Book Review: Faker by Nicholas T. McDonald

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photo grabbed from The Good Book

No one wants a faker.

In this age of social media we can easily hide real selves because we want to project a better us. So we put on the mask that will not just make us feel good but rise above anyone else. Teens and young ones sometimes struggle with this issue.

Yes, the struggle is real.

“Faker” is a short but spot on book by Nick McDonald.  In the book he admits being a former faker. He tells his story of his fakery that we can easily relate to. He became prideful and looks other down behind a mask. The problem with that he needs to maintain his status quo but ends up still feeling empty.  However that’s half of the book is all about. This is not your typical pep talk, think positive or self help for teens. In its 7 chapters the book, Nick expound Luke 18: 9-14 the story of Pharisee and the tax collector. As you read this book, Nick unleashed the power of the Scripture that will hold you till the last page. “Faker” hits the root cause of our pretension: sin and provides the solution: the gospel.  Well that something considering this is a book for teens and young ones. He even discuss the word propitiation, you might think it will turn off a teen reading the book. Well it won’t. The book ends with a plea to drop the mask and come to God.

“Faker” and “Something More” by Theron St. John (which I book reviewed previously) are spot on when it comes to addressing the younger generation by its unique way of presenting the gospel that doesn’t have to be watered down. The cool book design, artwork and pop culture references which are awesome in this book really helps the lesson stick to our mind. However  those elements doesn’t   overwhelmed  “Faker” because that’s not the star of this book but the message of Luke 18 that young people badly needs to hear. Highly recommended resource to reach out young people and teens.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

The Quotable Round-Up #92

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Church History 101” by Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke and Michael A. G. Haykin. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

The martyr Ignatius of Antioch tied together the ways in which the church responded to both persecution and false teaching when he said, “If Christ be not fully human and if he did not really die, why am I suffering for the gospel and prepared to die for it?” — Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers

“Though Constantine did much to help the church, he ultimately hindered it by blurring the distinction between a citizen of this world and a citizen of the world to come.” — Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #nicene

“An early fourth-century church leader named Arius claimed that Jesus was really a being created by God the Father (Arianism), saying, “There was a time when the Son was not.” But the New Testament teaches that Christ is both the Son of God and the Son of Man. If He were not so, He could not reconcile us to God and bring us into God’s presence.” –Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #arius #deityofchrist

“Augustine’s theological legacy can scarcely be exaggerated. Reformed Christians are especially indebted to him; Calvinism is sometimes called Augustinianism. He was a great and influential Christian thinker, yet had it not been for the influence of his mentor, Ambrose; the prayer life of his mother, Monica; and the convicting words of Scripture, we might never have known of him.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #augustine

“To refute Pelagianism, Augustine had to expound the great Pauline doctrines of grace, such as original sin, fallen man’s total depravity and inability to save himself, the efficacy of the atoning death of Christ, and the necessity of faith in Him for salvation. The enormous biblical learning and perseverance of Augustine won the day against Pelagius’s teaching in the church.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #churchfathers #augustine

“Today’s world is not much different from that of the tenth century. The church continues to be confronted with paganism, as well as with temptations to worldly success. While some denounce the tenth century as “the Dark Ages,” we must recognize that our contemporary society demonstrates a moral and spiritual darkness, and the church is challenged to respond with the light of the gospel.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #darkage

“While differing on church polity, the Puritans—who included such notables as William Perkins, Matthew Henry, John Owen, Thomas Goodwin, John Bunyan, John Flavel, and Thomas Watson—were united by a concern to maintain faithful preaching of the gospel and teach sound doctrine; to promote true conversion, personal faith, and practical godliness; and to bring God’s Word to bear on all aspects of life, as individuals, in families, and in the nation at large.”–Sinclair B. Furgeson, Joel R. Beeke, Michael A. G. Haykin “Church History 101” #churchhistory #christianity #puritans

The Digital Round- Up (Freebie Edition #8)

myptv2kBooyah! Freebie fanatics unite! Here we are again for another freebie edition of “The Digital Round-Up”. So gather up and delete some space on your gadgets and make way for these free stuff that will help you walk with God.

FREE audio and video downloads of “Textual Criticism” by Dan Wallace – Credo Courses made this offer for a very very limited time so get it now.

FREE e-book “Be Equipped” by Warren W. Weirsbe-This freebie too is fleeting away so better download this book that help Christians get to hold God’s best for their lives .

FREE e-book and audiobook of “The Pilgrim’s Progress” This classic work from John Bunyan is generously uploaded by Monergism in this modern English version.

FREE album download “Instruments of Mercy” by Beautiful Eulogy. Im digging this group that mix biblical truth and experimental hip-hop creating a unique sound that is organic. You can check them also on Spotify.

FREE “Preparing for Marriage” by Joel Beeke – A very short book on seeking and preparing for a spouse biblically.

FREE sermon e-booklets from “Gospel Trumpet”. Downloadable sermon booklets from Joel Beeke and David Lipsy.

FREE e-book “Come To Me!: An Urgent Invitation to Turn to Christ” by Tom Wells. An engaging look at what it means to come to Christ.

The Quotable Round-Up #91

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 6 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Is Christianity Good for the World?” by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“If there is no God, what is truth? Christopher Hitchens displays great moral indignation, but, given atheism, I want him to justify that indignation. If there is no God, then who cares? And Christopher Hitchens writes as a very capable wordsmith, but given atheism, I want him to justify his vibrant and engaging prose. If there is no God, then yammer, yamber, yaw&^% . .” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“There is no God, right? Because there is no God, this means that—you know—genocides just happen, like earthquakes and eclipses. It is all matter in motion, and these things happen.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Christian faith is good for the world because it provides the fixed standard which atheism cannot provide and because it provides forgiveness for sins, which atheism cannot provide either. We need the direction of the standard because we are confused sinners. We need the forgiveness because we are guilty sinners. Atheism not only keeps the guilt, but it also keeps the confusion.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“If Christianity is bad for the world, atheists can’t consistently point this out, having no fixed way of defining “bad.” If Christianity is good for the world, atheists should not be asked about it either because they have no way of defining “good.”– Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“In the kindness of God, the Cross is an object of inexorable fascination to us. When men and women look to Him in His death, they come to life in His resurrection. And that is good for the world.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

“The Cross is God’s merciful provision that executes autonomous pride and exalts humility.” — Douglas Wilson/Christopher Hitchens

 

The Quotable Round-Up #90

f11jjqtHeads up guys! time for some 7 awesome quotes from a Christian book. This time we shall enjoy quotes from the book “Faker” by Nick McDonald. If you find these nuggets of wisdom superb, please get the book at your favorite bookstore or log in to Amazon. God bless and Peace!

“At the cross we see these two stunning realities about God: He is the holy King and Judge of our world. His overwhelming purity demands death for sin. He dethrones us.”

“…God, in his goodness, gave up a relationship more precious than anything you and I can imagine. It was a relationship better than the best marriage. Better than the most googley-eyed date. Better than the best BFFs ever. It was a perfect, intimate relationship that existed forever, between a perfect Son and a perfect Father.”

“Through the propitiation of Jesus’ blood, we, like the tax collector, can be declared good. Jesus Christ defeated the death we deserve by dying in our place, and then by rising from the dead three days later. The victory is won. The battle is over. When we place our faith in him, we are united to his death and resurrection forever—because he died, we can live.”

“So to say “God is love” is true, but incomplete. Love isn’t god—God is, among other things, love. He isn’t a god who loves like we do. His love is “other”: it’s better than our niceness. It own from his volcanic, beautiful purity.”

“Whenever I’m tempted to think that my failures are devastating, or think I made myself successful, I can look to this truth: God, the King and Judge, is truly in control. Not me. He gives, and takes away. Whenever I’m tempted to fret about pleasing people, I can remember: “These people don’t have ultimate power. God does. He controls my life, not them.”

“See, the God of the Bible is a God I wouldn’t have made up. He’s a God who’s over me, not a god who’s under my thumb. He’s a God who confronts me about my claim to the throne of my life.”

“The Bible says the problem with self-righteousness is this: the instant we say: “I’ll be good/right/worthy of love according to me,” is the instant we say: “I am the king and judge over my own life.”

 

The Digital Round-Up # 23

myptv2kHey folks! Prepare for another round of the “The Digital Round-Up” as we serve you interesting articles, freebies and videos. And if you’re enjoying this stuff, please do tell us on the comment section. So buckle up and enjoy the thrill.

FREE “CHANGED: #oncegay stories” – is an ebook  compilation of 40 people who left homosexuality and found happiness and fulfillment outside LGBTQ circle.

Wigs and Wisdom – Its not just a fashion statement by men in the 18th century but a sign of something we ought to be. Are we willing to “wear” it again in this 21st century?

Let their books raise the questions – an excellent article that lets the secular book  raise important inquires on eternal matters.

Double the Trouble if You Ignore the Context – in interpreting the Bible, we need to remember the importance of context.

How to Remember What You Read – David Qaoud gives us 4 ways to ensure we get the most out of reading.

18 most recognizable book covers and fun facts about them – iconic books that has memorable covers.

3 Reasons you’re more productive in coffee shops – some of my blog post are done in Figaro , and in some ways this article is true.

 

 

The Quotable Round-Up #89

f11jjqtHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the books “Know the Creeds and Councils” by Justin Holcomb and “The Potter’s Freedom” by James R. White. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the books at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“A catechism is a book or document giving a brief summary of the basic principles of Christianity in Q&A form. Catechisms represent the practical, “on-the-ground” application of the main teaching agreed upon at church councils and expressed through creeds and confessions. The word “catechism” comes from the Greek word katechein, which means “to teach” or “to instruct.” Catechisms are basic outlines of the teachings of the Christian faith, set forth in a way that those unfamiliar with doctrine can easily understand.” — Justin Holcomb

“Because creeds are bare-bones structures (the outlines of the sketch), it makes sense that the earliest statements of the church are creeds, while later statements of particular denominations are confessions. Creeds distinguish orthodoxy from heresy (or Christian faith from non-Christian faith). Confessions distinguish denominational distinctives (or one type of Christian faith from another type of Christian faith.” — Justin Holcomb

“Creeds aren’t dogmas that are imposed on Scripture but are themselves drawn from the Bible and provide a touchstone to the faith for Christians of all times and places.”– Justin Holcomb

“Christians of the past were no less concerned with being faithful to God than we are, and they sought to fit together all that Scripture has to say about the mysteries of Christianity — the incarnation, the Trinity, predestination, and more — with all the intellectual power of their times. To ignore these insights is to attempt to reinvent the wheel, and to risk reinventing it badly.”
— Justin S. Holcomb

“Grace is a wonderful word that speaks of God’s freedom and God’s power. I cannot earn grace, merit grace, purchase grace, or force grace. It is free or it is not grace. Yet the grace of God that brings His elect safely into eternal rest is not merely some persuasive power that may or may not accomplish the ends for which God intends it. Grace is no servant of man, dependent upon the creature for its success. No, saving grace is God’s own power. Saved, and kept, by grace. That is the Christian’s hope.” –James R. White

“Arminians teach that God sends his grace to “persuade” men to believe, but they deny that God can actually raise a man to spiritual life without his assistance and agreement. They deny that there is an elect people, based solely on the choice of God, to whom God will infallibly apply the benefits of Christ’s atonement. Grace is limited to being effective on the “willing,” i.e., it is submitted to the power and will of man and his decisions. It becomes a mere “wooing” force. The Reformed Christian who has sought to share the gospel of grace with Roman Catholics recognizes that this is the same view of grace found in the Roman communion, and it is deeply troubling to find it expressed within what is called Protestantism.” –James R. White

“The question is, Who, ultimately, is responsible for my union with Jesus Christ? God is both the one who is the origin and source of salvation in general, and the one who powerfully, purposefully, and perfectly draws His elect people into blessed union with Jesus Christ.” –James R. White

 

5 Things I Love About YouVersion Bible App

7lusaz81Recently, my wife bought an i-Phone and she starts downloading apps. She asked me what Bible app should she download and use. Without hesitation I said YouVersion app. I love it and I think millions of users of this great Bible app will agree with me with these 5 reasons (And oh before I forgot it’s their 10 year anniversary and here’s how we can celebrate with the app):

Multiple Bible versions and Translations. Can you imagine a Bible app that has tons of Bible versions and translations free to download? Well YouVersion has it. With multiple versions and translation you can compare and understand any given passages. Also you can listen to the audio of the Bible.

Tracks and encourages you in your Bible reading. Keep on track with the progress of your Bible reading time by its built-in tracker. It gives you the streak and weeks of how many times you read your Bible. You also receive a “Verse of the Day” in this great app.

Add a friend or interact with someone on the app.  It’s like Facebook but with Bible verse or devotional plan progress as status. You can like and comment on you friends status. You can invite others from Facebook to check out this app and enjoy God’s Word.

Devotional plans and Video.There a many devotional plans you can use in YouVersion. You can choose a plan base on a passage of Scripture, topic you want to explore or if going through something your life. Videos are also awesome.  You can check some gospel presentation and some clips from The Bible Project.

Share the Bible over social media. Like any other Bible app, you can share God’s Word over Facebook or Instagram. What makes it cool is that you can post the verse with an image so it can be eye catching to your friends.

There you have it the 5 things I love about YouVersion app. I hope you check the app over your App Store or Google Play. God bless as you delight on God’s Word.

The Digital Round-Up # 22

myptv2kHey folks! Prepare for another round of the “The Digital Round-Up” as we serve you interesting articles, freebies and videos. And if you’re enjoying this stuff, please do tell us on the comment section. So buckle up and enjoy the thrill.

FREE “Psalm 139” by Charles Spurgeon – an excerpt from the Treasury of David also by Spurgeon,  its send the message to readers of God’s intent to overthrow the power of darkness and shows the sovereign God over evil.

Heidelberg Catechism in Tagalog – I never knew that this beloved catechism has a Tagalog version. I read it and it pierced my heart.

Smart phones and Reading Habits – Make sure on what we are scrolling on a screen is healthy to our minds and not just scrolling us to our deaths.

Two extremes to be avoided in preaching –  Not gonna spoil to you what are the two extremes but this is a great article.

25 Things God said to the church – The church through out the centuries shows her flaws and all however God still loves the church and here’s what He said about it.

Top Five Logical Fallacies in the Social Justice Movement – Knowing these false logical arguments we can see the factual than the emotional zeal of the movement.

Seeking Revelation in Bourdain’s Parts Unknown –  The beauty of diversity Anthony Bourdain discovered are appetizers for something more in God’s plan of redemption.

 

 

The Quotable Round-Up #88

f11jjqtHowdy! It’s a great day to sit down, chill and sip your favorite drink! And while at it, add some awesomeness in your day by reading our latest collection of quotes.  This time we are featuring fresh quotes from the book “Know the Creeds and Councils” by Justin Holcomb. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“We are born in sin. We are naturally enemies of God and lovers of evil. We needed to be made alive (regenerated) so that we could even have faith in Christ. All of this is grace that we don’t deserve. Because we didn’t earn or attain this grace, we cannot lose it. God graciously preserves us and keeps us. When we are faithless toward him, he is still faithful.”

“We can stand before God only by his grace as he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ and attributes to him the consequences of our sins, which were judged on the cross. Declaring sinners righteous based on the work of Christ is called the doctrine of “imputed righteousness” — God declares a believer to be good, and even though the believer is not good in reality, this declaration is all that matters.”

“In Augustine’s scheme, grace is not a divine nudge but a power that frees people to love God for who he really is. It is this God-empowered love that destroys the rule of sin and bestows the ability to choose to sin or to choose not to sin (posse non peccare — “able not to sin”). However, until this grace is given, people cannot choose goodness. Though we might be in the grip of an evil power that we do not understand, we are still responsible for spending our time and energy on the things that we do wrong.”

“The Christian faith is not only a matter of the heart, an exercise in sentimentality, for “Christian faith is a matter of the mind as well as the heart and the will, and as thinking persons we must give intellectual expression to our faith.” Still it does not demand blind acceptance to empty propositions. It is concerned with the direction of our souls.”

The Definition of Chalcedon described Christ’s descent as a true incarnation of the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity, while denying that a man was converted into God or that God was converted into a man. There was no confusion or absorption between the divine nature and the human nature of Christ; the two remained distinct. Similarly, the incarnation was not merely a divine indwelling of a human nor a connection between two persons. Instead, Chalcedon asserted that there was a real union between the divine and human natures that existed in one personal life: the life of Jesus of Nazareth, who was the eternal Logos.”

“If Christianity had agreed with Arius that Jesus could be a lesser god — if it had failed to defend monotheism, if it had fallen into the trench of professing three unrelated deities — it may have dissolved into the religion of Rome and its pantheons of false gods. If the early Christians had lost their nerve and conceded the “lesser divinity” of Jesus, whatever that might mean, then the work of God in Christ for our salvation would have been rendered meaningless. No mere man, nor half god, could possibly intervene to save fallen and sinful humanity, let alone restore all of creation. Only the Creator can enter creation to fix its brokenness and redeem its original, latent purpose.”

“The Nicene Creed is perhaps the most famous and influential creed in the history of the church, because it settled the question of how Christians can worship one God and also claim that this God is three persons. It was the first creed to obtain universal authority in the church, and it improved the language of the Apostles’ Creed by including more specific statements about the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit.”