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A Year with G.K. Chesterton, ed. by Kevin Belmonte

If you’re a fan of G.K. Chesterton, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Mr. Belmonte has compiled many of Chesterton’s best works and divided them into bit-sized pieces.

This is quite an accomplishment given Chesterton’s dense style.

Every day includes a brief scripture reading, and many days include tidbits about what happened to the Chesterton family on that date.

The material is not new, but it is well-structured and enjoyable.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

The Indispensable Jesus, by Doug Martin

Jesus is indispensable.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about most of this book.

It appears that an extremely intelligent, enthusiastic, and young Christian college professor has compiled a thousand pages of personal, devotional material and compiled it into this book by WestBow Press, a self-publishing subsidiary of Thomas Nelson.

The author means well and is passionate about his material.

Unfortunately, the sheer volume of material prevents a thorough reading.

I do recommend the author’s concluding thoughts on each topic. They are quite meaningful and thought-provoking.

If the author deleted most of his exposition and put out a brief devotional guide in the style of his many chapter conclusions, I would be very interested.

He has a great deal of potential.

This review was made possible because I received a free copy of the book from the publisher.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

The MoneySmart Family System: Teaching Financial Independence to Children of Every Age, By Steve and Annette Economides

I’d never heard of the MoneySmart system before reading this book. In fact, other than teaching our kids to save some money and donate a bit to charity, I hadn’t considered how to prepare them for the adult world of money.

This book provides an excellent foundation for considering these things deeply and practically.

My family is not going to follow this system precisely. It’s far too rigid and prescriptive.

But it has given me plenty of ideas for how to help my children prepare for a lifetime of financial health without breaking the bank.

If you don’t mind picking and choosing elements from a very strict program, then I recommend giving this book a try!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Mondays With My Old Pastor, by Jose Luis Navajo

This book tries very hard to share tender spiritual lessons, and at times it succeeds.

I enjoyed the parables embedded throughout this story. But the progression of the Old Pastor’s cancer was a distraction to the flow of the book.

Perhaps it made more sense in its original Spanish. It lost some of its power in translation.

Despite my concerns, this is a beautiful book. I found reading it to be a positive and formative experience.

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Called to Controversy by Ruth Rosen

I am a bit too young to remember Moishe Rosen’s founding work with Jews for Jesus.

After reading this book, I feel like I might have been there in the middle of it all.

The author is one of Moishe’s two daughters, and she clearly didn’t hold back. There is insider information and fascinating behind-the-scenes stories in every chapter.

I also enjoyed learning more about his leadership style, the good and the bad. It is interesting to learn more about a great leader’s strengths and faults.

Each chapter begins with a quote, and the text is peppered with many other memorable sayings: “Don’t let yourself become a desk jockey. People spend too much time sitting at their desks.”

“We take God seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”

“A shepherd doesn’t let the wolves meet the sheep.”

If you’re at all interested in learning more about one of the most influential Jewish Christian evangelists of all time, then I recommend you pick up this book. I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

Our Favorite Sins: The Sins We Commit & How You Can Quit by Todd D. Hunter

How many of us have had an experience where we know we need to do one thing, but end up foolishly doing exactly the opposite? Or similarly, not done the right thing at the right time?

This book provides an analysis of why all people behave in this way.

In short, the author claims that disordered desire leads us to poor behavior. If we reorient our desires appropriately, it becomes more natural to do the right thing.

This conclusion is based upon the findings of a comprehensive survey by the Barna Group, well-known for its high-quality surveys on a variety of current topics in the church.

Most surprisingly, about 50% of respondents say that they really don’t know why they sometimes give in to temptation and do the wrong thing.

Although I really enjoyed reading this book and found its conclusions valuable, it did not feel like a coherent whole. The author starts with some relevant passages from the Bible and personal stories, transitions into the details of the Barna study, and then abruptly shifts to his experiences with liturgy as an Anglican bishop.

But other than this one flaw in structure, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about how to respond to our natural tendency to do the wrong thing, even when we know that we ought to do the right thing.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze

The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated

Bible translation is a full space, with many different translations based on a variety of different philosophies.

Every Bible I’ve read falls somewhere on a continuum, between a word-by-word translation with a focus on literal accuracy and paraphrases that capture the flavor and flow of the Biblical narrative.

The Voice is a completely different Bible-reading experience.

As its name implies, this version is intended to be experienced as a read-aloud. The audio recording of The Voice’s Book of Revelation emphasizes the strengths of this artistic rendering of the gospel message.

However, I would not recommend it for daily study.

The Voice is a unique, artistic experience. Many sections are written in script form, with cues for various readers. Additionally, there are many additions in italics which are intended to add to the flow of the reading, but are distracting in print.

If you would like to experience the New Testament in a completely new and unique way, while reading it aloud, I give this version my highest recommendation.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.

Categories: book review, BookSneeze
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