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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.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English by Martin G., Jr. Abegg, Peter Flint, Eugene Ulrich

From the dramatic find in the caves of Qumran, the world’s most ancient version of the Bible allows us to read the scriptures as they were in the time of Jesus.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: The Oldest Known Bible Translated for the First Time into English is the first full English translation of the Hebrew scriptures used by the Essene sect at Qumran. (The Essenes, along with the Pharisees and Saducees, were among the three most influential Jewish groups of their time [150 B.C. to 68 A.D.]). Between 1947 and 1956, in 11 caves overlooking the Dead Sea, more than 800 manuscripts of two types were found. The first are called “biblical”–because they contain material that was later canonized in the Hebrew Bible; the second are called “non-Biblical”–because they contain poetry, rules for holy living, and imaginative, midrashic interpretations that are unique to the community that produced them.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible comprises the biblical manuscripts, including many new Psalms, Apocryphal books, and previously unknown readings of Deuteronomy and Isaiah (which appear to have been among the most important books of the Bible to this group of Essenes). The translation of each book is preceded by an introduction that describes the text’s importance to the Essenes, their distinctive interpretations of the text, and suggestions of how historical and political events may have shaped these interpretations. Translators Martin Abegg Jr., Peter Flint, and Eugene Ulrich have loaded this volume with scholarly notes and commentary, but their interpretations are formatted in a way that does not impede the general reader’s enjoyment of the book. The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible breathes new life into scripture by delving into the earliest source material yet discovered. It is a crucial work to reckon with for anyone interested in Jewish life around the time of Jesus. –Michael Joseph Gross

——

An intriguing read, to say the least. Mostly biblical and upholding the contents of the bible as we know it, some things contrary to the writings we have learned from books not canonized into the bible as we know it, and others not seen before, which need to be studied. Some of what I read upheld much of the existing scripture and some other things were but commentary on what was written. Majority of what was captured was fragmentary at best. Oh, but what a discovery it was! Unless you are a great student of the bible and archaeological finds…this may, or may not, be a good book for you. You need to be a die-hard student. The writing is quite fragmentary and requires much in the way of assumptions.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Revelation Unveiled: Understanding the Heart of Jesus in the Imminent Day of the Lord Kindle Edition by Russell M. Stendal

revelationunveiled

Sadly, many commentaries on Revelation ignore the need to have a clean heart in order to survive what’s coming. In this edition, we dig deep into the signs, the wonders, and the genuine Christian’s role in the soon-to-be-fulfilled book of Revelation. We even go back to the prophets to help clarify what is the most important message to Christians today.

The book of Revelation should be of intense interest to today’s Christian. It describes not only the persecution that originates from Satan, but also announces the day when God will intervene and cleanse the earth. This is definitely something to look forward to if we are right with him. Not so much for those living for themselves.

This is but one resource to allow the one who studies biblical revelation to gain some answers into the meanings of this biblical book of finality and a new beginning. Well written interestingly equipped with much background; however, I also felt the appendices were lacking. But do not let that detract from the wealth of knowledge that could be gained by the remainder of the book. You must judge for yourself.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Life in the Ancient World

life-in-the-ancient-world-ebook

FREE DOWNLOAD

We look back on the Biblical world as a time of fateful battles, inspiring prophets, great empires and profound learning. Unfortunately, this picture is often skewed to highlight regal, rather than common, history. More of our modern philosophy and theology grew out of the ancient agora than the palace. Many profound thinkers and religious visionaries in the ancient world never interacted with kings or fought in great battles. How does archaeology tell their story?

By examining ancient societal structure, crafts and daily practices, we can reconstruct the lives of common people to better understand the world of the Bible and breathe new reality into the ancient world we are trying to understand. This eBook features articles from Biblical Archaeology Review describing industry in Second Temple period Jerusalem and household structure in ancient Israel along with a collection of brief and lively accounts from Archaeology Odyssey describing standard practices across the ancient Mediterranean, from table manners to construction cranes, and from fashion and makeup to the Roman postal service.

If Jerusalem is famous for one thing, it is for being a religious center. But our interest in the Holy City lies also in its everyday life, of which so little is known. Recent investigations revealed that in ancient times, especially in the late Second Temple period (50 B.C.–70 A.D.), various arts and crafts, such as stonework, painted pottery and glass industry, flourished in Jerusalem. In 1983, the Israeli authorities opened to the public a building that had been closed for 1,913 years to the day. The building, in ancient Jerusalem’s Upper City, was a workshop that was stormed by Roman soldiers in 70 A.D., the year the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Jewish Temple. In “Jerusalem Flourishing—A Craft Center for Stone, Pottery, and Glass,” eminent Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad describes what his excavations in the Upper City teach us about Jerusalem as an ancient craft center.

An interesting look into the ancient life of a people two centuries ago. An eye opening event in and of itself.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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The Life and Times of Jesus: From His Earthly Beginnings to the Sermon on the Mount (Part I) by Michael J. Ruszala

The Life and Times of Jesus

To write a book about Jesus is a challenging task; to live a life like Jesus’ is more challenging still.

Though not primarily a work of theology or of spirituality, this popular history intends to help the words and deeds of Jesus come alive for contemporary readers.
I found this book rather fascinating, in that, it took snapshots of the life of Jesus, up to His Sermon on the Mount, and explained in a generalized manner. I found it to be very good and informative. I thought it worth the time to read and the time to ponder over.
Godspeed & Good Reads!
Doc Murf

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The Journey: Living by Faith in an Uncertain World by Billy Graham

the Journey

Billy Graham is respected and loved around the world. And this work is his magnum opus, the culmination of a lifetime of experience and ministry!

Chapter by chapter, Graham leads us on a journey in faith. We learn about God and his purpose for our lives; who Jesus is and what he has done for us. We are reminded of the things God has given us to live successfully: the Bible, the privilege of prayer, fellowship and the church, and the Holy Spirit. We learn to deal with challenges along the way: temptation; wrong thoughts and motives; emotions that can defeat us; habits that destroy our spirit, and what to do when life turns against us. And we are given practical advice on knowing God’s will, making right decision, strengthening our marriages, being wise parents, and using our gifts to share Christ with others.

With insight that only comes from a life spent with God, The Journey is filled with wisdom, encouragement, hope, and inspiration for anyone who wants to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

I have not read very much by Billy Graham, but this was one of the best written guides into one’s faith and following. I was enamored with his guidance and backing everything up with biblical scripture. This should be a primer for anyone, young or old, new or tenured, in the faith of Christianity!

This is a must read book! Of course, in my humble opinion!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Who Is Jesus?: Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith by Darrell L Bock

BockWhoisJesus

IS JESUS WHO HE SAID HE WAS? Some say he was just a man; others claim he was the Son of God. Historian Darrell Bock tests the authenticity of Jesus’ claims against the rules of history to find out if he truly is the Christ of Faith.

This reader-friendly book examines twelve events, sayings, and teachings of Jesus, using ten well-accepted historical rules. Pull up a chair, engage in the conversation, and discover how fascinating the discussion of the historical Jesus can be.

This was quite the easy read at only 214 pages. The overcoming of objections with reason and with historical data and writings of others who brought many things into the cultural context that was needed in order for anyone, including those who are apologetically & evangelically minded. We each, as followers of the Christ have an obligation to strengthen our faith through reason and historically based research. It is through this method that we can be better prepared to “give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

 

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New World Order by A. Ralph Epperson

NWO

This book by A. Ralph Epperson purports to uncover hidden and sinister meanings behind all the symbols found on the Great Seal of the United States, committing America to “A Secret Destiny.

I found it rather interesting that so many things, as well as groups, came into play. Call it conspiracy theory, if you choose, but keep in mind that this is what is spelled out, to some degree, within the book of Revelation of the Bible. The only time people use the term “Conspiracy Theory,” or “Conspiracy Theorist” is when they (the speaker) desires to denigrate and assassinate the character of the person who is speaking of an alternate theory of any given situation! Be ever-so vigilant! Be leery of those forcing a thought down your throat that YOU know in your heart to be untrue. As the Bible tells us,

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~1 John 4:1

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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Raise Your Line by Robert Stevenson

raise-your-line

Raise Your Line is a must read for anyone who wants to succeed in today s competitive business world. This book is filled with information to help employees, business owners, leaders, and managers who are looking for better ways to move forward and progress towards a more successful future. In this book, Mr. Stevenson walks readers step by step, through how to improve their business performance, leadership skills, and reach their career goals. Mr. Stevenson gives countless practical and thought provoking insights on how to succeed in this highly competitive business environment. Throughout his book, he emphasizes points which are extremely important to success, by placing them in a box entitled LINE RAISER (there are over 100 of them in the book). So, by simply scanning through the pages, you will easily find countless ways to improve. Not only does he identify and explain the things readers should work on improving, he then tells them how. Success in business is depicted by a rising line on a financial chart; the higher that line rises, the greater the success. In this book Mr. Stevenson expands on that simple concept, explaining that all personal and business decisions should be based on the eventual outcome of making your profit line and personal success line, rise. He explains in the book that people need to start thinking of their life and business as a flat line, a line that stays flat, unless they do something to make it rise. The book is divided into 4 sections that address having the right mindset for raising your line, and then how to raise your line as a leader, company and personally. The 53 chapters and 248 pages are filled with information designed to help make YOUR LINE RISE both professionally and personally.

While this book was both entertaining and a fast read, it was full of many simplistic ideas in order to better yourself in whatever you strive for. They say, “repetition is the mother of skill!”  Well, you will be hit between the eyes with a great many things that you have heard over the years. Problem being, that even though we hear them, we may even be listening to them…but do we apply them to our lives??? That is the question! We must strive to apply these steps in order to better ourselves; after all, we each do not know it all! We, at times, must try something new.

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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babyboom

Left, Right, & Babyboom is a short collections of essays written by people in politics from all sides of the Nolan Chart. This book was composed and edited in 1986, by David Boaz, one of the leaders of the Cato Institute, a Libertarian Think- Tank in Washington, D.C. There are a total of 15 different essays in this 122 page paperback book, and each one is written by a different author.

The basic premise of this book is that the American Political landscape is going to change in the coming years, as the baby boom generation matures. Baby boomers are known for their tendency to be economically conservative (more Republican) and socially liberal (more Democratic). This combination of traits will move politics in a Libertarian direction, in the coming years. Today, the nations politics are more conservative overall. That’s mainly due to the fact that there are so many older voters (pre- baby boom generation)who tend to be conservative on most all issues, economic and social.
Some of the ideas presented here are interesting. The writers point out that, prior to the 1970’s, political analysts tried to peg everyone as being either liberal, moderate, or conservative. Someone who was conservative on economic issues (against government control of the economy) and liberal on social issues (against government control on personal decisions) was considered to be “inconsistent” in his/her thinking. Likewise, someone who was liberal on economic issues and conservative on social issues was also viewed as inconsistent. If anything, what’s really inconsistent is to be conservative on ALL issues, or liberal on ALL issues. In other words, in the past, if you were 100% pro- liberty, or 100% pro- government, you were labeled as unusual in your thinking. Times have changed!

The various contributors of this book agree that politicians has better pay attention to the coming changes in the political landscape. If they ignore these changes, they will likely be replaced by more Libertarian- thinking leaders.

The sad but true fact, reading this book just recently, I often wonder what will get the American people to act against their representatives? The old adage seems to be true:

A complaining American is a Happy American!

Well, I am telling you…we are an ECSTATIC country! All anyone wishes to do is bitch and complain about the circumstances surrounding them. I believe that one day the rhetoric that is spewed from our leadership and our representatives will cause people to eventually choose a Liberty minded individual for the political seats throughout our country. I am hoping it is long before all of our rights are abolished.

Ahhhhhhh…to read about the good old days where the people got sufficiently mad at their representatives and then traipsed them down the street with tar and feathers…most did not survive, mind you. I am truly losing faith in my countrymen and my country’s leadership!

Godspeed & Good Reads!

Doc Murf

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