Skip to main content

Books in Brief: January Edition

I know that you see plenty of book review posts from me, but this is a little different. While a few famous bloggers do this with books they get sent free, just to keep the free books rolling, I want to point you to some that I have either received as gifts, won in giveaways, or flat-out bought. Yes, I still buy books. Real books. And Kindle books.

Note: all links are to Amazon for convenience. I do not profit, as the Amazon Affiliate program was blocked in Arkansas because of all the things Wal-Mart owns, the State Legislature is one of them.

First up: On the Shoulders of Hobbits by Louis Markos.

On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis

This book runs 240 pages and takes a look at some of the classic virtues and how they can be seen in the characters of both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Rather than attempting to massage the characters or even the author’s intent in these stories, Markos has presented the virtues and used situations from the book to illustrate.

Further, Markos demonstrates the power of story to transform how we see things. The bare idea of pity or friendship comes to life in Frodo, Sam, Lucy, Caspian, and more. Additionally, grab a notepad while you read this one and take note of the other literary works mentioned. It will serve as a great reading list for you.


Second: Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien

Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible

Most of us who are Christians acknowledge the understanding gap between ourselves and Biblical times. At the least, we know of its existence. Misreading gives a look at a few of the ways that our basic cultural assumptions affect our understanding of the Bible. These light areas for improvement in our study and also provide an “aha” moment or two for why someone would have said what they said.

Richards and O’Brien have also put the effort into not condemning the blind spots of our cultural situation. Or, perhaps better said, not condemning us for having them. They highlight how this affects every culture, but the emphasis is on how white, Bible-belt, Americans hit the same spots. Why? That’s what the authors are. Still, the book highlights enough variety to help anyone interested in a deeper study of the Bible.

Finally today, Devotions on the Greek New Testament, edited by J. Scott Duvall and Verlyn D.Verbrugge.

Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire and Instruct

Perhaps, once upon a time, you learned a little Greek. Perhaps, once upon a time, you used that Greek. Perhaps, once upon a time, you let it rust up on you.

This text won’t bring it all back, but it will help you see why you want to work on that Greek. There are 52 devotional readings based in the Greek New Testament. Some of these are clearly highlighting points you will not get in English. Others just show how it looks in the Greek. Either way, it’s worth your time.

So, how about you? Read any good books lately?


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: The Gospel Call and True Conversion

A quick note: This book, The Gospel Call and True Conversion, is currently available on Kindle for $4.99. This is the second in a series of 3, and the first, The Gospel’s Power and Message, is available for $2.99.The Gospel Call and True Conversion. The title of this book alone sounds intimidating, and adding that it’s written by one of the heavyweights of American Reformed Christianity, Paul Washer, does not lessen the intimidation factor. Washer is known to be a straightforward preacher—for good or for ill.What did I find in The Gospel call and True Conversion? I found some things to like:1. Paul Washer is passionate for the truth. He wants to know the truth. He wants to proclaim the truth. He wants the truth heard. He wants you to know the truth. This is good. It is good to see someone not try to base theology on popularity or as a response to modern events, but to base it clearly on truth. 2. There is a strong emphasis on the reality that true conversion (from the title) will resu…

Sermon Recap for July 29 (and 22)

Good Morning!Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: are stockpiled here:!July 29 AM: (Audio)
July 29 PM: (Audio)
July 22 AM: (Audio)July 22 PM: (Audio)