Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"Living for Christ in the End Times" by Dr. David Reagan--a book review

Hope and enduring the immoral society in which we live are the themes for Christians throughout Dr. David Reagan's book "Living for Christ in the End Times." In a straight-forward manner, Dr. Reagan exposes apostasy within secular society and within the Church itself, naming names and specific denominations that denounce the deity of Christ and who spiritualize Scripture to fit their needs.

Where does the hope fit in for Christians who need to live, work, and raise children in a society that does not fear God? Our hope lies in Jesus and the knowledge that He wins in the end. While Dr. Reagan exposes the national arrogance of this country and the impending, deserved judgement that awaits, he quotes Isaiah 43 : 2-3 which reads :

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be
scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. For I am
the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, Your Savior.

Our hope lies in the fact that our God is sovereign. If we hold him in reverence and awe and fear Him, we will keep the commands He has provided for us in love and we will walk in His ways.

Dr. Reagan urges Christians to keep an eternal perspective while we live our lives in a society that is increasingly intolerable to Christians. If we keep our eye on the eternal prize, it will make enduring this world much more tolerable.

This is a wonderful handbook for living a Christian life in the end times.

Dr. David Reagan's "Wrath and Glory"--a review

In "Wrath and Glory," Dr. David Reagan--a well-known, well-respected authority on the Book of Revelation and prophecy in general--offers an in-depth examination of the Book of Revelation. Presented in logical steps, Dr. Reagan uses a plethora of scripture references presented in an easy-to-understand writing style to unravel the puzzle of the Book of Revelations for the average reader.

Dr. Reagan begins the book by describing the significance and importance of the Book of Revelations. He also delves into the different viewpoints various sects of people have used to interpret the book. At the end of the opening chapter, he challenges the audience to read the Book of Revelation in one sitting before continuing to the next chapter, "Interpreting Revelation."

The most interesting aspect of this book for me was Dr. Reagan's scripturaly-based and logical interpretation of the chapters of Revelation. After reading the Book of Revelation as he had suggested, I was able to identify and follow his interpretations much more easily had I not read Revelation myself.

The book looks at how religious and secular figures and groups have viewed and interpreted the Book of Revelation throughout history and in the present day. Dr. Reagan also addresses some common questions he has been asked about Revelation in the chapter titled "Probing Revelation." Finally, Dr. Reagan addresses how to apply the Book of Revelation in our Christian lifestyle; how the Book of Revelation proclaims God's impending wrath on the unrepentant and His blessings and glory for those who choose to fear Him and follow His path.

To the unsaved, the Book of Revelation is horror; to those born-again in Christ, it is hope. This book is a wonderful read and an appropriate reference book and tool for the private collections of all Christians.

Book Review: "The Bible Comes Alive" by Clifford and Barbara Wilson

With fascinating pictures and commentary, the third volume of "The Bible Comes Alive" series focuses on the reign of Solomon. Clifford and Barbara Wilson present archaeological evidence that strongly supports the events of the Bible, which makes it difficult for scientists to refute biblical claims. The authors write in a conversational yet authoritative tone that makes understanding archaeological and biblical facts and artifacts easy to digest for the average reader.

I particularly enjoyed delving into the cultural, artistic and belief systems of the super-powers of Solomon's day: the Babylonians, Assyrians and Egyptians. It was fascinating to read how the authors--and other bible-based archaeologists--were able to use written records and artistic renditions to prove that events in the Old Testament are relevant and true.

This book would be perfect for use as a text for a "Bible-as-History" class or in the private collections of anyone who wishes to learn more about the truth of the Old Testament.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updated Review for Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling"

I initially gave Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling" a great review, mostly because I had never encountered a devotional that had Jesus speak directly to the reader. At first, this concept was intriguing to me. As a born again Christian, however, I have become increasingly convicted when I pick up this book. Why? Because the words written on each page are not Jesus' words, but are portrayed that way. The only words that I trust as Jesus spoken words are directly from the Bible. I don't feel comfortable reading this book anymore. It feels like heresy. I feel the same way about the final "Left Behind" books that write in dialogue from Jesus. I don't think anyone should put words into our Savior's mouth.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Book Review: "The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World" by Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna's "The Wackiest, Wildest, Weirdest Animals in the World" highlights 30 amazing animals found throughout the planet. Each animal featured has its own page with an expanded section of information specific to the animal and blurbs that offer interesting, little-known fun facts. This book is filled with exciting, full-color photographs of each animal that can capture the attention of even the smallest animal enthusiast.

Jack Hanna's years of experience with animals of all shapes and sizes makes this book an interesting read for all ages. For each animal, Hanna offers basic information such as the general geographic location of the animal, the types of food the animal eats and the size range of each. Hanna then details why each animal is wacky in a more detailed description of the animal's unique behaviors or appearance. Interesting, factual blurbs provide fun tidbits of information for each wacky, weird animal.

I especially love how Jack Hanna mentions God throughout the book. He acknowledges God as Creator, which is wonderfully expressed through the different types of animals Hanna highlights in the book. From well-known animals such as lions and elephants, to lesser-known but equally interesting animals like the cape buffalo and the naked mole rat, Jack Hanna offers readers a vivid glimpse into the varied type of animals created by God.

The book comes with a hilarious and highly-entertaining bonus DVD that highlights animals from Hanna's animal show. This book is made for children but adults will love it, too!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Gospel

Joey Allen's "Big Thoughts for Little Thinkers: The Gospel" offers a kid-friendly approach to teaching the truth of the Bible to young children. This book is a wonderful tool for parents and teachers who want to build a Christian foundation in their child's life at an early age.

The character Gracie talks directly to your child throughout the book and addresses fundamentals about God's unending love, how our sins separate us from God and how Jesus took the punishment for our sins so we can be reconciled with God. The words used are simple and stated in a way that young children can relate. My four-year-old son listened attentively and asked me questions throughout the book, which indicated to me that he grasped the concepts presented. The illustrations are uncomplicated and endearing and kept my two-year-old interested as we read the book in its entirety. At the bottom of each page, scripture references are provided for further reading.

This book provides an excellent starting point for parents and teachers to proclaim the Good News to the youngest listeners.

Clarence Wagner's "Fascinating Facts About Israel"

"Fascinating Facts About Israel" by Clarence Wagner is an in-depth look at the historical and Biblical significance of the land promised to God's chosen people. Both informative and intriguing, this book delves into facts about the geographical significance of Israel, the struggle of the Jewish population across the world to secure Israel as their homeland and God's unfailing covenant with His people that has stood--and will stand--the test of time.

Broken down into individual, expanded points, the book is further organized into chapters. The reader can either read a point per day, jump from chapter to chapter or read the book its entirety. I began reading the first points in the chapter titled "The Location of the Land" and was held captive until the 365th point in the final chapter which focuses on Israel today. I was introduced to facts about Israel that I had not known before and was particularly excited to read about Israel and prophecy.

Upon reading this book, I've learned a great deal more about God's chosen people, the unbreakable covenant He made with them and how blessed I am to have been included in that covenant through my faith in Jesus Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed this book!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Review: "It Happened in Italy" by Elizabeth Bettina

Elizabeth Bettina, in her book "It Happened in Italy," tells the story of how the citizens of Italy worked together to protect Italian-born Jews and foreign-born Jews from the atrocities of the Holocaust during World War II. Within the pages of Elizabeth Bettina's "It Happened in Italy," a physical and emotional journey is chronicled. Historic facts coupled with personal testimony from the Jewish people who survived paint a picture of concentration camp life contrary to the well-documented camps like Auschwitz or Treblinka. Italian camps kept families together, healthy, fed and allowed Jews to practice Judiasm. All of these freedoms unheard of in death camps in other parts of Europe.

Bettina's conversational tone is inviting and her excitement over each new discovery is contagious. Through personal interviews with survivors such as Walter Wolff, Horst Stein and Herta Pollak, Bettina purposefully expresses the difference between being interred in an Italian camp and being tortured in extermination camps in other parts of the continent. She illustrates beautifully how Italians worked together to both defy Nazi orders and allow the Jews to live life with normalcy.

As a researcher, writer and someone who holds a degree in History, I was excited to read a book on a subject that has not been covered extensively. Bettina's use of personal testimony was the most interesting portion of the book. My only negative comment is that the book was rather lengthy and could have made an equal impact with one hundred fewer pages.