Book Reviews: Deeper into the Word

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Deeper into the Word: New Testament by Keri Wyatt Kent (Bethany House)

Speaker and author Keri Wyatt Kent has produced an excellent resource for your personal Bible study. Deeper into the Word: New Testament will prove to be a welcome tool for personal Bible study and preparation to teach or share God’s word.

Kent has chosen 101 words referencing several translations. She sheds light on these words from the historical setting, the context and practical usage, and she adds some theological insights. Using phonetic spelling makes any reader comfortable in reading and using these words.

The author ties a variety of references to each word and its basic teaching, which gives windows of insight. She uses her talents as a speaker to illustrate each word through songs or a variety of biblical truths.

Kent has added an appendix filled with helpful websites that give the reader further study helps. She also has added a Greek index showing each reference to a word used in her book.

Deeper into the Word is a handy reference you will use often. The book is well-written, easy-to-read and an instant help. This book will give any student of the Bible a greater appreciation of the settings, meanings and the beauty of the Greek language. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have.

Leo Smith

retired executive director

Texas Baptist Men



Half the Church: Recapturing God’s Global Vision for Women by Carolyn Custis James (Zondervan)

Author Carolyn Custis James thoughtfully pens Half the Church. She paints vividly disturbing pictures of girls and women in today’s world and relates heart-wrenching stories of female trafficking, abuse, honor killings, genocide and sex-selective abortions.

Against that backdrop, James juxtaposes the excitement of a Chinese man who exclaims, “We don’t have to have daughters anymore!” with the Chinese proverb, “Women hold up half the sky.”

The author laments that in the Western church, one in four women has been victimized by physical or verbal abuse. She asks, “Do our teachings and, more significantly, our practices measure up to the gospel’s view of women, or are we selling Jesus and his gospel short because we aren’t fully valuing and mobilizing half the church?”

James reminds the reader God created fe-males in his image. Without disclosing personal convictions, she emphasizes looking not at “disputed passages” but at “undisputed examples.” She points out unlikely female leaders—Miriam, Deborah, Priscilla, Phoebe and Rahab—who are not simply sidebars in Scripture. She carefully examines the evolution of Ruth and Naomi and the “blessed alliances” formed by Esther and Mordecai and by Mary and Joseph.

The author offers no easy answers. Instead, she focuses on God’s kingdom strategy that both women and men must serve, so the whole church can function most ef-fectively. James says: “God is shaking his daughters awake. … His vision for us is affirming and raises the bar for all of us. …We have work to do. … May we be remembered as a generation who caught God’s vision, faced our fears and rose up to serve his cause.”

Don’t read this book if you want less.

Kathy Robinson Hillman

former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas



Amy Inspired: A Novel by Bethany Pierce (Bethany House)

In her first novel, Amy Inspired, Bethany Pierce lets 29-year-old Amy Gallagher tell her own story. The saga opens with “one more” of the college writing teacher’s rejections.  Egotistical English professor Adam breaks up with her in the cafeteria.  As soon as she returns home, Amy compulsively catalogs the rejection in a notebook filled with failed relationships and failed submissions.

However, everything changes when roommate Zoe brings another stray to Amy’s neat, orderly garage apartment. Eli, an unemployed, doesn’t-care-how-he-looks artist, temporarily crashes with the two. Suddenly, Amy’s everything-in-its-place world grows messy.

Amy comes down hard on an indifferent student only to discover her attitude comes from tragedy. The unavailable Eli evokes feelings beyond friendship. The inexperienced Zoe sells a major story that Amy is surprised to learn is about her and her incessant checklists and to-do lists.

As she explores the depth of her faith and her capacity for relationships and success, Amy learns valuable lessons related to jealousy, prejudice, paralyzing perfectionism and the power of presence. But has she learned them well enough to risk rejection one more time? Pierce allows Amy to write her own ending. Or is it a beginning?

Kathy Robinson Hillman former president

Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas




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