Book Review: Being A Christian

I will be the first to admit, I have heard more about Jason Allen more than I have heard or read from him. I am glad that he took the time to write Being A Christian. This is a timely read for every person who follows Jesus. There is more to being a Christian than simply praying a prayer.

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People can be quick to check a box on a form somewhere identifying as a Christian, but they rarely give full thought to what it means. We ought to be about more than checking a box, but we may not know where to go or to live a life. Thankfully, Jason takes the time to give us ten short chapters that show just how deep our walk with Jesus should go. These chapters are ten parts of our life that ought to look different because Jesus is in them.

Instead of simply looking for Jesus to change our eternal destination, we should see how he changes all of our life from our vocation to our family to our past. Jesus exists through it all and works through everything. We are to not only see him moving in our midst, but also to continue to seek after him so that we may become more like him.

Being A Christian would be a great book for anyone. It is short enough that you can read the entire thing one Saturday morning. However, it is deep enough that you can read it multiple times and see it differently every way. It would be the perfect book to offer a new Christian as it outlines basic truths that are applicable to everyday life. It would be the perfect book to offer someone who has followed Christ for a decade. It is that important.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been altered in any way by the author or publisher.

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Review: CSB Christ Chronological

CSB Christ Chronological is a new resource by B&H Publishing. While I could spend lots of time talking about how much I have enjoyed this product, I figure a summation is better suited. This product takes all four Gospels and puts them side by side with the other Gospels in a chronological fashion. If that is clear as mud, keep reading.

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In essence you wind up may wind up with all four Gospels side by side by side by side or only three. There are instances where an account of Jesus’ life is only recorded in one Gospel. In those situations you only see the one Gospel, but then as soon as there is a change in the time, then you get the next event with however many accounts there are. I promise it is a lot easier to understand when you see it.

There is an occasional bit of background story and supplemental notes before various passages of Scripture, but not a ton. This is not a good resource if you are looking to study Jesus’ life in depth; however, it is definitely valuable if you want to read about his life in a chronological fashion without having to flip back and forth between Gospel accounts. This would be an excellent resource in anyone’s personal collection. It is a little larger in size than most books, but it is not overwhelming.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. The words here are my own and have not been influenced in any way than the finished product.

CSB Reader’s Bible Review

I have shared my excitement about the CSB translation in the past and now there is an entirely new way to read it. The CSB Reader’s Bible is a very nice cloth-bound Bible that removes all of the distractions of other Bibles.

There are no verse indicators or notes or cross references to distract you from reading the words. Instead, your eyes will read verse after verse as a continuous thought with ease instead of stopping simply because the little number tells you it is a new thought. This is closer to how Scripture was originally written and read than our current numbering system of today.

Hopefully, this will allow you to connect the dots of Scripture like never before as you are capable of reading it in a new way. Although I would like the pages to be be thicker and the paper to be more sturdy, I am thankful that the folks at B&H have made this effort. There are other publishers that have removed the numbering of other translations, but they are all much more costly than this one. Sure, they may be bound better or have certain qualities that make them more desirable, but this is an accessible way to get this style of Bible to the masses.

If you’ve wanted to spruce up your Scripture reading and find new joy in it, this would be a wonderful way to start.

I received this Bible for free from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Book Review: Cherish

The word cherish not in our daily vocabulary. In fact, I have probably used it in reference to someone’s name more in the past five years than I have in its verb form (I know a couple of women named Cherish). One of the things that I do not like about our current generation is that we seem to have a limited vocabulary. Thankfully though, Cherish by Gary Thomas is not about our limited vocabulary and an attempt to expand it, but rather it is a guide for us to cherish our spouse.

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The word is used in a lot of wedding vows, but I do not think that we often think about what it actually means. We ought to cherish our spouse. We should make them feel like they are the only one in the world for us, because they are. We need to recognize our own flaws when it comes to our relationship and work to better them. At least with authors like Thomas, we do not have to go far before we can gain wisdom that we can apply to our life.

I am sure that Thomas does not believe that he holds all of the answers, but I am confident that he holds quite a few. Marriages would be better if we were to read and apply his writings. They are not as much of a self-help book as they are ones that are filled with truth in Christ that can be used to make our marriages better. If you have found yourself in a marriage, now is the time to make it the best it can be.

I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the author or published except for the written manuscript.

Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out

Evangelism is lacking in the church today. I am not one to believe the theory that it is not being done simply because people are ashamed of their faith. I believe the main reason Christians are not sharing Jesus is because they do not know how. They have come to know Christ, but then no one has shown them how to actually share Jesus. Instead, they have seen it more as a step by step process that if you miss one, you damn a person to hell eternally. This is not the case and I am glad the new book from Alvin Reid Sharing Jesus Without Freaking Out is now available to help a new generation of Christians learn to share their faith.

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Throughout the book, Reid’s desire is for the reader to see that sharing the Gospel does not have to be a pressuring topic. Instead, Jesus should be something that comes up in our normal conversations of life. If this Gospel has transformed our life and is still working in our lives, we should be talking about it. We should not simply leave evangelism to those who are deemed evangelists. Evangelism is the call of every believer.

If a believer will follow the steps outlined by Reid, they will feel encouraged to share Jesus, but not in a pressured manner. Rather, the believer will see that sharing Jesus is as simple as living life and capitalizing upon the situations that arise on a daily basis. When we spend time talking to our neighbor, we build a bridge for the Gospel to eventually cross. When we speak words of encouragement to a coworker we allow the Gospel to slowly work its way into the person’s life. When we share the Gospel and it transforms the heart of a person we have played an integral role in God’s mission on earth. Whether we find ourselves able to explicitly share the words of Christ, we must trust that God is working in the lives of those around us and in the end it is not our responsibility nor in our ability to save anyone. That role is left to Jesus.

This book is the best one that I have read designated specifically to sharing Jesus. Reid does not condemn those who have not actively been sharing the faith, but he gently encourages them to start sharing. It is an easy to read book that would be a perfect study for a small group or even a church-wide campaign.

I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any way by the publisher or author.

Book Review: The Way of The Dragon Or The Way of The Lamb

I have to admit that the title is a little long and the worst you are supposed to do is to judge a book by its cover. However, if you are willing to dive into The Way of The Dragon Or The Way of The Lamb you will find yourself considering everything that you do in life. Instead of simply passing by and going throughout life and trying to gather more and more accomplishments you will see that there is another way.

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The way (no pun intended) Goggin and Strobel have chosen to tackle this topic is admirable. Instead of simply ignoring that is going on in our culture they have decided that it is time that we deal with the way that we gauge those in leadership. For whatever reason Christianity has often given a pass to those that are “successful” despite how they may actually live their life. They can live a life that is more of the way of the dragon (Satan) than the way of the lamb (Jesus) and we turn a blind eye because we believe that they are reaching people with the Gospel.

The authors are not against people having a platform, but rather agree that it is important that we constantly keep our motives in check. We must also be willing to confront those that have a little more of a platform in our lives that claim to follow Christ and embody a life nothing like him.

Overall, if you are in leadership or know someone who is, this is a good book to read to help keep things in perspective. We can never be too careful when it comes to protecting our own way with Christ. We need all the help we can get.

I received this book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. The words above are my own and have not been influenced in any way outside of the written manuscript.

Words To Live By

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4, NIV

These words are simple and yet, they make a lot of sense and we would be wise to live by them. Imagine a world where we forgave easily and harbored no ill feelings towards one another.