09 June 2010

New blog

I am trying out Wordpress to see if I like it better than blogger check out the new (yet same) blog at wordpress www.xnapologetics.wordpress.com

08 June 2010

Demon: A Memoir, a review

Demon: A MemoirTosca Lee writes this story about a man, Clay, who meets a Demon, Lucian. In this encounter Clay learns about the fall of the angels and how they fall. Clay is an editor, and recent divorcee. Lucian wants Clay to publish his story. However we find this story may actually be more about Clay than Lucian.

This read was strange for me as I wanted to keep reading but did not feel engaged in the book. I do not read many first person books, but have now read two in two weeks, so maybe that was the problem. Not sure. I recommend the book but something was off. I did not find any problems with the theology, as it dwells in the theoretical, unclear portion of how angles fell and what it means to be a fallen angel. Overall 4 out 5 stars.

I purchased and wrote this review of my undertaking, I was not asked for this review nor given this book for review. I also own the original NavPress edition instead of the B&H edition pictured above.

Summer Reading, updated order

This is my planned reading list, I hope to read most of these this summer, but know that probably won't happen. These books are also in an approximate order that I plan to read them. However, this order is subject to change. I will also give at least a short review of most. Also know if I sign up to review any books for Book Sneeze (Thomas Nelson) or Tyndale those will fall in wherever as I receive them.

1.     The Bride Collector – Dekker read beginning of May
2.     Lunatic – Dekker and Hill read beginning of May
3.     Eylon – Dekker and Hill read beginning of May
4.     Immanuel’s Veins – Dekker read June 3 and 4
5.     Jesus Manifesto - Sweet and Viola (Blogger Review for Thomas Nelson) read June 5
6.     Demon - Lee (To prepare for her and Dekker’s Forbidden) finished June 8
7.     Brisingr – Paolini (read the first two might as well keep going) finished June 11
8.     The Witness - McDowell (Blogger Review) (Order may change for this one depending when I receive it from Tyndale)
9.     Tea with Hezbollah - Dekker (Dekker need I say more) (I will read this upon receipt [unless currently reading another book])
10.  A Million Miles in a Thousand Years - Miller (liked his other books)
11.  She Who Watches – Rushford and Harrison (read the first three in the series)
12.  Crazy Love - Chan (been recommended)
13.  Dream House Kings Series - Liparulo (wanted to be my friend on FB, and now is)
14.  The Strain – del Toro and Hogan (liked Pan’s Labyrinth)
15.  This Beautiful Mess - Mckinley (picked it up, should probably read it)
16.  Germ - Liparulo (wanted to be my friend on FB, and now is)
17.  Havah – Lee (if I liked Demon and still to prepare for Forbidden)
18.  A Grief Observed – C. S. Lewis (I like his fiction)
19.  The Lazarus Trap- Bunn (bought for cheap)
20.  The Best of Evil - Wilson (bought for cheap)
21.  Plan B - Wilson (Shelby read)
22.  The Broker - Grisham (like most of his books)
23.  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Austen and Grahame-Smith (I should probably read more classics)
24.  Prayer & Art of VW Maintenance - Miller (again like his other books)
25.  Miracles- C. S. Lewis (like his fiction at least)
26.  The Princess Bride - Goldman (great movie)
27.  The Stand - King (a classic and watched and liked the mini-series)
28.  Change Your Church for Good - Powell (Shelby read)
29.  Imposter - Bunn (bought for cheap)
30.  Forsaken – Arterburn and Moscoe (bought for cheap)
31.  The Problem of Pain – C. S. Lewis
32.  Last Juror - Grisham (like most of his books)
33.  Paradise War - Lawhead (liked his King Raven series)
34.  Pilgrim’s Progress - Bunyan (a classic)
35.  The Abolition of Man – C. S. Lewis

05 June 2010

Jesus Manifesto, a review

Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the Supremacy and Sovereignty of Jesus ChristThe Jesus Manifesto by Sweet and Viola can be summed up in one sentence: Christianity is not a religion but a Christ-centered relationship.

This book unfortunately is just a another drop in the ocean of books that “inspire” the reader to remember it is all about Jesus. I find most of their information to be sound just not new. They tend to over-generalize about the condition of Christianity and then want people to still do all the over-generalized things but with Christ as their center. The novel thing about it is how the book displays this fact. The book mentions both Facebook and Twitter. It seems this book is written for the Social Media crowd, many pages have multiple font types, boxed quotes, and side quotes. For me this was page overload (I am 24 yrs old). I was glad these authors were against a literal one meaning view of the Bible (they note this is a new development, which is true). I recommend this book for new and young Christians. For mature Christians this book will seem redundant, the same old same old.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

11 May 2010

An Apology to Our Government as a Christian

As Christians we can only appropriately approach our views of government two ways. We should follow the Romans 13 way:
1Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.2Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment... (ESV)
And accept how those enact laws, aka Health Care, while in power, or we need to stay completely out of it. Unfortunately we have done neither. I am reminded of recent events, such as those Christians who were spreading the false rumors that Obama was/is against The National Day of Prayer, or who completely criticize, usually in harsh/unchristian language, the government because the Party they support is not in power. This is completely irresponsible for us as Christians. I am calling for all Christians to apologize to our Government for how we have acted especially in the past few months/years. Not only should we apologize but we need to pledge to act better from here on out. How are we to be set apart if we act no better than anyone else or worse (in my opinion) when it comes to politics. I personally vote we become more apolitical, but none the less we need to act more mature. If you agree I suggest you post on your social media accounts, aka Facebook, twitter, etc, an apology to our Government and pledge to act more maturely in the future. Remember Obama says he is a Christian and I cannot in good faith (to God) say he is not: Judge not, that you be not judged (Matt 7:1 ESV).

03 May 2010

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker, a review

The Bride CollectorQuinton Gauld is brilliant, in fact he has unlocked a truth, Since God is infinite, therefore His Love is infinite, then each and every person can be God’s Favorite. Sounds great. How does Quinton apply this logic to real life, simple, he is finding the seven of the most beautiful women and returning them to God as brides. What’s wrong with killing someone to return them to God?

Brad Raines is the FBI agent in charge of the investigation to catch the Bride Collector, Quinton Gauld. But along the way he must discover the meaning of beauty and love. What does it mean to be beautiful and who can be beautiful?

The Bride Collector by Ted Dekker is a thriller, but more importantly explores the meaning of beauty, true beauty. While the actual plot is not overtly complex, but does have a few good twists, it is this exploration of beauty that will captivate the reader. One might guess the ending of the story but it is the process of getting to the ending, the discovery the characters make throughout the story that make this a must read. Four and a half out of five stars, half star deduction for the predictably, though the twists do put in some doubt.

This review was written of my own choosing, I did not receive this book for a review as I have for some other books I have reviewed.

15 April 2010

How Should Christians Live? study review

The Word of Promise Next Generation New Testament Devotional: How Should a Christian Live? (The Word of Promise: Next Generation Devotional & Journal)How Should a Christian Live? part of the The Word of Promise next generation series is a study and devotional aimed at tweens and younger teens. This study also comes with a CD with Sean Astin introducing the book of the Bible and then some young star reading the Scripture from the Reader Friendly edition (formally the International Children’s Bible).
This study on the whole does seem to be good for tweens in a small group setting. I am not sure this would be fun and exciting for them to do on their own. The CD has only one negative, in the background they play music which is great so there is not dead time but they also have this, I assume, writing noise (sounds more like the Smoke Monster from Lost) and it is way too loud compared to the background noise, it distracts from the reader. As a warning this material is very conservative (I would say fundamentalist). It promotes a direct inspiration of the Bible, as in God whispered the words to write in the author’s ear. This is fine you if you have that leaning or do not mind your child learning that. However this does take this to an extreme by stating, “He [God] has made sure the Bible remains exactly as He spoke it all those centuries ago.” This is a blatantly false, one only has to look at Mark 16, between verses eight and nine in almost every English Bible if not all of them include a note stating we have three different manuscript endings. Any Biblical scholar will tell you we did not have a perfect copy of the Bible, while it seems this study claims that we do and have several of them. They really need to reedit this study to clear this up because, what will someone do when confronted with the truth when they were told differently? A) Lose faith B) be ignorant. Neither of the options are healthy.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com http://BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”