4 Star reviews · Apologetics · book review · Communicating with God · Uncategorized

Tap into ‘The Wisdom of God'(a review)

the wisdom of god
Image courtesy of Bethany House Publishers

Tapping into the wisdom of God is a pretty big feat to accomplish. God is an unseen being, an intelligent Creator. One who sent his son Jesus to die for us all so how can we tap into His wisdom and allow it to order our steps? A.W. Tozer’s writings on this subject is quite simple but is easily recognizable and in some cases come off as extremely biased.

 

Tozer starts off describing what Wisdom is. Wisdom is an “afflatus”, a breath created by God and appears in the form of a woman in the biblical writings. Wisdom, also called Sophia, cries out to us. This divine breath. A.W. Tozer references throughout the work, is given freely. He cites  the Wisdom of Solomon. A.W. Tozer repeatedly reminds us that the Wisdom of Solomon is not divinely inspired of God like the other 66 books of the bible, yet gives us a picture of what wisdom truly is.

That was a slight problem with this work. This could be because of my own personal stance on Christianity now as to why I am cautious of what I read and believe. Why isn’t the Wisdom of Solomon included in the 66 books of the bible and who deemed it so?

After learning about wisdom being a “divine lady breath”,  Tozer begins to help us understand the activity of wisdom. Chapter by chapter he teaches us: “The Root of Divine Wisdom”, “The Benefits of Eternal Wisdom”, “The Practicality of God’s Wisdom”, and so on. Each chapter brings you closer to understanding the beauty of wisdom.

There is one teaching that really stuck to me though. In the section on pursuing wisdom, Tozer breaks down Proverbs 1:20-23’s meaning of the scorners, the fools, and simple ones. These are the ones Wisdom will “pour her spirit onto”.

“The point is, though he believes those things, he lives as if they were not so. The man who lives as if the truth were not true is as bad as the man who denies the truth.”(The Wisdom of God, Tozer, pg.108, 2017)

Some troubling areas which came off as biased(again, this could be because of my own feelings as of late about Christianity) stems from over-radical beliefs that is unproven.

For instance, Tozer says: “Millions are in hell because they simply could not resist imitating others”(pg.57) and who are these people in hell Tozer mentions? Smokers and drinkers are one of them. This part is very complex and odd because how do he know who is in hell and how does drinking and smoking land someone in hell? It is bad for health- but hell?

Also, when describing the “strange, evil woman” he calls her sophisticated and smart and “can’t remember when she last attended Sunday school”…? That was pretty low and what does being strange and evil have to do with sophistication unless she is using people and is conceited, I don’t see anything wrong with anyone being sophisticated and intelligent. Perhaps a better example could have been used.

Perhaps I can chalk it up to Tozer’s time period. He lived around 1897-1963 so his views on some things may seem myopic and biased but he is still one excellent theologian and writer.

Overall, the book had great insight and I advise readers to take note on some pages because understanding the wisdom of God is important for the Christian walk. That much I do agree with.

4heart1This book earns four hearts from me and was received for free from Bethany House.

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afterlife · Apologetics · book review · Five Star Review

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell

Answering tough questions about heaven and hell
Image courtesy of Bethany House

Answering the Toughest Questions About Heaven and Hell by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz

Published by Bethany House(2017)

ISBN:978-0-7-7642-1871-2(Print)

Grab your copy on Amazon!

*Book received for free from Bethany House Publishers*

Here’s a sobering fact: “More than 7,000 people die each day in the U.S. Nearly 11,000 are born each day.”(Answering the Toughest Questions, pg.28, 2017).

Bickel and Jantz began this book in the most logical way by asking: Is there an afterlife in general? The tone of the book is conversational, intellectual and made for very easy reading.

However, where the book excels in being  highly organized, the answers given may satisfy those who are deep in the religion and who never waver from the Word of God whilst “new school” believers like myself, believe in Christ but are not quite sure if everything the bible paints is 100% accurate or made clear.

The good part is that the authors actually save the biblical teachings for later. They offer information on the afterlife based off of sound research and used ingenious quotes from Peter Kreeft, Freeman Dyson, Alan Segal, and more.

The real question remains though: Were they able to give us what we want?

Well, the authors were humble enough throughout the book to mention that they do not have clear answers on everything. In fact, going with God, reading the bible and combing through research dealing with the afterlife is anyone’s best bet.

Another cool feature of this book are the reflection questions at the end of each chapter. The questions are tough too! Not something to take lightly. This is your afterlife we’re talking about here.

Below are a few teaser bits of what I learned from this book:

  • Before followers of Jesus were called Christians, they were called people of the way because Jesus said it first that he was/is the way to heaven.
  • C.S. Lewis said “we have an innate desire for immortality so immortality(in some form) must exist.
  • Death may not sting, but it still hurts(I love how they put that!)
  • Life after death can be explained through biology, consciousness, teleology, and physics- to some degree.
  • Our brains and minds are separate. Therefore, when the body dies our minds or spirits will live on.

I enjoyed this book completely. It sort of rekindled my faith. I love reading theology and Christian living books for this reason.

Do you have any thoughts or experiences you’d like to share here? If you have reviewed the book also, let me know!

-The Write Web 🙂

Apologetics · book review · Communicating with God

Bandersnatch by Erika Morrison (a review)

Bandersnatch
Image courtesy of W Publishing Group

*Uncorrected advanced copy received for free from Netgalley

Bandersnatch is really for those  Christians who have had it with dry traditions and desire a real relationship with their Creator.

Bandersnatch  does not follow a linear pattern like a “normal” Christian self help book.

Erika Morrison’s book is more than that.

It is abstract.

For example, she provides a working theme and definition for Bandernsnatch(she makes it a verb):

“I’m inviting you to Bandersnbatch- that is, to acknowledge and embrace the unconventional habits and attitudes that are your birthright…”(xii)

And throughout the book, Erika shares a part of herself with us. She lets us in on that moment when she was a part of the charismatic church and could not speak in tongues but the Holy Spirit gave her another, important creative gift.

Or her thoughts about God that causes you to rethink how and why we worship because “all life is precious- God spoke it into existence.”(155).

Erika does not offer ten steps to worshiping God in some supreme way or even offer up a ten point guide as to why we should all Bandersnatch. The book is not written in “order” and so you can literally pick a chapter and start reading.

She  asks short questions so you can gauge your understanding of the text and your relationship to God.

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

Bandersnatch, Erika Morrison

W Publishing Group-Imprint of Thomas Nelson(October 6,2015)

ISBN: 978-0-7180-3622-5

Apologetics · book review · contemporary christian fiction · mystery novels

Review: ‘The Shadowed Mind'(A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2) is a Chiller

the shadowed mind, suspense booksIf you are a Christian and looking for a good mystery that seems to be ripped from today’s headlines and features a strong, flawed heroine. Then I strongly suggest Julie Cave’s Dinah Harris Mystery trilogy. And in The Shadowed Mind, the second book in this trilogy things get even deadlier.

Former FBI Agent Dinah Harris is now a consultant on the latest case: a cunning, terrifying killer emerges and decides who gets to live or die. Along with this event, Dinah learns about eugenics and euthanasia.

Briefly, eugenics is the science of improving the population by “breeding” those with good genes. Euthanasia is assisted suicide or “mercy killing”. And so in this mystery, there are people groups who publicly denounce these ideas but secretly they hold fast to them and what will raise goose bumps on your skin is the Julie Cave’s research that illustrates in real life people once held/hold on to these ideas, beginning with the history of The racial Integrity Act of 1924 or Sterilization Act which affected blacks of course and Indians and other non-white people groups. But it extends also to sterilizing those with histories of addictions, disabilities, and mental illness.

My Reaction:

Dinah Harris is touted as being the most talented FBI on the force and I guess this is before her depression and drinking took over because right now I see bits and pieces of how good she is as far as asking right questions and digging for clues but nothing really spectacular. But I do have a feeling this will pick up in the conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. Honestly, the books are just that good.

Also, I am a romantic at heart so I am wondering…when the heck will Dinah at least have some sort of gushy feelings for a dude?

Okay, maybe I’m picking, but seriously, this is a great series.

*Book received for unbiased review from author Julie Cave

4/5 Stars

Book Details:

The Shadowed Mind: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #2 by Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)

ISBN:978-0-89051-590-7

Apologetics · book review · mystery novels

Deadly Consequences and Theological Thoughts in ‘Deadly Disclosures’

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris MysteryDeadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery by Julie Cave

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A prominent Secretary of the Smithsonian vanishes and is found dead.

FBI agent Dinah Harris is summoned to the case, but she has a problem. A drinking problem and it will take an act of God for her to get through this case which will shake the foundation of the Smithsonian and America as she knows it.

The case goes deeper as Dinah realizes there is more at stake here than just a missing Secretary. More dead bodies pile up as she and her partner Ferguson discovers that this case is one of faith versus science:

“…you really don’t want anyone to practice any religion except atheism, right?” Dinah said mildly. That doesn’t sound like freedom of religion to me; that sounds like religious persecution.”(pg.257)

Deadly Disclosures is an exciting mystery portraying the views of the humanists/evolutionists and the Creationists/Christians and those who will literally kill for their beliefs. The book has intelligent dialogue, believable crime scenes, and you can tell the book has been thoroughly researched.

Although the book has five star status, some people may find Dinah too dry and cold. Her personality was really stale and her drinking booze every day and night is seen as a hindrance to her relationship with others. However, she does have a devastating story as to why she drinks and wishes to die.

Another potential pitfall for readers could be how atheists and Christians are portrayed. You’ve seen this in faith films: Atheists are the bad guys and Christians are the nice, sweet people.

A very entertaining book that begs you to keep turning the pages.

*Book received for free from Julie Cave for an unbiased review.

View all my reviews

Book Details:

Deadly Disclosures: A Dinah Harris Mystery, #1

Julie Cave

Master Books(2010)

ISBN: 978-0-89051-584-6

Apologetics · astronomy · heaven · writing

As we wait on ‘Ring of Stone’ here’s some pics of Stone’s birth home…

As ‘Ring of Stone'(Book 2 to Mark of Fortune) is being prepared, I thought I’d share a few pics of the place where Stone of the Ice Rings is from. He was born on the “outskirts of Saturn” which can mean the ice rocks on the ring belt on some other place during that ancient time. Either way its beautiful- enjoy!

Click on the “The Basics of Saturn” to enjoy interesting, mind boggling facts on this gas giant!

*Disclaimer: All images are from NASA.org and some may be artist’s concepts.

Dawn on Saturn
Cassini at Saturn’s Bow Shock
Apologetics · book review · Communicating with God

Review of ‘The Full Armor of God’ by Larry Richards


Recognizing the spiritual warfare all around us may not be the difficult part of the Christian life. The difficult part is knowing exactly what Paul meant when he wrote Ephesians  while in Ephesus a place known for serving gods and goddess; demons.

Larry Richards, Ph.D. has written The Full Armor of God: Defending Your Life from Satan’s Schemes. The book, although somewhat brief, gets right to the point of how Christians should read Ephesians, Acts, and Luke in the bible. The author mentions plenty of historical, literary, and personal examples to highlight the fact that spiritual warfare is purely real and can be dealt with:

Recognition begins when we understand that real spiritual warfare takes place within the hearts and lives of individuals. Satan operates what Paul calls, “schemes”(18)

In our day to day events, demons watch for an open door in an individual’s life in order to cripple the believer. There is hope: Paul mentions a few weapons believers have in their spiritual arsenal to help fight the war against the enemy: The helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sandals of peace, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

We must understand that all of the weapons except for the sword of the spirit are defensive methods. The sword is the only offensive tool mentioned in Ephesians. This is amazing to know because Jesus used the Word of God to defeat the enemy for a season while he was on a fast.

Below is a breakdown of the chapters:

Part 1: Understanding Spiritual Forces

Part 2: The Helmet of Salvation(Ephesians 1:1-23)

Part 3: The Shield of Faith(Ephesians 2:1-10)

Part 4: The Sandals of Peace(Ephesians 2:11-4:16)

Part 5: The Breastplate of Righteousness(Ephesians:17-5:7)

Part 6: The Belt of Truth(Ephesians 5:8-6:9)

Part 7: Conclusion: Ephesians 6:10-20

So, what is my reaction to this book? Spiritual Warfare is personal to me to begin with because I have experienced it in my life and used to grab up any spiritual book I could to help me understand a little more. No book is better than the bible of course, but Larry Richards gives some healthy background and advice as well as more tips on combating the dark forces with the power Christ has already given us.

The book is concise, easy to understand, and perfect for anyone wanting to understand just what the full armor of God is.

*This book was received from Chosen Books for my unbiased review.