Audiobook Review: Unashamed by Lecrae Moore

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I opened the new decade with an audiobook from my Christian Audio library. As you know they have the free audiobook of the month and since it’s free I got nothing to lose. So for a couple of years I have accumulated some free audiobooks from Christian Audio. Sweet!

Before you go to the review, I would like to invite you to check some quotes from the audiobook. If you like what you read, you can buy a copy by clicking here.

Now on to the review!

Unashamed chronicles the life of Christian rapper Lecrae Moore or simply Lecrae. But first some clarifications.  If you think that a Christian rapper is an oxymoron well their is a sub culture in the Christian music scene and its doing well. If you think attaching “Christian” with the word “rapper” would make you think Lecrae’s life are all bed of roses well it is not. As you go through the book, the struggles are in and out of the Christian realm.  It is also worth saying that it would be  a cliche that rappers would be associated with a life of drugs, gangs and guns yet in this book, Lecrae confesses how those sort of stereotypes molded him to what he is (and is not) today. So by those clarifications alone you might have a hint of what to expect with this book about Lecrae.

Unashamed presents a vulnerable and honest confession of Lecrae. He takes you in his journey from his fatherless childhood, his teenage rebellion stage, his conversion, backsliding and getting up again. But in the midst of those struggles you can see how God works through (even if its not in a comfortable way). His involvement with drugs, sex and guns is examined as well as some (spoilers) controversial parts like abortion. The book tackles how hip hop music and rap influence his life and eventually the career who took. He didn’t end the book with a “happily ever after” thing. He ends it with a sort of cliffhanger that even if he on the top of his game he still struggles. And that goes to us Christians. Like Lecrae, we struggle too. But its not the end of the story for us and God.

What’s so extra special about this audiobook is not only it was read by the author himself, that is Lecrae but in the every chapter you can listen to some snippets of his songs. Some are with music and some are without, which is so cool. Also I love how Lecrae reads his book. Lecrae reading is like conversing with a friend. Totally enjoyed his voice to beginning to end.

Unashamed is not just a tell all tale of a rapper shooting to stardom but a struggle on how Lecrae fit in the secular and the Christian side. It speaks to creative Christians that doesn’t seem to fit on both sides. So take heart someone is with you with those struggles.

It’s a brief 5.5 hour listen that will take you to the world of Lecrae and shows that your not alone in struggles both the personal and the creative side. Listen to Unashamed presents what it means to be a Christian in the hard places.

My verdict:

5 out of 5

8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Life” by Alister McGrath

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During our open forum for our laymen and women fellowship with the theme, Passion for God, I had a chance to share something about reading that leads to pursuing God. I wrote it down and explained it for about 10 minutes. If youre curious on what I shared to our fellowship, I’ll put it live here as a post on this blog soon.

Anyways, here’s Alister McGrath’s latest book, Richard Dawkins, C. S. Lewis and the Meaning of Lifepublished by InterVarsity Press.  If you like these quotes, please get yourself a copy of this book by ordering at Amazon or InterVarsity Press. Stay tuned to the review of this book.

“Lewis thus invites his readers into the Christian way of seeing things and to explore how things look when seen from its standpoint – as if to say ‘Try seeing things this way!’ If world views or metanarratives can be compared to lenses, which of them brings things into sharpest focus? Clues, taken by themselves, prove nothing; their importance lies rather in their cumulative and contextual force.”

Dawkins attributes his loss of any religious faith to two factors. The first was his growing realization that ‘Darwin provided the magnificently powerful alternative to biological
design which we now know to be true.’ This is a recurrent theme in Dawkins’s later writings: Darwinism offers an ex­
planation of what is observed in the biological world that is superior to belief in a creator God. The second factor is his belief that there is an ‘elementary fallacy’ within any argument from design, in that ‘any god capable of designing the universe would have needed a fair bit of designing himself.’ Darwin’s idea of gradual complexification from a ‘primeval simplicity’ seemed to make a lot more sense to him.”

“Christianity possessed the literary form of a myth, which for Lewis meant a story with deep imaginative appeal, conveying a set of ideas. Yet there was
a critical difference between Nordic myths and the Christian myth: only the latter was true. Pagan myths represented an imperfect grasping towards the truth, a goal finally attained in Christianity. “

“Christians take the view that believing in God helps us make sense of the world, offering a larger framework or big picture into which fits what we observe and experience. Dawkins argues that this involves adding an unobserved and intrinsically complicated entity – God – to the inventory of the universe. Science is about keeping things as simple as pos-
sible – which is one reason why Dawkins prefers atheism to Christianity. It seems a simpler and neater idea. “

“For Lewis, belief in God was neither a distraction from life nor a spurious means of finding consolation. Discovering God was about discovering his own true identity and recalibrating his reason and imagination in the light of this new way of seeing himself and the world. God is neither an object within our universe nor a mere abstract philosophical idea.”

” To have faith in God is not primarily to
give intellectual assent to an idea about God but to step into a greater picture of our world and become part of it.”

“In terms of their intellectual precariousness, both atheism and Christianity reflect the epistemic limits of human beings, who show a tendency to want to believe more – whether that belief is religious or secular – than the evidence actually warrants.”

“Like many readers of The Selfish Gene I often find myself wondering whether Dawkins’s optimistic conclusion isn’t
actually contradicted and subverted by the arguments that precede it. In some ways his analysis echoes the ethos of the Enlightenment: once you have understood something, you can master it. But can we master ourselves in this way? What if our genetic inheritance affects our will, so that we can recognize the hidden influence of our genes, while then discovering that we cannot break free from their influence?”

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

     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)

The Quotable Round-Up #44

Here are some of the quotes from the book “Tactics” by Christian apologist Greg Koukl. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Without the work of the Spirit, no argument — no matter how persuasive — will be effective. But neither will any act of love nor any simple presentation of the gospel. Add the Spirit, though, and the equation changes dramatically.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Here’s the key principle: Without God’s work, nothing else works; but with God’s work, many things work. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, love persuades. By the power of God, the gospel transforms. And with Jesus at work, arguments convince. God is happy to use each of these methods.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Our job is to communicate the gospel as clearly, graciously, and persuasively as possible. God’s job is to take it from there. We may plant the seeds or water the saplings, but God causes whatever increase comes from our efforts.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Understanding God’s central role in the process removes a tremendous burden. We can focus on our job — being clear, gracious, and persuasive — and then leave the results to God (what I called “100% God and 100% man”).”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Sometimes the little things have the greatest impact. Using simple leading questions is an almost effortless way to introduce spiritual topics to a conversation without seeming abrupt, rude, or pushy.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth

The Quotable Round-Up #43

Here are some of the quotes from the book “Tactics” by Christian apologist Greg Koukl. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Beware when rhetoric becomes a substitute for substance. You always know that a person has a weak position when he tries to accomplish with the clever use of words what argument alone cannot do.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Always make it a goal to keep your conversations cordial. Sometimes that will not be possible. If a principled, charitable expression of your ideas makes someone mad, there’s little you can do about it. Jesus’ teaching made some people furious. Just make sure it’s your ideas that offend and not you, that your beliefs cause the dispute and not your behavior.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“To be of one mind biblically doesn’t mean that all have to share the same opinion. It means a warm fellowship based on communion with Christ in the midst of differences. It does not mean abandoning all attempts at refining our knowledge by enforcing an artificial unanimity. True maturity means learning how to disagree in an aggressive fashion, yet still maintaining a peaceful harmony in the church.” — Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
” We need to cultivate the ability to disagree with civility and not take opposition personally. We must also have the grace to allow our own views to be challenged with evidence, reasoning, and Scripture. Those who refuse to dispute have a poor chance of growing in their understanding of truth.” — Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“This is a dangerous attitude for the church because the minute one is labeled mean-spirited simply for raising an opposing view, debate is silenced. If we disqualify legitimate discussion, we compromise our ability to know the truth.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth
“Arguments are good, and dispute is healthy. They clarify the truth and protect us from error and religious despotism. When the church discourages principled debates and a free flow of ideas, the result is shallow Chris tian ity and a false sense of unity.”– Gregory Koukl, Tactics #apologetics #christianconviction #defendingthetruth

The Quotable Round-Up # 41

Here are some of the quotes from the book “The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage” which is part of the series titled “The Gospel for Life”. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“Marriage is based in the complementarity of the sexes, and the very real possibility that marriage relationships produce children. Same-sex couples cannot, by definition, produce what society needs: children. This isn’t to be harsh or critical of same-sex attracted persons in general. It is to communicate, however, that the nature of same-sex relationships are never marital, and thus not biblical in any imaginable scenario.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage is created and defined by God in the Scriptures as the sexual and covenantal union of a man and a woman in lifelong allegiance to each other alone, as husband and wife, with a view to displaying Christ’s covenant relationship to his blood-bought church.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Those who believe that God has spoken to us truthfully in the Bible should not concede that the committed, lifelong partnership and sexual relations of two men or two women is marriage. It isn’t. God has created and defined marriage. And what He has joined together in that creation and that definition cannot be separated and still called marriage in God’s eyes.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The husband displays the sacrificial love of Christ’s headship, and the wife displays the submissive role of Christ’s body. The mystery of marriage is that God had this double (of wife and husband) display in mind when He created man as male and female. Therefore, the profoundest reality in the universe underlies marriage as a covenantal union between a man and a woman.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The good news of Jesus is that God saves heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners who trust Jesus, by counting them righteous because of Christ, and by helping them through His Spirit to live lives pleasing to Him in their disordered brokenness.”– John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The heart of Christianity is that God saves sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best news in all the world is that Jesus Christ died and rose again so that the most bizarre sexual predator—homosexual or heterosexual—can be rescued from his path of destruction, washed, justified, sanctified, and given a place in God’s all-satisfying presence by faith in Jesus Christ. This is the heart of our message.”- John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The recognition of so-called same-sex marriage would be a clear social statement that motherhood or fatherhood or both are negligible in the public good of raising children. Two men adopting children cannot provide motherhood. And two women adopting children cannot provide fatherhood. But God ordained from the beginning that children grow up with a mother and a father, and said, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exod. 20:12). Tragedies in life often make that impossible. But taking actions to make that tragedy normal may be worth prohibiting by law. That’s a factor to consider.”- John Piper, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #johnpiper #thegospelandsamesexmarriage

Quotable Round-Up # 40

Here are some of the quotes from the book “The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage” which is part of the series titled “The Gospel for Life”. If you enjoy this quotes, please feel free to share this post over your social media. God bless you and enjoy your week!
“While marriage is certainly of concern to the church, it has a scope of consequence that goes beyond just the four walls of a church. By definition, marriage is a public institution, which means it serves the public good by helping facilitate access to the common good. In other words, marriage is for everyone––not just Christians.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“..marriage is a creational institution ordained by God meant for the furtherance of the human race, the stability of society, and the satisfaction of deep longing for relationship and intimacy that exists between men and women.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“We might say that marriage’s purpose exists on two levels. First, it’s a human institution intricately woven into the nature of existence and human civilization. Second, in the Bible, marriage is depicted as an earthly shadow of the most important truth of the universe: the gospel of Jesus Christ.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“By echoing the “one flesh” union of Genesis 2, Jesus is putting the purpose of marriage on full display: that men and women unite comprehensively together in marriage through a physical, spiritual, and emotional bond that is oriented to and fulfilled by the creation and rearing of children.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage is ultimately Christian because God created it, but it isn’t exclusive to Christians right now, since God designed marriage to be available to all of creation.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The “one flesh” symbolism is a powerful metaphor for how profound the union is of a man and woman. Man and woman fit together in a way unique to their complementary design. This simple story captures the essence of every human society; for at the foundation of every society is the union of one man and one woman. For from man and woman comes the only possibility for the continuation of mission and society through the bearing of children.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samesexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“The Bible is silent on offering any constructive case for same-sex marriage because the Bible’s definition of marriage prohibits the very concept of same-sex marriage. Looking at all that the Bible says on marriage, same-sex marriage simply isn’t fathomable without contorting and twisting the Bible beyond the bounds of reason.” — Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage
“Marriage isn’t just about children. But neither is marriage just about adult romance. It isn’t just about deep emotional connection. Marriage is ultimately about the glory of God in the gospel.”– Russel Moore and Andrew Walker, The Gospel and Same-Sex Marriage (The Gospel for Life Series) #biblicalmarriage #samelsexmarriage #russelmoore #andrewwalker #thegospelandsamesexmarriage

The Quotable Round-Up #39

Jolly good day guys! It’s this time of the week that we collect some of the best quotes. The book we are now featuring Donald S. Whitney’s “Praying the Bible”. Grab this book because I highly recommend it.

“You will never go through anything in life in which you cannot find the root emotions reflected in the Psalms. Exhilaration, frustration, discouragement, guilt, forgiveness, joy, gratitude, dealing with enemies, contentment, discontentment—you name it: they are all found in the book of Psalms.”

“As we pray the Psalms, therefore, we are returning to God words that he expressly inspired for us to speak and sing to him.”

“With what I’m advocating, our primary activity is prayer, not Bible intake. Bible reading is secondary in this process. Our focus is on God through prayer; our glance is at the Bible. And we turn Godward and pray about every matter that occurs to us as we read.”

“Once the Spirit of God brings people to spiritual life, he preserves them in that life, granting them the grace to persevere in the evidences of that life, such as prayer.”

“When God brings someone into a relationship with himself through Jesus Christ, he begins to live within that person by means of his Holy Spirit.”

The Quotable Round-Up #38

Jolly good day guys! Its this time of the week that we collect some of the best quotes. The book we are now featuring is Donald S. Whitney’s “Praying the Bible”. Grab this book because I highly recommend it.

“God’s mind and God’s Word are so much broader than our own perspective, and he will prompt you through the Bible to pray with an awareness for things far beyond the same old things.”

“Prayer is talking with a person, the person of God himself. So prayer shouldn’t be considered a one-way conversation. And yet, somehow, many people assume that when they meet with God, they must do all the talking.”

“The good news is that you don’t have to come up with new ways to adore the Lord. The Lord has given us 150 chapters of divinely inspired praises (that is, the Psalms) for us to use in adoration.”

“Virtually every line in a New Testament letter suggests something to pray about. In fact, as we’ve already noted, many of these letters include actual prayers.”

“Your confidence that the Lord will indeed answer grows as you ask him to answer you, not because of the earnestness of your pleading but because of the reality that he has set you securely on high in Christ.”

The Quotable Round-Up #37

For this week we are featuring quotes from J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith’s latest book titled “Rooted”. Hope you’ll like it and please pick up a copy.

“The church, Christ’s body, is called to live now in the light of the future.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Everlasting forgiveness is found with Jesus, by faith alone in his death for our sins and in his resurrection from the dead.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“When sin entered the world, God didn’t turn a blind eye. In his justice and mercy, he’s provided the Savior.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“What we need today is a gospel-minded bucket list. In eternity, you won’t be able to travel to Thailand and tell unreached peoples about Jesus. You won’t be able to give your money to pro-life movements. You won’t be able to evangelize your friends and family members, urging them to look to Jesus. That’s for now. Today. Right now. This is the mindset we need today.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“True worship is glorifying God in all of life—to the perimeters and edges of life.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“If you have a paralyzing fear of death, you are living as one who has no hope. You are living with a bad eschatology.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Christians have no need to fear death because we are going to be raised from the dead, joining Jesus in a resurrection like his.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted

“Now, our greatest accomplishment is something we didn’t do, but rather something that’s been done for us and in us. We boast in Jesus’s cross.” –J. A. Medders and Brandon Smith, Rooted