Monday, October 31, 2011

Book Review: Wow! A Must Read Work

     First, I must thank the wonderful BookSneeze Team for allowing me to review Hank Hanegraaff's book, Has God Spoken?: Proof of the Bible's Divine Inspiration, from Thomas Nelson Publishing. In Has God Spoken? Hanegraaff, host of Bible Answer Man, cites a plethora of evidence to prove not only is God's Word inspired, but also infallible truth to be grasped and lived by. Within its 290 pages, he relies on biblical manuscript copies, archaeology's finds, fulfilled prophecy and scriptural principles to disprove the world's cynical disbelief.
     Hanegraaff makes use of acronyms throughout to allow the reader to not only peruse the book, but hopefully grasp its knowledge. The author's desire is for the reader to be ready to share with unbelievers the treasure trove of eternal riches contained in Scripture. The four parts of the book are labeled Manuscript C-O-P-I-E-S, Archaeologist's S-P-A-D-E, Prophetic S-T-A-R-S and Scriptural L-I-G-H-T-S.  Between the array of acronyms far and wide, as well as Hanegraaff's eloquence, this book was a joy to read. The chapters are of manageable size, so you don't feel you need to pause your reading in the middle of a chapter.
    This volume truly is  a "Wow" book to be read by anyone who is a believer and wants an awesome lesson and overview of the Bible. Why do Christians have such hope? The seeker and skeptic alike would do well to pick up a copy of Has God Spoken? to see if the Bible fits their vision or not. "In place of a sign, Jesus presented a prophecy. Not just a prophecy---the prophecy. The prophecy demonstrating that the whole of the Law and the Prophets pointed forward to him. The prophecy signifying that the Word of God cannot be broken. The prophetic star shining brightest in the constellation of biblical prophecy." (pg. 169)
     Another point that must be made is that if anyone has read a book by Professor Bart D. Ehrman, this book is definitely one to enlighten you. I had read his books in the past and apparently escaped his mission to shake the faith of believers. Ehrman takes things for face value in the Bible, rather than using methodical research to derive conclusions. A former believer, Ehrman presumes fallacy in the Bible and the Christian faith, making use of material improperly scrutinized, if at all. Thank the Lord for Hanegraaff's strong and poignant rebuttal found throughout Has God Spoken? I mention this only for the reason that Hanegraaff uses Ehrman's book as fodder for his own. Well, that and I was utterly amused.
     Hank Hanegraaff has encapsulated years of arduous study in Has God Spoken?: Proof of the Bible's Divine Inspiration. May believers use this as a guide along side God's Word to be ready with an answer for an unbelieving, darkened world. As 1 Peter 3:15 states, "being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you."

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: A Passionate Memoir

     I am very grateful for the complimentary copy of A Heart for Freedom by Chai Ling from Tyndale Publishers. I was eagerly awaiting this book's arrival. The content seemed different, interesting and waiting to be read. A Heart for Freedom exceeded my expectations tenfold. The reader is immediately drawn into Ling's story and captured by her innocence. Her account is marked by passion, grief, love, hope and triumph- all key ingredients of a memorable story.
     Chai Ling was brought up in an oppressive, stifling culture that was hinged upon tradition and familial devotion. Early on she realized the one way for her to obtain her father's love and favor was through scholastic merit and achievement. As Ling continued to strive for love and found herself as a young college student at prestigious Beida University in Beijing, far from home, she found her calling as a voice for change and hope for the people of her homeland.
     There she discovered she could make a difference by standing firm for what she felt was right. Even as a young girl she wasn't easily persuaded to join the Party as her Communist parents had. Seeking reform in government, a group of dissident students asked for dialogue with government officials. Eventually, they received far more than they bargained for.
     Thousands of lives were lost in Beijing around Tiananmen Square in the Spring of 1989. Chai Ling as one of the leaders of the growing movement had to hide for months among strangers before seeking refuge in America. Now, 22 years later, Ling is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and now a philanthropist. As she has found healing in Christ, Ling is now trying to help extend Christ's love to her beloved China and bring awareness to oppression of China's one-child policy and the female's inherent value to society through her non-profit organization.
     A Heart for Freedom reached deep recesses of my heart and soul, leaving me to wonder what do I do with all of what Ling shared? To hear of the harsh realities of forced abortion, inhumane treatment of life and the deceptive lies that the Chinese people are inundated with is astounding and incomprehensible.
     Ling's love for her people, the passion and hope she tenaciously clings to and her honesty are beautiful and enough to change the lives of many readers. I only hope that I am among them. For her to live in and endure an oppressive culture is hard enough, but to stand up in the face of the opposition is monumental. A Heart for Freedom is Chai Ling's gift to us, the beauty in the ashes.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Review: Nice Look at God's Love

     WaterBroook Multnomah Publishing Group has provided me with a complimentary copy of The Perfect Love in exchange for an honest review. What does God's love encompass? How does it apply to you? What are the costs? Ruth Myers addresses all of these questions and more in The Perfect Love. This book begins by pointing out the shortcomings of the love we are use to in a fallen state and shows how the love of God not only fills what we are missing out on, but lavishes His love upon us in abundance. Then Myers gets personal and explores the depths of love we can all experience and abide in.
      More often than not, believers included, are told that God is love. What does that mean if it is never discussed as a how-to? The Perfect Love isn't a manual, however it is such a concise look at His love, any reader will gain some insight into their own relationship with God , whether they are new to the faith or seasoned believers looking for more. Myers use of Scripture and bits of poetry enhance the overall book. There's a great discussion on the Trinity's handwork in the mercy that God extends to us in chapter nine.
     So, what does His love look like for believers? "He is our complete answer for wisdom and knowledge, for life and growth, for forgiveness and fullness, for deliverance from every hindrance to our spiritual lives. And since we are in Him and He in us, we have a fresh new identity."(pg. 190) I really enjoyed that quote. We can live in His love. We are free to become our true selves when we abide in the love of Christ.
     I have to admit, at times I found this volume a bit long-winded. Although, that was to my advantage. As an avid reader I can read anywhere from six to ten books a month. I devoted two weeks to this book alone. Myers wrote in such a comprehensive manner, I found myself pausing to reflect in between paragraphs. I dissected my personal relationship to God more than I normally do, which is quite often. Her ponderings led me to my own. The Perfect Love isn't your run of the mill book on God's love. It is meaty, weighty and enjoyable.I hope any reader who picks this book up will appreciate the wisdom of a lifetime that Myers has shared. May the love of Christ flow in and through you.

Purchase your own copy here at Barnes and Noble!

Take a peek inside The Perfect Love here.