Book Reviews

/Book Reviews
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Book Summary: Teaching to Change Lives

These words that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Teach them diligently to your children. Deuteronomy 6:6-7

Fathers (and by implication mothers) are to teach the Word of God diligently to our children. Indeed a church has this divine responsibility.

Unfortunately, too often this teaching is B…O….R…I….N…..G. We think about what to teach but not how to teach.

The late Howard Hendricks was a beloved and influential teacher in the last quarter of the 20th century. His Teaching to Change Lives is a classic work not on what to teach but on how to teach. Though written a humorous style that may seem a little dated, this is a classic and accessible work. It will help you become a better teacher. […]

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Book Review: Reformation ABCs

In The Disciple-Making Parent, I have argued that one of the reasons parents are to lead the way in teaching their children is that we learn in the process. When something has to be explained to a child, the teacher must simplify it!

The Reformation ABCs book will help you both understand prominent figures in the Reformation and teach it to your young children. As we celebrate the 500th year of the Reformation in 2017, it is especially appropriate.

The book is both simple enough to read to a 4 or 5 year old but also will keep an 8 or 9 year old engaged. Of course, it includes the well known reformers such as Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin. But it also include less well known individuals […]

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Book Review: What is the Gospel?

We have just finished celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Why was the Reformation so important?

The answer is that through the years the gospel of salvation by grace alone, from Christ alone, through faith alone had become obscured. Men and women were participating in religious activity but they did not understand the core of Christianity – the true gospel. The gospel had become obscured.

A Problem In Our Families?
I wonder if this lack of gospel clarity is also a problem in our homes as we raise our children. In The Disciple-Making Parent I say this:

Surprisingly, for something so important, the gospel can be easily blurred, assumed, or forgotten. As believing parents we often assume our children understand and are being taught the gospel. And so, […]

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Book Review: Tactics

I have recently been reading and loving the book Tactics by Greg Koukl.

Koukl is a skillful questioner and has honed his “Columbo Questions” as a way to cause people to question what they believe. His desire, he tells us, is to “put a pebble in a person’s shoe.” In other words, he just wants to get them to doubt things they hold to be true.

Basic to his strategy is adopting an attitude like Columbo. The famous TV detective appeared inept but he would constantly ask one more question to help him gain understanding and tighten the noose. Eventually Columbo got his killer.

The Columbo Questions
Similarly, Koukl’s encourages us to ask Columbo like questions. His two basic questions are:

1. “What do you mean by that?”
This question causes […]

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Book Review: Hurt 2.0

 
 
While I am on a book review roll, let me add one more – a quick review of Hurt 2.0 by Dr. Chap Clark.

With a first name like Chap, the book has to be good, don’t you think?!

Teens Are Hurt(ing)
According to Dr. Clark, when parents dont attach to their children (see this review), they become abandoned and hurt. Dr. Clark’s book, Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers seeks to take us to the culture the adults cannot see. Clark focuses on “midadolescence,” young people who are in grades 9-12 and ages 15-18. A well-known expert in this area, he conducted his research by immersing himself in the world of high school teens. As he “lived” among them, he systematically recorded the conversations he […]

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Book Review: Hold on to Your Kids

In Hold Onto Your Kids, (HOYK) authors Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté argue that all children need attachment. If they will not receive that attachment from their parents, they will find it in peers. The job of parents is to press in and attach themselves to their children. If they do this then those children can resist the pull of the teen culture. The book is broken into five parts: The Phenomenon of Peer Orientation, How Peer Orientation Undermines Parenting, How Peer Orientation Stunts Healthy Development, How to Hold On to Our Kids, and Preventing Peer Orientation.

In the first section, The Phenomenon of Peer Orientation, they state that “The gap opening up between children and adults can seem unbridgeable at times.” “The secret of parenting […]

Book Recommendation – The Complete Book of Questions

I have this strange hobby. I collect questions.

The right question can open up a conversation and develop a relationship.

God says, The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters but a man of understanding draws him out.

Questions do just that.

But I have found a resource that is light years ahead of me.

The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters for Any Occasion is just what the title says – 1001 questions.

Questions 1-100 are Light and Easy. “Do you squeeze the toothpaste or roll it? Why?” or “How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?”

Then the questions become progressively deeper.
Questions 501-600 are labeled Viewpoints. “Why do you think it is so hard for people to say they are sorry?” and “What is […]

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Book Review of The Dawkins Letters

I have just been handed  The Dawkins Letters: Revised Edition – Challenging Atheist Myths and I am loving it!

As you may know, Richard Dawkins wrote The God Delusion which served as a powerful manifesto for the New Atheists.

Pastor David Robertson decided to respond to Dawkins by sending a letter to his organization. They unexpectedly posted it on their website and Robertson received a number of surprisingly vitriolic responses from the readers.

Realizing he had hit a nerve, Robertson continued to respond in letter format. These letters form the chapters of the book. The titles of the chapters are:

The Myth of Higher Consciousness
The Myth of Godless Beauty
The Myth of Atheistic Rationality and Tolerance
The Myth of the Cruel Old Testament God
The Myth of the Science/Religion Conflict
The Myth of the Created God and the […]

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Book Review – The Lost Letters of Pergamum

Fall is in the air in New England. Christmas will be here soon. Looking for an unusual present for the man or young man who has everything?

Allow me to recommend The Lost Letters of Pergamum by Bruce Longenecker.

These “newly discovered letters” recount the period after Paul’s death while the church was in its infancy. We are allowed to read the “newly found” personal letters between Luke and Antipas. In the course of reading the correspondence, we watch Antipas move from Roman benefactor to Christian martyr.

Longenecker states in his preface:

“The narrative of the final year of Antipas’ life that appears in this following pages is fictional. It arises from one supposition, one fact, and one tradition. The supposition is simple: that the Antipas mentioned in Revelation […]

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Family Book Recommendation: Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen L. Taylor

September should be Family Devotions month. Back to school and routine. Back to leading the family in thinking about the Lord.

When our children were younger we would alternate between the Bible and other books for our family devotions time.

Today I want to highlight a book that we loved years ago:  Little Pilgrim’s Progress. This highly readable book tells the classic story of Christian’s journey to the Celestial City. Along the way, we discover all the temptations and enemies he faces. Part one is about Christian. Part two is about Christiana. This story will spark lots of discussion (and reflection for Mom and Dad.)

While the unabridged adult version can get somewhat long, this children’s version kept our family’s attention. You can see where we each signed it […]

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