Tag Archives: Book Review Bloggers

Confident Christians

Living With Confidence In A Chaotic World
Living With Confidence In A Chaotic World

Reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s latest book “Living With Confidence In A Chaotic World” I found myself encouraged and inspired to develop deeper personal spiritual disciplines and to show the peace and confidence which the world cannot comprehend.

The book was difficult to get into. I find myself more easily drawn into narrative, though, so it’s not necessarily an aspersion on this book. Just a preference.

Living With Confidence is very similar to Max Lucado’s Fearless. But it’s slightly different and I found it better for me.

The difference is illustrated in the titles. Living With Confidence reminds us of the myriad of tools God has given us, in his perfect foresight, to be confident. It encourages consistent spiritual disciplines, deep companionship with fellow Christians, compassion towards our fellow man, and certainty of God’s perfect plan and sure future.

Fearless focused on the internal struggles we face in these days of uncertainty while Living With Confidence spoke of our responsibility to God and His love for us and His commands to reveal His peace to the lost, struggling and fearful world.

Living With Confidence is a book of action and strength which encouraged me to live my life in the light of God’s awesome grace and free of the paralyzing fear and handicapping doubt of this world.

Book Review: Love & Respect

Love & Respect
Love & Respect

Love & Respect, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, attempts to address the imbalance in communication between married men and women.

Starting with Paul’s admonition that men are to love their wives and women are to respect their husbands, Dr. Eggerichs addresses the differences between men and women and how, in our culture post-militant-feminism has built most communicated love around the women’s primary love language and methods.

I can attest to the accuracy of Dr. Eggerichs ideas in my own life and marriage. I appreciate and desire the love my wife shows me, but I’m most hurt when she, even without malice or intent, does not show me respect. And I’m most fulfilled as a husband when she tells me how she respects me for who I am, and what I attempt and accomplish. Her respect gives me energy and willingness to try all the harder.

In the live-action Peter Pan movie, when the children are furiously trying to raise the gate to escape the castle, Tiger Lily kisses John full on the lips and John, recognizing her respect for him rolls up his sleeves and raises the gate single-handedly. That’s how my wife’s recognition and respect affect me.

The other side of the coin is the love a husband is commanded to show his wife. The different languages of love and respect are neither easy nor natural for the husband and the wife, respectively.

Love & Respect is a good book, overall. The writing is as simple as the premise is profound. Dr. Eggerich uses a large number of anecdotes he’s collected from years speaking and teaching on the subject and counseling couples.

I was personally off-put by his frequent references to his seminars and their success in people’s lives. However, the stories of successes from the seminars are tailored to the specific point he’s making and so necessary, to an extent, to the illustration of his argument. This is a small quibble for an otherwise very worthwhile book I would heartily recommend to anyone married, regardless of the state of their marriage.

Max Lucado’s Fearless

Max Lucado's Fearless
Max Lucado's Fearless

I watched the Jet Li movie Fearless twice in the theatre, and again recently with my wife. The film follows the true story of a martial arts master Huo Yan Jia, who through many twists and turns, ends up fighting for the respect of the world. At a time when China was considered a backwards nation inhabited by backwards people in need of managing and exploitation by foreign powers in the early 20th century, Huo Yan Jia stood up to the foreigners, not to defeat them, but to show them the citizens of China were real people deserving of respect.

To take on the might of foreign opinion peacefully required a singularly fearless individual, and the movie shows how Huo Yan Jia became the man for this task.

There is no appreciation of God in the movie, as it follows the spirit of Jet Li’s Buddhism and mysticism. So we know that Huo Yan Jia, in the film, is really only calling on his own strength and ability to stand strong.

If this is what one man alone can do, what about someone who rests on the one true God?

Truth be told, I’m not interested right now in facing down the entirety of world opinion against America. I’m more interested in getting through today.

I’ve been unemployed for 7 weeks now. We’ve not hurt for provision. We are able to pay our bills on time so far. But I’m a man who needs to provide for his family, and I have looked into the murky future and seen little to calm me.

Max Lucado has addressed the fears we all face, or perhaps all the fears we face, in his newest book Fearless. From the fear of not mattering to the fear of death. Fear of the unknown and fear of God getting out of our box. Max takes Christ’s frequent “fear not” and applies it to our fears. Christ’s terror while in the Garden, the disciples fear on the sea of Galilee, the fear of the disciples after Jesus was crucified.

Fear hampers and halters us, it ties knots around our knees and blindfolds over our eyes. Christ knew that effective Christians could not be fearful Christians, and so he frequently, repeatedly and seriously addressed fears of all kinds.

I’ve not been Max Lucado’s biggest fan. He writes at a low level in order to accessible to the vast majority of readers and that concession seems to me to water down his message.

However, in Fearless, there is sufficient meat and content of significance and I found myself digging deeper, considering the bible verses he was using, the quotes he was applying, the anecdotes he was relaying. The book seems small for all it contains.

I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether they fear or not. There are dragons in our world and there will always be one bigger than the last to face and surmount. Having the courage to see clearly and address the dragon with the strength of the Lord is imperative to victory in this life.

Review: Orthodox Study Bible

As a member of the Thomas Nelson Publishers’ Book Review Bloggers, I spent a few weeks exploring the Orthodox Study Bible and here is my review:

The Orthodox Study Bible is an excellent resource for studying the Bible.

As a Christian of the evangelical protestant theology, I do not agree with several of the positions expounded upon by the study and commentary resources available in this Bible, but I found the explanations clear, concise, and well constructed.

The quality of publication is good. The only complaint is that the pages are very thin, making “read through” a bit of an issue. The text from one page is readable through the next. However, this is relatively common for Bibles and not a serious issue.

The layout, organization, and font choice are easy on the eyes and allow quick access to the many informative and explanatory study resources included alongside the text.

As with my other experiences with Orthodox churches and philosophy, the Orthodox Study Bible excels at clear and accessible explanations of what are commonly complex and difficult issues of theology. Bringing many ancient opinions and explanations alongside the clearly translated text, the illumination of the salient points in any given passage is deep and expansive.

I recommend the Orthodox Study Bible for anyone interested in learning more about the Orthodox perspective of the Christian faith or seeking to understand the perspectives of ancient Christians on their faith.