumstances the way Bonhoeffer’s was?
The answer is no. My faith looks rather puny next to his. My life looks pathetic next to his courage and generosity. One will always feel small when compared to giants, but at least we are looking up, striving for greatness, seeking to know God more intimately as they did. Continue reading

Book Review: Sex and the Single Girl

Sex and the Single Girl
Sex and the Single Girl by Juli Dr Slattery

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Christian book is designed to be read in daily or weekly increments over 6 weeks, but I read it all in two days! It has reflective questions at the end of each section that can be answered alone or in a group study.
I loved that this book is saturated with Scripture! Almost every other page quotes Scripture or refers to a Bible example. The writing is thoughtful, and exhorts the reader to think carefully about God’s Word, and to examine our hearts circumspectly. It really puts a spotlight on the truth of spiritual warfare, and how our sexual nature plays a large part in that battle. Continue reading

Book Review: Jesus the King

Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God
Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Timothy J. Keller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent writing, inspiring insights, solid Bible doctrine, and a fresh look at the life of Christ through the lens of his death. I was incredibly impressed with this book. It’s accessible and easy to understand, although it deals with some deep cosmic ideas.

The whole book is a beautiful revelation of truth. I was crying in one chapter and then laughing in the next. It’s touching and thought-provoking. Every chapter is so deep and insightful. I was spiritually refreshed on every page!

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