Tag Archives: CreateSpace

Introducing the Old Testament Books by Paul D. Weaver

Introducing the Old Testament BooksWeaver, Paul D. Introducing the Old Testament Books: A Thorough but Concise Introduction for Proper Interpretation. CreateSpace, 2015. 308 pp. $11.99. Purchase at Amazon or on Kindle for much less.

Introduction

Paul Weaver is the Director and Professor of Bible and Theology at the Word of Life Hungary Bible Institute as well as the the Associate Director of Word of Life Hungary Foundation. You can read more about him and support his missionary work at his webpage.

Summary

This is one of those books you can judge by its title. There are 39 chapters that introduce each individual book of the Bible. Each introduction includes a section for the title, the author,  who the original intended recipients were, the date and location of the writing, the purpose, and the central message.

Also included is a brief statement on the theology of the book as well as what archaeology has shown us regarding the historical nature of the book. Finally, each introduction concludes with a suggested outline of the book being considered.

Review

Quite honestly, I am impressed with the breadth and depth of these introduction. Weaver does not shy away from controversial aspects of the academic side of these introductions nor does he really seem to take a side so to speak. He simply presents the appropriate information needed to help the reader come to an informed view of the book of the OT they are studying.

Each chapter can easily be read in one sitting. This helps the reader to quickly ascertain the context of the book of the OT before they begin to read and study it. Obviously, this is only meant to be an introduction and is therefore limited by design. That being said, this is truly one of the nicer introductions to the books of the Old Testament I have read. It is neither too academic or too “dumbed-down” that it is over the head of the lay person or insulting to the pastor.

Recommendation

As far as introductions to the books of the Bible are concerned, there are many high profile names out there that written on the topic. Those books cost quite a bit more than Introducing the Old Testament Books. You can get quality information for a very inexpensive cost. I recommend this resource to all Christians and even pastors looking to better understand the world of the Old Testament one book at a time.

How to Gain Victory Over Sin by Andrew Bernhardt

How to gain victoryBernhardt, Andrew. How to Gain Victory Over Sin: Knowing the Sanctification of the Holy Spirit. CreateSpace, 2015. 92 pp. $6.00. Purchase for less at Amazon and on Kindle.

Introduction

A couple years back, I reviewed another work by Andrew Bernahrdt entitled Seeing Jesus: A Disciple’s Perspective. You can follow him at his blog, dtjsoft.com.

Summary

Divided into nine chapters over 75 pages, this short introductory work to an ever present problem with humanity since Genesis 3. The first chapter simply explains how to gain victory over sin. Next, he examines Scripture to help the reader understand what it looks like to be a Christian in the world today.

A helpful chapter, though only 2 pages long, explains the importance of the yokes we put on: the wrong yokes or the right yokes. The final chapter looks the important work of the Holy Spirit.

Review

What I most appreciate about this work is that it is founded on the Word of God. There are some 151 end notes and I would venture to guess that 95% are Scripture references. He writes as one who has studied the subject matter in depth.

Another aspect that is appreciated, and perhaps may be underrated, is that he writes not as a member of academia but as a pilgrim on his own journey to the Celestial City. This book is what he has discovered in the Word of God and this is how he is applying the Bible to his life.

Recommendation

For an introductory book on sanctification this is an excellent start. There is much to be read and studied and Bernhardt offers a great foundation from which to begin.

Fits of Tranquility by Robert Lampros

Fits of TranquilityLampros, Robert. Fits of Tranquility. CreateSpace, 2015. 52 pp. $8.99. Purchase for less at Amazon.

Introduction

Robert Lampros lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Lit from Washington University.

Summary/Review

This work consists of some twenty-three original works of poetry by the author. One example is the poem, Eden:

Sun, wind, and flowers

Above the dry rustling grass

A silent bird sings.

This is the shortest poem in the book but does offer a feel for the appropriately titled collection. Each poem will offer the reader something to reflect on that will lead to other meditative thoughts.

For example, think of the line, “A silent bird sings.” How in the world does a silent bird sing? Well, when you look back to the title of the particular poem, you see that it alludes to the Garden of Eden. In other words, Eden was a place that we have never experienced but can look forward to in the New Heavens and the New Earth.

All twenty-three poems are such that they cause the reader to pause. Many for what is said and some for what is not said.

Recommendation

If you enjoy poetry, you will enjoy Lampros’ first publication. The poems are short but lead to lengthy meditation. At the very least, it is worth owning on the Kindle.

The Serpent Beguiled Eve by Acacia Slaton

Serpent Beguiled EveSlaton, Acacia. The Serpent Beguiled Eve: Healing the Wounds of Abandonment, Betrayal, and Shame. CreateSpace, 2014. 148 pp. $13.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Acacia has written a children’s book entitled, Mommy, Am I Still Your Princess. This one, however, is deeper and more biographical.

Summary

A young married woman with two daughters deals with her husband’s infidelity and his struggle with homosexuality. She seeks spiritual counsel, but when he refuses to cooperate with spiritual leaders-other than on a surface level-she has to make the most important decision of her life.

Review

From the start,  you know this book is going to be a tough read given the sensitive nature of the topics discussed. From adultery to divorce to homosexuality, the reader is confronted with real-life in this ever changing culture of what is acceptable behavior.

I need to qualify this review with a note that there is much I disagree with in terms of ecclesiology (church stucture), some of the teachers that influenced the main character (Joyce Meyer, etc.) and the evident charismatic (see TBN-esque Pentecostalism) influences in her life. That being said, I am also aware that a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

I struggled with the life story of betrayal as both a husband and father and perhaps as a pastor myself. I hated to read what was going on in her life as well as how he failed to lead both himself and his family. The warning was clear, however, we must always be on guard and must continue to put our faith in Christ alone.

Slaton pours her heart and soul into this work and explains how it was (and is!) only God’s grace that brought her through this horrendous storm. Furthermore, near the end of this book, I think she best summarized why she, as a Christian, must strive to forgive as imperfect as she might be able to do. She realized that because God had forgiven her so often in her unfaithfulness to Him, she in turn, must seek to forgive her ex-husband despite the pain and her unwillingness. Her transparency in her struggles is to be commended and modeled.

Recommendation

In the end, I found this book to be genuine and God-honoring though I personally disagree with many secondary (albeit, important) issues theologically. The heart of the book is one of our need of God’s grace each and every day. To that end, and understanding one must read with discernment, I recommend this book to those who are hurting.

I Quit Being a Christian to Follow Jesus by Alan Scott

To Follow JesusScott, Alan.  I Quit Being a Christian to Follow Jesus.  CreateSpace, 2014.  272 pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for less.

Introduction

Alan Scott has served as one of the pastors at Cumberland Community Church in Smyrna, GA since 2006.  He has also written It’s A God Thing…Miracle in a Cornfield.

Summary

I Quit Being a Christian is divided into thirteen chapters with each chapter consisting of a strategy to help you become a better follower of Jesus. The book is rooted in the Gospel of Luke and Alan makes it a point to tell you that the Bible is the best source for anything resembling our understanding of Jesus.  The strategies, from reviving or gaining your certainty of faith to stop settling to smelling like Jesus are written to provide you a method in which the reader will be driven from a cultural Christianity to a biblical Christianity.

In each and every chapter, Alan Scott offers the reader Christocentric teachings found in the Bible, especially the Gospel of Luke, designed to rip the blinders off your eyes and point you back to the Source which is the Word.

Review

Scott writes with an obvious passion and offers keen insight into the cultural war that has overtaken most churches as they seek to remain relevant in the world today.  Scott seems to not care about the perceived irrelevancy and instead draws from the timeless truths found in the Word of God.

I will be honest, as I was beginning this work, I was fearful that it would wind up being another New Age, let’s jettison biblical truths in order to accommodate the masses look at Christianity.  Instead, it is the exact opposite.  While I may disagree with how he states the truths, I cannot disagree with the truths he states.  His entire work, I can only guess meant for a younger generation, is written to the American Christian who is more concerned with living the American Dream than living a God-honoring life.

Recommendation

I recommend this book (especially on Kindle) to all younger Christians wanting to know what genuine Christianity looks like.  I recommend this resource to all older Christians wanting to understand a means by which they can relate to the younger generations.  The message does not change, but the cultural context does.  Alan Scott instructs on how to bridge that gap.

If They Could Talk by Rich Hamlin

If They Could TalkHamlin, Rich. If They Could Talk: Letters from those who were there. 110 pp. $22.00.  Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

Rich is the founding pastor of Evangelical Reformed Church in Tacoma, WA. He and his wife Lynn have been married for over 25 years and have three adult children. His sermons and blog posts can be found at SoliDeoGloria.org. This is his second published book.

Summary

This particular book is a children’s book designed to tell the story of God’s plan of redemption as found in the pages of the Bible. What is more, the author takes a Biblical theological approach to this work. In other words, he begins in Genesis and ends in Revelation. Naturally, he begins with Creation through the eyes of a sparrow and works his way through the Fall (rabbit) to the camel’s observation of the Abrahamic covenant to the horse’s history of the David covenant on to the dog’s diary of Jesus’ public ministry to the cow’s gazing at the resurrected Savior ascending into heaven and concluding with the Seagull soaring over Paradise restored. All in all, there are 24 crucial moments in Scripture detailed from the perspective of various animals.

Review

All I can say is Wow! This is a magnificent way to introduce the glory of God in His creation and redemption of man. The beginning of each story offers where the real story can be found in the Bible. Each animal has its own characteristics and offers its own perspective on the stories being shared.

Each animal asks questions meant to engage the children (and adults). Not only will they need to look up Scripture, but they will begin to realize that they are now accountable for the information they are learning. The illustrations are fascinating and the story is provoking.
In the end, reading through this children’s book will give the reader (or listener) a bird’s-eye view of the whole story of the Bible. It could also become an excellent foundation from which to build a child’s theology going forward.

Recommendation

I thoroughly enjoyed this children’s book. I believe it will be used of the Lord to develop deep theologies in children everywhere. I can recommend this for any parent or grandparent, church nurseries or daycares, or even veterinarian offices. Rich Hamlin’s creativity is a blessing to all of Christendom. Get a copy for yourself and one to give to a friend with children.