Book Review: “Consider Your Counsel” (Bob W. Kellemen)

In every ministry there will always be flaws. No matter how good the method or program it administers, there will be some shortcomings. We are finite beings and sinners. No ministry is foolproof. It is by God’s grace that He allows us to work on a ministry. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t address those we can see and polish it to be better. Specifically, in biblical counseling, as we engage to fellow image bearers and helping them to be connected to the Scriptures. Resources are welcome to fix what we are already practicing. And that’s were Consider Your Counsel steps in.

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8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “Consider Your Counsel”(Robert W. Kellemen)

Hello! I want to share these quotes I like from the book Consider Your Counsel by Bob W. Kellemen published by New Growth Press. If you want to support the author, click here to purchase the book.

“With one foot, we enter deeply and personally into our counselee’s story, situation, and soul. With the other foot, we pivot into and journey together to Christ’s story of redemptive hope.”

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Redeeming “Iglesya”

In our translation team, someone raised a question on what word that we should use for “church” in Tagalog. Is it “iglesya”, “simbahan” or something else? This is an interesting question considering that it does bring confusion not just Christians but to unbelievers we are reaching out.

I already pointed this in an article that iglesya is one of the misunderstood theological term here in the Philippines. I think it’s worth exploring it again here because I think it’s more than a question if such word should be used. The issue can be more deep than that. I think as we Christian who doesn’t want to misrepresent the gospel, so it should be our motive also to rightfully show what a church really is according to the Scriptures.

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8 Favorite Quotes from the Book “The Whole Life: 52 Weeks of Biblical Self-Care”(Eliza Huie and Esther Smith)

Here are my favorite quotes from the book, The Whole Life by Eliza Huie and Esther Smith, a forthcoming book from New Growth Press. Officially it will be release on July 26, 2021. If you want to support the authors, you can pre-order the book by following this link.

We embrace self-care as a way to steward our souls, minds, bodies, and relationships. This whole-life stewardship is an act of obedience to God’s call to love others as we love ourselves.

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Book Review: “Charitable Writing”(Richard Hughes Gibson and James E. Beitler III)

Finally, I have finished this great book on writing and now I want to share not just quotes from it but my impression of this volume. It’s took me a few months before I finish this due to the fact that I have to give way to other books that is short so I can have something to put on my blog. But as I lay aside this book and the parts I already read, the content still is stuck in my mind all throughout those time that’s why I was so eager to pick it up and finish it.

The introduction to Charitable Writing is of course essential but its a bit long. However, once you get out of the woods and it will be a smooth and enjoyable ride. Its a long read so expect it to be grueling but interesting journey.

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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)