Book Reviews

"Not So Easily Washed Away"

the book says that the story is true, but it reads like made-up erotica...but maybe not. The teller of the story swings from anger to desperation, from threats to pleas.

A lot of it sounds as if it cannot be. The parts before she comes to American...maybe. There are many reports that come out of Arab parts of the world that make this story ring true.

The part where she is here? I hope these things cannot happen, but I know that they do.

The book is not well written, the writing is shallow and the characters unreal. There is a second book, but I most likely will not read it.

I don't like to review books that I haven't finished, but this one I just can't get through. (yes, it got zero stars)

It's based on the "twelve step program" of AA, which leans heavily on Scripture.

The program itself may be great and I know people who have gotten their lives together with the help of AA. But this book (I'm not going back) is also heavily laced with

1. Arminianism
2. Finneyism
3. "Sarah Calling" (another review of a book that I didn't get through)

I got more than 2/3 done, but then it started with "the most important part of prayer is the listening."

I put it back in the cloud...

"Mercury Rises" is a fun sort of tale of angels and demons and humans who are (mostly) acting with a piece of information while chasing around the world trying to stop (or start) the apocalypse.

Fiction is "mind candy" for me most of the time - meant to be fun and tasty without a whole lot of substance. This fits that bill.

Well written, characters were well defined (with some books it's hard to keep track and this book was nice in that regard)

I'm planning on reading more in this series.

"Crossing Oceans" by Gina Holmes was predictable, with some curves that sat nicely with me.  Sad, yet satisfying ending.

The main character, Jenny, is dying of cancer.  Taking her daughter to her childhood home to wrap up loose ends, more than a few surprises are thrown her way.

Confronting past sins, while avoiding new; trying to make old wrongs right; confronting fears along the way and making peace with enemies.

Like a lot of fiction, this is 'brain candy' - and very tasty.  Don't expect meat and you'll be happy with the snack.

 

I just purchased the book, and already I've got concerns.

Sexual assault is a serious crime, it wrecks people.  It needs to be addressed, it needs to be stopped.  Women who have been sexually assaulted need to be ministered to with the utmost of love and care.

BUT>>>

when the definition of "sexual assault" is so broadened to the point where anything qualifies, the term becomes meaningless.

Those people who have been sexually assaulted - it undermines the seriousness of what they truly have been subjected to.

I have a friend who was "gang-raped" when she was 12 years old.  She had a child as a result.  She is affected to this day.  That qualifies and it is REAL.

When I was a pre-teen, I was "pantsed" by a neighbor boy.  We were in a field (I think pulling weeds in a bean field or something of the sort) and he was messing around and grabbed my shorts and yanked them down around my ankles, underwear and all.  Under this broad definition, that qualifies.

Please, don't undermine the reality of my friend's pain, but telling me that a childhood prank was "sexual assault."

"The Heresy of Orthodoxy"

In the first chapter, Kruger frames the direction of the book.

If "heresy" (divergent thinking) was the order of the day in the first and second century, and it wasn't until Rome had enough power to vote orthodoxy into place, heresy came first - and was the norm.  The idea that there was and "orthodoxy" was heretical (outside of common thinking)

However:

If the writers of New Testament Scripture were unified in doctrine (although not necessarily practice), then there was an "orthodoxy" ("conforming to established doctrine especially in religion" - per Merriam-Webster) before the word "orthodoxy" was used.

~~~

My thinking is that if God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the writers, He would not have inspired them to say conflicting things. (1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.) There is no conflicting doctrinal statements in Scripture.

Yes, there was divergent thinking in the early church. Paul addressed it.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:6-7

So there were doctrinal differences, but it was not a good thing.

What Walter Bauer misses is the men who codified "orthodoxy" He treats the topic as if they all just got together one day and decided to vote on what they liked best, and "orthodoxy" is no more correct (or incorrect) than the "different gospel."

In this case, "heresy" became heresy because of orthodoxy.

But...if what happened was that false teaching was becoming more prevalent and needed to be addressed by church leadership as a whole, they would have gathered together in prayer and study, in order to determine from Scripture what "orthodoxy" was. They weren't looking for what was most popular, they were looking for what was most true. Orthodoxy was codified in response to heresy - but it was present from the start.

In this case, "orthodoxy" came before heresy.

"The Case for Christmas" by Lee Strobel.

The best part of the books were

1) the interview with the historian that made the case for an early writing of the Gospels, and the book of Acts and

2) the interview with the Jewish man who set out to read the Old Testament, looking for prophesies of the Messiah, and found them fulfilled in the Jesus of the New Testament.

Other than that, a lot of the book was telling Christians what they already know.  It's a good book to know and have, because it lays "what we believe and why" out so clearly.

I've come to the conclusion that every conservative should know Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" inside out.  And be ready to name the tactics (whether liberals know they're using them or not) when confronted with them.

"Rules for Radical Conservatives" takes those rules, turns them around and gives conservatives hope for taking our country back from the liberal elite (leadership) who want to wreck it.

It's written from the viewpoint of a conservative, what the rules are and why they will work.

Know them, use them.

It's one that will stay on the front page of the kindle app.

Re-reading...

The first part of the book is reviewing the opposing doctrines. I grew up in a church that taught pre-trip rapture (and was in that vein until I "reformed") but if the teaching was "dispensational" I don't remember it.

I don't like learning about doctrines from the opposing view, but when I googled and located teaching from dispensationalist, it sounded even stranger than when Riddlebarger explained it.

So I'll just go with that for now.

2 Comments

"Forgotten God" by Francis Chan

This is a pretty basic book and Chan tells that right up front.  It is not so much that we don't know about the Holy Spirit, it's more like...we don't acknowledge Him - we don't live like His presence is a reality in our lives.

And that is the message of this book

Many times we are discouraged from being too passionate, or too giving, or too...whatever.  Do not let others discourage us from following the leading of the Spirit.

As I was finishing the book; reading the last few pages, this struck me

Galatians 5:22
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness...

Did you catch that?  I never have.

Fruit...singular.  One Spirit, one fruit, many flavors.