Category Archives: Review

Book Review: Why We’re Protestant by Nate Pickowicz

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u6zfemtWhen writing reviews, there are lots of thing you can say about a thick book. This is because a bulky volume can cover lots of grounds in a given topic. However in this new book of Nathan Pickowicz it’s not just an introduction to the 5 Solas we affirm. But it’s a mix bag of everything for everyone’s need done in a clear, understandable and orderly manner.  This book is for a.) A believer who is confused with what he believes b.) A Catholic who wants to know the difference doctrinally between a Protestant and Roman Catholic church c.) A believer who wants to know the historic background of the 5 solas d.) A believer who wants a concise biblical response to Roman Catholicism’s beliefs and e.) A seeker who wants to know how to get right with God. That’s why I love reading this short book of because every angle is covered to satisfy different readers.

Reading this as we celebrate the 500th of the Reformation will reinforce the biblical and historical belief that we hold as a Christian. And it’s a gentle reminder for us that we should not compromise what believe. I highly recommend this book.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

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Book Review: “Aspire: Transformed by the Gospel Part 1” by Matt Rogers

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     This book is such a surprise because I would expect it’s just the usual book format that we all know. But as I open it from the postal package, it was this big journal size book. And as I thumb a few pages, the fonts are big and lots of lines which is where you’ll jot your answer. So this is not a usual book. And so is the content.

Matt Rogers “Aspire” is geared for one on one discipleship by tackling first the very foundation of the Christian faith which is the gospel. This book unravels the basic topics pertaining to the gospel in a 15 week study. The weekly studies discuss the gospel incorporated in some Christian doctrines. The starting point is creation where sin enters and how sin where our worship changes its focus from God to Satan. As the book progresses we see how this gracious and merciful God redeems these fallen worshipers. Of course when discussing doctrine, theological words are needed to be defined. “Aspire” covers that by highlighting these important words and defining it. The book’s later parts prepares the reader to be mission minded and to disciple too.

Now comes the sweaty part: the questions. You need to answers these to get most of the book. The questions on each part of the study are not just your run-of-the-mill passive questions you can get from a study guide in a usual book. Rather these questions will make you think and reflect for a moment. Also some of the questions are quite personal. And if you think this question and answer portion of “Aspire” left all the figuring out to the readers, think again. Chunks of biblical content are explained enough for you to chew and be satisfied on. “Aspire” will aid anyone to a healthy spiritual growth fit to be a disciple of Christ.
“Aspire” is well written, theological rich and personal workbook that will ground you in solid foundation. If you don’t know where to start with your discipleship, this book will definitely get you a jump start. If this book is so good how much more would be the sequel? For a pastor this will be a go to book for a deep one on one discipleship. For the individual Christian, prepare for a book that will pull you into a deep understanding of the redemptive story of God. Highly recommended.
My verdict: 5 out of 5 stars
(I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review)

Book Review: None Like Him by Jen Wilkin

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Oh boy where do I start with this great book? Oops! Yes I already blurted out that this book is awesome. The character of God as a subject of a book might bring in your mind outstanding authors who made a name out of that subject. Wilkin did admit in her book that authors like A. W. Tozer, R. C. Sproul etc., who wrote books on the attributes of God, did influence her in writing the subject. However consider this book as a take on the attributes of God with a female perspective.

Wilkin discuss the 10 attributes of God (infinite, incomprehensible, self-existent, self- sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent and sovereign) and how we finite beings try to live a life that we think we have those attributes. There are lots of things going on in this book but Jen Wilkin manage to gather it up in one place to bring us a one of a kind book on attributes of God. As she goes further and further discussing the topic it goes deeper and deeper to the heart of everyone who is reading the book. She brings forth who God is an intimate level that will not just make us guilty but stand at awe with our sovereign Creator.

“None Like Him” is well crafted book on the attributes of God that will shaken and drive us on our knees. We will get to know our finite self more and trust an infinite God. As for Wilkin, she is an author we should watch out. If you already read books by Tozer, Sproul or Pink on the attributes of God, please include this. This book is highly recommended.

My verdict: 5 out of 5

Review copy of the book is provided by Crossway.

More book reviews here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

Book Review: The Pastor and Counseling: The Basics of Shepherding Members in Need by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju

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Some short books nowadays that teach basics are called “primer”, “sampler” and “bite-sized”. They carry topics that some of us think should be discussing in a thick volume. These are the most needed books in this fast paced culture that won’t eat away your time. They should be easily understand and accessible to anyone but still carry striking content. And that I think “Pastor and Counseling” by Pierre and Reju cornered those requirements.

“The Pastor and Counseling” is a minimalist of a book. Minimal in word by leaving not just the jargon but also mazes-like explanations. Minimalist on the topic which is solely about a pastor who is about to counsel someone.  A straight forward and laser focus to the topic is what this book boast.  Divided into 3 parts (concept, process and context) this book is gear to layout to any pastors essentials in counseling without the fuzz. I think this book can be pulled out of the shelves and a pastor can immediately dive before the counseling session.

The appendix is gold because it has the “templates” you need to start counseling your church member in need. An amazing “crash course” and “ready for action” book that makes you salute 9 Marks for bring this out. “The Pastor and Counseling” is an excellent resource that jump start you into counseling.

My verdict 4.5 out of 5

Review copy of the book is provided by Crossway.

More book reviews here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

Book Review: Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

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This book is a sort of sequel to “Total Church” with the same authors. This is a sort of “the rubber meets the road” kind of book. Picking up this book you’ll dive immediately to the subject. Not that you need to get “Total Church” to understand this (which I haven’t read also) but as you can see this book can be categorized with those “church engaging the culture” books that are already out in the market. Yet this book even if you read similar stuff does have some great insights and some gems in it. This book uses 2 Peter as main text drawing some principles.

The book opens with a discussion of Christians are in the marginalized in society and culture. Along with that are other things to consider as a church reaches out in this culture were tackled in the first chapter. The rest of the chapters carry Chapter 1 to further emphasize the role of the church, the challenge and the response to a culture we once knew. This is a short book but straight to the point, engaging and practical. The book concludes with the challenge for Christians to reach out despite of how the world treats us, live and breathe the gospel every day, reinforce us through Scriptures who we are in the eyes of God and how to live beyond mediocre Christianity.

My verdict 3 out of 5.

Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.

Book Review: Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: Practical Guide by Cameron Cole and Jon Nielson

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There are few books that are geared for this kind of topic. The most notable and most popular is the “Purpose Driven Youth Ministry” by Doug Fields which really sets the bar of what an effective and practical guide in youth ministry. Fields mostly sets the program (complete with diagrams, templates, graphs) which is comprehensive. He shared some biblical insights here and there. But in “Gospel-Centred Youth Ministry”, having the gospel in the very heart of this kind of ministry IS practical.
To tell you honesty I have no idea who are the editors and contributors except for Elizabeth Elliot and the Collin Hansen (who wrote the foreword). However, that didn’t deter me to check this book out. Unlike other how to books with one author in every topic, Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry” the contributors provides their forte in every phase of the youth ministry. Sharing biblical insights, personal experiences and practical tips every entry bring reinforcement to youth workers who needs help for this ministry. The book is divided into three sections: foundations of an effective ministry, four practical elements of the ministry and students role in reaching out the world.
Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry: Practical Guide is must read for youth workers, pastors and lay people. This book is the real deal. It delivers a gospel saturated message that is not full of gimmicks or quick fix.

 

Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.

Comicbook Review: MA-I Book 1: Si Lakan by Arya Chelabian and Faye Villanueva

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Starting this week we will check out a comicbook published by Kawangis Komiks an imprint of Church Strengthening Ministry (CSM). This 5 part series are written and drawn by the dynamic husband and wife tandem of Arya Chelabian and Faye Villanueva. A 5 part book of what they call a Pinoy Manga is something that will First stop is Book 1 of the series is “Si Lakan.”
“Si Lakan” introduces us to the world of MA-I on which the adventures in the series will unfold. Also we will meet our hero of the story, Lakan. Lakan is an adventurous young man who stumbles upon MA-I. His grandfather, Apo Sulatn forbids him to go to MA-I because that place is dangerous. And indeed the next day, going back to MA-I proves the dangers it possess as Lakan and Apo Sulatn got into trouble.
In a few pages this book it already got me hooked! Its action, drama and humor sucked me into reading till the end. It’s a fast phase read for me but the way the story reveals its self amazed me. The adventure story presented in this book is a staple in anime or manga (yet we don’t get tired of that kind of story, right?) The artwork has its high and lows but then again how it blends with the story as it unfolds in every panel is impressive. The tandem of Arya and Faye is awesome. They can really convey the demands of every panel. If you’re a bit conscious on the Pinoy culture thing in this comicbook, don’t worry. You can pick up that stuff along the way as you read it. In fact you can skip the explanations and just dive in to the story. The spiritual stuff is OK but I expect more in the succeeding books.
As an opening salvo of the series, “Si Lakan” delivers the action, the humor and the culture that will hook and entertain you. A good read whether you’re a traditional komiks or manga fan.