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Called to Controversy

2 Sep

called to controversy

 

 

Called to Controversy, by Ruth Rosen, is the biography of Moishe Rosen, Ruth’s father and the founder of Jews for Jesus. Ruth has done a thorough job researching, and then sharing, about her fathers upbringing, his conversion to Christianity and later founding of Jews for Jesus. Ruth has described family members etc. in great detail, and one can get a real “feel” about them and the time they lived in. However, this book was hard going at times, perhaps too much information has been put in to it. I had read each evening for a good week, and when I looked at the progress bar on my Kindle, I discovered that I was only a third of the way through! It took me a good couple of months to read this book and, to be honest, I still haven’t completely finished it. This is a biography, so if people are looking for information about Messianic Jew conversion, then I suggest you look elsewhere. However, if you want to learn more about Jews for Jesus and its founder, then this is the right book for you.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Review – Tyndale

18 Jan

Tyndale – The Man Who Gave God an English Voice is a superb book authored by David Teems. Teems book tells the story of the fight Tyndale and had with the  Catholic Church and others to translate the Bible into English, so that English speaking people could read or hear the Bible in their own language and understand it, rather than just having the Latin version. During this treacherous  period Henry VIII was King of England and Martin Luther was writing texts, including his 95 Thesis.

Teems shows in his book how translating the Bible into English was a dangerous thing for Tyndale to embark upon. He was labelled a heretic and ended up in exile, in Germany, for eleven years, until he was betrayed and ultimately executed. Tyndale found himself with a lot of enemies due to his persistence to translate the Bible, including Sir Thomas More.

I really enjoyed reading this book and have to confess that I knew little about Tyndale prior to this. I didn’t realise that before the KJV, Tyndale had already published the New Testament in English. Also, through his translation, Tyndale introduced many new words into the English language. Sadly, within months of Tyndale’s death, the publication of an English Bible was granted by the King.

Teems has researched and written this book incredibly well. I have learned so much, not only about Tyndale, but also about the early Reformation and the cost to the men who persevered with what they believed to be right. The people against his translation made have thought they had silenced Tyndale, with his execution, but, Tyndale’s legacy lives on today. 

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising


 

Stained Glass Hearts – Book Review

31 Aug

Stained Glass Hearts – Seeing Life From a Broken Perspective by Patsy Clairmont. “In Stained Glass Hearts Clairmont guides readers to view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of God’s grace. Using art as a theme, and likening people to stained glass windows, she shares that it’s when we’re surrounded by darkness that His healing light shines most brightly within us.” from the publishers book description.
I was intrigued with reading Stained Glass Hearts, from the moment I saw it advertised, the title captured me. It made me think of the beautiful stained glass windows at a church we previously worked at and how our lives can resemble a mosaic with God’s light shining through. Lots of broken pieces all fitted together to create a beautiful picture!

Patsy, another new author to me, is very quick-witted. She had me laughing out loud one moment and gasping the next. She is brutally honest about her struggles with agoraphobia and depression and how this affected her and her family. In this book Patsy tackles our brokeness and how we allow it to affect us. She encourages the reader to believe God instead of our fears, to realize that life change is a process and takes time, to choose gratitude and to check the quality of the fruit we are producing.

Each chapter ends with art gallery images, poetry plus:
Chalice — memorable quotes
Mosaic — recommended music
Spires — scriptures and readings
Litany — sample prayers

I loved the first half of this book, it was easy to read through and I made lots of highlights on my Kindle. I found chapters 8-11 quite slow work, but the book redeemed itself in the last two chapters! It was wonderful to pause for thought at the end of each chapter with the art, poetry, scripture readings etc. This is a quick read and I think you will glean some insight from it. To be honest, it is worth reading just for Patsy’s spunky delivery, I get the impression that her personality shines through on the pages.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

With – Book Review

17 Aug

I’ve been looking forward to reading Skye Jethani’s “With” and was pleased to have the opportunity to review the book for the publishers. In the first section of the book the author shows how we generally relate to God. He categorizes this into four postures.

Life From God – Wanting to use God to control the outcome of our circumstances, so that we receive our hearts desires.

Life Over God – Using proven formulas and principles. Following the bible as a how to guide.

Life For God – Wanting your life to be significant and achieving great things for the Kingdom. Full time Christian service falls into this posture.

Life Under God – Controlling God through obedience, wanting to be pleasing, legalistic.

Skye admits that he has fallen into all four postures during his life, as I think most of us have, I know I can certainly see myself in them all. I must admit that I found the first section of this book quite difficult to read. Many times I wanted to throw the book down, due to my frustration, but I persevered!

The second section of the book was much easier to engage with. In the second section the author focuses on a fifth posture Life With God. During this section the author focuses on how we should live our lives With God. The chapters in this section are Life with God, Life with Faith, Life with Hope and Life with Love. In each of the chapters he gives some examples of how people have walked with God, including Mother Teresa, Henri Nouwen and Martin Luther King. The author is primarily focusing on our engagement with God during these chapters. He encourages the reader to be with God, to treasure the time we have engaging with God and to regularly seek that solitude with Him. This will enable us to let go of our fears and to learn who we really are. Intimacy with God is what we have been created for.

In the appendix at the end of the book the author has given some detailed examples as to how people can commune with God more effectively. He suggestions include Lectio Divina, The Book of Common Prayer and The Examen. I recommend reading “With” I think people will get a lot out of it and will ultimately examine their relationship with God and will hopefully seek to become closer to Him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the US Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Rumors of God – Book Review

20 Jul

I wasn’t totally sure what to expect when I requested to review Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson’s book “Rumors of God”. The book description on BookSneeze stated “Rumors of God is a call to Christians seeking a vision of the life God is calling them to, one that transcends the shallowness of our culture.” This excited me as I have this constant struggle with being a Christian in our western culture where everything is very “me” directed and not “God” directed. However, I was also worried that this book would be the same kind of Christian “follow these simple steps” kind of book and everything will be OK. I was wrong! I devoured this book and read it in @three hours.

The aim of the book is to help people see the cultural and spiritual obstacles the Western church faces and how to overcome them. In the book they discuss things such as  justice, community, generosity, love and freedom. They point out how gullible Christians have become to marketing and have bought into the whole materialistic culture. How we hide behind social networks. The refusal to forgive those who have wronged us and so on. The chapter that really hit me was the chapter on justice. Not only do they come a justice from a different angle, but they also highlight that in the OT righteousness and justice appear together many times, but in the NT justice is never mentioned. That is because the Greek word for righteousness is also the same word for justice. Go through your NT and add justice after all the verses that mention righteousness and see what you have. It puts a whole new meaning on some scripture!

Whitehead and Tyson have co-authored this book extremely well and they have a really easy to read writing style without too much jargon. They are both Australian by birth, have been friends for twenty years, and are now working in the US as pastors in Chicago and New York. I loved reading Rumors of God and would recommend it to others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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