book review

Children’s Book Review | When Do I Love You?

*I received a free copy from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.*

When Do I Love You was illustrated by Marta Cabrol. This board book was published by Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson’s children division, a registered trademark of Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc.). The target audience is toddlers.

This is another adorable rhyming story featuring animal parents and their children. The animals are: ducks, bears, lizards, cats, mice, meese, dogs, raccoons, and goats. The final page has a human mother and her child. The illustrations in this are really cute! I love the hats on the little raccoon and goat. lol

book review

The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile

A large majority of the people I’ve met through blogging are Muslim. Some are simply curious and want to learn about Christianity from a Christian and not their Imam or teachers, some are sincerely concerned for immortal souls, some are having doubts… And some just want to debate! So, I’m always looking for short and straightforward books I can recommend. (A lot of people contacted me long before I started posting reviews for Christian books and just assumed I was Christian because I was American. lol)

Disclaimer: I requested this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Thabiti Anyabwile, he is a former Muslim, now Christian preacher. The Gospel for Muslims is not an apologetics book. You’re not going to read about all the secular historical evidence on Jesus, or the amount of Biblical manuscripts there are… As it says on the cover, it’s encouragement to share Christ with confidence.

This book is broken up into two parts. Part 1 is “The Gospel”, which compares the Bible to the Quran, and gives you basic Islamic beliefs. Part 2, “As You Witness”, is full of advice for evangelizing.

As the author says in the first chapter, instead of attacking the Quran, our focus should be on helping Muslims understand why they should humbly accept the Bible as revelation from God. He then goes into how the Quran affirms the Torah (Sura 6:91), Psalms of David (Sura 17:55), and Gospels (Sura 5:45-47) are from God (see also Sura 10:94 and 16:43, 21:7, and 21: 103-105). To further establish the Bible’s reliability, the Quran says nothing can alter the words of God (Sura 6:34, 10:64, 18:27), and that he promises to watch over the revelation and guard it from corruption (Sura 15:9).

The first chapter also jumps right into the topic of the Trinity One of the main differences between Islam and Christianity is that Christians believe in the Trinity— within the one Being that is God, there exists eternally three coequal and coeternal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit— while Islam teaches the absolute oneness of Allah, called tawhid/tawheed. To associate partners with God is the highest form of blasphemy called shirk. I’m really surprised this book didn’t go over the Quran passage I’ve heard from every single Muslim I’ve ever talked to… Because of Sura 5:116, many Muslims believe the Trinity is God, Jesus, and Mary! (Look up Collyridianism in your free time, by the way.)

In the second chapter, the author compares both religion’s views of sin. The third and fourth chapters are on Jesus. The author talks about Old Testament Messianic prophecies pointing to Jesus, and his death and resurrection (Muslims deny Jesus as a penal substitutionary sacrifice). Then there is a chapter on how Christians and Muslims use the same words (like repentance and faith) but have very different meanings, and how Muslims aren’t guaranteed forgiveness, and don’t have assurance of Heaven (since Islam is works based).

In the second part, the author encourages readers with scripture to be filled with the spirit and let it take over so we speak with boldness. He reminds us to trust in God’s Word, be hospitable (because it’s a command by God), invite our Muslim neighbors to church service and gatherings, and don’t be afraid to suffer for the name. The final chapter is on sharing the gospel with African American Muslims.

This is a great starter book for Christians wanting to learn about Islam, and I recommend the first part for Muslims wanting a quick side by side comparison with Bible and Quran sources. I would really love to see Thabiti Anyabwile write another book on apologetics, and go over the hadiths, and what secular history says about Muhammad (similar to what Nabeel Qureshi did in his books).

book review

Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation With the World by D.A. Carson

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount and His Confrontation With the World (A Study of Matthew 5-10) is two books in one. The first book on the Sermon on the Mount was six messages D.A. Carson gave. The second book on Jesus’s confrontation with the world is sermons that have been reworked.

This book has a similar layout as the study on Philippians I read and reviewed recently (click here to read my review). The only major difference is that the Sermon on the Mount part doesn’t have the excerpts at the start of each chapter, but quoted throughout. I found that liked reading the entire section the chapter had listed before reading the chapter so I could familiarize myself with whatever was bout to be said, then focus on a part or sentence at a time.

The chapter list:

Part 1: The Kingdom of Heaven: Its Norms and Witness (5:3-16), The Kingdom of Heaven: Its Demands in Relation to the Old Testament (5:17-48), Religious Hypocrisy: Its Description and Overthrow (6:1-18), Kingdom Perspectives (6:19-34), Balance and Perfection (7:1-12), Conclusion to the Sermon on the Mount (7:13-28).

Part 2: The Authority of Jesus (8:1-17), The Authentic Jesus (8:18-34), The Mission of Jesus (9:1-17), The Trustworthiness of Jesus (9:18-34), The Compassion of Jesus (9:35-10:15), The Divisiveness of Jesus (10:16-42).

There is more in the back of the book. Appendix A is reflections on critical approaches to the Sermon on the Mount (~20 pages). Appendix B is reflections on theological interpretations of the Sermon of the Mount (~10 pages).

I can best describe this book as a combination of preaching and teaching. Carson is very insightful, and really makes you think and examine yourself. Like with the last book I read, I took lots of notes! I highly recommend this study book to read by yourself, or with a group.

book review

Elemental Power by Rachel Morgan

Title: Elemental Power
Series: Ridley Kayne Chronicles, Book 2
Author: Rachel Morgan
Published: November 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dystopia
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis: Ridley Kayne has discovered she’s not alone. There are others with magic just like hers. Those who are also hunted by the Shadow Society— Elementals.

With Archer’s help, Ridley sets out to find the other elementals living in Lumina City. They’ll have to be careful not to draw the attention of the Shadow Society or the law—or Ridley’s dad, who would prefer she stay away from those with illegal magic like hers. So Ridley does whatever she can to pretend life is back to normal.

Until the night her magic is discovered.

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This picks up right where the first book left off, and there’s never a dull moment from beginning to end. I love Ridley’s character and growth, and her interactions with Archer. I liked the new characters Malachi and Callie, and Ember the cat!

We get to see the wastelands and learn more about the world. I don’t know how many books Rachel Morgan is planning on writing, but I reeeeeally want this series to have a happy ending for everyone… I have a feeling the dad or one of Ridley’s friends will die. I also have a sneaking suspicion her mom isn’t really dead. Haha.

Bible Review · book review

Bible Review | The Jesus Bible (NIV)

Last year, I purchased The Jesus Bible (NIV) simply because I found the interior visually appealing. At first, I was super disappointed with how tiny the text was. I’m glad Zondervan recently released a comfort print edition, but I’m kind of annoyed that it only comes in leathersoft (I prefer hardbacks).

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This Bible is the 2011 NIV with gender neutral pronouns. The content includes over 300 full-page articles, nearly 700 sidebar articles, and 7 essays by Louie Giglio, Max Lucado, John Piper, Ravi Zacharias, and Randy Alcorn (odd mix, I know!).

The pages are sewn together, but they’re glued to a piece of paper, and that paper is glued to a piece of canvas-covered cardboard. I can’t speak for the leathersoft editions, but the weight of the pages in the canvas edition easily tear the cover off… So you really have to handle it with care.

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This is a pretty neat Bible. I plan on using it next year for inductive Bible study. Also… This is probably weird… But the canvas is really rough and catches onto dry skin and hangnails, which is gross. 😂

book review

Children’s Book Review | How Do You Say Good Night?

*I received a free copy from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.*

How Do You Say Good Night was illustrated by Catalina Echeverri. This board book was published by Tommy Nelson (Thomas Nelson’s children division, a registered trademark of Harper Collins Christian Publishing, Inc.). The target audience is toddlers, maybe even a little older. While this is average size for Tommy Nelson board books (20 pages), there are more words/sentences than average.

This book is about a little zebra named Zoey asking other African animals about their nighttime routine with their family, and how they give praise to God before saying good night. Catalina Echeverri’s artwork is adorable and colorful. Children will also see lions, warthogs, elephants, ostriches monkeys, hippopotamuses.

This is a great addition to G & J’s library.

Bible Review

Bible Review | ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible

 

I didn’t receive the ESV Systematic Theology Study Bible for review, I actually won it in a giveaway ages ago! I often get asked about this Bible. Is it worth it? How’s the quality? As you can see in the picture above, the pages are glued together (even though the details on Crossway’s website and Amazon say they’re sewn), which means it won’t last very long.

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This Bible has 9pt text in double columns. There are over 400 doctrinal summaries and 25+ longer articles on key theological topics. Each book has an introduction highlighting how the book contributes to the whole of Christian theology. This is a really great resource. I prefer hardcovers over leathersoft, it’s a total bummer the pages aren’t sewn together.

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The contributors are:

  • Gregg Allison
  • Bruce Ashford
  • Gerald Bray
  • Bryan Chapell
  • Graham Cole
  • David Dockery
  • John Frame
  • Michael Horton
  • Kelly Kapic
  • Michael Kruger
  • Robert Letham
  • Donald Macleod
  • Chris Morgan
  • Stephen Nichols
  • J. I. Packer
  • Michael Reeves
  • Fred Sanders
  • Sam Storms
  • Scott Swain
  • Stephen Wellum
  • David Wells