Monday, August 29, 2011

The Guardian : A Review

I somehow missed that this book was a "supernatural" thriller - a genre I genre I generally avoid reading. Having said that, I have now finished the book and found it to be a satisfying read. I discovered a book that is a combination of

     The DaVinci Code
     Indiana Jones
     Book of Ruth

The story moves from Nashville, to NY City, Rome, and beyond. With the cooperation of believers from across the denominational spectrum and from around the world, Anna and her associates attempt to decipher a scroll passed down through her family for generations. In the process Anna is forced to evaluate her own faith - finding that she needed to rethink much of what she had learned as a child.

In the midst of her search for the hidden meaning of the scroll, she is presented with one of the clearest presentations of the Gospel that I have seen in a fiction book. Much of it could have been clipped out and used as a pamphlet to share with family or friends.

If excitement, action, and a hint of romance are of interest to you, then The Guardian may be a book for you.

This review is based on a free electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Monday, August 22, 2011

God's Love Letters To You : A Review

I have long dreamt of putting together a sermon series that would allow me to walk through, albeit, briefly, each book of the bible. When I first saw this title, I thought that it might provide a foundation toward accomplishing that goal. Alas, it does not.

The devotionals are well written and allow one to explore and evaluate one's spiritual life. Yet to say that these books are based on each book of scripture is only loosely true. Unless the books have been read prior to picking up God's Love Letters To You, the devotional do little to introduce the reader to the various books. Scripture readings are often pulled from other parts of scripture, there are no suggested readings associated with each book, and the reader is left to his own devices to discover the connection between each days devotional and the particular Bible book being examined that day.

This book could be helped if used along side Henrietta Mears' What the Bible Is All About or some other simple Bible survey. This little gem would provide the Bible background needed to understand the book - while God's Love Letters To You provides the motivation to better understand each book.

This unbiased review was based on an electronic copy of the book
provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.

Cooking the Books : A Review

What would a man who is married to a former librarian and a current bookseller read? Cooking the Books was a great choice.

I could sum up the themes found in this book in three words: Brokeness, Boundaries, and Books
Sloan Templeton had unwillingly inherited her mother's bookstore and the building in which it was housed. But she also had to deal with valuable books and an aunt that cooks - sort of. Actually, I would be scared to death to eat any of Aunt Verlene's food; which, truth be told, is hardly fit for her cats.

In the midst of dealing with the unwanted store, she had to deal with murders, gang members, and rediscovering her own faith. It was a story I could not put down, I laughed, and I hurt as Sloan found her way through life. It was a story I would recommend for a leisurely read on the beach or on the train (where I found myself reading it).

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rocketeer Adventures Volume 1 - A Review

Though I have had a lifelong interest in comics, my first introduction to the Rocketeer was not in the comics. I suspect, like many, my first introduction to the Rocketeer was provided in 1991 by the Walt Disney Company. It was not until I had the opportunity to review this reprint of the original comics from IDG that even knew that Rocketeer had its beginning in the pages of a comic book.

The electronic copy of the book provided by the publisher for this review was actually an abbreviated version of the full book. On the other hand, I was impressed with the graphics and story lines which were included in the sample. I will be looking forward to reading the complete book when it is published later this year.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A "Down and Dirty" Guide to Theology

Theology is dry and uninteresting. Though I joyfully completed three years of seminary, I never quite got past this truism. I remember reading our three inch text book, written by Augustus Strong, with its bold face, normal, and small print fonts. I enjoyed the teachers, not the reading.

Donald K. McKim has overcome this memory - at least for the lay or beginning theology student. Not only is this reading interesting (I keep coming back to it to see what he says next), it is also practical. And not practical in the sense of "Practical Theology" (aka homiletics), but in the sense of helping the reader understand how Biblical truth can be applied to our daily lives - to my daily lives.

Though coming from a reformed perspective (Westminster John Knox Press), this Arminian theology student found the reading to be a breath of fresh air. Regardless of your theological background, Dr. McKim's "Down and Dirty" Guide to Theology will make for interesting and helpful reading.