Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Book All Christians Must Read - Vanishing Grace by Philip Yancey

Vanishing Grace is another classic work by Philip Yancey. To those that are familiar with the style and writings of Philip Yancey you should not expect anything less what you are used to, and to those that have not yet discovered the genius of Philip Yancey you will understand why he is one of the best authors in the Christian world today.

Philip Yancey has done his research once again and presented how grace is being all but cut out of society and church as a whole. Yancey first deals with the problem that rather than proclaiming the good news Christians today are reviled and are seen as bearers of nothing more than bad news and judgment. Yancey does not simply state this but backs it up with statistical, conversations, and situational evidence all pointing to the sad reality.

Yancey addresses issues such as where we can learn and how we can learn to apply grace, how grace and Christianity fair against other religions and worldviews, and how Christians can move forward and rather than being seen as a nuisance can be the relief to a world in need of grace. What is beautiful about reading any work by Philip Yancey is his attention to detail, his research, quotes, examples, and historical examples. This book is not something simply spewed out of the mind of Philip Yancey rather it is a collection of a vast variety of authors and individuals throughout history shown as examples and quoted to make the points clear. 

This is exactly the book the Christian church needs at this time. Christianity is heading down a slippery slope and if we fail to demonstrate God’s love to others it wont be God’s fault, we will be held responsible. What the world needs now is a dose of grace, if we continue down the road we’re going the results are evident but if we learn from Vanishing Grace our potential and relationships with others as well as God can only grow deeper.
Thank you to Zondervan for blessing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinions and review.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Prayer Makes A Difference

Naeem Fazal, author of the book Ex-Muslim, has an incredible, and what I would say heroic story to tell. As the title implies Naeem grew up Muslim, his family was from Pakistan, and he himself was born in Kuwait. He describes himself as being a conservative Muslim that however, all changed once he came to school to the US. Naeem’s brother was the first to get involved with Christianity and once Naeem found out his brother was as good as dead. God had other plans.

Incredibly through different means Naeem found out for himself who Jesus really was and made the radical decision to forsake Mohammad and follow Jesus. His book shares his obstacles, experiences, and how one by one his brothers and sisters decided to follow his decision and convert to Christianity.

Naeem was willing to lay everything on the line, his relationship with his parents and his entire family just to follow the Savior.  There were certainly a fair share of struggles described in the book but it’s absolutely incredible to read about the transformation that had occurred from a zealous Muslim boy to become a church pastor.

I recommend this book for anyone that is looking to go on an adventure, to discover a bit more about life outside the walls of your present church. Anyone who wishes to understand a bit better the struggles and difficulties that people face not just in Pakistan and the Middle East when faced with the decision to follow Jesus, but also happening right in our own country and all around us.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of this book; I was totally blessed by it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

“A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.”

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot

Epic Grace: Chronicles of a Recovering Idiot is the journey of Kurt Bubna, a recovering idiot, and his experiences. We all make mistake, we all do stupid things, but few of us write a book about it to share with the world so that others may learn from our mistakes. Well that’s exactly what Bubna has done. His experiences ranging from work problems, parental problems, church problems, marital problems and everything in between is bound to make you relate and help you avoid some serious mistakes in the future.

Bubna’s life is no glamour story; instead it’s an honest account that points always to Jesus. If you’ve fallen into the same potholes as Bubna then you’ll be able to find comfort, if not, then you’ll be able to learn valuable life lessons and how to turn any situation into a testimony and a way to grow a deeper relationship with Christ.

There may be other books like Bubna’s that tell of a life and how Jesus has used that life or transformed mistakes into testimonies but Bubna’s is unique to him. The way he presents his stories are comical but the lessons are life changing. A very nice, light read, I’d recommend to particularly young people and anyone that has ever messed up at some point sometime.

Thank you to Tyndale publishers for blessing me with a copy of this book.

The Chronological Study Bible NIV by Thomas Nelson

As one who owns other chronological study bibles and is currently more than half way through a one-year chronological bible reading plan I feel I can give an accurately opinion about this Chronological Study Bible by Thomas Nelson and compare it to others.

It’s a chronological bible, what does that mean? It means that rather being arranged in the traditional canonical way the books are integrated with each other, so for example you might see 1 Kings 2:36 followed by 1 Chronicles 21:1. The bible is rearranged to give a flow of the events as they happened. Rather than reading about King Hezekiah in 2 kings then reading Isaiah’s account on Hezekiah weeks or months later, the stories are put together giving a deeper, richer understanding to the stories. How accurate is the chronology? I’ll use the editor’s words to answer this: “…an honest effort has been made to acknowledge another plausible arrangement to present its case friendly. This allows readers to decide the issues for themselves… It takes with equal seriousness the views of traditional, conservative Bible students and those of Modern, critical scholarship.”

Among other chronological bibles and plans, I have to say the way this one is arranged is by far my favourite.

If I were to talk about all the other features in this bible (commentary, epoch introductions, historical overview, background notes, time panels, time capsules, time charts, maps, references, cultural and historical notes, glossary, concordance, and chronological plans) this review would end up being an essay. I will say this however, as a history student I love their notes and I love the mountain of contextual and cultural information throughout the pages. Did I mention its in colour?

This bible is stunning! I have around 20 bibles and this has got to be one of the best put together and informative bibles I have. I love it. Highly recommend it. If you’re looking for a new way to read the bible, if you’re looking to further learn and grow in you’re spiritual walk you wont be disappointed with this bible.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus has been one of the best book’s I’ve come across in a long time. I love learning about other religions, I love learning why others think and believe and how I could be a better representative of Christianity to them and this book has equipped me with far more than I expected.
Nabeel Qureshi shares his highly personal story, gives readers an insight into his struggles, family life, and Islam. Nabeel’s account gives Christians the opportunity to understand Islam like never before. It shows areas where Muslims and Christians are in contention and gives arguments why each believes they are correct.
Throughout Nabeel’s life, having lived all of it in either U.K. or the U.S., he’s been in contact with Christians; but it wasn't until David, a college classmate, appeared in his life that anyone has ever given him a valid argument for Christianity. Has simply not anyone cared about his salvation before? And why hasn’t anyone before David been able to defend their faith in Jesus to him? Despite teaching me a lot about Islam, these questions were a punch to my own gut, forcing me to wrestle with the thoughts whether I could defend my faith to a Muslim, and to what degree?
This book spells out all the reasons why Muslims have such a rock hard faith in their religion, but it also spills out all the problems they have in defending their faith and the cracks they have in their foundation compared to Christianity. Don’t misunderstand, this book is not only for Christians, it’s as much for Muslims, or anyone else that is seriously searching for answers. It does not bash Islam but it does ask the hard questions and shows that Jesus is the answer.

Few books do as great a job teaching about another faith, equipping the reader with verses, quotations, and findings that help in their own spiritual journey and prepare a defense for one’s faith in Christ. Nabeel is an inspiration and his story is spectacular. Thank you to Zondervan for blessing me with a copy of this book.