I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The God Shot: 100 Snapshots of God’s Character in Scripture is a new devotional by The Bible Recap creator Tara-Leigh Cobble. If you are unfamiliar with The Bible Recap, it’s a year long chronological bible reading plan that helps the reader see God’s redemptive plan all throughout Scripture. It’s both a podcast and a physical volume. I’m a huge fan and highly recommend it.
This devotional is set up by topics and only covers the New Testament. It begins in Matthew and ends in Revelation instead of being chronological like the reading plan. Each day is two pages long and has a few verses followed by the devotional God Shot. I thought this would just be a copy/paste of the God Shots from the podcast and reading guide, but it’s totally different.
I really enjoyed this and plan on giving my copy to my niece and nephews this Christmas.
Today I have bible commentary from a new (to me) commentary series that I received for review from Kregel. It is a single volume over First and Second Kings at ~315 page. This volume has David B Schreiner as Exegetical Author and Lee Compson as Homiletical Author.
The Kerux Commentary series is designed to help pastors and teachers properly understand and teach/preach the main message from biblical passages. A few unique features about this commentary are how it is divided between exegetical analysis, theological focus, and teaching strategy, preaching pointers, contemporary connections, etc instead of being just verse by verse like so many commentary series (and study bibles). While it is created for pastors and teachers, lay people who enjoy a deep study of the Word will greatly benefit from it as well! There is some Hebrew without any romanization, so that part is a little academic, but the rest is super easy to understand.
I really enjoy the layout and design of the interior because it reminds me of a textbook. It has double columns and pictures of Christian paintings! Pictures are always a bonus! There are also discussion questions at the end of each section, which is a really neat feature to see.
This series has many other commentaries I want to check out in the future over Psalms, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Zephaniah-Malachi, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon, and Hebrew (the one I most want!). What a great study, teaching, and preaching resource. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
Carved in Ebony, Young Reader’s Edition is short by Jasmine L. Holmes that tells the brief but inspirational stories of Elizabeth Freeman, Sara Griffith Stanley, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Amanda Berry Smith, Maria Fearing, Maria Stewart, Lucy Craft Laney, Charlotte Forten Grimke, and Sarah Mapps Douglass. Some of the women I was familiar with from my time in high school, and from reading books, some I learned about through this book.
These women all came from different backgrounds. Slavery, mixed ethnicity, etc. Some were married, some weren’t married. Some had many children and suffered losses, some never had children. Some were missionaries abroad and at home.
I prefer the Young Reader’s Edition to the regular edition published earlier on in the year because it doesn’t have any of the author’s commentary and memoir elements that I found to overshadow the women at times. There’s also some discussion questions at the end of each chapter so readers can discuss and research the women further.
I received a free copy from the publisher for an honest review.
I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Going Higher with God in Prayer: Cultivating a Lifelong Dialogue is a collection of sermons compiled and edited by James L. Snyder.
Tozer once said that the most important thing about us is what comes to mind when we think about God. In this book, he says how prayer is the most important aspect of the Christian life because it’s a powerful weapon, it draws us near to God and away from the world and helps us know His will and see things from His perspective.
This was a great little book that was edifying, convicting, and interesting to read. I’m really glad to see more of Tozer’s work get published topically. He’s a must read for all Christians.
In The Shadow of His Wings: 40 Uplifting Devotions Inspired by Birds by Roslynn Long is a really unique and beautiful devotional that’s perfect for Christian bird lovers.
Roslynn Long is a nature photographer who has been featured in Birds and Bloom magazine. She crafted this book with a diverse selection of devotions and a wonderful assortment of birds. Each day has 1-2 photos and 2-3 pages of reflections and commentary.
My only complaints are 1) how the bible passages cut randomly in the middle of paragraphs, and 2) there’s not a lot of info on the birds. I would have liked to have seen a little paragraph about the birds. Other than that, this is a super stunning devotional that would make a great gift.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Way of a Pilgrim: Life Lessons from Pilgrim’s Progress is a new 90-day devotional from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This is a medium-sized hardcover with a blue ribbon bookmark. The introduction says you can pair the devotional with Part 1 of The Pilgrim’s Progress, and that it will “provide insight and faith to defeat the enemy, empower you to live a more victorious Christian life and bring you encouragement and joy on your pilgrim journey”.
Each day is two pages long and has a reflection about The Pilgrim’s Progress, a bible passage, some questions, and a prayer.
This devotional is really nice and edifying. It feels more like a study guide for the book than a devotional, which is something I do enjoy and I think many people will enjoy and benefit from.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Before the Throne: Finding Strength Through Prayer in Difficult Times is the latest Bible study by Crickett Keeth. I loved her first study On Bended Knee. I found it so helpful.
This is an 8-week study featuring Moses in his times of disappoinment, the Psalms in times of need, Jonah in times of disobedience, Hezekiah when finding strength for battle, Habakkuk in times of questioning, Jesus on intercession, Paul in finding strength through hardship, and Revelation in times of worship.
Each week has an introduction followed by 5 individual days. The author doesn’t have a ton of personal stories and commentary like many women’s Bible studies. She keeps the study focused on Scripture and what we can learn from their prayers and situations. Then at the very end of each day there are just a few questions for self examination and how we can strengthen our prayer life and relationship with God.
This is a very solid Bible study that will enrich your prayers. Highly recommended.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Revelation Through Old Testament Eyes: A Background and Application Commentary by Tremper Longman III is the third installment in Kregel Academic’s Through Old Testament Eyes (series editor: Andrew T. Le Peau). Kregel has previously published two commentaries on Mark and John (I reviewed John last summer and was OBSESSED with it). Books on Matthew and Galatians and Ephesians (2-in-1) are set to release.
I’m a huge fan of reading the New Testament while conferencing the Old Testament. It’s such an awesome and awe-inspiring way to read the Bible and see the foreshadowing and continuity, plus it helps you understand how the Jewish audience read the New Testament and understood things.
For many people, reading Revelation is scary and intimidating. The crazy part is, Revelation quotes so much of the previous books of the Bible that it really is not much new information. A couple years ago I read All Things New by Brian J. Tabb, it was a really great book about how Old Testament prophecies and patterns find their consummation in the present and future reign of Christ. That book was referenced in this commentary, and I think they pair wonderfully if you want to do an indepth study of Revelation (independent or as a group).
I’m a huge fan of this commentary series and can’t recommend it enough for laypeople, students, pastors, teachers, etc. It’s an a good series for anyone at any level to have on their shelf and visit often (especially with all this doom and gloom end times talk the past few years).
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy! This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year.
Islam is one of my favorite religions to read about. It was due to a Muslim contacting me through my blog that I got into apologetics and started reviewing Christian books for publishers.
Bennett’s book is to help Christians come to an understanding about Islam and their Muslim neighbor so meaningful conversations can be had. I’ve read a few books about Islam (and watched countless videos) and this one is probably my favorite because it’s so pack full of information and shows the reader the history and basics of Islam at a layman’s level.
Part 1 opens up with a brief bio of Muhammad and how the Quran was revealed. Bennett says that the Quran stops short of the intimate, interpersonal knowledge of God as Father. The relationship between the Islamic god and Muslims is that of a servant and master. Because Islam denies the Trinity, it rejects God as a loving Father with an interpersonal relationship from eternity past.
Part 2 goes into explaining the Quran and how Muslims believe Jews and Christians mishandled and misunderstood the Torah, Psalms, and Gospels. There’s lots of comparasions between the Quran in Bible in this part, and it’s fun to read about.
Part 3 is covers a lot of grounds on how Christians can use the Quran (but we shouldn’t read it if it violates our conscience). There’s a bit on how Islam and Christianity have the same words (sin, atonement, salvation) but drastically different meanings followed by key characters in the Quran and how they differ from the stories we see in the Bible. The book wraps up with some methods used by missionaries.
The Quran and the Christian shows that there is absolutely no way Christianity and Islam can be reconciled. This book provides enough information for Christians to approach Muslims in confidence. Highly recommended!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shaped Us is a short book that is part biography and part memoir by Jasmine L. Holmes (daughter of Voddie Baucham).
This book tells the brief but inspirational stories of Elizabeth Freeman, Sara Griffith Stanley, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Amanda Berry Smith, Maria Fearing, Maria Stewart, Lucy Craft Laney, Charlotte Forten Grimke, and Sarah Mapps Douglass. Some of the women I was familiar with from my time in high school, and from reading books, some I learned about through this book.
These women all came from different backgrounds. Slavery, mixed, etc. Some were married, some weren’t married. Some had many children and suffered losses, some never had children. Some were missionaries abroad and at home.
Holmes says at one point in the book, “This selection process was not by design, but in the Christian subculture that tends to prize marriage and children as the foremost ways of bringing glory to God and pursuing Christian service as a woman, these ten women were able to have fruitful lives of active service for God’s glory without settling down.” As a single person, I appreciated that.
This is a really great book to read if you’re looking to learn more about black Christian women but do keep in mind that sometimes there’s more about the author or her personal commentary than the actual person.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy for review.