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.

Book Review: Come Let Us Adore Him

Those that know me in real life know me as one who is always in the mood to throw on some Christmas music and eat some fruitcake. Alright, maybe not quite the second one. However, I am one that is known to be in the holiday spirit all year long. When I saw Paul David Tripp had an Advent devotional coming out, I knew it would be good. What I did not know was how good it would be.

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Yes, I may have started the holiday season early this year, but honestly who is keeping count? Come Let Us Adore Him is another high quality devotional by Tripp. The short, daily devotionals are well-written, easy to understand, and yet draw you back into the mystery of the miracle of Christmas. There is even a nice ribbon to help keep your place as you progress through the season.

To say this is an Advent devotional is not false, but one surprising fact to me was that there are thirty-one days of devotional content. It is geared for the entire month of December. That takes a great thing and makes it even better. The size of this book is almost perfect to not take up too much space, but allows ample room on the hearty pages to take notes without much worry of your thoughts bleeding through.

If you have never taken advantage of an Advent devotional or observed the season of Advent, let this new collection help you. This would be an excellent starting point to seeing the virgin birth in a new light.

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 influenced in any manner by the author or publisher.

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.

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.

Devotional: The Gift Of Jesus

The Gift of Jesus is a new devotional in the My Daily Devotional line. It is a gray soft, leather like covered devotional with weekly contributions by pastors of the Southern Baptist Convention (from what I can tell). The forward and first week of material is written by Johnny Hunt who is a former SBC president.

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The structure of the devotional is nice. It has fifty-two weeks which contain a daily reading for Monday thru Friday and then one for the weekend. The Scripture referenced is printed above the original material and a short prayer is below to help people find their flow.

I like the content of the devotionals and fought it easy to read and thought provoking. There is a fair amount of space to make notes on the page around the words that are printed. There is even a ribbon to mark your progress through the devotional. One advantage is that even though this spans the length of a year, the weeks are only labeled by number and there is no date reflected on the pages. Theoretically you could start week one in the middle of October and be perfectly fine as your reading progresses.

If you’re looking for a nice devotional to give someone as a gift, this would be one of my top choices. The readings aren’t too long and the content is good. The quality of the book is superb all the way around.

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