Book Review: The Grace of God

I have been hearing about Andy Stanley’s new book The Grace of God for some time.  I was very excited to finally get a copy to read for myself.  I have to say that I am a fan of Andy, Northpoint Ministries, and Mexican Food (not related).  I know several people that accuse him of growing a huge church by never using the Bible and staying an inch deep.  I was interested in reading this book to search out that accusation as well.

I was very pleased/impressed with this book.  Andy Stanley walks through the Bible pointing out the grace that God showed even in areas that we would not normally think of when we think of Grace.  There is something in this book for every person whether or not they consider themselves a Christian.  There are challenges to the church, to Christians (both new and well seasoned), and to anyone else that has ever needed grace.  The way that Andy conveys the Bible Stories seems to almost simplify them, but in a really good way.  There is not a lot of big, theological words, but he does not skip over the theology.

Grace is something we all need and almost all misunderstand.  You should read this book.  It will help you understand grace, why you need it and how you can give it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Radical Together – Book Review

I was given a free copy of “Radical Together” by David Platt for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Here is that review:

I read Platt’s first book, Radical, a few months ago.  The content still has me reeling a bit, so I was quite hesitant to get another slap in the head.  However, this time was a bit different.  Radical Together is written not so much to individuals, but instead to the church.  Platt is urging (begging) the church to wake up and do the things it is supposed to be doing.  As a leader in my church, I was able to completely relate to much of what He said and was very challenged by it.

I know Platt has taken a lot of heat for things that he says in this book, but there is little or no content that is not backed by scripture.  Most people that freak out over this book are mostly reacting to the conviction they are under.  I will say that Platt’s church is at a different level than many others, but he points this out and also says that his church is by no means a standard to go by.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is any level of leader in a church.  You do not have to have read Radical for this book to make sense.  I will say that when you get this book you need to be prepared for a good head knocking as you read, but hopefully it will spur you one to lead a church that does what Jesus called it to do.

Book Review “The Final Summit”

I had the opportunity to read The Final Summit by Andy Andrews before in order to give a review.  Here it goes.

To give a quick recap, David Ponder from The Traveler’s Gift & The Noticer is back for one last adventure.  He is summoned by Gabriel to a council to find the answer to a question to save all of Humanity from Destruction.  I won’t tell you how the council ends, but I am sure that you can guess.

The story is quite engaging, much like anything else Andrews has written.  He is quite talented and takes the time to research and have actual historical data mixed into his fictional tales. Other than the quality of the story, there is not much more good to say about this book.

I have personally met Andy Andrews and had the privilege to hear him speak twice in my church.  With this experience, I know that Andy claims to be a Christian and he has written this book under what I thought was a Christian Publisher.  However, the entire point of the story of this book is entirely contrary to Scripture and anything that h should believe as a Christian.  I will say that the supposed “fix” for humanity is not bad advice, but anyone that claims to follow Jesus should should know that the one thing everyone on earth needs to do to be saved is to Trust Jesus.  I am very disappointed that Andy wrote this book.  Also with the visit of a Biblical Character to the story, you would think that he could get that story correct.

What a waste of a great story and the effort of getting accurate details for some obscure historical people to end with a very humanist, self-actualization moral to the story.  Don’t waste your time with this one.  If I had not felt obligated to finish the book before writing the review, I would not have.  Worse is I was hoping to give this to my Mother-in-law for her birthday and now I have to buy her a present.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review: Soulprint

I was given a free copy of “SoulPrint” by Mark Batterson for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Here is that review:

In a world full of books about how to have a better, more fulfilling life, Soulprint is finally a bit different.  Mark Batterson lays out how to have a better life, but does so by using Scripture and calling us to live the life God has for us to find true fulfillment.  There is more here than reminding us that God, “knows the plans He has for you,” but he takes the life of David to show how even when we stumble, God still has a “best” for us.

Though initially I was not excited about another “christian self-help” book SoulPrint was not just another book.  I was challenged throughout the book, to not just accept things but to view life through a biblical lens and find how God was crafting me for His glory and purpose.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is not quite perfect yet.  It will not simply make you happy or feel better about yourself, but will help you evaluate your life through a new set of glasses.

Book Review: Radical

I was given a free copy of “Radical” by David Platt for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.  Here is that review:

First off, I will say that this was a VERY hard book to read and took me quite a while to get through.  I would recommend that you do not read it yourself.  Why?  because David Platt uses the Bible to expose how we as the normal American Christian fall very short of actually living the life that Jesus calls us to.  Even though he writes with the intention of encouraging us to change and get on a correct path, I had to take breaks between chapters to go through feelings of guilt and embarrassment at being such a slob of a believer.

Everything said in the book is based on Scripture and Platt does a great job of teaching the Bible and not going off in crazy directions with one or two verses.  If more of us wold live according to the words in this book (which ironically would be quite similar to living like the Bible tells us to) the world would not be able to handle the outpouring of God’s Spirit to change the lives of men and women.

Hopefully, you are a better person than me and can read this book without the guilt, but with a drive to fully embrace the Gospel as a lifestyle and live like Jesus.

Review of “The Heart Mender”

This review is for “The Heart Mender: by Andy Andrews.  I have to say right off, that you should not read this book unless you intend to finish it.  My wife and I have both read it and neither of us were able to put it down until it was finished.  The story is lightly fictionalized History set in South Alabama during World War 2.  It is a little known fact that German Subs patrolled the Gulf of Mexico sinking ships and causing trouble during the war, but Andy Andrews’ fascination with this information leads him to discover a great story that is this book.  The places mentioned are familiar to me, having been to the area myself and the story is very intriguing since it basically really happened.  As with anything by Andy Andrews, there is a moral to the story and this one is about forgiveness.

I cannot say enough how captivating the story is in this book, and cannot tell you how much my wife liked this book as well.  You really need to get a copy of it to read today.  In fact, to help you with that, I have a copy of “The Heart Mender” to give away.  Comment on this post between now and Wednesday, July 21 and I will randomly pick one commenter to win the book.  Simple, right?  If you do not win, get your own copy and read it today.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Guest Post “Stuff Christians Like”

Some of you may have heard of this blog called “Stuff Christians Like” written by Jon Acuff.  The blog has gotten a bit popular, and now Jon has a book out by the same name.  I have agreed to let him write a guest post to help promote his book to my readers.  So I give you the first content to ever appear on this site written by a real blogger:

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”

85. Someone tells you that “a friend of a friend told them that they used to go to church with the contestant” = + 2 points

To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit stuffchristianslike.net.

If you have somehow not bought this book yet get it now!

Buy Today

I have to admit that I was wildly excited when the opportunity came up for me to be a part of this giant guest post.  Thanks Jon for the chance to break my current record of 5 page views.