Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson)
When familiar authors continue to produce book after book, it is easy to convince yourself they can be ignored for up-and-coming writers. In our search for biblical teaching, however, it would be a mistake to ignore the writings of a familiar author just because he or she is a known quantity.
Max Lucado is one of those authors who should not be ignored simply because you have already read some of his books. His latest book, Grace, is another excellent example of an inspiring work that will encourage and challenge readers in their journey with Christ.
Lucado poignantly reminds readers of the greatest gift ever given by the creator to his creation—grace. Our culture demands and expects us to produce to prove our worth and our value, but Lucado reminds us God loves us not for what we produce or achieve but because we are his creation.
Lucado certainly is an author we can depend on for biblical encouragement and inspiration. He continues to deliver.
Scott Bryant, university chaplain and vice president for spiritual development
East Texas Baptist University
True Jihad: Winning the Battle for Muslims by Mark S. Pfeiffer (CrossBooks)
Make no mistake. Mark Pfeiffer firmly believes Christians have a responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission—Christ’s command to make disciples of all people groups, including Muslims. But he also believes in Jesus’ Great Commandment—love for neighbor, including a Muslim neighbor. Despite the book’s militant-sounding title, its tone reflects the latter belief, along with Pfeiffer’s conviction that love compels Christians to understand people who hold different beliefs.
Pfeiffer, director of the Christian Institute of Islamic Studies at Baptist University of the Américas, wastes no words in this succinct book. He states clearly the greatest hindrances to any Christian witness to Muslims—fear and ignorance. He seeks to dispel both by providing a brief-but-thorough introduction to Muslim culture, history, beliefs and worldview in the book’s first half. The last half focuses on principles for building relationships with Muslims, such as viewing them as people beloved by God, not objects of ministry or targets for evangelism. Christians should love Muslims enough to share their faith in Christ with them—and enough to keep on being their friends even if they reject the gospel.
To a significant degree, the lessons of the last part of the book could be applied not only to relationships with Muslims, but to relationships in general.
Ken Camp, managing editor
Remodeled: Stories From a Changed Heart by Berry Simpson (Stonefoot Media)
Remodeled: Stories From a Changed Heart is the third book by Berry Simpson, author of Running with God and Retreating with God. Simpson is a deacon at First Baptist Church in Midland, and his books provide a series of stories that illustrae how to grow in Christ by seeing God in daily life.
Simpson makes an art form out of telling everyday stories. He begins Remodeled with a celebration of his wedding anniversary at the house he and his wife, Cyndi, are remodeling. He wants his stories to remind readers of their own “remodeling” stories.
Simpson puts his relationship with Christ in the middle of everything he describes, whether it’s his wife, his family, a co-worker, his grandparents or the people readers know from Scripture, such as Moses. After each story, Simpson includes questions that challenge readers to ask how they would respond to the remodeling of their lives, along with an excerpt from the New Testament book of Ephesians. This book is an easy, enjoyable and inspirational read.
Skip Holman, minister of discipleship
Northeast Baptist Church