Redemption, Reconciliation, and Reformation by Alexander McLeod

Redemption, Reconciliation, and Reformation by Alexander McLeod is a bindup of his writings broken up into three parts.

The other day, I did a poll on Instagram asking who has heard of McLeod, only 32% had heard of him. I had never heard of him until I received this book. The forward says that he was once celebrated, but has been forgotten.

Alexander McLeod (1774-1833) was a Scottish pastor and polemicist as well as an abolitionist. At the age of 18 he emigrated to New York and became a teacher of Greek. The forward also says he had a devotion to Common Dense philosophy and occasionally indulged in the end times date-setting born of historicist postmillennialism (an optimistic end times view commonly held by the Puritans).

In part 1 , “Redemption” there are six chapters: 1) Intimacy with God Is Man’s Happiness, 2) Man a Religious as well as a Rational Creature, 3) The Divinity of the Savior, 4) Christ a Surety for Sinners, 5) Present Suffering and Future Glory, 5) Vessels of Wrath, 6) Vessels of Mercy.

Part two has only four chapters on reconciliation: 1) The Doctrine of the Atonement, 2) The Church’s Safety, 3) The Constitution, Character, and Duties of the Gospel Ministry, 4) A Sabbath Day’s Ministry.

“Reform” is the topic for the third part. Here there are eight chapters: 1) Messiah, Governor of the Nations and of Earth, 2) Negro Slavery Unjustifiable, 3) The Scripture the Supreme Judge of Religious Controversy, 4) The Providence of God, 5) Jesus and the “Tribute Money”, 6) The Theological Seminary-An Address, 7) The Plan of Correspondence-An Address, 8) Draft of a Covenant and League.

The parts have a similar format. Some writings on apologetics followed by exegesis and/or expositions. Some of the writings have a bit of Q&A like a catechism.

The third part has some writings that focus on the Reformed Presbyterian Church.

“Negro Slavery Unjustified” was the first tract published by McLeod at the age of 28 during his first year of ministry.

I’m not sure if it’s my non-fiction book slump or what, but there were times I found his writings to be a bit heavy so I had to read them slowly. Nonetheless, his writings are timeless and should be read.

“The happiness of man cannot be complete without the experience of his being loved by his God and Savior… When there is evidence that love is reciprocal, the heart is at ease… The love of God to man is the original source of every blessing.”

The Element of Love by Mary Connealy

The Element of Love, Book 1 of 3 The Lumber Baron’s Daughters, a new series from Mary Connealy.

Inspirational Historical Romance Fiction

The story setting is in Northern California, 1872.
A desperate mother helps her 3 daughters escape the plotting of their evil stepfather. This is Laura’s book.

This is a sweet, clean romance. Laura and her sisters inherit their father’s business at age 25 or when married, whichever comes first. They have been educated as engineers and trained in the lumber business. Laura’s specialty is “blowing things up” using chemistry . They plan to quickly find husbands and return to rescue their mother and take back control of the lumber company. Laura decides  she is going to marry Parson Tillman. Nevermind what he might thinks.  This book speaks on the faith of the characters but it’s not forced on others. Laura and Parson Tillman invite the settlement people to song, prayer and Bible reading services but, they feed and help others even if they choose not to attend. It’s real compassion and generosity at work.

I did get irritated with 2 events. The first was when the mother was in a situation where she needed to, rightfully,  defend herself. As a Christian, she shouldn’t be dreaming of murdering someone while they sleep. It was strange.
The second was something that Laura, as an expert, did. It was odd and put several lives in danger. She doesn’t even acknowledge that she almost killed people.

I did enjoy this story and plan on reading Jillian and Michelle’s books.

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

Fiction Review | In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh

In Search of a Prince by Toni Shiloh is a contemporary Christian romance novel that is a retelling of The Princess Diaries. The story takes place in a fictional country inspired by Nigeria. The Princess Diaries was one of my favorite movies growing up, so when I was reading through some ARC reviews I was super intrigued. When I saw it was set in Africa that caught my interest even more because that sounded super fun and unique.

I’m really bummed to say that the story didn’t hold my interest, and as a Korean drama watcher my standards for romance are way too high. lol

I’m not saying don’t read this book! You might love it. I just was a bit bored and disinterested in the main character and her friend. All the materialism thrown around was a huge turn off, too. Within the first few pages there’s an Apple watch, expensive highlights, a shopping spree, etc. I know being a princess for some girls is all about the luxury and money, but I just don’t care.

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

Devotional Review | My Daily Pursuit

My Daily Pursuit: Devotions for Every Day is a new devotional based off the writings of A. W. Tozer. This devotional was compiled and edited by James L. Snyder who has been working on putting some of Tozer’s sermons and writings into books (which have been published by the same publisher).

This is a 366-daily devotional that opens with a bible passage, followed by a devotional, an excerpt from a hymn, and a prayer.

I’m not a huge fan of devotionals because I always forget to do them, but this one is short enough that it would only take a few minutes to add to your daily bible reading time.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reprobation and God’s Sovereignty by Peter Sammons

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

Reprobation and God’s Sovereignty: Recovering a Biblical Doctrine was written by Peter Sammons, and has a short forward by Pastor John MacArthur. Peter Sammons (PhD, The Master’s Seminary) is the director of academic publications at The Seminary Master’s and the managing editor of The Master’s Seminary Journal.

What is reprobation? A topic that is sure to start arguments and make you lose friends and close relationships with your family members. It’s a sensitive topic, and it’s been a hot topic here in the past few months on Instagram amongst former Calvinists.

So what really is reprobation? Within Calvinism and Reformed Theology we believe that God predestines people (the elect) to salvation. So since God predestines people to salvation (through election) then there must be predestination to damnation (that is either passive or active depending on who you’re reading/talking to… I hold the view that God passively predestines people, or the non-elect to damnation- He passes them by).

Election is a huge topic for debate and sets Calvinism apart from Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Lutheranism, and some branches of Protestantism. It’s also a topic that is often misunderstood, or people just plain out misrepresent and slander Calvinists. Heck, some Calvinists don’t even know how to properly describe God’s sovereignty and human’s responsibility, and they don’t know how to draw the dots outside of Romans 9.

In his fairly short book (<300 pages), Sammons walks the reader through the doctrine of reprobation and takes you all throughout the bible. This is an academic book for more intermediate readers… It has Greek. I think the average lay person might find this a bit intimidating and hard to follow at times, but if you’re familiar with theology, or you want to challenge yourself, it’s easy to understand and follow. It’s very pastoral and in depth if you’re a student of theology, pastor, author, etc you’ll love it.

Sammons has another book called Reprobation: From Augustine to the Synod of Dort that looks pretty interesting.

K-drama | Our Beloved Summer

Our Beloved Summer wasn’t on my radar. I watched the first episode on a whim and wasn’t too impressed. Every time I got on Instagram I saw someone talking about it, so I decided to give it another go, and I’m so glad I did. It’s such a sweet and refreshing drama, I recommend it.

Here’s the synopsis from My Drama List.

Years after filming a viral documentary in high school, two bickering ex-lovers get pulled back in front of the camera — and into each other’s lives.

Choi Woong seems naive and a free-spirited man, but he wants to have something for the first time in his life. For that, he shows what he holds in his mind.

Kook Yeon Soo aimed to become the top student at her school, but she is now an adult who lives fiercely, adapting to her reality.

Our Beloved Summer seems like a cliche opposites attract + enemies to lovers story at first. It comes off as a romantic comedy too, but it’s actually an emotional healing character driven drama with some comedy sprinkled in here and there.

This drama is based off a webtoon. From what I’ve read, this is more of a sequel to the webtoon than an adaptation. The webtoon is about the characters in high school. The drama does have some scenes from school (not as many as I would have liked to understand why they fell in love), but most of the show focuses on modern day when they’re in their late 20’s.

I enjoyed all the characters except for NJ, the K-Pop artist. She was really annoying like 90% of the time, but she was a nontoxic second female lead… The soundtrack is nice, but I feel like they overplayed V’s song Christmas tree lol. Don’t come after me.

Devotional Review | The Pursuit of God by AW Tozer

The Pursuit of God: A 31-Day Experience by A.W. Tozer was recently published by Moody Publishers. Moody really outdid themselves with this one, and I’m really hoping they do more books like this. This is such a cool devotional with very unique black and white high contrast artwork.

The Pursuit of God is a Christian classic. Tozer is easy to read and understand, but sometimes he gets a little too wordy for me and I get a bit lost and have to re-read. His thoughts are definitely something you want to slowly read and think about, and this devotional breaks down his writings enough you can enjoy his writings in such fun way.

If you’re looking for a devotional for yourself, a friend/family member, or even a study group, this is a great choice. It will certainly challenge readers.

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

Devotional Review | God With Us by Justin S. Holcomb

God With Us by Justin S. Holcomb is a unique devotional. Each entry is by a different theologian, so every day you read the words of some classic author in recent church history (1500s onward).

What I like about this devotional is that it’s short enough it holds my (also short) attention span, and it is thought inducing. It also doesn’t have personal stories, which I absolutely loathe (they’re a massive distraction). It’s just about Christ, and his person and work.

I am determined to read this every day this year and reflect on Christ!

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

Author bio (via Google):
Justin S. Holcomb, Ph. D., is a professor and Episcopal priest. He has written or edited more than twenty books on abuse, theology, and biblical studies. He teaches at Reformed Theological Seminary, and serves on the boards of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in Christian Environments) and REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade).

What I’ve Been Watching

I haven’t made a post about what I’ve been watching since June. I’ve been focusing on Instagram, so a majority of my reviews can be found there…

Since June I’ve watched these dramas: The Rational Life, Her Private Life, My Roommate is a Gumiho, Hometown Cha Cha Cha, Touch Your Heart, My Name, River Where the Moon Rises… I think that’s it? Out of the shows I didn’t drop that is. I’m currently watching Bulgasal: Immortal Souls and Our Beloved Summer.

I recently watched the variety shows Busted and New World, which I loved. They’re so hilarious, I recommend them.

I got back into anime recently and watched Violet Evergarden and Erased. I watched Demon Slayer and didn’t care too much for it. I’m slowly watching My Hero Academia as I wait for Attack on Titan.

I have been focusing more on shows than books, I’ve been feeling super burned out!