Ann and I are both reviewing the same book today, so hop over to her website to see her opinion as well. The book is Always True by James MacDonald. The book is published by Moody Publishers and is available online from various retailers.
|Always True: God's 5 Promises for When Life is Hard|
MacDonald states that his purpose in writing this book is to reflect on five promises that he sees God making in Scripture to every believer no matter their age, culture, or location. This is an ambitious goal for a book, especially one of only 150 pages. How well does Dr. MacDonald achieve his goal?
First of all, he provides a small amount of the background of his life that produced this book. While there are more details in his other book, Life is Hard, the short summary is enough to help the reader see that this is not the work of an academic. Instead, this is the outpouring of a life that went through darkness, frustration and even despair.
This brings a basic level of credibility to the work. Rather than reading this and hearing the voice of a preacher that is above or outside of suffering, the reader is able to see that MacDonald has experienced needing to be reminded of the truths he’s presenting. So, for the one who needs to know this is a practical book, you can find it here.
Second, though, MacDonald is writing from the viewpoint of one who strongly believes the Bible. He does this by supporting his premises through plentiful Bible references. The work in supporting his views of God’s promises through Scripture is well done. Also, MacDonald has used references from more literal English translations, rather than having to use paraphrases that help stretch the Bible’s words to meet his opinions. This is definitely a strength of this work.
Finally, MacDonald has packaged all of this in a well-condensed work. Above, I mentioned that this is only 150 pages. The truth is, some of those pages are single paragraph introductions and all of the pages have decently wide margins. That alone is a plus for note-takers, but overall this book is usable as a quick read. While there is a depth present that will take a slow pondering to grasp, the book is also accessible to the person who wakes up tomorrow in a crisis and needs the “life support” of God’s promises to hold them together.
In all, I would recommend this book without any reservations.
Actually, along those lines, I have a copy of Always True to give to someone. As mentioned above, Ann and I are both reviewing this book, and we’ve got one (1) copy to give to someone. How are we going to determine who to give it to? Here’s the deal: make a comment on this review, and I’ll enter your name in the hat. Make a comment on her review and she’ll put your name in the same hat. Your comment can be here or on the Facebook link to this blog post. It will have to be a comment that helps us know who you are so we can contact you and send the book. We’ll draw Wednesday, February 9th, 2011, so your comment has to register before then.