April 27, 2009

Book Review

Teaching to Change Lives by Howard G. Hendricks

This book provides seven ways to help you be a better teacher. The book is geared toward teaching the word of God, but could be applied to any subject.

The seven methods are summarized below:

1. Teachers never stop learning.
2. People learn differently – so teach them differently.
3. The most effective learning comes from involvement.
4. To communicate your subject you must know it well, believe it, and live it.
5. Teaching is from the heart, meaning your whole self.
6. Effective teaching is motivating.
7. Preparation of both teacher and student makes for the best learning experience.

The author dedicates one chapter each to the above mentioned topics. There is also an introductory chapter at the beginning and summary chapter at the end. At the end of each chapter there are some reflection type questions to ponder.

Overall, this is a good book and a worthwhile read if you are interested in improving your teaching.


April 08, 2009

Book Review

Matthew 16-23: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary

MacArthur provides thorough Scriptural commentary throughout this book.

MacArthur's commentaries are mainly expository. Meaning, he takes scripture and explains it with other scripture. His expository style, however, is easy to read and understand. He does digress into other scripture or theological topics at times, but I believe he does this so anyone reading this commentary would be able to understand the other scriptural passages that he references.

I would highly recommend The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Series to anyone looking for an in-depth Biblical explanation of Scripture.


April 06, 2009

Book Review

Wild at Heart by John Eldredge

Wild at Heart claims to be a spiritual/christian living type book to help men discover who they are meant to be and help women understand what men need to be like.

Basically the author calls the men in churches today a bunch of sissy's or wimps. To be a real man they need to be wild and adventuresome; to follow their boyhood dreams; men need to fight!

The author quotes many other people throughout the book (which to me often times don't seem to fit in to what the author is trying to get at). He also uses movies to reference what real men should be like (like Hollywood knows what a real man is!).

The author does make an attempt to use scripture to prove his point. Often times, however, he seems to twist the scriptural interpretation to help prove his point. In reality, there are many correct scriptural references that prove the exact opposite of the author's point!

Overall, I cannot recommend this book for various reasons.

First, I believe the author to be wrong about Christian living. I won't go into detail about why, but you can read other reviews on Amazon that further discuss this.

Second, the book just isn't well wrote. There are many long paragraphs that don't seem to make sense. They are just a bunch of sentences piled together. In other places, the author seems to realize this problem and would just (seemly at random) split the paragraph into two paragraphs, neither of which make sense.

The scary part is the fact that this has been a best seller among christian books.

This is one book you can safely skip!


April 03, 2009

Book Review

2 Corinthians: Finding Strength in Weakness (Life Guide Bible Studies)

The lifeguide series is a great series for group Bible study.

This study guide presents Paul's second (biblical) letter to the Corinthians in eleven group sessions. The questions are easy to understand and provide a lot of opportunity for discussion, not just simple one word or yes/no type questions. Each chapter usually had our group of 10-15 in discussion for about an hour.

I highly recommend this book and series to anyone wanting to start a Bible study group.


April 01, 2009

Book Review

Give it All to Him by Max Lucado

This is a small, short book (only 58 pages) about giving all of your "trash" to God who gives you a new beginning through Jesus Christ.

I had to read this book through twice, because the first time I just didn't get it. Each "chapter" starts with a story from another of Lucado's books (I think this is what confused me the first time I read it). The chapter then expands on that story.

Lucado starts his book by letting the reader know that they are not alone; everyone has sin and burdens (trash) in their life. He describes that further by giving examples such as loneliness, worry, pain, resentment, revenge, and failure.

Lucado closes by describing a Way to take out our trash and get rid of it permanently. There is Someone who see and wants your burdens. As we confess our sins and give them to Him He forgives, cleanses, and gives us a new beginning.

I was looking for a quick inspiration/introductory book to give to people as a witnessing tool. I believe this books does that in a way that is appealing and understandable, yet it is true to Scripture.