August 26, 2009

Book Review

A Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur

This book is really an in depth study/commentary on Luke 15:11-32, the parable of the prodigal son.

MacArthur separates the book into five parts:
  • The Parable
  • The Prodigal
  • The Father
  • The Elder Brother
  • The Epilogue
Each part has several chapters describing a particular aspect of the parable.

Overall, I believe MacArthur writes the truth in depth. Maybe a little too deep, in this case, for the average person. I found the book to kind of drag on in spots with too much detail for me to follow.

MacArthur correctly states in the Appendix that Jesus used parables as a tool to teach and defend the truth. However, I do think MacArthur gets a little excessive in his explanation of this parable.

In fact, several times I had to stop reading and get a dictionary out to look up words MacArthur used. After figuring out the meaning of the word, I could think of several other more common and understandable words to use instead.

I wonder how much of this book was MacArthur's writing versus Phil Johnson's editing. It seems to me that Johnson likes to use those "big" words.

At any rate I do not recommend this book to the average reader. While I believe MacArthur is correct in his description of the parable, the book seems to be geared more to the academic world rather than the common Christian.

Jesus used about 26 sentences in the parable. MacArthur used 210 pages to explain it!

August 12, 2009

FICO Score again!

As my regular readers know, I have made some comments on here about the FICO scoring process. My comments were even published in last months Kiplinger's magazine.

This month I get my FICO score update and it dropped 22 points to its lowest level since I started monitoring it!

Amazingly enough, my actual credit has changed any! There is definitely something fishy with FICO!


August 06, 2009

Published Again!

My letter to the editor of Kiplinger's magazine was published in the September 2009 issue.

This letter was in regards to credit scores and the closing of credit card accounts. I had several credit cards closed by the company and was expected a drop in my credit score. My credit score actually went up.

As it turns out, inactive cards don't hurt your score. Hmm.. Sounds like something fishy with FICO!

You can pick up your own copy of Kiplinger's to keep as a souvenir.


August 03, 2009

Book Review

"The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer" compiled by Leonard Allen.

This book contains many authors' thoughts on prayer. The oldest writings are from Martin Luther and John Calvin during the 1500's. Some of the contemporary, more familiar names are Max Lucado and Jim Cymbala.

The book is divided into 10 chapters, each dealing with a particular topic of prayer.
  • the purpose of prayer
  • the Psalms as prayer
  • patterns for prayer
  • a passion for prayer
  • the posture of prayer
  • problems with prayer
  • powerlessness and prayer
  • public and private prayer
  • pastoral prayer
  • the power of prayer
Overall, this was an okay book. I was excited to start reading it, but after a few chapters it got a little boring. It does provide you with a nice introduction to many authors' writings. If you like their style then you can get their books for future reading enjoyment.

Personally, I thought several of the authors wrote a lot of words, but didn't really say anything of any value.

I would recommend this book only if you are looking specifically for a wide variety of writings on the topic of prayer to determine which authors you want to study more thoroughly.