Book Reviews

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Mohandas K Gandhi is one of the most inspiring figures of our time. In his classic autobiography he recounts the story of his life and how he developed his concept of active nonviolent resistance, which propelled the Indian struggle for independence and countless other nonviolent struggles of the twentieth century.
Why Good Arguments Often Fail - James W. Sire The besetting sin of a Christian witness is to believe that if a Christian frames the case for Christ well, those addressed will have no reason to reject its conclusions and will readily accept Christ. In other words, good apologists win every argument they have with non-Christians. This is just not so. And thinking it is leads to frustration, discouragement and, worse, an attack on the moral character of those they have tried unsuccessfully to persuade. One of the subtitles I toyed with was An Antidote for Discouraged Apologists.

On the positive side, I wanted to help Christians hone their skills at arguing well. The book contains examples of both successes and failures.
Blue Like Jazz - Donald Miller

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened." ―Donald Miller

In Donald Miller's early years, he was vaguely familiar with a distant God. But when he came to know Jesus Christ, he pursued the Christian life with great zeal. Within a few years he had a successful ministry that ultimately left him feeling empty, burned out, and, once again, far away from God. In this intimate, soul-searching account, Miller describes his remarkable journey back to a culturally relevant, infinitely loving God.
The Case for Christ, The - Lee Strobel Stobel makes  a strong case for the historic Jesus, and gives good reason to believe that Christianity as we know it simply would not exist today had Jesus not risen from the dead. Using biblical and extra-biblical evidence, we can know the life Jesus lived was truly extraordinary.
Confessions of a Reformission Rev. - Mark Driscoll

This is the story of the birth and growth of Seattle's innovative Mars Hill Church, the one that Mark Driscoll pastors. It is an honest, retrospective look at the grace-covered failures he has made, and blessings he has received in ministry. I learned some valuable insights about what makes a good pastor -- regardless of what you think of Driscoll -- but more importantly, what makes a good church. If we can learn anything from Mark, it's that building churches should be messy, because God just works that way.
The End Of Religion - Bruxy Cavey

In The End of Religion, Bruxy Cavey shares that relationship has no room for religion. Believers and seekers alike will discover anew the wondrous promise found in our savior. And Christ’s eternal call to walk in love and freedom will resonate with readers of all ages and denominations.
Flashbang - Mark Steele

Mark Steele found himself trying to be a good Christian, but felt he wasn’t making any permanent difference. His life was turning into a flashbang — something that makes a lot of noise but leaves no permanent indentation. In this hilarious memoir, Steele gives autobiographical accounts of enduring 40 days of facial paralysis, suffering public embarrassment at a Presidential Inauguration, receiving treatments of shock therapy from a first-timer and giving blood in a Mexican hospital. Each story brings Steele closer to the realization that being a Christian is more than just saying you are. In the end, he reveals his secret to living a more meaningful life—how he got over himself.
I Am Relevant - Various Authors

Every day, thousands of forward-thinking Christians are making a difference in eternity by being relevant to their culture. Their kind has been called "roaring lambs," those who infiltrate and impact their world with their faith. We call them relevant.

I AM RELEVANT profiles a wide range of people ages 18-34 who in some way break the walls of tradition in fulfilling the Great Commission. You'll find a profile of a famous rock star; flip the page and read about a prize-winning cage fighter, an environmentalist or an MTV staffer. Each story is a statement of faith and a testimony of grace. These people are making a difference, and this book shares their stories. In its pages, you'll find inspiration to make your own.
The Importance of Being Foolish - Brennan Manning

In the eyes of the world, Jesus was a fool. He did not abide by the rules of his day; the people he associated with were shunned by society; his Sermon on the Mount reads likea primer on being left behind, stepped on, and ignored. In order for us to truly be the people Jesus wants us to be, we too must learn to become "foolish." Becoming a Christian is not a magical enterprise by which we are automatically transformed into better people. We must train to become who God intends us to be. In The Importance of Being Foolish, bestselling Christian author Brennan Manning teaches us how to think like Jesus. By reorienting our lives according to the gospel we may appear to be fools in the eyes of the world, but Manning reveals that this is exactly what Jesus wants.
Love Wins - Rob Bell

Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news?"

Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the "good news" is much, much better than we ever imagined.
Mere Christianity - C. S. Lewis

In 1941 England, when all hope was threatened by the inhumanity of war, C. S. Lewis was invited to give a series of radio lectures addressing the central issues of Christianity. More than half a century later, these talks continue to retain their poignancy. C. S. Lewis proves that "at the center of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks with the same voice," rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity's many denominations. This twentieth century masterpiece provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith.
No More Christian Nice Guy - Paul Coughlin Paul Coughlin shows Christian ''nice guys'' how to be both gentle and bold through the example of Jesus.
Provocative Faith - Matthew Paul Turner

This book had me hooked at the introduction. Turner's conversational writing is easy to follow and his insights into living a true Christian life are dead on. In the book Turner gets rid of the common understanding that all Christians are supposed to live fairy-tale lives with no challenges, doubt or fear, when actually those are essential parts of establishing a REAL relationship with Christ.

I highly endorse this book
Save The Cat - Blake Snyder This ultimate insider's guide reveals the secrets that none dare admit, told by a show biz veteran who's proven that you can sell your script if you can save the cat!
Searching For God Knows What - Donald Miller Maybe you are a Christian wondering what faith you signed up for. Or maybe you don’t believe anything and are daring someone—anyone—to show you a genuine example of authentic faith. Somewhere beyond the self-help formulas, fancy marketing, and easy promises there is a life-changing experience with God waiting.Searching for God Knows What weaves together beautiful stories and fresh perspectives on the Bible to show one man’s journey to find it.
The Rabbi's Heartbeat - Brennan Manning

As Abba's children, we need only to define ourselves through His Son just as the apostle John did: as one beloved by God.

Through this timeless devotional, author and speaker Brennan Manning brings you from a lukewarm, distant faith to being close enough to lean against Jesus--the Great Rabbi--and listen to His heartbeat.

Adapted from the best-seller Abba's Child, this daily reminder of the Father's relentless love will help you accept your identity as a child of God as you grow in spiritual formation.
The Ragamuffin Gospel - Brennan Manning

Many believers feel stunted in their Christian growth. We beat ourselves up over our failures and, in the process, pull away from God because we subconsciously believe He tallies our defects and hangs His head in disappointment. In this newly repackaged edition—now with full appendix, study questions, and the author’s own epilogue, “Ragamuffin Ten Years Later,” Brennan Manning reminds us that nothing could be further from the truth. The Father beckons us to Himself with a “furious love” that burns brightly and constantly. Only when we truly embrace God’s grace can we bask in the joy of a gospel that enfolds the most needy of His flock—the “ragamuffins.”
The Relevant Church - Various Authors

Studies show twentysomethings are the least likely to attend church. So where do God-hungry twentysomethings go to worship? New communities of faith are popping up around the country and are challenging the traditional church model. The Relevant Church shares individual ideas and stories of churches that are engaging a new generation with passionate worship and a life-changing message, all while they impact their communities and change their world.
The Revolutionary Communicator - Jedd Medefind, Erik Lokkesmoe

The Revolutionary Communicator explores the revolutionary power and impact of Jesus’ approach to communication, presenting seven communication truths that remain relevant 2,000 years later. In a media-dominated era, all readers—from parents to pastors to politicians—are invited on a journey to rediscover the passageways to influence, impact and relate, and to learn how to integrate seven communication truths in their relationships and professions.
The Screwtape Letters - C. S. Lewis

In this humorous and perceptive exchange between two devils, C. S. Lewis delves into moral questions about good vs. evil, temptation, repentance, and grace. Through this wonderful tale, the reader emerges with a better understanding of what it means to live a faithful life.
Through Painted Deserts - Donald Miller From the author of Blue Like Jazz comes a road-trip memoir about three months spent crossing the country in a Volkswagen camping van, wondering out-loud if there is more to life than nine-to-five jobs, than the ruts the entire world seems to be stuck in. Follow Don and Paul as they dive headlong into the deepest of human questions and find answers outside words―answers that have to be experienced to be believed.
Understanding God's Will - Kyle Lake Everyone struggles with questions like, "How can I know if I'm pursuing God's will or my own?" In this book, pastor Kyle Lake suggests that God's will for a person's life isn't as formulaic as it's often made out to be. This book alleviates ambiguities about God's desires for our lives. Through the use of scriptural metaphors such as discipleship, kingdom and fatherhood, this message empowers people to make wise decisions with the guidance of a God who is not a genie, an insurance policy or a dominator.
Velvet Elvis - Rob Bell

We know there's something more. We sense it, we feel it, and we want it. But how do we find it---a spirituality that stands up to the questions of an honest, searching mind? 'This book is for those who need a fresh take on Jesus and what it means for us to live the kind of life he teaches us to live,' writes Rob Bell. Velvet Elvis offers original and refreshingly personal perspectives on what Christianity is really about.

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