Book Reviews

A Praying Life

a-praying-life

Most of us live the Christian life with asking our heavenly Father to be involved in the very details of our lives. We have tried to pray through life’s challenges and yet we end up distracted or even asleep. We are often bad at praying and we know it. And it discourages us when we hear of “good” Christians who seem to pray well, and have strong prayer lives. Paul Miller helps. This honest and transparent book will help you build a life that is rich in prayer.

He begins by first addressing the misconceptions of prayer and then informing us that prayer is as simple as a conversation with small children who talk to their parents. We are the small children! He shows how God wants us to ask him for everything- even parking spots… LOL! He moves on to a great discussion about cynicism, of which I am guilty and was thoroughly convicted. Truth be told, I think many people are cynical in some way. This chapter will help tremendously.

Finally, he moves into the practical applications of prayer and even offers helpful ways to pray. I love his idea about using prayer cards! I think every believer will enjoy reading Miller’s book. I know that it has, and will be a blessing to many people.

Jesus Storybook Bible

jesus storybook

If you do not yet own this children’s Bible, you have missed out on the top-seller in children’s books in the last two years. Why is everyone in children’s ministry so energized by this book? There are hundreds of children’s story Bibles. What makes this one special?

“Every story whispers his name.” That is the subtitle and it is what sets this storybook apart from the rest. In the key stories from both the Old and New Testament, Lloyd Jones communicates to us and our children that Jesus is the Word. It is all about him. Most of us would say “of course, he is!” But as you begin to read these stories to your children, you will be convicted of the fact that many times you have taught these great Bible stories and have missed the point.

Here’s just one example of what Lloyd-Jones accomplishes throughout this wonderfully illustrated volume:

Many years later, God was going to send another Messenger with the same wonderful message. Like Jonah, he would spend three days in utter darkness. But this Messenger would be God’s own Son. He would be called “The Word” because he himself would be God’s message. Everything God wanted to say to the whole world – in a Person.

Give this book to your children’s teachers. Give this book to your children’s parents and grandparents. While they are reading to the children, they will also be learning that “every story whispers his name.”

(Written by a mother of mother of four, and a grandmother of six!!)

 

 As Far As the Curse Is Found

Far-as-the-Curse...

This book has been one of the most influential books that I have read as a seminary student. Dr. Williams has provided for us a clear way to look at the biblical story- as a covenant story of redemption. This has completely changed the way I view scripture and has greatly enhanced my understanding.

He opens the first chapter of the book with the resurrection of Christ. Some might think that’s an odd place to begin with, given that the resurrection is found in the latter part of the story. That is exactly Dr. Williams’ point- the biblical story is about Christ, and his completed work of redemption. The entire story, from the beginning, points to the climax which is the resurrection. This is what the New Testament writers understood, and this is the context in which they wrote and reflected upon the scriptures.

Next, Williams discuss what he sees as the pattern of redemption, rooting the discussion in the exodus. He argues that we need to know God as redeemer prior to knowing Him as Creator, and that this is evident in the original context of the Scriptures themselves, since the first audience of Moses’ accounts in the Pentateuch was a freshly delivered-from-bondage Israel. The remaining chapters follow redemptive history from the Fall through the Eschaton.

I recommend this work to anyone who is interested in an introduction to covenant theology, or anyone who simply wants to understand the story just a little better. This work is scholarly, but is grounded enough that the average reader won’t get lost.

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