Book Review “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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If you can’t stop singing “Everything is Awesome” because of the cover that reminds you about the Lego movie, then it’s OK.  Because this book is indeed awesome!

Revolutionary Work tackles on the biblical view of work. This book is based on a series presented at St. Helen’s Bishopsgate by William Taylor. Revolutionary Work shows us the work as God’s gift because of our stewardship role in creation. Therefore, it is essential to us. Also it shows a balanced view of it as all vocations are equal and we should not call one as “special”. Despite of being a gift from our Creator, futility can be seen as we are fallen humans as we toil for ourselves, our family and for God’s mandate. However, work should be done knowing God is our boss and the means for us to bring the gospel to our co-workers.

There are four chapters which are a bit long but you can read their summaries at the end of each chapters, which is cool. If you want to skip all of it and distill the essentials, you should go for the summaries.  However, as much as possible read all of it.  The indexes and the Q and A section are must reads also, so don’t put this book down yet.

I love how Taylor’s treatment of  John 4 on the work of God which is the end goal of all our work. The work of God meaning evangelism. That’s on chapter four, which for me is the most engaging part of the book.

All in all Revolutionary Work, though it’s a slim volume, delivers a meaty content that you can find in a thick book. So this is my third time to give 10 of Those and this book a two thumbs up! Now sing some more “Everything is Awesome”

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Revolutionary Work” by William Taylor

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By God’s providence, my phone’s down time helped me to slow down and gave me this mini digital sabbath here and there. It allowed me to focus more on what matters. I still get to write for my blog but in a slower phase (and a slow laptop). I get to join a FB group that is very active in prayers so I grab the opportunity every time I open my FB and there is an update from that group, I’ll stop and pray for these brethren who covets my prayers. Its was a blessing to me.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from book by William Taylor, Revolutionary Work published by 10 of Those Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at 10 of Those.

“Work is good and work is grim, but work should be governed by the gospel. Therefore, you need to be thinking how you can be of greater service to the gospel in your particular position.”

 “So how does God do his work? It is through his word. He brings people in to the harvest through his word; he keeps people to the end of the harvest through his word; and he brings people to himself and builds people up and sustains them as harvesters through his word. This is how his work is done.”

“…the God of the Bible is a worker: he made the universe. Unlike the pantheon of Greek gods or Eastern deities, he gets his hands dirty, as it were. God himself dignifies work. Since God made man in his image, we find that we are workers too.”

“God is the ruler and God is a worker but humanity is to rule and work under him. This is a delegated task, given to us by God, and therefore we are answerable to God for the manner in which we undertake it. We are to rule over the world and care for it in an accountable and responsible way. We are to develop it and to design within it, but must not forget that it has been given to us on trust.”

“Realising that all jobs are dignified should have a profound impact on how we view ourselves and the position in which God has placed us, and indeed it will influence what kind of work we are prepared to do for the sake of the gospel. All roles are of equal value.”

“All work is delegated to us by God and designed by God for our human good and for his glory. Therefore, no area of work is somehow of higher value or more important or more significant than another.”

“Our contemporaries are ignorant of the way God’s world works. They have only their own dreams to guide them. They do not have a word from outside explaining the universe. Yet in the Bible God speaks to us and makes clear the correct way we should perceive work.”

“Many companies issue business cards or uniforms that make clear to others that their employees work for their company. Every Christian’s emblem should be, ‘I work for Jesus’. He is our ultimate master; throughout our entire working week we serve him.”

Book Review: Abide by Warren W. Wiersbe

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I think it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong with a Wiersbe book. His Bible commentary and Be Series  are a must have for Christians. And having 10 of Those reprinting a Wiersbe book is a great move, not just it will sell but how a believer will really profit from the pen of this great author.

With great clarity and precision, Wierbe unpacks John 15 revealing the “secret” of living for Christ. In John 15, we are told that we are the branches and God is the vine dresser. Wierbe made that pivotal episode in the ministry of Jesus Christ unforgettable, endearing and comforting as he deals with the issue of fruit bearing for the believers. Abide is not a stiff or cold lesson rather a vivid and lively excursion to John’s gospel that will excite believers to get their hands dirty for God.  Every chapter drips with pastoral care only Wierbe can deliver.

 Abide is simple, practical and thoroughly biblical, something you’ll expect to Warren W. Weirsbe. The secret is out! Live for Christ by following and knowing these secrets. This book will push you back to the Scriptures and look at God’s best for His elect. By far one of my best reads from 10 of those and I’m looking forward for more . Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

Book Review: Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life by Alister McGrath

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In Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life,  McGrath brings out the two of the greatest thinkers of our time on the table and (objectively) scrutinize their beliefs focusing only on the meaning of life.  I love how McGarth presents these extraordinary gentlemen in this book. Both Oxford fellows (including the author), both had a landmark book and both experienced atheism and Christianity. This adds the level of thrill in diving in to this brief book. And I have to say, I got really hooked.

Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life is not the usual apologetics book. It’s a short and accessible book for atheist, Christians or anyone who both wants to know Dawkins and Lewis in one sitting. It’s serves as a springboard for other bodies of work these two intellectual giants have dished out (or to books of McGarth on the topics). There are lots of superb books that have great treatment with these gentlemen but if you want a starting point, this is the book for you.

By reading this book, I think you have gotten to the core or the most important part of any book that discuss these authors and their view of life. Peak inside the minds of these brilliant thinkers and how their views influence the world.  Pick up this book and you’ll surely love it!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(InterVarsity Press provided the digital copy for this review)

Book Review: Essentials by Lee McMunn

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It’s great that McMunn starts his book with the Trinity unlike the usual gospel presentation. At first you might think it’s a short book about doctrine, but it’s not. Essentials is an evangelistic book . Essentials is giving a step by step explanation of the gospel. And as I have said McMunn started this book with the Trinity and ends with an invitation to have a relationship with God. Essentials is a presentable evangelistic tool because of appealing title, chapter title and cover image.

There are downsides in book. First, in chapter 3 which illustrates how Jesus rescues. Although the context is answering the question “So why didn’t he save himself? Why did Jesus stay on the cross?” an illustration of a kid drowning is not the biblical way to represent humanity submerged in sin. Total depravity points us that we are not drowning but dead at the bottom of the river.  Second the sinner’s prayer at the last part of the book, which is for me unbiblical. Decisionism is not part of the gospel message.

Essentials is a good book but has problematic issues. If for not those issues, I would have graded this book a bit higher.  Still you can benefit reading it for yourself and use some parts of it for your personal evangelism.

My verdict:

3.5 out of 5

Book Review: A Week in the Life of a Slave by John Byron

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I think this is my second time to review a fictional book and this one is my first biblical historical fiction.

At first I’m abit surprise on how Paul, Philemon and Onesimus was portraited. Adding to that Demas was also in the story and had moments, knowing in the back of our mind, he will be a backslider according to the Bible.

A Week in the Life of a Slave delivers an interesting and page turning story of Onesimus and Philemon. It follows the fugitive slave to his journey to escaping his master, meeting Paul, the crisis with his presence in the prison where Paul was in, his conversion and his return to Philemon.

If you think this is just a simple and boring story about slavery in Bible times, well you’re mistaken. I was mistaken till I got that light bulb moment. It gives you the glimpse on how we as Christian are heir to Christ.

There are no boring or dragging parts in the book. You’ll find this book a delightful read every time you jump back in.  The supporting characters are interesting and had all been given a fair share of spotlight both real and fictional ones. Then every conversation are spot on. You can feel the emotions jumping over you without being over the top.

The latter chapters before the conclusion for me are the best conversations that I read from the book. The sub plot was well executed and it really helped the main plot.

If the narrative itself is good, the “information box” that accompanies the story is superb. Well written and with great images, it gives out the backstory in every twist and turn of the story. It feels like your reading book within a book. You can use it in either; read it so you’ll for the some cultural background of the story; ignore it and still the story is solid or for future reference material. But if you ask me, the information box will definitely enhance the reading of the already solid narrative.

A Week in the Life of a Slave is a must read that tackles Christian issues of equality and forgiveness that can’t be easily done in a non-fiction format. It doesn’t just fill your mind but this book wins your heart. Highly recommended!

My verdict:

5 out of 5

 

(Review copy of this book was provided by Inter Varsity Press)

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Essentials” by Lee McMunn

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Living with my in law who needs a dialysis twice a week, me and my wife need to adjust. I have a graveyard shift so my time in the morning is flexible. But I need to make much of those dialysis sessions. So I decided, since I’ll be taking my father in law two times a week (Tuesday and Friday) at the hospital for his 4 hour dialysis session, I might as well bring some digital “baon”. Aside from e-books, I’ll be listening to various podcast from Spotify. It’s a mix bag of Reformed theology, business, comics and kid lit. I want those 4 hours to count as I listen, enjoy and learn.

Anyways, here’s Lee McMunn’s book Essentialspublished by 10 of Those.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at the 10 of Those website. Book review of this book is coming up.

“The Bible teaches that the God who is responsible for all the good and beautiful things, from the tiniest particle to the grandest planet, is a united family of three persons; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

“The Bible says it’s because the God who made us is a relationship of three persons, and we have been created to live in a similar way. That’s why relationships are so important to us.”

“The reason God has the right to rule our lives is because he created us. We know from our everyday existence that those who make things, whether small or grand, have ownership rights over their creations. “

“Passionate commitment to God and his way is for our happiness. Living with God in charge is not drudgery, it is delightful.”

“Rejecting God spells disaster for our eternal future. Cosmic treason is expensive. “

“Forgiveness alone would have been amazing. But the God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit offers us much more. As well as forgiveness, we are invited to enjoy a relationship with each member of the Trinity.”

“Obeying Jesus in a world where many people don’t inevitably brings Christians into conflict with competing ideas. Therefore, anyone who follows Jesus should expect turbulence.”

“Relationship with the Father is very personal, but it is never to be individualistic. Anyone who follows Jesus instantly has lots of siblings!”

Book Review: Struggle Against Porn by Benjamin Vrbicek

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Before picking up this book, you should be aware of the title.  It’s Struggle Against Porn. And as the author explains, this is a book for those men who set to fight this sexual sin. So for those who doesn’t want to commit to cut ties with pornography, this is not your book. However, if you are taking arms to clash with porn, Struggle Against Porn is a truly rewarding read.

Unpacking this book’s  message, Vrbicek uses Scripture after Scripture. With no statistics (actually he provided it on the later part of the book) and a few illustrations and stories, Struggle Against Porn holds on to the power of Scriptures alone to melt the infatuation with porn. Vrbicek believes that the Bible is the only one that can convince porn addicts to turn away from it and come to God. And as you read this book, you’ll feel that intensity that will shake your soul.

Having multiple (but short) chapters,  Vrbicek really sets out to open every angle of the issue and to turn every stone to  expose pornography by shedding the gospel light on to it. And what he did in this superb  book.

Struggle Against Porn is solid and straight edge arsenal for men who wages war against this seemingly undefeated foe.  No gimmicks and no quick fix. The diagnosis is painful. However, Vrbicek’s latest book is ready to side with every Christian men who wants victory over porn. This book is a must read and it will cut through this stubborn sin.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

Read quotes from the book by clicking this link.

Book Review “On My Way To Heaven” by Mark Ashton

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On My Way To Heaven is a semi autobiographic/ meditation on death. In this book, Ashton draws on what he was experiencing (having a terminal cancer) and from Scriptures. You might expect their are lots of sad moments in this book but as you read it, you’ll find encouragement and hope not as Mark Ashton fights cancer but laying down his sword and bowing to his Lord and Savior as the only hope he had in this life and to the next.

Let’s be honest. Death is an uncomfortable topic and a taboo in some culture. But the problem is that its a reality we have to face. Mark Ashton opens up in this book (or booklet) with all honesty of the struggles he endure  during his final months on this world.

I like the end part of the book which is a sort of letter to his loved ones. Let me quote it here:

In dying, I want to say to those I have loved and to those who have loved me: “Don’t magnify me — remember the reality: I was someone who sometimes got you cross, and irritated you, and let you down, and disappointed you, and hurt you.

This letter was extended to the prayer which is in the end of the book.

On My Way To Heaven is powerful memento mori that dying is certain and so as the hope we have in Christ. This booklet maybe short but the impact to the reader won’t be exhausted. Will I recommend it for someone who is grieving over someone who recently died? Yes. How about someone who is dying? Yes. If you want someone to turn their eyes to Christ in the midst of this crisis, get this book. Short, biblical, honest but gentle, this book is truly something.

My verdict:

4.5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “On My Way To Heaven” by Mark Ashton

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It’s July and at the very first day of the month rain came to kill the dry spell of the past months. Rainy day has come and expect book sales and fairs here and there.

Anyways, here are 8 favorite quotes from Mark Ashton’s book On My Way To Heavenpublished by 10 Publishing. If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by clicking to 10 Publishing or Amazon link.

“…for a Christian believer, (death is) not bad news but good; it was not the end of the story, but the beginning.”

“Having the pleasure taken out of so many of life’s joyful experiences reminds us that they were all a gift to us in the first place. I never had a right to them. They never belonged to me. And I need to remember the Giver. “

“When we talk about the hope of healing and the relief of physical pain, our contemporaries love it and they flock to our ‘healing services’ with high hopes. But when we talk about glory lying beyond the grave and our sure hope of eternal life, they are brought up short and are forced to face their own eternal destinies.”

“Having the pleasure taken out of so many of life’s joyful experiences reminds us that they were all a gift to us in the first place. I never had a right to them. They never belonged to me. And I need to remember the Giver. “

“Every one of us will face up to God to answer for our lives, and every one of us will hang our heads in shame as we realise that we have to be condemned for the way we have lived in God’s world as if it was our own world. “

“It is my relationship with him that can take me through death and which is the only hope we have of eternal life. “

“My death may be the event with which my physical life on earth ends, but it will also be the moment at which my relationship with Jesus becomes complete.”

“Our salvation is not the record of our deeds on earth, but the intervening action of a loving God, who has saved us despite who we are and what we’ve done. And, if he can save us, then he can save anyone!”