Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Review : Beyond Opinion (Living the Faith We Defend) by Ravi Zacharias

I chose this book to review because I needed a selection of books for my son to read next year in our homeschool for his Christian Apologetics course. I thought it would probably be dry and textbook type but I was very wrong. This book starts off with a preface by Ravi that in itself was eye-opening. I have not studied apologetics much but have always had the desire to learn answers to the questions I am asked about my faith. This book urged me to learn this and to take it seriously because the Christian faith is not only about what Jesus has done for me, but what He wants to do for the entire world. I like the fact that these chapters (written by different authors) all meet the requirement of being loving to the one we are answering to. Too many times we want to learn the "answers" just so we can come off looking "smart" or "Right". This is not the point of apologetics...the point is "studying to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed" so that you can relate to others who are searching from a different worldview for the truth. Or so that you can relate to those who would seek to undermine your faith simply because they have studied on how to bring doubts into your mind, while you may not have studied on how those doubts are settled intelligently and Scripturally. This book helps you to do that.
There are chapters on Postmodernity, Islam, atheism, Eastern religion, science and other topics. The writers are clear in their statements. The vocabulary is advanced to a certain extent so a dictionary was necessary for me for a couple of the chapters since I am new to apologetics and the terms used in that study. I think my favorite chapter was addressing the challenges that our young people who are Christians face today as they attend public school and colleges. It stresses the importance of teaching our young people apologetics for their faith so that they can avoid the hazards of falling away from their faith simply because of oppression and not having been trained in how to defend it. We spend much time training our children to get good grades or to learn to play a sport well...should we not spend equal or more time teaching them how to hold onto their faith? Yes, we should.
I am very happy to have found this book. It will be an excellent resource for our apologetics course next year. It is easily studied and has helped me to grow already in defending my own faith as an adult. Sometimes the person that we are defending our faith to is ourselves...
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Do Hard Things can be a book that will change the face of the earth if our youth (and our adults) read and soak in the principles and ideas found within its pages. To date, this book is the best book for challenging young people not just to "be better people". That is a try, fail, try, fail, give up system. It challenges young people to "do hard things" for a purpose, for a reason and with a strength and power that is beyond themselves. The focus is not on making a name for yourself because you were able to achieve something is on glorifying the Lord in that He was able to use you because you said, "Okay, Lord. I believe in Your power to accomplish all things even through me and my limitations. Here I am. Use me."
I originally purchased this book for my son's homeschooling reading for next year and I read a little in it last week and could not wait until September to give it to him. He read the first chapter in a night and is so excited. He has already felt led to do two things that are "hard things" and has started and seen his own failures...and the Lord's own successes! This book is filled with Scripture which supports the authors' ideas and filled with examples of other teenagers who have been able to do things beyond the expectations of our society. In today's world teens are often "guilty, until proven innocent". These authors (who are brothers, teens and homeschooled)give hope and show it does not have to be that way.
I would give this a rating of 20 on a scale of 1-10 because of the enormous potential for changing lives, changing the world, and bringing people to understand the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Absolutely a keeper. Should be in every church library.
The website the writers have established has so much more to offer as well in the way of support, including a free study guide for youth leaders, parents, teachers, to use with the book. I am thankful for these teenagers who allowed the Lord to use them to start the Rebelution.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

What a Wonderful Fourth!!

We had a glorious church service this morning!! Mr. Green preached a convicting sermon about our command from the Lord to be salt to the world and to be light to the world. To stand up for truth. To be willing to lose anything for Jesus to be glorified.
The music was awesome! We had a wonderful soloist sing The Star SPangled Banner, Ashley Buchanan. She has a beautiful voice!
For supper we enjoyed a cookout with Sally and her family and some friends. Lots of fun! I am tired but happy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Written on the Wind by Judith Pella

I hate it when I read a book that is the first in a series and I don't know that at the beginning...especially such a well-written, exciting book as this one. The author really knows how to develop a character and I felt as though I would recognize the characters if I saw them on the street. She doesn't skirt around touchy issues such as promiscuity, war, betrayal...she handles them with integrity and even the parts of the book that would be embarrassing to talk about in everyday life, the author writes about in a way that makes the heart understand and empathize.
I loved all the characters and the fact that the setting was in the 1940s during the war and involved journalists made it all the more wonderful for me since I love writing myself and enjoyed reading about journalists during that time period and the censorship they had to endure. I could not find any fault with this book and plan on searching for the sequel so I can feed my need to know what happens to Cameron, Alex and Johnny, Blair, Jackie, their father and mother. I need to know!!
The Book