Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fantastic Story of Forgiveness

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Jul 1, 2010 - 278 pages

I’ve heard bits and pieces of the story about the devil in pew number seven before, so I wondered whether it was worth reading all 289 pages recounting it. I’m so glad I did. Although I’ve heard bits of the story before I never had the whole picture or the background to the story. It was like reading a movie script that kept me glued to he pages. I would read late into the night, 3 a.m. or longer, read it in the bathroom or during any spare minute I had. Was it really that interesting? YES!

To anyone unfamiliar with the story: Rebecca, the author, has lived through quite the ordeal in her life. After her family moved into a small town they were terrorized and endlessly threatened to leave the town “walking or crawling, dead or alive.” Her father was the pastor and the changes he brought did not sit well with one of the town citizens. After years of bombings and drive by shootings words became a reality and both her parents were shot in front of the children’s eyes in their home.

Rebecca’s mother died within minutes, her father lived but was mentally tormented until he was sent to an early grave just a few years later. At the age of 14 Rebecca and her younger brother Daniel were orphans.

This is an amazing true story recounting the tragic events that occurred. What is more amazing is the story of forgiveness that is told. We all struggle to forgive sometimes for little things sometime for big things and bitterness becomes like a virus within us. Rebecca shows that no matter how heinous the crime has been against us we can, and should forgive. She sets an amazing example for what it means to forgive, the power that forgiveness has, and makes us all re-examine the bitterness we hold buried down inside.

An amazing story, that I recommend every read it for themselves! Thank you to Tyndale publishing for providing me with a copy of this book to be able to provide an honest review of the devil in pew number seven.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A Shot of Faith (to the Head) Be a Confident Believer in an Age of Cranky Atheists By Mitch Stokes

I began reading this book and the stopped. I realized that while I am reading a book that goes against atheistic arguments I cannot possibly know if it does a good job or not without reading the atheistic arguments first. So I turned to Dawkins and Hitchens and read The God Delusion and God Is Not Great. Upon finishing those I returned to this book and began reading. I must admit Hitchens and Dawkins, although having only a few reasonable things to say never made me once question my faith or believe the validity of their arguments; and so I started reading this book with a bit of a biased that whatever is written by Mitch Stokes will be a better argument then I have read in the previous books. I was definitely right.

I have read other books by D’souza, C.S. Lewis, McGrath, etc. detailing their arguments toward atheists but Mitch Stokes takes a different approach. Stokes argues using philosophy, a study that atheists claim their own. He does a masterful job tearing down the arguments that Dawkins and Hitchens raise in their books.  More impressive is how intelligently he argues his points thus making it a fabulous book for me to recommend to my “intelligent” and “more learned” friends who do not believe in God. Honestly it is a great book, a different approach then other books that I have read and one that I would recommend to believers and non-believers to read.
One other point is I LOVE how he presents his main points at the end of each chapter. The chapters can be so detailed and dense that by the end of the book you might have a hard time recalling the main important points – well the most important points for our arsenal could be easily looked up at the end of each chapter. 5/5 stars.
Thank you to the publisher, Thomas Nelson, for providing a free copy for this personal and honest review of the book