What a fantastic book! I purchased Tremper Longman's commentary as an aide to help me lead our church's junior youth group on a study of the first six chapters of Daniel. I began using three commentaries and soon set the others aside in favour of this one. Mr. Longman divides his treatment of each chapter under examination into three sections: the original meaning, bridging contexts, and contemporary significance. The reader is introduced to what Daniel was communicating to his first century audience, the various important textual and hermeneutical issues debated by scholars, as well as an understanding of how to apply the teachings of the passages to our contemporary setting. Longman communicates very clearly and respectfully of dissenting viewpoints. I continued beyond the first six chapters to the end of the book, grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the prophet Daniel from such an accessable source. If this is indicative of the rest of The NIV Application Commentary series, I look forward to purchasing more.
Ezra Levant contributes a breath of fresh air to the debate surrounding the subject of Alberta's oil sands which its opponents have polluted with misinformation and deceptive public relations campaigns. On either an environmental, economic, or moral standard, Levant argues that the maligned oil sands product should be preferred to the oil we import from despotic regimes in other parts of the world. Rather than filling the coffers of notorious human rights abusers such as Hugo Chavez, Saudi royal fat cats, and others, energy consumers ought to look to Alberta where oil sands revenues actually benefit the citizens, and where the environmental impact is closely monitored and regulated. Levant's blunt and witty commentary, for which he is well known, make reading Ethical Oil entertaining as well as informative and convincing. If I have one reservation, it stems from the strange inattenion paid to the brutal oppression of Christians in most of the oil states which Levant criticizes for persecuting others including women and gays. Odd. Despite that, Levant's case is iron clad and well stated; it is a must-read for anyone seeking the truth regarding this issue of critical importance on so many fronts.
Reading Culture Shift was certainly time well spent. Dr. Mohler applies his broad mind and sharp intellect to a number of issues which challenge adherents to a Christian worldview. Although many of the topics pertain to subjects within an American context, readers from all over the Western world will find the discussions relevant to challenges in their own settings. The chapters are all short and can be easily read over a quick cup of coffee. If you are looking for a deep penetrating study on the topics covered, look elsewhere, but Mohler's astute commentary still contributes to a better understanding of the issues which call for our informed attention.
By far the greatest strength of Edge Of Eternity is the allegorical depiction of the Christian pilgrimage, with many of the duties, joys, and pitfalls described. Alcorn gives a realistic view of what a new believer should expect as he travels toward the celestial city, so this book might be worthy material for one new to the Faith. On the other hand, I cannot say that I found the writing all that engaging and even found the pace to be somewhat plodding at times, especially in the beginning. Most troubling to me was the allegorized picture of the atonement which resembled more the theology of Mel Gibson or even Kenneth Copeland than John Calvin. With this theological weakness in mind, Edge Of Eternity may be worthy of mild commendation as a guide to practical Christian living.
When I received this book in the mail, I was doubtful that a book so thin could do its subject matter any justice. Afterall, we are talking about one of the major allied figures of World War Two, none other than Admiral Chester Nimitz. I was wrong. With admirable economy of words Brayton Harris manages to give the reader a good look at a man whose deeds in the service of the United States Navy during war and peace were larger than life. Yet the quiet, unassuming manner of Nimitz meant that other more colorful and egotistical personalities such as MacArthur and Halsey became associated with the American victory in the Pacific while the name of Nimitz, over the years has faded in public recognition. Harris's biography reminds us of the enormous role played by Admiral Nimitz in winning the war against Japan as well as his other contributions which have shaped the current American navy. Although a more detailed record of Nimitz's career and personal life would be appreciated in another treatment, Brayton Harris's biography is a very enjoyable and readable introduction to the life of a man worthy of great esteem.
It is hard for me to imagine there being a better exposition of the parable of the Prodigal Son than this one. John MacArthur delivers a truly edifying, Christ-exalting, gospel-centered masterpiece as he minutely examines this famous parable from the perspectives of each of the main characters -- the father, the younger son, and the older brother. The joy in heaven over God's grace in saving sinners is set in contrast with the tragic self-righteous hypocrisy of the Pharisees and their hatred of God's way of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. MacArthur misses nothing and communicates his powerful message in his usual clear crisp style. This is, by far, much better than Tim Keller's Prodigal God.
In Dug Down Deep, author Joshua Harris confronts the popular antipathy of modern Christians to words like "theology" and "doctrine" by relating how his own life was transformed by the essential truths presented in the Holy Scriptures. From the parable of the two builders in Luke 6:46-49, Harris concludes: "Being a Christian means being a person who labors to establish his beliefs, his dreams, his choices, his very view of the world on the truth of who Jesus is and what he has accomplished -- a Christian who cares about truth, who cares about sound docrtine" (p.19). He introduces the reader in subsequent chapters to various core doctrines within the context of his own spiritual journey from a nominal Christian youth to becoming senior pastor of Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, Maryland. With a winsome writing style Harris obliterates any misconception of theology as inaccessible, stuffy, and irrelevant. The inclusion of a study guide makes this an excellent introductory book for small-group or individual Bible studies aimed at reaching out to professing believers who find theology threatening. For readers who would never consider tackling Berkof or Bavinck, Dug Down Deep could serve as an appealing bridge to these or other more substantive systematic theologies. Most importantly, Joshua Harris convincingly demonstrates through Dug Down Deep that by embracing sound theology a believer may experience a life transformed and a much closer walk with the Saviour. Only Harris's continuationist views of the charismatic gifts cause me to hesitate endorsing Dug Down Deep without reservation.