Category: Christian Living

Book Review – Practicing Affirmation

Practicing Affirmation is written by Sam Crabtree Executive Pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. C.J. Mahaney in the endorsements says one should read this book if they are going to speak any words to anyone at any point during the day.  In my experience there is a tendency in Christianity to use our words contrary to how the New Testament teaches. Practicing Affirmation calls for a balance in correction one another and in affirming the Christ in a person. Someone who knew I was reading “Practicing Affirmation” asked me recently what affirmation was. Affirmation is a type of encouragement. Affirmation is not man-centered in that it seeks to praise a person for their accomplishments. Affirmation is thoroughly God-centered because it seeks to commend the evidences of God’s grace in a person’s life. Here are some reason why I think you should get a copy of Practicing Affirmation for yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends and all you care about. First, this is a book that is thoroughly biblical. This book doesn’t just come to the Bible for answers- it allows the text of Scripture and solid explanation of the Scriptures to bring the answers. Second, this book is practical without compromising the Bible. Many books are practical but not biblical. If you are looking for a book that is self-help in orientation this is not your...

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Book Review – Slave

Dr. John MacArthur has served as Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969. His book Slave The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ is one of the finest treatments on sanctification that I’ve read in some time. Dr. MacArthur in this book wastes no time and minces no words. It would not be a stretch to say that every word in this book packs a punch and punches right in the gut. Dr. MacArthur has written many books on the Gospel including The Gospel According to Jesus, Ashamed of the Gospel, Hard to Believe and Truth War among countless sermons and articles about the Gospel throughout his ministry. Yet he says on page 1 that, “But through all those efforts, a profound and comprehensive perspective, one that dominates the New Testament and is crucial to the gospel, escaped me and almost everyone else.” In fact he says on page 2 he wonders if the reason he felt the need to write so many books is because of people not understanding what it means to be a slave to God. The problem according to Dr. MacArthur is that there has been a centuries old cover-up by English New Testament translators that had obscured a precious, powerful and clarifying revelation of the Holy Spirit regarding believers’ identity in Christ. Slave has thirteen chapters and an appendix...

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Book Review – Marriage Matters

Marriage Matters is written by Dr. Winston Smith a counselor and faculty member at CCEF (Christian Counseling Education Foundation). Having read several books by New Growth Press, the publishing arm of CCEF, I eagerly awaited reading Marriage Matters and it did not disappoint. In fact, this book exceeded my expectation which is something that rarely every happens. Having read widely on the topic of marriage, I can honestly say Marriage Matters is the one of the best marriage book I have ever read right along with Dr. Paul Tripp’s book, What did you expect? Marriage Matters is a book that can be used in seminary classrooms, Sunday school class, or read for devotions. I recommend this book not only for married couples but also for singles to learn what a God honoring marriage is. Typically most marriage books will focus on a few problems with marriages and then seek to offer solutions to those problems by appealing mostly to secular models. Marriage Matters; however, is different from vast majority of marriage books, I have read in that it does not load you down with self-help but rather explains what the Bible teaches on topics related to marriage. Along the way, Mr. Smith offers personal stories and examples from his own marriage which helpfully illustrate the point he is making. It is not often that I read a book that...

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Book Review – Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport: Making Connections in Today’s World

Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport: Making connections in today’s world is written by Richard J. Mouw the President and Professor of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasenda, California. The goal of this book is not to give a detail defense of Calvinism although Dr. Mouw does engage in that. Rather Dr. Mouw wants his readers to understand that Calvinism is an entire worldview. Dr. Mouw does confront many stereotypes of Calvinism that many people have and deals with objections by speaking the truth in love. There are some parts of this book that I simply don’t agree with where the author engages in speculation. For example throughout the book he will hypothesize about the topic he’s discussing. When he does this he completely lost me as a reader. There were other weakness in this book but overall this book does accomplish what it seeks to do. Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport will challenge Calvinists to see that God wants you to live every aspect of your life before the face of a generous sovereign God. Non-Calvinists will be challenged to deal with their caricatures of Calvinism and understand that Calvinism is an entire worldview. Overall for what this book seeks to accomplish it does reasonable well. If you’re looking for an introduction to Calvinist thought and worldview this is not the book for you. For that, I would...

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Book Review – Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God

Dr. John Piper is Pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. His book Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God is broken into eight sections which helps the reader to follow the line of thought and argument he is making. In the first section of his work, Dr. Piper seeks to clarify why he is writing this book. Some notable quotes we will help us to understand why he wrote this book. On page 15 he says, “Thinking is one of the most important ways that we put the fuel of knowledge on the fires of worship and service to the world.” On page 15 he writes, “The ultimate goal of life is that God be displayed as glorious because of all that he is and all that he has made and done- especially the grace he has show in the work of Christ. The way we glorify him is by knowing him truly, by treasuring him above all things, and by living in a way that shows he is our supreme treasure.” Dr. Piper states on page 30 that the point of this book is that “thinking is essential on the path to understanding, but understanding is a gift of God. That’s the point of this book.” He continues on page on page 30-31 with a story of Benjamin Warfield....

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