Tag Archives: Thomas Nelson Publishers

Huckabee: The Authorized Biography by Scott Lamb

HuckabeeLamb, Scott. Huckabee: The Authorized Biography. Nasville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2015. 336 pp. $24.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for  less.

Introduction

This is Scott Lamb’s second biography. His first was co-authored with Tim Ellsworth and was entitled Pujols: More than the Game and third book overall as he coauthored Whatever the Cost with David and Jason Benham. Scott currently serves as the executive director of the Presbyterian Lay Committee and is the president of Reformation Press in Nashville. He is also a personal friend of mine and operates a website to which I sometimes contribute. It is called A Christian Manifesto.

Mike Huckabee is most noted for being a politician. You can read more about Mike at his website.

Summary

From the publisher’s description:

For the first time, the former governor of Arkansas opens up the vault to friend and biographer W. Scott Lamb to tell his life story. In this thoroughly unique biography of one of the most likeable, influential leaders in America, Lamb covers the entire scope of Mike Huckabee’s life and career. With full, unfettered access to Governor Huckabee’s personal library, files, and family records, fans will finally get the definitive account of one humble man’s rise to political prominence.

Readers are introduced to young Michael Dale Huckabee, son of a local fireman in Hope, Arkansas. Huckabee would soon share the same grade school teacher as Bill Clinton, who is nine years his senior. Huckabee’s collegiate aspirations took him to Ouachita Baptist University, where he graduated in two and a half years and met his future wife, Janet. Huckabee also honed his musical talents, becoming a bass player and forming the band Capitol Offense. Later he would also serve at the side of television personality James Robison during the early years of his television ministry. He hit his ministerial stride in the early 1980s, when he took the helm of Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, from 1980 to 1986.

Most people, however, know Mike Huckabee as a politician. In 1994, he became lieutenant governor and faced the now infamous Whitewater scandal that sent then-governor Jim Guy Tucker into court to face felony charges of corruption and fraud. In the interim Huckabee decided to run for governor, but not before Tucker would change his mind at the eleventh hour and cause a statewide constitutional crisis that challenged Huckabee to the core. Huckabee’s courageous handling of the debacle endeared him to the hearts of many citizens, causing him to serve as the forty-fourth governor of Arkansas from 1996 until 2007.

Huckabee also takes a good look at other difficult decisions he faced. In 2000 he granted clemency to prisoner Maurice Clemmons, who, while on parole, moved to Washington State and murdered four policemen in 2009. Huckabee was forced to field question after question about this case during his 2008 presidential bid—a race in which he finished second to John McCain.

Today, Mike Huckabee is known for his television program on the Fox News channel and as a potential contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. His many fans will now have the opportunity to get to know the man behind the famous, reassuring smile.

Review

The first thing I noticed as I read this book is how much better the writing style was compared to his bio on Pujols. It is obvious how much Scott has grown as an author. One aspect of this growth is the creative way in which he titled the chapters. Playing off of Mike’s love of music, every single chapter is a song title.

Yet another way Scott has grown is his interlacing of current and past information seamlessly and effortlessly throughout the bio in order to show how events from Mike’s past shaped who he is today. It will also be of interest to the reader that much of Huckabee’s political thinking was forged in his youth and in his calling to itinerant gospel preaching. Nonetheless, Huckabee continues to think critically through a biblical worldview today as the culture is ever changing.

He also shows how other cultural phenomena (like Woodstock, the Apollo missions, Vietnam, etc.) shaped Mike’s understanding of the culture and what he thought was a proper response. Furthermore, and Mike Huckabee has never been shy about this, we see how his faith and his salvation has been ground zero for everything he does as a politician and as a man. I write in that order because for most people, they will pick up this biography because they know Huckabee as a politician. What they will find is that he is a genuine man and truly what you see is what you get.

This is lost on most today as the basic assumption of all politicians being liars and cheats is held by most in the public. Lamb even traces this back to the Watergate Scandal with Richard Nixon. While Lamb does offer a favorable view of Mike Huckabee, this is not because he wants to paint a different picture than the public persona we all know. Instead, he offers a favorable view of Huckabee because that is simply who the guy is.

He is not perfect, and you will quickly understand that as you read the biography. What you will find is a trustworthy man who has a calling to a public office that many do not. You will also discover a man who tells it like it is even if it is not popular.

Recommendation

If you are interested in biographies, you will thoroughly enjoy this one. If you are a fan of Mike Huckabee, then this is must reading. Regardless, to be able to peer behind the curtain and see what makes a man tick is always interesting. To see that the person you know in public, especially if he is more famous, is the same person in private is quite rare. Mike Huckabee is a rare man. Scott Lamb shows us why.

Jesus Swagger by Jarrid Wilson

Jesus SwaggerWilson, Jarrid. Jesus Swagger: break Free from Poser Christianity. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2015. 208 pp. $16.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Jarrid Wilson serves as the Next Gen pastor at LifePoint Church in Smyrna, TN. You can also read more from his pen at his blog.

Summary

Divided into seven chapters with an introduction and conclusion, Wilson seeks to help the reader understand the reality of the difference between a spoken faith and a real faith. The first chapter defines “Poser Christianity” while chapter two simply calls for stopping the epidemic of this phony Christianity.

Chapter three begins to lay the foundation for dealing with what used to be called a cultural Christianity and begins to explore topics like loving without limits and a church without walls. The fifth chapter speaks to the necessity of being a full-time disciple of Jesus as opposed to the Sunday-only Christianity so many today are accustomed to today.

Chapter six transitions to the reader’s role as being the change while chapters seven and eight summarize the reality that Christianity cannot be half-hearted. I especially like the title of the final chapter: “Jesus is not your homeboy.”

Review

Quite honestly, I did not know what to really expect from this book. Given the title, I figured it would be a “fresh” approach to the necessity of regenerate church membership and truly being born again over and above the spoken faith so many claim today. On one hand, I was pleasantly surprised. On the other hand, I found what I figured I would find.

Jarrid Wilson is  a millennial writing to millennials (that is those born between the years of 1980-2000) concerning their need to embrace a holistic (poor choice of words?) Christianity that is rooted in the Biblical truths. This is important for the reader to understand as this flavors his style of writing and the way in which he seeks to get his message across.

I was pleasantly surprised to read so much Scripture throughout the book. In other words, he did root his concern in the Word of God and used that as his springboard to challenge Christians of all generations. I am not, however, a fan of using a bunch of different translations though I understand how one might get across the point a little bit better than another.

I did find, however, that there was more leaning on the author’s personality which I felt led to more Swagger than Jesus throughout the entirety of the book. This is becoming more common today where millennials are more attracted to personality and worship styles than they are the gospel and the edification from the preaching of the Word.

Recommendation

In the end, I can recommend this work to the discerning reader. For starters, Jarrid understands this generation because he is a member and God has given him a platform from which to speak to this generation. Unfortunately, it is easy to lose the soberness of the gospel in the glitz and glamour of the swagger. If you are a youth pastor or a pastor focusing on the 25-45 demographic, you will probably want to read this to glean some insight.

Transcending Mysteries by Andrew Greer and Ginny Owens

Transcending MysteriesGreer, Andrew and Ginny Owens. Transcending Mysteries: Jesus’ Message from the Old Testament. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015. 208 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for less.

Introduction

Andrew Greer is co-creator of the “Hymns for Hunger” tour. Ginny Owens is a three-time Dove Award winner. The Refraction series of books is Thomas Nelson’s attempt to deal with taboo and ignored topics.

Summary

Divided into a mere 8 chapters, the authors seek to show Christ in the Old Testament and how it applies to us today. Some of the topics applicable to today is fear, unfulfilled longings, sacrifice, mercy, communion with God, surrender, etc.

Each chapter looks at a particular Old Testament Bible story and offers the singers’ thoughts and personal experiences. There are questions for reflections at the end as well as a featured song by the artists.

Review

I like the format and the intention behind the book. The authors have obviously given these topics some thought and have experienced enough silliness and even anger from other well-meaning believers to have wrestled with the the Old Testament. They are open and honest regarding their hurts and this invites the reader to a deeper discussion concerning who God is and what He genuinely expects of us.

My concern is found in the preface: “We believe that all of Scripture, when paired with our personal experiences, is important in discovering how He works through us, how He moves in us, and what He wants from us” (emphasis added). Sadly, this is not an uncommon approach to understanding God – extremely man-centered as though the Bible is about us and not God.

I applaud them for being straightforward about what they are seeking to do and how they are going to interpret the Bible. It remains, however, wrong. The Bible is God’s self-revelation given to man so that we may know who He is and what He demands of us. Yes, God works through us (Romans 10:13-15 as one example not to mention all the prophets, priests, and kings!) and He certainly works in us (Ephesians 2:1-10) because that is His means by which He advances His kingdom.

There is nothing inherently wrong in trying to discover your place in God’s Kingdom. We must, however, always be careful that when we do this, we do not become the king ourselves. This is the danger of a book like this.

Nonetheless, this work does a great job of engaging the reader.

Recommendation

I do recommend this resource to all Christians with the caveat that you be discerning and submit ultimately to the authority of the Bible.

Divided by Bill Delvaux

DividedDelvaux Bill. Divided: When the Head and Heart Don’t Agree. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2015. 208 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Bill Delvaux graduated Duke University and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served as a pastor and high school Bible teacher. Currently, he leads Landmark Journey Ministries.

Summary

Divided into three parts and eight chapters, Bill seeks to show the difference between our head knowledge and our heart actions. He argues this drives us to fear and awe of God.

Part one looks at how the divided began and ultimately what it winds up destroying. The second part tackles this divide and seeks to lay the groundwork for closing the gap. Finally, the third part looks at how we ought to close the divide and what that might feel like for you.

Each chapter concludes with a prayer and the Father’s response as well as questions to help you journal and think through this issue.

Review

From the outset, I really like the idea and concept of this book in particular in the Refraction series. The fact is there are too many Christians with head knowledge that never finds its way down to the heart. I appreciated greatly his candor and willingness to peel away the layers of what I would call American Christianity.

You see, to qualify Christianity with any other word that is not used in Scripture is to ultimately not be Christian at all. This is the underlying power of what Bill accomplishes in this work. Through his very conversational and laid back approach, he drives the reader to Scripture and challenges their own cherished beliefs that have come from years of apathy and or neglect.

One could argue against the Father’s response to his prayers at the end of the chapters, but I actually found those to be quite insightful. I would not necessarily put much stock in them, but they certainly showed the reader how the Bible, and the doctrines derived from the Bible, lead to a conversation between God and man.

In the end, Bill really seems to argue that if you are not driven to action then you really do not believe what you claim you believe. If we are to be Christian, that is, a follower of Christ, then we must be moved to action while submitting to the authority of the Bible in our lives.

Recommendation

For me personally, and isn’t that what a review typically is – a personal reflection, I found this to be the best of the three Refraction books I have read and or reviewed to date. Not so much because this topic wasn’t taboo, but because it drives home the point and reality of our need to be active Christians instead of apathetic Christians. I heartily recommend this resource to all.

 

The Leadership Handbook by John C. Maxwell

Leadership HandbookMaxwell, John C. The Leadership Handbook: 26 Critical Lessons Every Leader Needs. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2015. 260 pp. $16.99. Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for less.

Introduction

I recently reviewed The Maxwell Leadership Bible and found it to be beneficial insofar as leadership qualities are concerned. Harper Collins recently re-released The Leadership Handbook so I figured I would check it out as well.  For more information on John Maxwell, you can check out his website.

Summary

As evidenced by the title, this work consists of 26 chapters over 260 pages. Quick math will tell you that this is a short introduction to these “critical lessons every leader needs.”

Chapter one begins with an exhortation that it is not good to be lonely at the top. Beginning with this foundation, Maxwell proceeds to explain how to develop yourself as a leader. For example, you are the toughest person to lead yet you need to be the one to define reality and manage your life for others to be able to follow.

At the end of each chapter, there are application exercises as well as mentoring moments that are meant to aid the reader in becoming a better leader. In essence, here are some immediate and practical tips you can use to implement the ideas you just read.

Review

There has been much written for (and against) John C. Maxwell regarding his focus on leadership. One thing ought to be said, however. His source material is that of Scripture. Does he pull from other resources? Absolutely. But, he allows the Bible to influence his thinking on this most important topic of leadership.

His 26 lessons offers keen insight by one who has “been there and done that.” In other words, he is not a 30-something writing on his understanding and little bit of experience as a leader. Rather, he has spent an entire career training up leaders as a leader. He writes with a knowledge few have. Further, he writes with conviction and humility even fewer possess.

All this to say that you will not agree with everything he states. He will cause you to think and he will challenge your preconceptions. Read with discernment but also read with humility.

Recommendation

I am learning to appreciate Maxwell’s books more and more. I can recommend this resource to any who want to become a better leader whether you are a Christian or not.

InScribed: A Collection of Studies by Women

InscribedFall_WebsiteBanner6-940x460A Published by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Purchase at Amazon.

Introduction

The InScribed Collection is for anyone with a passion for God. Each title touches on a subject matter unique to the needs and issues that women face everyday. Whether used individually, in small accountability groups, or in larger discussion groups, readers will be challenged to engage their entire person in the study and can expect life change.

Current titles include Amazed and Confused, Barren Among the Fruitful, Inseparable, Dive Deeper, Just Rise Up, Leaving Ordinary, and Living so That.

You can read more about this series at their website, InScribedStudies.

Summary

Each book is different yet the same. They are too long to be a devotional but seem to be best read as such. Each book is rooted in a specific verse or topic and is meant to direct your attention to what the Word of God says concerning a particular issue that women face.

Throughout the book there are a number of pages for note taking and prayerful reflection on what has been read and what the Word of God says.

Review

As a man, there are certain issues that women struggle with that, quite frankly, I am unable to relate to. That being said, the work on women struggling with infertility was both daunting and insightful to me.

As a pastor, I appreciate that these resources are written by women struggling with issues that I may never deal with but can point women to for faithful counsel. Also, reading these resources offered me insight into how I can biblically empathize with women in my congregation.

The best thing that can be said about any resource is that it makes much of Christ. This series of books does just that. In the end, each book points the reader to apply the truths of Scripture, especially when Paul states, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Phil. 4:11). In the end, the authors continually exhort the reader to find their identity in Christ and not in what is happening to them in this life.

Recommendation

I appreciate the insight these women offer in these resources. I recommend them for personal study as well as group study. Obviously, they are meant for women, but, let’s be honest, men would benefit from reading these if for no other reason than to glean insight.

The Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible

duck commander bibleThe Duck Commander Faith and Family Bible. Phil & Al Robertson, editors. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014. 1,216 pp. $29.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction/Summary

NOTE: I have personally, at the time of writing this review, have never seen an episode of Duck Dynasty.

The stars of the hit TV show Duck Dynasty are committed to upholding five core values both on and off the screen: faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness, and freedom.

The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible features new stories and testimonials by Phil, the Robertson family patriarch, and his son Al, a pastor with more than 22 years of experience. Together they offer fresh wisdom on biblical values and how everyday people can apply them to their lives.

Powered by relentless dedication to sharing the gospel and celebrating Christ’s kingdom, the Robertson family has become influential to contemporary evangelism and discipleship. The Duck Commander® Faith and Family Bible unleashes the power of their practical insight into critical faith issues, founded on God’s Word.

Features include:

  • Full text of the New King James Version Bible
  • A personal welcome note from Phil and Al Robertson
  • 125 articles on the top 24 most-searched topics on BibleGateway
  • Life application and scripture references supplement each article
  • 30 days of life-changing testimonials
  • Topical index and reading plans

Review

Before the text of the Bible, there is a “52 Days with Phil and Al” designed to be a devotional. Why 52 days? I can only think it has to do with Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall in 52 days.  The other, more common-sensical thought is that you read one of these “days” each week for a year.  There are after all 52 weeks in a year. At any rate, these stories are “living examples of God’s willingness and power to express His life-altering grace.”

These are certainly penned by Phil and Al and offer theological truths from what one could say a lay-man’s perspective.  As can be seen from the above example, the theologian has a tendency to make things a bit more difficult than the obvious. 😉

In addition to the aforementioned 52 day devotional, there are 104 articles interspersed throughout the pages of the NKJV Bible centered on the Five Core Values of the Robertson Family: Faith, Family, Fellowship, Forgiveness, and Freedom. Of these 104 articles exactly half are written by Phil and half by Al.  Again, they are extremely down to earth and practical.

That is all to this particular Bible. It is not a study Bible. It is not necessarily a devotional Bible. It is, however, the Word of God, that has the thoughts of respected men in our culture today interspersed throughout. It is as though the reader is in Sunday School with Phil and Al Robertson.

Too be honest, I first saw no value in the gimmicky aspect of this Bible until I was able to give a copy to a man who would not have otherwise taken a Bible from my hand let alone opened it with some sense of excitement.  Is that wrong? I am sure some will argue that this is a bastardization of the Word of God whereas I can honestly see it as a contextualization to reach other men and women in a culture that places value on celebrity.

For sure, the message has not been watered down as the entire Bible, NKJV, is here. The articles take a back seat to the Word of God though the major selling point is indeed the celebrity status of the Robertson family.  In this regard, I must echo Paul in Philippians 1:18, ” What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.”

Recommendation

This Bible will not be for everyone. If, however, you know someone who loves Duck Dynasty and is not a believer (or is) then this is a perfect gift to give. Not only are you giving them something they want (felt needs), but you are also giving them the life-changing Word of God (the real need!).

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary Edited by Ronald F. Youngblood

Nelson's Illustrated Bible DictionaryNelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary: New and Enhanced Edition. Ronald F. Youngblood, General Editor. Consulting Editors, F.F. Bruce and R.K. Harrison. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014. 1,280 pp. $49.99. Purchase at Amazon for less.

Introduction

The Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary was first published in 1986 with Herbert Lockyer , Sr. serving as the first general editor. This enormous resource was revised and updated in 1995 with R.K. Harrison serving as general editor and now again in 2014 with Ronald F. Youngblood as general editor. The reason for the massive update is so that Christian teachers, leaders, and laymen can have the “most current, dependable findings and insights” literally at their fingertips.

This is a fairly exhaustive Bible dictionary that can double as a teaching planning and resource guide.

Summary

With well over 1,200 pages this resource is full of information. The Table of Contents indicates one way in which this resource can be used first glean a solid and thorough overview of the Bible in merely the front matter! They begin with 5 easy steps to study the Bible better (perhaps the only criticism I have with this resource since it relies heavily on the resource as its selling point for this particular method of study). The editor then offers an approximate 40 page visual survey of the Bible complete with an introduction and overview. They next give a history of the early world and then move into a study on the history of Israel, the poetic books and the prophetic books.

Next they look at the remnant before jumping right into the life of Christ and the history of the early church in Acts. Staying with the Scripture they look at the epistles (1 Corinthians – Revelation) and then the themes of the individual letters of the New Testament. Finally, they close out the “front matter” with a chart of Bible history.

They then include a Table of Contents articles and teaching outlines on the books of the Bible according to canonical order. One will quickly note that these are not in numerical page order in the body of the book.  The body of the book is arranged in alphabetical order with a “Fan-Tab” clearly indicating the about where the reader is in the alphabet.

Review

Let me first say, “Whoa!” This is an amazing resource.  For only $50 (less on-line), one can have as complete a resource for general Bible study ever.  Everything, and I mean everything, is cross-referenced either to a text in Scripture or within the dictionary itself.

There are numerous outlines that are extremely helpful to arrange one’s thoughts and even kick into gear one’s thinking on a topic.  Hardly a page goes by without a full color photograph. Furthermore, they intentionally set the type at a large enough font that one does not have to strain at reading the text.

One example of how this works: let’s say you want to look up Job. So, you flip to the J’s and find Job. You will then see “JOB[jobe]” and some information on two men in the Old Testament. After that entry, in bold, offsetting font, you will see “JOB, BOOK OF-” followed by subheadings that give you its structure, authorship, date of writing, historical setting, theological contribution, and special considerations.

One can use this resource in a myriad of different ways.  It can serve as a Bible commentary (though it does not go into exegesis). It can serve as a supplement to Bible study. It can actually be used to design a Bible study. In the end, this resource easily becomes a “must-have” for any student of the Bible.

Recommendation

At $50, one may think this resource too expensive. As a pastor and teacher and father and husband, I honestly believe $50 is a steal of a deal.  Do not hesitate to purchase this resource as it will quickly become one of your primary resources in your theological library.

Bonhoeffer Abridged by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer AbridgedMetaxas, Eric. Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014. 256 pp. $16.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

I have reviewed 7 Men by Eric Metaxas’ earlier this year. I have also read the original 625 page biography.  He is currently the voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of 8 million. Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, and was awarded the Canterbury Medal in 2011 by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. Metaxas has written for VeggieTales, Chuck Colson, and the New York Times. He currently lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

Summary

From the back of the book:

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a pastor and author, known as much for such spiritual classics as The cost of Discipleship and Life Together, as for his 1945 execution in a concentration camp for his part in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

In the first major biography of Bonhoeffer in forty years, New York Times best-selling author Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life – the theologian and the spy – to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts?to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology never before seen.

In Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy A Righteous Gentiel vs the Third Reich, Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safe haven of America for Hitler’s Germany.

Readers will discover fresh insights and revelations about his life-changing months at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and about his radical position on why Christians are obliged to stand up for the Jews. Metaxas also sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s reaction to Kristallnacht, his involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland.

Bonhoeffer gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Nazism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully?even to the point of death. Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.

Review

Instead of 31 chapters, the abridged version is down to 12. While I understand the need in today’s context for a shorter version of such a massive biography, I cannot help but think the reader is being cheated if he or she chooses to read the abridged version.

The same story is told though it really does amount to a cliff’s notes version. I was impressed with the ability to cull nearly 400 pages from the original bio and still tell the life of Bonhoeffer quite effectively as well as offering the fresh insight that was important to the larger biography.

That being said, if you are one who is intimidated by such a thick biography, please read this abridged version. This edition will certainly introduce a new group of readers and spread even wider the fame of a controversial man in Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Recommendation

While I highly recommend this biography to anyone and everyone regardless of faith, I would first recommend you read the larger edition. If, however, that is daunting, then this resource will be a great introduction to the man who took a stand against popular Christianity and the Nazis.

 

7 Ways to be Her Hero by Doug Fields

7 HeroFields, Doug. 7 Ways to be Her Hero: The One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For.  Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2014.  208 pp.  $15.99.  Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for much less.

Introduction

Doug Fields has served as a youth pastor and teaching pastor for more than thirty years at Mariner’s Church as well as Saddleback Church in Southern California.  He is popular conference and retreat speaker as well.  Currently, he serves as the executive director at The HomeWord Center for Youth and Family. You can read more about Doug at his website, DougFields.com.

Summary

Divided into 10 chapters, Doug begins with the appropriate chapter title of stop chasing the wind and start chasing your wife.  Here, he lays down the gauntlet of what is necessary if you are to truly be the hero in your wife’s life.  The second chapter looks at the foundation of the relationship.

Chapters 3-9 offer the seven actions each man must consider when it comes to loving and serving his wife.  I can say that most of it has to do with your keeping your mouth shut!  The final action is the need to shepherd your wife’s heart.  Doug appropriately concludes the book with a chapter on Christ setting the example for the men by loving His Church to the point of dying for her.  Men are expected to do the same.

Review

7 Ways to be Her Hero is pretty straight forward.  Doug pulls no punches and offers some pretty straight talk on a somewhat difficult, though always timely, subject.  I would have liked there to have been more gospel and perhaps the last two chapters being the first two chapters, but Doug’s audience is a bit different.

Since Doug is writing to an extremely wide and ecumenical audience, he paints with broad strokes.  He also uses what I would consider fairly crass language though not by today’s standards.  For example, the second chapter is entitled “How it got laid” and he claims to be intentional about the double entendre.  Granted this will help sell books, but I do believe it should cause one to pause when considering what is being advised in this work.

In the end, his advice is fairly practical and helpful. The discerning reader will see past the silliness and get to the heart of the issue in loving his wife.

Recommendation

I can recommend this work because it is rooted in Scripture and it does offer many solid conversation points among guys.  This is a great starting point for men, but, if they will want to take the next step, they will want to read those who have plumbed the deep theological depths of marriage and being a husband.