Browse Tag: christianity

Review – Unimaginable by Jeremiah J. Jhonston

Book description

A Stirring Account of Christianity’s Power for Good

In a day when Christians are often attacked for their beliefs, professor and speaker Jeremiah Johnston offers an inspiring look at the positive influence of Christianity, both historically and today. In Unimaginable, you’ll discover the far-reaching ways that Christianity is good for the world–and has been since the first century AD–including:
– How the plights of women and children in society were forever changed by Jesus
– Why democracy and our education and legal systems owe much to Christianity
– How early believers demonstrated the inherent value of human life by caring for the sick, handicapped, and dying
– How Christians today are extending God’s kingdom through charities, social justice efforts, and other profound ways

Like It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic film that showed George Bailey how different Bedford Falls would be without his presence, Unimaginable guides readers through the halls of history to see how Jesus’ teachings dramatically changed the world and continue to be the most powerful force for good today. This provocative and enlightening book is sure to encourage believers and challenge doubters.

Review

I’ve heard about a couple of books dealing with this same topic and always wanted to dive into one of them but never took the time to do it until now. I’m happy Unimaginable is the first one I read about this important subject, one that I believe is important for every believer to understand.

From the very beginning it’s obvious that Johnston is passionate about Jesus and about the impact of Jesus through history, and the good news is that the author is passionate about history.

The book is divided in three parts:

I. The World Before Christianity
II. The World Without Christianity
III. The World With Christianity

When reading Unimaginable you can feel you’re reading an overview of history itself, but when necessary, Johnston points to the specific parts of history and human civilization that have, or haven’t, touched not only by Christianity but by religion and belief in the divine in general.

The point I want to make here is that human civilization, which by its very nature requires law, is not only founded on belief in the divine but was also generated by this belief. Without a sense of the divine, would humans have created civilization? – Jeremiah J. Johnston, p.30

From the ancient Rome to the sad reality of WWII we witness a world of hopelessness and world leaders that chose to turn their backs from God’s principles to face terrible consequences. I really liked the section dedicated to not only the philosophies, but to the lives of some influential thinkers. There’s a clearer idea of why some of them decided to see the world through dark lens and how their thinking affected not only their contemporaries but is still affecting in our present.

But not everything is bad news, the last part narrates the way Christianity flourished in the Roman world and a call to be transformed in the middle of any situation.

Rating:

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Ordinary by Tony Medina

Book description

What if the path toward an extraordinary life is becoming more ordinary?Ordinary is not a call to be more radical. If anything, it is a call to the contrary. The kingdom of God isn’t coming with light shows, and shock and awe, but with lowly acts of service. Tony Merida wants to push back against sensationalism and “rock star Christianity,” and help people understand that they can make a powerful impact by practicing ordinary Christianity.

Through things such as humble acts of service, neighbor love, and hospitality, Christians can shake the foundations of the culture. In order to see things happen that have never happened before, Christians must to do what Christians have always done­. Christians need to become more ordinary.

Let’s think together about how we, ordinary people, doing ordinary things, might turn the world upside down.

First impressions

I chose this book for three main reasons. First, I needed a short book to read in order to complete my book reading challenge. Second, the cover looks awesome (with the book in my hands, feels awesome as well). And third, the subtitle of the book sounded really challenging and honest for us as Christians.

Content

I’m not sure how to describe Ordinary, I wouldn’t say I’m don’t agree with the principles presented here: loving involves action. The book focuses in specific areas where everyone could get involved, going from thing, like feeding the poor, to adopting a child.

The thing I didn’t like was the way Tony wanted to force this issue on the readers. It’s difficult to put it into words, but I think that while it was an extensive “to do” list for Christians, it lacked the “why”. And by this I mean the book never tried to explore the the reasons behind “why” we as Christians should behave in a certain way besides the “just because”.

I think true loving actions come from a heart that already is in tune with God’s heart and not from a list of requirements in order to be in tune with God’s heart.

Conclusion

From my initial list, Ordinary just filled my first two expectations. It was a short book and it looks awesome. It’s a good reading but maybe not what you’re expecting.

Rating:

Review – Light of the Last by Chuck Black

lightofthelast
Book description

After an accident left him temporarily blind, Drew Carter didn’t just regain his sight. He now sees what others can’t imagine–an entire spiritual realm of mighty beings at war.

Forget the gift, Drew just wants his life back. Part of that involves Sydney Carlyle, a woman he is inexplicably drawn to. When he’s offered the chance to become a CIA agent, it seems the way to redeem his past. The only problem–his visions of the supernatural realm are increasing in frequency.

It’s up to the warrior angel Validus and his hand-picked team of heavenly agents to protect the unbelieving Drew. Validus now knows that the young man is at the epicenter of a global spiritual war, and the angels must use a millennia of battle experience keep Drew alive, for the Fallen want him dead.

Surrounded by spiritual warriors and targeted by demons, Drew’s faced with an impossible decision that will forever alter the destiny of America…and his own soul.

First impressions

It was in 2014 when I started to read this series from Chuck Black, now with Light of the Last, everything comes to an end (right?) I was hesitant to read this one but I couldn’t just leave this series unfinished. Beware that the following review may contain spoilers. 

Story

Being honest I wasn’t sure I could follow or understand the story after book two. Book three seems to continue where book one left off, with Drew being the main character.

In Light of the Last humans and angels come together to face the world’s America’s greatest villains: demons Islamic terrorists.

I liked the story and character development, I liked the writing and fast paced action with great fighting scenes. I liked the freedom the author took about angels and their mission and intervention with humans.

I didn’t like the way the author changed the focus of the story as it began as an epic fiction about the end of the days, but suddenly everything was about the United States it politics and terrorism.

Maybe I’m alone here, but I also didn’t like the connotation Islamic religion was given. No I’m not muslim, actually I’m a Christian, but as if having Islamic extremists being the bad guys was not enough, the author also implies that there’s demonic activity surrounding them. Did Black ever mentioned demons being around Drew’s non-christian friends? I don’t think so.

Characters

Drew had an awesome improvement since book one. He didn’t get mature by magic, as sometimes happen, but as the story progressed it was believable how the events took him from one point to the other. His experience with the angels was the part I enjoyed the most, while his love story being the part I enjoyed the least.

Conclusion

Maybe I’m gonna sound contradictory, but Light of the Last is the best book of the trilogy to me. There’s a lot of action and mistery going on the whole time you never have time to get bored. Overall it was an interesting reading but this is maybe the last book I’m reading by Chuck Black.

Rating:

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review – Delighting in God by A.W. Tozer

delightingingod

 

Book description

Understand Your Life’s Purpose by Better Understanding God

“My worship grows and grows as my perception of God grows. God cannot grow. My perception of God grows as I experience Him day after day. I should be more capable of worshiping God today than I was ten or twenty years ago.”

Delighting in God is the message A.W. Tozer intended to be the follow-up to The Knowledge of the Holy. He demonstrates how the attributes of God–those things God has revealed about himself–are a way to understand the Christian life of worship and service. Because we were created in the image of God, to understand who we are, we need to understand who God is and allow His character and nature to be reflected through us.

We are here to serve and adore Him, and we can only fulfill that role by acknowledging who He is. This is the essence of the Christian life and the source of all our fulfillment, joy, and comfort.

First impressions

A couple of years ago I read The Knowledge of the Holy, I knew it was a classic in Christian literature and it was an awesome reading that blew my mind about the attributes of God. It’s a must read, not because it’s famous, but because it’s certainly a life changer book. This book was promoted as a follow-up, that’s when I knew I got to pick it for review.

Content

This book is compiled and edited by James L. Synder, in this case it means this book is result of several of Tozer’s recorded preachings in the past. Unlike The Knowledge of the Holy published during his lifetime, Delighting in God was a different sort of reading because of this fact, at the beginning it can be a little bit of a letdown, because it’s easy to detect the difference, but it feels normal after a couple of chapters.

When reading through the pages I got the feeling Tozer was desperate, frustrated or simply mad about the state of Christianity in America. He doesn’t hold back when denouncing the lack of passion in church to know God. For him it’s not enough to know about God, but our purpose as Christians should be to know God and be known by Him.

This book is about our perception of God, a faulty or a lofty one. According to Tozer, our perception of God is the one thing that defines everything in our life and this book is a journey about how we may have a wrong perception, but also how it can be restored to impact our lives.

As I move toward God, my capacity to understand God grows deeper and deeper. Of course, the opposite is also true. As I move away from God, my capacity begins to shrink. – A.W. Tozer p.65

Conclusion

Delighting in God is rightly called a follow-up to The Knowledge of the Holy, this is A.W. Tozerbeing honest with himself and with his audience, you can feel his passion about what he’s saying and his resolution in trying to offer something to his generation. This should be read by every Christian, the reality of the church back in Tozer’s days could be easily compared to the one we’re living, and sadly that’s not a compliment.

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.