The Quotable Round-Up #106

vb6a6bkSaw a few articles that pits physical copy against digital copy of the book. Some lean to the physical ones and others cheers for the digital ones. If you ask me I go for both. There lots of advantages on both formats and also some disadvantages. I enjoy both formats and I think that is all that matters.

Anyways, here’s some quotes from the upcoming book by Dan DeWitt Sunny Side Up: The Breakfast Conversation That Could Change Your Life. Release date is on February 1 but you can pre-order the book by clicking this link.

“Orthodoxy may sound like a painfully expensive dental procedure, but it really means having proper beliefs  about God. Orthodoxy is where every person must begin in their relationship with God. That’s not to say people have to pass a test about the Bible in order to become a Christian. Thankfully, God isn’t looking for academic qualifications or good grades. But in order to become a follower of Jesus, you have to have a right understanding of who Jesus is and the forgiveness he offers..”

“It’s dangerously possible to grow in our knowledge of God without growing in our love for God. We can accumulate a lot of knowledge while our hearts remain far from him.”

“Loving God isn’t a flowers-and-chocolates kind of love. Neither is it cheering him on from the sidelines or singing his latest hit. God wants your heart—and he wants all of it.”

“Anyone who has begun a relationship with God understands the powerful impulse to give God our whole lives, our whole heart. But it’s an impulse that has to be nurtured and fed in order to grow. There’s a whole lot in life that threatens our love for God..”

“No matter who you are, or where you are, you can get in on the invitation to love God. God desires and demands our full affection. That’s because he is the greatest good. And his invitation to love him is for our greatest good. Loving God is what’s best for us.”

“Humility is where all learning really begins. What will it take for you to start learning the lessons God wants to teach you?”

“We need to think about how we prioritize our relationship with Jesus. Do we place Jesus above all earthly relationships? Does he even make it on to our short list? If you have to disappoint someone, would Jesus be the top person you would do anything to avoid disappointing? Maybe, as you read these words, Jesus is calling you to make him first in your life today.”

The Quotable Round-Up #104

xRHiMKgMerry Christmas to all! As I was creating this post, I’m in the middle of doing the laundry! LOL. Not so Christmasy activity isnt? But hey later this day me and my family will go out and celebrate the holidays. In the meantime, enjoy this special treat from Delighting Grace. It’s a collection of quotes from the book Humble Calvinism by Jeff Medders.  Special because it’s from a pre-release copy and schedule to be out on March 2019. Pre-order the book on Amazon or add it to your wish list by clicking this link: https://amzn.to/2LfH2CV

“Many of us who love to love the “doctrines of grace” have not grown in showing grace. We have not become more gracious, kind, tender, and compassionate. And that can only mean one thing: we actually don’t know the doctrines of grace.”

“A doctrinal disconnect between the head and heart fires up the production line of idolatry.”

“Calvinism in the head will puff you up. Calvinism in the heart will build others up.”

“Knowing the five points, the debating points, and the handy Spurgeon quotes in your head and not your heart will puff you up.”

“Heart Calvinism helps us love the Lord our God with more than just our mind but with
our heart, soul, and strength too. Heart Calvinism moves us to love our neighbors—all of them, not just our fellow Calvinists—as ourselves. Head Calvinism means we will become the kind of people who thrive on theological self-righteousness—the very people who received the harshest words from Jesus.”

“More than merely loving Calvinism, we need a loving Calvinism. We don’t need less Calvinism; we need real Calvinism—one that resides in our hearts rather than merely lodging in our heads.”

“We must see Christ in our Calvinism. If we don’t, throw the tulips out; they are worthless.”

Book Review: The Real Martin Luther by Josh Hamon and Brynn James

mb26cp3We all want to read a book that has something to do the occasion to make us more appreciative on the event. Come Reformation Day 2018 and a book came to me that is quite not the book I’m expecting read. Its bio book about a certain Reformer that has a concoction of history, humor and cartoons in it.

The Real Martin Luther is a bio book for the rest of us. The reasons are from being too lengthy or too boring to read.   Josh took Luther from the stained glass and introduces him as a human flaws and all. I think every biography book strives to present the person as ordinary as possible so we can easily relate on whom he was and what he has done.  The Real Martin Luther goes beyond that by injecting humor to the narrative. It’s getting the low down on Martin Luther without hitting below the belt. Luther wasnt drag to the mud here.  This book reminds me of Plato and a Platypus Walks into a Bar… adding comedy to a boring subject.

The artwork is awesome and also hilarious. Brynn James sets the tone on how we should visualize the book with just the right artwork style. She then puts some millennial and hipster references here and there to poke fun to Luther. Sometimes it complements the text and sometimes it’s a standalone humor. My only hopes for future volumes are that they go all out in artwork as in turn it into a comicbook.

This book is the first volume of the Holy Misfits series so we should expect there is more of this stuff. You’ll finish The Real Martin Luther not really laughing so hard to forget it all together, but with a fresh outlook on this reformation hero. A bit bold and a bit uncomfortable for readers who usually digest the usual biography book. But then again this is a totally different bio book. It’s history that is entertaining. This book is definitely a must read (re-read) for everyone.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

(The review copy of this book is provided by the author)

The Video Round-Up #2

eilvkznThis week I found some brand new artist with their cool songs that kept ear occupied. They are recommended from not the mostly likely places you can find music but I’m glad they did.

First off is from Tim Challies blog. If Challies recommends something specially a band who am I not to check it out.  And the CityAlight is pretty good. Not another Hillsong clone but if you check their lyrics its totally soaked biblically. Read the full article here.

FERVR posted on Instagram a fresh post titled 5 Christian Songs You Need to Know. The list includes a favorite of mine, DreamsDreams is the opening song from River & Robots latest album Discovery.  River & Robots is a superb band, blending acoustic and electronic sounds with smooth vocals of Jonathan Ogden. Going back to the list, some are fresh faces and some are already established but I think you’ll find something to enjoy even its just a short list.

And finally, Southern Seminary uploaded a video (actually audio and some visuals) of  Boyce Vocal Band, a travelling worship team from Boyce College with their rendition of the hymn, Blessed Assurance. It’s a pretty awesome cover of the old hymn and I give a thumbs up. For more of details of Boyce Vocal Band (and more stuff from them ) and the Institute for Biblical Worship, follow this link.

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 #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

 

Book Review: Something More by Theron St. John

xkak8tvThere are books that rely on heavy arguments and controversial issues to make a case for the need of the gospel. It can be on the issue of abortion, same sex marriage or the prosperity gospel. Sometimes it is tackled pages upon pages that is grueling to read. Theron St. John’s Something More diverts from those books and dishes out answers to ones purpose in life.

Something More is a relevant and fresh book geared for young adults who are in pursuit of their dreams. Caught up in their goals in life they neglect ultimate purpose that is found in God. Theron St. John step by step, real life stories after stories, in every chapter with laser focus unravels the reality of finding that purpose and eventually joy. It is a straight trail with the end goal that is to present the need of salvation. A brief book that hits the heart of the millenials to stop and consider that there is something more.

St. John wrote Something More with an evangelistic tone that doesn’t cram the Bible on someones throat, bog down someone with theological jargon or too preachy. Neither does this book succumbed to a water down gospel. On the contrary it does still points to the gospel and God. Something More presented the gospel in a way that  half of it feels like a book and half of it is like a friendly conversation.   I’m totally hands down on how St. John wrote it and looking forward for more of this kind of stuff in future books he will release.

If you want to give a book to someone who is in college or just starting to work then this book is highly recommended. If you want a book that is not hard hitting but still gives a spark of hope to people who are burden by their pursuit of their dreams this book is for them. Something More caters to new believers also who are connecting their personal pursuit with what God wants them to have.

4.5 out of 5

Buy the book at Lulu.com

The Quotable Round-Up #87

tpn6bjcHowdy! 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 “The Potter’s Freedom” by James R. White. And if you got stoked with these quotes, please get the book at your nearest Christian bookstore or on Amazon.

“The religions of men, Roman Catholicism, and Arminianism, all share one thing in common: the deep desire to maintain the ability of man to control the work of God in salvation and always have the “final say.” The blunt assertion of Christ refutes this error. The fact is, outside of the divine action of drawing the elect to Christ none would come to Him. It is beyond the capacity of the fallen man.”

“All men would be left in the hopeless position of “unable to come” unless God acts, and He does by drawing men unto Christ. Outside of this divine enablement no man can come to Christ. No man can “will” to come to Christ outside of this divine drawing.”

“Why is one man raised to eternal life and another left to eternal destruction? The Scriptures offer an answer that is satisfying to the believer, but insufficient for the person unwilling to trust in God’s goodness. What is the basis of God’s act of predestination? It is “according to the kind intention of His will.” Each word is important. It is His will, not our will. And remember, this is speaking not of some general plan to “save” so that it is God who “initiates” but man who actuates. This is the specific predestination of individuals to sonship. The basis of this specific decree is God’s will. No mention is found of man’s will.”

“Synergism is the hallmark of man’s religions: monergism the mark of the biblical gospel.”

“When the Scriptures say that men are spiritually dead, we are not to understand this to mean that they are spiritually inactive. Men are active in their rebellion, active in their suppression of the truth, active in their sin. Instead, spiritual death refers to alienation from God, the destruction of the positive, active desire to do what is right in God’s sight, and most importantly, the ability to do what is good and holy.”

“Reformed theologians insist that for one to be free as a creature then one must have first and foremost a sovereign Creator. God is the free and sovereign Creator and acts freely in that realm that is His: we are mere creatures, never sovereign, never autonomous (i.e., without law, without a superior authority), but responsible within the realm of our createdness.”

“The Christian heart is glad to confess, “Salvation is of the Lord.” All of it. In completeness. In perfection. The God who decrees all things saves perfectly. Salvation is a divine act, a divine work. It is centered upon God, not upon man. It is God’s glory, not man’s, that is at stake. The God-centeredness of the gospel is what makes the biblical teaching so fundamentally different than all the religions of men.”

7 Short But Excellent Christian Books I Have Read

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(This article was previously posted at Top Christian Books (TCB Media). This is the short version of it.) 

Forget those thick and bulky books that you consider an essential read for Christians. Here are short, 100 pages less but excellent books that you should read. Also I included links to “The Quota ble Round-Up” that features awesome quotes from these books.

1.) “Apologetics Made Simple” by Jason L. Petersen – Petersen presents 5 keys on which apologetics in this straight forward book. If the word “apologetics scares you, let this brief book bare the essentials that is easy to remember and easy to apply.   (Here are  some selected quotes from this book)

2.) “A Primer on Free Will” by John Gerstner – A short book but an excellent treatment of free will. John Gerstner doesn’t just bombard us with biblical jargons and verses but started this book by giving a great illustration that will really stoke you out. If you want to grasp free will this book is an excellent one. (Here are  some selected quotes from this book)

3.) “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Good Works and Rewards” by Mark Jones – Mark Jones sets out the biblical view on good works and rewards which is sometimes sets confusion among Christians who don’t want to fall into legalism and antinomianism. (Here are  some selected quotes from this book)

4.)  “Church History for Modern Ministry” by Dayton Hartman – Is church history relevant to our modern day ministry? How will it help our Christian living or apologetics from people, places and events that are so detached to our times? This book will help you understand the importance of knowing our history.

5.) “Transgender” by Vaughn Roberts – A brief introduction on a very controversial subject. Vaughn Roberts delivers  important points enough for a Christian to consider this issue.

6.) “Discerning Truth” by Jason Lisle – This maybe a companion book to “Ultimate Proof of Creation” but it’s a great read and a standalone too. Much of the debate between atheist and Christians specifically on the origins, are sometimes based on faulty logical statements. Dr. Lisle list out logical fallacies and how can a Christian these statements in this short but powerful book. (Here are  some selected quotes from this book)

7.)  “Why Bother with Church?” by Sam Allberry – Church life is essential to the believer as part of his spiritual growth. Sam Allberry gives a believer reasons why church is important in this short but great book by answering common questions Christians always ask. (Here are  some selected quotes from this book)

Do you have your own list of favorite short books? Please share it on the comment section.

 

The Digital Round-Up # 17

zkorsnzHello there! Here’s “The Digital Round-Up” to give you some of my favorite freebies, articles and everything in between. What do you think of it? Eclectic? Weird? Interesting? I just want to know. So please, please, please do me a favor and post your comments about this post at the comment section. Thank you and God bless!

FREE “The Greatest Fight” by Charles H. Spurgeon – The Prince of Preachers has something to say to the 21st century pastor and teachers. Grab this free book to know his urgent message.

Government: Mandate of Justice, Not Religion – “A pastoral reflections on the purpose of government…not to promote religion, but to pursue justice.” – Noel Espinosa

A World Without Any Common Sense – Trevin Wax states that in the public square “we have a hard time finding “common ground” because there is no “common sense” regarding what’s at stake.

Extremely Early Testimonies to the Deity of Christ– As news of an artifact that will be unveiled soon that has proof that Jesus is God, there are a much earlier proof from the church fathers that the deity of Jesus is not what the Da Vinci Code or Jehovah’s Witnesses believe.

People Are Basically Good – This post is part of the series “Ten Lies the World Believe” from Grace to You blog.

The good news: Filipinos are still reading books– That’s indeed a good news specially for me who is a literacy advocate.

The Grim Conclusion of the largest-Ever Study of Fake News –  Did you know that false information spreads faster that true information. Well let this very comprehensive study tells you and lots more.  It’s a long read but it has the meat on the subject of fake news.

The History of the AltaVista –  Remember AltaVista? Its a pre-Google search engine that was born in the 90’s when the internet is just in its infancy. For me its the first website I log into in my first internet experience. More than a nostalgic trip, this article recounts how an internet giant rise and fall.

Love Jesus More Than You Love Anything – John Piper