Monday, September 8, 2014

NIV First-Century Study Bible



The NIV First-Century Study Bible is not simply another study bible to add to an ever-growing list of study bibles. As the title implies, the major focus is on providing historical context and perspective in the provided study notes, articles and word studies. Most study bibles focus on the tried and true modern perspective and application, but this bible seeks to fill a more needed niche in the market.

The notes and articles are well written and provide a great deal of information, without coming across as too academic or scholarly. This bible would be useful for the casual bible reader all the way up to the seminary student looking for a solid resource on context and historical background.


As a seminary student, I like the "Day in the Life" and Textual articles. These provide useful information that normally would require consulting quite a few large books that will more than make up for the cost of this bible. This bible is well written and will quickly earn a place on the shelves of the serious student of the Word.

For more information, check out http://www.zondervan.com/niv-first-century-study-bible.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers®.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Saturday, September 6, 2014

David Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who Believed by Gary Wilkerson

"David Wilkerson: The Cross, the Switchblade, and the Man Who Believed" tells the story of a small town preacher who God used. Written by his son Greg, the book is full of insights gleaned from their relationship and from family members and friends. This is not a glossy biography that paints a picture of the "mighty man of God" untouched by the world and it's cares. This is the story of an imperfect human being, dedicated to following the Holy Spirit to see the salvation of many souls.

Biographies are often inspiring as we read from the pages of another person's life, and this one is no different. The book tells of David's struggle at times with accepting God's love and grace, in the middle of crusades and ministerial accomplishments. This reminds us that the front lines of ministry are often filled with those who deal with the hardest issues in their own walk.

David's dedication to God and willingness to submit his life to the leading of the Holy Spirit were hallmarks of his life. The crusades, ministries and the founding of Teen Challenge all make this a worthwhile read. David's life teaches us that the true man and woman of God are first dedicated prayer warriors and Scripture consumers. These are the kind that turn the world upside down!

For more information about the book, visit http://www.zondervan.com/david-wilkerson-1.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers®.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Stories We Tell by Mike Cosper

In “The Stories We Tell”, Mike Cosper looks at major biblical themes and translates them through the lenses of current television and movies. The book is not a guide to what shows echo specific themes such as the fall or creation. What it does is seek to guide the reader towards viewing these programs with an eye towards recognizing the human story and condition in the art we consume on a daily basis.

I enjoyed reading Cosper’s connections between television shows and movies to the major themes. Even though the format became a bit redundant, the stories and perspective he offers is worth the effort and time. If you enjoy reading about popular culture and how it relates to the bigger narrative of life, you will enjoy this book. 

I agree with Cosper's conclusion that we need more Christians in the entertainment industries. A biblical worldview needs to be present and visible, whether the movie or television program is "Christian" or not.  We need the truth spoken in the dialects of culture that we can, and these are the most visible and consumed types.

For more information check out http://www.crossway.org/books/the-stories-we-tell-tpb/.

This book is scheduled to be released on September 1.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers®.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Purple Fish by Mark O Wilson


Purple Fish by Mark O. Wilson is by far the best book about evangelism I have ever read. Instead of proposing formulas, scripts, or memorizing Bible verses to hurl at unsuspecting victims, Mark encourages the reader towards a more "real" method of meeting people where they are, sharing our personal stories of what God has done in our own lives, and allowing the Holy Spirit to do the heavy lifting.

I sincerely appreciated the not so subtle reminder that my job is not to be the judge, jury or chief prosecutor of my fellow man, but to be the witness of Christ that I have the honor of being. As I read this book from start to finish (I couldn't make myself stop reading), I felt God using many of the points and stories to remind me of things I can do right now to share more of His love with others. 

Purple Fish is a great reminder that lost people are not projects or even objects to be caught, but friends, family and loved ones that are broken people in need of the same grace and healing we have already experienced. It is not our job to "evangelize", but our honor and privilege to share the wonderful love of Jesus Christ that has been so recklessly lavished upon us!

For more information about Purple Fish and author Mark O. Wilson, check out Wesleyan Publishing House online.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NIV Read Easy Bible

I am the first person to admit that I am a Bible hoarder. This is not something I am necessarily proud of, but seeing as how my current station of life finds me in the role of a pastor, I can almost justifiably have thirty plus Bibles laying around my office and home, much to the chagrin of my wonderful wife. Since I have such a penchant for the Bible, I thought it only fitting to check out one of the newer editions of the NIV from Zondervan, the Read Easy Bible.

I have never been a fan of what retailers normally pass off as “large print” Bibles, unless I was looking for something that also doubles as a booster seat, flotation device or an impromptu shield. While the print in the Read Easy Bible is every bit the size comparable to most large print editions, what surprised me the most was the overall footprint and size of the Bible itself. I prefer the personal and compact sized Bibles, and this one has the same length and width as my personal Bible, the only difference being about an extra 3/8 of an inch! 
NIV Thinline Bible on top;
NIV Read Easy Bible on bottom

If you are looking for a “normal” sized Bible that is also large print and will be easy to use and carry around, I would definitely recommend the NIV Read Easy Bible. In fact, I may even consider using this one myself. Besides, my eye sight isn’t getting any better!

For more information about the NIV Read Easy Bible, check out http://www.zondervan.com/niv-readeasy-bible-3.html.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers®.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Man's Best Hero by Ace Collins

“Man’s Best Hero” is a collection of real life stories of bravery and courage, featuring well known (and not so well known) dogs of all breeds and sizes. Several of the stories feature canines in the field of battle in World Wars One and Two, alerting soldiers of incoming gas attacks and preventing ambushes. Other stories of heroism show dogs against the odds and elements of nature, protecting their masters or even finding ways to bring them to safety. 

Each story is encapsulated in it’s own chapter, and the stories are well written and engaging. As a dog lover, I found myself getting immersed in each tale, breathing a sigh of relief when the dog saved the day or completed the mission. I especially enjoyed the stories of dogs on the battlefield, since these are not stories we often hear about otherwise. It was amazing to read just how important these beloved animals were in some of the most stressful and dangerous theaters of war in history. 


If you enjoy reading stories about animals that beat the odds, then these tales of heroism by man’s best friend will certainly tickle your fancy. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of “Man’s Best Hero”!

For more information, check out http://www.abingdonpress.com/product/9781426776618#.U5O1uxZSodt.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Net Galley 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, June 6, 2014

Know The Heretics by Justin S. Holcomb

“Know The Heretics” by Justin S. Holcomb follows in a similar vein to his other work on the creeds and councils of the Christian faith.  Holcomb provides a good summary and overview of a handful of “heretics” from Church history, explores their theological views, and provides the reader with the Orthodox view that contrasts against. Since the work deals more specifically with individuals and their theology, it is a tad bit more “academic” than “Know The Creeds and Councils”, but it is still a very accessible and readable volume.

The chapters are long enough to be informative, and the subheadings keep one from reading pages and pages without a visual break. Like the other volume, the book is written with the small group in mind, and provided discussion questions fall at the end of each chapter. I enjoyed reading his volume on the creeds and councils first, as this volume gives more information on some of the specific people behind the process of forming those same creeds and councils in Church history.

In the long run, it is important for the Church to have a grasp on her history and those that have played a part, so that we might avoid the mistakes and heresies that have already occurred.  For more information, check out http://www.zondervan.com/know-the-heretics.html.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLookBloggers®.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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”