Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't Leave Your Brain

As a long-term apologist, Josh McDowell has established himself as an advocate of truth, especially written for teens and young adults.  His latest book, Don't Check Your Brains At the Door, is a forthright challenge to those who think Christianity is a religion for non-thinkers.  He presents the issues in small snippets, which makes for a quick read. He equips the reader with ready answers to those who might put forth one of the myths.  With 38 chapters it is not exhaustive, but he covers the gamut of the philosophies which are promulgated in society, particularly the government or secular schools.

The book is a little reminiscent of J B Phillips book, Your God is Too Small.  Having a correct view of God is tantamount to developing a whole relationship with Him, and others.  While this is not a be-all end-all book, it does serve as a primer to guide young minds into the correct avenues of thinking. 

When we are asked “Who is the smartest man who ever lived?” seldom do we receive the answer:  Jesus.  But Jesus is the greatest intellectual that ever lived.  Believing in God, Jesus, creation, the Bible, and other cardinal truths requires faith, but the end of true learning and life experience, will only confirm out faith!

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Place Called Blessing

By John Trent

It is not often that I find a book, especially a novel, which captivates me enough to read it in its entirety in a couple days.  A Place Called Blessing engaged me both intellectually and emotionally.  The story line is simple, but well told.  A couple of ironic twists kept the story compelling.

As a husband and father, I’ve come to appreciate Trent’s teachings on The Blessing for several years now.  While not presenting a different philosophy from his prior books, he enlarges our understanding and application in real life situations.  The events in the story could be read in the daily newspapers.  My life journey has intersected enough people to know he understands one of the basic needs of our society.  Even in families that we would label godly, there is often more of a culture of condemnation than blessing. 

He does not attempt to validate the blessing theory in this book with a lot of biblical references but the inferences are clearly there.  Rather, he shows in a functional way how living in a conscious way to be a blessing has profound impact on those whose lives have been scarred.  It is almost impossible for someone to live with the constant edification of blessing and then reject it.  Forty plus years in ministry underscore my belief that the need for blessings shoul be a part of every home, and especially in every church home.  I plan to keep growing in my ability to bless others!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The More Things Change

Review of Jolt: Get the Jump on a World That's Constantly Changing
by Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke summarizes lessons from life as it relates to change.  There are no great moments of original insight, no epiphanies, and no sense that Phil has captured a new perspective on change.  Still the book is a great reminder of the things we’ve heard and observed most of our lives.  “The more things change the more they remain the same.”

Every one of Phil’s “jolts” centers on an important issue, and if someone were to take them to heart, that person’s life would be radically changed.  However, we tend not to operate in that pattern.  We learn many new things along our journey, and generally forget them.  A few things we may be inspired to try, but habits pull us back into the ruts of the ordinary.

His chapter on the “Power of the ‘What If’ was a compelling one for me.  Seeing ourselves in transition, we must always have a new dream developing or we’re dying.  While this is not considered a book about faith, it is obvious that Phil’s life is framed by his personal faith, and the principles he shares arise from that foundation.
Almost everyone could benefit from reading this book.  Somewhere in all the twenty-five chapters will be a nugget that recalls a truth learned in our past for which we now need a new motivation to achieve what we are fully capable of doing!