Tag Archives: Nelson Books

We Cannot Be Silent by R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

We Cannot Be SilentMohler, Jr. R. Albert. We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, & the Very Meaning of Right & Wrong. Nasvhille: Nelson Books, 2015. 256 pp. $24.99. Purchase at Amazon for much less. Also available on Kindle.

Introduction

Dr. Mohler is no stranger to Christian Book Notes. I have reviewed a couple of his previous books including Words from the Fire and The Disappearance of God. He also serves as the President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. You can read more about his thoughts concerning our culture at his website.

Summary

With only 10 chapters over 178 pages of text, Mohler offers a quick-paced synopsis of the culture in which we live. He first explains why the book is needed and the importance of where we find ourselves in the context of the other side of the sexual revolution. His second chapter traces the revolution back to the legalization of the birth control pill.

He then moves to how the homosexual movement went from being a problem to now being accepted as a virtue which led to the legalization of same-sex marriage which is leading to the transgender movement in which we currently find ourselves. All of this, he argues, is leading to the end of marriage.

Finally, in chapter seven, Dr. Mohler asks the question regarding the Bible and sex and then proceeds to show how the current revolution will, by its nature, erode religious liberties to nothing. In the end, biblical Christians must compassionately share the truth and challenge the culture in our realms of influence. The last chapter looks at over 20 hard questions that most every Christian will need to answer.

Review

The first 100 pages of this resource are an invaluable look at the history of sexual revolution. To say this is coming on us, indeed has come upon us, as a tsunami is an understatement. Chapter two may be the most valuable chapter in this conversation as here, Mohler shows how this did not happen over night. In effect, he shows how the Evangelical church largely lost the battle back in the 60’s and 70’s with the advent of legal birth control and no-fault divorce. The only real standout even that has been fought by most is the legalization of abortion in 1973. Even the problem of co-habitation has plagued a mostly silent church.

His forecast is dire, but his hope is not. Over and over, Dr. Mohler calls his readers to defend the biblical truths of marriage, sex, and generally understood (at least in the past) rights and wrongs. Perhaps a better title might be We Can No Longer Be Silent as biblical Christians who adhere to historic biblical truths will need to become more and more vocal about these truths.

Furthermore, they will need to do so with the gentleness of a lion. This does not mean tear everyone to shreds. It does mean we must stick to what we know to be truth and defend the truth at all costs.

I believe history will show Dr. Mohler’s book We Cannot Be Silent to be the quintessential read on the subject. Yes, it is a book written for a specific time, but it will be a book that Christians will look back upon for generations as one that was a clarion call to arms “against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” and “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Recommendation

This book is a must read on two accounts: First, the historical analysis is second-to-none and needs to be understood as to how we got here in the first place. Second, his winsome response and guidance for all Christians, especially pastors, is needed as we travel forward in the wake of arguably the most devastating moral revolution in the history of the world (next to the Fall in Genesis 3).

Christianity owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Mohler as he seeks to lead a generation of pastors to battle.

The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Petersen

The Printer and the PreacherPetersen, Randy. The Printer and the Preacher: Ben Franklin, George Whitefield, and the Surprising Friendship that Invented America. Nashville: Nelson Books, 2015. 320 pp. $26.99. Purchase at Amazon or on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Every American knows Benjamin Franklin. Most every Christian knows George Whitefield. Many know they were friends. Very few know the story of their friendship. Randy Petersen, a former editor and writer for Christian History magazine, offers insight into this friendship upon which America was founded.

Summary

Divided into twenty-four chapters and three appendices, Petersen starts at the beginning of how a man in American and a man in England formed a bond that would span thousands of nautical miles and the years of the infancy of the United States.

He follows three major segments of their lives: before they met, when Whitefield was in America, and then possible times they met and their correspondence together.

Throughout the course of the book, you will get a peak at what life was like in colonial America from the vantage point of secularism and faith.

Review

A little slow moving but very informational. It was an enjoyable read that brought two streams, often not studied in tandem, together in a way that helps to explain perhaps the original intent of the separation of church and state.  It is also beneficial to see how a man of faith and a man of politics interacted with one another unlike many are able to do today.

The book is heavily researched as evidenced by the fifteen pages of end notes and, I thought, well told. It is part biography of Whitefield, part biography of Franklin, and all biography of the Colonial United States.

Recommendation

For those interested in history of America, Franklin, or Whitefield, you will enjoy this book. For those who simply want to peer back in time at two men who genuinely helped forge the American identity, this book is for you. I recommend it to all people regardless of faith.

The Dude’s Guide to Manhood by Darrin Patrick

Dude's Guide to ManhoodPatrick, Darrin.  The Dude’s Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits.  Nashville: Nelson Books, 2014. 191 pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Darrin Patrick is pastor of the Journey, an Acts 29 church plant in St. Louis, MO.  He also serves as the Vice President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network and as chaplain of the St. Louis Cardinals Major League Baseball team.  He has written two other books, Church Planter  and For the City.

Summary

Divided into 12 chapters over 191 pages, the book is a quick though hard hitting read.  In essence, Darrin writes as though he is writing to a young man (think teenager or 20-something) who wants to know what it really looks like to becoming a man.  Hence the first seven chapters include “Become a _______ Man.”  The reader will encounter what it looks like to become a determined, coachable, and disciplined man.  He will also learn what it means to be a working and contented man who is devoted to his family.

The final five chapters will engage the reader on various aspects of being a man.  Chapter eight talks of being a contented man (hint: say “I Love You.”) while chapter nine explains what it means to be an emotional man.  Chapters 10 and 11 look at the importance of being a fighting man who is the hero his wife and children need.  The final chapter sums up the entire book by looking at the importance of living as a forgiven man.

Review

With the candor and wit come to be expected from those in leadership in Acts 29 (Mark Driscoll and Matt Chandler), Darrin Patrick hits hard and often with The Dude’s Guide.  At the beginning of each chapter, he defines the key word and then dives right in.  Throughout each chapter there are “drills” – basic applications of what is being discussed that can be implemented almost immediately.

While I know Darrin to be wonderful man of God, I found the lack of Scripture to be a bit surprising.  Sure there are verses sprinkled to throughout and many quotes from many godly men, but the book is more rooted in man’s understanding of the Bible than in the Word of God.  Now, this could serve the greater purpose of marketing this book to upper teenagers and 20-somethings regardless of faith.  This would be in line with the way in which Acts 29 has worked in the past and is definitely a means by which they are engaging the culture (something many churches are not doing). But, I question whether or not it is responsible as a Christian.  That being said, Paul did hit the Greeks where they were in Acts 17.  Nonetheless, I would have preferred to see more Scripture in the main body of the work (rather than so many being alluded to via footnotes).

Regardless, Patrick does offer what can easily be summarized as a concise guide to being a genuine man that can be used to reach a generation floundering in the world of manliness.

Recommendation

While I do wish there was more explicit biblical support for his work, I do believe The Dude’s Guide to Manhood will be used of the Lord to bring about a revival of genuine manliness among the up and coming generation and for generations to come.  I can recommend this book to everyone as well as for the purpose of outreach.