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Book Reviews

Book Reviews: Handbook for Baptists

Handbook for Baptists: What Every Baptist (New or Longtime) Should Know, edited by Bernard M. Spooner (Christian Leadership Publishing)

book spooner200Any Baptist who tells another Baptist what to do treads on dangerous ground. So, just consider this a friendly suggestion: Read this book, and put it into the hands of other Baptists.

Contributors include Phil Lineberger, pastor of Sugar Land Baptist Church and a former president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and Bill Pinson, BGCT executive director emeritus, along with Dallas Baptist University professors Royce Rose, Thomas Sanders and Michael Williams. Proceeds from the sale of the book go toward scholarship funds for ministry students at DBU.

This helpful handbook offers an easy-to-read and hard-to-forget collection of answers to important questions. The first two chapters—“What does having personal faith mean, and how does that affect my daily life?” and “Why is belonging to a local church important?”—provide a solid foundation for new believers that transcends Baptist life.

The next three chapters offer a primer on Baptist history, beliefs and practices, including a discussion of how Baptists contribute to the overall cause of Christ and how Baptists relate to other Christians. The final chapter—“Talking with children about faith, baptism and following Christ”—offers sound advice for parents, grandparents, Sunday school teachers and anyone who interacts with children.

Dennis Parrott, a veteran Christian educator, wrote teaching plans for each chapter. That addition makes the book particularly well-suited for use in a small-group study, whether it’s a class for new church members or a discipleship course for longtime members who want a better understanding of what makes Baptists distinctive.

Ken Camp, managing editor

Baptist Standard

Plano

Not There Yet But Gaining On It! by Vivian C. Conrad (Tate Publishing)

book conrad200Vivian Conrad provides a personal reflection of her journey with God as she comes to know and understand God’s sovereignty in the midst of life’s joys and sorrows. A family tragedy, a son’s deployment to Iraq and other experiences invite the reader to share in a deeper understanding of God’s grace as he stretches Conrad’s faith and challenges the author and the reader to know God on a deeper level.

Not There Yet But Gaining On It! will challenge Christians to go deeper with God and glimpse the bigger picture for their own spiritual journey. I would recommend this book for every Christian’s library. It will challenge you and encourage you to understand God’s sovereignty in all areas of your life.

Terry Ray

Second Baptist Church of Houston, South Campus

Pearland

The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles for Leadership That Matter by Albert Mohler (Bethany House)

book mohler200Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, believes, “Christian leadership cannot be separated from passionately held beliefs.” The true leader leads and is driven by conviction, Mohler insists. This book provides a broad overview of leadership from start to finish and its components.

Mohler refers not only to what the leader does, but also to who the leader is. The book also deals with the leader’s character, credibility, moral virtues and servanthood.

Mohler highlights the functions of the leader as a reader, steward, communicator, decision maker, writer and manager. Pointing to 21st century issues, he addresses the media and what it means to be a digital leader.

The book closes with four chapters regarding the leader’s time in dealing with leadership that endures, as well as the leader’s death and legacy.

If you want a book on leadership that spans the time and functions of a leader, this is for you. Mohler does a wonderful job with the topic.

Skip Holman, minister of discipleship

Northeast Baptist Church

San Antonio

       
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