Tag Archives: Thomas Nelson

The Maxwell Leadership Bible

Maxwell Leadership BibleThe Maxwell Leadership Bible – New International Version. Lessons in Leadership From the Word of God by John Maxwell. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2014. 1586 pp. $44.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

The NIV Bible is one of the more popular translations of the Bible in use today. This translation does use the gender neutral language. (Note: this review is not concerned with that discussion. For a deeper discussion, please read here and here.)

This review is concerned with the notes found in this particular study Bible. These notes are compiled and edited by noted leadership author John C. Maxwell and Tim Elmore, the founder and president of Growing Leaders.

Summary

Obviously, this Bible contains the NIV translated text of the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation. On most every page, there is a note about leadership whether it looks to a particular person in the Bible or a principle found within a story.

Each book of the Bible has an introduction. This introduction does not offer date of writing or theological themes as other study Bibles do. Rather, these introductions offer a glimpse of the leadership lessons found in the book. The reader is offered a list of other people of influence and God’s role in that particular book.

Throughout the book, the reader will find a number of articles set apart from the text. These tend to offer guidelines for mentoring and influencing others in your own life. There are more than 100 biographical profiles that draw out the truths and principles of leadership according to God’s Word.

At the end of the book is found an index detailing the leadership laws, qualities, issues, and profiles found throughout the text for easy reference. Also, there are articles are articles that offer other challenges, rooted in the Bible, for the leader to best lead those under his (or her) influence.

Review

It is important to note that this is not a study Bible. Rather, it is a Bible designed to deal with one topic found in Scripture: leadership. In other words, the editors seek to draw out as many leadership principles as possible from the text of the Bible. To that end, they do an excellent job.

While I am not a huge fan of the NIV personally, I found the leadership notes to be extremely helpful and encouraging. The strength of this work is found in these notes. They are all placed in the text in such a manner that one will wind up with a biblical theology of leadership if read from cover to cover.

Second, the index at the end helps the reader to quickly find a particular person or leadership principle written in this Bible. Further, the introductions to each book are helpful to the one who is studying the Bible will want to see what can be culled there.
Sure, there are some psychological connotations found throughout which leads to a plethora of questions (for example, do we concern ourselves with the Bible or with psychologists?) but, to the discerning reader, these are also found to be beneficial and can apply in a number of contexts.

Perhaps the strength of this resource is that it focuses on the inner qualities of the reader as it pertains to his relationship with God through the atoning sacrifice of Christ. In other words, Maxwell makes it clear that the best leader is a Christian leader in submission to God through the Holy Spirit because of Christ’s death.

Recommendation

Again, while I do not personally care for the NIV translation, I found this Bible to be helpful in my personal quest to better understand leadership. As a husband, a father, a pastor, and a Christian, I am a leader whether I want to be or not. The Maxwell Leadership Bible is a valuable resource for all who aspire to be better leaders.

Building a Ministry of Spiritual Mentoring by Jim Grassi

Building a Ministry of Spiritual MentoringGrassi, Jim. Building a Ministry of Spiritual Mentoring. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014. 256 pp.  $16.99. Purchase at Amazon and on Kindle for less.

Introduction

Dr. Jim Grassi has served as chaplain with Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco Forty Niners. He is the Founder/President of the culturally strategic Men’s Ministry Catalyst. This is the first book in a new series entitled “A Romans 12 Disciple.”

Summary

Dr. Grassi has divided this work into 13 individual chapters along with a section entitled “exhibits.” The Exhibits alone are worth the price of the book.  In the first chapter, he offers how to develop a men’s ministry while chapters 2-4 instructs you how to lay a solid foundation.  The rest of the book offers particulars and observations as well as qualified recommendations on how to keep the men’s ministry running through all of life’s pitfalls and mountain peak experiences.

Review

I was quite honestly impressed with the balance struck by Dr. Grassi between theological and practical.  Not that theology is impractical, but that most think they are independent of one another.  The fact is, they are interdependent and this is why so many fledgling ministries either remain fledgling or die out altogether.  His serving as an NFL team chaplain gives him keen insight into how men’s ministry works in what may arguably be one of the most difficult situations in American culture today — sports.  Drawing from his years of experience, each chapter offers substance rooted in the Bible with specific actions to implement in the local ministry.

I was surprised, however, that he drew much from a translation of the Bible that I was not familiar.  That translation is The Voice, a dynamic equivalent translation, that was only published in 2012.  While I do not necessarily think this is a bad thing, I would be extremely cautious in using this translation to lay a foundation for any ministry in the local church let alone any doctrinal assertions.

As I stated earlier, the exhibits section is worth the price of the book as it literally offers the reader the step by step directions for laying a solid foundation for men’s ministry.  There are some 12 exhibits that, if followed, will lead to a sound men’s ministry.  It must be noted, however, that you will 1) not agree with everything (I didn’t) and 2) it is not fool-proof. In other words, these are man-made steps for ministry.  They do not necessitate a biblically successful ministry nor are they guaranteed to work in every circumstance.  Nonetheless, they will certainly get you going in the right direction.

Recommendation

I look forward to the rest of this series as it is developed.  As a pastor, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to all who are looking to establish a men’s ministry or have one that is floundering. This may be the tool used by the Lord to guide into a biblically-successful men’s ministry.

The Word of Promise Dramatized Audio Bible

The Word of Promise–NKJV New Testament audio Bible (unabridged). Thomas Nelson, 2007. $149.00. Purchase at Amazon for less than $95.00.  Purchase the MP3 for less than $55.

Introduction/Summary

One of the most viewed reviews on this website is my review of The Word of Promise – New Testament.  I have been asked if I have heard the Old Testament and until now, I have not.  Thomas Nelson was nice enough to send the entire dramatized audio Bible so as to be reviewed.  I will leave the original review published though this review will certainly stand alone and, I think, replace the review of the New Testament.

As for a Summary of this work, suffice it to say that this is an account of God’s creation of the world and man, man’s decision to turn from God in sin, and God’s showing His mercy and grace in sending His Son to live a sinless life so that we may be made right with God once again through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Review

Aesthetic Appeal

First, the box that the entire Bible comes in is very attractive.  It has a glossy finish giving it a pleasing look to the eye as it sits on your mantle, near your stereo, or on a book shelf.  The lid opens at the top allowing the front panel to fold out revealing the five CD-books.  Each CD holder offers a quick index of what is on each audio CD.  The only issue I found is that pulling out cases 2-5 can be a bit difficult as there is nothing separating the five books.  While it may have raised the price some, having individual shelves within the case would have made this a non-issue.

Audio Quality

As I stated in my earlier review, the actors/actresses narrating the some of the men and women in the Bible leave me somewhat distracted.  That is, however, able to be overcome as you listen to the content and allow the different voices and sounds to take you to the land of the Bible.  You can play a game at the website that has you guessing the actor reading the Bible.  That does seem to be a bit too commercialized for me, though.

The most endearing effect of this audio book is that it takes you back to a simpler time when families would gather around the radio in the evenings to hear dramas like Lassie and The Lone Ranger which were all later made into television shows.  The Word of Promise Audio Bible offers the family to once again gather around the radio and to be flooded with audio that will engage the visual mind and nurture the soul.

Children will remain engaged and parents will find that they want to listen to more with their children.  The numerous actors and actresses offer unique voices to each character in the Bible so that every character has an identity all their own.  This is significant as it helps to bring to life the stories of the Bible.

Use in Family Devotions/Worship

The Word of Promise is an excellent resource to bring life to your family devotions.  Sadly, we live in a world where everyone needs (wants) to be entertained.  This makes family worship a bit more difficult as the children often find themselves disengaged because of boredom.  Fortunately, there is now a way to bridge that gap and do so in a way that does not mar the message of Scripture.  As stated above, your children will want to listen more and remain engaged longer.  Suddenly, family worship will be something that the whole family will look forward to.  You will even find that your children may begin asking to listen to The Word of Promise throughout the day!

Recommendation

There is so much more that can be said, but suffice it to say that you will not regret the purchase of this audio bible.  I HIGHLY recommend this resource to every Christian.  I absolutely love this resource and tell everyone looking for an audio Bible that this is the only one they need.  I have a copy for my home and my family car.  You can get the Old Testament or the New Testament though I recommend purchasing both.  Ultimately, if you are searching for an audio Bible, your search is over!

 

 

On This Day in Christian History by Robert J. Morgan

On This Day in Christian History. Morgan, Robert J. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997. 385 pp. $12.99. Purchase at Amazon for $9.35 or less.

Introduction

Robert J. Morgan is pastor at Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, TN. He has written numerous best-selling titles including Then Sings My Soul, Vol. 1 & 2 and Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes and many  other books. He also conducts parenting and marriage retreats and Bible conferences throughout the United States.

Summary/Review

On this Day is a compilation of 365 events that have happened since Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. It is written in a story like manner so that you are not reading cold hard facts. Instead, you find yourself somewhat involved each day. It is not exclusively Protestant in nature nor is it skewed towards the Roman Catholic Church. Rather, it looks at all of Christian history.
I appreciated the insight gleaned as well as the illustrations that will undoubtedly find their way into sermons and lesson plans. The index in the back is extremely helpful to show the reader just where that one story was located.

Recommendation

For the church history buff, this book is a must own. While Morgan does offer mostly highlights, there is still enough information here to keep the interest of any reader – not just for a year, but for years to come. I learned quite a bit and would recommend this book to any student of the church wanting to know more about her great and magnificent history.

Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family by Steve & Annette Economides

Economides, Steve and Annette. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half with America’s Cheapest Family. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2010. 310 pp. $16.99.  Purchase at Amazon for $11.55 or less.

Note: This review appeared earlier as an empty review. This was my fault. This was what was supposed to publish. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Introduction

Steve and Annette Economides (that is what I said! though the last name is real) are known as America’s Cheapest Family and are recognized nationally and internationally as family finance experts. This particular book, Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half is just one perspective of how to live within and below your current income level. For more information and tips, you can check out their website, AmericasCheapestFamily.com

Summary

This book is more than just how to save money at the grocery store. Divided into twelve chapters, the Economides show quickly how to save a ton of money at the grocery store and then explain the power behind the working their plan. Along the way, they debunk the myth that the only way to save money at the store is to spend all day Sunday looking through mountains of newspapers and clipping coupons and finding store rebates and the like so that when you check out at the grocer, you have a War and Peace book of coupons (I first heard that phrase from a comedian) and the person behind you groans audibly.

They offer tips on how to cook that not only save time and money, but also frees up more time than you could have ever imagined. They even look at how to redeem dinner time so that it is not mass chaos.

A few other chapters proved to be very beneficial. Their tips on how to eat out for less and growing your own foods (can it be that easy?) saves money, time and even helps you to live a healthier lifestyle. They even offer a chapter with select recipes that their family enjoys and will help to get the ball rolling on your new lifestyle.

Review

My wife immediately snatched this book out of my hands and read it in an evening. That is enough of a review (and recommendation) for me, but I am not so sure for you. I honestly did not think we would learn much new since we already spend about $400 a month on groceries for a family of seven (hey, it is currently necessitated and we certainly do not starve. Hence, the 50 lb. weight loss challenge I am in with my dad!). Even for our family and the tricks we have learned along the way, we discovered some gems that we had never thought of.

From reading this book, my wife is convinced we can easily (really?) save $50-$100 more from our grocery bill. Their tips are certainly timely and can easily be instituted by all reading these words. It honestly does not take much more work other than the work it takes to change the way you think and shop. The chapters on the dinner table and eating out for less were of extreme value.

Recommendation

I dare you to purchase this book and take to heart what Steve and Annette share and not save money. You will probably find that you are eating better, healthier, and spending far less money on food than you ever imagined. Given the economic situation we are living in today, everyone can use this resource to help their dollar stretch just a bit more.

The Mockingbird Parables by Matt Litton

Litton, Matt.  The Mockingbird Parables.  Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2010.  320 pp.  $14.99.  Purchase at Amazon for $10.11 or less.

Introduction

We all know the book To Kill a Mockingbird, and most of us have seen the movie sometime in gradeschool.  However, many of us have not realized the effect that this book continues to have on the next generation of children.  Matt Litton has authored a wonderful little book that extrapolates the lessons learned from the book and applies a Christian understanding of them using Scripture.

You can find out more by following The Mockingbird Parables on Facebook.

Summary

Eleven chapters are used to divide The Mockingbird Parables.  The first chapter discusses the book, To Kill a Mockingbird and the power of parables in the Bible. This chapter sets the stage for the conjoining of the book and the use of parables to drive home a Christian message.

Each chapter is based on a character found in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Instead of detailing each chapter, I will merely list the character and biblical allusion (i.e., the chapter).

  • Boo Radley – Discovering our Divine Mysterious Neighbor
  • House fires and church collections – Our responsibility to care for the neighborhood
  • Scout Finch – Role of women in faith
  • Miss Maudie’s azaleas – Our responsibility to care for creation
  • Atticus Finch – The Model of Christian courage
  • The Missionary Tea – Our responsibility to the global neighborhood begins at home
  • The Great Depression – The Christian ethic of financial responsibility
  • Tom Robinson – How compassion can overcome our differences
  • Raising Jen and Scout Finch – Parenting for compassion
  • The Last Word – Communicating to build community

Review

I appreciated Litton’s approach to this book.  By centering on one of the greatest books of all time, he is able to reach a much wider audience with what the Bible teaches on various subjects. He does a fairly good job of remaining biblical and objective as he drives home each point.  Overall, I found his method to be an effective form of discussing important biblical principles with a wide variety of people.

His chapter on the role of women in faith does an excellent job of explaining many mischaracterizations of women found in many denominations.  I disagree with his assessment that women can (and should) hold the office of pastor and that by some denominations limiting this office to one gender they have lost a nurturing and caring influence.

This is an age old argument and one I guess I will have to weigh in on here.  I am of the understanding that we are all equal before God in status but not in role.  We are all made in His image and we are all sinners in need of His grace.  However, we are not at all created equal in what we are capable of doing.  A quick look at Genesis 1 and 2 will show that God created man as the head (or leader) of the family unit.  It was to Adam that God gave the commands to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  It was to Adam that God gave the job of naming the animals (and Eve, see Gen. 3:20).

We then see in Gen. 3 that Satan went to Eve first in order to usurp Adam’s, and consequently, God’s, authority.  When judgment and punishment is given by God, we see that the woman is actually blessed in her punishment (she is going to carry the seed of the Savior, the God-Man, Jesus Christ) and we see that Man is actually cursed most of all.  This is important as it speaks to the truth that man is to be the head of the household and to be the spiritual leader in the family, and, inevitably, in the local church.

Throughout the book, Litton discusses the necessity of taking care of what God has given us.  He does an excellent job in exhorting the reader to learn from both the book and the Bible.  I wish; however, he would have used the term “stewardship.”  Today, we are all about going green and conserving everything, and this is a good thing!  The Bible talks about it as our being good stewards of what we have been given (see 1 Cor. 4:1-2, 9:17, and 1 Pet. 4:10 for examples).  We have lost the importance of stewardship in a politically driven “take care of the world.”

Recommendation

It is pretty difficult, and oftentimes dangerous, to use the Bible to extract Christian principles from a popular work such as To Kill a Mockingbird.  Matt Litton does a good job of doing just that.  While I obviously disagree with his view on women as leaders in the church, I am willing to not divide over the issue.  I do recommend the book as a useful tool in teaching important biblical principles through the means of a very popular and worldly book.  A youth pastor or children’s minister can definitely use The Mockingbird Parables, with discernment, to build on what their children might be reading in school (if they are reading To Kill a Mockingbird).

The Word of Promise NT –NKJV Dramatized Audio Bible

The Word of Promise–NKJV New Testament audio Bible (unabridged).  Thomas Nelson, 2007.  $49.99.  Purchase at Amazon for $19.50 or less!

Introduction

This is just the New Testament.  If you would like to see a review of the entire audio Bible, please go here.

While the Holy Bible needs no introduction, perhaps it would do well to explain this project in a bit more detail.

The cast of this particular audio Bible is breathtaking.  From Jim Caviezel as Jesus to Marissa Tomei as Mary Magdalene, they leave no character untouched.  Even Hank Hanegraaff makes an appearance as an angel in the book of Revelation.  The man who plays Matthew, John Heard, actually reads the gospel of Matthew.  The thematic music helps with the flow of the reading as well as the dramatization of it all.  The entire cast, both Old and New Testament, consists of over 600 people!  You can check out a highlighted list of cast members here.  You can access the website for more details here.

Critical Review

Ok, I am not going to review the Bible.  What I am going to do is offer a review of the audio as well as the cast of characters and such.

Cast

Obviously, the cast is star-studded.  Some of the actors make sense.  For example, Jim Caviezel playing Jesus makes a lot of sense with his role as Christ in The Passion of the Christ.  Hank Hanegraaff makes sense as an angel with the success of his apocalyptic series co-authored with Sigmund Brouwer.  The interplay of the various voices helps children to know that “real people” were in the Bible.  It also helps the Bible to “come alive” as it were to hear all of the different voices–it is very easy to get in a rut when reading the Bible.  This dramatized version does not allow for that to happen.

What I struggle to completely accept is Luke Perry as Judas and Stephen and John Schneider as James.  Whenever I hear them speaking, I hear Dillon of Beverly Hills 90210 and Bo Duke of the Dukes of Hazzard (I grew up with the Dukes, could’ve care less about 90210).  It is somewhat distracting to have visuals of the General Lee or bar room brawls when you are being exhorted to “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:20-21). Or to think of Dillon and all of his escapades in Beverly Hills when you are listening to Stephen cry out to God to forgive those who are stoning him in Acts 7.

Audio

The original music is second to none insofar as dramatized Bibles are concerned.  Sometimes the background music takes away from the content of the story.  In the case of The Word of Promise, the background music greatly enhances the story telling.

Another quality of the audio found in The Word of Promise are the sound effects.  For example, when John the Baptist’s head is cut off in Matthew 14:10, you actually hear the sword being unsheathed, sliced through the air, down onto the chopping block and then moments later a thud.  It is quite graphic and that is a good thing.  You also can hear the people walking or the oars slapping the water as Christ and His disciples row out to sea.

Misc.

Perhaps the only other negative, in my estimation, is the break between chapters of the Bible.  It is not noticeable when the chapters in Scripture actually break along story lines, but when the chapter comes in the middle of a thought or story, it is quite annoying.  Regardless, that is easily overcome and dealt with given the quality of the production.

Recommendation

While there are some noted negatives, The Word of Promise is, without a doubt, one of the best audio Bibles I have come across.  I was blown away by the quality of the production.  I have used Max McLean for years, but my children have not found him as interesting as I have.

When playing Matthew for the kids on a drive, I found that my boys (5, 3, and 2) were enraptured by the audio.  The next day, my oldest drew the three crosses on Calvary with an earthquake (using arrows at the bottom of the picture) and storm clouds and lightening at the top because of the dramatization of the audio.  Too be honest, I didn’t even think he was listening at that point because it had already been 90 minutes or so of listening to the Bible.

I highly recommend The Word of Promise for anyone wanting to listen to an audio Bible.  You can listen to Darth Vadar read the Bible or you can listen to an entire cast of characters “live” the Bible.  The Word of Promise also makes for an excellent family worship resource as your children will undoubtedly want to listen to more!  Amazon has some seriously awesome deals on The Word of Promise from just the New Testament to the entire Holy Bible.

NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible

NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. 624 pp. $29.99. Purchase at Amazon.

Introduction

I have reviewed children’s story Bibles in the past (The Children’s Story Bible and The Jesus Storybook Bible) and have found that in recent years, there have been many excellent children’s story Bibles. In 2008, my family alternated between Sally Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible and David Helm’s The Big Picture Story Bible. My family is currently working through Catherine Vos’ The Children’s Story Bible and after a year, we are just now getting to the New Testament. Granted, we have not been able to read every night, but it is safe to say that we have read at least five nights a week in 2009. My wife and I have been trying to figure out what our next step ought to be once we finish The Children’s Story Bible. Enter Thomas Nelson’s NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible (NKJV GSB).

Review

Unlike other children’s story Bibles (even the aforementioned Bibles), the NKJV GSB is nothing but actual Scripture. Obviously, it uses the New King James Version as its text. The difference between an “adult” Bible (I use “adult” simply to differentiate between a child’s version and an actual Holy Bible) and this particular children’s Bible is the use of book chapters and titles rather than the current book, chapter, verse system found in all of our Bibles today.

For example, Exodus 15:22-17:7 is titled God Provides for His People in the Wilderness. Joshua being named to lead the Israelites is covered in the chapter Moses’ Successor Named. The New Testament begins with Jesus Before Time (John 1:1-18) and ends with Final Victory (Rev. 22).

The editors brought these stories together in a chronological fashion which is different from a canonical order (the order in which the books and stories appear in your Bible). If there is any criticism to be found it is that there is not much from the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament epistles. However, there is enough to introduce both genres of literature found in the Bible.

Recommendation

I am truly excited about NKJV GSB. While you cannot go wrong with the other children’s story Bibles I have mentioned in this article, the NKJV Greatest Stories of the Bible is perhaps the peak of all children’s Bibles. I would recommend starting your children in infancy by reading to them from The Big Picture Story Bible and/or The Jesus Storybook Bible and then advance to The Children’s Story Bible when they are about four or five years old. Once they get to where they are starting to read, I would have them begin reading the NKJV GSB aloud. With these four children’s Bibles, there is truly no excuse for the next generation of children in our churches to be biblically illiterate.  Complete with a presentation page and a ribbon for a place marker, this particular edition of a story Bible makes an excellent transition from Bible stories to Bible doctrine and will certainly help to cultivate a love for God’s Word that has been missing in many homes for some time.

Holiness by Henry Blackaby

Book Review Holiness Henry BlackabyBlackaby, Henry. Holiness: God’s Plan for Fullness of Life. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003. 106 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon.com

Introduction and Background Information

Henry Blackaby has been in the ministry for over 50 years. He has served in the local church, as a college president, as a missionary, and as an executive in the Southern Baptist Convention. Of the many offices he has held in the convention, his role as the leader of the Revival and Spiritual Awakening division is why Dr. Blackaby is qualified to talk about revival. Currently, he serves as the president of Henry Blackaby Ministries.

He states on the first page of the introduction he states, “these messages are the heart of my present ministry. They are my life-messages to God’s people, as God calls us to renewal, revival, and spiritual awakening” (ix). Having traveled all over the United States, Blackaby has witnessed revival in local churches and communities. However, he has witnessed more lip service about wanting revival than ministers and lay people actually doing something about it. This book is about the prerequisite for God’s people that must be met if true revival is to break out across the land or in your own church.

Summary of Holiness

The book is broke down into three chapters easily read in one sitting. The first chapter deals with a general sense of a loss of the fear of God by His people. Blackaby contends that it is the people of God who steer the nation. Many believe that because God does not judge immediately, He will not judge ever. We are too dull to notice God’s judgment on our nation.

In chapter two, Blackaby discusses seeing sin from God’s perspective. He traces the problem of a loss of fear of God in America (in a general sense) back to the 1960’s and then builds his case that most Christians in America no longer see sin as an offense to God. Rather, we now proclaim sin to be that which is not acceptable by the culture in which we live. He makes the point that most of what we find “acceptable” would have led to our being stoned in the Old Testament.

By far the longest chapter of the book is chapter three. This chapter entitled, “The highway of holiness” comprises more than 40% of the entire book. Based upon Isaiah 35, Dr. Blackaby shows how God moves in the lives of His people when they live a life holy unto the Lord. He argues that as Christians, we need to be accountable to living a holy life to God. We must first seek holiness if we expect God to bring about revival.

Critical Evaluation of Holiness

Given the nature of the book, my critiques are to be held subjectively in that not everyone will agree with me. For some, what I view as a weakness will be a strength. With that in mind, I felt there were two glaring problems with Holiness.

First is Dr. Blackaby’s use of his own paraphrase of Scripture. While he does not violate the texts, in my opinion, he does reword some passages to make his point come more into focus. This is especially evident when he discusses the sins of David and God’s dealing with him. He uses his paraphrases so frequently that it is sometimes a bit difficult to discern what he is saying versus what God has spoken in His Word.

Second, on pages 24-26, Dr. Blackaby sounds the alarm that he believes this generation to be the generation in which Christ returns. I guess at some level, we must all think as though this is the case-it seems as though every generation since the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ has thought this. While there is nothing wrong in thinking like this, I believe that those who preach this particular message have caused many to become callous to the call of the gospel. How many preachers must proclaim that “this is the generation” and then the next generation comes and goes and we are still here?

I realize this is an extremely volatile issue for many so I do want to be careful with what I am saying. In my opinion, we should preach, “the end is closer than you think” because for you, it may be that you will die today. However, I think to preach the end of time will be this generation is extremely dangerous and unnecessary.

Conclusion

I have owned this book for more than three years and have read it at least a dozen times (I try to read it once a quarter). This book should be on the shelf of any believer whose heart cries out for revival. This little book, easily read in a couple of hours, is a must read for ministers and missionaries. Actually, a missionary serving in Botswana recommended the book to me. There are many “gut-checks” found within the pages of this book that ought to be meditated upon. Every time I have read this book, I find myself putting down in order to stop for prayer. It is a sobering call for personal holiness, which we could all use, in order that we may experience true revival that is of God and not man.

Available at Amazon.com