Category Archives: Books

Jumpstart Your Creativity: 10 Jolts to Get Creative and Stay Creative (Jumpstart Series) by Steven Rowell, Shawn Doyle

JumpstartCreativity

Are you creative? Do you want to be more creative in your business and personal life?

Everyone has the ability to be creative.

This fun lighthearted and easy to read book will give you 10 Jolts to reawaken and tap into your innate creativity in order to be more successful at work and in your personal life. In this book, you will learn the tools techniques and methods for getting and staying creative in a competitive world.

Jumpstart Your Creativity gives you proven specific effective tools and great tips to use, to both generate ideas and evaluate them effectively. Are you ready to tap into your creativity?  This book will show you how, and you will be amazed at the results!  “Are you creative? Do you want to be more creative in your business and personal life?  Everyone has the ability to be creative. This fun lighthearted and easy to read book will give you 10 Jolts to reawaken and tap into your innate creativity in order to be more successful at work and in your personal life.

*****

This definitely is something to look in to in order to delve into a more creative mindset. Great ideas to stir up the creative juices and to go down the road of creativity. Sometimes we just need a nudge down that road because we are blocked or just cannot get started, again, into the creative mood. This will definitely help.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, eBook, Education, Issues, Reading, Review, Writing

The Longing for Home: Reflections at Midlife by Frederick Buechner

Longing for Home

In this deeply moving book of reflection and recollection, Frederick Buechner once again draws us into his deeply textured life and experience to illuminate our own understanding of home as both our place of origin and our ultimate destination.

For Frederick Buechner, the meaning of home is twofold: the home we remember and the home we dream. As a word, it not only recalls the place that we grew up in and that had much to do with the people we eventually became, but also points ahead to the home that, in faith, we believe awaits us at life’s end. Writing at the approach of his seventieth birthday, he describes, both in prose and in a group of poems, the one particular house that was most precious to him as a child, the books he read there, and the people he loved there. He speaks also of the lifelong search we are all engaged in to make a new home for ourselves and for our families, which is at the same time a search to find something like the wholeness and comfort of home with ourselves. As he turns his attention to our dreams of the heavenly home still to come, he sees it as both hallowing and fulfilling the charity and the peach of our original home.

Writing with warmth, wisdom, and compelling eloquence, Frederick Buechner once again enables us to see more deeply into the secret places of our hearts. The Longing for Home will help to bring clarity and guidance to anyone who searches for meaning in a world that all too often seems meaningless.

*****

Another book which is far from the normal book for me to read, but consider this…by staying with the same type or style of writing will create in one a stale and bland palate of reading. sometimes we need to shake things up a little  in order to stir up something different!

While this was a warm book of short writings about life, which truly strayed me far from what I normally read, was a collection of writings which brings one back home to make you think of your childhood and days long gone by…carefree days.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under eBook, Education, Faith, History, Reading, Review, Writing

Miracles: 32 True Stories by Joanie Hileman

Miracles 32 True Stories

A dying child counts angels in her room. A teenage boy stuns doctors by recovering from a massive brain injury. A bubble of protection surrounds a man about to be hit by a car…These miraculous accounts and twenty-nine more are recorded in Miracles: 32 True Stories.

“Almost every month I get a request to either read or edit a book or booklet, and to be honest, I dread to see them coming, because most of them are hardly worthy of a positive recommendation. When Joan asked me to read her Miracles, I was not looking forward to reading it at all … much to my surprise I could not stop reading it until I had read the entire book. Each story was different enough to keep my interest, and God’s finger-print was all over each of the stories told. There was never one bit of doubt who authored each of those stories…” BILL IRWIN, CHRISTIAN AUTHOR AND SPEAKER

*****

Not my normal book for reading, but was rather interesting on the numerous miracles that were believed and perceived to have occurred by those on the precipice of losing faith.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under christian, eBook, Education, Faith, Interview, Issues, Reading, Review, Writing

The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed by Scott Parazynski

“Scott Parazynski’s drive, curiosity, inventiveness, and great humor shine through the pages of The Sky Below and will certainly inspire future generations to pursue their dreams with every fiber in their being.” —John Glenn, NASA astronaut

An epic memoir from a man whose life is defined by exploration and innovation, The Sky Below re-creates some of the most unforgettable adventures of our time. From dramatic, high-risk spacewalks to author Scott Parazynski’s death-defying quest to summit Mount Everest—his body ravaged by a career in space—readers will experience the life of an elite athlete, physician, and explorer.

This intimate, compelling account offers a rare portrait of space exploration from the inside. A global nomad raised in the shadow of NASA’s Apollo missions, Parazynski never lost sight of his childhood dream to one day don a spacesuit and float outside the airlock. With deep passion, unbridled creativity, resilience, humility, and self-deprecation, Parazynski chases his dream of the ultimate adventure experience, again and again and again. In an era that transitioned from moon shots to the Space Shuttle, space station, and Mars research, Parazynski flies with John Glenn, tests jet packs, trains in Russia to become a cosmonaut, and flies five missions to outer space (including seven spacewalks) in his seventeen-year NASA career.

An unparalleled, visceral opportunity to understand what it’s like to train for—and deploy to—a home in zero gravity, The Sky Below also portrays an astronaut’s engagement with the challenges of his life on Earth, including raising a beautiful autistic daughter and finding true love.

Leave a comment

Filed under Biographies, eBook, Education, History, Reading, Review

Pain: The Divine Mystery: Why God Allows Suffering by Elmer L. Towns

Pain

Pain is an enigma-a haunting reality-we all face. Whether the pain you are experiencing is chronic or the result of a new injury or illness, you have no doubt asked the Lord, Why? Why must I suffer? Why must the pain be so intense or so never-ending?

Elmer Towns confronted similar questions as he withstood the debilitating effects of cancer treatment. As he sought to find something precious in the enduring, Towns realized that pain can draw the mature believer into closer intimacy with God.

Pain: The Divine Mystery will help you look at your own suffering through the eyes of the Master Sculptor-He who has the highest purpose in place for your life. You will be challenged to examine your deepest fears, to discover God’s part in your healing, and to pursue better overall health in the process.

You will find, as Towns did, that even pain can be endured when you have a purpose to live through it. As you seek to understand the “why” behind your own suffering, God will reveal much more than you can imagine: He will reveal Himself. Pain has a divine purpose for spiritual breakthrough.

*****

This was an interesting book as it treated pain as an entity from which we could learn, or that it was a teaching tool. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” ~Romans 8:28 NKJV We all have things, inanimate and otherwise, which will teach us…pain is no different. God uses pain also to teach us about our body and to teach us perseverance, as well as patience. Well worth the time to read and it is a short read, at that!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, christian, eBook, Education, Faith, Issues, Ministry, Reading, Review, Writing

The Apostle: A Life of Paul by John Charles Pollock

TheApostle

The drama of a novel meets scholarship in leading Christian biographer John Pollock’s classic work about one of the most transforming persons in history: the apostle Paul.

The Apostle masterfully combines careful adherence to biblical text, detailed research, and a storyteller’s gift to create a book equally relevant for both casual readers fascinated by Paul’s life and serious biblical scholars. Pollock begins his fast-movig narrative with Stephen’s death and follows Paul through his conversion, missionary journeys, and eventual execution. Many will enjoy it simply as a satisfying and insightful true-life story, although maps and a study guide allow for deeper exploration. The Apostle was originally published in 1969, and this new edition marks the first significant revision in many years.

*****

This was an excellent read. It was a help in tying the epistles together and aiding me in the chronology of Paul’s trek. From about the time of Paul’s leading the stoning of Stephan to his beheading. An excellent read which was well worth the time!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under bible, Biographies, Books, christian, eBook, Education, Evangelistic, Faith, Reading, Religious, Writing

Expositions of Bible Doctrines Taking the Epistle to the Romans As a Point of Departure (Romans #1-4) by Donald Grey Barnhouse

Romans

A series of expositional studies in which Barnhouse examines the Epistle of Romans phrase by phrase, not only in its immediate context but also in the larger context of the entire teaching of Scripture. Scripture is thus interpreted by Scripture, bringing all the correlated truths of the Word to bear on each line and word of the epistle. Available in sets only.

*****

An excellent exposition on the book of Romans by Paul. Painstakingly, taking each line, of each chapter, and expanding upon it’s meaning. It’s meaning within context of the Apostle Paul’s life and real life context, as well. It is a tough read, but well worth it for the understanding of this foundational book of the bible. I say foundational because it is the foundation to understanding salvation and how we should act with one another.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetic, bible, Books, christian, Education, Evangelistic, Faith, Ministry, Reading, Religious, study, Writing

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

PowerOfNow

Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.

Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he’s added markers that symbolise “break time”. This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles–a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. —Gail Hudson

*****

While I thought this was a good book, overall, and that it touched on a few, if not several points that I could relate to, I did find it as a means to liken Christianity to Buddhism – in certain respects. I guess everyone has their thing and interpretation, but to liken one religion to another is a bit out of bounds, to me. It was a good book, as I said, but beware of the teachings you follow. To follow the wrong beliefs could send you on a trek you do not wish to follow once you get to the end of your journey!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, eBook, Education, Faith, Review, Writing

60+ books that ought to be in every Christian’s library

[Original Article]

By Eric Johnson

Check out the following Viewpoint on Mormonism podcasts:

Non LDS Witnessing Resources  November 11, 2011

Witnessing Resources  September 2, 2011  (Series of articles)

• LDS Resources Part 1   Part 2  August 5, 12, 2011  (Article)

Links throughout this article go to Amazon.com, an excellent place to buy books at a low cost, with free shipping for orders over $35. Or if you have Prime, shipping is free. We have included links directly to Amazon throughout the article (without pictures of the books) so you can get more information about each book. This prevents us from cluttering up this article too much. If you decide to order any of these books, please add any of your selection to your cart directly from our link you clicked on this article and MRM will receive a little bit of credit with Amazon! Thank you!

Introduction

Occasionally I am asked which books I recommend for the Christian who is interested in doing apologetics. Owning your faith is important, for sure, and certainly all serious apologetic endeavors ought to start with the Bible itself. However, with just a few dozen books as a foundation, every layperson can be “thoroughly equipped unto every good work.”

Allow me to include a limited selection from my library as well as give few short sentences explaining why I recommend each one.

BIBLE

First of all, everyone needs a good copy of the Bible. There are a number of good translations out there. Among some of my favorite versions are The New International Version, the English Standard Version, and the New Living Translation. You may want to consider a Bible that has good notes and articles. There are a number of them out there, including one that I contributed articles as well as the “Twisted Scripture” entries called the Apologetics Study Bible for Students (paper, hardcover, tan imitation leather and blue imitation leather).

Before buying a Bible, check out the different translations—a good place to go is here.  I’d also recommend going to a quality Bible bookstore (Lifeway Books is a good place) so you can get a feel for the Bible in your hands and see what each one offers–there are just so many choices of the world’s most published and read book!

If you would like to be able to see eight different New Testament translations on the same two pages, then I recommend

The Contemporary Parallel New Testament: 8 Translations: King James, New American Standard, New Century, Contemporary English, New International, New Living, New King James, The Message

Sometimes reading different translations than what we’re used to can help make a passage become more understandable.

In apologetics, the reliability of the biblical manuscripts are often attacked, especially the gospels and the New Testament itself. Thus, allow me to give a couple of resources that would be good to consider.

The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? Paperback

 by F.F. Bruce is a classic on the topic and is generally very readable for the layperson. Another one that is well done is

Historical Reliability of the Gospels

by Craig Blomberg. Together these books should be considered two of the best single-volume resources on the topic.

Because particular passages often come under scrutiny, I recommend having several resources available to use as resources.  First,

 The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation Paperback

by Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe is perfect. Common verses that are called “contradictions” and considered by skeptics to be major problems for the Christian are listed in the same order as the Bible. (This was first published asWhen Critics Ask, the version I have on my shelf.)

Another excellent resource is Gleason Archer’s

New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties Hardcover. 

A third resource is

Hard Sayings of the Bible Paperback

 by Walter C. Kaiser Jr, Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce (Author), and Manfred Brauch. Generally the articles in this book are longer and more detailed. Having all three of these resources will prove to be handy when confronted with a difficult-to-understand passage by the skeptic or cultist.

And for a book aimed at the specific verses used by those in the cults, I suggest

Correcting the Cults: Expert Responses to Their Scripture Twisting Paperback

by Norman Geisler and Ron Rhodes. Learning how to interpret the Bible is also vital. If there is only one book that would help the layperson better understand “prolegomena,” “hermeneutics” or “biblical interpretation” is

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth Paperback – Deluxe Edition

by Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart. It talks about the different biblical genres and explains the right (vs. the wrong) way to do Bible learning.

BIBLICAL RESOURCES

I think it’s important to have a few reference tools to help the believer study the Bible. Of course, commentaries are wonderful, though it is prohibitively expensive for a person to own individual books for every book of the Bible. When you are in a specific Bible study, I recommend purchasing these by qualified Evangelical scholars to help you dig deeper into a passage. Don’t rely on this first and certainly not alone; use it after you’ve done your own study. Because I’m trying to keep this article as simple as possible, I won’t provide specific recommendations, but go to any Evangelical Christian bookstore and they should be able to assist you.

Although many laypeople do not have access to look at the biblical languages, I recommend

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: With Topical Index

having on hand. This book, available from Amazon for under $20, will be beneficial when a specific word’s nuance needs to be understood.

Another classic is

New Strong’s Exhautive Concordance (Super Value Series)

 

by James Strong. Like Vine’s, this has been reprinted at under $20, an incredible deal for the resource. Granted, many laypeople may not spend very much time with the resources, but they come in handy in Bible study and ought to belong to every Christian’s library.

I like

Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Completely Revised and Updated Edition

(or

Kindle

) edited by Ronald Youngblood (who was my professor in seminary at Bethel Seminary San Diego, and with whom my wife and I traveled to the Holy Land in 1990). Written in an encyclopedic manner, this book contains short articles on a variety of topics and comes in handy when an unfamiliar name or word come up.

For those who like more detailed articles, I recommend the downloadable version (4 volumes) of the,

Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)

edited by Orr. These articles are more in-depth than a Bible dictionary. Although the 4-volume set is no longer published and used copies will set you back $100+, it has been taken to an electronic form and is available for $5, though this version does not include maps or illustrations.

Everyone should have access to Bible charts and maps, and one of my favorites is

Holman Book of Biblical Charts, Maps, and Reconstructions.

 

There are also a number of pictures of what the insides of the tabernacle, temple, and other historical buildings would have looked like, with cut-away views. Nice.

Another nice resource is

Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition

.

It covers the entire Bible book by book.

Probably most colorful of all is

Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps, and Time Lines

.

Very appealing layout in this book makes it a nice resource to own.

APOLOGETICS

For an overview of this topic,

Handbook of Christian Apologetics

(or

Kindle)

by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli is a good place to start. I especially like the section in the book dealing with 20 evidences for the existence of God.

Two books by William Lane Craig are very worthwhile. Craig, who has two Ph.D. degrees and is a skilled debater—especially with atheists—has written related books on defending the faith, including

On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision 

(or

KINDLE

), which is written in a format that every Christian ought to be able to understand. Craig does a good job taking lofty ideas and simplifying it for this book. There is also

On Guard Study Guide.

He also wrote

Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

 

(or

 

Kindle

), which some laypeople will find a little more difficult to follow but it’s well worth the time and effort. There is also a

Reasonable Faith Study Guide

, which I recommend for group study. Again, Craig does his best to simplify some pretty heady arguments to explain why Christianity makes great sense.

The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism is well done, a favorite of Bill McKeever’s.  If you want the DVD and discussion guide, use this link.

If you are dealing with atheism, another recommended volume is

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist 

(or 

Kindle

)

by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. This book might be a little simpler to understand than Craig’s works yet it still packs a powerful punch. There is also

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist Curriculum 

and

The Official Study Guide to I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist

(or

Kindle

). If that’s not enough, just get everything here:

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist Curriculum Complete Set.

 

With material like this, it’s a wonder anyone can remain an atheist!

It’s just been revised, and I think

When Skeptics Ask: A Handbook on Christian Evidences

 

by Norman Geisler and Ron Brooks is definitely worth a read. It deals with specific issues that are common atheistic attacks on God.

It hasn’t been around for long, but former journalist/atheist Lee Strobel’s

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Case for … Series) 

(or

Kindle

) is excellent for giving to skeptics, as the author interviews some big names to determine the historicity of the Bible and the very person of Jesus Christ. For teens, I recommend

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Student Edition) 

and

Case for Christ for Kids (Case for… Series for Kids).

A six-pack collection at a reduced price is also available, which can be used to hand out in your evangelism efforts.

Strobel also wrote

The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity (Case for … Series)

 

(or

Kindle

). Along with The Case for Christ, Strobel offers as simple of an apologetic view on Christianity that there are available, again using interviews with big-name scholars to provide his case. You can buy these books in 6-packs, which I do and use as giveaways with friends and neighbors. These are the kinds of books you want co-workers and others to read, whether or not they have a Christian faith. Just like the previous book, this is available in

Case for Faith–Student Edition, The

and

Case for Faith for Kids (Case for… Series for Kids)

. Finally, there is

The Lee Strobel 3-Disc Film Collection: The Case for Christ, The Case for Faith, The Case for Creation

on DVD for under $20, well worth the price to educate your family and church.

A newer resource written in this same style is

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels 

(or

Kindle

) written by my friend J. Warner Wallace. Wallace, a former police detective, writes in a very intriguing style explaining how he (a former atheist himself) came to the Christian faith based on the readily available evidence.

Many atheists think that the chink in the believer’s armor is the God of the Old Testament who seems so mean and judgmental. Hence, while it will be a difficult read for some, I think Paul Copan did an excellent job in

Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God 

(or

Kindle

). Here Copan shows that the God of the Old Testament is the same as the New Testament God, so if you have skeptic friends who bring this topic up, then you need to read it.

For apologetic tactics, there is no better book than Greg Koukl’s (Stand to Reason)

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

(or

Kindle)

.

Koukl is a master at the Socratic method, as this book will teach you how to have an intelligent conversation without resorted to yelling and screaming.

Although it is no longer printed by Baker but I recommend

Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Baker Reference Library)

.

Feel free to read it from cover to cover of this 800+ page book, but this 2-column resource will be beneficial to you for the rest of your life.

GOD

There can be no greater endeavor than to get to better know God. A person who takes 2 Timothy 2:15 seriously (“study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”) will want to consider books written by some godly folks. And probably nobody does it better than A.W. Tozer. For example,

The Knowledge of the Holy Paperback

describes the different attributes of God, with short chapters. A two-volume set I like is

The Attributes of God Volume 1 and Volume 2

. I have led studies with these books with former Latter-day Saints and they have devoured both volumes.

No issue is more important than the Trinity, which skeptics and atheists like to disparage. It is a complex topic but ought to be studied by every Christian. Thus, I’d have

The Forgotten Trinity

by James White on my shelf, as the author explains biblical reasons why he “loves” the Trinity. It’s not as popular as White’s, but Cal Beisner’s

God in Three Persons: Paperback

is smaller and probably easier to read than White, and so I recommend it as well.

We should also have a firm grip on who Jesus really is, so you ought to consider adding

Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ Paperback

by Robert M. Bowman and J. Ed Komoszewski to your library. In addition, my friend Mark Strauss wrote a very readable text on the gospels’ united accounts of Christ titled

Four Portraits, One Jesus: A Survey of Jesus and the Gospels Hardcover.

Understanding the person of Christ will help the believer spot error when the character of our Savior is painted with heretical strokes.

Doctrine/Theology

Understanding the nuances of Christian doctrine is something that should be emphasized . Depending on your denominational background, you may want to be careful here because different theologians have a variety of emphases (i.e. dispensational, charismatic, reformed, etc). Thus, unless you’re interested in looking at what others have to say, I’d purchase these books very carefully and with discernment.

I graduated from a Baptist General Conference seminary, which meant I studied Millard Erickson’s Systematic Theology, a very large volume. It has been condensed into one more suitable for laypeople called

Introducing

Christian Doctrine (2nd Edition) Hardcover

. While there will always be places to quibble and debate, I think Erickson is a great place to start. A classic systematic theology text is Wayne Grudem’s

Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine Hardcover.

I must admit, I have not read this volume, but Grudem is well respected from the charismatic camp and I have only heard good things about the book. Again, one must understand the writer’s presuppositions and then take everything into account. There are essentials in Christian doctrine (i.e. the nature of God, the deity of Jesus, the role of salvation, etc) and then there are peripheral issues as well. I recommend that you talk with your pastor to see which volumes he might recommend.

When it comes to doctrine, we should understand some history. Thus, I would suggest picking up

The History of Christian Doctrine

by Louis Berkhof.  J.N.D. Kelly wrote

Early Christian Doctrines: Revised Edition Paperback

that hasn’t been revised since it was first printed in 1978, with a bright yellow cover and all. That tells you something when the publisher has not revised a product: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And to get into some more history, the hardcover edition of

Heresies

by Harold O.J. Brown is highly recommended. You’ll have to like history to enjoy this volume, but you will quickly see that there is very little new under the sun.

Applying theology must also be considered, so let me add one title that made me think about my Christian worldview.

How Now Shall We Live? Paperback

was written by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey, an excellent starter volume for integrating our theology into our practical living and utilizing critical thinking skills.

CULTS/RELIGIONS

In my last section, let me provide a few favorites. For world religions, I think Dean Halverson did a great job summarizing the major faiths in the world in

The Compact Guide to World Religions Paperback.

Even if you have little background understanding of these religions, I think this is a great start.

A valuable charts book was compiled by H. Wayne House titled

Charts of World Religions (ZondervanCharts) Paperback

.

One for the cults was also done called

Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements Paperback. 

There are a number of good books aimed as specific religions and cults. For Islam, I like

Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross Paperback

by Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb.

Although I haven’t read them all, what I’ve seen of Michael Brown’s 4-volume set on Judaism titled

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus

is very thorough. I don’t have that much interaction with those of the Jewish persuasion, but this could be a handy set to have on hand.

Vol. 1Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 4.

For Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ron Rhodes does a great job in

Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah’s Witnesses Paperback

It’s out of print, but you can get a used copies of Robert Bowman’s

Why You Should Believe in the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah’s Witnesses Paperback

and

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of John Paperback

As far as Mormonism is concerned, there are books published by the church that are important for ready-reference. For example, the current manual from the “Teachings of Presidents of the Church” ought to be included. In 2014, the men and women are covering teachings from tenth president Joseph Fielding Smith, which is free on Kindle. Another book that is valuable is the 2009 version of

Gospel Principles

, with is only a few dollars.  This manual is often used with newer converts. And

True to the Faith

is a dictionary-like reference that will define terms in a few sentences or paragraph.

Books written by LDS leaders or scholars ought to also be considered. For example,

The Miracle of Forgiveness Paperback

by Spencer W. Kimball is on the top of my list.   Check out our website on this book  to get a better understanding about on the issue of salvation and “forgiveness,” and let it be know that the book is not only sold in Deseret bookstores but it has been commended (and recommended) in recent years by an apostle and two seventies.

To get a better view of Joseph Smith, Richard Lyman Bushman, a Latter-day Saint, wrote a pretty accurate biography of Joseph Smith titled

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling Paperback.

This will help you get a better understanding of what this man was all about. To see about his polygamous ways, consider

In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith Hardcover,

as Mormon scholar Todd Compton gives details about Joseph Smith’s 34 wives.Some of it will (or, at least should) shock you. Another book on polygamy that I think is worth a read is Richard Van Wagoner’s

Mormon Polygamy: A History Paperback.

A book not about Joseph but rather his wife Emma really, for all intents and purposes, ended up being a book about the founder. Mormons Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery wrote

Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith

that is brutally honest regarding Joseph’s philanderous ways. As my friend Bill likes to say, any man who is willing to lie to his wife is willing to lie to just about anyone. (See the review

here

.)

Grant Palmer, who has been disfellowshipped by the LDS Church, wrote the intriguing

An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins Paperback

and details some problems with Smith and the very origins of this religion.  Charles Harrell is a professor at Brigham Young University, and while I certainly disagree with many of his conclusions in his book

This Is My Doctrine: The Development of Mormon Theology Hardcover

, there are a number of places where he admits that certain LDS doctrines have little to no support in the Bible.

As far as Christian books on the topic of Mormonism, I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend Bill McKeever’s and my books on the subject.

Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints

and available in

Kindle

is a great overview of the Mormon religion as the doctrines are contrasted with biblical Christianity. In addition, our newest book (2013) is an excellent tool for those having conversations with Mormons. It’s titled

Answering Mormons’ Questions: Ready Responses for Inquiring Latter-day Saints

. Bill also compiled quotes from Mormon scriptures and leaders titled

In Their Own Words: A Collection of Mormon Quotations

, which is in book form as well as PDF with a search engine. This is written like an encyclopedia, with the quotes put together according to their topic. To order the PDF version, go to our website.

Richard Abanes wrote

One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church 

that provides a well-rounded history of the LDS Church.  See the review of this book here. Another good overview of LDS history, doctrines, and claims is Edmond Gruss and Lane Thuet’s What Every Mormon (and Non-Mormon) Should KnowThe authors are very precise with their details and it’s worth the time to consume this information. For a review, see here.

Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (2nd Edition)

, also in

Kindle

, shows clearly why Joseph Smith could not have received the Book of Mormon through divine means. See the review here.

Finally, Lynn K. Wilder—the mother of the boys who founded the band called Adam’s Road—wrote a book that laypeople enjoy called

Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church

and also in

Kindle

. What is good about this book is that she is able to provide a background of LDS teachings in a way that doesn’t make you think you’re reading a doctrinal text. See a review of the book here.

So there you have it, even without the large choice of Bibles, here are more than 60 books that I have recommended for the library of every Christian interested in apologetics. To buy all of them at once would be prohibitive for most bank accounts, so may I recommend that someone who is interested in these books merely budget $20 a month, which would buy about one volume. If you did this over five years, you would own just about every one of these books and have a base upon which you can build a quality library envied by Christian apologists everywhere! If you decide to buy on Amazon, please use the links in this article and MRM will receive a small commission from Amazon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetic, Article, Books, christian, eBook, Education, Evangelistic, Faith

Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History’s Greatest Question by Rice Broocks

ManMythMessiah

Did Jesus Really Exist?

The search for the historical Jesus continues to be headline news. Any speculative theory seems to get instant attention as the debate rages about His real identity and the claims made in His name. Did Jesus really exist? Is there real historical evidence that demonstrates that He lived and actually said and did the things the Gospels record? Is there any validity to the speculative claims that the Jesus story was a myth, borrowed from a variety of pagan cultures of the ancient world?

In this follow-up to the book God’s Not Dead (that inspired the movie), Man, Myth, Messiah looks at the evidence for the historical Jesus and exposes the notions of skeptics that Jesus was a contrived figure of ancient mythology. It also looks at the reliability of the Gospel records as well as the evidence for the resurrection that validates His identity as the promised Messiah. Man, Myth, Messiah will be released concurrent to the God’s Not Dead movie sequel, which will cover the same theme.

*****

This is an awesome book! It took those five basic & minimal facts about Jesus & His existence and used them as a platform by which to evangelize to those around you. Historical and mythological arguments about Jesus were debunked. Although, had I checked into this further, I would have sought out the book “God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty” by the same author and read it first. Which was the basis of the movie “God’s Not Dead.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

Leave a comment

Filed under Apologetic, Books, christian, Education, Faith, History, Reading, Religious, Review, Writing