Book Reviews: Transforming Prayer

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Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson (Bethany House)

Transforming Prayer by Daniel Henderson is more than just the title of his book. It is more prophetic about what will happen to the serious reader who will apply what he learns from the author. Your prayer life and your Christian walk truly can be transformed by the truth of this book.

The author does not present a new method of prayer, because prayer is as old as Scripture. The author refocuses on the purpose and goal of praying.

There are two clear purposes of prayer as seen in Scripture by Henderson. First is to develop a true love relationship with God, and second is to receive his assignments. Too often, our prayer life consists of presenting to God our list of what we want him to do for us. Henderson says prayer seeks the face of God before you seek his hands.

You will be spiritually challenged in your prayer life as you discover what most prayer lists contain, the amount of time we spend talking to God and the very small amount of time we allow God to speak to us.

The author adds a helpful appendix, as well as discussion questions for each chapter. The book could be a tool for transforming your personal prayer life or in a small group or entire church.

I highly recommend Transforming Prayer to all who long for a deeper walk with God.

Leo Smith

retired executive director

Texas Baptist Men, Alvin

The Shadow of Babel: Speaking Jesus to a Language-Challenged World by Woody D. Wilson (CrossHouse)

As our world moves toward technological progress at breakneck speed, one often-overlooked consequence is the lack of honest, personal evangelism and the disconnection of the church from the world. Woody Wilson unpacks this injustice to the gospel in his book, The Shadow of Babel.

This instructive work on Christian witnessing is timely and informative in all areas. He demonstrates his understanding of the biblical principles of evangelism through copious citations of Scripture.

His credentials as a missionary in France and as an active senior pastor assure the reader Wilson has lived this message. Helpful tidbits at the end of each chapter encourage the reader to "build Word power" by analyzing key scriptural components of the gospel.

Together with illustrations from his life's work, the author produces a fine tool for sharpening the Christian's heart for sharing the gos-pel.

Few writers convey the seriousness of this subject with as much ease and conviction as Wilson. For laypeople searching for a voice in the spread of the gospel, look no further than The Shadow of Babel.

Cody Hamilton Nygard

associate pastor

Yegua Creek Evangelical Free Church, Elgin

The Accidental Revolutionary: George Whitefield & the Creation of America by Jerome Dean Mahaffey (Baylor University Press)

George Whitefield died nearly six years before American colonists issued their Declaration of Independence, and Whitefield always considered himself more a reformer than a revolutionary. As a master rhetorician, he knew how to walk the fine line that allowed him to criticize Church of England bishops while remaining an Anglican priest and that enabled him to serve as a chaplain to the upper classes while preaching doctrine that loosened the upper-class hold on power. At the same time, Mahaffey points out that Whitefield's preaching provided the template for a new way of viewing the world and for Americans to view themselves.

Mahaffey helps connect the dots for readers. In the Great Awakening, Whitefield eloquently and persuasively preached a gospel of conversion. To a people who saw Christianity as a birthright passed down through family lines, he insisted on the necessity of new birth by the Holy Spirit, and he boldly called into question the authority of "Old Light" clergy to serve without any clear sense of conversion or calling.

Later, those ideas found political expression. Previous-ly, family ties to England and loyalty to its king had shaped colonists' collective identity. As the Revolution took shape, people freely chose a new identity—born again as Ameri-cans, converted to a distinctively different view of liberty and authority.

The revival fires of the Great Awakening had cooled by the time of the Revolution. But the Awakening, particularly as articulated by Whitefield, provided a new way of thinking and talking—a new birth and a way of living guided by the Spirit rather than by established authority. Even deists who rejected Whitefield's theology recognized the power of his preaching and appropriated his vocabulary. Students of American history and students of the preaching art will benefit from this book.

Ken Camp

managing editor

Baptist Standard, Dallas

Pocket Posh King James Puzzles: The New Testament and Pocket Posh King James Puzzles: People of the Bible by Timothy E. Parker (Andrews McMeel)

Do you enjoy puzzles and quizzes of every kind? Do you like to challenge your Bible knowledge? Did you grow up with or do you some-times use the King James translation? 

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, Timothy Parker's Pocket Posh King James Puzzles series may be for you.

The small, take-anywhere volumes feature built-in, elastic bookmarks and contain a myriad of activities to stretch the brain as well as to help pass the time. Crossword puzzles, verse decoders, word searches, multiple choice posers and letter squares fill pages of both the People of the Bible and The New Testament editions.

Questions and clues related to the New Testament range from "Brother of Japeth" to "Second Son of Joseph" to "Who recognized the voice of Peter after he was miraculously delivered from prison?" 

People of the Bible also features the well-known and the obscure from Horam to Esarhaddon to Lemuel. The crossword puzzles contain nonbiblical clues, but some of those aren't easy.

A Pocket Posh King James Puzzles book would be a great purchase for anyone ready for a challenge or who needs something to tuck into a bag or pocket for that travel or waiting room downtime.

Kathy Robinson Hillman, former president

Woman's Missionary Union of Texas,




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