I review books for BookSneeze by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and this is the first book I honestly had to force myself to finish. In The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, author John MacArthur asserts that the image of a mild, meek, gentle, docile teacher is a faulty portrayal of Jesus. He wants us to see that Jesus was courageous, confrontational, powerful, and proclaimed the truth in forceful as well as gentle ways. I actually agree with MacArthur’s point and believe it is a picture of Jesus that we need to remember in our modern times, but I so disliked the way this book was written that I cannot recommend it.
The book begins with an overly long introduction which sets forth the author’s main purpose (in my opinion) – a diatribe against everything heretical, tolerant, and watered-down about the modern evangelical movement. The remaining chapters of the book walk through many of Jesus’ teachings and do contain some nuggets worth hanging onto. However, the book is littered with the author’s agenda and personal ire against a segment of Christianity today. The main point of the book is beleaguered and could have been made in a much more succinct way. This book may be a good reference if you are teaching on a particular sermon of Jesus, but otherwise is a chore to work through.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Max Lucado is a master storyteller and inspirational writer! He has certainly lived up to both again in his latest book, Outlive Your Life. (I received a complimentary book as part of BookSneeze by Thomas Nelson Publishers, and am not required to give a favorable review.) The book is a call to compassion for the many broken, needy, poor, disadvantaged, lost, hopeless people in our world. The launchpad for this call to compassion are the stories of the early church from the book of Acts. As we’ve come to expect from Max, the stories of these men and women are brought to life in imaginative color. Some books on the topic of poverty and compassion leave the reader feeling depressed and overwhelmed. Not so with this book. The great need is not glossed over, in fact it is revealed, but in a fashion that leaves the reader inspired and challenged. Ordinary people once took unimaginable hope to their world! Their examples spur us on and stir our passion! What could God do if Christians today followed the example of Jesus and the early church and took on the evils of our world with compassion and hope? The book is not just a great read and a great story – it is a call to action that could result in readers who choose invest their lives and have an impact on the world now and into eternity!