Some people they enjoy watching sport. Others like to paint or get creative and make things. Others find their rest when they are around people all the time. I am an introvert and my health issues mean that noise and bright places are not my friends. So, reading has become my hobby over the years. You can always tell when I’m going through a particular stressful time, as I don’t blog as much. This past wee season has been like that. It’s been full-on and so my reviews have slipped sadly. However, books have continued to be read and so here are a few shorter reviews of some of the titles that have flown across my desk…
Hebrews; No Turning Back by Philip Arthur
This is an expositional commentary on the book of Hebrews. Throughout this book Philip Arthur takes you to the heart of the book of Hebrews, he draws out the challenge to the original reader and helpfully applies it to today’s reader too. The explanations are very brief, this commentary lends itself more in the direction of a resource for personal devotions. If you’re wanting to dig around in the book of Hebrews a little bit, this is a good place to start.
Eastern Orthodox Theology by Panagiotis Kantartzis
Having a full grasp of all different streams of people and denominations that come under the umbrella of Christianity is hard. You can study theology, and church history, for years and still be left with gaps. The problem is that often we have caricatures of others in mind, but they aren’t always fair or true. In this short book Panagiotis does a really great job of introducing the reader to some of the core theological points of the Eastern Orthodox Church. You may not agree with everything they believe, but if you want to actually know the truth (not just a caricature) this is worth a read. It’s quite short and to the point.
A Cause Worth Living For by David Hamilton
God works wonders every day, transforming lives and bringing people out of darkness and into the light. This book is the story of David Hamilton, a former drug addict, violent man with a hatred in his heart turned evangelist with a passion to see the good news of Jesus spread far and wide. This book will move you, it will stir your heart and it will point you to Jesus. I highly recommend this book to you.
Something Worth Living For by Randall Greenwald
Maybe you hear the word ‘catechism’ and you want to run a mile. Or maybe you’re like me and you really enjoy reading old documents and benefitting from them. Regardless of how you come at the word, this book will help. Randall takes the Westminster Shorter Catechism and follows the format of questions and answer, together with short chapters that invite you to go to the Bible and unpacks the glorious truths further. This is a great book for families to work through together, or for you to read on your own as you want to dive deeper into theology. I highly recommend this book to you.
Faith for Life by Richard Coekin
Buy this book! Maybe you read Hebrews 11, the hall of fame of the book of Hebrews, and you’re in awe. You read of people of faith who have done mighty things and you are blown away. But, they aren’t the focus of the book, they were ordinary people who did extraordinary things by the power of God for God. In this book, Richard Coekin distills years of teaching this glorious chapter of the Bible, to help the reader be amazed at how great a God we serve, how wonderful a Saviour we have and how powerful the Holy Spirit is. This book will encourage you, and help you persevere until the end. This would be ideal for personal devotions, for preparing a group to study Hebrews 11 together or just as an encoring read too. Well worth buying a copy or two.
Mere Evangelism by Randy Newman
I’m one of those weird Christians who doesn’t quote C. S. Lewis a lot, in fact I think I can count the times I have on one hand. So I wasn’t dying to read this book, but it did win me over. C. S. Lewis isn’t the focus of the book, but the need for evangelism is. You won’t be guilted into evangelism, but encouraged to take the good news of Jesus to the world through the lease of some of the tools that Lewis used too.
Isaiah For You by Tim Chester
The ‘For You’ series from the Good Book Company is helpful. It’s a series of devotional commentaries the help you see the overall picture of a book of the Bible and wrestle with some of the details a bit, finishing off with some application questions. This book is no different. One of the key strengths of this book is the way that Chester helps you see Jesus in the pages of Isaiah. The church I serve has just finished going through a section of Isaiah and I wish I’d hand this handy. Chester writes this book as a tool to help you get into Isaiah. If you read this book on its own, it won’t be much help to you. If you read it together with Isaiah you will be blessed, encouraged and informed.
*** I received these books from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the books, my views are my own. ***