069 - Mere Churchianity

Mere Churchianity was an excellent book. Micahel Spencer spent the last few years trying to minister to those who have left the church in search for Jesus. His blog online has been a source for connecting the un-church Christians to Jesus for a while now. His book will hopefully do more of the same. Spencer writes with a directness that few other writers possess. He writes with a clarity and excellence that I found addictive. I would read through this book at every spare moment I had, every chance I got.

Spencer writes his book as an effort in “finding your way back to Jesus-shaped spirituality.” He definitely does that. I would recommend this book to all Christians as something they should check out. The book was a mixture of enjoyable and convicting, prompting me to examine my life and my relationship with Jesus.

"I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

068 - The Grace of God

I've read several books on grace.  What author hasn't written on grace, or at least had a chapter on the idea?  The Christian life is based in the idea of grace, so for better or worse, it gets mentioned a lot in Christian literature.  Andy Stanley recently released a book on the idea of grace, and I can say that his is simply put: another book on grace.  Don't get me wrong, I love Andy Stanley, but I believe that he didn't bring anything new to the table with this book.  However, if you've not read a book on grace, then this one would be an excellent one to cut your teeth on.  I highly respect Andy and have read enough of his books to know that he's an excellent writer and pastor, but this book seems to be just another in an already crowded area.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.

067 - Bum Phillips

A professional football coach who meets Jesus and lives on a ranch.  An interesting story about an interesting man.  Bum lives most of his life as a good man, but it’s not till later that he discovers his need for Christ. 

I thought the book was interesting and a pretty quick read.  Bum is a great man who lived an amazing life.  I enjoyed reading about his experience coaching highschool football and working alongside Bear Bryant.  The only thing I had issue with was when Bum made it pretty clear that “All-star” Christians don’t drink or smoke or curse.  The only problem with this thinking is that it leads to legalism.  However, this thinking is very popular with those who are Bum’s generation.

The book didn’t have too much spiritual depth and rather was more along the lines of a book written for his children.  There were several points in the book where as I read I figured the section was written for Bum’s family rather than just any reader.  

I received this book free from Lucid Books via Books4Bloggers, which is a bloggers review 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

066 - A Pastor Prays for His People

I love a good prayer book.  This one couldn't have been a better fit for me.  I just moved across the country to take a new position as an associate at a new church, and when I saw Tyndale offering this book I thought it would be a great tool to kickstart my ministry.  I was amazed at how well the book is written.  With prayers that are practical and Biblical I couldn't put this book down.  I used it over and over each day for a couple weeks.  I was enthralled.  I would strongly recommend this book to any pastor out there.  If you're struggling with a difficult board or getting to know new people this book would be helpful.  Go check it out today.

Also, according to the law I’m supposed to let you know that I received this book for free to review.  However, in no way has that impacted my review, I wrote honestly and openly about what I thought of the book.

065 - On this Day in Church History

This book is part devotional, part eclectic fact book.  I prefer to use it as a fact book and occasionally get the wild hair to go read what happened today in church history.  The facts are interesting, and the stories are brief, yet complete.  The reader can use this book to impress friends, or just to learn more about church history.  It's well written and includes a great deal on fairly unknown heroes of the Christian faith.  The book sparked ideas several times and made me want to pursue a handful of the individuals it mentions.  Robert Morgan is an excellent writer and has presented what is normally considered boring in an excellent way.  His presentation is more like youtube than an 18 week class on the subject.  I would highly recommend this book.

064 - The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask (With Answers)

Books on apologetics normally end up being very detailed and indepth. Strobel is one of the writers who knows what he’s talking about, but can be quite heavy reading for someone looking for concise answers. However, Mark Mittelberg has written an excellent book on apologetics. He tackles some of the tough questions that people ask Christians and gives proper responses for the Christians. His book gives great answers to the tough questions and is very basic in it’s presentation.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever asked one of the big questions about faith. If you’re a scientist or particularly interested in the philosophical or scientific answers then you are probably better off finding a more in-depth book. Big thanks to Mark for writing such a great book.

Also, I’m supposed to let you know that I was given a free review copy of the book, but that has nothing to do with whether or not I liked it.